Inside of the yearly beach-trip tradition, we've begun another tradition, that being the Southern Star Dolphin Cruise. Regardless of the month of the year, the temperature of the air, or the number of kids in tow, if it's at all possible, we make reservations to go on a two-hour boat cruise of the Destin Harbor, Gulf of Mexico, and Choctawhatchee Bay in search of dolphins. As an added bonus, the cruise is out during sunset and we get to watch the gorgeous orange fireball set along the horizon of the water. You may know by now that sunsets are one of my things. I think there are very few physical phenomenons in this world that point to our Creator in such a way as the brilliant colors of the sunset (the other obvious one being the birth of a child). Sunsets are a piece of artwork that are undeniably unique and brand new each and every day.
Tonight, we went on this cruise. And each year, the kids get to line up and take a turn at the wheel of the big boat once we get out into the relatively calmer waters of the Gulf. Each year, they sit in the captain's chair and put on the captain's hat, and hesitantly smile at the camera as they "navigate" the waters for a minute or so.
And while you thought this post was going to be about sunsets...you were wrong. Instead, it's about captain's hats. And creatures of habit.
Without further ado, and because these are all of the photos I have access to here on vacation, I give you - Captain Ben, Captain Abby, and the newest addition to the seafaring gang, Captain Sarah.
It's amazing the difference a single year can make, let alone five or six. I count my plentiful blessings that I've had the opportunity to share this time with these precious children. Speaking of the differences a year can make - remember this time last year? I was settling down with my Civil Engineering Reference Manual, a heaping pile of unsolved practice exam questions, intravenous coffee, and a healthy dose of anxiety...while sitting right here - along the beautiful scenery of the beach my family loves so dearly. Never in a million years could I have imagined that my life would take such a dramatic change of direction in just a single year's time....
....but that's a whole 'nother blog post.
For now, the Captains are asleep, and I'm thinking it's a good time for me to turn in too. Next year, we'll have another one.
I can't wait.
Much love, from a Herd of Sheps