Wednesday, December 19, 2012

My Christmas Home...

"At Christmas, all roads lead home." -- Marjorie Holmes 

Fifty three years ago, my Dad decided to make Christmas decorations to display in the yard. He started with a Santa, sleigh and 4 reindeer. Since he was in the Air Force, we and the display moved all over the country, from Sault Se Marie, Michigan to Lompoc California finally in 1972 it moved to Virginia.  Daddy started a Santa's list that had the neighborhood kids names on it and since that time, the list has grown to 30!! Mom and I would help with the ideas and painting, then our daughter Jessica came onto the scene in 1986, the Christmas display then centered around her.  Whatever favorite character she loved was the new decoration that would be displayed in 'Papa and Mama's' yard until she was old enough to decide herself who it would be.  She began to help with the painting also.  Daddy would cut them out, add the base colors and I would do the detail work, then he would prepare them by sealing them, all the while adding new lists and finally keeping records of names of children in alphabetical order, so they could be found quickly when the children and the children's children would come look for their name. Daddy would climb the tree, until he was 80 years old putting the lights and wooden candy canes as far up as possible....telling everyone he was a pilot, he flew up there to install them.... Last year it was different, Daddy had been dealing with cancer for four years, and our roles began to change, Jessica did the detail work on the character, and Daddy and I were so proud! I then took his place in the attic, and Jess took mine....we knew our great family tradition was changing.  

Mrs. Santa (left) was the first list...
...Now there are 30!!
Rapunzel, the last decoration, was detailed by Jessica in 2011

Never forget the reason for the season!!!

Yes that's me driving the train!! :)

When Daddy passed away, I knew that the display had to go up just one more time, in HIS honor.  Jessica and her husband Brad couldn't come home because she is a 4th year Veterinary student, and time is not hers until May when she graduates. So Hubby and I did it ourselves, one last time in honor of My Daddy.  The community seems to be so pleased and supportive, and many have shed tears when they found out he passed away.  I wanted to share this wonderful place, my childhood home, that will never be the same again.... 

Daddy had already made the list for this year, we made a sign and placed it next to the Christmas elf that always reminded me of him!!
I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy Happy New Year! 



Friday, November 16, 2012

The final party...

 A memory is what is left when something happens and does not completely unhappen.  ~Edward de Bono

 We got up before sunrise this morning for our final shelling day, and it was much cooler and cloudy, so I wasn't able to take a picture to share with you of the sunrise.  The shelling was great again today as you can see from the pictures below! We managed to collect 2 'boards' worth of shells this morning and a total of 6 more alphabet cones!! This is obviously alphabet cone territory this trip!! We also found this huge horse conch buried in the tidal pool! We decided he was too big, and needed so much work that we would leave it on the shore for someone to appreciate!
Horse conch front view, almost invisible against the sand
The inside view, it still has beautiful color!
Hubby got 4 alphabet cones!!
...I got 2!
He also got 2 beautiful king's crowns!
Today's finds part A
Part B
Board 2!
Pear Whelks and a paper fig
Both sides of a spiny jewelbox* and sharks eyes (Moon snails)
Baby horse conchs....I think the horse conch is my favorite!!
Banded and true tulips and a nutmeg
This is 3 days shelling worth....not bad huh?!!

Remember I told you about meeting up with Pam Rambo from I Love Shelling She posted the video and pics of our alphabet cones from yesterday, just click the blue link above and it will take you to the site! Notice also that the *spiny jewelbox above was the one Pam was talking about on her site!! It's funny how that all turned out!!

We head back home to VA tomorrow, and much cooler weather, I love Sanibel and I am always so sad to leave! Lily seems to like it here, so we plan to bring her back as often as we can! I hope you have enjoyed sharing our trip!!

Hopefully I'll post more often, my normal life is not nearly as exciting as these trips, but I'll try to post more often!



Thursday, November 15, 2012

An Alphabet cone sort of day,...

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.  ~John Muir

We got out by sun-up again this morning and it was such a beautiful day!! It was another very low tide, which gave us lots of opportunities to shell the beach, sandbar and tidal pools! Hubby and I started out along the shoreline and ended up sifting through groups of pen shells in the tidal pools....what treasures they had....even live red (?) shrimp!! I didn't think about the fact that I had the waterproof camera in my pocket so I could have gotten some really neat pics!! I got so involved that I missed the sunrise!! :)  You can tell we were having fun!!

...Sorry I digressed!  While we were going through the shells, I mentioned that we had not found an alphabet cone in a long time.  Less than 5 minutes later, I turned around and laying right there at the bottom of the tidal pool was a beautiful Alphabet cone...and it was a biggie!! A few minutes later, hubby got one!!  I tried then to mention lots of other hard to find shells, Junonia, Lions Paw, Scotch Bonnet....but it didn't work, they didn't turn up!!

After we had finished searching the tidal pool we slowly made our way down the shoreline and I recognized a voice, it was Pam Rambo from I Love Shelling! And believe it or not, she remember me and Hubby, even our names and that we are from her home state of Virginia!! She even called me Shelllady!! I thought that was really neat!! She was making a video showing that she had also just found an alphabet cone!! So I was on her video for her blog!! A few minutes later she was talking to a girl from Seattle who also had just picked one up!!  Pam took pictures of all of our cones together and will post them, as well as the video....I will post a link to it here when she posts it!! Talk about coincidence! It was all very spooky!! Then on our walk back to the condo, I found ANOTHER Alphabet!! Obviously we had another great day shelling!!
This is a hermit crab in a banded tulip, he just sat there following me with his eyes in the bottom of the tidal pool....and he kept waving at me!!
Hubby's Alphabet Cone
My Alphabet cones
Today's shells part 1
Today's shells part 2
I found this Awesome Pear Whelk among those penshells!!
Apple Murex and Scallops
Lightning Whelks, Nutmegs, banded tulips and a pretty orange true tulip
Pam posing shells in the lady's hand for a photo opportunity!
How about this for a first I have a picture of Pam Rambo on MY Blog!! It's like running into a celebrity!! She is to us!! :)

After shelling, we came in and had some breakfast in the condo and Cabana boy Hubby setup the chairs and umbrella on the beach for the afternoon.  While we were there, we got to witness several dolphin feeding up against the was very impressive, and I couldn't catch it on video or still, as it was also so sparatic, let me tell you it was fun to watch!!
This was the best I could do with the dolphin was just too fast!!

We went to dinner at Gramma Dots, I had the fried Grouper and hubby had the popcorn shrimp caesar salad and of course we shared a piece of there absolutely wonderful key lime pie!!

We came back in time to see another glorious sunset!

Only one more morning left of sunrise shelling :( I anticipate we will be spending a lot of time at the beach so I will have at least one more entry before we head back home!! Enjoy!!