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Sitting near the salt water fish tank, with blue light impacting the light of the whole restaurant, I can’t help but be in complete awe. Being right next to the tank filled with beautiful fish that are interacting with one another seamlessly, at a small table filled with amazing seafood and lots of laughs, I can’t help but wish the moment would last forever.

It isn’t about where you are or what you are doing, it’s about who you are with, that make the moment. It’s feeling as though you could live in that specific moment forever, and always be content. To never want anything more, and to be in your own separate world is all that you could ever wish for.

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I gaze into the elephant’s eyes, his wisdom obvious. The elephant watches all of us, watching him, and is unable to keep the apparent grin off his face. He looks so happy, and he wasn’t even playing with the other elephant in the enclosure. He reaches with his trunk for the many abandoned orange peels laying around the edge of his fence, the only thing separating us. Sujatha looks at us and I can imagine his delight of being able to show off for us and get a treat out of it.

Meanwhile, the only other elephant in the spacious enclosure, Little Mac, stands obviously waiting for Sujatha to stop performing, and for food. He munches on his leaves and watches his zookeepers, knowing that they are up to something. Soon after, he hears the familiar crank of his rubber ball being dragged lower for him to play with.

However, Little Mac goes near it and grazes it, his ear brushing the surface. Quickly, Sujatha comes close and it seems that the two elephants have intertwines their trunks and have lost complete interest in their toys, only wanting the companionship and safety of one another.

And it seems, at the Santa Barbara Zoo, these two elephants are in their own world, separate from all the coos from the sign of affection and pictures being taken.

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As I sit on the cramped airplane, waiting for our flight to take off, slightly buzzed on hot chocolate, but excited anyway, I glance out the window and look at the workers moving around quickly. They move quickly and swiftly, trying to move the suitcases and get the flight off the ground and onto Detroit. I continue staring, not caring if anyone notices.

When the flight attendant announces we will be departing in roughly 15 minutes because of the frozen wings and a delay in something, and advert my gaze back to the window from the middle aisle, with only two rows of two seats on the entire plane and only space for backpacks and purses above us, to the people moving efficiently and effortlessly outside together. Soon after, the plane begins to pull out, much to the surprise of everyone at this early hour, only to be put in a line to be “sprayed” off so the wings would unfreeze, and a few minutes later, we are in the sky.

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I have always hated packing. In my opinion, it’s the worst part of the whole vacation. I have never minded the travel there or back, packing up before we left, or even the vacation itself (depending on the company).

Over the course of the past week, I have been stuffing my suitcase full of spring and summer clothes and taking them out again, only to put them in for a third time. I have been checking the forecast, praying for no rain, and repeating over, and over again.

As I look at my suitcase now, thinking of how I’ll have to pull it through an airport and store it above my head on the airplane in roughly nine hours, I can’t help the happiness that takes over me.

And as of tomorrow morning, I’ll be in California.

 

 

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I adjust my scarf, seemingly for the millionth time in the past few minutes, so it covers more of my face. I hear a shuffling next to me, reminding me of my dog’s presence, her body barely staying above the mounds of snow that has fallen over the entire yard. Her excitement to walk with me out to the chicken coop almost every day, even though she can only go half way and watch me go the rest of the way on my own, I find astounding.

I continue my slow trudge and look to my left, only to see that the sun is setting in a display of pinks and oranges, reflecting off of the snow and creating a perfect sunset. A few steps later, approaching the rabbit cages, I see the two sets of beady brown eyes glance my way. I look first at the larger of the two, with brown and grey fur, and see her scamper up the stairs towards the food, of course. Only Paisley, I swear.

I take in the other rabbit with primarily white fur and black spots, appropriately named Pongo, and see him stare right back at me, or the hay I’m clutching and what will be his next meal.

I take in these two of the many animals I went to take care of, and can’t help but think that no matter how cold it may be, all of these rabbits, chickens, cats, and dogs make it worth it.

 

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As I lay curled up on the couch, perfectly content and warm, surrounded by two sleeping dogs on the floor and my mother across the room, all breathing deeply, with the dogs dreaming of chasing moles judging by the twitching of their limp paws, I can hear the roar of the snowblower and I glance lazily out the windows only to see the complete whiteout revealing only a few bare trees. I can’t help but think how ironic the many Easter decorations positioned around the house are compared to the temperature and amount of snow on the ground. In only a few short weeks, all this snow will be gone, making way for green grass, crocuses, and blue skies, I think hopefully.

Out of no where, the garage door opens quickly and slams shut after the person entering the house. Uh, oh, this can’t be good I can’t help but think. My brother had taken all his snow gear off and is stomping his way into the living room, only to announce that the snow blower is temporarily not working and he’s taking a much needed break.

My mom looks at me after talking with my brother about what happened and says, “If we don’t get it running, we have to go shovel the driveway.”

Suddenly, I understand the look and a bit of panic takes over me as I think about having to shovel the whole driveway and leaving the warmth of my cocoon.