My Shell Collection

The absolute happiest, most joyful memories of my youth were the two weeks every year in June in Florida with my uncle and my Nana. My uncle, who we all called Unk, was a father figure to me. He is the one who introduced me to nature. Our trips were based around fishing, but we looked about, and explored much of the tropical, natural wonders of that state. He was not a “birder,” but he had a keen interest in birds and some knowledge of them. And the centerpiece of the vacation was a week on Sanibel Island. I am so grateful for these wonderful memories. I cherish them to this day.

Sanibel Island is a phenomenal place for shelling. It is probably most famous for its seashells and I collected a few every year. Lynn and I have also gone to Sanibel (and Captiva) Island a few times. We had a fabulous ten days there in September ’13 at our friend’s wondrous place, Jensen's Twin Palm Resort and Marina. Their cottages are much like the old Florida style that I stayed in with Unk and Nana. I lined the shells I picked up on the edge of the porch railing exactly as we did when I was a kid. I am grateful for the Jensen brothers and their wonderful haven that seems to exist out of time.

In the early 1970’s Unk (who worked in wood) made me a glass-top table for my shell collection. It has been most everywhere I have lived, displaying my collection of shells. It went to Australia five years ago, but ended up stored away. This morning as I checked facebook, I saw that I was tagged in a post and there was my shell collection all set up in its table!! (Thank you Norma, Josh and whoever else helped in making this happen!) Tears rolled down my face as memories washed over me like the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. I could “hear” the sound of waves rolling into the shells (If you have ever been to Sanibel-Captiva, you know that sound well). I could feel the fine sand on my bare feet… 

There they are!
I am going to shut-up now and just enjoy the memories. I am deeply grateful. There is so much of me in that table in those shells. There is a wonderful feeling of family and time in my heart right now.

Birds. Peace. Love. Earth. Laughter. Music.