26 February 2011

The Sound of Waves: 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History

Sounds-Describe any sounds that take you back to your childhood.  These could be familiar songs, jingles, children playing or entirely something different.

Whenever I hear the sound of waves it takes me back to my childhood.  I can envision the heat of the sun as I lay on the sandy beach with waves splashing the shoreline, lulling me into a state of contentment.  There is nothing that relaxes me more.

Some of my earliest memories are of going to the beach.  I was born in Deckerville, Michigan; which is just minutes from Lake Huron.  My parents had friends who had cottages on the lake and we would pack up our beach things and spend the afternoon swimming in the lake or lying on the sand.  Picnics at the lake were always something to look forward to.  The gentle laps of the water against the shore were a common sound in my childhood.

At the age of ten, we moved 25 miles north of Deckerville, to Harbor Beach, Michigan.  Harbor Beach is right on Lake Huron.  Trescott Street, one of the streets I lived on, ends at the beach!  I remember many days of meeting friends at the beach.  I usually rode my bike to the beach.  We would sun bathe, swim when we got hot, or walk out on the pier.  During the time I lived in Harbor Beach, boats docked at Harbor Beach and we could walk out to the end and look at the cool boats.  Jumping off the pier, only on the south side-the north side was mucky, was a favorite thing to do too.  Harbor Beach had a break wall and the lapping on the shore was more gentle, but still a sound I remember from childhood. 

My friend, Mary, walking the shoreline in Harbor Beach

In high school, I worked at the Harbor Beach Resort, it was a private resort on the Lake.  I would have to be to work around 7 am.  Again, off on my bike I would go.  Sometimes the sun would just be coming up over the lake and the sights, smells, and sound of the Lake would guide me on my way.  It is a wonder I ever made it to work, now that I look back on it.

Growing up and having access to Lake Huron, one of the Great Lakes, was something I took for granted when living there.  It wasn't until I went away to college, about 1 hour from a Great Lake, that I realized how wonderful it was to have access to sandy beaches.  I think that is why I enjoy vacationing in Frankfort, Michigan on Lake Michigan every summer.  A beach chair and a good book is all I need on vacation.  I sit on the sandy beach and listen to the waves lapping the shore and it takes me back to the carefree days of my childhood and my love of the beach.


  1. You took me right back to my childhood growing up on Puget Sound in Washington state. The beaches there are still my favorite place to be. Thanks for the warm memory!

  2. Michelle, I am glad I was able to recall a good memory. I would give anything to be sitting on a sunny beach today, instead of watching the snow fall.

  3. Brenda, very clever with your sound waves feature. I also love the sound of waves from the ocean, 45 min. away. Very nice memory to have.