Category Archives: sea shells

Lighthouses and Sailing Away: July, 2015

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I arrived up on Lake Erie last Friday. It has been a marvelous week with my

“Mamacita,” who is such a dear one and a blessing.

I enjoyed the anticipation, the way I looked more closely at the scenery

and have enjoyed relaxing and being lazy, once I got here. We went

grocery shopping shortly upon my arrival.

We always have plenty to eat with my Mom insisting on buying cookies,

chips, dip, wine (Sangria) and ice cream in at least 3 flavors.

We have plans today to visit my niece and her husband, living in my

parents’ retirement home. They were married Summer of 2014, with a

tent on the side yard and all the family present.

The family picnic (Saturday, July 3rd) will include newly arrived guests,

Skyler, Micah and my oldest daughter, Carrie. They drove up last night

and we had fun visiting and hearing about their week, since Mommy was

on vacation..

Other ‘picnickers’ will be both brothers, Mom, niece, her husband, baby

Jackson, older junior high daughter, Vaya, and my sister in law.

Mom’s and my  ‘food assignment’ was being in charge of bringing dessert.

After carefully looking over the bakery, rows of frozen desserts while

debating which ones would like our choices, we bought our offerings-

frosted red, white and blue cookies, (an instant hit with the children),

strawberries we cut up last night and added sugar to make a syrup

overnight, can of real whipped cream, angel food cake and a package

of “short cakes” which each person can choose their cake base, take

a scoop of strawberries, add vanilla bean ice cream and whipped cream.

My brother is bringing corn, watermelon and sister in law made a potato

salad. My niece and her husband are making hamburgers and hot dogs.

My other brother bought free range chickens to barbecue on the grill.

We have our bag of sunscreen, sunglasses, Mom’s special necessities,

two towels, my bathing suit and sundries packed and ready to go.

Tonight, there will be fireworks all along the lake. We will see the boats

go towards the East, then will see them head back West.

The Lake makes me think of the 12 lighthouses, bordering the Northern

edge of Ohio.

Here is a list, not in any particular order of their locations along the coast,

of a dozen scattered lighthouses along Lake Erie. . . some with memories

attached:

1. Vermilion Lighthouse.

This town is where my parents chose to live from the late 80’s until 2011,

when my Mom moved into her Senior Living Apartments. Now my niece

and her husband live on an appropriately named, “Edgewater Drive.”

2. Fairport Harbor West Lighthouse.

I have been to Fairport Harbor Beach, as a child swimming with my family.

3. Port Clinton Lighthouse.

I have toured and seen this beautiful memorial and museum on the island.

4. Huron Harbor Lighthouse.

We used to go to a little Episcopalian Church there, while growing up in

Sandusky.

The church was along the waterfront, across from the lake side of the

street.

5. Toledo Harbor Lighthouse.

While I attended Bowling Green State University, in B.G., Ohio, I visited the

Toledo Zoo and was invited to eat in a restaurant along the Toledo Harbor.

On another occasion, I enjoyed a second  harbor visit. A boyfriend and I first

spent time wandering around the art collections and gardens at the Toledo Art

Museum.

Then, having completed this fantastic day, escape from studying and  school

projects, we spent a luxurious dining experience in a waterfront restaurant.

Memories of such beautiful sea- or lake- side evenings, wherever you may

have visited, include so many senses touched or ignited. Anytime when you

can look out upon the vast, dark sky, while spying distant ships, stars and a

shining beacon of light, blinking off and on, rotating to protect the harbor, you

will be moved.

I hope sometime in your life you have been to a lake, an ocean or spent an

evening on an island.

I hope the beauty and majesty of lighthouses is part of your memories. . .

6. Ashtabula Lighthouse.

7. Marblehead Lighthouse.

Another childhood memory, where I was with my parents and my father’s

coworkers.

It has a funny sense of my mother’s annoyance and slight jealousy of one

of his secretaries. I have written this in a post about jealousy ‘at any age.’

8. Old Fairport Harbor Lighthouse.

9. Cleveland Harbor Lighthouse.

It is strange, but I know I have seen this lighthouse many times, but there is

no ‘imprint’ upon my memory bank. I have seen fireworks from a park nearby

here.

The ships are large, looming in this busy harbor, there are more restaurants

along the “Flats” than on Cleveland’s downtown lake’s edge.

10. Conneaut Lighthouse.

11. South Bass Island Lighthouse.

This is one of several islands, from Sandusky Bay to Kelley’s Island,

South Bass, Port Clinton and others… A wonderful and worthy scenic trip,

reasonably priced.

12. Lorain Harbor Lighthouse.

This one is a large lighthouse that has been one where we have sat along

the beach to watch at night. The area is well kept, has a refreshment stand

where Mom and I bought ice cream and heard first a reggae band, then a

Hispanic group sang and played. My Mom and I danced to the Spanish

music, while she tried to sing the lyrics.

On Maine Historical Society Website, I found a book by Henry Wadsworth

Longfellow. It has a collection of poems,”The Seaside and the Fireside.”

This anthology includes 8 poems about the Sea with 12 about sitting and

dreaming by the Fire.

One of Longfellow’s famous and beloved poems,

with just three passages shared in this post,

the opening, middle and closing one, below:

“The Lighthouse

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

(1850)

The rocky ledge runs far into the sea,

And on its outer point, some miles away

The Lighthouse lifts its massive masonry,

A pillar of fire by night, of cloud by day.”

. . .

“And as the evening darkens, lo! how bright,

Through the deep purple of the twilight air,

Beams forth the sudden radiance of its light,

With strange, unearthly splendor in the glare!”

. . .

(After the middle, there is a sea bird that crashes into

the glare of the lighthouse, dying and the dramatic

poet, H.W.L., mentions Prometheus chained to a rock.)

. . .

“Sail on!” it says,

Sail on, ye stately ships!

And with your floating bridge the ocean span.

Be mine to guard this light from all eclipse,

Be yours to bring man nearer unto man!”

The End.

(You may view this, in its entirety, but I chose the most

beautiful passages, in my mind’s eye.)

Last year’s music news of 2014, spoke of a ‘comeback album,’ for one of

my all-time summer favorites: Christopher Cross.  It is hard to believe his

album, titled,” Sailing,” has been out and sailing along into the sunset,

since 1979.

Did anyone listen to this album, since this post originally was published

in 2014? I have missed any of the singles on this, while listening to the

radio, daily and on longer trips to Mom’s.

I am quite content with his older one, which features lovely lyrics.

In “Sailing,” there are poetic words of paradise, tranquility, miracles

along with innocence, with canvas dreams.

“And if the wind is right, you can sail away to find serenity.”

Another passage near the end…

“Dream and wind carry me and soon I will be free.”

The Arthur movie, with the song, “The Best that You Can Be,” won Chris

Cross, an Oscar in 1981, he has been often in Germany performing, along

with on stage with country groups, like with “Alabama.” A couple years’ back,

“Lemon’s Theme” was written for the discontinued comedy television show,

“30 Rock.”

I am excited by the 2014, “The Secret Ladder,” album but have not heard

any newer songs attached to this. On Wikipedia, it lists a 2013 album by

Christopher Cross.

All I wish to express here is a combination of expectant excitement and

pleasant feeling of being swept away, if not on a sailboat, possibly an inner

tube, down a cool and easy river.

Christopher Cross singing his upbeat songs, using his fantastic, smooth

voice will be something  I still have to look forward to, someday getting to

hear the newer songs.

If only in my dreams…

I hope this spurred on memories of sandy beaches, water experiences by

a body of water; stream, river, lake or ocean.

If not, a pool is a nice cooling off place to suggest. . .

Did you ever have an emotional experience, almost magical or spiritual,

while you were by some form of water?

If you would like to list something you did or plan to do to celebrate the

holiday, please know I may not respond until July 5th or 6th, once I get

back home. . .

If you have already liked this post, written last year and then edited to

include new baby boy, Jackson, my grandsons Micah and Skyler, their

Mommy having a 2015 vacation all week, then don’t feel bad not pushing

“Like” button once again. I am thankful for this re-blogging, since some

of the details remained intact. Others, I updated. . .

Have a fantastic Fourth of July, if you are in the U.S.

If not, hope you are having a wonderful weekend!


Aside

These four simple quotes are meant to bring you some bright thoughts along with

your daily walk in life. Finding meaning in any one of these will make me feel good,

passing on some gems I found.

Please let me know what is bringing you special smiles around where you live lately.

 

~* There are 1440 minutes in  a day. Remember to use them wisely. *~

 

~* “How beautiful the leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days.” *~

(John Burroughs)

 

~* “Every leaf speaks bliss to me,

fluttering from the autumn tree.” *~

(Emily Bronte)

 

~* “Winter is an etching.

~* Spring a watercolor.

~* Summer an oil painting.

~* Autumn a mosaic of them all.” *~

(Stanley Horowitz)

 

This just reminds me of James Taylor’s song that begins with those memorable lyrics:

“Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall,

All you have to do is call. . .”

“You’ve Got A Friend.”

 

Simplicity While Seasons Change

Our Identifying ‘Songs’

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A West African tradition that fascinates me, is that when every

woman in their tribe of “Griots” is expecting a baby, they take

time to think and contemplate giving the baby, a ‘song.’ They go

off to meditate and come up with what they feel would be the

specific identifying chant or ‘song’ that will follow the upcoming

baby, throughout his or her life.

Have you ever heard of this tradition? I was so interested in this

and wished to share my source, the May, ’14 “Natural Awakenings”

magazine.  The article’s title is “Live  Your Song: Each of Us

Carries a Unique Inner Tune that Affirms Our True Nature.”

In this article, it explains that each person has a soul, in their

belief system. Each soul has a certain vibration that expresses its

unique and special purpose. It has a ‘flavor’ or ‘essence’ that can

be ‘heard.’

The baby’s birth is greeted by its song, giving it meaning and worth.

The times in the child’s life, where the song plays an important

part are when born, when getting ready to attend school, initiation

into adulthood and the time of marriage. The loving embrace of its

tune and melody is to keep the child feeling valuable and included.

If the child, young adult or grown adult should happen to break the

tribe’s rules or even worse, break a law, the tribe will circle the one

who has fallen away from them, chanting and singing their song.

The hope is that the community’s love will overwhelm the individual

and help them to find their way back to their original path. The final

time the Griot tribe, in West Africa, sings the special song is as family,

friends and the community gather at their bedside, helping them to

pass onto the next world, with the memory of their past life’s song.

I like the idea of a song, that our friends would know and recognize

it as ours. I would hope that we would always feel ‘in tune’ with our

family and friends. When we should ever wander away, move or

change our life’s direction, it would be so comforting to know that

our ‘song’ follows us, wherever we go.

Our ‘song’ would help lead us back home again, knowing the true

love, friendship and sense of belonging is waiting for us.

I had not realized that there are others, scientists and researchers,

who have studied this philosophy and practice of finding one’s ‘song.’

The persons considered “modern pioneers in vibrational energy,”

are Sharry Edwards (bio-acoustic biologist) and Donna Eden (energy

medicine field). They have independently detected that each of us has

a “fundamental signature frequency that can be equated to our unique

song that persists throughout our life.”

Some would say the ocean ‘calls to them,’ others would think that the

railroad train is their sound, with the thumping wheels along the track.

Natural songs can include birds. (That is my ‘song,’ not just because of

my name but the story about my Grandfather’s message sent through

the cardinal’s song).

The two women mentioned, Sharry and Donna, feel we innately seek

certain natural sounds that reinforce and strengthen our song.’

Other examples I read about were the sound of the surf, wind, rain or snow

falling. I could ‘hear,’ or imagine, someone’s ‘song’ in the trees shaking

from the breeze, the shivery feeling of the night sky filled with stars and

the moon. I think that some crave and need the sun’s warmth upon their

skin.

Your ‘song’ can be described as, “cell-to-cell vibrations” within ourselves.

We intuitively feel this these vibrations or rhythms as almost magical.

 

I found this sentence/quotation from the article to be meaningful:

“At one with the universe, our song contributes its part in the infinite

chorus of creation.”

 

(Quotations and research provided by Jill Mattson)

Please share if you feel you have a ‘song’ and let us know what really

‘moves’ you, intuitively.

 

Escape to the Islands!

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While walking into our distribution center this morning,

I noted that there were several of the “kids” (anyone under

30) in their shorts and their tank tops. They had sweatshirts

that zipped up over this attire. While we were doing our

morning exercises, they were already peeling those off! Then,

in my work zone, that I was assigned to work, I found that

someone on ‘nights’ had turned on the fans! They were blowing

profusely! Brrr!

Not even on the ‘low’ level!

Come on, everyone! I have a sense of humor about it,

once I turn off the fans and start working… Then,

on the way to break, I saw Native American Ted, he

was wearing a brightly colored tropical shirt. All

of this ‘fun and carefree’ attire made me start to

hum the words to the Beach Boys’ song, “Kokomo.”

“Aruba… Jamaica, ooh, I wanna take ya…Bermuda…”

This song was released in 1988 timed for the movie

release of Tom Cruise’s “Cocktail.” I had to laugh

when I accidentally whispered the words too loudly

and Darryl asked me if I were going to travel to

all of those islands! Guess what? There are people

who do just that!

Here are my favorite islands, some I have been to

and some I have YET to go visit the delightful

scenery. Nallorca, (in the Mediterranean) yes, I have

been blessed as a teenager to have that thrown into

our Spanish Club trip… Bahamas, Hawaii, Aldives,

Puerto Rico, the Florida Keys and Aruba are on my new

islands’ tour bucket list!

Describing an idyllic set of crescent shaped islands down

in Florida will come a little more easily than the teens’

island cruise in the Mediterranean Sea. My ‘newer, fresher’

memories are since I was a fully grown adult when we went to

‘play’ down there!

If you wish to travel there, going in the fall will help your

ability to find a place to stay. You may drive to Ft. Meyer’s

Beach and stay there for less money and fine accommodations.

Staying on Sanibel Island was satisfyingly self-indulgent!

You will find the coconut palms, migratory birds and other

wonderful island ‘elements’ on Sanibel or Captiva Islands.

I will start with looking for sea shells and which beaches

were the best to see them. It is a great place to exercise,

by bending and squatting to pick up shells. Also, you may

rent bicycles to further explore the islands.

There is nothing better, (almost) than digging one’s toes

into cool, wet sand on a hot day. As you will find warm,

clean, fine white sand along these beaches it is easy to

spot the larger shells particularly. The two beaches I was

fortunate to rest, on my behind in the sand, on and search

fervently for shells to take home were on the mid-Island

beach called “Bowman’s Beach” and on the eastern point,

“Lighthouse Beach.” It is also a immeasurable pleasure to

have a towel, book and hat with a wide brim to provide

welcome shade on your book you may wish to read and revel

in the atmosphere, too.

In the tidal pools and bright blue water with azure skies,

sometimes not a cloud to be found… you may find this list

of shells:

Alphabet cones of brown and white with spots.

Tellins of rosy pink and peachy colors.

Scallops of patchy calico patterns, my favorites are a mix

of caramel, brown and white. These have ridges on them.

Conch shells are those ones that look like horns, you can

hear the ocean in them the best!

Angel wings, try to find some pairs. I have a card with 20

of these sets glued on it, that my Grandmother Mattson took

days to collect and my Grandfather wrapped first in tissue,

then with bubble wrap and finally brown paper-packaged with

my name and address when I was in third grade. You bet, I

took that pretty card with “shell butterflies” to school to

show off! (Every time I see special shells, I remember their

little trailer, close to Clearwater Beach. I have wonderful

memories of the Gulf side of Florida. The ocean is more of

a New England memory, for me…)

Lightning whelks are grey, silvery on the inside and have some

different patterns, all swirly and unique.

There are the occasional jelly fish, watch out, crabs,

not to eat! You can purchase them at restaurants and/or

enjoy the fresh seafood there!

With the sea gulls flying and possible dolphin sightings,

this is a wonderful place filled with nature. Sunsets with

cool, iced drinks that feature little umbrellas and fruity

‘ka-bobs’ on long skewers or a simple, chilled glass of your

favorite beer (or wine cooler) are such awesome sources of

rejuvenation. Well, at least I always feel younger, while

sipping one of these! Smile!

Each little tiki bar will have the tunes of the Beach Boys,

Barry Manilow, Bruno Mars or Jimmy Buffett playing, sometimes

you may develop an ear “worm” from listening to them! A newer

“Island Song,” by the Zac Brown Band (August, 2012) is one of

my new favorites! My old favorite one, “Island Girl,” sung by

Elton John (released in 1975) can just get me up and dancing,

slowly in the arms of a stranger… My mind wanders off…

Here is a practical list of conditions and suggestions to find

more shells (wherever you are vacationing!)

1. Usually one hour before to one hour after low tide. You

will need to check local tide charts.

2. Weather factors that all increase your chances for more

shells, are a) cold spells, b) storms, and c) new or full moons.

3. Another fantastic adventure to find sea shells, is to go

snorkeling! See the bottom of the ocean, the sea life, unique

fish and gaze upon fresh, living shells. Of course, your

common sense will tell you it is illegal to take a living

shell. It will stink on your way home, if you accidentally

found one inhabited.

The two kinds of birds that are less likely to be found in

Ohio, for example, are white pelicans and cormorants. We

see blue and white herons, along with egrets up on Lake

Erie and around Alum Creek, too. On my good friend, Bill’s

Mill Street you can look down from the bridge and see

a couple of herons with their feet in the cold Mills Creek,

these days!

If you are a painter, you may wish to bring a portable easel

or if a sketcher, you may wish to bring an artist’s pad of

paper (sketch book) or if your craft is writing, take your

journal. Although, you ‘are on vacation,’ it doesn’t mean

you cannot practice your ‘art’ or ‘craft!’

Local museums and shops on islands are also places you may

find more than souvenirs. You may wish to bring more exotic

items, like shells that have been made into wares, such

as jewelry: necklaces, bracelets for wrist and ankles

and earrings, too. I once brought a gorgeous shell mobile

home and hung it over my baby’s window sill. It brought her

many smiles, induced delighted expressions and little sounds

that were like ‘chortles.’ Rare shells you may find in the

gift shops are junonias shells and pointy horn snails.

If you are very adventurous, there are many air sports and

water sports to engage in. Boating and para-sailing come to

mind. Hang-gliding and speedboats may put a little zip into

your step, once you come down from the ‘high’ of exhilaration

you will experience.

I enjoy napping on the beach, but try to remember to slather

extra sunscreen with high SPF all over, even on your ears and

the tops of your feet! I had an ex who adored going back to

the motel or hotel, and taking a nap. Sometimes while he

was just waking up, he may have wished for some ‘afternoon

delight,’ too. I may not reveal if this was also, my idea

of romance, too!

Where else, other than traveling to the beaches on islands, do

you find your serenity and sense of tranquility?