This story comes to us from Suzanne from Whitehall, Michigan. 


Webster’s Dictionary defines priceless as an adjective; having a value beyond any price.  How rich would you have to be to own something priceless?  If you are lucky enough to have a family, you already have something priceless.  If you are lucky enough to live in Michigan, you are surrounded by priceless things – the Great Lakes.

I, myself am lucky enough to live close to Lake Michigan.  I am also very lucky to have all three of my grandchildren living here too.  Every summer we go to Duck Lake State Park, which, in my opinion, is the perfect baby beach.  Duck Lake empties into Lake Michigan by way of a 200 foot, crystal clear, meandering channel.  In most spots the water is only ankle deep.  Babies can crawl in it, children can run in it and teenagers can use their skim boards.  There are minnows everywhere with little ones trying to catch them in their beach buckets.  You can walk the channel from Duck Lake to the “Big Lake” or float down it with the current.  A large tree has turned into driftwood and is the perfect spot for that special summer photo.

When our children were young we came to this same beach.  Now I take my grandchildren there. It is the perfect place to spend a summer day.  When I am there I often think of the (“Priceless”) charge card commercials.  I think they should make one about Lake Michigan……….

Shovel and pail – $2.49
SPF 50 suntan lotion – $6.99
Beach chair and umbrella – $49.95
A day at the beach with my grandchildren.

I hope and pray that this beach will be here for my grandchildren to someday take their children to, but it will take more than hope and prayers.  I worry when I read about a large company being allowed to dump mercury and toxic waste into Lake Michigan.  I worry when local beaches are closed because the e-coli levels are too high.  I worry when Lake Superior water levels are dropping and no one knows why.  I worry and wonder about what I can do to make sure our priceless lakes and beaches are around for generations to come.

We all can start by teaching our children to appreciate and respect these priceless lakes.  It can be as simple as picking up after ourselves and others.  When I go to the beach I always pick up litter that others have so thoughtlessly left behind.  The other day I picked up a baggie floating by and an older gentleman next to me thanked me.  He said I would be amazed at how many bags he pulls up every time he goes fishing.  If we teach children at a young age to “only leave sand castles and foot prints” on the beach, we can start them on the road to preserving these priceless lakes to be enjoyed by generations of children to come – a truly “priceless” heritage.

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