The 4th of July weekend heralded the beginning of true summer weather on the island. We’ve had the windows open and the fans on, and it has been wonderful! I know better, but I even put away my sweaters and told myself the warm days were going to last a while. I moved my shorts and sleeveless and short-sleeved shirts to the top of the the dresser drawer, and piled the sweatpants and long-sleeved t-shirts at the bottom. I even went barefoot (in the condo, of course, not on the street).
We had a wonderful surprise late Friday afternoon. Buz and Patty from Oklahoma arrived on the island for a 2 1/2 week stay. We knew they were coming in July, but didn’t know exactly when. Patty texted they were buying groceries in Cheboygan and would be on the 3:30 ferry. Note: For those of you who haven’t followed this blog very long, I met Buz and Patty in Mackinac City at the ferry dock two years ago. I was headed back to the island with Bear after a grooming, and Buz had surprised Patty with a trip to the island for her birthday. Neither had ever been here. Well, they put up with me talking their ears off about the island all the way across the Straits. Later in their stay we went out to dinner, and they came to church with us on that Sunday. Long story short, they fell in love with the island, and two weeks later bought a condo in our complex! They don’t get to the island nearly of often as we’d like them to, but they are a lot younger than us and still have obligations during the summer. That’s ok. We will enjoy them when we can get them here. They are a wonderful couple, and we’ve become good friends.
Heading back to the condo after dinner at the Chippewa Friday evening.
On Saturday, I spent part of the day getting the guest room ready for Charlie and Cathy (New Orleans) who will be arriving next weekend. For some reason, Maddie has been getting a little “clingy” lately with Bear (especially if Ted isn’t here), so she curled up in the guest bedroom with him while I worked.
One of the condos is being rented for the the month of July by a couple with two children the same ages as our Jordan and Matthew. Boy, does it make us miss those two. I told them they could call me BeBe, and they thought that was really cool. I’ll probably drive them nuts for a month taking photos and playing “grandma” – they’re up here from Ohio.
Ted and I walked downtown early in the evening on Saturday to attend a retirement reception for Dennis Bradley, who has served as Fire Chief on the island for many, many years. The Community Hall was full of well-wishers, and I think every one of Dennis’ children and grandchildren came. We’re so glad he will continue on as Assistant Manager of the Mackinac Island Airport. He and his wife Jackie live in the Village and are our neighbors.
Dennis, talking with a friend at the reception.
After leaving the reception, I spent some time walking around shooting some 4th of July decorations.
The Hotel Iroquois was decked out in red, white and blue splendor.
I think the Island Bookstore should win a prize for its in-store holiday display. Hmm...you can barely see Jill over all the patriotic decorations!
Flags are everywhere - including flower baskets!
By the time I started home, Market Street crowds were thinning out a little, and shadows were getting longer.
We went to Little Stone Church Sunday morning with Patty and Buz, then out to eat with them and Frankie at the Gate House.
Two fort interpreters were greeting folks attending Little Stone Church with patriotic music. They were awesome - talk about getting into a celebration mood!
As we walked back home, we passed the Grand, where their 4th of July Weekend Party was in full swing!
After a little Sunday afternoon siesta, Buz, Patty, Ted and I saddled up our bikes and rode out to the new community stable. The last time Buz and Patty had seen the site was last fall when it was just a big, empty tract of land. They couldn’t believe how much had been done and that the stable was already being used for horse lessons and stall rentals.
We walked in at the end of a riding lesson and watched as little Blaze was unsaddled and brushed down. Riders learn there is a lot more to owning a horse than just the riding part. They are taught all aspects of caring for a horse and all the tack.
From there we rode straight through the center of the island to British Landing. I have never seen as many people at the Cannonball as there were today. The holiday has brought visitors to the island by the thousands, and I think they all picked Saturday afternoon to ride around the island. We chose to ride back on Scott’s Road, then after turning on Scott’s Shore Rd, we came out on M-185 only three miles from downtown. From there we were pedaling mostly against the crowd so it was fairly uncrowded on our side of the highway. We stopped at Joanne’s for an ice cream cone and beat a fast retreat back up to our crowdless hill for the rest of the evening.
Join me tomorrow for Part II of Summer Has Arrived, and check out all the 4th of July fun on Mackinac Island. From stone-skipping and greased pole-climbing to a picnic at Fort Mackinac and fireworks - it was truly a perfect day!