For our prompt of “Seashell” today, I though about walking along the beach and discovering an amazing shell. Then I thought that while I might find it lovely, a hermit crab might consider it prime real estate. So, I made a quick little sketch of a tiny crab discovering a shiny new upgrade. Philippe and I have talked about where we might move sometime in the future. But the entire idea of moving an entire house is enough to make one give up and forget all about it. And though we might be considered hermits ourselves, we come with far more possessions than a creature of the crab variety. Little trinkets and things that are difficult to let go of when the very act of seeing them brings a flood of wonderful memories back. And often that shinier place isn’t necessarily any better than the one we already call home. Yet, it’s fun to dream about living someplace entirely new.

It’s particularly fun to dream about those places so shiny and big that they come at a price that makes them perfectly unattainable. I’ve no idea what it would be like to have a place like that, or indeed to actually have the money that would afford me one. I often have those lottery dreams of what I would do were I to win a bunch of cash. This hasn’t happened because my luck in such things in rubbish and I assume one has to actually play the lottery in order to win in the first place. If I ever did find myself with a pile of cash, though, I wouldn’t want to spend it on a shiny new home. I’d want to pay off the one we have and invest the rest. They say the rich get richer, which seems to be quite true, but I’ve never understood how rich people who make less money for awhile actually think they’re poor. I guess it’s easy to forget what life was like before all of those riches.

So, I’m quite content with that wonderful balance in life known simply as enough. As long as I have enough for the basics and a little fun on the side, then I feel really rich indeed. It helps that I never really splurge on anything and the only things that must be high quality and come without compromise are food and art supplies. When that’s the bar, it’s actually a rather easy target. I guess wine would also be on the list, but it’s sort of in the food category. What strikes me most is that no matter where Philippe and I would live, we’d simply take all of our traditions with us. So, while it might be a new space, that’s about the only thing that would change. And when it comes to our little routines, there’s nothing at all I would want to change. Sometimes, just letting my heart think about the place that I already call home is like finding the perfect shell.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.:  Hansa Yellow Medium, Yellow Ochre, Quinacridone Red, Cobalt Turquoise, Pthalo Blue, Terra Cotta, and Indigo. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Hermit Crab Finding New Green Turban Shell On Beach Watercolor Illustration Painting Sketchbook Detail

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38 thoughts on “Finding The Perfect Shell

  1. Charlie, Possessions is right and ots of stuff to move sometimes. Well one day about 15 years ago or maybe before that I decided to live light and got rid of tons of stuff. I still buy stuff from the thrift store but I also donate what I don’t want any more so it stays even. Well sort of hehe. as for wine it is one of the four main food groups along with chocolate.

    Unfortunately only a little bit of each. Dang!


    1. I once purchased a bag of dark chocolate Hershey’s Kisses because, you know, it’s healthier. Right. Anyway, the bag says that 4 pieces of dark chocolate a day is a healthy treat; it’s good for you. Okay, so I put them in the fridge to keep cool. I ate my 4 pieces and thought about the next day when I was allowed another 4. Except that each time I went to the fridge for water, they whispered my name. So, light bulb moment: I will eat 4 more and skip the next day. Next thing you knew, I was past the following week in my allowed pieces of chocolate. I gave up! And don’t ask how many I ate. haha haha 😂😂 It wasn’t a proud moment. I was happy, but not proud.

  2. My husband and I worry that we’ll end up having to move because we live in one of the worst counties for taxes after retirement. Everything looks good at the moment, but we keep looking around for somewhere that might be cheaper.

  3. Love the drawing but love what you say even more! So many people feel the grass is always better on the other side and don’t recognize what they have or what is genuine!

  4. That is a wonderfully shiny new abode. No wonder that little hermit crab is eyeing it! Having moved more times thN than I can count on both hands I am content to stay here. We have been here at least 15 years. I will say when you move often you tend to not accumulate extra stuff.

  5. I love today’s prompt. All over my house are the shells we’ve brought from wherever we were allowed to bring them home! Your hermit crab is eyeing a shell I love! We moved after 26 years in the same house. We downloaded about 6o% to move to a house 60% bigger (long story, but we were living in less than 1000sq ft😄) , moving is not fun but I love cleaning out what I don’t need and I hope to make it a lifelong practice. I learned to keep tiny knick-knacks, and with doodlewash and some other challenges, I’ve had many great memories using them as models. Then I re-house them behind glass in a little cabinet (where I don’t have to dust them 😆!)

    1. Hehe… glass cabinets are genius!! lol Love them! 😃💕 Yeah, moving isn’t fun, but definitely gets one to clear some stuff out! We don’t accumulate much lately, but we have a lot to get rid up from when we did! lol

  6. What a beautiful painting, Charlie. 💜 Whenever I see a hermit crab, it reminds me of our class pet in 2nd grade. For whatever reason, he died and we had a funeral for him. We all got to say our piece and we all cried. 💜 I think it’s shocking to realize just how much stuff you actually own. Your house doesn’t seem to have much until you pack for moving. Yikes! Never mind. Of course, Charlie, if you and Philippe were to move to Paris, I think it would be worth the hassle. I mean, Paris. 🗼🗼🗼 haha haha 😂

    1. Thanks so much, Marisela! 😃💕 hehe… yeah, it’s crazy how much stuff we have hidden in places. I don’t think I want to know! lol And if we ever moved to France, it would be someplace people probably haven’t heard of since we’d never be able to afford Paris! hehe

      1. I have a crafty friend, who is originally from England, but she and her brother purchased an old farm house in the French countryside. They are both retired now. Boy, talk about tiny, she said there are only 13 residents who make up Saint Simeux. The way that she describes it, it sounds fabulous! They’re remodeling the farm house and she says the starry nights are stunning! How lovely! 💜

  7. Hello Charlie,

    The hermit crab seems to be mirroring my feelings. WOWWWWW!!!!! That shiny green shell is gorgeous. I wish I manage to find one like that sometime. And I’ve grown up in lots of places so I can tell you firsthand that moving house may be exciting but its equally heartbreaking – even if you carry all your belongings with you. Finally, I think you’re a very rich man given all the love there is in people’s hearts for you – and gratitude. After all, not everyone can say that a whole bunch of people wake up every day just to see the art they create or read the story they tell. 🙂 But don’t worry, you’ll be super rich the way you want to be very soon. 🙂


    1. Thanks so much, Mugdha! 😃💕 That’s so sweet of you to say! I already feel rich and that’s something many rich people can even say. There’s such much to be thankful for in the world! The littlest things in life are always what fuel our hearts!

  8. I loved what you wrote today, Charlie. Having grown up in Newport, RI, you’re either rich, or not. (those touristy mansions always spring to mind). There have been several times in our lives where we’ve actually caught that brass ring, our version of it, only to despise the next level achieved because of the cost in having to pay for it. We spent our time outside the lovely home, driving pricey vehicles to work our three jobs each to pay for all the trappings we could never enjoy. But it sure did shine, just like your crab’s new home! We realized we much preferred our previous “100 little things,” then the few huge things. So we let it all go, and returned to much smaller quarters in our former neighborhood. Problem was, having had the shiny stuff made us resent the much less shiny stuff we reverted back to in order to capture the “old feelings.” Too late. We are forever stuck in the “in between,” groundhog-type days.

    Dreams should remain exactly that, dreams. Aiming higher and higher might seem the norm, but it comes with an enormous cost: relinquishment of joy. Your musings today capture the reality of realizing dreams, and indeed, that hermit crab IS better off in his cramped shell than in the Cadillac version. Painting watercolor enables me to escape both versions, and simply “be” in the moment.

    Thanks for another thought-provoking post. An excellent reminder of what’s most important in life: love.

    1. Thanks so much, Fanna! 😃💕 I’m so thrilled you enjoyed this story! And yes to just those few special things. I did much the same path… it was like I lived my career in reverse! lol I totally know what you mean about keeping up with that next level. It’s just not worth it. There are so many dreams that money can’t buy, and they’re usually always the best ones! ❤️

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