"When I was five our family lived on Lakeshore Road, along the north shore of Lake Erie, just outside the gate to Hawk Cliff. My dad was a farm manager responsible for taking care of crops and a myriad of odds and ends. One day, out around the cliff-side, he discovered a new section of bean field had slipped into the lake. Close to the woods, the rooted turf would over hang for many weeks, or even months, before the collision of rain and wind, and lapping waves below, sent goliath hunks toppling in, carrying whole trees along with them. Walking outside one of these newly formed crevasses, carefully testing his footing, my dad fell."
"Face flat in the mud he was far from the edge but he was filthy and furious with himself. To his surprise he discovered, plastered in the clay skin enveloping his shoulder, a coin. Dark and dirty he nearly discarded it but stopped short. Where had this coin come from? What story did it hold? Hardly worn, it was indeed like no coin he had ever seen. Perhaps it was dropped by one of the many bird watchers who frequented the area. Perhaps it had been protected somehow throughout the years, jarred loose only be the recently toppled cliff-side. It was a Canadian Half-Penny from 1837 . Today I have it and it will follow my family into the future as our family heirloom. And like all heirlooms it will be more than just a thing, it will be a story."