QC Blog: I must go down to the Sea again.....

Monday, June 13, 2011

I must go down to the Sea again.....

It's amazing sometimes what treasures you find when you start de-cluttering your house. Recently, I've found seashells from different periods of our life in my own room, my kid's rooms, and in our spare room. I'm sure I had thoughts of making some kind of clear jar with seashells in it that always look cool on vacation, but would never fit into my decor. I've finally gathered them all together and asked the family to help me decide what to do with them, without just saying, "Throw them out."

First there were the shells we collected on our honeymoon - almost 33 years ago.
There were various shells collected when the kids were little in Stone Harbor, New Jersey.

Some were from Florida, on our trips to visit Grandma and Grandpap and Disney World.

 Some we purchased because the kids could never find anything this perfect and beautiful on the beach.
As the boys grew older, the shells were more select and fewer in number.

And of course there was the odd man out, a shell one of the boys bought because he thought it was gorgeous at the time, that made us laugh because of its' gaudiness.

What do we do with all of these collected shell memories?   That one shell holds the memory of our honeymoon and walking the beach together with stars in our eyes.  The other holds the memory of our children racing to the water's edge and digging frantically in the sand to find their treasures.  There's one that held a living thing when we found it, and one that Grandma and Grandpap found that was a perfect conch shell.  Some of those stones came from "digging for diamonds" in Cape May and Stone Harbor with my niece and nephew. Others bring memories of shopping at the shell store, searching for just the right shell to take home.  Some bring memories of driving home with clam shells smelling from baking in the hot sun in our car.  All bring memories of buckets and shovels and wonder eyed children who find life fascinating and joyous every moment they breathe.

Where do we put the memories of our children digging in the sand searching for treasures?  What happens to the wonder of finding that 7th clam shell, that looks just like the other 6 clam shells before it, but fills a child with elation?  Where do we throw the stones that are so smooth they make you rub them over and over again, just to feel their perfection, and keep them for a "worry stone?"  Do the memories disappear with the shells or are they in our hearts forever?

We've decided to keep our shell memories in our hearts and return the shells to the sea. This year when we visit the ocean, we're going to take the shells with us, and deposit them back in the ocean to thrill some other child in their quest for seashells. Even the ugly one. If someone finds that in the ocean they'll think they hit the jackpot. And they'll never have a clue how it got there.

Oh, wait, that last one is a soap dish! Surely I can find a place to put it?

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