We Pause this Blog for a Moment of Reflection 8/26/09

Sometimes I think too much, and today has been one of those days.  It’s windy and cool outside, and Ted has gone to Cheboygan for groceries.  I’ve been spending some quiet, quality time with myself, and two questions have been running through my head all day.  I need your help with both of them.

Right now I have a solid family of around 300 readers who enjoy my little stories about the island every day.  There are some days, for reasons known only to God, when my readership dips to below 200 – other days when it soars to almost 500.  That crazy fluctuation of “hits” doesn’t seem to follow any particular storyline, pattern, or day of the week – although I’ve noticed that Fridays are slow.  I guess on Friday evenings folks have better things to do than read this blog – I certainly hope so!

So, the two questions are:  Why do I write this blog, and who would care if it went away? 

The first question is easy to answer.  I love Mackinac island.  You would have to be really, really out of touch with reality if you haven’t figured that one out yet.  Since I first stepped foot on the ferry dock in 2000, this place has had a huge chunk of my heart.  I want everyone, wherever you are, to come see it and explore it and love it like I do.  I know that’s not possible – so I try to give my readers a little part of the island to think about during their day.  Maybe something I write, or some picture I post, will be the words or the image that make a so-so day a little brighter for someone. 

So the “why” is easy.

The second question – who cares? – is not so easy.  I’ve been thinking a lot today about “what next?”  We leave the island Nov. 1 for our home in Georgia.  What happens to this blog during the 6 months that we are away from the island?  Does it just vanish, never to be heard from again?  Does it vanish Nov. 1 , and then I pick it up again next May when we return?  Do I attempt to keep it going over the winter? 

We live on a lake in the country in my home state, about as far into the deep South as you can go, without being in Florida.  It is a beautiful setting, so posting pictures each day would not be a problem.  But, of course, the whole concept of why I write would change if I wrote from there.  From Georgia, it would be more of a look inside my southern roots, with some home-spun stories thrown in for fun.  With the return to Mackinac Island in May, I would pick up where I left off at the end of October.  So there are several options there.

My readers mean so much to me.  You have let me into your homes and hearts, and a lot of you have become friends.  Some of you comment publicly quite often.  Others email me privately.  I cherish each word.  You’ve all become another family to me, and I will be honest – I don’t want to lose the connection.

So forgive my introspection today, but I’d love to hear what you think.  If you don’t want to post a public comment, you can email me at brendasumnerhorton@hotmail.com  What you think is important and will help me make a decision about what to do next with Bree’s Mackinac Island Blog.

Tomorrow, good Lord willing, I will be spending part of the day aboard a sightseeing buggy and writing about “A Day in the Life of a Mackinac Island Carriage Tour Driver”.  I’ve asked to ride with  Justin (my hero who stopped his horses when I fell off my bike in front of them), and that request has been granted.  Should be great fun and a great story!  See you on Thursday!


22 thoughts on “We Pause this Blog for a Moment of Reflection 8/26/09

  1. Could it be possible? It sounds like there is a very real possibility of having the blog continue from points South.

    It is not just the pictures of that wonderful island that makes your blog such a treasure–it is your eye for the things in life that we may be too busy to notice and your way of writing about them with humor and insight that makes us want to read it every day. My word, if Charlie isn’t careful he may become computer literate.

    I have been dreading the day you will leave the island. If you write about your beloved lake we will be learning things about another beautiful area although it is one without horse poo. We will all still feel like we are reading a letter from a dear friend. I can see it now—B cubed ( Bree’s Blackshear Blog).

    Please think about continuing. I know two of us that would love it.


  2. OH NO…you CAN’T stop writing your blog when you leave the Island Nov. 1st. Now your Island followers/FANS want to know what “Your Day In The Life” is like down South!!! It all started to let your friends know what you are doing…so you will NEVER be finished blogging!!!

  3. I agree with Jill! What will I do when drinking my morning coffee? You have to continue! I love GA to all the pretty southern stuff!!!!

  4. Bree:

    I really enjoy reading your blog. I have visited Mackinac Island three times. Two of the times for a day visit and the last time, this summer, for an overnight stay and have always enjoyed my visits. My 5 year old daughter loves the Island too and whenever we are going out of town she always asks if we are going to the Island. Reading your blog reminds me of all the great memories I have of spending time on the Island and I enjoy getting your insight into this special place from your perspective of living on the Island.

    I would enjoy seeing you continue the blog when you return to Georgia and your life there. I lived in Augusta, GA for nearly a year so I am somewhat familiar with Georgia too. My favorite places there were Savannah and Tybee Island.

    I hope my post helps you make the right decision for yourself.


  5. Reading your blog is the first thing I do at work, but I am one of those friends that will have you back home (selfish of me) I really enjoy reading your blog weather it be of the island or the lake. Don’t lose your followers, maybe a weekly blog. Love ya see you soon

  6. Ok, you asked me once what my honest opiniun of you blog was, did i think it was silly and if i thought you should give it up or continue to do it. I told you NO. By all means ,do not give it up. The things you write about come straight from your heart and thru your eyes and your camera people see things that they might otherwise miss or maybe not ever get the opporunity to see or be a part of. Now, you want see horses from your back deck but occasionally you may see a lone fisherman or two, but you have always had a dream of writing, and this blog is where it began. Who knows where it will take you, so NO do not give up your blog. Your readers, including me, want to continue to hear about your adventures. SO—— that said; YOU GO GIRL.
    Love you, miss you,

  7. Bree— Are you kidding us??! You CANNOT stop blogging once you leave the island- we, your faithful readers, are HOOKED now! Why, it’d be like a morning without coffee (GASP!), or… a day without sunshine, or the island with FUDGE!! (double GASP!)

    You have such a great gift, and are kind enuff to share it with us all… On Mack. or at your home in GA, we- your faithful, will continue to take our mental vacations thru your musings…

    Myself, being in Minnesota, would LOVE to hear & see Georgia thru your blog. Never been there & don’t know that much about it…but it would be a treat to continue enjoying the warmth of your “Bree stories” AND the warmth of southern GA pic.s when we are freezing up here in the c-o-l-d & snowy winter months of MN (that will probably be until about the time you return to Mack. next May! just kidding- smiles)

    Just gotta have my “fix” each day of your Mack. blog…it’s a breath of “AHHH” much needed in each busy day. It’s YOU that makes it all come together- if you truly love writing the blog, & it brings you joy each day, I hope you keep doing it when you return ‘home’…It’s a such wonderful talent that you have been so blessed with! Jill is right- you will just NEVER be finished blogging!!

    One of your many faithful followers-

  8. One other thought, you can show your northern readers our christmas day dinner out on your deck with our shorts on. Such a good time. Oh, and I have gotten to know so many people , like Jill through your blog. So don`t even think of giving it up. Not gonna let you.LOL.

  9. I know it’ a lot of work but you have a lot of fans. If you stop I won’t know what to do with my computer. how’s the Blake doing?

  10. I’m really curious about Island life in the winter, so maybe you could have a guest blogger or encourage a year-round resident to start a blog of their own. I’d still read yours, though!

  11. I have to chime in on this one – I’ve learned about a new side of a wonderful friend…..But, “I knew you when…..” I have loved reading about your “other life.”

    I have seen your wonderful island through your eyes – and knowing you like I do, reading your blog was like hearing you talk aloud.

    But Brenda, when you come back to this life, I won’t need your blog to keep you close to me. We have a history of shared memories, shared griefs, shared joys, common ideas, common friends, and so much more.

    Many of your new friends need for you to continue so that they can learn to know you like I do…….but I have already been doubly blessed.

    I don’t think you can find the answer until you return to the lake. And whatever that answer is, it will be the right one.

  12. I discovered your blog about a month ago via google search on Mackinac. From the first day I was hooked, reading the entire existing blog that day. I love your stories and photos. Your love of the island and love of people comes through in every word. You blog reminds me how the world in shrinking and how there are so many great treasures to be shared among us.
    I’m from Ohio and had never visited the island. That is until last weekend. I took the carriage tour, biked around the island, ate some fudge, took photos outside of the Grand and did all the other things you shared with your guests.
    I would love to learn something about your part of Georgia. Your blog is a gift to the world. Keep it up!


  13. I’ve been thinking of this, too, as the days wind on to the start of school and I remember that you were not planning to winter over. And I have all sorts of conflicting emotions! I most miss the Island in the winter, out here in Southern California where there is only winter in the mountains, an hour’s drive away, and which I must share with 9 million other inhabitants! (THAT was a rude awakening my first winter here!) And the Town Crier goes back to once every two months!

    But I am reminded of the column that ran in the Town Crier for several summers. It was written by one of the Jamaican summer workers and it gave a wonderful picture both of OUR Island from his perspective, and also a window on HIS Island. So I think it might be a wonderful thing for you to continue from a different perspective during the winter.

    And then I had another idea (no, not exactly a lightbulb but …) Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could teach someone who DOES spend the whole winter how to do a blog? Maybe one of the High School teachers? After all, what are you going to do in September and October anyway? You could even offer a Saturday workshop on blogging, or photography (although I get the sense that wonderful photos are more the product of an innate gift than of something I could learn!) Then you would be ‘giving back’ to the community and we (selfishly!) could have the best of both worlds!!


  14. Have visited the island twice, only for day trips. We did not the island as you have written about. Don & Bonnie have been our neighbors for years in Ft. Myers Beach, Florida so we are waiting for the blog about them. Would enjoy reading about Georgia. My husband thinks there is nothing to see form our home in Indiana to Ft. Myers. Never have stopped to see anything in 25 years. Been driving thru, but never stopping. Would love to read about Georgia

  15. There are enough interesting places and interesting people in South Georgia to keep a blog going long after you leave Mackinac.
    Updating past experiences and tales of some of the “characters” in our area would make interesting reading to tide folks over ’til “Mackinac Magic” starts again.
    Just my 2 cents.

  16. WOW…look at all the RESPONSES you’ve recieved today about THIS blog!!!!
    Even new people we have not heard from before.
    We love U Brenda…thanks for sharing your thoughts & days with us. Hope you’ll be with us at the Beanery for coffee in the morning.

  17. Please, my friend, please keep writing. I do not know how you have the energy to keep this pace up but, I feel so much of what you feel about life. Your blog will be so important to those friends “up north” and around the world. I know what you mean about wanting everyone to “feel” the island but come we will need to “feel” South Georgia. We can not loose you. You are like family.

  18. Went to see Julie and Julia this week. Have you seen it? Julie had the same questions. Her blog made a tremendous difference in her life…..follow your heart. I’m sure we can come up with some interesting blogs from the river if you run out of ideas!

  19. Your blog is fascinating and informative and so enjoyable to read. And I live on the island! I am so glad to discover it. You have a sweetness about your writing that brings comfort and I can only guess that it stems from your perspective on life and your faith in God. I hope that we can have coffee sometime together on our wonderful island soon. I would like to know you better.

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