4 (redo)

It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards.
~Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

So earlier this evening I sat on my little patio wiggling my freshly-painted toes in a roasting pan filled with sand and seashells and water from the Pacific Ocean.

I smiled and giggled and hoped my neighbors couldn’t see what I was doing.

The sand and seawater and roasting pan were presented to me a while back in a cardboard box with instructions on how to affect the above photo.

The seashells were mine, collected on a trip last year along my familiar eastern coast, but added for the sake of realism.


Can anyone, by the way, explain to me why NJ beaches are devoid of proper seashells?

Anyway so… it’s not exactly what I had in mind for #4, but it’ll do for now and I learned a couple things:

sand from that other coast is very pebbly and must feel nice underfoot

the sea is just as salty-tasting on the other side of the country

of course I tasted it!

(that wasn’t in the instructions, tho)

it’s good to have friends who travel to far-flung places and are as nutty as you

(or maybe more so)

if you’re going to do anything as silly as this, it’s best to save it for that moment when the mood strikes you at the end of a very long Terrible Tuesday when you’re sick of being the mean-social-worker-lady.

(silliness is an excellent challenge to meanness)

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Another attempt at 4 in last year’s 39 by 40. I haven’t quite perfected the new list just yet.

13 thoughts on “4 (redo)”

  1. Can anyone, by the way, explain to me why NJ beaches are devoid of proper seashells?

    I’d guess that it’s a combination of (a) NJ having so many beachgoers that shells disappear quickly and (b) beach managers cleaning up shells, trash, and other debris on a daily basis.

  2. Laura–I went back and reread your prior # 4 post–so poignant now, what with all the goings-on in the Gulf. Just makes me sad.

    But the toes are nice…

    Yes, many Pacific beaches are more pebbly. There is a more rugged feel to many Pacific shorelines. The Atlantic coast seems tamer to me, at least the parts I’ve seen.

  3. Much of the Pacific coast is still rising and so fairly new stuff is eroding onto beaches. The headlands are pretty much rock!

    Do your clients know about this sort of thing??? (Maybe they should!)

  4. We don’t have that many shells, either. I don’t know what happens to them up here. Maybe the water is too cold for the creatures to get rid of them.

    Laura, once while visiting my grandparents, just north of San Francisco. I burned my feet walking from my beach blanket to the water. That never happens in the sand up here in Maine.

  5. I seem to remember that there were a lot of interesting shells when I was a kid growing up. That was some 55 years ago. I had a small collection of them.

  6. Who’s sillier, your friend for sending this package or you for using it? Tough contest, but I love it!

    And leave it to Susan to bring up THAT SMELL!

    We had very few shells on the Texas Gulf Coast; a whole sand dollar was a true rarity.

  7. Ah, a fair question, about NJ beaches and shells! I grew up spending my summers on a NJ barrier island, and could never understand how people found enough whole whelks to line their cottage yards… Until I spent my first winter here.

    The key is to go to the beach after a rip-roaring winter storm (when they no longer rake the beaches). Entire whelks, huge clams, giant moonsnails! We may not have some of the more tropical and exotic species of mollusks, but you can still find some beautiful things. Seastars (although not so much as I remember from childhood: baby seastars, less than a quarter inch wide, lining a clam shell!) seahorses, even sea urchins.

    And the smell isn’t from the beach, it’s the salt marsh. ;o) Yum! That was how you knew you were close, when you caught that first whiff.

    Great photo, great friend with a great idea, and a great spirit, Laura!

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