The Suitcase Lady


July 17, 2007, 11:08 pm

I admit to being addicted.

Fortunately, my addiction is not illegal, expensive or fattening. I’m hooked on beachglass.

I discovered the wonders of beachglass at an early age. My parents would take me to one of Milwaukee’s Lake Michigan beaches where I would construct a fiefdom of sand castles and spend hours sorting shells and rocks. And then, to my sheer delight, I discovered bright jewels mixed in with the earth-toned rocks and pebbles.

Showing these priceless gems to my mother, I was informed that they were “just old beer and soda bottles polished by the sand and waves.” I was unabashed; fortunately, I could recognize beauty regardless of its provenance.

Fast forward forty-six years. My husband and I had the incredible luck to move into our new home on Lake Michigan. I found myself living in beachglass heaven.

Each year, from spring until winter when the ice shelves cover the beach, we are beachcombers. A diamond from Tiffany’s couldn’t possibly make me as happy as finding a tiny piece of RED beachglass. My husband scored a huge, elegantly smoothed piece of PURPLE beachglass on his birthday last year.

I would certainly agree with Robert Louis Stevenson, “The world is so full of a number of things, I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.”

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2 Comments for this entry

  • Anonymous

    Wonderful! What memories you aroused… I collected colored glass also (probably on the same beaches), but my favorites were multi-hued wave-polished little stones.(Still have a handful from Pebble Beach in Door County.) I used them to make miniature grocery stores, with the pebbles representing various types of edibles. Amazing how well we used to amuse ourselves without costly man-made contraptions! IRB

  • Joan Peifer

    Hi Mary,

    It was lovely see you at Trader Joes the other day. As I read your blog on Beach Glass, I wanted to share this art work I have. It’s two framed piece with collections of “Beach Barrettes”. hey are labeled with appropriate Latin Names such as Flora Tripitus. It was made by my son and a past girl friend.

    I think of you fondly,

    Joan Peifer