The Virginia Beach native, who considers Englewood to be her hometown, was walking through the store one day just before Halloween when she saw the sign.
“They were looking for someone to work part-time, and conveniently, I was looking for a part-time job,” Shelby said. “I love working there. I get to see people, and I’m smiling all day. The majority of people smile back.”
Shelby and her parents moved to Englewood when she was 13, to be closer to her grandparents. She recalls the move as a bit of a culture shock.
“Going from the diversity of Virginia Beach to Englewood was tough, especially for a young teen,” she said. “The only thing to do was go to Pelican Pete’s. Though I really didn’t get to do much in Virginia, either, since I was always grounded. I guess it was a lot easier to say no in Englewood, though, since there was so much less to say no to.”
When she had her own daughter, Kiri, she took her to Pelican Pete’s, too.
“It’s kind of sad to drive past that empty lot and remember what was there,” Shelby said. “But on the other hand, it’s truly full circle, because when we first moved here, it was an empty lot.”
She met her husband, Kevin Stockdale, when she was working at the Boca Grande branch of Englewood Bank. He was working at PJ’s, and they saw one another in passing.
“We first met in 2003, and we were just friends,” said Shelby. “Then a year later, we met again, and it has been ‘us’ ever since. We were the odd couple who weren’t looking for anything when it found us. It’s hard to believe, because we really aren’t those kind of people, but it is a sappy love story.”
The couple took trips with family, from camping to cruises.
“Kevin proposed to me on a cruise in 2005,” Shelby explained. “It was the first time we had gone alone, just the two of us. Well, the two of us and 3,000 strangers.
“We were getting ready to head to dinner when he proposed in the cabin,” she continued. “He was so nervous, it was adorable.”
Of course, she said yes, and a mere seven years later the couple were married in their own back yard.
“As much as we try to say that we aren’t very romantic, we are hopeless,” she laughed. “I know that the wedding was beautiful, but to be honest the whole day is kind of a blur.”
Shelby’s 16-year-old daughter, Kiri, is her pride and joy.
“She is in a dual-enrollment program to become a nurse, which is a bit of a family tradition,” smiled Shelby. “My mother was a nurse, and her dad’s mother was a nurse. I’ve even got a degree in Health Management.”
Another tradition being passed on involves driving. Or rather, not driving.
“I didn’t get my driver’s license until I was 18, and she won’t get hers until after she graduates,” said Shelby. “Grades are more important.”
Shelby and Kevin have two dogs, one a Catahoula mix, the other a French bulldog.
“Roxy is my big baby,” said Shelby. “She’s the result of one of my aunt’s dogs getting loose. She is from Alabama, and I fell in love with her as soon as I saw her, nine years ago. She has been my Precious ever since.”
The second dog, Mugsy, was a rescue that Shelby intended to give to her mother.
“The dog’s owner couldn’t keep her any more, and my mom was going to take her in,” she explained. “But as soon as Kevin heard that she was a French bulldog, he wanted me to bring her home. She’s not the brightest spoon in the drawer, but she is Kevin and Kiri’s dog. I don’t care how much she follows me around, she belongs to them.”
Shelby loves to garden, but some of her plants are a little unusual.
“I started with orchids a couple of years ago,” she said. “Someone gave me a plant and it bloomed and then the flowers faded and died, and it didn’t bloom again. I read a few books and talked to some orchid people, and started learning about them. I ended up splitting the plant in two. One half of it is a healthy green plant now, but the other half bloomed again, so I got excited and decided that I wanted another.”
It hasn’t been all healthy plants and flowers blossoming, though.
“I managed to kill a couple of them,” she admitted. “One I put too close to the pool. I never even thought about it, but when everyone gets in the pool and starts splashing, the water goes everywhere. I guess orchids don’t like chlorine.”
A trip to a flea market in Sarasota got her started on another kind of plant, the pitcher plant.
“They are closely related to the Venus flytrap,” she explained. “They eat insects. I saw one at the flea market, and it just looked so unique. I had never seen anything like it before. It was a small standard pitcher plant, with pitchers about 4” long.”
For Christmas, her mother and daughter got together and bought her a second pitcher plant, this one far more colorful.
“It is huge,” she said. “The pitchers are all tiger-striped. They are around 8” long, so it is a lot larger than my first one.”
When they aren’t at home or at work, the family can frequently be found at Bucs games.
“We’re season ticket holders,” Shelby said. “I like to support local teams and he is a diehard fan. Even back when they were in the silly uniforms, he was there. I love being at the games. When the cannons go off after a touchdown, it scares me every time, but it is awesome, too. It’s always good fun.”
They like to tailgate, of course with Kevin cooking.
“We did some serious tailgating for the Eagles game this year,” she said. “We brought a grill and Kevin spent the day running the whole thing with my support and supervision.”
The couple are also fans of baseball.
“Kevin is a Red Sox fan,” said Shelby. “I’m more of a whoever is playing the Yankees kind of girl. We do plan a pilgrimage to Boston at some point in the future.”
Also in the future is a plan to return to an old hobby, camping.
“We started out with a small pop-up, then we got a larger one,” she said. “Eventually we will get an RV, but I will not camp in a tent again. I want style and comfort, and a bed is pretty important, too. I don’t want to sleep on the ground in a bag.”
For now, though, work and family keep Shelby and Kevin busy.
But even working, she is enjoying herself.
“We laugh and have fun all the time,” she said. “If you don’t, then what is the point?”
And as for the notable faces that she sees in the store from time to time?
“I don’t really get excited,” she said. “We all have to buy groceries. I just smile, and usually they smile back. It’s part of what is so nice about this island, and why I want to stay out here.”
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