A long time ago a friend was moving and gave me his aquarium with two tropical fish: a lionfish about 9 inches long and a clownfish about 4 inches long.  My husband was always talking about having an aquarium, so I thought it would be perfect - he would get a complete setup and take care of it.  Also, I had no idea about keeping a saltwater aquarium, so I was very enthusiastic. 

It turned out, however, that all my husband wanted was a goldfish or two, and taking care of saltwater fish was too bothersome for him.  The fish lived with us for three years, during which I acquired a lot of new skills and a much bigger 75-gallon aquarium.  The fish had ups and downs but in the end they seemed pretty happy and grew a lot, the lionfish getting to be about 14 inches long.

I had to part with them when I was expecting my first baby.  The clownfish went to a wonderful home, but the lionfish was so large no one would take it for awhile.  In the end I found a new home for it too - the National Aquarium in Washington, DC.  It is much smaller than Aquarium in Baltimore, MD, and our lionfish became the largest one they owned at the time.  We actually went to visit it twice - our lionfish had a ying-yang-shaped spot on its side, so it was easy to tell it from the other lionfish. 

My kids are asking for an aquarium now and I am a bit hesitant.  I have my hands full and the last thing I need is an aquarium to take care of.  They say that all they want is a couple of goldfish and that daddy promiced to help them to take care of it.  Looks like we'll just have to wait and see this time - I am about to cave in.

For now though I can't get the goldfish out of my mind, they are lovable little fellows after all.  I have been thinking about them so much, I began to draw goldfish on napkins and grocery store receipts.  Then I decided to make a stained glass panel featuring them.  I just happened to have some lovely bubble glass to complement the gorgeous streaky red, yellow and orange hues of the glass I picked out for the fish.  So here it is, my little aquarium…  colorful and care-free.