A Day at the Beach; A Year at the Beach

blue beach glass from lake erie

By Penny Carriero

June 7th, 2016, was a sad day in my home and for my family. My husband of 51 ½ years passed away after a very long illness.

My youngest daughter, Jennie, visited the beach early each morning. I could see the healing power it had on her and of course, couldn’t help but fall in love with the treasures she brought home: beach glass, beautiful heart shaped stones, and fossils from 350 million years ago. I was amazed. My children had searched for beach glass when they were much younger, but had never found glass like this!

sunset on lake erie

The beauty of nature, the fresh air, the sound of the waves. Everyday it was different, offering more treasures and healing powers.

Unfortunately, I became ill with shingles soon after my husband passed away. I couldn’t join Jennie for several months. When I did feel well enough, I ventured out. I saw immediately what the beach did for my daughter, and now for me. I started breathing deeper. Days that started out at the beach were days with better direction throughout. The exercise was good for me. I enjoyed the smell of the lake, the sounds of the gulls, and yes, the treasures the lake shared with me.

beach marbles

Fossils, driftwood and beach glass—in colors I had never found when my children were younger. And marbles, too! How fun is that? Finding a marble, or even a piece of red or yellow beach glass. The lake was filled with rainbows.

I started inviting my friends to join me. It was exciting, yelling out our finds to each other. I’m finding rocks I love at the beach, and now visit rock and gem shows with my grandson, Benjamin. I discovered Petoskey stones and met a man online who collected them; we trade beach glass and fossils. Sometimes, I make new friends at the beach, wonderful people sharing stories and treasures. I share treasures with little ones and with people who’ve never seen fossils. The generous Lake Erie makes you generous, too.

beach glass from great lakes

I never left the beach disappointed. As I sit here now, I can remember the warm breezes and can picture and feel myself there. As I write this, it is the end of winter; snow and ice cover most of our beautiful lake. February afforded me only three wonderful days at the beach. Warm weather coming presents a chance to visit her regularly all over again.

pink and purple beach glass

I am so grateful to say I’m a beachcomber. It’s in my soul. It refreshes me-- physically, mentally, and spiritually. I am one with nature. Mother Earth has gifted us with 3 splendid lakes within an hour of each other. We are richly blessed, a gift I do not take for granted.

great lakes sunset

I guess what I’m trying to say is: go to the beach, whether it be a happy or sad day. Every day is a good day to visit the beach, the lake or the ocean. She won’t disappoint. She offers gifts every day, for everyone. She is very generous that way.

This article appeared in the Glassing Magazine July/August 2018 issue.

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