Extraordinarily Ordinary 10/6/09

As the season winds down, ideas for stories seem to be getting few and far between.  I can continue to take pictures everyday because there is always something beautiful to point the camera lens toward.  But I want to write every day – except weekends – and I worry about boring you to tears with just everyday errands and chitchat. 

Today’s post is an excellent example.  When I came home from town at 5:30 this afternoon, I still had no idea what to write about.  Nothing of great importance has happened in the last three days – at least nothing exciting or newsworthy. 

But to me, even ordinary days are extraordinary because they are taking place on the island.  Do you feel the same way? 

Saturday, I stayed home.  Ted had to work – then he came in long enough to change clothes and go back to town to watch the Georgia game.  I’m so glad I didn’t go with him, even if it meant missing “date night”.  I turned on the game during the last 10 minutes of the 4th quarter – just in time to see Georgia lose to LSU in a very distressing way.  Even I, knowing nothing about football, cannot see how they called an excessive celebrating penalty on Georgia.  Even the one they called on LSU was questionable. 

We had our “date” on Sunday.  We took a taxi to church because rain was threatening, and the church was packed with members and two tour groups.  It was the next to last service for the season at Little Stone Church.  Vince Carroll is a wonderful minister, and I love his wife Molly.  She is kind, caring, funny, and a wonderful artist.  Molly has spent the last week packing all her art supplies to take to Florida, where they will winter. 

  After church, Ted and I ate lunch at the Gatehouse, then walked downtown for a leisurely stroll through stores, checking out all the sales.  The Island Bookstore has everything on sale for 40% off, except best sellers and Michigan items.  It’s a  great time to stock up the condo with new books for next summer!  We never did get that bookcase built, but next year the Horseman’s Association is planning a rummage sale, so we are saving lots of items to donate to that – including books.  We also took a taxi home because of the weather, and I noticed for the first time just how full the apple tree was across from the Carriage Tour barn.

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IMG_8163On Monday I went into town in the afternoon to seriously look through the shops for some Christmas gifts.  That tree that I love on the golf course  is almost at its peak, so I stopped to snap a picture.  After scanning through the stores with Ted on Sunday, and with prices marked down all over town from 40-75%, it is silly to pass up the opportunity to pick up some great buys.  My concern has been how to get everything home, if I bought a lot of gifts.  But every store was wonderful about holding items until a couple of days before we leave.  Then they will ship them to Georgia, to arrive after we get home.

I stopped in at Molly’s on the way up Cadotte to give her a picture Jill had taken of the two of us together and to get her winter address.  It was the first time I had been inside the parsonage, and I hope next summer to be able to do a blog about it.  It is simply beautiful, having been renovated several years ago.   Again, I was struck by how empty Cadotte seemed.  The street, littered with freshly fallen leaves, had the feel and look of fall.  A lady walking toward the Grand paused in front of a wonderfully colored tree to lean down and talk to her dog.

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I’ve always loved the curving road through the trees up to our condo.  It’s like looking through a tunnel, and there is a tree in that tunnel that has hit its peak already.

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The trees on the Carriage Museum property are nowhere near their peak, but they are getting there!

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I can’t wait to get out into the woods again to see what is going on with the leaves, but tomorrow we are supposed to have another day of rain.  And believe it or not, they are predicting a wintry mix or snow this weekend. We’ll see!

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33 thoughts on “Extraordinarily Ordinary 10/6/09

  1. Love all of it. It doesn’t need to be a riveting topic to be interesting. I just love the pics and chat in those wonderful surroundings. Just imagine how boring it would be if every day were the 4th of July. The winding down of the season is interesting in and of itself. Just keep it up and we’ll all be happy.

    I’ll just bet I could do some real damage at those sales.

    xxoo to you and Ted and pups.

  2. Do many of the stores stay open over the winter? How many people will be on the island over the winter? I love your blog and I don’t get bored, you write very well. Please don’t stop when you go home… would love to hear about life in GA too. : )

    • Hi Sharon. Thanks so much for your comment. Only a few stores are open in the winter – Doud’s grocery store, the Harrisonville grocery store in the “village”, maybe Alfred’s, the drugstore, but I’m not sure about that one. A few restaurants stay open – the Village Inn, Horn’s, the Mustang – maybe Yankee Rebel. There are around 550 permanent residents on the island who stay here year-round, and most live in the village up the hill past the Grand Hotel. I do plan to continue blogging from Georgia – a little different format, but hopefully my readers will like it. Thanks again for writing!

  3. Please keep on posting I love all of it.I was on the Island Monday and worked the Ave. of Flags for three breaks. It turned into a very nice fall day. My last day at work for 2009 will be at Sutlers on Saturday maybe you could come up for soup by the fire at the tea room. We are staying until November 1st. so we will have some down time to rest and enjoy…Thank you my friend for taking “our” Island out to the world.

    • Saturday by the fire for lunch sounds wonderful – unless it is sleeting and snowing! Let’s wait and see what the weather is calling for – if it is even half-way decent, I will be there. Let me know what time. Love you, and glad you will have a little time between work and travel.

  4. Perhaps one thing you could continue is to tell us where all the folks you introduced us to are going now that the season is ending.

    Looking at your picture of Cadotte, I couldn’t help but wonder where Anna is these days?

    It’s been quite a journey from empty streets, to bustling crowds and now coming back full circle and I’ve enjoyed reading every minute of it.

    • Thanks, Mike – that’s a great idea about the winter destinations. Anna is still here, and will be until the Grand closes at the end of the month. I saw her yesterday and gave her a photo I had taken of her and Bear early in the spring.

  5. I love reading it all no matter what kind of day you are having. It’s like you said…they are happening on Mackinac Island and I enjoy every minute of it. The trees are starting to show their true colors of beauty.

  6. Hello I have been reading your blog for a while now and really enjoy it each day.. have passed along your web site to others as well. I live in Michigan and have been to the island many many times .. one of my favorite places to be.. one thing I would like to see you write about is the village of Harrisonville.. see some pictures of it and have you tell us more about it… Thanks and look forward to your blog after you get back to GA..

    • Hi Tim! That is a great idea about Harrisonville, and something I’ve been meaning to do all summer. Will probably tuck that away for a next summer idea. We love Harrisonville and its people, who basically keep this island going all summer. I need to showcase them as a community. Of course, that is one reason why I’d love to be here one winter, because Harrisonville is where all the action is!

  7. I see Cathie read the blog early. I’m sure she slept well dreaming of fudge and sales. I know the winding down blogs will be good like all the rest.

  8. Continue to write about the ordinary and the extraordinary. I just love hearing about living on the island. I’m just a wantobe as far as island living goes.

  9. Are you going to “take” all of us to south Georgia with you when you leave the island in November?We are all addicted to your daily blogs. I fear many of us will go into “Bree-Blog” withdrawal. Is there a support group available for me and all the others???

    Seriously, you have made Mackinac Island (I have never had the chance to visit) “come alive” to me. I “feel” as if I have had a long vacation there too. You do an excellent job. Your pictures are great and your writing is outstanding! Thanks for sharing your time, talent, joy and love of the island with all of us.

    • Nancy, you made my day! And yes, if you want to come, I will be starting a blog from our Georgia home when we return. It will be called Bree’s Lake Blackshear Blog, and even though it won’t be full of Mackinac Island scenery, I would love to share Georgia with my readers. It’s a beautiful state. I hope you choose to “come along” when we leave Nov. 1 – and Bree from Mackinac Island will be back next summer – good Lord willing.

      Thanks so much for writing!

      Brenda (Bree)

  10. This blustery weather brings back memories of our first trip to the island. The ferry was almost going to stop running because of the winds and waves but they didn’t and we made it through very rough waves and cold winds. The bridge did close that night. We just enjoyed the evening at the Grand and found it so magical and cozy.
    Bree, I’ll say it again, I love the way you write and enjoy every story about the island.

    • Thanks for the support, Connie! We’ve had another cold, rainy day today on the island – but, who cares! We love it!

  11. We also have been to the Island numerous times..but I enjoyed our trip this past Saturday more than I had in a long time and a lot of that was because of your blog!! I had not even seen a lot of the Island that you described..so this time we took the Carriage tour (again) and I paid closer attention to things..went to the Fort (which we hadn’t been in several years) and seen lots of new things…and then of course having a new knee helped too!! LOL Great walking the main street from one end to the other with no pain!! All in all it was a great day and thanks to you I had a new view of my favorite place in Michigan!! Thanks so much!! One more thing…I am looking forward to hearing all about your Southern home!! God Bless!!

    • Thank you so much! I can’t tell you how much I love hearing that someone has visited the island and gone to see something I’ve talked about. So glad you have a brand new knee that allows you to be painfree- what a blessing that is! Hope to hear from you over the winter. I have spent part of today working on setting up my blog from Georgia. About all I have accomplished is naming it – it will be called Bree’s Lake Blackshear Blog. More on that later. God bless you and your family.

      Brenda

  12. I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy reading Bree’s Mackinac Island Blog and looking at all the pictures! I worked on the Rock for the Tastee Freez in the summer of 1971, met some great folks and stayed with them until November 1. At that time, not much stayed open after Labor Day besides the grocery store and the Mustang Bar. It was incredibly quiet and an awesome experience. I don’t think there was a single road we didn’t ride on our bikes! I returned the following year and worked for the Ross family at the Lamplighter. Another wonderful season, but nothing could match the magic of that first summer. I’ve been back for 2-3 day visits at least a dozen times since then, and I still love it. It is my “happy place.” But the island has changed, my friends have changed – or disappeared, and I have changed. Yet, I will never forget the summer of 71, and I encourage every high school senior I can to spend a summer working there, meet some really terrific and diverse folks, and make memories that truly WILL last a lifetime. I am still in contact with a couple of friends I made that summer!

    • Thank you so much for sharing your story, Carolyn. It proves again what a magical place the island is, and what a special place it remains in the memories of people who visit and work here. I hope, through your influence, that the seniors you talk with do have a chance to experience what you did that first summer. God bless.

      Brenda (Bree)

  13. Will be looking forward to that new blog..keep your eye out for Alyssa..she is still on the island driving taxi…she’s still not sure when she is leaving or what she is doing this winter…:)

  14. Rats! I lost my response! and it was good, too! Let’s try again…

    This is the Mackinac we know and love! The Ordinary is special to us! And it’s exciting to see it through new eyes.

    I love the blustery weather, with a fireplace and a good book! (Love your photos of the library – so inviting!)

    You might do a write up on closing down one of those lovely summer cottages. It’s quite a job. I remember ‘helping’ several times. Draining the pipes, closing the shutters (or a ‘porch skirt’ in the case of the Brigadoon!), stacking hay around the delicate plantings. I even remember friends getting in trouble for playing on the snowy porches of the closed houses sometime in February!!

    When we were there in October, ’06, it had snowed the week before and the weather was cold and not very nice. We spent a lot of time next to the fireplaces in the Great Hall at Mission Point and bundled up, riding out to British Landing for tea at the McCabe’s. But in one of the toy stores, we found one of the Jamaican salesladies wearing gloves indoors and dreaming of returning to her sunny Island! I guess you could do a story about the workforce and where they come from, and go home to!

    • As always, Irene, great ideas and great memories. I never got to do my “caretaker” story this summer – something to add to my list for next year. I’m with you on loving the blustery weather – love it more when I’m inside rather than outside. We’re having another night of crazy weather here – winds 30 mph and a lot of rain. Great night to curl up with a book, with the dogs at my feet – well one at my feet and one in my lap.

      Thanks for writing – sorry you lost your first response – that is so annoying!

  15. OK, now I’m REALLY jealous!! Lapdog, too? Ours are too big for that, and too frenetic (Border Collies!). Hope it’s a good book! We haven’t had a real storm since January, and it was kinda wimpy as storms go. I miss REAL WEATHER!

  16. Great blog as usual. I would like to see Harrisonville also. Maybe talk to people who live on the island year round and how they like it. And maybe ask the children how they like the island year round also. I would like to see “behind the scenes” stuff that the normal “tourist” wouldn’t see or couldn’t find. I think Harrinsonville is probably the heart and soul of the island, with all of the resident and there outlook about alll of the people in the summer. Just a thought. I love reading your blog nightly. You do such a nice job.

  17. Oh my! I love your stories…ALL of them! What you get to see EVERY day is something different for me (us?). I LOVE seeing the changing island and showing my 12 yr old daughter because she LOVES Mackinac Island. She begs to go there every summer. Never boring. BUT, we only get to see SUMMER…and the touristy stuff. I LOVE seeing THIS side of the island. As we tour I always stop and wonder about the ‘casual’ things…and you always tell us about them. I look forward to my little ‘getaway’ w/ you on here! THANK YOU…and yes, what happens when you go back to Georgia???

    • The blog will continue in Georgia, Amy, and I hope you will travel down the interstate with me and fall in love with my home state. There will still be updates from the island from friends who will be sending me winter pictures of all the snow. But you’ll also get to see where I live in the winter. Hopefully, you will like that also! I’ll be letting you know more about that later this month!

      Thanks for writing!

      Brenda

  18. I just googled “mackinac island summer of 1971” for the heck of it and got your blog. Very interesting blog. I worked on Mackinac Island in the summer of 1971 when I was 17 going on 99. I worked at Little Bob’s Cafe as a dishwasher at first and shortly thereafter became a short order cook. Some people who were about my age whom I recall: Marla Rouse from Illinois, Ron Marler from New Mexico, Brad from Michigan, Judy and Jan (Grabowski or some Polish last name) –twins from Indiana and their friend Debbie Rose, Julie and Deverre Parker from Sault Ste Marie and other waitresses and kitchen help named Blake, Cullen, Linda Dani, Chipmunk, George, etc…. from someplace. There was quite a turnover as help came and went. A bunch of us teenaged males lived in a house right next door to Little Bob’s Cafe that we dubbed “The Swamp.” We even had a basketball team called “The Swamp”–the worst team on the rock. Also Dwight and Duane Huey–Little Bob’s sons; a guy named Lonny James from Arkansas; Bob’s wife Pat and her brother Joe. Little Bob ran the cafe, the Tea House up at the Fort, and a games arcade/ice cream joint/hamburger shack on the main drag (can’t remember what it was called). It was a fun summer–but of course a summer anywhere at that age would be exciting. It would be interesting to know if anybody actually remembers me from those three months I spent on “the rock.”

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