Update on Bear

Bear’s pathology report came back today, and his tumor is cancer – hemangiosarcoma – a particularly nasty cancer of the blood vessels that can appear at the skin level or internally, usually in the spleen, heart, or liver. Our vet urged us to see a veterinary oncologist in Jacksonville, and we have an appointment on Monday at 9 a.m.

The best case scenario will be that this is a primary tumor. The pathology report stated that the surgeon got ALL this tumor – the surrounding area is cancer-free. If this is the case, Bear would be extremely lucky that we found it at this early stge as these tumors spread quickly and are very aggressive. There is always a chance that it could recur, but if it IS a primary tumor with no spread, he has a good chance for a few more years.

If this is a secondary tumor that has spread from somewhere else, the outlook is distressingly bleak.

We will find all that out on Monday.

I write all this with tears streaming down my face, but I wanted all our prayer warriors to know as quickly as possible that we continue to need prayers.

I will post another update after we get back home on Monday. They told us we could expect to be there anywhere from 2-5 hours.

Thank you so much for your prayers for Bear.

Spring Showers, Horses Returning . . . and More Readers! 4/24/16

After everything that was going on with Bear this week keeping my anxiety level at a peak, I needed a few even-keeled days.  And thank the good Lord, He provided them.  Friday and the weekend have been lazy days in Sunset Inlet, and what activities there have been are those calm, satisfying ones that require little more than showing up . . . or just sitting and watching the weather.

We've had a couple of days of threatening rain . . .

We had a couple of days of threatening skies . . .

. . . and then on Friday the skies opened . . .

. . . and then on Friday the skies opened . . .

. . . and we got quite a few hours of hard rain with a little thunder and lightning mixed in.

. . . and we got a few hours of hard rain, with a little thunder and lightning mixed in.

After all that life-nourishing water, the sun came out, and all my plants turned that awesome "spring-time green" and added more bright flowers. So I went to the nursery and bought some more!

After all that life-nourishing water, the sun came out, my plants turned an awesome “spring-time green”, and more bright flowers bloomed.   So –  I went to the nursery and bought some more!

Ted and I went to out favorite outdoor furniture store last week to replace some chairs on the top deck that couldn't withstand all the wind and salt we get pounded with here. While there, I spotted this outdoor lamp and loved the way it looked. It's now on the second floor deck, and . . .

Ted and I went to our favorite outdoor furniture store last week to replace some chairs on the top deck.  It’s hard to find things that can withstand all the wind and salt we get pounded with here. While there, I spotted this outdoor lamp and loved the way it looked. It’s now on the second floor deck, and . . .

. . . I can sit outside at night and read while I listen to waves crashing across the street behind me. Since our next door neighbor Lisa took this photo I've toned down the brightness of the bulbs in the lamp. That first night they were on I had a helicopter stop and hover at the entrance to our inlet, and I thought, "Oh no, the light is so bright he thinks it's the airport!" It was so funny how he just hung there for a few moment like he was trying to figure out where all the illumination was coming from.

. . . I can sit outside at night and read while I listen to waves crashing across the street behind me. Since our next door neighbor Lisa took this photo from HER deck, I’ve toned down the brightness of the bulbs in the lamp. That first night they were on I had a helicopter stop and hover at the entrance to our inlet, and I thought, “Oh no, the light is so bright he thinks it’s the airport!” It was so funny how he just hung there for a few moments like he was trying to figure out where all the illumination was coming from!

We had our first official meeting of the Sunset Inlet Book Club this past week. We had read Kate Morton's newest book, The Lake House. Fun discussion, yummy food and good wine (and Mimosas)!

We had our first official meeting of the Sunset Inlet Book Club this past week. We had read Kate Morton’s newest book, The Lake House. Fun discussion, yummy food and good wine (and Mimosas)!  Love these ladies – Jennifer, Sue, Angelique . . .

. . . and Lisa, our hostess with the moistest! We're hoping to add ladies each month. Our next book is Kimberly McCreight's Where They Found Her.

. . . and Lisa, our hostess with the mostest! We’re hoping to add more ladies each month. Our next book is Kimberly McCreight’s Where They Found Her.

MACKINAC MOMENTS

The snow is gone, and the island activity is increasing with each passing spring day. And - when there's more island work to be done - that means more horses are needed. There have been a steady stream of horses arriving on the ferry. They're all fat and rested up from a winter on the Pickford farms . . . ready to

The snow is gone, and island activity is increasing with each passing spring day. And – when there’s more island work to be done – that means a bigger workforce is needed. Horses have been arriving on the ferry in a steady stream, and they’re all fat and rested up from a winter on the Pickford farms.  Let the season begin! (Photo: Bobby Lee)

You just never know what you might find on a freight ferry - like this one carrying a police car and . . . a pool table! (Photo: Tom Chambers)

You just never know what you might find on a freight ferry – like this one carrying a police car and . . . a pool table! (Photo: Tom Chambers)

A photo from this morning by Clark Bloswick. This is the first time this spring I've seen all three ferry companies represented in the harbor - Arnold, Shepler, and Star.

A photo from this morning by Clark Bloswick. This is the first time this spring I’ve seen all three ferry companies represented in the harbor – Arnold, Shepler, and Star.

Horses in the fog up near the Grand Stables. (Photo: Joseph Herscher)

Love this photo of horses in the fog up near the Grand Stables. (Photo: Joseph Herscher)

One of my favorite artists, watercolorist Mary Lou Peters, made her first visit to Mackinac this weekend to drop off a supply of her notecards to Little Luxuries of Mackinac Island and Mackinac Island Artists Market. Love this sweet and colorful turtle card!

One of my favorite artists, watercolorist Mary Lou Peters, made her first visit to Mackinac this weekend to drop off a supply of her notecards to Little Luxuries of Mackinac Island and Mackinac Island Artists Market. Love this sweet and colorful turtle card!

INTRODUCING . . . YOU!  PART V

Yeah!! Nine more readers to introduce . . .

Meet Chris and John Roddy from Hudson OH. This great couple has vacationed in their UP cottage for the last 45 years, and Chris discovered the blog on Google four years ago.

Meet Chris and John Roddy from Hudson OH. This great couple has vacationed in their UP cottage for the last 45 years, and Chris discovered the blog on Google four years ago.

This sweet couple is Rebecca and Jon Jacobs from Three Rivers MI. Rebecca has been visiting the island since she was three, and when she was four years old she was at the island school when they were filming the "gazebo scene" in Somewhere in Time. She introduced Jon to Mackinac on their first anniversary when they stayed at The Island House. They try to visit at least once a year. This photo is from last July when they were fortunate enough to get to go to the top of the Mackinac Bridge! Still on my bucket list!

This sweet couple is Rebecca and Jon Jacobs from Three Rivers MI. Rebecca has been visiting the island since she was three, and when she was four years old she was at the island school when they were filming the “gazebo scene” from Somewhere in Time. She introduced Jon to Mackinac on their first anniversary when they stayed at The Island House. They try to visit at least once a year. This photo is from last July when they were fortunate enough to get to go to the top of the Mackinac Bridge! Still on my bucket list!

This lovely couple is Paula and David DeWald who spent a weekend in January, 2011 at the Cottage Inn in memory of their daughter Rachel. After that weekend she subscribed to the Town Crier, found the blog on Google, and went back and read each one.Paul and David live in Fort Wayne IN and try to visit Mackinac two or three times a year. Sometimes they fly their plane to the island and "troll our luggage behind us walking into town for exercise. We love the island so much we walk around it two times each day we are there." Paula tells everyone that the best thing about the island is the people. Isn't that the truth!?

This lovely couple is Paula and David DeWald who spent a weekend in January, 2011 at the Cottage Inn in memory of their daughter Rachel. After that weekend Paula subscribed to the Town Crier, found the blog on Google, and went back and read each one. Paula and David live in Fort Wayne IN and try to visit Mackinac two or three times a year. Sometimes they fly their plane to the island and “troll our luggage behind us walking into town for exercise. We love the island so much we walk around it two times each day we are there.” Paula tells everyone the best thing about the island is the people. Isn’t that the truth!?

This dear lady is Rosalyn Forsyth, and she and I go WAY back. Rosalyn was my high school cheerleading sponsor and how she kept up with all of us remains a real mystery. In later years she taught at Albany Middle School where Ted was principal. Rosalyn just discovered the blog last year, and I've so enjoyed catching up with her through Facebook and her comments

This dear lady is Rosalyn Forsyth, and she and I go WAY back. Rosalyn was my high school cheerleading sponsor and how she kept up with all of us teenage girls remains a real mystery. In later years she taught at Albany Middle School where Ted was principal. Rosalyn just discovered the blog last year, and I’ve so enjoyed reconnecting with her through Facebook and her comments.  Rosalyn lives in Albany GA.

This cute couple is Kendra and Michael Kain, daughter Rylee and Rylee's friend Kylie. They're all from Wilson NC. Kendra found the blog when she was doing research for their Mackinac wedding in 2012. Since they moved to NC they haven't had a chance to return to the island, but she remembers fondly visiting every year when she was a child.

Meet Kendra and Michael Kain, daughter Rylee, and Rylee’s friend Kylie. They’re all from Wilson NC. Kendra found the blog when she was doing research for their Mackinac wedding in 2012. Since they moved to NC they haven’t had a chance to return to the island, but she fondly remembers visiting every year when she was a child.

Meet Frances Mountjoy, who is Darcy Cole's mom (Darcy was featured in an earlier "Introducing YOU" blog post. Frances lives in Clinton Twp MI. She can remember riding the mail boat to the island (she thinks it was called the Buddy L), and she used to swim free in Grand Hotel's pool! This

Meet Frances Mountjoy, who is Darcy Cole’s mom (Darcy was featured in an earlier “Introducing YOU” blog post, and Darcy introduced her mom to Bree’s Blog). Frances lives in Clinton Twp MI. She can remember riding the mail boat to the island (she thinks it was called the Buddy L), and she used to swim free in Grand Hotel’s pool! Darcy took this photo of her mom on Market Street a few years ago, near The Lilac House.

Meet Eileen (aka Gibby) and Bernie from Okemos MI. This couple shares a cottage on Hammond Bay with her two sisters and their families. The cottage originally belonged to the girls' grandparents, who passed their love of the UP down to their children and grandchildren. And now that is what Gibby and Bernie are doing with their granddaughter Aria.

Meet Eileen (aka Gibby) and Bernie from Okemos MI. This couple shares a cottage on Hammond Bay with her two sisters and their families. The cottage originally belonged to the girls’ parents, who passed their love of “up north” on to their children. And now that is what Gibby and Bernie are doing with their granddaughter Ava.  Gibby has been reading Bree’s Blog for quite a few years and goes to the island 2-3 times each summer.  Their daughter Meagan was married at Stonecliffe Inn in 2014.  Gibby has “many wonderful memories of Mackinac!”

Meet Sue and her father Pat from Saginaw MI (Pat is celebrating his 86th birthday in this photo, taken last week). Sue's parents took her to the island many times as a child and now they take their children. Sue shared this great story from her childhood: "Dad had me in a big wire basket on the front handlebar of a bike when I was 4. We were on one of the steep, curvy roads (probably Turkey Hill), flying down it, with my mother falling way behind. But we could hear her - screaming for my father to Stop! Slow Down! You're going to dump Susis on the road! Me? I was screaming for joy, loving it, saying Daddy, faster!" Sue found the blog about 4 years ago researching for a Mackinac trip.

Meet Sue and her father Pat from Saginaw MI (Pat is celebrating his 86th birthday in this photo, taken last week). Sue’s parents took her to the island many times as a child, and now they take their children. Sue shared this great story from her childhood: “Dad had me in a big wire basket on the front handlebar of a bike when I was 4. We were on one of the steep, curvy roads (probably Turkey Hill), flying down it, with my mother falling way behind. But we could hear her – screaming for my father to Stop! Slow Down! You’re going to dump Susie on the road! Me? I was screaming for joy, loving it, saying Daddy, faster!” Sue found the blog about 4 years ago researching for a Mackinac trip.

Meet Pam Bond from outside Cincinnati OH. She found the blog in 2010 on an Internet search. Pam and her late husband Ernie discovered Mackinac for the first time in 1983, about four years after they married. Pam says she was "smitten" They round around the island on a bike made for two, saw Round Island light for the first time (she loves lighthouses), and discovered another love - Silver Birches. After that year they came as often as possible, usually bringing their own bikes. It was in 1990, while on an island picnic that she first heard the hauntingly beautiful theme song to Somewhere in Time, a song that captured her heart even though she had never seen the movie. They got back to the island several times after that. She lost Ernie in 2015 after 35 years of marriage. Pam wrote me the dearest letter which I won't share because it is very personal. But allow me to say her words touched my heart in the way that few ever have. Thank you Pam, for sharing the story of You and Ernie and Mackinac. I hope you return one day soon to the island you love so much.

Meet Pam Bond from outside Cincinnati OH. She found the blog in 2010 on an Internet search. Pam and her late husband Ernie discovered Mackinac for the first time in 1983, about four years after they married. Pam says she was “smitten” They rode around the island on a bike made for two, saw Round Island light for the first time (she loves lighthouses), and discovered another love – Silver Birches. After that year they came as often as possible, usually bringing their own bikes. It was in 1990, while on an island picnic that she first heard the hauntingly beautiful theme song to Somewhere in Time, a song that captured her heart, even though she had never seen the movie. They got back to the island several times after that. She lost Ernie in 2015 after 35 years of marriage. Pam wrote me the dearest letter which I won’t share, but allow me to say her words touched my heart in the way that few ever have. Thank you Pam, for sharing the story of you and Ernie and Mackinac. I hope you return one day soon to the island you love so much.

Please continue to send in your photo (as an attachment), where you live, how long you’ve been a blog reader, and how you found out about Bree’s Blog to: brendasumnerhorton@hotmail.com.

Bear is doing fine.  I stopped his pain meds today (they were just for a couple of days for the soreness of his incision), and he’s back to his old, unmedicated self – running, playing, eating, and begging for treats.  Hoping this week brings the good news we are praying for about his biopsy.  Thank you all so much for your continued prayers.

God bless.

The Bearster 4/21/16

You just never know what each week will bring, do you?

Facebook friends have already heard about this, but some of you don’t do Facebook, and I wanted to share and ask for your prayers.

Bear had a grooming appointment on Monday.  When I went to pick him up he was still on the table, and his groomer asked me to step in the back so she could show me something.  Behind Bear’s right ear was a growth about the size of a dime that was bleeding pretty well.  The lady who washes Bear had found it when she was blowing him dry.  Every time one of us would touch it, it would gush more blood.

I honestly thought it was a scab that the washing lady had scrubbed off – maybe from a bug bite, or where he had scratched it on something when he rolls around on the grass.  But the groomer insisted I take him directly to our vet.  “I just don’t like the way it looks,” she said.

So I called Flagler Animal Hospital, and they said “Come on in now.”

By the time we got there, the sore had stopped bleeding, and after they cleaned it up, it looked like a bright red blood blister.  The vet said, “It’s a tumor – either a hemangioma (benign) or a hemangiosarcoma (malignant).  It’s impossible to tell them apart just by looking, so we’re going to need to take it off and send it to the University of Florida School of Veterinary Medicine for a pathology report.”

So this morning I dropped Bear off on my way to volunteer at the ER.  They removed the tumor and closed the wound with two stitches.  I picked him up around 1:00 this afternoon.  He’s still a little sleepy from the anesthesia but ate a little supper and seems to be doing fine.  He has pain meds, and he’ll be in his halo collar when we aren’t around to monitor him (so he won’t scratch his stitches out).

We were told it could take one to two weeks to get the results back.  The waiting is going to be hard.

Please remember Bear in your prayers.  We pray for a benign report and many more years with our precious boy.

God bless.IMG_7405

 

Introducing . . . YOU! Part IV 4/17/16

I’m so PROUD of y’all!  The photos have continued to come in, and the number is at 58 as of today.  I’ll be posting the remaining 13 tonight, and this will be the last post I’ll use the title, “Introducing . . . YOU!”  BUT – if you keep sending me your photos, I will continue to integrate them into the blog posts.  So I really, really, really hope you don’t stop!

This has been such a fulfilling time for me as the writer of Bree’s Blog.  Getting to know those of you who decided to share your faces and your Mackinac stories has meant the world.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Here we go . . . .

melissa and travis flegel

This beautiful family is Melissa and Travis Flegel and their precious children Charleigh and Griffin – from St. Johns MI.  Melissa worked on Mackinac her first summer of college (1998), fell in love with the island, and has visited every summer since.  Travis proposed to her there in 2009 on a cold, rainy day.  Later that night they stopped by the Pink Pony and met  – guess who? – Ted.  Later on, when Melissa found the blog, she showed Travis Ted’s pic and said, “Look! We met him!”  So funny the number of folks who have met my Ted in the Pink Pony over the years!

Mary Jane McNeill and her fabulous family, while vacationing in Alaska last August. M.J. is from Thomasville GA and found the blog following the Island Bookstore Facebook page. Yeah, Jill! She's been a reader for about four years and couldn't believe that we lived at Lake Blackshear at the time - about 100 miles north of Thomasville. MJ has visited the island I think twice since beginning to read the blog. Correct me, M.J., if I'm wrong on that.

Mary Jane McNeill and her fabulous family – while vacationing in Alaska last August. MJ is from Thomasville GA and found the blog following the Island Bookstore Facebook page. Yeah, Jill! She’s been a reader for about four years and couldn’t believe that we lived at Lake Blackshear at the time – about 100 miles north of Thomasville. I think MJ has visited the island twice since beginning to read the blog. Correct me, MJ, if I’m wrong on that.  Photo above is son Archer, husband Arch, son Noah, daughter Rachel, son Patrick and Mary Jane.

This is Diane Boszko and her late husband Jeff at the Butterfly House on Mackinac. Diane and Jeff first visited Mackinac in 2007 and bought the best souvenir ever - an island condo. They fell in love with it that much on the first visit. Diane said, "I know it might seem strange for me to send in this photo of me with Jeff, but whenever I'm on the island I still feel as though he is right there with me - and I always visit the Butterfly House." Thank you Diane for sharing such a personal and poignant story. Ted and I can certainly relate to how much magic Mackinac can work with just one visit. Hugs.

This is Diane Boszko  (Chicago IL) and her late husband Jeff – at the Butterfly House behind St. Anne’s on Mackinac. Diane and Jeff first visited Mackinac in 2007 and bought the best souvenir ever – an island condo.  They fell in love with the island that much on the first visit!  Shortly after they bought the condo she read about the blog in The Town Crier.  Diane said, “I know it might seem strange for me to send in this photo of me with Jeff, but whenever I’m on the island I still feel as though he is right there with me – and I always visit the Butterfly House.”  Thank you Diane for sharing such a personal and poignant story. Ted and I can certainly relate to how much magic Mackinac can work with just one visit. Hugs, and I hope to meet you on the island soon.

 

Meet Roger and Barbara Blem from Perrysburg OH. They've been visiting a relative's cabin on Mullet Lake for years and often travel on up to the island. Barbara is that rare individual who, as a Freshman, attended the short-lived Mackinac College. She was good friends while there (and still is) with Irene Cowley, a loyal reader who began the Mackinac College web site (Barbara was one of the first adminsitrators of the site). Irene told Barbara about the blog almost at the very beginning.

Meet Roger and Barbara Blem from Perrysburg OH. They’ve been visiting a relative’s cabin on Mullet Lake for years and often travel on up to the island. Barbara is that rare individual who, as a Freshman, attended the short-lived Mackinac College. She is good friends with Irene Cowley, another Mackinac College alum and loyal blog reader.  Irene began the Mackinac College web site, and Barbara was one of the first administrators of the site. Irene told Barbara about the blog almost at the very beginning.  Barbara says, “We visit every couple of years and love it every time we’re there.  And I cry every time I leave.”  Me too, Barbara.

Meet Missy and Jason Howard and their darling children Brady and Holly - Fort Wayne IN. This photo is from Fort Holmes in 2011. She found the blog researching for this trip and went back to read everything, "not wanting to miss anything."

Meet Missy and Jason Howard and their darling children Brady and Holly – Fort Wayne IN. This photo is from Fort Holmes in 2011. Missy  found the blog researching for this trip and went back to read all the posts, “because I didn’t want to miss anything!”

Meet Gail and Karl Richter from Wisconsin. This photo is from ten years ago when they attended a Somewhere In Time Weekend at Grand Hotel, and they come back every year for that special event. Now this is REALLY cool - Gail made her suit (she makes most of her suits and dresses for the Somewhere in Time weekends), and although she didn't make Karl's suit in this photo, she HAS made many of the suits he wears on these occasions. She occasionally has a vintage pattern to copy, but mostly just sees a photograph and designs the clothese from the photo. Now THAT is a real gift!

This is Gail and Karl Richter from Wisconsin. The photo is from ten years ago at one of the many Somewhere In Time Weekends they’ve attended at Grand Hotel.  Now this is REALLY cool – Gail made her suit (she makes most of her suits and dresses for the Somewhere in Time weekends), and although she didn’t make Karl’s suit in this photo, she HAS made many of the suits he wears on these occasions. She occasionally has a vintage pattern to copy, but mostly just happens upon an antique Edwardian era photograph and designs the clothes from the photo. Now THAT is a real gift!  Oh, Gail worked at the Lakeview Hotel as a chambermaid during her college years.

You met Kem and Ed Green a couple of posts ago, but this is Kem and her mom Arlene - Hampton Iowa. Kem told her mom about the blog when I mentioned she and Ed the first time in 2013, and she's been a reader ever since. Arlene has never visited the island, but she and Kem's daddy drove across the Mackinac Bridge on their honeymoon in 1958. Hugs, Arlene - I just love that daughter of yours!

You met Kem and Ed Green a couple of posts ago, but this is Kem and her mom Arlene – Hampton Iowa. Kem told her mom about the blog when I mentioned her and Ed the first time in 2013, and she’s been a reader ever since. Arlene has never visited the island, but she and Kem’s daddy drove across the Mackinac Bridge on their honeymoon in 1958. Hugs, Arlene – I just love that daughter of yours and her sweet husband!

Meet Jennifer Herko, her daughter Sarah, and her mom and dad. They hail from Warren OH. This photo is in front of The Island House in 2012, and that's when she became a reader. Jennifer says, "If I could, I'd trade in my vehicle for a bike and snowmobile and go live on Mackinac!" That's a dream a lot of folks have, Jennifer!

Meet Jennifer Herko, her daughter Sarah, and her mom and dad. They hail from Warren OH. This photo is in front of The Island House in 2012, and that’s when she became a reader. Jennifer says, “If I could, I’d trade in my vehicle for a bike and snowmobile and go live on Mackinac!” That’s a dream a lot of folks have, Jennifer!

This is Darcy Cole, who splits her time between Dallas TX and Cheboygan MI on Twin Lakes. Darcy's grandparents were from Cheboygan and Mackinaw City, so she grew up visiting both places frequently. I was immediately jealous when I saw where Darcy was standing in this photo - on Round Island! She was lucky enough to get a tour of the Round Island Lighthouse last summer (yes, that's Grand Hotel in the background). Darcy's been a blog reader since she retired in 2011and found it on Facebook. She and her husband's have a goal of wintering in Florida and summering in Michigan. Go for it, Darcy!

This is Darcy Cole, who splits her time between Dallas TX and Cheboygan MI on Twin Lakes. Darcy’s grandparents were from Cheboygan and Mackinaw City, so she grew up visiting both places frequently. I was immediately jealous when I saw where Darcy was standing in this photo – on Round Island! She was lucky enough to get a tour of the Round Island Lighthouse last summer. Darcy’s been a blog reader since she retired in 2011 and found it on Facebook. She and her husband have a goal of wintering in Florida and summering in Michigan.  I highly recommend it, Darcy!

This is Joan and Roland Asoklis from Shelby Township MI. Ted and I have met this great couple on the island. They are part of a group of friends who visit every year in August. She says, "I've found many island treasurer from your blog posts - like Anne's Tablet!" Oh - very important fact. Joan two cats, Abby and Benny are paw pals with Bear and Maddie!

This is Joan and Roland Asoklis from Shelby Township MI (shown here before a ride out of Cindy’s Stables on Mackinac). Ted and I have met this great couple on the island. They are part of a group of friends who visit every year in August. Joan says, “I’ve found many island treasures from your blog posts – like Anne’s Tablet!” Oh – very important fact – Joan’s two cats, Abby and Benny, are paw pals with Bear and Maddie!

These beautiful faces belong to Abby Barber, her daughter Sloane and son Berkeley - Minneapolis MN. Abby, her husband Jason, and Berkeley visited the island for the first time in June of 2014, although she had been a couple of times as a child herself. When she returned home she had that same feeling a lot of us do after our first visits and searched the Internet for anything that would keep her connected - and she found Bree's Blog! They're going back this August, and I hope we run into them during their visit!

These beautiful faces belong to Abby Barber, her daughter Sloane and son Berkeley – Minneapolis MN. Abby, her husband Jason, and Berkeley visited the island for the first time in June of 2014, and Abby had been a couple of times as a child. When she returned home she had that same feeling a lot of us do after our first visits and searched the Internet for anything that would keep her connected.  That’s when she found Bree’s Blog! They’re going back this August, and I hope we run into them during their visit!

Meet Bobbie and Tommy Gaye, sweet friends from my hometown of Sylvester GA (they've lived in Albany GA since 1992. Bobbie's been reading the blog for about five years.

Meet Bobbie and Tommy Gaye, sweet friends from my hometown of Sylvester GA (they’ve lived in Albany GA since 1992). Bobbie’s been reading the blog for about five years.

This is Sally and Scott Kiekintveld from Holland MI, and I love Scott's story. His father and grandfather participated in the Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Walk the second year after the walk was created. Scott joined them the next year, and they've continued that tradition for 56 consecutive years, and now his wife, their sons and their wives, children and grandchildren all do the walks together. Scott learned about the blog from a friend about five years ago. They usually include a visit to Mackinac either before or after the walk, Scott says, "It's so fun to watch the grandkids' faces when they step off the boat and see the horses and bikes!""

This is Sally and Scott Kiekintveld from Holland MI, and I love Scott’s story. His father and grandfather participated in the Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Walk the second year after the walk was created. Scott joined them the next year, and they’ve continued that tradition for 56 consecutive years.  Now his wife, their sons and their wives, children, and grandchildren all do the walks together. Scott learned about the blog from a friend about five years ago. They usually include a visit to Mackinac either before or after the walk, Scott says, “It’s so fun to watch the grandkids’ faces when they step off the boat and see the horses and bikes!””

And there you are – 58 blog readers and a little taste of their Mackinac stories.  Just makes me want to hear from more of you!  Keep ’em coming please to brendasumnerhorton@hotmail.com

Oh, IF you’ve sent in a photo and story, and I haven’t posted it, PLEASE let me know at my email.  Some of your emails have gone to my spam filter, but I’ve tried to check there on a regular basis.  If I’ve missed one, please let me know – or resend!

Not much has been happening since we chatted on Thursday, so I’ll just save up what I have from Mackinac and the beach for the next post.  Hoping all of you have a great upcoming week!

Hugs all around – and again THANK YOU for reading and being part of this blogging family we’ve created.

God bless.

Introducing . . . YOU! Part III 4/14/16

WooHoo!  Another great week of opening emails and seeing smiling faces!  As of now, I’ve received 51 photographs. Tonight I’ll post another 15, taking the number posted up to 45, and leaving only six.  BUT – I’m hoping by Sunday I’ll have enough to post another 15!  Regardless, I’ll post the remaining ones on Sunday.

As I said, you keep sending them in, and I’ll keep on posting them.  No deadline on this!  I’ll just place them into the blog as I receive them!  Include your name, a photo as an attachment, where you’re from, and how and when you discovered Bree’s Blog.  Easy!

Ok . . . here we go!

paul wright

Meet Paul Wright and his lovely wife Bette Ann from Lathrup Village MI.  Paul and Bette Ann have been visiting the island since 1975, and I know you’ve already figured out this photo was taken on Grand Hotel’s front porch!

Mary Hughes

Meet Mary Hughes from Marion OH.  Mary found the blog two years ago on the Mackinac Island News & Views Facebook page and has read every post!  I’m in awe that some of you do that!

jamie, melody, nathan, Evan James

This great family is Melody James, her husband Jamie, and sons Nathan & Evan.  They hail from Zeeland MI and found the blog link from a Mackinac Island business website in 2010.  I met Melody for the first time in 2011 when she stopped by the Stuart House to say hi.

This smiling face belongs to Deborah Crawford from Midland Ontario, Canada. Deborah has been reading for 6-7 years after finding the blog link on Google. The photo is from a Memorial Day weekend at Colonial Fort Michilimackinac in Mackinaw City, and the handsome gentleman in the photo is a re-enactor portraying Deborah's 6 X great-grandfather, Ezekiel Solomon!

This smiling face belongs to Deborah Crawford from Midland Ontario, Canada. Deborah has been reading for 6-7 years, after finding the blog link on Google. The photo is from a Memorial Day Pageant weekend in 2008 at Colonial Fort Michilimackinac in Mackinaw City.  The handsome gentleman in the photo is a reenactor portraying Deborah’s 6 X great-grandfather, Ezekiel Solomon.  Ezekiel’s trading post was one of the first structures studied by archaeologists at the fort site, and it has now been completely reconstructed.

Ezekiel was also Michigan's first Jewish settler, and this marker

Ezekiel was also Michigan’s first Jewish settler, and this marker at the fort tells his amazing story.  How cool is that!

Meet Marlena and Larry Black from Kansas City MO. Marlena had wanted to visit Mackinac since she first saw the movie Somewhere in Time. She was researching for their first trip in 2012 and discovered the blog. She said, "I've laughed with you, cried with you, and prayed for and with you." Bless you, Marlena, my friend - and thank you.

Meet Marlena and Larry Black from Kansas City MO. Marlena had wanted to visit Mackinac since she first saw the movie Somewhere in Time. She was researching for their first trip in 2012 and discovered the blog. She said, “I’ve laughed with you, cried with you, and prayed for and with you.” Bless you, Marlena, my friend – and thank you.

Meet Anita Henry from Sandusky MI. Anita has been a blog reader since 2009.

Meet Anita Henry from Sandusky MI. Anita has been a blog reader since 2009.

Two dear friends from Albany GA - Marty Harris, who passed away in February, 2014, and Betty Hester.

Two dear friends from Albany GA – Marty Harris, who passed away in February, 2014, and Betty Hester.  Betty has read Bree’s Blog for many years.  Marty is the awesome lady who peaked my interest in getting Bear and I certified as a Pet Therapy team, and she and Betty supported and encouraged me every step of the way.  The beautiful plaque behind them is of Marty and her loyal therapy dog, Hero.  April 30th is National Therapy Animal Day, created by Pet Partners to “recognize the exceptional therapy animals who partner with their human companions to bring comfort and healing to those in need”.  Bear and I both miss being involved in this fulfilling work.  Betty, you REALLY need to come visit us on Mackinac!

Meet Susan and Lee Stahl from Lakeside MI. they'd been coming to Mackinac Island for 38 years as "boating fudgies", anchoring their boat at the island marina each year. In 2012 their boat wasn't ready, and they decided to drive up. They spent a week at the Grand Hotel and "we finally felt like we were locals", says Susan. "I can still hear 'clop, clop, clopping outside our bedroom window. It was the best vacation ever." Susan found the blog that year on their way home by Googling "why they chopped down the trees on the way to the Grand". Up came the blog, and she's been reading ever since. They were on the island when they were filming Somewhere in Time with their teenage daughters, who are both now in their 50's. Susan says, "The island is always in my heart." Yes, Susan, I know that feeling well.

Meet Susan and Lee Stahl from Lakeside MI. They’d been coming to Mackinac Island for 38 years as “boating fudgies”, anchoring their boat at the island marina each year. In 2012 their boat wasn’t ready, and they decided to drive up. They spent a week at Grand Hotel and, “We finally felt like we were locals”, says Susan. “I can still hear clop, clop, clopping outside our bedroom window. It was the best vacation ever.” Susan found the blog that same year – on their way home – by Googling “why they chopped down the trees on the way to the Grand”. Up came the blog, and she’s been reading ever since. They were on the island when they were filming Somewhere in Time with their teenage daughters, who are both now in their 50’s. Susan says, “The island is always in my heart.” I know that feeling well, Susan.

This is Jeani and Jerry Gabor from Sun Prairie WI. Jeani is a frequent commenter and found the blog four years ago on the Mackinac Island web site.

This is Jeani and Jerry Gabor from Sun Prairie WI. Jeani is a frequent commenter and found the blog four years ago on the Mackinac Island web site.

Meet Cindy Cislak from Indianapolis IN - and her beautiful granddaughter Kira. Cindy and her husband started coming to Mackinac in 1985 with their two children, and they've come every year since. There are now 10 coming each year - including their childrens' spouses and four grandchildren. Cindy has followed the blog since the beginning, and she's come by several times to say hello at the Stuart House. In fact, Cindy may be the very first reader who came by and introduced herself to me there. Cindy says, "Even after all these years, Mackinac is still magical!" Amen, Cindy.

Meet Cindy Cislak from Indianapolis IN – and her beautiful granddaughter Kira. Cindy and her husband started coming to Mackinac in 1985 with their two children, and they’ve come every year since. There are now 10 visiting each year – including their childrens’ spouses and four grandchildren (the two granddaughters – four and seven years of age – are already planning Macknac weddings). Cindy has followed the blog since the beginning, and she’s come by several times to say hello at the Stuart House. In fact, Cindy may be the very first reader who came by and introduced herself to me there. Cindy says, “Even after all these years, Mackinac is still magical!” Amen, Cindy. This photo is from the Carriage House at the Iroquois Hotel.

Meet Lisa Foose from Medina OH. She found the blog five years ago on Google.

Meet Lisa Foose from Medina OH. She found the blog five years ago on Google.

This is Kathy and George Strukel with two of their darling grandchildren. They've just moved to Tampa FL, and they've been coming to the island since they were married in 1985 - first with kids, then grandkids, and now with their precious little furbaby, Sophie. I have a photo of all of us together on the Stuart House steps in 2010. Kathy found the blog on Google years ago.

This is Kathy and George Strukel, with two of their darling grandchildren. They’ve just moved to Tampa FL, and they’ve been coming to the island since they were married in 1985 – first with kids, then grandkids, and now with their precious little furbaby, Sophie. I have a photo of all of us together on the Stuart House steps in 2010. Kathy found the blog on Google years ago.

This is Megan Murray from Frankfort KY, where she's a 4th grade reading and writing teacher. Megan is Ann M.'s sister (Ann was in the first installment of Introducing . . . You!, and she was the one who told Megan about the blog). The sisters' grandparents had a cabin on Carp Lake, and they vacationed there for two weeks each summer. Megan says, "I've been reading the blog for 5-6 years and have very found memories of Carp Lake, Mackinaw City, and Mackinac Island."

Meet Megan Murray from Frankfort KY, where she’s a 4th grade reading and writing teacher. Megan is Ann M.’s sister (Ann was in the first installment of Introducing . . . You!, and she was the one who told Megan about the blog). The sisters’ grandparents had a cabin on Carp Lake, and they vacationed there for two weeks each summer. Megan says, “I’ve been reading the blog for 5-6 years and have very fond memories of Carp Lake, Mackinaw City, and Mackinac Island.”

I love this pic! This is Jay Rupprecht, and that charming creature next to him is Louie the Loon, the mascot of the Class A farm team for the L.A. Dodgers who play in Midland MI.

I love this pic! This is Jay Rupprecht, and that charming creature next to him is Louie the Loon, the mascot of the Class A farm team for the LA Dodgers, who play in Midland MI where Jay works.  Jay and wife Peggy live in Frankenmuth MI (another favorite town of ours) and have been blog readers for about five years.  They were married on the island in 2004 in the Mission Point gazebo.  Jay says, “We love the island, and my wife says it’s the only place on earth where I calm down and can actually relax some.”  Their long-term goal is to become full-time Mackinac Island residents!  Hold on to that dream, Jay and Peggy!

This is Kathleen and Jim Tilson, enjoying a sweet treat at Sadie's in 2014. They hail from Indianapolis IN. Jim first went to the island with his grandparents back in 1953 and has returned many times. He and Kathleen honeymooned there in 1973. Jim says, We've been there at all times of the year - including December. Each time we go we say 'it's the perfect time to visit.'"

This is Kathleen and Jim Tilson, enjoying a sweet treat at Sadie’s in 2014. They hail from Indianapolis IN. Jim first visited the island with his grandparents back in 1953 and has returned many times. He and Kathleen honeymooned there in 1973. Jim says, “We’ve been there at all times of the year – including December. Each time we go we say ‘it’s the perfect time to visit.'”

And that’s your next 15!

Keep ’em coming, y’all!

WHAT’S HAPPENING ON MACKINAC!

It's hard to believe this is an April 10 photo! (Photo: Carolyn May)

It’s hard to believe this is an April 10 photo! Carolyn May captured the conditions on Cadotte Avenue from her snowmobile.

I believe this was actually a few days before the middle of April snow storm began. A beautiful shot of Anne's Tablet and the town below. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

I believe this was actually a few days before the middle of April snow storm began. A beautiful shot of Anne’s Tablet and the town below. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

This robin seemed to be considering heading back a little south as it contemplated its reflection in the icy puddle. (Photo: Robert McGreevy)

As it contemplated its reflection in an icy puddle, this robin seemed to be considering heading back south.  (Photo: Robert McGreevy)

 

A downtown scene - after it'd been snowing for 24 hours straight. (Photo: Tom Chambers)

A downtown scene – after it’d been snowing for 24 hours straight. (Photo: Tom Chambers)

Not your typical April photograph! (Photo: Greg Main)

Not your typical April photograph! (Photo: Greg Main)

April 11, and the snow is still falling. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

April 11, and the snow is still falling. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

The same day, and through the snow workers make their way up the hill past Grand Hotel. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

The same day, and through the snow workers, residents, taxis and drays make their way down the hill past Grand Hotel. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

Island friend Kay Berke was returning home from Europe and was able to spot the island from thousands of feet overhead! What a photo catch, Kay!

Island friend Kay Berke was returning home to Illinois from Europe and was able to spot the island from thousands of feet overhead! What a photo catch, Kay!

Cutest. Photo. Ever. Andrew Doud (owner of Doud's Market) patiently shows his oldest son, Louie, how to stock shelves. Generation to generation. And that's how it's done on Mackinac.

Cutest. Photo. Ever. Andrew Doud (owner of Doud’s Market) patiently shows his oldest son, Louie, how to stock shelves. Generation to generation – that’s how it’s done on Mackinac.

Although the temps have risen this week into the 40’s, Mackinac is really blustery right now, with wind chills in the 30’s.  Everyone is hoping the snow will melt soon, and that before long the Grand Hotel tulips (which are already breaking above the ground) will be basking in a glorious, warm Mackinac Spring!

FLORIDA NEWS

Nothing that even resembles snow here in Sunset Inlet. A different view of our neighborhood from Cat Brooks - a neighbor "across the way". That's her husband Eddie in the kayak.

Nothing that even resembles snow here in Sunset Inlet. A different view of our neighborhood from friend Cat Brooks – a neighbor “across the way”. That’s her husband Eddie in the kayak.

We were so excited to see Mike, Jeanine and Siena Forrester a couple of weeks ago. They drove down for dinner with us from St. Augustine, where they were enjoying Spring Break. Dinner at the Funky Pelican and a tour of the Flagler Beach pier! Love these folks!

We were so excited to see Mike, Jeanine and Siena Forrester a couple of weeks ago. They drove down for dinner with us from St. Augustine, where they were enjoying Spring Break. Dinner at the Funky Pelican and a tour of the Flagler Beach pier! Love these folks!

I pulled over on the side of the road last Thursday morning on the way to volunteer to capture the sun rise.

I pulled over on the side of the road last Thursday morning on the way to volunteer to capture this sunrise.

A day of shopping, lunch, and more shopping ended in a furniture store - trying out couches. I think the owners thought we were going to all take naps before we moved on to our next stop.

A day of shopping, lunch, and more shopping ended in a furniture store – trying out couches. I think the store owners were afraid we were going to all take naps before we moved on to our next stop because they sure moved us quickly away from the mattress display!  Love these ladies – all Sunset Inlet neighbors – Lisa, Sue, Jennifer and Sharon.

You never know what will be waiting where Hwy. 100 runs into the ocean in Flagler Beach!

You never know what will be waiting where Hwy. 100 runs into A1A in Flagler Beach.I love this intersection – especially since the specialty kite store has opened just across the street!

angelique2

Another sunrise – this one captured by friend and neighbor Angelique Delage. I love that our little house is in this one!

Ok – I think that catches us up!!

Have a great weekend and keep those photos coming in!  Love y’all!

God bless.

Introducing . . . YOU! Part II 4/10/16

I am having SO MUCH FUN!  Y’all keep sending in pics (and stories and memories), and I keep writing them down (I have to admit I’ve laughed out loud at some and shed a few tears over others).  Y’all sure say some sweet things!

Ok.  15 more reader photos tonight.  I have another 15 already waiting, but PLEASE don’t let that stop you!  I can’t tell you how much seeing all your faces means to me, and I know everyone else is enjoying this as much as I am.

I will keep posting photos as long as you send them in, and on Thursday I’ll also begin to write again about Mackinac and what’s happening in Florida.

And here we go . . . .

Stefanie and Nick Anderson (and Hank the dog) - Ogden IL. These folks were married at the Harbor View Inn in 2010 and are expecting their first baby in August. They were back on Mackinac for their 5th anniversary. Stefanie's been reading the blog for years.

Stefanie and Nick Anderson (and Hank the dog) – Ogden IL. These folks were married at the Harbor View Inn in 2010 and are expecting their first baby in August. They were back on Mackinac for their 5th anniversary. Stefanie’s been reading the blog for years.

Heidi and Jerry Russell - Saginaw MI. Heidi has been reading Bree's Blog since 2009 and found it as a link on Grand Hotel's Blog.

Heidi and Jerry Russell – Saginaw MI. Heidi has been reading Bree’s Blog since 2009 and found it as a link on Grand Hotel’s Blog.  This great photo is from a recent vacation in Las Vegas!

You will probably all recognize Lowell and Faye Greene from Olivet MI. I have written about them often and just love them to pieces. In this photo they're with their grandson Mitchel and sons Timothy, Travis, and Todd. Lowell found the blog in 2012 while Googling "Mackinac Island" and then went back and read every post from the beginning, and says, "I haven't missed one since!"

You will probably all recognize Lowell and Faye Greene from Olivet MI. I’ve written about them often, have eaten lunch at their home, and spent a pretty special 3-4 days with them on Mackinac one summer!  Oh, and I  just love them to pieces. In this photo they’re with their grandson Mitchel and sons Timothy, Travis, and Todd. Lowell found the blog in 2012 while Googling “Mackinac Island” and then went back and read every post from the beginning.  He says, “I haven’t missed one since!”

Becky Goodspeed - Grand Rapids MI. Becky worked at the Iroquois Hotel the summer of 1972., and visits the island often. She found the blog in a 2013 Town Crier article.

Becky Goodspeed – Grand Rapids MI. Becky worked at the Iroquois Hotel the summer of 1972, and visits the island often. She found the blog in a 2013 Town Crier article.

This is Taylor and Derrick Franckowiak from Berkley MI. This beautiful couple got married last summer at The Chippewa on the day the power went out (I remember it well). Taylor went on to say the Chippewa staff handled everything, and they never wou

Meet Taylor and Derrick Franckowiak from Berkley MI. This beautiful couple got married last summer at the Chippewa Hotel on the day the power went out (I remember it well). Taylor went on to say, “All  the Chippewa workers were absolutely amazing about the whole thing.  They made it seem like nothing had happened, and the party went off without a glitch.”  Taylor found the blog in 2010 from a Facebook link and has been a reader ever since.  She even won a “Mystery Spot” (remember those?) contest in 2012 by identifying the Sugar Shack on French Lane.  Hmmmm . . . maybe I should do that contest again this summer!?

Meet Phil and Jeanne Smith from Byron Center MI. They just moved there two weeks ago from Cincinnati OH. Jeanne stumbled across the blog while researching Mackinac Island and has been a "silent reader" since 2013.

Meet Phil and Jeanne Smith from Byron Center MI. They just moved there two weeks ago from Cincinnati OH. Jeanne stumbled across the blog while researching Mackinac Island and has been a “silent reader” since 2013.  I don’t know where they are in this particular photo, but I’m loving all that green grass, trees and shade!

Kate and Scott Stuart - Huntington IN. Kate and Scott visited the island in the 80's and 90's with their children but didn't return again until 2007. They've come back twice a year since then. Kate found the blog while surfing the net for Mackinac Island tidbits and has been a reader almost from the beginning. They're going to be on the island in September also. September seems like it's going to be a very popular month with Bree's Blog readers!

Kate and Scott Stuart – Huntington IN. Kate and Scott visited the island in the 80’s and 90’s with their children, but didn’t return again until 2007. They’ve come back twice a year since then. Kate found the blog while surfing the net for Mackinac Island tidbits and has been a reader almost from the beginning. When I saw this photo I wrote Kate back and asked hadn’t we met before.  And we had – once on Market Street at a 9/11 service, and she was with a large group of blog readers who had photos made on the steps of the Stuart House last year.  She said, “One of the best things about the island is the people we’ve met over the years.  Everyone is so open and happy.  How can you be grumpy on Mackinac, right?”  How indeed, Kate?!  They’re going to be on the island in September also. September seems like it’s shaping up to be a very popular month with Bree’s Blog readers!

Meet Cindy Worswick from Shelby Twp. WI. Cindy found the blog on Google after a trip to the island in 2012.

Meet Cindy Worswick from Shelby Twp. WI. Cindy found the blog on Google after a trip to the island in 2012.

Y'all know these two from a couple of weeks ago! We had lunch with Paul and Elaine Williams (Yale MI) here in Beverly Beach, and their photo was on the blog. Paul remembers exactly when he found Bree's Blog because he "wrote it down in his journal". That was in 2010, and a few months later he and Elaine were on the island and recognized Bear and Maddie (not me, just Bear and Maddie). They introduced themselves, and we've all been buddies ever since.

Y’all know these two from a couple of weeks ago! We had lunch with Paul and Elaine Williams (Yale MI) here in Beverly Beach, and their photo was on the blog that week. Paul remembers exactly when he found Bree’s Blog because he “wrote it down in his journal”. That was in 2010, and a few months later he and Elaine were on the island and recognized Bear and Maddie (not me, just Bear and Maddie). They introduced themselves, and we’ve all been buddies ever since.

This is Sarah and her beautiful family from Richland MI. Sarah found the blog on Google 4 years ago. She's been going to Mackinac since she was a child.

This is Sarah and her beautiful family from Richland MI. Sarah found the blog on Google four years ago. She’s been going to Mackinac Island since she was a child.

Meet Pam Pruder, bride Amy (Pam's daughter), and Amanda. This was from Amy's wedding at Grand Hotel last summer. They're from St. Clair Shores MI, and Pam's been a reader for about four years.

Meet Pam Pruder, bride Amy (Pam’s daughter), and Amanda. This was from Amy’s wedding at Grand Hotel last summer. They’re from St. Clair Shores MI, and Pam’s been a reader for about four years.

Joleen and Bruce Griffin and daughter Aria from Madison WI. Joleen found the blog through The Town Crier over five years ago, and she went back and read everything. After she began reading the blog she remembered meeting me at the old Grand Stables many years before, but had no idea then I was "Bree the Blogger" until she connected all the dots.

Joleen and Bruce Griffin and daughter Aria from Madison WI. Joleen found the blog through The Town Crier over five years ago, and she went back and read every post. After she began reading the blog she remembered meeting me at the old Grand Stables many years before, but had no idea then I was “Bree the Blogger” – until she connected all the dots.  Hoping to see you on the island this summer, Joleen!

Meet Jan and Don Weir from Indianapolis IN and Harbor Springs MI. Jan has been a blog reader "for a long time". She and Don travel to Mackinac at least twice a year. They are professional Nantucket basket weavers and sell their baskets at Scrimshanders on the island (inside the Chippewa Hotel).

Meet Jan and Don Weir from Indianapolis IN and Harbor Springs MI. Jan has been a blog reader “for a long time”. She and Don travel to Mackinac at least twice a year. They are professional Nantucket basket weavers and sell their baskets at Scrimshanders on the island (inside the Chippewa Hotel).  How awesome is that!?  LOVE those baskets!  I need to introduce them to the Conlons in Harbor Springs!

Jason and Kimberly Bott from Saukville WI. Jason discovered the blog while researching the island before their first visit in 2009 The Botts became engaged, were married, and found out they were pregnant with their first child on Mackinac. "The Island is a very special place for us," Jason says.

Jason and Kimberly Bott from Saukville WI. Jason discovered the blog while researching the island before their first visit in 2009.  The Botts became engaged, were married, and found out they were pregnant with their first child – all on Mackinac. “The Island is a very special place for us,” Jason says.

Meet Becky, Dave, and nine-year-old twins A.J. and Emma from Indianapolis IN. Becky has been visiting the island since she was six months old because her grandparents had a cottage there. She used to spend two weeks on the island each summer of her childhood. She found Bree's Blog several years ago on Google.

Meet Becky, Dave, and nine-year-old twins A.J. and Emma from Indianapolis IN. Becky has been visiting the island since she was six months old because her grandparents had a cottage there. She spent two weeks on the island each summer during her childhood. She found Bree’s Blog several years ago on Google.

And that’s our second set of 15! 

Ok – keep ’em coming!  I’ll post 15 more one day this coming week, and will continue to post as long as you send them in!  Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you who have already sent in your photos.  I love each and every one!

More to come . .

YES, IT’S STILL SNOWING ON MACKINAC!

A dray driver passes the Stonecliffe gate. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

A dray driver passes the Stonecliffe gate. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

NO, IT’S NOT SNOWING IN FLORIDA

Happy Bear!

Happy Bear!

God bless.

Introducing . . . . You! 4/7/16

Wow!  I have LOVED opening my email inbox this week!  Your photos are pouring in, and I’m hoping that will continue over the next few days.  I know some of you may be bashful about appearing on a blog, but I’m hoping – after this first set of pics – you change your mind and decide to “personally” introduce yourself (and your family, if you’d like) to me and the other blog readers.

Oh – here’s something interesting.  At least half of the photos I’ve received so far have been from my “silent readers”.  Oh my gosh, how I am loving that!  But . . . that doesn’t mean I don’t want to hear from those of you who comment often, or who I’ve met in person on the island.  I mean, just because I’ve met you doesn’t mean other readers have.  And this is an equal opportunity project!  Everybody gets to meet everybody!

Here are the first 15 photos – in no particular order!

gail and ray kalnajs

Meet Gail and Ray Kalnajs from Chicago, IL!  Here they are celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary at The Inn at Stonecliffe last summer (they decided on the Inn after reading my Stonecliffe blogs last June). Gail found Bree’s Blog while surfing the Internet on a day she was “longing for Mackinac” and has been a reader for 4-5 years.  P.S.  They LOVED Stonecliffe and plan to return.

 

traci and bill rackley

Traci and Bill Rackley from Palaski TN.  Photo on Mackinac Island in June, 2013 (they came by the Stuart House while on this trip to say hello).  Traci found Bree’s Blog 5-6 years ago while Googling “Mackinac”.

Jayne and Ken Murdoch - Cedar Lake MI. Jayne and Ken have been visiting Mackinac at least once a year since 1975. She found the blog in 2010 while researching a coming trip to the Island. They met Ted in the Pink Pony one night (imagine that) a few years ago and were his partners in Trivia Pursuit game. Too funny!

Jayne and Ken Murdoch – Cedar Lake IN. Jayne and Ken have been visiting Mackinac at least once a year since 1975. She found the blog in 2010 while researching a future trip to the Island. They met Ted in the Pink Pony one night (imagine that) a few years ago and were his partners in a Trivia Pursuit game. Too funny!  Hoping I get to meet them too this summer!

Ann M. is from Kentucky, but originally from Michigan. She says she was bored at work one day and was Googling Up North and Mackinac Island, and she landed on Bree's Blog. That was 5-6 years ago.

Ann M. is from Kentucky, but originally from Michigan. She says she was bored at work one day, Googled “Up North” and “Mackinac Island”, and landed on Bree’s Blog. That was 5-6 years ago.  Glad you’re still aboard, Ann!

Meet Jason and Sirena Bergeron from San Antonio TX. Jason found Sirena were married on the island, but he found the blog 4-5 years ago while stationed in Afghanistan. Jason and Sirena are huge fans of the island and hope to visit again soon.

Meet Jason and Sirena Bergeron from San Antonio TX. Jason and Sirena were married on the island, and he found the blog 4-5 years ago while stationed in Afghanistan. Jason and Sirena are huge fans of Mackinac and hope to visit again soon.  Wow!  Only 4-5 years?  It seems as though I’ve been corresponding with Jason for a lot longer than that.  Jason was in charge of all the  working dogs serving in Afghanistan for several years.  He’s back in the states now, and I know Sirena is happy about that!  And so are all of us who prayed for his safe return.

Arnie and Karen Strasz - Red Wing MN. This photo is from Mackinac where they were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary last June (looks like during the Lilac Festival)! They found the blog after their 2015 trip. Arnie and Karen honeymooned on the island in 1965 and have been back 8 times over the last 10 years.

Arnie and Karen Strasz – Red Wing MN. This photo is from Mackinac, where they were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary last June (looks like it was during the Lilac Festival)! They found the blog after their 2015 trip. Arnie and Karen honeymooned on the island in 1965 and have been back 8 times over the last 10 years.

James H. (husband of blog reader Cheryl) and their beloved Tiki, who they lost last October. They've from Plainfield IL and found the blog 4-5 years ago while researching the island after their first visit.

James H. (husband of blog reader Cheryl) and their beloved Tiki, who crossed the Rainbow Bridge last October. They’ve from Plainfield IL and found the blog 4-5 years ago, while researching the island after their first visit.

Hilde and Bud DaVanon from Minooka IL and who I love, love, love! Hilde's been a reader since 2010 when she Googled "Mackinac Island" and I popped up. They visited the island the first time in 2008, missed in 2009, but haven't missed a year since. Ted and I have spent some really special times with this sweet couple enjoying "our" island together.

Hilde and Bud DaVanon from Minooka IL.  I love, love, love me some Hilde and Bud! Hilde’s been a reader since 2010 when she Googled “Mackinac Island”, and Bree’s Blog popped up. They visited the island the first time in 2008, missed in 2009, but haven’t missed a year since. Ted and I have spent some really special times with this sweet couple enjoying “our” island together.  I think the bench they’re sitting on is right outside the Chippewa Hotel – or maybe the Pink Pony!  Looking forward to seeing you guys during your September trip to Mackinac!

Meet Karen Snyder from Niles MI. Karen had a hard time finding a photo of herself because she's always BEHIND the camera. I can sure relate to that, Karen! She discovered the blog in 2010 from ANOTHER Mackinac Island blog written by our good friend, Mike Forrester, from Atlanta. After she found the blog she spent the rest of the winter going back and reading every post from the very beginning!

Meet Karen Snyder from Niles MI. Karen had a hard time finding a photo of herself because she’s always BEHIND the camera. I can sure relate to that, Karen! She discovered the blog in 2010 from ANOTHER Mackinac Island blog written by our Atlanta good friend, Mike Forrester. After she found Bree’s Blog she spent the rest of the winter going back and reading every post from the very beginning!  Wow – back in 2010 that would have been 400+ blog posts!  FYI – THIS is the 798th post to Bree’s Mackinac Island Blog!

Sweet friends Kem and Ed Green from Des Moines IA. Hey! I recognize that window behind you guys! Kem discovered the blog in 2011 and is another one who went back and read from the beginning. We love getting together with these two when they're on the island, which is at least once a summer. See y'all in September!

Sweet friends Kem and Ed Green from Des Moines IA. I recognize that window behind you guys! Kem discovered the blog in 2011 and is another reader who went back and read from the beginning. We love getting together with these two when they’re on the island, which is at least once a summer. See y’all when you’re up in September!

Mike and Pam Day - Ohio. AKA Nana and Poppy! I love these two, who Ted and I see almost every summer on Mackinac. Friend and artist Mary Lou Peters told Pam about the blog in 2011, and she's been a reader ever since.

Mike and Pam Day – Ohio – aka Nana and Poppy! I love these two, and Ted and I see them almost every summer on Mackinac. Friend and artist Mary Lou Peters told Pam about the blog in 2011, and she’s been a reader ever since.  See y’all this summer!  P.S.  Frequent readers may recognize that wicker bike basket between Pam and Mike.  Yep – I cropped my tired, sweaty, windblown self right out of this photo.  LOL. Sorry, Pam!

Two of my favorite people ever - DeAna and her son Trace, who just became a fireman (like his dad) in their homem of Commerce Township MI.

Two of my favorite people ever – DeAna and her son Trace, who just became a fireman like his dad.  They all live in Commerce Township MI.  DeAna found the blog through Facebook about 6 years ago.  The whole family came by to meet me at the Stuart House several years ago (before Trace even had his driver’s license)!  They toured the Mackinac Island fire station that day – if I’m remembering correctly.  DeAna prayed me through some scary hours when Blake was in Turkey – her heart reaching out to mine as only another mother could.  Love you, my sweet friend!

Sterling Slaven and his beautiful family - Glenpool OK.

Sterling Slaven and his beautiful family – Glenpool OK.  This photo was taken at Sterling and wife Tina’s daughter’s wedding last year.  Children are Savannah, Sawyer, Sumner, and Sadie (in age order).  The family visited Mackinac for the first time in 2012, and the kids said, “This is the best place ever!”  Sterling has been a blog reader for several years, and I have to share this: Sterling said he and the family spend a week or two each year at the beach, and they love it.  For their anniversary he borrowed my idea for a “beach sand garden”, made one himself, and presented it to Tina!

Had to share it! Great job, Sterling!

Had to share it! Great job, Sterling!

Monica Stafford (Parma MI)and her precious Ginny, a miniature dachshund. Ginny was 14 when she crossed the Rainbow Bridge in July. Monica found the blog on Google over 5 years ago. She visit the island as often as possible.

Monica Stafford (Parma MI)and her precious Ginny, a miniature dachshund. Ginny was 14 when she crossed the Rainbow Bridge last July. Monica found the blog on Google over 5 years ago. She visits the island as often as possible.

Beth Loesch in her unbelievable garden in Britton MI (I asked Beth if she used Mackinac Island horse poop to grow a garden like that. She laughed and said, "No, but it got some help from our sheep"). Beth tells me we met on a Shepler's Ferry three years ago, and we struck up a conversation (imagine that - me, talking to someone!). I told her about the blog, and she looked it up as soon as she got home. She's been a reader ever since. She's visited Mackinac for many years and tries to go each August.

Beth Loesch in her unbelievable garden in Britton MI (I asked Beth if she used Mackinac Island horse poop to grow a garden like that. She laughed and said, “No, but it got some help from our sheep.”) Beth tells me we met on a Shepler’s Ferry three years ago, and we struck up a conversation (imagine that – me, talking to someone!). I told her about the blog, she looked it up as soon as she got home, and she’s been a reader ever since. She’s visited Mackinac for many years and tries to go each August.

And there you go – the first 15!   Right now I have 15 more ready to post on Sunday, and I’m hoping everyone gets busy and sends me TONS more photos.  Come on – I want this to break the record we set with the “Places You Live” posts (there were 63 of those).  I will continue to post them for as long as you send them in!

I LOVE MY READERS!!!

God bless.