Saturday, March 24, 2012

Sandcastle Dreams - Slice of Life Challenge

As you're reading this, I'm probably somewhere between Hilton Head, South Carolina, and Dublin, Ohio.  Much like a week ago, my bags are packed and I'm ready to go (home this time).

But, as I'm heading back home refreshed, rejuvenated, and relaxed, I want to leave one last post about this amazing week at the beach.

As I was walking on the beach Wednesday and Friday, I was struck by how many sandcastles were being constructed.

When I saw the sandcastle in this first picture, my initial thought was the girl building the sandcastle was trying to trap some of the hundreds of jellyfish that came to the beach during high tide this week and then stayed.  But, when I stopped to ask if I could take a picture of her castle, I found out she was trying to save the jellyfish.  As her mom told me, she is always trying to save the world, one creature at a time.  I loved her outlook on life - I thought that jellyfish were a nuisance and a pain to have on the beach; she saw them as creatures of the earth who needed protection.  I hope she has that passion for living things her entire life.  She has sandcastle dreams.

The other thing that I loved about her sandcastle was that it was a "drip" castle.  Wow, did that bring back some great memories.  My husband would build drip castles with our daughters for hours when they were young, just sitting in his beach chair by the ocean, getting a pile of really wet sand, and dripping it into a castle shape.  Drip castles will always have a special place in my heart; they are part of my sandcastle dreams.

The second sandcastle I saw was my kind of castle -- the kind that doesn't require an architecture degree.  It was dug out, built up and then had the sand mold shapes on top of it.  I watched two families with their young children build this one.  Their children were so happy and busy as they built, after the adults had dug the original holes for them.  I'm betting they will have happy dreams about the sandcastle they constructed that day.

So, now I have to say goodbye to the beach for a while, but my mind will be full of sandcastle dreams for quite some time to come.

 As always, thanks to Stacey and Ruth at Two Writing Teachers for hosting the Slice of Life Challenge!


  1. Oh my! Drip castles do bring back memories. Your post makes me so look forward to summer with my kids. We've been enjoying these past few days of warm weather heading down to our little beach and watching the sunset. You make me want to write about it! Welcome home!

  2. Well my first time for drip castles:)What an idyllic week. I guess it had to come to an end - bit like those sandcastles with the tide

  3. Your last line is a sweet one: "So, now I have to say goodbye to the beach for a while, but my mind will be full of sandcastle dreams for quite some time to come."

    This is the point of vacations, right?


  4. I love the term sandcastle dreams! It takes me on a mini vacation just thinking about it.

  5. The time at the beach has given your mind and body the rest it needed to finish the year. I'm not a beach person so I loved the glimpse into the sand castle world.

  6. Welcome home and thanks for sharing your trip. It was fun traveling with you!

  7. Hi Karen. I've never heard of drip castles so I learned something new this am already. I see that you had such a special trip & loved your goodbye post as you walked and watched the building of the castles. It's a special story about the little girl & her saving of the jellyfish. I also read your Sandusky Island post. I read about it on Katherine's post too. It must go on my 'someday' list. I didn't know one could still visit where Conroy taught. I love that book & have used it as a read aloud several times through the years. Your time there does sound magical. Thanks for taking the time to tell us so much about your experiences!

  8. Love this, Karen. I adore drip castles. And the story of the little girl and the jellyfish reminds me of the starfish story, the main throwing the starfish he sees back into the water and a stranger asks why, the man says to save them. The stranger sees the hundreds on the beach and says, why does it matter, you can't save them all. And the man throws another back in the ocean and says, it matters to that one. My principal used to tell us that story every year as a reminder that we can't always "save" every student but our effort does matter.

  9. Who knew there was something called a 'drip' castle? I love it! What a lovely slice and, from the sound of it, day. I so enjoyed the way you described the sandcastles and the ways in which they were made.

  10. My parents retired to Hilton Head back in 1988; I visit them as often as I can, from my home in Maryland. I know you have had a restive week in a lovely location. I particularly liked your sharing of the little girl's sandcastle dream, to save the jellyfish. Thank you!

  11. I love the line sandcastle dreams! Drip sandcastles were a new concept for me. I can't believe I've never heard of them. Safe travels back to Ohio. I leave for Florida on Monday!

  12. I feel like I have missed out on some important part of life. I had no idea about drip castles. I feel as if I've been living under a shell all of my life (pardon the pun). Interesting. I've enjoyed your posts from the beach this week and have lived vicariously through your posts.

    I loved the story of the small girl saving the jellyfish "one creature at a time." So did her plan work?

    Great ending, "now I have to say goodbye to the beach for a while, but my mind will be full of sandcastle dreams for quite some time to come."


  13. I love that phrase 'drip castles.'
    I am glad that you had such a wonderful vacation.