I was born in Orlando, FL and spent many of my early years at the beach with my family, and as I got older, with my friends. When I was young, I was like a little fish, nothing could get me out of the water. As I got older, I started to realize just how many things lived in the ocean and my desire to go in the water lessened. I started going in, up to my knees, so I could still run out. Then to my ankles, and finally, not at all. Walking on the shore proved to be just as fun for me. 

Fast forward to a few years ago. I still have the same apprehensions about the water but I started to develop an interest for some cool things that are in it & most importantly, on the shore – shells. My interest in shelling was a slow process that began while visiting Sanibel Island, one of the best places for shelling in Florida. When I first started going there with Quin, to visit his parents, I would watch Quin & Bob (his dad) look for shells & come back with their finds & think, that’s nice. Then I noticed that everyone there was walking the beach & looking down, everyone. Quin’s sister, Ginger, was an avid sheller & I am pretty sure walking up & down the beach with her is how I caught the shelling bug. 

Here’s something you should know about me, I am so very blind. I cannot see a few feet in front of me. So it was amazing to me that I was even trying to find different shells in the sand. Most of the things I picked up were duds, some were even pieces of trash. Each visit I got a little better & I was actually starting to have a nice little collection. I wanted to find them all. I was becoming obsessed. I used to wake up in the mornings to just watch the sun rise & then I started to bring my shelling bags in case I found some treasures. Soon I was finding reason to scour the beach when I used to just be content sitting under the canopy, watching all the hunters go by. 

I have now turned into a full blown sheller. I have a pamphlet of shells that are found on the island that I use as a guidebook to a complete collection. I have glass jars scattered around our small house in DeLand, filled with my findings so far over the years. I still have come a long way from the chick who couldn’t spot a shell in the sand but I still have a long way to go. I can’t wait to go back each year and seek out my new treasures and bring them home to fill my jars. 

Shelling in Sanibel: this is a good place to figure out which beach to try out first!