Wednesday, September 14, 2005


A neighbor asked me a surprising question a few weeks ago, “Don’t you think you have enough seashells?”

I looked at him as if he’d asked, “Can a woman have too many shoes?”

“Too many,” I echoed?

“Well, I mean, you’re packing up to move to Florida and so far you’ve packed two boxes of seashells to take with you!”

“So?” I failed to make the connection.

“Well, my point is, who packs seashells in Tennessee, then pays someone to move them to Florida? You can always get more since you’re going to be living there, you know.”

“Yes, but they wouldn’t be THESE seashells that I picked up on my first trip to Pensacola Beach, or during Easter the next year, or like,” I brought out the heavy ammo, “after Ivan!”

My soon-to-be ex-neighbor walked away, shaking his head, quite befuddled. This, I realized, was the point where we are supposed to respect another person’s opinion. But, borrowing a quote from Henry Mencken, “only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children are smart.”

Too many seashells? Puhlease!

I have lived on this island for less than 2 months and there are a couple of things I know for certain: You can never take too many photos of the beach and you can never have too many seashells.

You just have to rent more storage space.


Neutron said...

Two very wise I well know living in EXTREMELY land-locked Munich and sometimes pining for the beaches of my youth!

Anonymous said...

Yes, some 'get it,' and some never will. When I was packing up to evac from a recent storm, my motto was 'take the seashells and leave the china!!!' Many didn't understand - to them, china is more 'valuable,' but I tried to explain, "It depends on what you value.' I can always buy more china, but I cannot go back in time to re-find those same seashells and sharks teeth. The seashells, besides beautiful, serve as the memory holders of the moments in the sand (their moments as well as mine!).