Sunday, May 12, 2013

Our Anniversary on Mussel Beach

Karen has never been much for fancy jewelry.  The only rocks she’s really cherished are those shiny ones she finds polished by waves on some wild gravel bar or beach.  It was time to celebrate our 33rd wedding anniversary with a 33 carrot surprise. 

Now you’re undoubtedly thinking I’m having a spelling farkle.  Not so.  Karen’s gift is a container filled with several wheel barrows worth of a mix of muskeg, sand and seaweed in which she can grow 33 carrots.  Her women friends will swoon at the thought of such a romantic notion.  With a bit of encouragement such as a batch of chocolate chip cookies, I might even top it off by planting the carrots for her.

We celebrated with an outing, too.  Karen’s choice -- to head for the beach to soak up some sun and look for her kind of treasures.  Eventually we settled in with Karen wandering down the shoreline with her camera focusing on still life subjects tossed up by waves.  Meanwhile, I ate the peanut butter and jelly sandwich she lovingly made for me and played with watercolors for the first time in several years.  The veil of success rested on Karen.

Besides her photographic treasures, Karen had to return with some trophies -- chunks of driftwood to separate her budding primroses from some overzealous man (me) with a lawn mower, a six-foot pressure-treated board to support her colorful array of flower pots on our deck and some shells -- the sea kind, not the shotgun kind. 

Her best find - a knot from a tree -- was all that remained from a former denizen of the uplands that had been riddled with ship worms.  More beautiful than a real 33 caret diamond ring, Karen wanted it so badly.  Alas, it had already been claimed by a tiny blue mussel, a 6 mm long “infant” happily nestled in it’s new found nursery, and two wee snails.  The snails could be sent to foster homes, but once a mussel stakes out it’s territory there’s no room for negotiations.  One flick of the finger and the treasure could be all Karen’s.  Back the knot went to it’s intertidal surroundings.  She would not sully the joy of our anniversary celebration.

These photographic memories are enough for Karen -- oh, and the board.

I was absorbed in my painting when suddenly I became aware of a thump, thump sound coming towards me.  The sound -- Karen's board bouncing off the rocks as she dragged the overweight specimen towards me.

                                              See, I really was painting

Do not remove -- this knot sculpted by shipworms is the property of one 6 mm blue mussel (not shown).

The tide coming in around blue mussel shells on which barnacles have established residency.

                       One lone blue mussel, the sole proprietor of  a piece of driftwood.


alaskamimi1 said...

Karen & Don, What a fabulous way to celebrate an anniversary. I love the beach wood idea for a planter. The treasures from a beach are priceless and carry the symbol of "valuable" because you are the special person who discovered the item.
Happy Anniversary!!

Don and Karen Cornelius Artwork said...

Thank you Alaskamimi1. It sounds like you, too, know the meaning of the term valuable.

Susan Christensen said...

marvelous photos, guys!
happy anniversary
xxoo, sus

Don and Karen Cornelius Artwork said...

Thanks, Sus. Karen certainly has "the eye."

Di said...

Congratulations on the beginning of your 34th year as husband & wife! What a nice place to spend the day together! Hope you're both doing great :)! Best regards from the North!

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