Wet Wednesday 7/16/09

You wake up in the middle of the night, and it is pouring down rain.  You go back to sleep thinking surely by tomorrow morning the sun will be out, and it will be a perfect day.  I don’t think I ever mentioned this, but on Mackinac Island there is very little topsoil.  For the most part, the island is a great big rock.  So, when it rains – even when it rains and rains and rains – it takes very little time at all for the roads and grass to dry. 

The perfect day didn’t happen (weather-wise).  We awoke to rain and wind.  So what do you do with two small children, four adults, and 2 dogs on a rainy day on the island.  You get creative.

After a breakfast of everything from microwaved blueberry pancakes and syrup to fruit loops to Activia, we all settled down to “doing our thing”.  The kids spent 2.5 seconds playing by themselves, then wanted some adult companionship.  Julie, Jordan and Matthew decided on a game of Crazy 8’s.  Blake, who is hibernating in the “TV room” upstairs, spent an hour or so working on China business.

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We just lazed away the morning, ate lunch, and then started talking about what we could do on a rainy afternoon.  When Blake is home from Asia, he spends a lot of time on the computer communicating with supporters, without whom he could not be in China.  Each year he must raise enough money to cover his expenses for a year.  Although he has the support of four churches, he relies heavily on individual gifts.  His time in the U.S. in the summer gives him an opportunity to connect personally with those churches and renew contact with individual supporters.  This coming year will be his 4th year of a 4-year commitment.  When he returns home next summer, he will have a year’s furlough, during which he will be praying that the Lord will show him what he wants him to do next in his life.  Of course you know what his mom will be praying – that the Lord leads him somewhere closer to home.  One thing is for sure – he can’t get any farther away than half-way around the world!  So Blake, who gets “cabin fever” very easily (can’t stand to be in one place inside for very long), went downtown with his laptop after lunch to find someplace he could connect wirelessly to the internet.  J.L. Beanery has wireless, and that is where he hung out a lot last year.  The library is another place. 

Ted and I took Jordan and Matthew over to the Carriage Museum next door to our condo.  They had a special exhibit set up in preparation for the Festival of the Horse on the island July 23-25 (more of this later in the month).  The art at the Carriage Museum was beautiful, and on exhibit also were harnesses, horseshoeing equipment, and horse collars.  Combine that with the beautiful carriages (on the floor and hanging from the ceiling), and the kids were entertained for half an hour.  The hearse in the third picture below is still used for funerals on the island.  When it is needed, it is simply rolled out of its spot in the museum to the horses waiting to be hitched to it outside.

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From the museum, it is only a 30-second walk to the Wings of Mackinac Butterfly Conservatory, so we went there also.  Jordan and Matthew enjoyed wandering around watching the butterflies land all around them, and even got to see two newly “hatched” butterflies released into their beautiful new home.

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When we got back to the condo, everyone wanted to go to town with GDaddy.  He was going to the post office and to Doud’s for some supper fixin’s.  I decided to stay home and take a little nap.  Blogging late at night had finally caught up with me, and I just needed to close my eyes for a few minutes.  They left around 2 o’clock, and when they returned at nearly five, they had to wake me up.  I must have really needed to close my eyes!  Jordan and her mom had visited the Haunted House downtown on Main Street, and they pronounced it “very, very scary!”  Wish I’d had pictures of that!

Jordan, Julie, and Matthew all learned the lesson about needing fenders on their bikes on rainy Mackinac streets.  They all came home with mud/horse poop splatters on their backs.  Jordan pronounced that “very, very gross!”  Julie “Shouted it out”, and we are awaiting the results out of the washing machine momentarily. 

All in all, a pretty active day for the rain we had.  The kids had seen something that wanted to use “their” money to buy over at the Carriage Museum earlier this afternoon, and Julie allowed them to walk over there by themselves to purchase it.  That was a BIG DEAL for them.  Of course, Ted and I stood on the balcony and watched them every step of the way there and back.  But they were really excited to be given the opportunity to feel “grown up” and go over there on their own.

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I made baked spaghetti for dinner (one of Blake’s favorites), and Julie put together a wonderful salad.  We did garlic bread to finish it off, and we all ate until we were stuffed – then had the last of the birthday cake and some fudge on top of that. 

So now the kids are in bed, Julie and Ted are reading, Blake is working on the laptop, and I am blogging.  Tomorrow is supposed to be much better in the weather department.  Ted is volunteering, and we plan to go downtown and visit him so the kids can have their pictures made with GDaddy in his “uniform”. 

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The week is going by way too fast.  Isn’t that how it always is when you are having a good time – it flies by!  I just want to freeze these days in time so I can take them out and look at them all year.   I guess that is why I love photography – I can open an album and go back to the moment the picture was taken and still feel the same emotions – whether it is Matthew giving Bear a “bear hug”, GDaddy playing Go Fish with the grandchildren, or a plane bringing home your son.  When I click the shudder, I say I am “making a memory”.  That’s what we do a lot of here on the island – make memories to take out and look at throughout the year.  I love it, and I wish everyone who reads this could come and see for themselves what it is like – to make a memory on Mackinac Island.

 

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4 thoughts on “Wet Wednesday 7/16/09

  1. Dear Bree,
    Just a note to let you know that I enjoy your blog SO MUCH! Your news and pix of the island mixed in with your personal stories are wonderful! I share the same obsession with all things Mackinac that you do. I fell in love with the island the first time I watched Somewhere in Time, and that led me to discover The Grand Hotel. Your stories are answering all the questions that I wondered about, regarding life on the Island. Your stories about your family are wonderfully heartwarming. You have a gift for writing – and I look forward to each new entry. Thank you allowing me to live vicariously through your adventures!

  2. Brenda,

    Frog and I have been talking and we would like to support Blake’s inspired work in China. Could you please give us a mailing address where we could send a check? It would be a privilege to be able to assist him in his calling.

    Love to all, rainy days and everything. Jordan sure looks like her mom did at that age. Give them all a hug from us.

    Frog and Cathie

  3. Hi Brenda –
    Deidra and Bob Langstaff from Albany Georgia. Sounds like you are doing great in retirement.

    We have never been to the island, but are interested in going. Can you tell us the most sensible way to get there from Atlanta? We would be flying, but where would we fly into?

    Could you also suggest a great place to stay for first time visitors and anything we absolutely must do? Looks like we would only have a couple of nights there.

    Looks like a fabulous place.

  4. Bree, this post made me think of something. I take it Blake is involved in Christian Missionary work in China? Did you know that one of the early christian missionaries in China is buried in the (Protestant) cemetary? Bishop Logan H. Roots was the Anglican Bishop of Hankow for the first 30 years of the last century. (I still can’t get used to saying ‘the last century’!!) He died while on the Island in ’45 and is buried with many of his family here. The grave is toward the back and nearer the road up to Fort Holmes. We almost always walk up there to visit it whenever we’re on the Island. My father was inspired to the ministry by Bishop Roots and others like him.

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