Mauled by a wild animal!

First week back from China, we had an interesting weekend.  We invited our good friend Zhiguo from China to spend the weekend with us at my mom’s house.   Zhiguo took special care of us helping me with learning Chinese and took me to restaurants in China.   On Friday, we got down to my mom’s house and got the boat ready to go crabbing.  We managed to launch my boat, despite by reverse driving skills with a trailer.  After a false start (because I forgot the bait in the truck), we got out to dash point and dropped the crab pots. We went back to Redondo to pick up Tenille and the kids.  By the time, we got back to dash point, it was time to pull up the crab pots.  When we pulled up the pots, we had 4 crabs!!  Only one was big enough, though.  I thought that the proper crab picking up technique was to pick him up by the rear by the hind legs with the thumb on the underside and the other fingers on the top of the crab.  I thought that this would keep the crab from being able to reach with those threatening claws.  I thought wrong.  He got me.  He got me hard. 

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Tenille mentioned later that the crab had grabbed me and was hanging off of my thumb.  I vaguely remember that part.  Perhaps because I was distracted by the blood that was quickly pooling around my fingernail where he squished my nail into my flesh.  Big drops of blood fell on the boat.  I’ve never been mauled by a wild animal before…  It hurt a lot.  We somehow managed to get the bad boy into the cooler, but honestly I don’t remember how.    I just remember that he tasted pretty good when I exacted my revenge.  The hypochondriac in me was a bit afraid that I might get some weird crab disease, but so far so good .  We ended up getting two crabs that day, which was apparently more than enough for us.  We saved half of a crab for my mom.  We also caught a starfish which was entertaining for Caleb.  We tried fishing, but only caught a dogfish.  We had to cut the line, because I forgot my de-hooking pliers, and I wasn’t about to reach into the dog fish’s mouth, especially after the crab attack.  Oh well… it was worth the excitement. 

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One person that didn’t enjoy the excursion was Andrew.  Andrew is a bit of a tinkerer… and he doesn’t really like to just sit there… It made for a tough experience for Tenille trying to keep him contained.  With Andrew as an exception, a good time was had by all, and we filled our bellies with crab.  Zhiguo told me the next day that he spent the evening talking with his parents and telling them about the day.  He had never ridden in a boat before, nevertheless drive one.  He said that he had never seen the ocean before getting on his first plane ride to Redmond a few years ago. 

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The next day, our family and Zhiguo went down to our good friend, Michael Brown’s dad’s farm out in Enumclaw where apparently there are no laws…   We had some yummy BBQ, and the kids had a great time lighting off some small fireworks before the big show.  Caleb loves fireworks.  He was quite good at running away from them as soon as it was lit, which I was thankful for.   (note how far Caleb is in front of Michael in the first set of pictures)….  Sometimes I see kids linger… I’m glad they’re not my kids… One day there will be a price for lingering…

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As dusk set in, the adults started entertaining themselves with roman candles.  Apparently, cows must be Tories, because they did not appreciate the fireworks as much as we did.  In fact, many of them started running off causing a mini-stampede.

This year, at the farm, I saw one of the most spectacular private fireworks shows I’ve ever seen in my life.  There is one firework show that I distinctly remember as the best I’ve seen.  It was in Junior High school, and I was in the University of Redlands California for a summer camp…   There I remember the fireworks being so ENORMOUS, and they seemed to linger forever in the sky and slowly drift down until I was afraid that would land on my face.  This private show at Michael’s dad’s farm for 20 or so people definitely rivaled that spectacular experience.  I am not sure how much money Michael had to spend to put on such a show, but I felt a tinge of guilt that such a wonderful show was delivered to such a small number of people.  Using my kids as an excuse, I got to sit in the lawn chairs and watch the festivities from afar.  Zhiguo, on the other hand, was not so lucky.  He got a VERY close view of the fireworks as he lit the fuse of most of the explosives.  It seemed like he was having fun though as he and the other 20-somethings lit off the fireworks and ran for cover.  There were a few close calls where the fireworks exploded on the ground, and I saw Zhiguo running away from the blossom.  Hmm… I wonder what he’ll tell his parents.    For next year, if you know Michael Brown, I highly recommend you attend the show.  If you know someone that knows Michael Brown, you should ask if you can come.  The show was city fireworks quality. 

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I thought that after seeing the 3-week long Chinese New Year celebration in Beijing, 4th of July in the US would pale in comparison.  But, the show was incredible, and it was an extra special occasion because we got to share it with our Chinese friend, Zhiguo. 

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