Strawberries in the Sand

Every year at the beach we search for strawberries in the sand. One of us will return from a long walk on the beach and announce, “I found six strawberries!”  The others of us will admire the find and tell the lucky finder how pretty the strawberries are. Each day more of us will search and find our strawberries and we’ll talk about whose is the pinkest or which has its wings intact.

Strawberries in the sand are actually calico scallop shells and the “wings” are technically called ears. I’m not sure how the shells came to be known to us as strawberries but I can guess it’s because of the red, maroon, or rose colors found on most of them. However the “strawberry” name happened, it stuck. We even call the black scallops, “black strawberries”.

We throw the barnacle-encrusted strawberries back into the waves and continue our hunt. Our favorite strawberries are deep purples or vibrant pinks with no holes and both wings. If the colors are especially beautiful or unique enough, then holes and wings make no difference.

We’ve been calling them by the name for so long we forget that others don’t know about it. A newcomer to our beach gathering gives strange looks when we talk about searching for strawberries on the beach.

It’s just one of our things. Like chocolate gravy on Christmas Eve and stargazing in the back of a pickup on hot August nights, gathering stalks of cotton from the fields in October, or The Sound of Music the day after Thanksgiving.

Every family has those things.

What are some of yours?


No Comments

  1. Paula on August 3, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    I think it’s a very cool family thing, the strawberries. And I want to hear more about the chocolate gravy, ?. I’m not so sure we have anything like that… I’ll have to think on it, ?

    • mariegriffith on August 3, 2017 at 7:40 pm

      Thank you Paula. I’m sure you have a thing. My kids reminded me of a few of these as I was writing.

  2. Timelesslady on August 3, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    Love calling the scallops strawberries. We have them here in New Jersey, but we find more black and whites. Once in a while one will have colors.

    • mariegriffith on August 3, 2017 at 9:59 pm

      Thank you. I think one of the children started calling them strawberries.

  3. Leigh Roswen on August 3, 2017 at 11:06 pm

    Love to hear stories of specific family lingo – We’ve call the water cooler the glug-glug (the sound it makes as it refills) ever since the children were little. Now my children are both adults the name still sticks. Also my son used to call all meat chicken when he was little so corned beef was pink chicken (sounds awful doesn’t it) but it is a bit like your black strawberries.

    • mariegriffith on August 4, 2017 at 5:45 am

      Leigh, how wonderful to carry a glug-glug full of drinks for a picnic. You’re right, every family has a lingo. Thank you for sharing a couple of your things.

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  6. Tina Schell on August 4, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    Great choices for the week and love the story. You’re right, every family has a few, don’t we?!

    • mariegriffith on August 4, 2017 at 10:16 pm

      Thanks Tina. Yes, every family has a lingo and/or certain rituals.

  7. Robin Turner on August 5, 2017 at 8:47 am

    Love it. We have many family sayings and traditions. With my kids there are movie lines that we say in response to certain comments. These things matter to me because they seal the history we have and bring up fond memories. Powerful.

    • mariegriffith on August 5, 2017 at 9:18 am

      And we have our own saying Robin! “It’s never over!”

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