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Old Buoy Found on Beach Gets New Life as Treasured Gift

Updated on June 8, 2015
Walk on Beach
Walk on Beach | Source
Walk on Beach
Walk on Beach | Source

Hubby Finds Buoy on Beach

There's nothing I enjoy more than a walk on the beach with my husband, especially since he has cardiac problems that often make it impossible for him to walk with me. Probably because it's an infrequent event that we can walk on the sand together, I've learned to cherish the times he's feeling well enough to join me. On one such walk he found an old, seaweed and shell encrusted buoy lying on the beach and started carrying it. Though it was light it was so dirty that I couldn't imagine what he wanted it for but he insisted on carrying it back to the car where he put it in a plastic garbage bag.

"Aren't you going to clean it first?" I asked, scrunching up my nose. He'd dipped it in the ocean but it was still slimy and crusty.

"No place to do that here. I'll clean it when we get back home." I shrugged because I've learned it's best not to argue with him when he makes his mind up about something even if I think what he wants to do is foolish. I doubted that the buoy would clean up well enough to be put on display and even if he did get it clean it wouldn't be very attractive with the nicks in it.

Birthday Gift From Sis

Nautical Scene Painted all the Way Around the Buoy
Nautical Scene Painted all the Way Around the Buoy | Source

Same Buoy as Vase

I Sometimes Add Flowers to the Hole on the Top of the Buoy
I Sometimes Add Flowers to the Hole on the Top of the Buoy | Source

A Buoy Birthday Gift

When we got home he left the buoy out in the shed and said he'd clean it the next day. A few days later, I asked if he'd cleaned it up and he said he'd tried, but had to throw it away because he couldn't get the encrusted sand and seaweed off it without chunks of the buoy falling apart.

Ah, yes, my hubby can keep a secret well even if it requires a small white lie to do so and it was a good thing that on this particular occasion I didn't tease him about lugging that old buoy home just to throw it away. I didn't know it yet but he still had big plans for that buoy. He knew I loved nautical decorations but this one was to be special because we'd found it together on a most romantic walk on the beach.

Months went by and I forgot all about it. On my birthday, my sister handed me a beautifully wrapped gift and when I opened it I saw an intricately hand painted buoy. A nautical boat and nature scene had been lovingly painted by her own hands and she'd even inscribed my last name on the boat. After oohing and ah-hing and giving my sister a great big hug and kiss, hubby asked if I recognized the buoy.

"It can't be that old thing you picked up on our beach walk, can it?"

He laughed. "Sure is. And I have another surprise for you, here open it." Inside was a nautical base that Fred had made for the buoy to sit on. It had 3 round pillars held together with white rope that was tightly wrapped around them. "Oh wow, I really love it," I said, giving him his own big hug and kiss.

I still treasure that buoy and have it on display in our guest room. My sister is a talented artist but that was her first time painting on a buoy. She later told me that Fred had given her a photo as a guide and she'd added more to the scene so that no matter how the buoy was turned there was always something to look at. As you can see, my sister is a talented artist. I, on the other hand, have the painting skills of a 7 year old child, so I'm really in awe of her work.

Hand Painted Craft Buoys

Hand Painted Craft Buoys Hanging From  Our Bathroom Shelf
Hand Painted Craft Buoys Hanging From Our Bathroom Shelf | Source
Painted Craft Buoys
Painted Craft Buoys | Source

Buoy Project for Non Artists Like Myself

Readers like myself who aren't very artistic can still clean up old buoys or buy small wooden ones at a hobby craft store and paint them solid colors or add stripes to them. One project that my husband and I worked on together hangs in our bathroom. I painted the buoys and he painted and hung the display shelf. We purchased the boat, but some might choose to build their own model boat. If you have kids, you can also let them help you make a buoy display for their room.

Another good use for buoys, especially if you live near the ocean or a lake, is as yard or garden decorations. Add an anchor and wooden boat planter and you can create a nice nautical scene.


Have you ever seen a buoy painted with an intricate nautical scene?

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  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 2 years ago from South Carolina

    Dear Ruby (Alwaysexploring),

    So glad this story brought back fond memories of your sister, Eva, and some of the beautiful things she painted for you. To me, gifts like these are true treasures.

    My husband is doing pretty well right now, though he still has ups and downs with many health issues. Still, he is amazing, and I'm truly blessed to be married to such a loving man who looks on the positive side of life.

    Love & Hugs,

    Gail

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 2 years ago from South Carolina

    Hi Mary (Tillsontitan),

    How cool that your youngest grandson loves buoys!

    Thanks so much for your insightful and lovely comment. The weather in Delaware was sunny and unusually warm (70 degrees) so I headed for the beach today to take advantage of it. This time of year I always think a warm sunny Delaware day will be the last one till spring, which makes me appreciate the day even more!

    I am blessed to have such a loving husband and sister and don't take either of them for granted.

    Love & Hugs,

    Gail

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 2 years ago from South Carolina

    Hi Sha (Bravewarrior),

    Glad you enjoyed the hub and liked my sister's creativity and art work. She is truly talented.

    Thanks for taking time to leave such a lovely comment.

    Hugs & Love,

    Gail

  • always exploring profile image

    Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

    What a wonderful story! Gail I didn't know your husband had cardiac problems, I'm so sorry. Your sister painting the buoy brought back fond memories of Eva, she painted different items for me. a statue of a fighting warrior and a beautiful old picture frame I found at a thrift shop, it had beautiful carvings but the paint was peeling and looked ugly, but I saw how beautiful it could be and it was when she finished it. Congratulations for your gold award for this story. Hugs..

  • tillsontitan profile image

    Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

    My youngest grandson loves buoys and I've purchased several for him as gifts, but NEVER anything as beautiful as yours. What a loving gift from your husband and your sister! This entire hub is full of love and written with the hand of love. Thank you for sharing with us.

    Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

    Gail, I love your buoys, especially the one Fred hauled home. Your sister is quite talented. I love the colors and the general calm feel your artistic buoy emits. What a clever idea!

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 2 years ago from South Carolina

    Dear Sallybea,

    Thanks for leaving such a lovely comment---you made my heart sing today and brought back all the memories of this special buoy surprise. Even though I see it every day, I forget how thrilled I was the first time I laid eyes on it!

    Hugs,

    Gail

  • sallybea profile image

    Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

    Lovely story but more than the story is how I feel when I read it. I can feel the love shine through - you certainly have treasure in abundance and I think it is love shared.

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

    Hi Rolly,

    Thanks for leaving such a lovely, heartfelt comment. Sometimes it is the simple things in life that bring the greatest joy.

    Hub Hugs,

    Gail

  • Rolly A Chabot profile image

    Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

    What an awesome treasure to have as a reminder there is always something can be made from what appears to be nothing. Good on hubby for giving it a new life...

    Hugs from Canada

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

    Hi Friend,

    Glad you enjoyed it.

  • hi friend profile image

    hi friend 5 years ago from India

    very nice

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

    Hi Availiasvision,

    Thanks.

  • Availiasvision profile image

    Jennifer Arnett 5 years ago from California

    very creative!

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

    Hi Dolores,

    Thanks for taking time to leave such an interesting comment. I've never heard of a bird making a nest hole like that.

    I appreciate your feedback and ongoing support and hope you're enjoying the lovely, warm spring weather. The Delmarva Peninsula is surely bursting with color this year!

    Best Regards,

    Gail

  • Dolores Monet profile image

    Dolores Monet 5 years ago from East Coast, United States

    What a wonderful gift! Your sister is so talented and your husband so thoughtful! I once found a line of those round buoys mixed with natural sponges on the beach in the Florida Keys and have it hanging in the yard. A wren pecked out a nest hole for itself in the buoy!

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

    Hi A.A.Zavala,

    Aw, you do make me feel good and laugh. Can't take credit for the beautiful painting though cause my Sis is the one who has that talent and made the buoy look so great.

    Deep sea fishing? Hmmm, hadn't thought of it but I do have some fun stories about the few times I have gone. Probably should write a hub about it. Thanks for the suggestion. (smile)

  • A.A. Zavala profile image

    Augustine A Zavala 5 years ago from Texas

    Only you could turn trash into art/gifts. It looks awesome! Weather is getting warm, looking forward to more hubs about the beach, maybe deep sea fishing?

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

    Hi Sunshyne1975,

    Wow! I hope you write a hub about your husband's wedding gift. What a loving, romantic gesture and a great start to your marriage.

    Yes, I too, am blessed with a thoughtful, romantic husband which is one of the reason's we're still together after so many years.

    Thanks for the vote up and for sharing your beautiful story.

  • Sunshyne1975 profile image

    Sunshyne1975 5 years ago from California, US

    Really beautiful. It's nice to have someone that loves you so much that they actually put thought into the gifts that they give you. My husband had a concrete bench inscribed with his vows waiting for me at the altar on the beach in Carmel. It was the most amazing gift I have ever received, mostly because it came from the heart. Thanks for sharing. Voted up, beautiful and more. :)

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

    Hi Minnetonka Twin,

    So glad you enjoyed this hub. Yes, it was such a special gift, especially since my hubby and sister worked together on it. Thanks for taking time to leave such a lovely comment and for your ongoing support.

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image

    Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

    This story gave me goosebumps Happyboomernurse. What a loving gesture for your husband to give you such a heartfelt gift. The fact that your sister and husband did it together as a team is even cooler. What a B-Day gift-You must have felt so special- Thanks so much for sharing this touching story.

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

    Hi Zabbella,

    Thanks for the feedback and vote up. I agree that gifts from the heart are the best kind and I was really touched that hubby and sis worked together on this surprise.

  • Zabbella profile image

    Zabbella 6 years ago from NJ-USA

    That was inspiring. I like that both your husband and your sister worked together and surprised you with a gift from the heart. voted up all around.

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

    Thanks for stopping by Moonlake. I just read your hub, "Found Items for Decorating" and was so impressed I added it as a link. Hubbers can click on the link above, or click here to access your hub: https://hubpages.com/living/FoundItemsforDecoratin

  • moonlake profile image

    moonlake 6 years ago from America

    What a nice story. Enjoyed reading your hub.

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

    Welcome Fabienne,

    Thanks for leaving a comment that augments my hub. Love that old Lucy/Desi movie!

    I appreciate your feedback and am glad that you enjoyed my beach story. If you love writing, then HubPages is the place to be. You will find a very interactive community here and most hubbers are very respectful of their fellow hubbers.

    Hope to see some of your own writing. Please be sure to let me know if you do join so I can find your work.

  • profile image

    Fabienne 6 years ago

    I enjoyed your story and beach hunt adventure. My husband is always telling me "you can't take that home" when I find a trip's treasure. Reminds him of Lucy/Desi movie "the Long Long Trailer" where she collected rocks! Your writing style is great. I am thinking of trying hubpages as a writer so was reading a few of the stories. I will definitely read more of your stories.

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

    God bless you for looking at all these hubs, Danette!

    You are right on about the beaches. They've always beckoned me, especially if there's a lighthouse within view.

    Thanks so much for the vote up.

  • Danette Watt profile image

    Danette Watt 6 years ago from Illinois

    Another great hub. I can tell you are really drawn to the water and beaches! Voted up and beautiful

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

    Welcome Writer20,

    I've lived near mountains, lakes and oceans but have never seen a desert except in pictures. Can't imagine not being near water.

    Glad you liked the hub and thanks for taking time to leave a comment.

  • writer20 profile image

    Joyce Haragsim 6 years ago from Southern Nevada

    A great helpful story, that is if I ever move from this rotten desert.

    I will definitely look next I'm near an ocean

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

    Hi Kristine Manley,

    So glad you enjoyed this story and the photos. The buoy and base are very prescious to me, mostly because of the joint effort by my hubby and Sis to make them beautiful.

    God bless you for your kind thoughts and words which are very much appreciated.

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

    Hi b. Malin,

    Thanks so much for your kind words which are greatly appreciated. Yes hubby is like your Lover Man, very attentive and also observant when we're out together. He also has a keen imagination and loves a good surprise and he really got me on this one! Glad you liked the hub.

  • Kristine Manley profile image

    Donna Kristine 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

    What a precious gift. That is so sweet. I love the nautical items especially the base for the bouy. May the peace of God keep you and your husband. This is a wonderful story.

  • b. Malin profile image

    b. Malin 6 years ago

    What a Beautiful story of LOVE Happyboomenurse. Your Husband sounds like a very Special Man who obviously Loves you very much, and this Treasure he made for you certainly shows that. Such an Enjoyable read and also what a Great Sister you have too...Love the Finished Vase, who'd have thought!

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

    Hi Cardelean,

    Yes, I'm very blessed with a loving hubby & sis.

    And it's amazing to me how, with a healthy dose of imagination, determination and artistic talent, trash can be turned into something beautiful.

    I had to link this hub to your Mom's Beach Combing Basics hub, as those adorable kids of yours are some of the cutest treasure hunters I've seen!

    Thanks so much for leaving such a lovely comment.

  • cardelean profile image

    cardelean 6 years ago from Michigan

    What a beautiful gift of love from both your husband and your sister. Isn't it funny how something that we would just discard as trash can be turned into such a work of beauty? Your husband sounds like he is a wonderful man and your sister is an amazing artist. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story.

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

    Hello again, Eiddwen, and how uplifting it is to be reading your lovely comments today. Thanks so much for reading and supporting my hubs.

    Blessings Across the Atlantic,

    Gail

  • Eiddwen profile image

    Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

    Beautiful Happyboomernurse and says so much about the person who wrote this.

    Here's to many more hubs to share and this one goes up and up.

    Take care

    Eiddwen.

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

    Thanks Vietnamvet, the buoy is really neat. I appreciate your kind comment and support of my writing and hubs.

  • vietnamvet68 profile image

    vietnamvet68 6 years ago from New York State

    A beautiful story and what a wonderful Buoy looks really neat.

    God Bless

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

    Thanks Denise, I always appreciate your comments and support.

    My Sis is amazing when it comes to art and I have a lot of her paintings in my house. I always insisted on paying her the going rate for her paintings when she was doing them professionally, but this particular buoy was a gift of love.

  • Denise Handlon profile image

    Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

    What a great hub, Gail. I really enjoyed how your sister turned the 'old' buoy into a beautiful object of art that reminded you of your walk on the beach. That is special! Voted up and awesome.

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

    @ JS Parker, Yes, I am blessed with a great family. Glad you liked the hub and thanks so much for voting it up. Your support is greatly appreciated.

    @ Chatkath, I totally agree that there's nothing better than a gift that has sentimental value, especially when it's a recycled object that's been turned into something beautiful and cherished. So glad you liked the hub.

  • Chatkath profile image

    Kathy 6 years ago from California

    These are always the best gifts, something that has been created with a memory attached. Not only is this recycled buoy useful and beautiful - there is a story that goes with it! Wonderful idea and hub!

  • JSParker profile image

    JSParker 6 years ago from Detroit, Michigan

    Good hub, well written and a unique topic. Voted "Awesome". Completely new idea for me, but I'm not an oceanside dweller. Sounds like you have a great family, too! Best wishes.

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

    Hi Alocsin,

    Thanks for voting this up. The buoy was an unusual find, even in its slimy, encrusted condition. The beach walk referred to in this hub was at Slaughter Beach, a popular fishing area on the Delaware Bay. However, I illustrated this hub with photos from a more recent trip to the Florida Keys because I thought the palm trees and thatched table umbrellas had more visual appeal and was more likely to make the reader feel like they were on vacation. Slaughter Beach is beautiful in person, but it doesn't have palm trees and can look barren in photos.

  • alocsin profile image

    alocsin 6 years ago from Orange County, CA

    What a great find and a great idea. Although, I'm curious as to what part of the country you can still find such things washed up on the beach. All I ever find on the beaches of Southern California are soda bottles and styrofoam. Voting this Up and Beautiful.

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

    Welcome mckbirdbks, good to see you here. Glad you enjoyed my story. Yes, my sister is a wonderful artist and my home if filled with her paintings.

    Thanks for taking time to leave such a lovely comment.

  • mckbirdbks profile image

    mckbirdbks 6 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

    What a wonderful story of creativity and love. Those with artist eyes can produce such unique pieces.

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

    @ WillStar, you made me laugh cause hubby does say that!

    @ BobbiRant, Sounds like we both love a lot of the same things although I've never been to the Great Lakes. Yes, finding sea glass is fun and makes great jewelry. This is going to sound corny but I was thinking about that last night and considering writing a hub on it. My neighbor makes great jewelry out of her finds and sells them on commission in local beach shops.

    @ Hyphenbird, Your comment is most astute, yes, my man is my treasure in life and very creative in his romantic gestures. And recycling is always a good thing, especially when something beautiful comes out of it. Thanks for leaving such a lovely comment.

  • Hyphenbird profile image

    Brenda Barnes 6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

    You have a treasure in that man of yours. And he is very creative. I love to see items reused and made into a thing of beauty.

  • BobbiRant profile image

    BobbiRant 6 years ago from New York

    Very nice article. Nothing is more wonderful than those great finds on a beach. I love walking along the shores of our Great Lakes here in NY and finding the sea glass that washes ashore. They make wonderful jewelry. I love the pretty painting on your gift.

  • WillStarr profile image

    WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

    I'm betting your guy will say he's the lucky one.

    Just a guess! :-)

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

    Hi WillStarr,

    Good to see you here. Thanks so much for the vote up and kind words, they're really appreciated. I'm blessed to have a romantic hubby and loving Sis.

  • Happyboomernurse profile image
    Author

    Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

    Hi Peggy,

    Hubby and Sis really surprised me good with that wonderful gift, and I agree that my sister's painting is beautiful. Glad you enjoyed this hub and the photos.

  • WillStarr profile image

    WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

    What a great story! Up and awesome.

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

    What a terrific gift and treasured memory of your romantic walk together with your husband on that beach. Your sister's painting of it really made for a beautiful object of art. Thanks for sharing and giving others ideas of decorating tips using buoys.