I’m going to ramble today. It’s that kind of weather, and I’m in that kind of mood. No method to this blog at all. No story to tell. I’m just going to hit the keyboard keys and see what comes out. Just some random thoughts and some rainy day pictures.
I sure am glad we walked downtown yesterday afternoon when the sun was shining for my birthday ice cream cone. We weren’t aware that we only had about a 2-hour window before the rain would move in again. We awoke Monday morning to rain and wind, and as of 2:09 Monday afternoon (when I am sitting down to begin this blog), it is 46 degrees, windy, and raining steadily. The good news is that all this is supposed to be out of here by Wednesday, and the weather should greatly improve after that. With Sandi and Tommy arriving on Friday and staying until the next Wednesday, I certainly hope we have some sunshine and warmer temperatures. They want to escape the heat and humidity of south Georgia, but I sure don’t want to have to tell them to pack their longjohns!
Ted made his daily downtown trip this morning (in all his rain gear). He considers it his civic duty to show up down there at least once a day to pick up the mail and usually to stop off at Doud’s to buy a couple of dinner items. This morning he was also on a mission to get a $.10 deposit on each of the cans we had accumulated since we have been here. Doud’s grocery has a machine you put your cans in that crushes them and rings up how many you have processed. You get a ticket from the machine and take it to the cashier for your money, or you can apply it toward your grocery order. One of our neighbors said last year that no one in Michigan should ever starve because you could always collect enough cans to pay for a meal.
I don’t care what kind of precautions you take, you get wet on days like this on a bike. So here’s a Mackinac Island “tourist vs islander” tip. Islanders ALWAYS have fenders on their bikes, tourists seldom do. Why do you need fenders on the island? Think about it – rainy day, wet streets, horse poop on streets, bike wheels riding through that combo, front tire splashing said combo onto your pants legs (or bare legs in summer). Results? Yucky stuff! Add fenders, and you are good to go!
I was thinking this morning about some of the interesting things that have happened to us here on the island since I started this blog. Never in my wildest imagination would I have thought there would be anyone reading this except a handful of friends and family back in Georgia. When I started the blog three weeks before we left, I had a huge following of 12. After 5 weeks, I’m averaging around 85 readers a day. My most popular story was “George” posted on May 24. It was picked up by The Discovery Channel on their Dirty Jobs site. 167 people read the blog that day. By the way, Thursday is George’s birthday. Even if it is storming tomorrow, I plan to make it down the hill to get him a card. We see him everyday, and he always waves, or stops to talk.
As I write about more people and events and stores on the island, I am finding that news of the blog is beginning to spread. I am still shocked though when we encounter someone who knows about it. Here’s one example. Ted went to the Mackinac Island Historic Parks office to turn in an application to do volunteer work. He was talking to Phil Porter, who is the director, about the kind of work he would like to do. He gave him his resume’, and Mr. Porter looked it over. He looked up at Ted and said, “Horton? South Georgia? Is it your wife who writes the blog on the island?” Ted was surprised and said, “Yes, it is.” Mr. Porter, it turns out, has some kind of software that picks up anything written out here in cyberspace about Mackinac Island.
Another interesting connection has been with Mike Forrester, who writes another Mackinac Island Blog. It turns out that someone on the island saw my blog, told someone else about it, who in turn told Mike. Mike and his family live in Atlanta and have the same dream we did – owning a place on the island when they retire (if not before). He and his wife read the blog faithfully, and he used one of my photographs on his blog this week. While he is on the island next week on business, Ted and I (and Maddie and Bear) are going to meet Mike to talk about our favorite subject – Mackinac.
How do you know you have truly “arrived” on the island? Your name is mentioned in The Town Crier, the island’s weekly newspaper. Ted and I have been faithful readers and subscribers of The Town Crier since we first started coming to the island. In that paper, Jeannette Doud writes a column on the people of the island and what is going on throughout the year. We also subscribe to the St. Ignace News because Ms. Doud continues her weekly column in that paper throughout the winter months when The Town Crier publishes only two editions. Those papers would usually arrive on Saturday in Georgia, and we would sit down to read about what was happening with all the people we had come to know. We had never met Ms. Doud, but last week when Cathie and I were in La Galerie, Inc., I heard someone call a lady in there “Jeannette”. I asked if that was “the” Ms. Doud and was told yes. Being the shy, meek person that I am, I immediately went over and introduced myself and Cathie. I briefly told her our story, and she smiled and pulled this little piece of paper out of her pocket and said, “Write it down for me, please.”
When the paper arrived in our post office box Thursday, I could hardly wait to get it home and read her column. And there is was (and I quote): “I had the pleasure Monday, June 1, of meeting new members of our summer community who are avid readers of The St. Ignace News and the Mackinac Island Town Crier. They are Brenda and Ted Horton, who purchased a Surrey Ridge condominium last summer. They winter in Georgia, and have been visiting Mackinac for the last eight years. They had friends, Cathie and Charlie McMichael, from New Orleans, Louisiana, as their guests. We give them a warm welcome.” I had the biggest smile on my face! I plan to cut the article out and laminate it. On second thought, maybe I’ll frame it.
I have been trying to think of ideas for new features. As the summer stretches out ahead of me, I know you are going to get awfully tired of reading the same thing over and over again. So I was thinking about doing a weekly story on “A Day in the Life of…..”. I could interview and hopefully spend part of the day with people who work on the island. It would give some insight into the folks who make the island “tick”. Some of the people I have thought of so far are: fudge maker, taxi driver, street sweeper, carriage tour guide, fort interpreter, and ferry dock porter. I’ve got to get busy trying to get clearance for this through the appropriate channels, and I will let you know when (and if) I get it worked out.
Please let me know of other stories you would like to see written. I’m open to anything as long as it is family-oriented and doesn’t require me to do anything that would break my neck.
Let me know what you think!