The beach holds many treasures, and one of them is our family’s story of “purple money.” I was reminded of this shortly after returning to Wilmington as I walked with my son on the beach. He picked up a shell, gave it to me, and said, “look, purple money.” I was pulled back in time to my younger days.
It is a bright sunny day with a gentle breeze in coastal North Carolina. Listen and hear the ocean as waves roll into the shore and the laughter of children exploring. We spent many mornings on the beach like this when my son and nephews were young. My sister and I would load up the car with all the beach necessities and plop ourselves in our sand chairs. One activity we all loved was shell seeking, and “purple money” became the hunt for the most purple of shells, shell parts, and pieces. The boys would find pieces and bring them back to us to assess the “trade value” of the money. For you see, my sister was the outpost trader with a funny accent, and she would tell the boys what supplies they could barter for. Sometimes she would tell them there wasn’t enough purple or it was counterfeit. We all would laugh.More