Hello, my little mermaids. Elnora loves dolphins. There is just something about these gentle, friendly creatures that draws us to look toward the sea. They are playful and they love to tap each other and, sometimes, humans too! They frolick and play but they are a vital part of our oceans and bays. Elnora prefers her dolphins wild and free rather than in a big pool doing tricks. Those are cute, don't get me wrong. But I like the surprise of staring out over the horizon and suddenly seeing a dark flipper or fin popping up out of the water. Now that I've been back and forth to the big bay, one of my favorite things to do once I get there is watch for the dolphins. The first time I saw one so close to the shore, I giggled with delight. Then it became a quest to see another and another. In our bay, they mostly travel two to three in a pod and do a beautiful dance across the water. This time there, I waited and watched and fretted. I was having a hard time accepting that I'd soon be moving across the country so I really needed to see those dolphins. It just seemed to me that if I saw the dolphins early in the morning, I'd have a better day. Something about them lowered my blood pressure and stopped my worries. But day after day, I didn't see any little gray fins or flippers. I sat on the deck and watched and waited and thought about how many miles inland it would take them to travel to get to me. They only like to come and visit when the water is warm. (And who can blame them for that.) Finally, I spotted one in front of the boat docks but I lost sight of it in the tree line. The next time they came Elnora was upstairs "powdering my nose" when Big Daddy called up and said there were several--or more like "more than I've ever seen. Hurry." Sometimes it's just hard for a girl to hurry. But I did. I managed to spot a couple before they went on there way to whatever play dates they had that day. We had one more spotting when some friends saw them and we all rushed down to the water's edge. Soon, however, it was time for us to return home and start packing to go back in a few weeks. I was still torn between loving the bay and leaving my home and friends and some family members when I go back to the bay for good. We had shut everything down that morning and closed the drapery over the glass door to our deck. While Big Daddy his usual pack and check list, I snuck to the curtains and opened them one more time. I just stood there, thinking of all the things I had on my mind and how I was going to deal with those things. And then, out of the blue three little fins popped up and flipped through the water, followed by three swishing flippers. Those dolphins put on a show for me and only me. I smiled and smiled and watched until my eyes grew bleary from the sun and from the beauty of it all. There is something about dolphins. They offer unconditional friendship and seem to know exactly when we need it. So ... let's discuss dolphins and other sea creatures? What is it that you love about the sea? Sometimes the world is full of sharks, but I know the bay will always bring me some dolphins. And that means God has sent me a little bit of grace.