Feathers, feelings, & favorite memories

I was watching Oprah this afternoon. Her first guest was Nate the designer. He had done the living room of a woman who had lost her husband to cancer a couple of years previous.

Although I don’t really know the Writer’s best friend, I couldn’t help but think of her and send up a prayer for her and her sons while I was watching the segment.

One of the things that Nate had placed in the room was a white feather that had special meaning to the woman. It’s a reminder to her of the happy memories that she & her husband had.

Oprah asked herself (out loud) what her “feather” is. For her, the “feather” had to be something that evoked strong positive feelings.

This, of course, got me to thinking about what my “feather” is. I thought about all the “things” that hubby & I have collected through our marriage.

The one thing that I have that represents us … the one thing that brings back the greatest memories … is our bowl of seashells. Each shell and grain of sand in that bowl was collected together. I could have gone “shelling” alone but anything I might have collected wouldn’t hold as much meaning as those we found together.

The shells that bring back the strongest memories? The sand dollars.

When we lived in Florida, I used to tease hubby that since I didn’t have a dowry when we married that I’d have to collect as many sand dollars as I could to make up the deficit. The bowl, although filled with dozens of sand dollars, contains so much more. It is filled with the memory of hours on the beach in both winter and summer hunting for the precious, perfect coins in the sand right at the water’s edge.

I can look at our bowl of shells and remember our first Thanksgiving in Florida when hubby & I headed to the beach the morning of the Florida/Florida State game. Hubby decided to wear his 49er sweat pants, which look like they’re FSU sweats if you’re not really paying attention, when a total stranger yells at us across the parking lot, “‘Noles!” and waves his “we’re number 1” at us. We waved at him, laughed, and headed out to the dunes. Little did either of us know that we’d be die-hard, rest-of-our-lives Gators just a few short months later.

It reminds me of the times we sat in our favorite spot on the beach watching pods of dolphins swim by, flocks of pelicans glide by, and a silly yellow submarine that never submerged, but always sailed by us as it headed into the docks.

When I look at our little bowl of shells, I can remember watching our first pirate parade and the krewe’s regatta on the bay, of being absolutely intrigued by the firing of the cannon on Billy Bowleg’s pirate ship and the festivity and hilarity of all the town’s movers & shakers dressed as pirates and first mates during the annual celebration.

My “feather?” Definitely our bowl of shells.

Items we collected.

Memories we created.

Together.

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