Countdown 10/30/09

No tissues needed for this one – I promise!

Ted and I have been packing all day.  Let me correct that – I have been packing all day.  Ted has been cleaning out, cleaning up, and cleaning away five and one-half months of accumulated stuff that two weeks ago he wouldn’t have dreamed of tossing away.  Now, faced with 1) Do we pack it up and take it home? or 2) Do we leave it here until next year -even though it has been here for five and one-half months, and we have never put our hands on it? or 3) Do we throw it away? 

Because of the recycling rule here on the island, all those choices had to be made today – because today was the last pick-up for garbage/recycling before we leave.  Anything we need to get rid of at the last minute will go into one large bag and be given to Duck across the street, who is going to put that bag out for us next week on garbage day.

I’ve gone through dresser drawers and closets and selected what goes home and what stays.  It was pretty easy.  Anything summery goes home, even though we spend our summers in Michigan.  That is because by the time we come up here in mid-May of next year, we will have already had at least two months of summer in Georgia.  So the summer clothes have to go back.  I’m taking home a few “winter” items – one warm coat, a couple of sweatshirts, some lightweight sweaters.  I’m even going to throw in my heavy-duty gloves and earmuffs because we will be going to northern Arkansas for New Year’s with our grandchildren.  Every year we go, and every year I wish for snow.  So far – no snow.  I am beginning to think that snow is just not something I will ever be able to cross off my wish list.  But I will continue to hope for it – and be prepared!

We have been doing other “get ready to leave” things today.  Ted has cleaned up and stored two of our now three bicycles upstairs in the third bedroom.  He’s saving his out until the last day because he will still go into town each day to the post office.  I have taken all the sheets, bedspreads, blankets, and quilts off all the beds and have washed and dried them.  I’ve spread up the beds with just the bedspreads and sham-covered pillows (well except for ours, which is still fully “clothed”).  All the good sheets and blankets are stored in closets and dressers.  Sometime before we leave I will follow the example of the Grand Hotel and Chris Ann and cover up as much stuff as I can with old sheets, just to keep the dust off everything.   Next year, I can just imagine me walking in, snatching all those sheets off the furniture, and shouting, “We’re back!”

The forecast is calling for more rain for Friday and Saturday.  We were promised sunshine and warmer temps today, but the clouds hung on, and it never got out of the 40s.  No snow in sight though.  Sigh.

I’m posting my last round of random pictures tonight, with captions.  What photos you will see before we leave have already been taken, because there is no time to go out and take more.  We plan to have one final “date night” on Friday, then eat in on Saturday night, before leaving Sunday morning.  My plan now is to post both nights, and possibly one short one on the road Sunday night, if we find a dog-friendly hotel with wireless.

Hope you enjoy the pictures!


Ted crossing the finish line Saturday after walking in the Great Turtle Race and Half Marathon.


Ted and I after the race. This is terrible, but Jill got there before me and actually took this picture and the one of him crossing the finish line. Thanks, JIB!



Little Stone Church at twilight.


I was walking by Jewel Golf Course this week, and suddenly the sprinkler heads popped up and steam and water started spewing out. "Bout scared me to death! They were blowing all the water out of the pipes in anticipation of freezing temperatures.


With all the wet weather, mushrooms are popping up everywhere. The true islanders know which ones to pick and cook that aren't harmful. I haven't got a clue.


I took this one the night I was walking home from the Grand "closing". A lone walker, pushing her bike home in the rain.


A group of Grand employees, the morning after it closed, rushing with all their belongings to catch the ferry.


The sun going down - Tuesday night as I was walking to town.




Ted and I went over to St. Ignace on Wednesday morning. This is a shot of one of the Shepler ferries, out of the water for the season.


The trip back from St. Ignace - the closed Grand from the ferry.


Taken the night of the Grand "closing" on that walk home in the rain. This is one of the main horse barns, mostly boarded up.


Grand Hill at twilight.

Yesterday, after seeing Jill off on the ferry, we ate lunch in town at Millie’s on Main.  It was their last day, and they were closing at 4 p.m.  We ate some really good homemade spaghetti and then decided to splurge and get peach cobbler for dessert.  Oh my gosh!  They brought us both out a helping that was the size of a dinner plate!  They were trying to get rid of everything, and they didn’t even charge us for the cobbler.  Delicious!

After all that food, we walked home, picked up the dogs and went for a long walk up to Ft. Holmes (finally).  I am sorry to say that the leaves were probably two weeks past their peak.  I am so sorry I never made that trip up there for the third shot of the series, but the weather has just not cooperated.  Even though a lot of the trees have lost their leaves, it was still a beautiful walk.


The road up to Lookout Point.


The edge of one of the cemetaries.


Ted, Maddie (can't see her in the leaves), and Bear - ahead of me as usual. You just can't walk fast AND take photos!


At the crest of the hill to Lookout Point - this gift.


Sugar Loaf - two weeks past its peak. Next year, I will hike up there - regardless of the weather - and catch it at full color. A promise.


The trail up to Ft. Holmes, the highest point on the island.


We were at Ft. Holmes at maybe 4 p.m. The sky was already darkening - the clouds moving in helped with that.

A picnic table sits at the top of the Ft. Holmes hill, under a beautiful orange tree.

A picnic table sits on the Ft. Holmes hill, under a beautiful orange tree.


The fastest way back down to the cemetaries? Take the steps!


About half-way down - looking back up.

On Saturday morning, you’ll have some photos of Mackinac Island – after the Grand closes and the islanders “get their island back”.  If you’ve never seen downtown at that time of year, I think you will be in for quite a surprise!


23 thoughts on “Countdown 10/30/09

  1. This is the Island we remember and love! This is where we fell in love, where we ran through the woods, through the wet leaves. Later in the year I remember walking up those (snow-covered!) steps to Fort Holmes – only HE didn’t have on boots so he had to step in my footprints!
    What wonderful pictures! I’ll really miss your perspective on the Island during the winter. But you’ll be back, and your lovely condo will be ready for you! And we get to see what ‘winter’ in Georgia is like! Safe travels!!

  2. Ok, stupid question; how do they get the ferries out of the water. I didn`t see anything in the background that would be used for lifting.
    Beautiful pictures, by the way.

  3. Boy oh boy you all sure do get good exersise!!! The pictures were pretty – I could almost smell those wet leaves.
    When I was up there this summer it looked like something was being built next to the little stone church — I have been meaning to ask you what it is? Like I said before, I am trying to get all the last minute questions in! LOL!
    Love Shannon

    • Hi Shannon,

      Two sisters on the island are building a beautiful home there by the church. It probably won’t be finished until next winter – can’t work on it after the snow starts.

      I tried to send you a personal email yesterday. Did you get that?

  4. I just want to Thank You for your blog. Someone posted the link of your site on a while ago. I’ve been reading daily now for over a month. Your photos are beautiful and I feel your love of the Island in every photo. Have a safe trip south. We were also golden retriever people for over 25 years but have now downsized to a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. I do miss my big dogs tho.

  5. Ferry tickets are $24.00 round trip. If you live or work on the island, you can purchase commuter tickets at quite a savings. You have to show proof that you are a resident or work here.

  6. YaHOOO, more pics of Mackinac SATURDAY?
    An extra bonus….THANKS Bree…have a good “DATE NIGHT” ….no “girlfriend” tagging along this week!!! Love you BOTH, JIB

  7. The pictures in the woods are so pretty. The leaves on the ground say it is really fall and winter is not far behind. Hope the packing and closing up are going all right. Enjoy your “Date Night”.

  8. Have a wonderful Friday!! It is a sunny 72 degrees here in lower Michigan (close to the Ohio line) suppose to get some rain later but it’s still awesome to have this warm’s the weather there on the Island?? Love the pictures of the walk to Ft Holmes…have a fun date night!!

    • High 50’s and a rainy day. I think colder weather is moving in for the weekend, but Sunday is supposed to be rainless. Should be a good day to leave – weatherwise anyway!

    • Bree,

      As you prepare to leave your summer home, I just wanted to say Thank You so much blogging about the daily happenings on the Island. I’ve lived vicariously through you the summer! Reading your Island blog has been such a welcome break each day. I’ll miss your daily updates on the Island, but look forward to following your blog while you return to your winter home. Safe travels to you all!

      • Thank you so much, Jean. I’m so happy you have enjoyed spending the summer with us. Hope you follow us to Georgia. And if not, I hope to see you again here next spring! Have a wonderful winter!

        Brenda (Bree)

  9. Hi Bree- Great pictures and stories as usual! I will look forward to your last couple of blogs on the island and then follow you to Georgia! Take Care!

  10. Oh no! You’re down to the end. We’re all going to be crying… Will your new blog be on the site, or will you start a separate Georgia blog? Looking forward to reading that, too.

  11. You and Ted be safe on your trip back. Thanks so much for an entertaining and informative blog on such a special place.

  12. I know you have mixed feelings about coming home, but maybe it will be made easier knowing a lot of your friends aren’t going to be there either.
    You have been on my mind a lot the last few days. Be safe. Looking forward to seeing you when you get back home.
    Thanks so much for all of the beautiful pictures! I have enjoyed your blog so much. I can’t wait to see what you tell your northern friends about the south!

    • Looking forward to getting back and seeing everyone. It’s storming AGAIN up here tonight. We just went out for the last time for dinner and had to fight our way up the hill – no after dark taxis this time of year. See you soon! Love you!

  13. Everyone who thinks snow is wonderful should spend a winter in the Soo. I lived there for one snow season and that was enough for a lifetime.
    The blizzard of 1973 in middle Georgia only re-inforced my love of a mild climate.
    I was caught in a 100 year blizzard in St. Louis and a blizzard that closed O’Hare Airport in Chicago. Wasn’t a lot of fun.
    I have an aversion to the white stuff and will take a wet over a snowey UP day any time.
    Maybe it will snow at Lake Blackshear just for you. Stranger things have happened.

  14. Thank you for your Island passion. Please be safe traveling back to GA. You have touched sooo many lives, Bree. People you know, and some you have not. Hope to read your blog soon. We will see you on the Island next season! Say hello to Georgia for us!

  15. I enjoyed your pictures of the island. I am thinking about running the Great Turtle half Marathon but worried about the course being really hilly. Do you have any opinion on that?

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