After talking with Stu Stuart yesterday, I met up with Jill, and we walked around town a bit. The weather was going downhill fast, so as Jill and I were standing on the sidewalk chatting, I asked Ross, a taxi driver from Bulgaria who was parked at the curb, if he would call a taxi for me for Surrey Ridge. He radioed the taxi stand, and told me that taxi #6 would be there in a minute or two. Taxi 6! That’s Jeanine’s taxi (I rode with Jeanine a few weeks ago when I did the story on a taxi driver’s day).
I love riding with Jeanine because we get to catch up on everything that has happened since the last time we saw each other. She arrived, and I climbed into the seat directly behind her. Other passengers were already loaded in the back, going to the Grand Hotel. Sitting on the first seat meant we could chat back and forth without having to yell at each other.
One of Jeanine’s teams has changed since I did her story. Instead of Thunder and Andy, she now drives Buck and Billy. On the way up to the Grand, we talked about what she’d been doing and what Ted and I had been doing in the last few weeks. She told me she had seen Ted with Maddie and Bear a couple of hours earlier walking down Cadotte by the Grand, and Maddie had gone bonkers barking at a dog they were passing. She loves seeing our two dogs and talking about them to her passengers.
By now it was drizzling rain, and I was so glad I was on the taxi and not walking up the hill without rain gear. We turned into the Grand, and I started talking about the beautiful yellow flowers that are blooming now in the flower beds out front. I guessed they were some kind of daisy. Jeanine said they were even prettier directly in front of the Grand. So I got my camera out and started snapping away.
The folks on the taxi staying at the Grand got off, and we kept going to the “turnaround” beyond the Grand’s long porch.
As we started back in front of the porch going the other way, a Grand omnibus was parked under the portico, letting off passengers from the ferry. Another taxi had already pulled over to the side so the bus could get by when the passengers finished unloading, so we pulled in behind them.
Now taxi drivers have eyes in front, in back, and on both sides of their head. They have to be watching what they are doing, of course, but they also have to be watching what everyone else is doing also – other taxis, carriages, riding horses with tourists on them who haven’t ridden in 30 years (if at all), bike riders, and people just walking around. So, as we sat there, waiting for the “bus” to go by, suddenly Jeanine yells, “Buck! Stop that!”
I was still snapping off one picture after another of the daisies, so I just changed camera angles, and there was Buck in the process of snapping off the heads of the daisies in the Grand’s beautiful flowerbeds AND pulling them up by the roots! I just cracked up! The people coming out of the Grand spotted Buck and about fell out laughing. The bellhops for the Grand started running toward us shouting, “Stop! Stop!” Jeanine was using the lines to pull Buck’s head away from the daisies as hard as she could, but not before he had pulled up a big chunk of flowers. Buck, of course, was oblivious to it all. Obviously, Buck loves daisies!
The omnibus pulls out, the taxi in front of us pulls out, and we are finally able to get out of there! As we pass the portico, Buck is calmly munching the last of the daisy flowers, with the roots hanging out of his mouth.
We are finally past all the excited bellhops and the laughing Grand guests. Buck is smiling like he just had a great salad, and Billy is annoyed because he didn’t get a taste. Where else but on Mackinac Island!
I’m off for a dinner date with my husband. See you Monday morning, good Lord willing. God bless.