Daily Fixes for the Urban Beachcomber

Fresh off a week on the beach Up North in Northern Michigan, I immediately unzipped my suitcase, pulled out my rock collection, and added some of the larger stones to my bathroom sink. Now every time the water hits the rocks, the colors and textures emerge, transporting me to a place where I had sand between my toes and waves lapped (sometimes lazily, sometimes wildly) on the shore.

Beachcombing runs in my blood. As a child, I would spend hours marveling at my grandparents collection of agates; treasures from their annual mecca to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. When my grandmother passed away this year, we scattered handfuls of these small stones into her grave, compiled from jars marked “Favorites” and “Good (fun!) to look at.”

I’ve collected archaic shells in Ecuador, coral from Zanzibar, white sand from Turks and Caicos, rocks from the Ganges, oyster shells from St. George Island, and petoskey stones from Lake Michigan. But what do you do with it all when you return home? The bathroom sink idea was inspired by my yoga studio – a spa-like touch to the everyday experience. And the bleach-white sand and shells of T&C sit pristinely in an apothecary jar on my entertainment stand.

Now I’m compelled to find creative ways to display the rest. Especially considering the big bag of sand that I scooped from the beach yesterday and carried with me all the way back to DC. The TSA screener pulled it out on my way through security and asked if there wasn’t any sand where I come from. No sir, no sand here. We can’t all live in the “most beautiful place in America.” But I will happily bring some home with me.

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One Response to Daily Fixes for the Urban Beachcomber

  1. Big Daddy says:

    This brings to mind the old joke involving a man crossing the border pushing a wheelbarrow full of sand. Every day the same border guard stops him and searches the sand. Finding nothing, he grudgingly lets him pass. This goes on for a very long time until the border guard is about to retire. On his last day on the job he searches the man’s wheelbarrow of sand one last time and again finds nothing. The frustrated guard says, “Please, this is my last day on the job and once again I have let you pass, but I know you’re smuggling something and not being able to find it is driving me crazy. So, just between you and me, will you tell me what it is?” The man turns with a smile and says, “wheelbarrows”.

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