Sand Findings and Stories Untold

One of the most fun things that we never do enough of is beachcombing. Wandering around the water’s edge, especially after a storm, looking at what the ocean left behind, is one of life’s simple pleasures. In 30 years of beachcombing, my mother had collected about seven large jars of beach glass. So what can you do with beach glass? The most common decorative patch is to put small amounts of beach glass in jars for no apparent reason and put them by lamps on bookshelves. Beach glass also looks good in fish tanks. On Shelter Island you are allowed to give out beach glass in little bags as party favors, or if it’s Halloween you can add some M&M’s and pass them off as trick or treat. Martha Stewart says we can glue beach glass around a picture or mirror frame to create a beach-chic look. You can also get the top of a shoebox, fill it with sand, and put five pieces of beach glass in it and pass it off as a desktop zen garden. When people get stressed out, they can rearrange the glass in the sand, and if that doesn’t restore mental harmony and realign their chakras, they can always resort to throwing some of the sand in the eyes of the people who are stressing them.
I don’t seem to find much beach glass when I beachcomb. I seem to find strange things­—underwear, one lonesome shoe and half of a wallet. One time I did find a message in a bottle, but the person failed to seal it very well, so the paper inside was blank. I clearly did not get the message. By far the strangest thing I ever found on the beach was about 20 wooden piano keys. How did they get there? I could understand losing articles of clothing, because things can fall off of a boat, but who brings a piano on a boat picnic?
“Jane, I’m having such fun! Danny is going to play piano for us!”
“He has a piano here on his yacht? Oh,
to be rich.”
“Danny’s getting some guys to help him push the piano onto the back deck so he can play under the stars.”
“High-class decadence, may God curse me with it.”
“The weather is coming up, Danny should leave that piano inside the yacht.”
“Too late, it’s out and Wendy the Wonderful has draped herself over the piano and is singing her tequila version of ‘My Way’.”
“Gee, the water’s really choppy, the boat is rocking really bad.”
“Oh God! The piano! It went in!”
“Well it’s too late now, there it goes…Look! It floats!”
You know, when you think about it, if your piano slides off your yacht, it can really put a dent in your day. Cuz how do you get it back on the boat? I suppose you’d have to rope it and tow it.
I would give anything to see a yacht towing a piano into the harbor. For that matter, any floating wooden instrument like a passing cello, harp, or violin would certainly get people’s attention. If you saw something like that in the water, you’d know there was an interesting story behind it. So the next time you see underwear washed ashore, remember there’s a story behind it, because there once was a behind in it. That’s my story and I’m
sticking to it.

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