Monday, January 31, 2011

“I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.” - Robert McCloskey

Gasparilla Island State Park on Boca Grande by the old Lighthouse
My mother has the same tone of  voice for "Publix has 2-4-1 Breyer's" & "Mrs. So-In-So is dead!". She's been my mother for 53 years so I have learned to just roll with it. I have a very busy job so when she calls me at work I have to speed up the process. "Okay Mom, who died?" "No Honey I just wanted to tell you Breyer's is on sale at Publix". Gotta love your momma.

 Since there are no shells to be found on Sanibel I cancelled my plans to go shelling there today. Plan B - take GeeGee (my mom) to Michael's Craft Store to get a magnifying glass that lights up so she can do her crossword puzzles without her eyes watering. For anyone that chauffeur's their senior-citizen mom, aunt, or grandmother to any store - You know you have to have a plan. I do. I have the drop-off point nailed, I know where the bathroom is, & you have to feed them. In this case it was a Steak & Shake Orange Creamsicle Milkshake. 
Not many shells but GeeGee is looking anyway
We took a little detour on the way home.  Since we were so close to Boca Grande we took a nice drive out to the beach by the Lighthouse. GeeGee loves to look at the neat old beach houses & all the tropical landscaping.  She ooo'd & awed at every banyan tree & bougainvillea we passed.There were some shells on the beach but nothing to take home. The cool wind on the beach was the perfect weather for GeeGee.

 When we finally did get back home,  GeeGee hollers for me from her bedroom. "Who died?" I answer. Nobody. She didn't find any shells at the beach but she finds a junonia in the bottom of a 20 year old bag of shells she had in her closet.
The junonia is soaking in some oil to try to bring back some color
(top left) pried off Great Annabelle's vase (bottom left) found at a Tennessee yard sale (middle) gift from Cousin Joan - found on Honeymoon Island (right) bought on Sanibel

What's wrong with this picture? I'm out at that beach before sunrise and take home a few lousy calico scallops. GeeGee goes into her closet for her pajamas and comes out holding a junonia. My mother also has a junonia that was glued to a vase from her aunt's estate. This talent is not exclusive to my mother. My sister mailed me a junonia that she bought at a yard sale in Knoxville. I have 6 junonias - none of which I have found. They are either bought from a shell shop, pried off of an old vase, or from a red-neck garage sale. 

So, another day and the quest continues for the elusive junonia. But I have learned the beach is not the only place one washes up.  There are vases, garage sales, & the bottom of my mother's closet.
GeeGee found this junonia years ago on Honeymoon Island and didn't even know what it was until a few years ago


  1. So do you think GeeGee will have the same tone in her voice the day she finds ANOTHER junonia on the beach?
    GeeGee: "Guess what happened on the beach today, Honey!"
    Kaybe: "Who died on the beach today, Ma?"

  2. Well, I had something to say, but got so tickled at Pam's comment it completely flew out of my head ;-)

  3. Hysterical! (I only have one junonia, but I found it myself!)

  4. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh....say it ain't so!!! I'm gonna be in Sanibel next week and you're telling me there aren't any shells????????? me to the closest shell shop cuz there ain't no way I'm coming home empty handed!!!!!
    Come on GeeGee.......let's find sumpin!!!

  5. This post made me giggle. Why, you ask? Because I know you both so well and I know this exactly how you both are with each other.

    I'm a little upset that I had to hike all over Sanibel when I could have just stayed at the house and dug through GeeGee's closet to find a junonia!

  6. Wow-the area looks so different from when we were there. It was fogged over that day.

  7. This is such a cute little post. Love it. So funny. I love your Mom and I don't even know her!!

  8. Especially love that she applied to be a Weeki Wachee Mermaid.

  9. You gotta love your momma! She's a wonderful character!

    I took my sister and brother-in-law to Boca Grande last week...the weather was just perfect for those northerners...they LOVED it! Not a shell in sight but we didn't care...the sun was shining and they haven't seen one of those recently up north!

  10. I guess the take-away is that you don't need to go to the beach to find a Jujonia, but just go to garage sales:)

  11. I've never heard of Junonia shells, they are beautiful! So funny about your mom! It's hard to believe that there isn't much shelling right now on Sanibel. Is it the time of year? Thank you for sharing some great pictures of the sun and sand right now! I really need that, especially since it's about 14 degrees here this morning (not including wind chill), and we still need to get all that snow cleared out of the driveway!!

  12. You have cracked me up this morning!!!
    I am so glad that no one died. I had much rather have an ice cream sale than go to a funeral!!!
    Aren't mom's great??? I miss mine.

    I'm sorry that you didn't find many shells...maybe next time you will find a huge Junonia!!!

    ***Looking for the perfect shape frame for your shells-but I am keeping this one for moi!



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