Thursday, October 30, 2014

Shelling in the Attic

Sometimes you get something special from the strangest places.  If you read my blog, you know how much I love Sanibel Island.  My family has a long history with Sanibel.  My Grandma took my mom there in the 1940's - mom remembers going over to the island on the ferry boat before the first causeway was built. Mom said, "I was first there in 1948 or 1949, not sure which it was. We had to take a boat because there was no bridge on the causeway. I think we stayed at the Island Inn, but not sure. It was just an old hotel."  I've been going there on and off since the mid 1970's.  Mom reminded me that those were the days you could pick up live shells and boil them to clean them. We did that the year we were all down there in 1974. Island Inn had a shell cleaning shack in the back with a stove and pots to cook them in.

Last week my mom remembered that after my grandma died in 1976, my mom had taken all of grandma's Sanibel sea shells and had them on display in their house for many years.  By 1989 mom was tired of dusting them so she and dad packed them up in a huge box and shoved it into a corner of their attic where it's sat, forgotten, since then.  One day last week mom sent dad up in the attic to bring down the box of shells and last night I went over there to paw through them.  The first few things I unwrapped from the brittle, yellowed newspaper dated 1989 was this huge horse conch, almost 10" long, a lovely piece of coral and assorted smaller shells....


Look at the colors on this one.....


This basket was my grandma's.  Mom said she and dad found the 2 giant sea urchins and the sand dollar in Oregon, but all the rest of the shells were found on Sanibel.  There's several starfish and a nice size sea horse and a piece of sponge.....


There are a few shiny cowrie's in there too...


Anyone know what this is?


Or these two shells?

Or these?

As I'm digging frantically through the box I kept saying, "Oh, what if there's a Junonia in here?"  And guess what - one of the last things I pulled out was this!!!  Happy dance, kicking up my heels, doing hand stands and cartwheels .....  OMG!!!!  It's almost 4" long and in perfect condition...


Just look at these two beauties!  Two shells that I have been wanting for forever and could never find.  And to think that my grandma found them almost 50 years ago and picked them up herself.  Well, that just makes them all the more special.  And they were stuffed in a box in the attic for the last 25 years.  Cripes!!

You just never know when something special is going to happen.  What a nice, unexpected gift.  Thanks Grandma!  I feel like she just reached down from heaven and gave me a hug.

30 comments:

  1. My parents had a home on Sanibel in the 1980s. I loved going There. What a great place to go shelling. We always called that first shell you asked about snail shells. I don;t know the correct name. The second two might be scotch bonnets or lettered olives. Not positive. They are all wonderful. xo Laura

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    1. Where on the island was their house? Lucky you.

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  2. Very nice collection- I love hunting for shells

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    1. Where do you like to go for that John?

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    2. Anywhere there is a beach with shells- not here in Maine but when I lived in Mississippi, N. Carolina, and places i have visited - long time since I've had the opportunity I still have boxes of them.

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    3. Isn't it interesting how you can look at a shell and remember the beach you found it on?

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  3. How cool! What a great collection to have from a grandmother no less! I have all the shells you asked about but have no idea what they are called. Sorry. There must be some identification guide online somewhere.

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    1. I have a shell book I need to go dig out. I think that will be this weekends project. :-)

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  4. A hug from heaven....well it just doesn't get any better than that! And seashells saved all of these years? Amazing! What a treasure trove! I would have to go on Pam's blog to do a good ID on some of them. But they are all just beautiful and even more special to you. I know you'll enjoy displaying them in your home now! Sending you lots of sweet hugs my friend! Your buddy, Diane

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    1. I played with them all morning. :-) That hug from Grandma came at a good time. xo

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  5. I hope my grands are as excited someday when they unearth mine! :)

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  6. Eureka!!! You're sure right about never knowing when something wonderful is going to happen.
    I'm not familiar with the Island Inn, but that's pretty neat about your mom going there as a little girl ... and in turn, taking her own daughter! :)

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    1. And now I'm taking MY daughter. 4 generations of girls collecting seashells - isn't that cool?

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  7. What a cool story Kim!! I never knew you had such history at Sanibel!! We are 'first generation' Sanibel visitors, but have been bringing our daughter, and will CERTAINLY be bringing our new Grandson as soon as he gets here!! :) My parents did live in Panama City when I was in the third grade, and I found a box in the garage, but nothing awesome like this in that box!!! Very Cool!!

    The first shell is a sundial!! I always heard they were easy to find on Sanibel YEARS ago!
    I think the second shells are land snails, and the 3 on the left side of the the third pic may be nerites, and the one at 'four o'clock' may be a prickly periwinkle! Don't have the good shelling books up here with me, they are in Ft. Myers!! (

    If this posts twice, I'm sorry....having issues this morning! :( )

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    1. Cheri - thanks for the great info. I'm going to pull out my shelling books this weekend and look them up and you just made my job a LOT easier. I'll post my findings later. xo

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  8. I'm so glad you have these! What a treasure and what memories!

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  9. How cool to rediscover your mom's box of shells. Such good memories! Great story!

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    1. Thanks Linda - they made my day, that's for sure.

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  10. As a shell lover myself, this post really made me smile! We love shelling at Sanibel! I have quite a few stashed here and there around our home. But how cool to find the ones your grandmother collected, that is beyond special!

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    1. Well hi Liz - it's always nice to meet another Sanibel lover. Do you go there often? Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. :-)

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  11. Kim
    New reader and late to comment on this one, but you might want to check out a blog called I Love Shelling. It's all about shelling on Sanibel and has great shell identification info.
    Bonnie

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    1. Hi Bonnie - thanks for coming by. I actually follow I love Shelling already. :-) One of my favorite blogs and I love Pam. Are you a fellow Sanibel lover?

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  12. Oh gosh- I just wrote a very long comment, I hope u got it!

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    1. Hi Pam - no, it didn't come thru.. Damn internet. xo

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  13. I love this! My mom's family has been going to Sanibel/Captiva nearly as long as your family has...my mom remembers the days when you could take and boil live shells too. I love that you said it felt like you were getting a hug from your grandma in finding these shells -- so sweet!

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    1. Thanks Morgan - I'd love to hear more about your Sanibel connection. Go thru my blog if you like - there are lots of Sanibel posts from my trips there. Thanks for coming by and leaving a message.

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