“Shells Are Not Manna From Heaven”

And speaking of television, I stumbled across a new show this season.  I say stumbled, but really it sort of jumped out and grabbed my attention.  I mean with Rob Lowe, Fred Savage, and William Devane, how could it do anything else?

It’s called “The Grinder.”  Rob Lowe’s (we also go way back) character is a TV star who plays an attorney on a show that has just ended.  He moves back home where his Dad and brother are both real-life lawyers.  It’s about family, about family dynamics, about feeling like you’re enough, and about a guy who thinks he’s got the law down because he played a lawyer on TV.  And it’s hilarious.

Maybe I’ve just been in the right mood when I was watching it, but the first two episodes have kept me in stitches.  It is either good or I’m just loving the throwback to all these stars from the waybackwhen.

One of my favorite lines (spoiler alert, y’all–sorry) occurred when the Grinder (on an episode of his TV show) replied to his partner who told him something was not possible, “But what if it was?”

Wow.  Any variation of this “yes, we can–think outside the box” attitude–Yes.


The past week or so on my walks I have come across these snails.  So please forgive my ignorance here, but I grew up mostly with slugs, which are very similar to snails except they have no shell.  Add to that my meeting a hermit crab or two in my childhood and learning that they have to go looking for their shells, perhaps you can  give me some grace in my confusion on this matter.

I wondered, when I saw the first snail with its shell on the sidewalk, where on earth he or she had found said shell to inhabit.  We are NOWHERE near any kind of beach at all, so I spent a few minutes standing there thinking about this as Miss Sophie sniffed every blade of grass around.  Then I gently pushed the snail off into the grass so he or she wouldn’t die from the heat of the pavement.

It was tonight when I saw another one–my third, I think, in less than two weeks’ time–that I wondered if I wasn’t mistaken.  Could it be that snails don’t go househopping but somehow they come “with” their shells?  Surely not, but well…..

I was in the living room and Aub was switching out a load of clothes in the laundry room.  We had been talking about something we’d seen on TV or her clothes or something, when I thought about that snail.  I hollered so she would hear me.

“Hey, don’t snails have to find their own shells?  Or do they somehow make them?”

“What on earth?  Did you really just ask me that very random question?  What did you say?”

I asked again.  “Are snails able to make their own shells?”

“Well, yeah,” she said, laughing a little harder AT ME than I think the situation called for.  “It’s not like shells are manna from Heaven.”

And that is when I lost it.  Y’all.  For the love.  This girl cracks me up sometimes.

As I was trying to gather my composure, she walked through the kitchen singing, “It’s raining shells…..Hallelujah…..It’s raining shells…..”

Stop.  It.  Composure lost. Again.

So I’ve spent the evening reading up on snails, slugs, hermit crabs, and shells.  I am a learned person about all of these critters and things now.  Which is good.  And tomorrow in our little schoolroom, my littles will be too.  Because yes, snails do grow their own shells.

Because, as Aub says,  God is not raining down shells for all the little snails to find and move into.  And again she repeated, laughing, if it were possible, even harder, “Shells are not manna from Heaven, Mama.”

And that’s when I said to her the words–with the attitude–that are quickly becoming my new mantra, “But what if they were?”

Tonight I’m thankful for the gift of laughter and all the ways we find it–television shows, funny questions, silly conversations, shared stories…..and I’m thankful for the ones I get to share the laughter with. Before it was all over tonight all of us were dancing around, singing, “It’s raining shells…..”

I’m also thankful for the naysayers in the world.  They are the ones who say it can’t be done or it’s not possible or call out the dreamers on what they see as attainable.  With their shaking heads and furrowed brows, they are inspiring the ones who see the way, the ones who think outside of the box to go bigger, to work harder, and never to give up.

Most of all I’m grateful to have learned something new, as embarrassing as it is that I didn’t know this.  I now realize that the snails and their shells weren’t the puzzling miracles that I thought them to be, but you know what?  Those little slimy critters being able to grow their own no-kidding whirled mobile homes for themselves is a miracle too–a different sort of one, but a miracle nonetheless.  This world is amazing, isn’t it?

May life bring you laughter, teach you something you didn’t know, and show you a miracle or two along the way today.  And everyday.

Love to all.

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