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Delighting in my God, I desire to dwell in His pleasure and to help others experience true delight.

"Delight Yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
And He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your judgment as the noonday.  
Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him;..." Ps 37:4-7a

Monday, May 26, 2014

Our Coquina Vacation

Recently my honey and I got away for a few days to Daytona Beach.  It was a wonderful, relaxing few days, watching sunrises over the ocean horizon, listening to the rolling waves, and walking the beach morning and evening.  

On our first walk, my husband, who grew up in Daytona, introduced me to what became the delight of this vacation.  It was a perfect evening.  The temperature was perfect. The breeze was perfect.   The water was perfect.  As we walked along, we looked for the little holes that show up as the tide goes out. Just for fun, we like to try to find the tiny crabs that Colin calls sand fleas.  I was about to rediscover the 5 year old in me.

“Ah, no sand fleas - just periwinkles.  Did you see the periwinkle dig its way into the sand?” 

“No.  I didn’t know periwinkles dig into the sand.”

And so I watched.

“Oh I saw it.  I saw it.”  I squealed excitedly.  “I can’t believe I never knew about this in all the years we have been coming here.  This makes my night.”

We continued to stroll along looking for the tiny burrowing clams.  Later we found out they weren’t periwinkles at all, but coquinas.  Though I may have seen them on prior visits, the nice thing about being over 50 is that I often get to experience things again as if it’s the first time.  I was so captivated by this new discovery that I looked forward to researching what I could on the net and getting back to the beach for further observation.

Each day we learned something new.  I would spend hours on the beach just watching.  I not only saw them burrow, but discovered them rising from the hidden homes by the millions.  As the tide comes in, they slowly poke out, until the timing is just right for the waves to wash them further inland.  It is an amazing site to behold.  They rise in mass by the millions all along the beach just to be pulled by the waves a few inches to a few feet.  Many of them die in the process.

If you take the time to watch the video, (It’s only about 40 seconds), look to the top to see the tiny creatures rising up from the sand.  Then wait to watch the multitude of shell creatures tossed forward by the waves only to borrow back down.  What an awesome Creator to have conceived such incredible creatures.  


There are more video posts on you tube which may be better than my attempt.  We decided to call this our coquina vacation since we spent so much of our time enjoying and exploring the life of the coquinas.  I'm not done discovering yet.  

On another note, there are only a few more days to submit your 500 word piece for the Write Club Competition.  It closes May 31st.  Hop on over to D L Hammons to check out all the particulars of this exciting writing competition opportunity.  

Write Club

Friday, May 23, 2014

A to Z still Going

Just returned from a great vacation on the beach in Daytona, Florida. We watched the sunrise several mornings - just breathtaking.  I need a better camera.

Sunrise on Daytona Beach, May 23, 2014

Now I'm a guest on the A to Z Challenge blog.  Hop over for a visit.  And then visit M.J.Joachim's Writing Tips and take the A to Z survery.  Still riding on the road trip.
                                                                                God bless, Maria

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

On a Road Trip

Whew!  I can't believe it's been already 15 days since the April A to Z challenge ended.  I joined the A to Z road trip, visiting those A to Z blogs and posts I didn't get a chance to visit during April.

No rules, just ride through as many and as often as you can.  It's a lot of fun, and you can sign up by adding your name to the linky here.  I have been going at a slow pace because, alas, as soon as I signed up, I got sick.  I'm still recovering, but have enough in me to at least invite you all along for the ride.  If you didn't participate in the challenge this year, check out the challenge website to see the ongoing story of the challenge as posts continue.  You may be intrigued enough to consider it next time around in April 2015.

At the top of the website, you can find the links for those who signed up for the challenge or for the those who wrote reflections on the challenge.  The link for the road trip was not at the top of the website at the time of this posting, but I hope they add that as well since this is the fourth annual road trip, after all.

I've already discovered some great blogs while on the road trip, traveling through various reflections on the challenge.  One was the website of The Slightly Eccentric Diary of Rob Z Tobor.  His reflection was a parody of Jack in the Beanstalk that he titled Fee Fi Fo Fum.  It's a hoot.  Check it out here.

There are lots of wonderful blogs in the blogosphere, no doubt.   There are also a plethora of writing challenges, parties, linkys, etc.  It can take over your life.  The A to Z challenge is a place to expose oneself to a wide assortment of different writers, styles, topics, people from all over the world, and yet, as more than one member of this diverse group has put it, still feel a sense of community.  It's quite incredible really.  I'm very glad someone invited me to check it out and join in.  Now I am inviting you.  
                                                                                      God bless, Maria

Monday, May 5, 2014

A to Z Challenge 2014, Reflections

As I reflect on this year’s A to Z challenge, I find a smile come to my face, satisfied to have completed another and already planning for next April.  Why smile?  Well it feels good to accomplish something that is, well, a challenge.   It is always fun to reacquaint with friends from the previous year’s challenge, meet new friends and cultures, and discover talented bloggers to follow.  It’s also a real delight to find how I grow through the challenge.  I appreciate alternative views a little more.  I find myself more compassionate towards the hurting.  I understand blogging, writing, and thinking a bit better.

1.     Loved catching up with some blog friends I made in last year’s challenge.
2.     Loved meeting new friends.
3.     Loved visiting with people from diverse cultures and from around the world.
4.     Loved being challenged to write.
5.     Loved being challenged to think and grow.
6.     Glad to be back blogging again after such a long hiatus.
7.     Sad so many didn’t finish.
8.     Glad I learned so much from some great bloggers like Silvia at Silvia Writes, who wrote on all things Romanian and Sharon at Shells, Tales, and Sails who taught us about all things fruit.  Did you know there was an ice cream fruit?
9.     Sad I wasn’t able to visit 5 new A to Zers every day.
10. Glad for those I did visit and revisit.  I hope to continue to check out others on the list in the coming days and months. 

Things I learned that were helpful.

1.     It was valuable to check in with the challenge website as often as I could to see the daily post there.  Often there were helpful tips to enhance the challenge experience.  Also, those who are commenting on the challenge website are among those who are surely continuing and so they make good first visits.

2.     It was nice not to have a particular theme, but I find that I enjoy visiting those who did, so I am thinking about that for next year.

3.     I like being able to find out more about the bloggers themselves.  So I appreciate reading the about me link and seeing their photo.  I may have to do a better job of that myself.

4.     I really liked when someone recommended another blogger, and I usually went over to visit them as well.  So I did do that a few times.  If I plan it out better, I'd like to include  more recommendations or bloggers I found worth a visit.  There are plenty I could and would recommend.

5.     Last year I planned it out a bit more.  That was helpful especially when time got tight.  However, I feel less stress about it at this year’s conclusion.  Is that because it wasn’t all new or because of just getting to it when and if I could?  I don’t know, but I think, if possible, I’ll plan ahead a bit next year.

Thank you to all who stopped by.    Thank you to the all the A to Z team for your dedication in seeing this through and encouraging all of us.  I don't know how you do it, but I know it wouldn't happen if not for you.  I appreciate you.  And thank you again, Lee, for your brainchild.  Really enjoyed visiting with each one of you.

                                                                                                                  God bless, Maria

A to Z Challenge, 2014