Thursday, August 14, 2008

Great Expectations, Great Disappointments

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. Did Charles Dickens go to my family's reunion? I wish I could say what went wrong or why it did. I can't. We all love each other so much, but it seems only from a safe distance, a phone call away. In each other's company there was so much snarling, bristling, and bruising. Hurt feelings, short tempers, stepped-on toes, and ancient acrimony. Who needs it? Not me. My short fuse blew right away, then I basically stayed quiet and moody. Nothing like a bit of family drama to remind me why my highest ideals and the philosophical underpinnings of my life are basically full of shit, when they can be compromised by one cross look or crass comment.
We drove north to Capitola and spent a few nights back at the beach house. We saw more pelicans than we have ever seen before at one time. Literally hundreds of them. Dozens flew north, dozens flew south crossing paths at a graceful clip. We were concerned about them, and wondered if there were too many to find enough food in this over-fished bay. As it turns out, the Fish and Game officials were keeping their eyes on them too, and closed local area wharfs to fishing. This brief piece was in the local Santa Cruz Sentinel:

The Capitola Wharf was closed to fishing Wednesday, one day after the closure of the pier at Seacliff State Beach.

Fish and Game officials, who recommended the closures, are trying to prevent endangered brown pelicans from being caught in fishing lines.

Large numbers of pelicans are traveling through the Monterey Bay area with their young, following spring breeding in Southern California and Mexico. Dozens of injured young pelicans have been taken in by rescue groups along the coast in recent weeks.
Now we're back in Humboldt county, seventeen hundred miles after light-hearted beginnings. We're catching up on news (had no internet for a few days), on blogs, on life. I'll be spending the next few days wondering why my family looked like this, but...
...felt like this?

1. First Photo: My twin brother, me, my sister, my mom and my older brother.
2. Second Photo: Two of the many pelicans sitting quite close to the Capitola wharf.
3. Third Photo: Front row: my older brother's partner, me, my mom, sister, niece, SIL, twin brother. Back row: Niece, nephew, older brother, Roger, nephew.

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