By Sy Manello

Moses and the people of Israel wandered the desert for 40 years. Is it any wonder then that sand has come to play such an important part of our conversational lives?

Of course, a majority of references are to the actual grit itself, but there are many others we use to add colorful expressions to what we are trying to say.

Sandcasting is a procedure that involves pouring metal into a sand mold. We, in Michigan, are proudly aware of the famous sand dunes that mark our western shore. As part of the Water Wonderland, Michigan has many sand beaches for our summer enjoyment.

If you have been sailing, you know to be on the lookout for sandbars so you do not get beached. If you have children, you know that hours of fun can be found playing in a sandbox, building sand castles. Older kids enjoy games played in a sand lot, which can be any vacant lot, not necessarily covered in sand.

If you are angered by someone, you may find yourself drawing a line in the sand. Your attitude may have arisen from someone trying to sandbag your attempts at something. (Trying to stop flood waters by sandbagging is altogether different.)

It is not a good idea to avoid current events by burying your head in the sand. Then again, you may be tempted because you recognize the futility of some efforts: You feel like you are plowing sand or bringing sand to the beach. (Exercises in futility.)

Want to renew the facade of a building? You may try sandblasting. The person who helps dig underwater tunnels is known as a sandhog. A less strenuous job may be to take up sandpainting. In any instance, you will find that truly dirt-encrusted hands could be cleaned by using a sand soap (a gritty one).

Before you tell me to pound sand because it is time for you to get a visit from the Sandman, let me leave you with a riddle. Why would you not starve on a desert island? Because you could eat the sand which is there.

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