Sunday, December 20, 2009


We have become shell ninjas....

Warriors of the shore...

We rise early to scour the shoreline
to see if there are any treasures lying there waiting for us.

I am sorry to say we are becoming aggressive about it.

When we first arrived, we wandered slowly and happily. We were easy to please with the odd piece of shell, or a complete cockle now and then. We chuckled at the ‘old people’ who walked up and down the beach at all hours carrying bags or baskets FULL of shells. Weren’t they just so silly?

In the morning fog, these slow moving silhouettes out on the beach looked like the zombies in the old creature feature movies. They plodded along, dragging their feet, slowly scanning their surroundings until they suddenly bend over groaning to pick up the odd shell now and then. “Look!” we giggle and joked to each other... “the zombies are out!”

Zombies notwithstanding, there was one couple that had everyone beat. They also were making the beachcombers angry. This couple drove up and down the beach with their matching visors in their golf cart all day long.

(This is not them. We were too busy shaking our fists
and muttering curses to get a picture of them but you get the idea)

Anyway, they snag all the good treasures before anyone had the chance to even see them. What made matters even worse was their snarling little well dressed chihuahuas that rode in the back of the cart yapping at everyone they passed.

Just imagine, you wake up early to walk the beach and search through a freshly laid path of shells left specially for you by Poseidon and his sea nypmhs.

These treasures are your reward for rising to greet the sun and sea so early instead of laying in bed all morning. You are walking along enjoying the sunrise and the sparkle of the water on this new selection of shells... then all of a sudden a golf cart zips past you. Little beastly faux-dogs barking and snapping at you as they pass. Then just a short distance away, right along your very path, you see the cart stop and someone jumps out and grabs whatever treasure was laying in wait in front of you. You are just sure it was some of Lafitte’s missing treasures, or spanish gold coins, or an ancient french bottle of wine or something.


But there is no one to complain to... you see the ancient, tried, and true rule applies here...

'Finders keepers'.

We didn’t understand any of this at first. But then... enough time on the beach has passed, and we felt the sting of sand in our eyes one too many times as we were passed by the golf cart people. We finally got the bug.

We started getting up earlier, we started going up to the beach more frequently. Any time on the beach included shell searching. We were getting more selective about the shells we are keeping, even tossing aside some that would have dazzled our eyes if this was our first shell hunt.

Then, we heard that a couple of storms were coming in and so we plotted and planned to be the first on the shore the morning after the storm. That morning we were out of the trailer before 6 am. We had Delta with us and started towards the beach path...

But what the hell?!

There was a new couple at the park and they were already headed up the path ahead of us wheeling an empty shell basket the size of a lobster cage behind them! They were after our treasures! David turned to me and whispered, “hurry we have to get in front of them!” I followed quickly but then...
this couple made a huge mistake.

They hesitated at the end of the path trying to decide
which direction to start their shell hunt.

Along with 'Finders Keepers'... another truism here is 'he who hesitates is lost'. David and Delta quickly passed them on the left and went down the beach in one direction and I decided to split the troops for maximum coverage. While they were blinking back their surprise watching David and Delta heading north leaving them behind, I flanked them on the opposite side and and headed south!

We had them beat! No matter which way they turned one of us was going to be in front of them gathering up all the gold ingots, ancient bottles, and colorful conch shells before they had the chance!

And now... to calm things down a bit. Here are some obligatory pictures of the sunrise on the South Carolina shore... I have to tell you as someone being very used to sunsets this kinda messes up your sense of direction a bit at first.

When I think of beach... I think west. This is kind of a nice change up.
And I must apologize... pictures never quite capture the moment but here they are:

Sunrise looking back towards camp:

Hmm.... maybe it's time to put some back.
We don't even have shells in our house for decoration other than a
couple abalone shells in the garden and a couple of tiny ones on my dresser.
Who are the silly ones now?

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