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photo: Martha G. Brady

Last weekend at the beach reminded me of many times at the beach where we collected shells. No, we didn’t this time, but I remember when we would go looking for shells. I even had a shell book that showed many of the shells and told about them.

We would look for shells that caught our eye. Sometimes we liked the color, shape, or size. Other times, we were looking for a specific shell. Once we got back to the room and cleaned them up, we found we didn’t keep all of them. Sometimes, they were more beat up than we originally thought. For one reason or other, some were rejected.

Then we headed home at the end of our vacation with our sack of shells.  stop  What would we do with them? Some were mounted and framed. The really large ones were saved in a bowl or on the mantle to touch and look at often. The more beat up ones were put in jars to decorate rooms…often the bathroom.

They reminded us of our vacation where we played and laughed and swam and enjoyed each other. The kids could run, play in and out of the water, make sand castles and wear themselves out. Looking at those shells also reminded us of the books we read as we rested in the afternoons. Beach vacations were fun.

After supper, we would watch the sun go down and walk along the beach. At night, we would go to sleep to the sound of the waves lulling us to sleep. What could be more comforting?

Do you have collections that remind you of happy memories or your values?

Do you have symbols or collections in your home that remind you of special moments in the life of your family? Maybe not all of you are as visual as I am, but often those reminders, even if only in photographs, bring joy and hope when hard times come. They also remind us of happy memories.