You know, I've been talking about this for a while, so now that you've had all that build up, I'm not sure this will live up to the wonder of the day. but I'll try anyway.
A few months back I was visiting Friend in conjunction with a conference. Handy how that worked out and we were able to stretch the usual couple days into over a week. Honestly, it was a bit scary to think about at first. I had never spent that much time with him - just a few days here, a few days there, and probably close to 10,000 minutes on the phone. (thank God for in-calling...)
I needn't have worried, but that's another post for another day....
Anyway, I realized that while in Sunny Florida, Jim Morris - a small Jimmy Buffett-type artist I like to hear when he comes north - would be performing on Florida's west coast - and gee wouldn't it be fun to go see him perform with Friend? Friend, being Friend and adventersome and thoughtful and ridiculously romantic guy - booked a night at an adorable West Coast Inn so that we could enjoy the show and the beach all in a 2 day whirlwind. The show was Fab and Jim was a bit confused at first to see me in HIS territory and with Friend, but all was soon explained. We enjoyed our stay at the Inn and took a lovely walk on the beach the next day.
Where I come from there are no walks on the beach in March. So walking on the beach in warm weather and shorts in March? Priceless.
And on the West Coast of Florida there are lots and lots of shells on the beaches. Also unheard of where I c ome from. I felt like children must when confronted with a sunny day, waves, and an endless supply of spectacular shells - big, small, colorful, sparkly, alive. Literally. ALIVE.
We were walking along, and I spotted what I thought was rare - an intact classic clam shell. About1.5 inches in diameter. White and orange and intact. So Friend went to pick it up for me and it started "chattering" - no not talking, but vibrating and opening and closing like it was trying to bite us. I, of course, screamed, being at times a ridiculous and scaredy-cat girly girl. Friend laughed and dropped the clam. Then we looked at each other and realized it was alive and must be saved - this rare creature. So Friend gently tossed it back into the Ocean. And we marveled at that unique experience.
Now Friend is a native Floridian and has lived on both the East and West coasts of Southern Florida. But he had never seen such a sight before. And as we talked about the beaches we had each been to in our lives and the times and places we had collected shells, we both agreed we'd never come across a live one like that and how rare it was. And as I looked down, there was another one - alive. Knowing it would bite me, I told Friend to pick it up, "Save it save it" she cried to the Prince. (OK lame I know). And being the kind of Friend he is, he dutifully picked it up and gently tossed it back into the ocean.
Wow two in 1 day. After a lifetime of never seeing one. Who knew?
And there it was again - another one! Now the girly girl was squeeling, "Pick it up Pick it up! Rescue it!" And, Friend being the kind of Friend he is, did just that.
(Have I ever told you how infinitely patient this man is? Yeah he puts up with a lot from me. I can't figure it out....)
Now the Girly Girl Next Door was into it - there were clams among these shells, hiding, starving, dying, waiting to be rescued. And She knew Just the Man for the job. So she started galloping along the beach, looking for live ones. Finding one she would shriek to Friend to Rescue it. Cause although she wanted the clams to live, she wasn't sacrificing her fingers! I have limits.
But Friend couldn't keep up with the silly girly girl, Eventually she decided to Buck Up and PICK IT UP. So she announced loudly to the masses of slightly older folks trying to walk peacefully along the beach, wondering about this silly girl chucking clams, "I'll Get This One." And carefully, gingerly she picked it up. And it BIT HER and she shrieked and chucked it like a lit firecracker far into the ocean. Friend suggested that perhaps a light tossing would be better for the poor, light, traumatized shell. You know, being fired out of a cannon after sitting in the hot sun might not be such a pleasant experience. Girly Girl giggled, "Oh yea, huh." And raced off to find another.
And so they spent the next hour or so racing from clam to clam, tossing, chucking, hurling, flinging those clams back into the water. And laughed about the Great Clam Rescue of 2008.