So good news!  The fine folks @ SEASMART and BLUE ZOO have more PNG Maroons for me, on their way from Fisherman’s Island! Amazing how a short chain of custody, with fish collected specifically to fill particular orders, can work to the hobbyist’s benefit.  I’m eager to see what arrives and to document it all.
But of course, things couldn’t go smoothly.  That’s just not the way.  Patience is key if you’re going to find the right time.
First, it was a snowstorm in Duluth MN in MAY. Yes, it SNOWED.  Mark Martin was all set to send ’em, but a snowstorm isn’t really ideal for the fish to make it here safely.  Check it out!  No Joke!

It's snowing in Duluth, MN in MAY!

Yes...that's May 7th, 2010!

Of course, I figured probably, after the weekend, things would be better.  But Sunday night, my wife and I got the surprise of our lives.  Our baby was coming a full month early and there wasn’t gonna be any stopping it.  We didn’t know what we were having.  Monday morning, May 10th, 7:15 AM, Renee and I had our first child, a baby boy, coming in at 5 lbs, 5 oz., and 17″.  We named him Ethan Thomas Pedersen!
Ethan Thomas Pedersen

Ethan Thomas Pedersen, born 5-10-10

So…being premature (and missing having an obligatory stay at the NICU by a DAY), we’ve had a crazy week.   I instantly had to let Mark know that nothing could be shipped until further notice!  Everything fish-related has been in a holding pattern.  We’d been staying at the hospital day and night since he was born, and as recently as this afternoon, it was looking like he’d be there until Sunday at least.  Mostly, I just snuck in a couple times a day to take the dog out, feed the fish, and maybe a water change here and there.  But, a few hours ago, in what I can only describe as another stunning twist, they gave Ethan the green light to come home!
So finally we’re home, and life, while never returning to “normal” as I knew it, will still hopefully settle down a bit and we’ll get into a routine.  Part of that routine means being home and able to handle new fish when the arrive on my doorstep.  Mark has been waiting patiently, and currently, the 10-day forecast is showing daytime highs in the 70’s.  With no snow in sight, and me returning to work next week, the timing is finaly perfect for the newest ambassadors from Papua New Guinea (and SEASMART) to show up on my doorstep.  There will be fresh rounds of quarantine, and if all goes well, we could be back to pairing attempts in a few weeks!
In the meantime, the Lightning Maroon has settled in, enjoys his three Bubble Tip Anemones, and in every respect has adjusted to captive life.  It’s only a matter of time before the next chapter begins.