When we arrived home from Mackinac Island this October I decided to take a break from writing until the first of the year. I confess to having an ulterior motive.
For at least two years now, I’ve been thinking the lifespan of Bree’s Mackinac Island Blog has really more than run its course. When I began the blog in 2009 it was just at the beginning of the social media era. Bree’s Blog was one of only a very few places on the web where folks could go for information about Mackinac, and I slid myself right into that special little niche – reserved for the dear folks who believe Mackinac Island is magical and the most beautiful place on earth. The blog blossomed, and at its peak nearly 2,000 readers a day stopped by to see what was happening with the Hortons and their pooches on the island.
You followed us home to our precious lake house in Georgia for winters and packed up with us for the move back to the island for the season. You gave us support and love through so many hard times – selling the condo on the island and our home in Georgia, moving into a rental while we built a new home in Florida, my hysterectomy, Bear’s knee surgery and two years later his death, hurricanes – the list goes on. But for every hard time, there were hundreds of good times – endless summer days exploring the island, listening to the trees sing their song in the up north woods, riding hundreds of ferries back and forth across the Straits, horse and buggy adventures, nights at the Pink Pony, the discovery of Ted’s birth mother’s family . . . the list again goes on and on. Even when we weren’t on Mackinac you traveled with us – a trip to Colorado to a ski resort, a trip to Alaska, a trip to Key West, a trip to an amazing little island in Canada, and numerous trips to Flagler Beach as we built our home.
The decision to post the “Throw Back Thursday” posts has given me so much joy – looking back at those first few years and remembering things I haven’t thought about since they happened. But they also gave me the strength to say . . . .
I’ve told almost a thousand stories about Mackinac Island, and there are many other excellent blogs being written about the island. All you have to do is Google “Mackinac” and hundreds of resources appear. Through blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and all those other media channels out there that I don’t even know the names of, Mackinac is now an open book.
This past summer on Mackinac was a little bit of a wake-up call for Ted and I. We seemed to spend a lot of time recovering from spills – and we blamed most of them on Bodie. But, being totally honest about it – and although Bodie did play his part – a lot of those falls and spills were because our reaction times have gotten slower, our ability to heal quickly has slowed down. Since returning home we’ve begun to think about the time we would no longer be able to return to Mackinac on an extended time line. We’ve begun quietly searching for other places where my need for cooler summers would be closer than 1300 miles away.
Until that time comes, and we pray we’ve still got years ahead of us before we have to get serious about it, I selfishly want to enjoy every minute on Mackinac without those self-imposed blog deadlines. I just want to go and enjoy every second of its beauty and peace and magic.
So, it’s time.
What’s next? The ending of Bree’s Blog certainly doesn’t mean I won’t be taking photos and posting to Facebook – about Mackinac, and about anything else either serious, mundane or silly that happens in our lives. So, if you haven’t already, please follow me on Facebook. Just search for “Brenda Horton” and you’ll find me.
And – there is certainly a possibility I will one day (maybe soon, maybe later) find my way back to blogging about something completely different. But, that’s just a thought now – not a decision. I do know writing is in my blood, and if I do go in another direction, I will let you know by posting the info here on this blog – so please don’t “unfollow” me here. I’ll also let you know on Facebook.
Bree’s Blog will live on forever on the web. I hope in the years to come newcomers who are just discovering Mackinac will click a key and discover a little blog about the Hortons spending part of their time on magical Mackinac. And I pray they know each and every word and each and every photograph is filled with love and thankfulness and the awe of the discovery of my heart’s home.
I can’t even begin to thank you all for the happiness writing this blog and sharing Mackinac with all of you has brought me. It’s hard to believe I’ve been writing about the island for almost as long as I’ve been retired. I began it on a whim, and that whim has buoyed me up over all these years and brought the most amazing people into our lives. As half-year residents of Mackinac, we were given a behind the scenes glimpse over the years to what makes Mackinac tick, and I tried my best to share it all with you – so you could love it as much as I do.
Thank you to everyone to provided photographs over the winters when we weren’t on the island. Your generosity and willingness to share your talents kept Bree’s Blog up and running over the cold season. Thank you to readers, friends, and business owners who allowed me access to stories that wouldn’t otherwise have been told. Your love of Mackinac makes my heart smile.
And a very special thank you to my dear friend Jill. Without you there wouldn’t have been a Bree’s Blog. Thank you for all the insider information over the years, the story ideas, and the thousands of photographs. Thank you for being my sidekick, my always-willing-to-get-up-early partner in crime, my confidant, my shoulder to cry on, my “no-you-can’t-write-that” editor. But most of all – thank you for being my forever friend. You are beautiful and amazing, and I love you to the moon and back. Ok – make that to the sun and back.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve written and rewritten this post. If I’d let myself I would have turned into a blubbering baby and sobbed my way through it. But I want you all to know I don’t have one regret about the years spent here with all of you. You all became friends – many of you close friends – and I love you all immensely. You let me into your homes and lives by reading this blog, and that is the greatest gift writing this blog has given me.
So, for now, it’s time.