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    A Narrative About a Swimming Adventure and Hermit Crab

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    Awaking early, I decided to sit on the screened porch and watch the Florida sun come Within a very short time as I sat there, the sun peaked on the horizon as it gradually awakened from its night of slumber. The dew sparkled like diamonds as the sun’s rays tenderly caressed the grass.

    Off in the distance, I could hear the world spring to life as the birds began to sing a spectacular melody, growing louder and louder as each bird began to chirp in unison, like a choir singing in church on Sunday morning. A new day had dawned and I remember thinking how magnificent the birds’ song was and what a wonderful day it was going to be.

    Returning to my duties as a mom, I started making breakfast for my children, who would wake shortly wanting to eat. Within a few minutes, the wonderful aroma of the pancakes and bacon cooking on the stove gave way to the sound of pitter-pattering little feet as they hit the floor. My children Michael, Laura and Misty were awake and joined me in the kitchen. I seated the children; gave them their breakfast and told them that it was going to be a very hot day and if they ate all of their breakfast and cleaned up the toys, I would take them to the beach to go swimming.

    The children, bustling with excitement over the news, hurriedly ate their breakfast and started cleaning up their toys while I cleaned the kitchen.

    Around noon, the temperature was a blistering 95 degrees as we packed a cooler with sandwiches and drinks. We loaded the trunk with our chairs and headed off to the beach.

    On the way, we saw a black and white cat racing across the street chasing a gray mouse. We played a game called I Spy and sang songs to pass the time. Growing closer to the beach Michael spied a snake lying in the road, and asked, “Why is the snake lying in the middle of the road mommy?” The snake was dead and not wanting to upset him, I replied, “The snake is basking in the sun so it can get warm”.

    It was not long before we had reached our destination. Anticipation filled the air as we found the perfect spot and unloaded the car. The children helped set up the chairs and then headed off to swim. Deciding to relax a few minutes, I took in the peaceful views that lay before me.

    The beach was covered with white sand and on each side of the swimming area were large boulders and rocks that had been piled up. There were several covered tables and a bathroom area. Many people were playing in the water while others were lying on their towels and blankets on the sandy beach. A volleyball game was taking place a few yards away and I remember thinking how hot it was as the glaring sun beat down on everyone.

    Watching the children playing in the surf, the waves from the shore looked fun and almost childlike as they crested and then crashed over one another. I could taste the salt in the air and watched little rainbows glisten through the prisms of the ocean’s spray. The warm ocean water toward the shore was covered with foam and bubbles from the rumbling waves as my children and other families played in the gritty sand of the Gulf. I watched the seagulls swoop

    down as a child threw small pieces of bread up in the air. The sea gulls were white and gray and had a long orange beak. I remember thinking to myself, “This is going to be a perfect day”.

    The children are playing and laughing in the ocean and call out “Come on mom, come and play”. I start towards the water trying not to step on any of the tiny hermit crabs as they emerge from their sandy homes in search of scraps. I reached the water; no crabs injured and plunged head first into a two-foot wave coming to shore, hah! How refreshing.

    My children and I are swimming and playing together in the cool refreshing water. I lift them one by one tossing them slightly in the air and letting go, I hear them shriek with delight as they plummet towards the water with a splash! This exciting activity is repeated several times until my arms give out and I am forced to take a break, much to the dismay of my children who are having a wonderful time. I stand there in about three feet of water when my children come up with another exciting game; they start swimming through my legs playing mommy is a bridge. I remember thinking boy! I wish I had their energy. After resting a few minutes I picked them up, placed them one at a time on my back and began to swim; we slowly swam under the blue water and up again and I could hear them giggle with excitement and say “Do it again mommy, do it again”.

    A short time later a commotion broke out interrupting our games, I struggled to hear what everyone was shouting about and saw people running to the water’s edge and pointing about fifty feet from where the children and I were playing. Looking in the direction they were pointing, a man with his daughter in tow yells, “SHARK!” without hesitation, I yelled to my son, “Michael, get out of the water!” I grabbed Laura and Misty and headed to shore. My adrenalin pumping we reached the shore incredibly fast, like a bolt of lightning streaking across the night sky.

    Only when we were safely on shore did we look back to see three fins just skimming the surface of the water. I stood there stunned and shocked watching the fins, wondering what kinds of sharks they were and very grateful that everyone was in one piece.

    A few minutes later, the fins disappeared beneath the surface and everyone was treated to a wondrous sight, there off in the distance, were three dolphins jumping high into the air and making a big splash as they entered the water. The dolphins took turns jumping and playing; sometimes they would jump in unison, as if dancers in a chorus line.

    As fast as they had appeared, the dolphins slipped beneath the waves and headed out to sea. I wondered if the dolphins laughed to themselves; thinking about how they had scared the two-legged creatures from the water or if they were just as curious about us as we were of them. With the all clear, we headed back into the water and continued swimming and playing games.

    A short time later, the children became hungry so we decided to get something to eat and drink. The ham and cheese sandwich tasted good and the Pepsi was refreshing. As we ate, the children began to get goose bumps so I covered their shoulders with a blanket.

    Hours later, the sun setting, we gathered our belongings, packed up the car and ventured home. The children tired from a full day of fun and games fell asleep quickly. Not wanting to wake the children, I turned off the radio and listened to the hum of the motor as we made our way home.

    Later as I lay in bed I replayed the day’s events in my mind, from the stunning sunrise, the splendor of the birds as they sang, the laughter of they children as the played, the show of the dolphins, the beauty of the beach and the setting sun, I thanked God for all the wonderful gifts he had given me.

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