A much anticipated Zionsville Indiana Community yearly event in September is what is known as the Fall Festival. With carnival rides, food venders, local merchant booths, parade, it is a celebration of early fall that for me was always another marker of the passing years with my boys. The rides, the cheap stuffed animal prizes, the elephant ears, were part of the experience, but, oh, to win a goldfish. When I read a Facebook post from a mom asking advice on how to keep a goldfish alive, I remembered Goldy and the many others. You may not want to read the rest of this because if you follow my simple instructions you will be a slave to your fall festival fishy for years. I can kill a plant in minutes, but give me a goldfish and I am cursed or blessed with a “gold thumb.” With all the carnival noises playing in the background I would cringe each time I saw that ping pong ball plop in that little fish bowl and think here we go again as we would leave the fall festival with kettle corn in one hand and and at least one fish being sloshed around in its temporary tiny house – plastic bag.
There were many casualties and toilet bowl funeral flushings over the years. Some just simply don’t survive the hardship of carnival life. Then there was Goldy lovingly adored by my oldest son for about 24 hours after the thrill of the win and painstakingly kept alive for 7 years by me because I cannot kill even a bug. Goldy would probably still be alive today if I hadn’t made the fatal mistake of filling the bowl up almost to the brim once. To my horror Goldy came to a tragic end when I walked in my son’s room to find him not monotonously swimming around in that bowl as usual but partially dried out gasping on the carpeted floor. I scooped him up and quickly rescued him to his watery home where he bravely fought and lived three more days. No tears were shed for Goldy, but my heart ached a little as I watched my middle school aged son run out the door and I alone flushed Goldy to heaven- another marker of time. That is what Goldy and the others were to me- markers of time raising three boys that passed too quickly. Yes, I know the secret to keeping a goldfish alive. My advice- stop reading here and go out and just get a puppy. But if you insist on knowing, here is the secret.
1. Get a plain wide mouthed bowl. No tank with filter. The key is the wide opening at the top.
2. Take an empty gallon milk jug and fill with tap water. Let that water sit with no lid on it for a week. Use that water to replace the old water. The key is to let the tap water sit open for a few days.
3. Change the water about weekly.
4. Remember to feed it.
5. When you go on vacation, there are these dissolving self feeders.
6. That’s it!