Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Beach Bum

I really do like visiting the beaches around here, but I have to say the appeal of being there alone is fading. At first it was practically a religious retreat, but now I once again have the desire to socialize. But, while all my friends and family are still far away, I have a new reason to frequent the shoreline.

All these pitifully ugly military houses have a few flower beds for their occupants to play with. Most of them understandably go untended, probably because the transitory residents have many better things to do than worry about the curb appeal of the shanty they're borrowing from the government. I hate ugliness, but I'm not sure I could grow anything in the sandy soil out here if I tried. And if it sprouted, the gophers would dig it up. I considered making them rock beds, but oddly enough rocks cost money. I have heard that poverty breeds resourcefulness, and my latest brilliant idea is to make them shell beds. After all, I seem to be visiting the beach several times a week.

The beaches I've seen don't yield much in the way of the big shells you want to take pictures of and write home about. The rocky ones, however, have large populations of those little sea mussels, and there are broken bits of shell everywhere. Even whole half shells are practically common as dirt; purple, black and white on the outside, pearly on the inside. I still think they're pretty, but after a while they're unremarkable. In any case, they would make our weed beds more attractive. The trouble arises when it seems the other visitors notice that I'm not there for the scenery, but rather that I'm walking up and down combing the sand for large quantities of worthless shells that all look alike and putting them in baggies.

But who cares what the neighbors say? I have a considerable collection already for one day's efforts. Dave thinks I should put some design into our shell bed, that it will look haphazard and chaotic without some creative effort. I think picking each individual one out of the sand and carrying them home is effort enough.

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