Shelling Seashells by the Seashore
Shelling is a favorite past-time for many Florida visitors, especially our daughter and granddaughters. It’s one of the most popular things to do when visiting a beach area. Whether the sun is shining brightly, or a gentle rain is falling, searching for unique and beautiful seashells along the beach is a great way to pass some quiet time — not to mention the benefits received from exercising one’s body.
And, by the way, hunting for seashells is not just something for the youngsters to enjoy. I love to search for that perfect unique shell so I guess I’m still a youngster at heart. Many of us will find any excuse to go for a walk on the beach. So, while we get our exercise, or maybe enjoy a sunrise or sunset, we can also indulge ourselves by having a little fun hunting for seashells.
The Englewood beaches abound with fascinating shells of different shapes, sizes, colors and color patterns. It wasn’t until recently I discovered there are shells unique to our area beaches, such as,
- Left-handed Whelks
- Auger Shells
- Coquina Shells
- Rough Scallop
- Fighting Conch
Of course, seashells are not the only treasure you look for on the beach. Besides a nice suntan 😊, sharks’ teeth are a highly prized item. One may not realize just how special these dark beauties can be. Some of them may be as old as one million years! Wow! If only OUR teeth would last as long. 😊 If you enjoy collecting seashells and want to learn more about this hobby, there are local groups you can join.
Whether you want to become an avid collector of seashells and sharks’ teeth or just pick up an occasional special shell as a memory, the beaches of Englewood and Boca Grande, FL provide an ample hunting ground for collecting these gems.
Visit some beaches of Englewood:
· Blind Pass Beach
· Englewood Beach
· Manasota Beach
· Stump Pass Beach
Visit some beaches of Boca Grande:
· Port Boca Grande Light House Beach
· Range Lighthouse beach off Belcher
· Fifth Street Access Beach
· Several additional beach access points can be found on various Boca Grande streets from 19th Street south to First Street all located within about a mile of each other. Keep in mind parking is very limited and no facilities are offered.
Now, why not enjoy yourself and go Shelling Seashells by the Seashore today!
Don’t you just love Southwest Florida and its beaches?
The History of Valentine’s Day
The Early History of Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day is named after Saint Valentine, a Catholic priest who lived in Rome in the 3rd Century. There are many stories about St Valentine and over time these stories grew into the legend we know today.
At the time of Valentine’s life, many Romans were converting to Christianity, but the Emperor Claudius II was a pagan and created strict laws about what Christians were allowed to do. Claudius believed that Roman soldiers should be completely devoted to Rome and therefore passed a law preventing them from marrying. St Valentine began to marry these soldiers in secret Christian ceremonies and this was the beginning of his reputation for believing in the importance of love.
Eventually, Valentine was found out and jailed for his crimes against Claudius. While imprisoned, Valentine cared for his fellow prisoners and also his jailor’s blind daughter. Legend has it that Valentine cured the girl’s blindness and that his final act before being executed was to write her a love message signed ‘from your Valentine’. Valentine was executed on 14 February in the year 270.
How did Valentine’s Day develop?
It wasn’t until more than 200 years later that 14 February was proclaimed St Valentine’s Day. By this time Rome had become Christian and the Catholic Church was determined to stamp out any remaining paganism. A pagan fertility ritual was held in February each year and the Pope abolished this festival and proclaimed 14 February Saint Valentine’s Day, thus establishing this feast day on the Catholic Calendar of Saints.
The poet Chaucer in the Middle Ages was the first to link St Valentine with romantic love. This was the beginning of the tradition of courtly love, a ritual of expressing love and admiration, usually in secret. This custom spread throughout Europe and stories grew about a High Court of Love where female judges would rule on issues related to love on 14 February each year. Historians believe that these meetings were in fact gatherings where people read love poetry and played games of flirtation.
Valentine’s Day Symbols
The practice of sending love messages developed into people sending special cards expressing their affection. These cards were beautiful creations handmade by the sender and individually designed to show how much they loved the recipient. Cards would usually contain sentimental verse, proclaiming the beauty of the receiver and how much they were loved.
Saint Valentine’s Day cards were decorated with pictures of cupid, hearts and flowers and trimmed with lace and ribbon. These images are still used today to symbolize love and are recognized all over the world.
What is Valentine’s Day in Contemporary Times?
While Valentine’s Day is celebrated in most countries, different cultures have developed their own traditions for this festival. In some parts of the world Valentine’s Day is observed as a day for expressing love between family members and friends, rather than that of romantic couples. Some traditions include leaving lollies and gifts for children and others include acts of appreciation between friends.
Valentine’s Day is most commonly associated with romantic love, with millions of Valentine’s Day cards being exchanged each year. Gifts of flowers or a single red rose are sent with romantic messages to loved ones and couples spend special time together. Many couples choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day with dinner, a picnic or special home-cooked meal. Many restaurants offer Valentine’s Day dinner promotions and food is often presented with symbols of love like hearts and flowers. Another popular Valentine’s Day activity is to indulge in a luxury hotel stay in a beautiful location, allowing a couple to get away from it all and enjoy some quality time together. Marriage proposals are also popular on Valentine’s Day, and it is often chosen as the perfect day to express their love and commitment. Some marriage proposals are delivered very creatively, such as after climbing to the top of a mountain, or posting a message on a billboard. Whatever the method, marriage proposals made on Valentine’s Day are generally romantic and memorable.
PIVOTING in an EVER-CHANGING WORLD
It’s crucial for a business, large or small, to pivot at various times and for specific reasons, good or bad. We need to constantly look at ever-changing forecasts, our growth patterns, active market changes and at times like right now, our survival.
1. Today, everything changes rapidly and the business world is no exception.
Just a few years ago, social media as we know it today, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram were virtually unknowns, and now they’re industry icons. If entire industries providing apps for mobile devices are constantly evolving, it would be foolhardy to think any business could stand still and be successful. Keeping up with an ever-changing world is crucial to the success of a business. This means keeping an eye on industry trends, on an ongoing basis, then learning to pivot accordingly. We are in those times right now.
2. Pivoting creates opportunities to continue and expand revenue.
Whether it’s exploring new markets, services or products, adjusting your business plan now can create new opportunities and potentially expand revenue. Analyzing these through research is key to the pivot.
Test out what’s working and what’s not and use that information to plan new strategies, especially your short-term plan for the seemingly hard months ahead. Hone-in on what is working and pivot in that direction. It can offer a way to build on the foundation a business already has, expanding both revenue and profits.
3. Stay relevant, it’s easier to pivot.
An example for our real estate business norms could be pivoting away from print media or banner ads and putting more effort towards online marketing through social media. We have to be sure not to jump on every bandwagon and new trends which appear, but follow the trends and adjust your strategy to stay relevant.
4. Testing is like brainstorming, some of the best ideas are developed.
Successful business models are all about trying new things, moving forward, studying data points and analyzing results. The process involves the realization of what did and didn’t work. Often this requires business owners to pivot quickly when they least expect to due to circumstances, similar to what we are going through right now. Changes aren’t always easy, change rarely is, but they could get us through these times and could very well ensure our survival.
5. How to reinvigorate your business.
Finding a new way to target an audience can kick-start a business that might otherwise be fading. It can also keep that business afloat in trying times like we saw in the 2008 market and what we are seeing today. Examples of what we are doing, right now, include:
· Meeting with our prospective buying customers virtually, through video calling to walk through, for property showings
· Video calling with an owner to meet and discuss our marketing plan to list their property
· Conducting virtual open houses for more exposure of the properties we are currently marketing
· Increasing our social media presence
· Meeting with our associates and colleagues virtually to promote and grow our business.