Beachcombing

When considering an adventure, combing is not usually foremost in our minds but, just for an afternoon, we might want to reconsider.

 What exactly am I talking about? Well, I can assure you it is not the combing of the hair. This tangled traveler cavorted with dreadlock long before it was mainstream. Yes I use the singular intentionally as the dreadlock is unintentional. Translation? I cavort with the comb and attack said dreadlock every three days or… four. My daughter, who inherited the anti-comb gene, once found a guitar pick in her wild mane and a set of bongos. That was all because she is an expert comber of many things but hair is not one of them.

We tangled combers of the world find an unraveling to the complexity of life in the sand at the beach or a pinecone filled, rock-strewn forest. And I invite you to join in on the fun. We troll for treasure where it is allowed, leaving no trace always and taking only pictures (photo tips here) when that is asked of us. But on the occasions that endorse a reasonable amount of souvenir collecting, we are filled with joy and good will toward mankind… as long as man is kind enough to stay out of our collecting area. Kids with buckets, when I am beach combing, are fended off with a laser-like stink eye.

A recent combing trip to the beach yielded a small pile of children, er uh-sparkling stones and magical sea glass. This treasure was all the more precious as southern California is notoriously barren beach combing terrain. The rough surf generally smashes shells to pieces and turns stones into sand almost overnight but certain times of the year offer up the equivalent of Christmas morning to the comber. Black Friday if children appear.

And for those of you who do not live near a beach, I have one word for you. Tumbleweed. Go ahead, pick one up and bring it home. Beware the thorns; my guy can tell you all about that after traveling 600 miles with my Nevada souvenir tumbleweed. Yes, they make fantastic home decor but if you are cocking an eyebrow at that (and I seriously judge your taste if you are), how about pinecones, rocks, acorns and a squirrel? Ok fine, I admit it, I’ve only known one squirrel owner but to simply stroll around your neighborhood and treasure hunt is a no-brainer. This past fall, an insanely windy day ponied up a bunch of spiky thing-a-mabobs that I intend to introduce to a glue gun and some raffia and transform into garland.

Transforming is what combing is all about. Sifting through and claiming stuff headed for the green waste, or the trash. Morphing cast-offs into art can be peacefully fulfilling or a ferocious sport if there is competition. Even a pile of rocks, when they represent moments in your life, become sentimental objects for those that value the invaluable and trophies for the Olympic combers.

So go ahead, encourage your inner child, leave your hair unkempt, walk out the door, and start beachcombing!

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