“The Sand and the Sea”

Here is an all-time favorite sensation of mine, start to finish:

Spread a beach towel on warm summer sand, sit down on it and scrunch around until the sand underneath conforms to your body. Lay down. Drift into semi-consciousness to the sound of the surf sploshing onto the sand and being sucked backwards. If there’s a crowd, listen to their voices swell and swing different directions with the breeze. Fall asleep.

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I know, I know. You’re wincing because of the sunburn. I just didn’t know much better when I began this habit as a kid in California. So here’s the grown-up me: Avoid painful developments by employing advance planning and self-discipline, specifically with SPF 50 sunblock.

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I no longer live near an ocean. (In fact, we now live in a Midwestern town whose name ends in “Lake.” Not that I’m complaining! But it does help explain the bobbing boats in these photos.)

Still, I have memories of enough beach-naps to keep me happy for some time. Plus I have a brother and family in San Clemente, where crashing waves set the ambiance perfectly. And I have two daughters and a son-in-law on Michigan’s west coast, where dune sand creates gorgeous sleeping spots. No shortage of lovely beaches to visit, right in my family.

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Sandi, who custom-ordered this blanket, has beach memories tucked away as well, although she is currently a fellow-Midwesterner. But she will always love the beach and the way it makes her feel. (Her name IS Sandi, after all.)

When Sandi first wrote me, she said, “I am a beach lover! My favorite colors are ocean blues, sky blues and shades of turquoise blue-greens. Those colors simply make me feel better.” She now makes her home in the middle of Michigan and, part-time, allows her beach memories to inform her own creative design work with jewelry. The name of her business? Sandibeach Jewelry! (Her website is currently under construction.)

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In the mid-20th century, Anne Morrow Lindbergh spent some time by the sea and wrote a small book about thoughts it coaxed from her. In large part, she recorded reflections on her life at that stage as a wife and a mother of five. She called it Gift from the Sea. 

The thing I want to share here is her description of the effects of time near the sea. She expresses it far more beautifully than I did above:

“Rollers on the beach, wind in the pines, the slow flapping of herons across sand dunes, drown out the hectic rhythms of city and suburb, time tables and schedules. One falls under their spell, relaxes, stretches out prone. … Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach – waiting for a gift from the sea.”  

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Sandi, may this blanket — with its calm ocean blues, its hot-sand whites, and its sparkle of sun on the surf — carry you to that pleasant place where the beach can present to you its gifts and its wonders.

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“The Sand and the Sea” (70L x 55W)

This blanket was a custom order.

12 thoughts on ““The Sand and the Sea”

  1. I have enjoyed this beautiful blanket now for over a year! Every time I use it, it continues to bring me joy! I truly love it. Now my granddaughter Roselyn has a blanket of her own too! As usual, simply beautiful Joan!
    Warmly,
    Sandi

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  2. Beautiful blanket!! I knew I had seen the bench and waterfront before but couldn’t place it until I read your description. Love seeing your handiwork, miss seeing you.

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    • Oh my goodness, Carol, I miss seeing YOU. I’d claim a bike ride to the lake with you if you were still just “across the park.” The late afternoon beach was so welcoming the day I went for these photos. Wished I weren’t there alone!

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  3. I wasn’t wincing at the thought of sunburn, I was wincing seeing that beautiful blanket on the sand. It’s far too nice to get dirty. Beautiful work, Joanie.

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    • Oh, that’s a thought, Stephanie! Well, the wool is pretty hearty and ALWAYS washable. It truly repels just about everything (except thistles) — so the blankets take these photo sessions in stride. Also, I try to wash each blanket, just to felt up the seams a bit more, before it goes to its new owner :).

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  4. beautiful beautiful beautiful,I felt the peaceful atmosphere as you were describing the sand and the water…. I also loved the idea of this blanket and the big beautiful buttons.
    Sail Away

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    • Thanks, Lolita. I do love the peaceful rhythm of beach sounds. And about the buttons, I took off the ones that were originally on that sweater and added these — which I believe are actually made of shells. That just felt right :)

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  5. Joanie I love how you left the buttons on the sweater. Very clever. Your blankets are so beautiful. You never run out of ideas. Love getting the emails. Thanks
    Aunt Mary.

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    • Oh Aunt Mary, thanks. It’s hard to run out of ideas when God’s world is filled with His abundant creativity, any direction I look. I appreciate all your kind words and support.

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