Day 21: Ahhhh ‘Balone!

Day 21 S-366-LYDoG:

You may think that I have miss spelled bologna. I assure you, I have not.

Today I am most grateful for abalone shells. I know, you’re probably thinking what is this? She’s really grasping at straws today.

You may be right, but allow me to expound.

Many years ago, as a little girl, my family had traveled on vacation to California. I’m pretty sure we were browsing some tourist shop locations in San Diego when I saw the most beautiful piece of jewelry. I was entranced by the swirling colors in purples and teals. To me, it was stunning! I asked my mother about it and was told that it was named abalone shell.

To my child’s ears it sounded like it had come from a familiar sandwich. I wondered how something so beautiful could produce something so awful to the palate. I mean, ewwww! I am clearly not a fan of bologna sandwiches. But this? Oh, it was beautiful, an explanation was in order, after which, I understood the difference.

Phew! That made much more sense, until I realized exactly what an abalone was.

Ewwww, again!

All that aside, I have still been fascinated by the shells. With such wide range of patterns and colors, some like a swirling sunset in stunning reds and gold , others resembling a deep pool with eddies of bright greens and hues of blue.

My family and I have an inside joke about it that was born out of helping me recognize the difference between the awful sandwich and the beautiful shells. For the rest of the trip there would be random outbursts in the shops as one of us would exclaim  ahhhhh ‘balone!”

Don’t mind us, we’re weird … and we like it!

Fast forward several years and I had collected a few of my favorite shells in the form of jewelry; necklaces and bracelets were my favorite. Then in my early 20’s I moved away from dear family and friends to find my way in the world. Upon my departure, me sweet friend Julie, whom I’ve written about here, gave me some abalone earrings. When Julie passed away, those earrings became a precious symbol of her love and friendship. They are one of the few pieces I have left.

20160121_174412 1What is interesting is that over the years many friends whom I hold close to my heart have given me various pieces of jewelry featuring abalone shell. They had no idea what it meant to me but, in the giving of it they have secured a special place in my heart. Each piece I own is a reminder of someone dear to me. I find it fascinating when life is like this. If we are observant we can find patterns that reinforce thoughts or feelings that are tender and meaningful to us.

 

Ahhhh ‘Balone. I’m thankful for those whom I remember when I see it.

Stina

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