So, I will admit this is a topic I never thought I would write about.

But really it is also about courage and where we find it.

Of course, I should mention, that yes, I have pretty much not been around lately.

We just returned from a fantastic 11 day beach vacation and jumped right into the Back to School Preparations, most specifically getting ready for Middle School “Locker Day”. This is the day when you show up, they assign your locker, you fill it with your school supplies (which is why I had to shop day one home from vacation) and walk around to get more familiar with the school.

So, I apologize, but I am sure you have managed just fine without me finishing out your own summers.

So, back to puffer fish.

Our vacation was on Long Beach Island, NJ (which is being evacuated as I write this).

On our final full day we went out the north point of the island, to the light house, Old Barney as it is affectionately called.

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It was one of those really great days where you really have no expectations. After all these years, we tried the most north restaurant on the island (loved it),

LBI 11 003 went into the old school gift shop / tackle shop (loved it and everything was so cheap! so wanted to take that wreath home with me!)

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and Peanut even ran into two friends on top of the lighthouse. What are the chances of that?

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We walked out further on the rocks than we ever had before. There are lots of people fishing and we asked one couple if they had any luck that day, not much they said and we moved on.

A little while later, the woman came over to us holding something and asked if we wanted to hold it.

Yup, you guessed it, a puffer fish!

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I was the first one to take it out of her hand and it was the strangest feeling ever. I held it between my thumb and pointer finger and I could feel the pressure of the air inside it and a pulse.


Next, without hesitation, Blondie put it in her hand.

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Did you know they don’t always “puff”? They only do it as a protective thing, otherwise, they look like this.

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After a few minutes, he stopped “puffing” himself, so we knew he was distressed, so we put him back in the water.

Funny thing was, although Peanut touched it, she did not want to put it in her hand. If I would have to guess, I would have reversed it. Blondie, no hesitation at all.

However, when we walked along the rocks, Blondie hesitated from time to time and walked cautiously.

Please note how Peanut managed across the rocks.


So, I guess the moral of the story is..

Well, aside from holding a puffer fish is really cool…

We all find our courage in different places. We all have it, we just have to find it. So when you are feeling frustrated with yourself about your courage with something, realize that you have it in another way.

Some of us do cartwheels on rocks, some of us hold puffer fish.

Which are you?

Or are you both?


August 26, 2011 — Laura Putnam