Thanks so much for your comments on Monday’s post. I’m still down with the crud (and it’s been over a week now!), …so let’s look at some sunny pictures from Florida to lift our spirits, shall we? I’ve been wanting to share the favorite parts of our trip.
My mom loves shells more than anyone I have ever met. I’ve never known a person to get so excited over shells, or to enjoy collecting them as much as she does. There were times she would call me from the beach, happy as a clam, while she enjoyed her favorite therapy after a stressful work week, an activity she began referring to as shelling. I believe we all need to find our own unique ways to reduce stress in our lives, and what works can look different for each of us. I encouraged my mom in her shelling because I could hear the difference in her voice, a lighthearted joy, and could feel how good it was for her well being.
Sometimes my mom would jokingly refer to me as “The Crazy Knitting Lady” (in a loving way, of course, she has more requests for things she wants me to knit for her than anyone) and in the spirit of the joke, I started referring to her as “The Crazy Shell Lady.” Shells started becoming a part of her home and garden decor more and more, and she made a sign that had the word Beach written in shells. For Christmas one year she decorated a picture frame with shells and gave it to Bracken with a picture of the two of them inside.
As she came up with more crafting projects that included shells, we would joke that she was going to become one of those really crazy shell ladies and bedazzle her entire house in shells in a totally over-the-top way. (Imagine every surface- walls, ceilings- covered in shells… and you’ll get the idea.) My mom and I couldn’t help cracking up over that hilarious image in our minds, and even writing about it I can’t help but smile. (That being said, we do love shell crafts and honestly, we think her place could use a whole lot more of them. Look at these fun craft ideas with shells here, and here.)
During our most recent trip to visit my mom in Florida, I noticed a lot of shells with holes in them and thought they would be good for hanging. We saw some places along the beach where people took the broken shells and hung them on branches. I loved it and my mom said she had been wanting to do the same thing in her yard.
We collected shells at the beach that had holes in them. They were easy to find because there were so many of them. For the shells that had large holes, we hung them all over the branches of the sea grape plant outside my mom’s door. With the shells that had smaller holes in them, we used fishing line and hung them from the branches that way. (I love the one that Bracken strung with a whole bunch of shells on it.) As we stood back to admire the sea grape, the shells all over gave it such a fun look. …And now we’re looking forward to adding to it every time we visit!
Outside my mom’s door, she also has a shell table. (Reminds me of the nature treasure table at my grandma’s house.) We would bring home some shells from our beach visits and separate them into the different kinds. (Isn’t that spotted crab shell amazing, by the way?) Now I want to find a good book on identifying different types of shells, that would be a great homeschool project!
Oh, and one final picture to share in this post… my mom found a coconut shell on the beach and gave it to Bracken. He used it to hold special shells that he found, and then it came home with us. It might be a regular occurrence in Florida, but in Oregon it’s not every day you come across a coconut shell, so it was considered quite a treasure.
So, that was some of the shell-related fun we had during our trip. I had never heard of the term shelling before, and was going to give my mom credit for it, but I just searched and it came up on Wikipedia. It had various meanings, but one of them was searching for seashells. The next time I go to the beach and look for shells, I’ll keep my mom in mind, and I might just say “See you later! I’m going shelling!” Because shelling, it’s a thing, you know.