Thursday, July 9, 2015

Hedgebrook, Day Fifteen

to Nicole, Diane and Rosie

I was going to post about plums, and it was going to be a sensuous if not sexy post, but there's been an interruption. The title to this post should read:

Hedgebrook, The Fifteenth Day, An Idyll Interrupted

Here's what just happened. The other day, when I went for that walk to Useless Bay at low tide, I picked up the most amazing conch shell. It was perfectly intact. It was fist-sized, ya'll! Like something you would buy in a shell shop all polished, but the real thing. It was white. It was lying there, waiting to be picked up. I picked it up. Earlier I had picked up an amazing sand dollar and promptly dropped it because it just felt -- well -- wrong (in the sense that Oliver used the word when I told him how babies were made when he was a little boy and he asked me whether that was what I had done with his father). What can I tell you? I'm a city girl. But the conch shell was dry, and when I shook it, it made a rattling sound so I thought the owner had probably dried up. I took it back to Willow cottage and put it on the bench outside the front door because it smelled a little, and  -- you know.

Anyhoo. (New readers -- I hate this word and only use it judiciously)

I just now brought the conch shell inside and began to wash it out in the pretty little blue basin that is my cottage bathroom sink. I shook it pretty vigorously to get that sand out, but what slid out was a giant, gelatinous blob of I don't know what, right into the sink, and the memory of it is making me gag even now as I type these words.

This gelatinous, moist thing slid out with a sucking sound.

I texted my best friend who gave me some advice:

I managed to get a big wad of paper towels and a plastic bag at the ready, scooped it up (still gagging and this girl is NOT a gagger) and threw it in there.

Now I don't know what to do with myself. I'm going to blame this on the three writers who left this morning. They've takenall the magic out of Hedgebrook, and I'm left with a slurping gelatinous mass to haunt my dreams.

Where ARE YOU, Nicole, Diane and Rosie? You, especially, Rosie! I know you would have taken care of this godforsaken thing in my wash basin or at the every least delegated the job to someone!

I don't want to use the word traumatized because that would be hyperbole, and I'm supposed to be honing my writing here. I'm a teensy tinesy bit inclined to pack my bags and head out of the woods, though, take the first ferry back to the big shitty.


  1. Oh my god! I so would have taken care of that for you!
    I thought you were going to tell us that your shell walked off which is what often happens when we pick up shells with hermits in them, unbeknownst to us. I've never seen "the blob." Was it the actual conch? Because yes, they are delicious but you have to pound the shit out of them to get them to be tender enough to eat.

  2. Yuk. A similar gelatinous smelly blob fell out of my long neglected hummingbird feeder into the sink too. I was beside myself, but manned up and gagged a little too while I dealt with it. I wish that memory were erasable.

    If only the blob had fallen out at the beach, not in your kitchen. Sympathies, and at least you have a nice shell to show for your efforts.

  3. Oy! I would have freaked too. Run out and got another writer to save me. But you womaned up and did what needed to be done. I hope you keep the shell but that might be a tough call cause it will always conjure up this memory of day 15. May you get back to the cooler, less buggy ideal life there.

  4. I wish I'd been there. I would scoop up the critter and take him and his shell back to the water and watched to see if he'd creep back in. Poor little guy. I could never pound him and eat him though.

  5. I wish I'd been there. I would scoop up the critter and take him and his shell back to the water and watched to see if he'd creep back in. Poor little guy. I could never pound him and eat him though.

  6. Sounds like you found a moon snail which are plentiful on our beaches this time of year. My guess is that the blob was its gelatinous egg sack. Sorry. I'm laughing so hard I'm gonna pee myself. XO

  7. What great fodder for your writing - inspiring a hilarious account of what happened!
    Glad to hear that you have made new, good friends there. So many gifts! XO

  8. Sorry but it's funny. I can't imagine you gagging or traumatized. Mind you if I found a large spider in my cottage, I would be traumatized. Sending hugs. Be brave woman:)

  9. Ok, I'm sorry I'm laughing at your trauma over here ... :)

  10. This is like an echo: a moon (slug) worn as if it had been a shell. I'm disgusting. Sorry to defile such a lovely poem. But it was in the conch shell. Seriously, that had to be a strange experience.

  11. LOL -- I'm sure you've resolved this issue by now so I shall withhold any advice. (Not that I really have any.) I hope you got a good shell out of it, at least!

  12. I am a gagger and that would have made me lose my lunch. Eww!



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