This was my last trip with my mom to Assateague Island in Maryland. It was a place we went often, in any season, because we both appreciated the wild wonder of the ocean. This small slip of an island is host to so many wonderful animals, survivors whose bodies have adapted over centuries to the salinity of the water sources and the wilds of the weather that blows across the beaches. When I arrived at my mom's house just before Christmas, she mentioned that the snowy owls were stopping at Assateague while they migrated. We spent an afternoon scouring the north end of the island, hoping to see one of these magestic creatures. We didn't spot a single one, but we enjoyed ourselves nonetheless. I'm so glad we spent our day there because she died about a week later. I'll cherish all our times in this special place, but this last time was incredible.