southerntipMy parents were both city kids from Brooklyn, NY.  In 1968, when I was 2 years old, they moved us up to Boxford, MA which 15 miles away from Crane Beach on the Crane Estate in Ipswich. This was back in the days when beach chairs were made of bulky aluminum and uncomfortable, scratchy webbing. I vividly remember my Mom not going in the water past her ankles and being perpetually nervous for me as I turned into an avid swimmer. I spent many summers in and out of the icy ocean water, getting tumbled by the waves, nursing sunburns and killing greenhead flies on Crane Beach.  I also nurtured my growing love for photography and made many memories with family and friends there.
For those of clamsyou unfamiliar with the geography of this particular location, Crane Beach sits directly across from the very southern tip of Plum Island. It’s only a few miles north of here that the residents of Plum Island lost their homes to the raging waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Between the southern tip of Plum Island and Crane Beach, is the mouth of the Ipswich River.  Some of the best clams can found in Ipswich, with restaurants flying them in from all over the country.  However, if you are in Ipswich, there is no better place to sample these little beauties than at The Clam Box.

sunset2I moved away from Massachusetts in 1986, traveling all over the country to many coastal communities but always longing for my New England roots and “my” beach. When I returned in 1995, Crane Beach was one of the first places I happily brought (dragged) my 4 young children.  Although I was astounded and saddened  at the amount of erosion that had happened in the years I’d been gone, I started a new tradition for my own kids in this special place.  We made it a regular habit of loading up the red minivan with the beach toys and the ice chest for late afternoons at Crane Beach. During one of our Fall nature bear-dogwalks, we found a small shark skeleton embedded the sand and it became the coolest show-and-tell object for all 4 kids’ school classes.  All of my children feel their own special tug to the ocean wherever their life has taken them because of the times spent here and at other beaches on the “North Shore” of Massachusetts. Our dog, Bear also has a great fondness for sandy paws and salty air and has happily joined us on our Crane Beach adventures.  I am thrilled now  that my 2 grandchildren have been able to be part of this tradition with us as well.


Fast forward to 2005 when I found myself at 39 all grown up and starting my life “over” again, going on a date with the now Love of my Life. Sitting on that beach at sunset, I felt the giddiness of being a teenage girl again. We currently live out on Great Neck in Ipswich overlooking this mighty Sound, Crane Beach and the ocean. I am amazed by the beauty that surrounds us every day.  We are truly blessed to have found each other and share the sunrise together every single morning.



This blog was written by our April Dune Jewelry Blog Contest winner, Cary Christiansen.  Congratulations again, Cary!  Thank you for your beautiful memoir and photos of Crane Beach.  We hope you enjoy your free Sandbead!