By Stephanie Schechter
As a lifelong beach-goer, I have grown to love everything about the ocean… including the beautiful seashells that sea creatures called mollusks leave behind. I have collected shells since I was a wee lass, as memories of fun days in the water, or special family trips to tropical countries. I grew up in San Diego, where seashells are abundant, but not particularly fascinating. Regardless, as a kid, I would spend hours digging in the sand for buried natural treasures.
Now that I live further north in Santa Barbara, my seashell collection has grown immensely, because we have a very beautiful and diverse array of shells to find on the shore! I live right on the ocean here, and I love going on beach walks, because they are a great way to clear my head and de-stress. Whether I am on a walk or just heading back from surfing, I always keep my eyes toward the sand, hoping to find some interesting shells. I have them in bowls and jars as decoration all around my house, as great reminders of fun times and the amazing ocean-dwellers that live in this world.