Deb Shrader’s husband Ronnie, captain of the F/V Tradition and F/V Norseman, brings home heart shaped shells to her whenever he finds them. She says that these hearts make her believe that in the midst of all the work at sea, he thinks of her. He told us that when he’s cutting scallops and notices one, he picks it out of the pile and puts it aside to bring home. He collects other interesting things from the sea, too.
Ronnie once said on the Narrative Stage, “It’s a hard job, and to find a good woman to stand by to you while you’re fishing, it means something when your wife is there for you from being out to sea for so long. It makes it all worth it.”
He brought her a heart-shaped shell when she had a child. “It seemed he’d just find them,” she said, “like little hearts in the sand just for me.” Now their son Dylan, also a commercial fisherman, brings them home for his girlfriend. Some have been misplaced over the years, but they’ve kept many.
Deb told the audience at the Narrative Stage about how these shells were part of her family’s deep love for the sea.