Spring is almost here, and it’s a good time to clean and clear things out. Mentally, emotionally, and physically. And that’s a problem. You see, I’ve never formally and publicly declared this, but I confess that I am an addict. Not to drugs or alcohol. Not even to food, although I’m borderline addicted to chocolate and peanut butter. Well, maybe over the border on occasion…every day…but I digress!  I’m not confessing about chocolate and peanut butter because who isn’t addicted to those? (And if you say you aren’t, I don’t want to know, thank you!)

No, according to Google’s dictionary, an addiction is “the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing, or activity.” Other words that describe my problem are habit, weakness, or compulsion. My addiction occurs in certain locations at certain times of the year in certain climates.

Yes, I am addicted to beachcombing to find seashells. I have a stash – rather, a hoard – of seashells in all shapes, sizes and conditions from a variety of bodies of water. Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf Coast, North Sea, Raccoon River, various lakes, it doesn’t matter – if there’s any part of a shell lying around sand, rock, or ground, I will give it a home.

Why? Well, because! There are good reasons for my addiction:

  • Seashells lying on the sand are a gift from the sea to whomever finds them first. Who am I to deny Mother Nature her pleasure in gifting me these unique finds?
  • Picking up seashells is GREAT exercise. Who needs to do toe-touches or waist-bends at a gym when you can do them on the beach AND not come away empty-handed?
  • They make beautiful crafts! Anyone need a shell-covered flower pot? Mirror? Wreaths? Picture frame? Bird house????
  • They are FREE. (What? Am I counting how much it costs to drive to someplace other than in Iowa that has seashells, or the rental of the condo, the price of buying containers to store them?… Uh. Stop it, I don’t know what you’re talking about.) THEY are free.
  • Memories. They evoke memories of great vacations in different locations where I found unique shells. Other countries…garage sales…Hobby Lobby…

I’m totally embarrassed as I write this. My excuses are lame, I know. Even this past year, I was able to walk past the shells on the beach for an entire week. It was just when more people started walking the beach and I’d see them pick something up and worry that I was missing out on a tremendous find that I caved.

As subtle as a cat with a mouse in sight, the addiction is poised to strike rapidly, I’ve found. But this photo will serve as a reminder that I have more than enough shells. A plethora of seashells. Uh…and one old CRAB…Love you, Dave!

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