We’ll have been back from Michigan a week on Monday, the 24th, and I have to admit to still being somewhat discombobulated. Although Flagler Beach and Beverly Beach community services are working like Trojans to get our little beach communities cleaned up and everything open again, it’s sad to ride up or down A1A and see the destruction that some subdivisions and towns even smaller than ours suffered.
Ted and I rode up to Fort Matanzas this afternoon (where Ted volunteers), and the destruction to homes and trees and dunes is just devastating. All along the highway there are piles of debris – some of it is just rubbish from downed trees, but way too much of it is furniture, appliances, clothes and artwork from houses that were once someone’s “dream homes”. In some areas the ocean came across the dunes and highway and went into neighborhoods and houses on the other side of the road. Vegetation both east and west of the highway looks as though it’s been sprayed by weed killer. Such is the destruction of salt water on plant life.
As many times as you read of these kinds of things happening other places, you can never fully grasp the reality until it happens close to you. In Sunset Inlet, homeowners whose houses sustained damage are struggling to get roofing and siding companies’ attention when there are so many other people needing the same services. Since we first got home, we’ve learned more about what happened here in our neighborhood, and we now know that several homes suffered pretty substantial damage – mostly from water intrusion from roof damage, windows and sliding doors. We had sustained winds here of nearly 90 mph for several hours, and that is a terrible force against anything man-made.
But – everyone is pulling together – sharing information, being there for each other, and lending helping hands. For those in the community who got here a day after the storm passed (one couple actually rented kayaks and came in that way before the bridges opened) – a huge thank you to those who came in and emptied our frig and freezer while the electricity was out and moved it into storage where there were generators. And thank you for coming – not once, but twice – to check our home for water damage around our doors and windows.
Each day more highways are opened, detours are cancelled, and businesses are opening. Two of our favorite places – Java Joint and Turtle Shack – were off limits to cars because of a detour, but they opened within days and you could still get there by walking down the side walk. Today the highway was opened, and we had breakfast at Java Joint for the first time since we’ve been back.
Our Flagler County communities depend on tourism – both summer and winter – for jobs and a good economy. We are rapidly rebuilding, and I predict by January, when most of the snowbirds arrive, and by next summer, when the beaches will fill with vacationers, this little coastal town will once again be going strong. We may be small, but we are mighty!
I KNEW I would miss the peak week for Fall colors, and I did. Thank you to Jill for sharing the first seven pics below (except the one from the Chippewa) from her final week on the island.
Jill found me on our last morning grabbing a cup of coffee from Miranda at Martha’s Sweet Shop.
One of my favorite places for Fall color – Surrey Hill!
There’s no Halloween anywhere as happy as a Mackinac Island Halloween!
Children fill the streets for a giant parade past the downtown businesses, where owners pass out goodies to every trick-or-treater.
After dark the streets belong to the adults, and costumes range from cute and clever to . . .
. . . over the top scary! (Photo: Chippewa Hotel)
A sure sign of season’s end – today the Chuckwagon closed. Have a great winter, Donny and Sharon and the crew!
The day after we left I saw this Mackinac Revealed LLC photo on Facebook. This has always been one of my favorite vistas, and in this pic our neighbors at Cedar Hill Condos, Meredith and Craig (and dog Mason), happened to be walking down the hill. Such a perfect photo!
Shepler Ferry Captain Pat Springate captured this great photo today, showing exactly how HUGE a freighter is!
The east end of town from Fort Mackinac this afternoon. (Photo: Tom Chambers)
And earlier today – from Clark Bloswick – a glance toward the Chippewa and Fort Mackinac from the Arnold Dock bike racks.
A CHANCE TO LIVE ON MACKINAC
For anyone who may be interested, I’m mentioning again a condo for sale on the island. I have a special place in my heart for this condo because Ted and I used to own it! Yes, our former condo at Surrey Ridge is being sold by the folks who bought it from us. Improvements to the condo since we owned it are: 1) personal storage units for each owner; 2) new decks and railing; and 3) new landscaping. The condo has three large bedrooms and two baths, a living area, kitchen, and a loft area that could be used as an office or TV room. The condo has three levels – entrance on the first floor, living area, kitchen, master bedroom and bath, and guest room and bath on second floor, and loft and third bedroom on third floor. The price is $315,000 FIRM. Interested folks should contact Steve Gould at (678) 521-3165. It is for sale by owner.
Eventually Bodie will take his place with Maddie as “one of our dogs”, but just for a little while I have to talk about him pretty much constantly.
You remember how you felt when your baby(s) started crawling and you could no longer take your eyes off them for one second? Take that feeling and multiple it by four legs and you get my present life.
Negatives: 1) He loves to put things in his mouth and couldn’t care less if they are safe or dangerous. Case in point – I was loading the dishwasher tonight when he disappeared behind me and headed for the bedroom. I know to follow him ANY TIME he disappears suddenly, and thank goodness I did. He had pulled a steak knife out of the dishwasher and was trying to figure out how to chew it! Oh dear Gussie – I almost had a heart attack! Thank goodness no harm was done, but I spent five minutes with his mouth pried open looking for blood and cuts. 2) Hmmm . . . I seem to have run out of negatives.
Positives: 1) He’s settling down more for longer periods of time. 2) He’s good in his crate at night and when we leave the house. 3) He has SIT and DOWN mastered (as long as there’s a treat involved), knows LEAVE IT and OFF (because he hears it every two minutes), and definitely knows his name. 4) He and Maddie are learning to share, but Maddie has met her match in “toy snatching”. For the first time in her life, she gets HER toys stolen as often as she steals Bodie’s. 5) Did I mention he’s a mama’s boy? 6) He is so curious about everything. He will sit and watch an airplane cross the sky and cock his head like “What IS that?”
He loves walking out to the dock on the Intracoastal and watching birds, but the first time a fish jumped out of the water he almost came out of his skin he was so scared.
Several days after we lost Bear I took all the covers off his huge orthopedic dog bed and washed them. When I was putting it all back together, I said to Ted I was going to see if anyone in the neighborhood would want the bed, and he immediately said, “No you’re not!” I asked why not, since we’d both talked about getting another small dog when something happened to Bear. “Because,” he said, “We’ll have another big dog one day who will need that bed.” Of course I cried on his shoulder that day, thinking to myself I couldn’t ever love another big dog.
I was wrong.
One of my readers last week commented that Bodie would never fill the spot in my heart that Bear filled, but that Bodie would create his own spot.
And that’s what he’s already doing.