The perfect, antique beach cottage with postcard views of the ocean, the rocky cliffs and the beach, salt mists blowing through the open windows, a porch swing with a blanket for the comfortable breeze, plush green grass, flowers big enough for bumble bees to hide in, spider webs, tidal pools with snails, sand dollars, and seaweed, a short walk to the candy store where they were pulling taffy, another walk to Nubble Lighthouse with countless wildflowers along the road, a sunrise through the fog and a predawn walk with Norah. "Shhh! Get your shoes on. Don't wake anybody."

But, I have no photos to show for our recent trip to Maine. True to form, I accidentally erased the pictures I took when I tried to copy them to my computer. Our friends rented a vacation home a stone's throw from Short Sands on York Beach and invited us to come for two days and two nights. Dwayne can usually save me from myself, but this time, even he, the computer whiz, couldn't work enough magic to retrieve the photos I'd lost. So, most of the memories will have to remain in my head.

But, on one afternoon trip to the beach, Norah and I collected over twenty starfish. We retrieved one with almost every wave that broke at our feet. Some were the size of wallets, others were as small as nickles. Norah kept them in a bucket until we found the perfect little place to keep them, a pool of salt water left by an outgoing tide in between some rocks. Dwayne took a picture with his cell phone, but I grumbled because I'd left my camera at the cottage. I didn't even really want the picture he took, since it would be so low in quality.

But, ironically, that picture is the only photo I have to show for our beautiful vacation now. I am thankful for it and consider it God's grace, since his foggy little photo captures my favorite memory of the entire trip, the one I will cherish above all the others.


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