Zana’s Seashell Legacy

seashell collection

Zana is my friend’s mom and she died not too long ago. She had been living with her daughter, my friend Judy, until her death. I was living in New Hampshire at the time, so I never got a chance to say good-bye to Zana (who had the coolest name ever!). But the other day I visited Judy (now that I live in Florida once again) and I discovered Zana’s seashell legacy.

We were hanging out by the pool at my friend’s house and I noticed a collection of seashells on her table. The size of the shells caught my attention first. I took a closer look, and in the ceramic bowl, full of old rainwater, I found amazing treasures.

helmets and murex seashells

I began to remove the shells from the shallow bowl, one at a time, to get a better look. I was stunned at what I saw! I told my friend that I had to get some photos of these shells. Judy said they had been her mom’s. Well, I had questions! Where did she get them? Did she collect them herself? Where was she when she found them? My friend didn’t know.

I have since found some answers. Read more about the Helmets on another post.

West Indian crown conchs
West Indian Crown conchs and a big helmet shell

My friend seemed uninterested when I said that these were really awesome seashells!!! I continued to take photos and my friend insisted I pick out a shell or two and take it home. I said, “No, I just want photos”. These were her mom’s collection and she may have found the shells on Florida’s beaches long ago. Zana lived in Florida all her life and she obviously thought enough of the shells to keep them with her when she moved in with her daughter.

I was pretty sure that the big ones were helmet shells. I’d never seen helmets in real life, only in my books. Never in my life did I imagine I would see such beauties in person! Maybe shells like these were not all that hard to come by on Florida beaches long ago. Imagine that..!

scallop shells
Beautiful scallop shells

As I packed up my swimsuit and belongings to leave, Judy was at the shell table and she was loading all the shells – yes, ALL THE SHELLS – into a basket and told me I was taking them all home with me! I protested. She said that I was the shell girl and they were now mine. I could go write about them on my blog.

Washing the seashells in the sink
Cleaning the shells in my sink

Today I cleaned up the shells, which were a bit slimy, and will spend some time soon getting good photos of each of the larger ones. The scallops are big and beautiful as well, and I would love to know where they came from. I can’t imagine Zana buying them. She was a nature lover, gardener and all around fun lady. I’d sure love to talk with her. I’ll need to do some research on the helmets (King or Queen?) and write posts featuring them. I know for certain you don’t just walk along a Florida beach nowadays and come across such gorgeous shells.

Lovely pink inside the murex shell

Now that the shells are cleaned up, I’m thinking that my friend will enjoy them more. I can’t in good conscience keep Zana’s legacy when it is not rightly mine. The best of these shells will make their way back to the home they belong in, eventually. But in the meantime I will have fun sharing my photos with all my readers. Thanks Zana!

Author: Pam

Spending time on the water is the best, and blogging about the sea life found along the saltwater river and ocean is what I do. I’m also a designer at Zazzle and sell my work, with a lot of ocean themes, on the site.

7 thoughts on “Zana’s Seashell Legacy”

  1. Thank you, Pam. Still painting away. Art business is still “feast or famine” which is tough when it’s famine, ha!

  2. They are beautiful. I am not surprised that your friend Zana made a gift of them to you. You have a real passion and excitement for these things!

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