February, 2000 Contest: What’s Your Favorite Collection?

Congratulations to our contest winner!
Camille Baker of Tuscon, AZ

The first vacation my family and I had was seven years ago. I was leaving my job of nine years to begin a new career. I had a week off between, and a spur-of-the-moment trip to California was planned. My children, all girls, were thirteen, five, and two. The girls, my husband, and I visitied Disneyland and the beaches, where I started a collection of sea shells.

Four years later, I was divorced from my husband, but kept custody of my girls. I never thought I would be able to afford another “family” vacation and whenever I thought about it, I pulled out those seashells and remembered what a happy, peaceful time that was. Those little shells motivated me to overcome the overwhelming responsibilities I felt as a single mother.

I took on a second job, began college, and two years ago I was able to add to my collection with new shells from Puerto Penasco, Mexico. The girls and I had a wonderful time. I keep these shells in special glass jars in my bathroom, which has an “ocean” theme. So whenever I am feeling a little weary, I pick a shell out of a jar. It always brings a smile to my face.