Saturday, November 01, 2008

When I'm eighty eight.....



I signed up for NaBloPoMo a few days ago. Why? That's what I want to know! Ideas would come. Wouldn't they? Unconcernedly, after breakfast, I went to an Arts and Craft show, and got into some interesting conversations with some very interesting people.

There was a tall, elegant, elderly lady selling lovely, decorative mirrors she had made using shells. Shells are one of my favourite objects in nature. I have jars of them, here, there and everywhere, collected over many years, and many trips to many beaches......Always with the idea that "one day" I'd use them to make decorative frames for pictures of my kids at the beach. Thus far, all I have are jars and jars of shells. Which, in themselves are quite decorative.

The shell lady {by now I had learned that her name was Elizabeth} was deeply lined, and I was curious as to what age she might be. Her hair was tinted and carefully combed, and her demeanor was reserved and dignified. She thawed a little as I admired her work, and asked her where she collected her shells. She told me she's been going, with her husband, for years, to Sannibel Island. They spend a month in the Fall and another in the Spring on the island. He likes to fish, and she goes shelling, every day. Which led us to Anne Morrow Lindberg and her book "A Gift From The Sea," which we had both read and loved. She told me how, as a child, she hadn't been good at art, that getting "D's" in art dragged down her GPA, even though she'd get straight "A's" in other subjects, and yet, here she was, late in her life, making and selling art from something she'd always enjoyed.

I've never been to Sannibel Island. But I've wanted to go ever since we moved to Florida. I asked her if the shells were as good and unusual and plentiful as I'd heard. She told me it depended.... She goes shelling early in the morning when the tide is way out. Storms affect the number and variety of shells you can find. And she never, ever takes a shell in which a creature is still living. Of course she had to tell me how one would know......

Such an interesting lady! She used to be an airline hostess, she told me. Back when it was a glamour job. She didn't say that part, I just knew it, from when I was growing up. Shannon Airport was not far from where we lived, and when the airline hostesses would get off the bus that brought them from the airport, it was like seeing a flock of exotic birds with beautiful feathers. I could tell Elizabeth had been one of them!

Finally she let it slip that she was eighty eight years old. Hats off, Elizabeth, I thought! When I'm eighty eight years old I want to be just like you!

I thought I'd tell you of all the things I did today that helped me avoid sitting down to NaBloPoMo......Looks like I hardly scratched the surface. And I've got my first post! With four minutes to spare.

5 comments:

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

This was an interesting post. Reminds me of the first post that I read on your blog when you were doing some beachcombing. Great start to Nat Blo Po Mo but a month is a long time. Good luck!

peppermintpatcher said...

A little inspiration from an inspiring lady. You just need to meet a new person each day!

Suburbia said...

What a lovely story. I would love to grow old gracefully!
What is NatBloPoMo?
I've just read your header and like the sentiment in it :)

riseoutofme said...

Well done Molly!

I'm looking forward to a good read every day for a month!

And, really, there is NOTHING wrong with growing old disgracefully too ... carpe diem ...

Kacey said...

I have been shelling on Sanibel and the beaches are lovely. We used to spend a month on Ft. Myers Beach, then we bought a place in No. Ft. Myers and spend six months hardly ever seeing the beach. Your post reminds me that I need to get out to Sanibel or Captiva soon.