It’s a Great Day in the South Bay…when you can leave a shell on the beach.

When visitors come to our South Bay beaches, one of the things they get excited about is the bounty of treasures that washes up on shore each day after the tide has crept back out to sea.

It’s not unusual to find sand dollars and colorful shells—sometimes even a whole, shimmering abalone shell wedged between the rocks along the coastline.

I remember visiting my grandparents here when I was a kid and gathering shells by the jarful to take back to Cleveland with me to brighten up my room on a snowy gray day. (No one told me how badly they would smell if I brought some live ones on the airplane by mistake—but that’s another story).

Now that I live here, I’ll admit I still stop in my tracks when I see something shiny in the sand. But I am much more selective. More often than not I pass those colorful bits of broken shells by, knowing I will probably find one even prettier tomorrow or the day after that.

And that some little girl from the Midwest might just come along and want this one all for herself.

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