We are a family of sailors: Sarah, John, Madison, and Malia. We home-school our girls, we live, cruise, and sail aboard our boat, we find treasures and make jewelry, and we swim with the sting rays.
Who we are is a topic for the philosophers, but where we are is always of interest. How we got there is typically rather compelling, so I will start somewhere near the beginning.
When I was a child growing up in Washington state, my family took frequent trips to the beach at Ocean Shores, Washington. The beaches there, while not great for swimming, provided miles upon miles of beach combing where my brother and I would gather such treasures as shells and driftwood. The greatest treasures of the trip could be brought home, but nothing large and only one or two so as to keep the sand box at the beach and out of our family station wagon.
Of all the treasures we could find, a 'feelie' was the one we considered most valuable. This smooth stone, worn down by millions of ocean waves and miles of beach sand would stay in the pocket of our jeans or jacket for weeks or even months after our trip serving as a tactile reminder of the fun we had. We would scour the beaches looking for the most perfect stone to carry around and feel for the coming weeks, comparing the smoothness and size of each one until we had the perfect combination of smoothness and fit.
One year I found a piece of glass. I would later, many years later, find out that this is commonly called beach glass or sea glass. The smoothness of this treasure was unsurpassed by any stone and the exotic look and cold small feel gave me endless hours of feelie pleasure.
Now, many years later, my own daughters scour far more exotic beaches in search of the same kinds of perfect feelies and treasures for our jewelry creations. They gather their pockets full of shells, stones, corals, and especially the coveted beach glass in hopes of finding the perfect feelie.