If you have been around here for any length of time, you may have heard me speak about our favorite place, LBI. LBI stands for Long Beach Island in NJ. Also know as “the Jersey Shore”. Despite television show representations, this part of the shore is quiet and healing for me and the love has been passed on to my husband and my girls.
Many years ago, when the girls were still small, I was walking along the beach on my own. I came upon several people in the sand digging. I was so confused as to what they were doing so I asked someone and was told they were searching for treasure, the ultimate treasure.
Sea glass. Beach glass. I have now even heard of it referred to as “mermaid tears”, of which I am not a fan.
That day the obsession began. I too began digging and like I was at a slot machine, each time I found one I found myself thinking, I will head back once I find one more. And then it was one more and then another.
I found myself checking the tide schedules and trying to get to the beach just before low tide, which seemed to the best time to hunt. As much as I loved this version of treasure hunting, my kids and Dana did not like it. After a few years, as the girls started to get a little older and better at finding it, the tide began to change. All puns intended. They too wanted to go out and there were even days we went out with nets to scoop just beyond the wave break area.
Nothing was better than the sound of someone standing upright yelling out “sea glass!” We have a jar just for the LBI glass. There is a jar for the glass I bought back when I visited a friend in Hawaii.
Slowly but surely over the years, sea glass has been harder and harder to find on LBI. And since storm Sandy, there is pretty much no hope. They have built up the sand dune very high and deeply towards the ocean in an attempt to protect the homes and roads on the island. I totally understand the need, but it all feels so strangely different.
And so when we set out a few weeks ago for a couple of days away in Cape May, NJ, we researched ahead of time to see if there were any tips for the best places to hunt for sea glass. It is funny. I am such a homebody that as we were planning this trip, I would have been perfectly fine with just staying home and getting things done. What a mistake that would have been. A few days away, just us, no work, no distractions. It was just what we needed.
And so in winter hats and rain boots instead of bare feet and bathing suits, we strained out necks looking in the sand for a long time. I am not sure how long we were out there or how far we went. It didn’t matter. Each time I looked up it was such a beautiful sight. Here we were, all four of us truthfully enjoying the same activity, together. There was no checking social media or to-do lists. It was just the beautiful sound of someone yelling out “sea glass”.
And so the tone was set for the next few days. Before dinner that night, we went to a “sister inn” to where we were staying and had a snack and drink. We sat around our small table and brought out the deck of cards we had picked up that day and played several rounds of Rummy. And such was born something else that it turns out we all love to do.
Sunshine and I during our Rummy game.
I am so painfully aware of how quickly the time is passing. Not only are they preparing for different stages in their lives, but my role as their mom is changing. It is just important, but I am still trying to navigate it all. I am trying to parent them as best as I can and I thankful for the moments when they still enjoy spending time with us. Even to take a selfie with mom.
Next time we have a window of a few days. There will be no hesitation from me. I will grab my boots, my net and my playing cards and I will be in the car ready to go.
Thank you so much for reading.