Recs and Reads
By Anne McKay Garris
Rainy days! What a blessing! At least to those of us with thirsty plants and dirty cars. But rainy days of summer, with a reluctance to get out in it, or children underfoot, is another matter. Take a look at the "shelling" table at the Clearwater Beach Library for suggestions on one way to make this a memorable summer for you and your little ones, children or grandchildren. Several books on shell crafts you will find on the shell table can provide you with a memorable summer. The shells are free and varied on Clearwater Beach and the uses for them are innumerable.
Decorative boxes, mirrors decorated with shells, jewelry, pencil holders, Christmas tree ornaments -- these are only the beginning of what can be made.
This sort of hobby can lead to a lifelong hobby of collecting special shell specimen. Whole groups of people gather into Shell Collectors (or Conchologists) clubs that conduct meetings, hold shell shows and even sponsor tours to exotic places for people who find the beauty and variety of shells endlessly fascinating. On the Library's shelling table you will also find books on identifying shells and, on the wall behind the copy machine, there is a frame in which you will find almost all of the shells to be found on Clearwater Beach, along with their names. One summer day could be spent at the Library with your little friends, or visitors, identifying the shells you have picked up on the beach.
The visiting grandchildren will talk, years later, about the summer they learned at Grandmother's house about fascinating shells and their habitats and habits. Friends will write you, ten years from now, and say, "I just came upon my lovely collection of coquinas and remembered with pleasure what fun we had collecting that summer I visited you on Clearwater Beach."
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