Monday, February 3, 2014

Current score: Beach Treasures-1, Minimalism-0

Some jewelry I made, along with some beach treasures.
When we first moved aboard, I was solidly in the mindset of shedding possessions and keeping our new home clutter-free. Even with Lego scattered everywhere and a million stuffed animals crowding the boys' beds, I was positive that this was an attainable and desirable goal.

So when we would go to the beach and Mark and Conrad would find treasures everywhere, I was the shell Nazi and refused to let them bring anything back to the boat. It wasn't long before they wore me down and I let them bring just one piece home, then three, and somewhere along the line it became a free-for-all. Now that the novelty of every single common seashell has worn off, Conrad is more discriminating. Mark on the other hand wants to bring home every broken shell that looks like a potato chip or arrow.

I realize now that my zero tolerance policy for natural clutter was not only ill-fated. It was also a bad idea. Part of the fun and value of having the boys live so close to the natural world is being able to touch it and examine it at length. My need for order will have to take a back seat for awhile. Of course, a lot of stuff does get "lost" overboard after it has lived on our boat for awhile and it is never missed. In the meantime, it is loved intensely and then forgotten.

There has been another assault on my philosophy of owning less, which was more unexpected. Recently, the goal-oriented part of myself that has ruled for most of my existence has found an outlet in jewelry making that incorporates some of our beach finds. I normally don't wear much jewelry and gave away most of what I had before moving onto the boat. But I like transforming broken pieces of shell into something useful and my brain and fingers like having a definitive task to work on. Besides, I may not keep it all. After all, Conrad has offered to be my business manager and says he wants to sell what I'm making.


  1. I should have shown you my beach find jewelry. Here's the cliff notes... we ended up buddy cruising with a guy who was a jeweler (he made our wedding rings). We made landfall together in Bimini and his wife and I found tons of beach glass there. Fast forward more than a year... we go our separate ways, we're back in Annapolis and I get a package in the mail with a beautiful bracelet and necklace made from sea glass and shells we had collected together along the way. He also couldn't stand the clutter, but it got used in the end.

    1. Ooh, beach glass jewelry, cool! Glad to see that you are clearing away some unused stuff too; means you're closer to heading this way!

  2. Are those round pieces things that fell out of the boat motor?

    How fun! You could incorporate your jewelry sales into the rubber-band bracelet sales!

    I bought a couple of those rubber-band looms thinking James would like it. He didn't. I made a few, but the latex makes my face itch.

    Show us more of your stuff!!

    1. That was in our diesel maintenance book--if there are extra pieces, just use them in jewelry. I'm pretty sure. You know you're supposed to wear the rubber band bracelets on your wrists, not your face, right?

    2. I guess you're so far out of the loop that you don't know that everyone is wearing them on their faces now! I'll send you a face-bracelet right away so that you can start the trend in Greater Urinalysis, or whatever the name of that town is you're in.


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