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Hidden treasure in plain sight

Home now, but not.

Not really.

Part of me wants to close my eyes, fall asleep and wake up to the sound of the ocean. It’s always good to be home after being away, even if part of my heart still lingers at the beach. I know I’m not alone in my love of the ocean. Maybe that’s why so many people search for shells on the beach. We want to bring part of it back home with us.

The number of shells I found this trip pales in comparison to what we found back on November. There were much fewer beach combers in late fall than in late summer. The type of shells I found were different, too. Most of the shells from our first trip are either white or close to white, much bigger, too.

I don’t remember seeing many dark shells on our last trip. This time, the only ones that were unbroken were almost always black.

Then again, many times what I thought was a black shell turned out to be a clump of oil soaked sand. They’ve done a good job cleaning up the beaches after the BP spill, but there is still oil washing ashore in the Gulf of Mexico. You only need to dig down a few inches until the white sand turns to gray in some places.

And I wonder about that.

I wonder how many of my fellow shell seekers (of which there were many) began to assume ALL of the black spots on the shore were not shells but oil soaked clumps of sand.

I wonder if we’ve become so accustomed to disappointment that we assume any potentially good thing probably isn’t so good after all; that if it’s still there when we find it, it’s probably not worth having.

And I wonder how many treasures we miss because we stop believing they’re still out there to be found.

The last shell found on the last day at the beach.

Pardon me while I rant incessantly…

Ah, yes…

It’s been too long since I complained about something at any great length (on this blog).

Now I’m guessing that the following rant may step on some toes, but I gotta be me. And today me is wanting to rant incessantly about all the unnecessary crap that fill our homes.

This could be a post about stuff that needs to be thrown away or taken to your favorite local charity, but if I did that the guilt would overwhelm me and I would be loading up the back of my Jeep with old clothes and toys instead of enriching all of your lives with my own personal opinion. Sorry/you’re welcome.

So instead, I’m going to talk about collecting things.

If you collect something or have several collections of things, why do you collect what you collect? And at what point does your collection become (dare I say it), an obsession? Because while this is cute:

This is, um…a bit much:

Here’s my thinking: If you own ten (okay, I’ll be generous and say 20) of anything that needs to be dusted on a regular basis that serves no other purpose than taking up space, then I think maybe you may be a wee bit obsessed. If you purchase a large cabinet for the express purpose of displaying a bunch of figurines that are essentially indistinguishable from 10 feet away (especially if they’re in a big honkin’ cabinet), I think your collection is complete. It was probably complete about 50 figurines ago. But that’s just me.

I know this may come off as harsh, but when I think about how much many of us spend on “collectibles”, it just sort of irks me. We’re wasting money on treasures that will fill our homes but not our hearts, leaving us both fat and empty at the same time. We all need Stuff. We all just need to make sure it’s the Good Stuff — spending time with friends and family, getting lost in a really good book, longs walks on the beach — whatever the Good Stuff is to you. Besides, we’re supposed to store up our treasures in heaven, are we not?

And for the love of all things good and holy, please don’t tell me that the money you’re spending is an investment, because handmade or not, IT’S A FREAKING BASKET!

A $184 basket. Which incidentally, is full of crap.