Header: The Cloghaun Bed & Breakfast during the first day of snow. Thanks, Jill!
The scoop for the week of Dec. 7-13 (updated 7:52 p.m. Monday, Dec. 14):
I don’t have a lot of news today except for that snow storm that parked itself over the island for most of the week, and I have a few more snow photos to add tonight. I was hoping we would get the Christmas edition of the Mackinac Island Town Crier on Saturday, but it didn’t come. Hopefully it will be in the mail on Monday, so a longer update might be online Tuesday or Wednesday. Be sure and check back.
- You know I am not a big sports fan, but I had to tell you this story about the Mackinac Island Lakers basketball team. The Lakers played the Put-in-Bay, Ohio Panthers this weekend. Put-in-Bay is an island in Lake Erie, and like Mackinac, is a popular tourist destination. Mackinac Island has 79 students attending grades K through 12. Put-in-Bay has 86 students in pre-K through 12. In order to travel to either of the islands, you have to either take a ferry or fly. The Mackinac Lakers and coaches rode nine hours on a bus, then traveled aboard Miller Ferry to Put-in-Bay. They toured the island, played their game, and spent the night. Then they rode nine hours back to St. Ignace, where they again boarded a ferry to return home. Now here’s the great part. People on Mackinac Island were listening to the game on their computers via internet radio. The Lakers WON their game in overtime, and friends said you could hear people screaming all over the island! How cool it that!
- Updated 7:52 p.m. 12/14/09: Still no Town Crier, but here’s a tidbit from Mary McGuire at the Tourism Bureau. She says rooms on the island for the New Year’s holiday are booking fast. Here is a list of available accommodations: www.boganlaneinn.com, www.cottageinnofmackinac.com, www.harborplacestudiosuites.com (this one is pet-friendly), www.missionpoint.com (Straits Lodge rooms are open), and www.pontiaclodge.com.
- A great video from the Christmas Bazaar last weekend! http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%253A%252F%252Fwww.mackinacislandnews.com%252Fcommon%252Fvideo%252FChristmas_Bazaar_2009.html&h=a836fd10b09608831916866344fc8ddd&ref=nf
My friend Jill, while on the island for the Christmas Bazaar, hiked up Cadotte Avenue to take pictures of our condo. I say “hiked” because that hill isn’t easy without snow!
The scoop for the week of Nov. 29-Dec. 6:
- Of course, the BIG news is IT SNOWED! The white stuff started coming down on Friday morning, and when I talked to Jill (for about the 50th time) Sunday right after lunch, it had just stopped. She was hiking up “the hill” to try to get a photo of our condo, which she did, then as she started down the hill, she was picked up by someone on a snowmobile. That’s the great thing about Mackinac in the winter. Even if you don’t have your own snowmobile, usually someone will stop and offer you a ride.
- Jill, Bonnie, and Diane have had a great weekend on the island. They attended the Christmas Bazaar, ate lots of good food, went to church at St. Anne’s, saw tons of people they knew, and visited the Mustang at night. Bonnie and Diane left on the Sunday afternoon ferry, but Jill has decided to stay another day. She didn’t bring her laptop with her, so it will be Tuesday before I will be able to post some of her pictures. BUT – I do have some photos, compliments of Mary McGuire from the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau:
- It would be so strange to me to hear the snowmobiles on the island. I’ve gotten so used to there being no “motorized” noise during the summer.
- There is other news besides the snow! The island airport is getting a new weather reporting system, which will be a very important improvement for pilots, according to airport manager Dennis Bradley. Bradley said that the weather in the Straits of Mackinac can vary from point to point, and sometimes the island can be blanketed in fog, even while skies are clear elsewhere in the area. The old system, installed in 1991, is now obsolete. (Information for this story taken from the St. Ignace News)
- Santa Claus arrived on the island during the Christmas Bazaar.
- I received an email from Greg Main, who winters on the island, and who reported that the front balcony flooring and railings are being replaced at the Lilac Tree Hotel. Greg generates an island newsletter during the “quiet season”, and that will give us all another perspective on the happenings on Mackinac during the winter months.
- Please visit my friend Liz’s blog http://quiltedturtle.blogspot.com. Liz teaches school on Mackinac and writes about life on the island. She takes fantastic photos also, including the photo taken from her snowmobile in today’s header.
- Don’t forget that you can watch live streaming video from the island at http://bit.ly/6qFiPn or at www.chippewahotel.com (click “web cam” at bottom of that page). You can actually control the Chippewa’s web cam yourself!
No news on the Therapy Dog training and study. Bear was boarded while we were out of town for Thanksgiving and came home with a huge hotspot on his hip. He is recovering, but he has not been a happy camper for a few days. Of course, I am the one who needs to be studying – not Bear!
When Jill sends me her pictures from the island, I will post them here – so please check back tomorrow or the next day to see if they are up! Have a great week! God bless.
The scoop for the week of November 22-28:
- Many of you know that the 171-year-old former Indian Agency in Marquette Park is being converted into a fine arts gallery by Mackinac State Historic Parks. On November 4, while trenching work was being done to add a new water line to the building, human skeletal remains, thought to be Indian, were found. Dr. Lynn Evans, the curator of archaeology for Mackinac State Historic Parks, said, “We know that Marquette Park is a sensitive area.” She went on to say that when areas are excavated that have not been disturbed before, there is always a chance of finding remains. Steve Brisson, chief curator for the Parks, said that federal guidelines are followed if human remains and artifacts are found. The protocol includes having Dr. Evans on site during excavation work, in case such items are discovered. Brisson said, “The shore area below the east bluff, including what is now Marquette Park, was used for centuries for Native burials. The location of the bones was recorded, then they were stored in a secure location in the immediate area until the water drainage problem was repaired. Under the guidelines, and out of respect for the deceased, the park does not conduct any investigation or even measure the bones for future research. Once the trenching work was finished, the bones were reburied at the site. (NOTE: Information taken from Karen Gould’s story in Nov. 19 St. Ignace News.)
- Anyone who has visited the Grand Hotel in the last several years is familiar with the room where the “Above Mackinac” mural-sized photographs are exhibited. Aerial photographer Robert Cameron, who published a series of “Above” books and was responsible for the photographs at the Grand, passed away November 10 at the age of 98. His daughter and son-in-law, Jane and Richard Manoogian, own a home on Mackinac Island’s West Bluff. Mrs. Manoogian said, “He was overwhelmed the first time he visited the island, seeing the photogenic qualities right away.” Mr. Cameron’s series of books included sky views of San Francisco, London, Paris, Chicago, and New York. Most of his photographs were taken with him hanging out of a helicopter, but the Mackinac Island photographs, taken in 1994, were shot from a small seaplane flown by Barry BeDour. Mr. Cameron fell in love with aerial photography during World War II, when he was a contract photographer for the U.S. Army, taking aerial photographs at night. In 2006, Mr. Cameron told the Mackinac Island Town Crier he hoped in 100 years his work would serve as a representation of the way things were. That same year, two of Mr. Cameron’s “Above San Francisco” books were placed inside a time capsule under San Francisco Ciy Hall to be opened in the year 3000. Phil Porter, director of Mackinac State Hstoric Parks, wrote the text for Mr. Cameron’s “Above Mackinac” book. (NOTE: Information taken from Mr. Cameron’s obituary, published in the Nov. 19 St. Ignace News.)
- Sadie, a 4-year-old black Scottish Terrier owned by Amelia Musser of Mackinac Island, won her 101st Best in Show at the National Dog Show in Philadelphia on Nov. 27. Congratulations, Sadie!
- If you’re on the island, you can still drop off non-perishable food items for the Harvest Gathering Food Drive through Monday, Nov. 30 at St. Anne’s Hall and Doud’s Market.
- The island Christmas Bazaar is December 5-7, and donations are still being accepted. Oh, how I wish we were going to be there!
- The Village Inn closed Nov. 14 and will re-open Tuesday, Dec. 1.
- From Nov. 29-Jan. 3, the Arnold Line will make only four round-trips to the island each day. If you are going to the island from St. Ignace, your times are: 7:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:45 p.m. If you are leaving the island going to St. Ignace, your times are: 8:15 a.m., 11:30 a.m. 2:30 p.m., and 4:30 p.m. Neither of the early morning ferries (7:30 a.m. to the island, and 8:15 a.m. from the island) will run on Sundays or New Year’s Day. There will be no ferry service on Christmas Day. The ferry schedule after Jan. 3 will be posted at a later date, if weather permits the ferry to continue to cross.
I just checked the weather on the island for the next 10 days (through Dec. 10), and it looks as if the warm weather islanders have been enjoying is over. All the highs are in the 30’s, with lows in the 20’s. Snow showers are forecast almost every day. Well, geez – it’s winter!
The news on the blog book this week was not good. I guess I have been very naive about the cost of self-publishing, but I am going to continue to explore other options that might lead to a book in the next year or two. Right now though, I would say the dream of one being available in the spring of 2010 is very remote. But – I believe when God closes one door, He always opens another. Onward!
I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with family, friends, food, and fun. To read about our Thanksgiving, you can go to http://bree1976.wordpress.com. See you next week!
The scoop for the week of November 17-21:
- If Ted and I were on Mackinac Island on Sunday, November 22, we would be dropping by Doud’s Market for their Thanksgiving sale. They’re serving complimentary beverages and treats, and everything in the store is 20% off (except liquor, lotto, and all tobacco products). In case you ARE thinking of going to the island this winter, Doud’s Market is open year-round. Their winter hours are Monday-Friday (7:45 a.m.-6:00 p.m.) and Saturday-Sunday (10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.).
- Did you know that on Thursdays during the winter the Mustang usually serves a Mexican lunch, and every other Thursday, the entrée is nachos? Me either! Nachos are not on the Mustang menu in the summer – darn!
- The Huron, the Arnold Line’s winter ferry, has been on duty since Nov. 2. Ted and I missed riding on her by one day when we left the island for Georgia.
- Last Christmas we ordered a live balsam wreath from the island for our front door at the lake. It smelled so good! If you are interested in having one shipped to you, you can call Trish Martin at (906) 847-3439. You can order wreaths and garlands.
- I can’t wait to visit Jack Landress’ new gift shop this spring. He owns both Lilacs & Lace and the Victorian Summer Art Gallery (boy, have I spent lots of time and pennies in both those shops!) Lilacs & Lace is moving into the former Mackinac Lapidary shop (still in Carousel Mall). He’ll have more space there for all the beautiful forms of art that he showcases.
- Oh, how I wish I was going to be able to see the Christmas tree lighting on December 4 in the middle of Main Street. Right after the tree lights up, the whole community is invited to the fire hall for the presale of the Christmas Bazaar rummage sale. Hot dogs, hot chocolate and cookies will be available to warm everyone up!
- The weather on the island has been absolutely beautiful in November.
- Starting today, I’m going to try and remember to post a new header photo every day. I have thousands of pictures that I took this summer – they might as well get some “air” time!
Another meeting on the blog book is coming up Monday, Nov. 23. Still trying to resolve some issues with the photographs.
I met with a group of therapy dogs and their owners at two assisted living homes in Albany this past Thursday. Bear didn’t get to go on this first visit – it was just for me to see what a visit was like with the trained dogs. So interesting and fulfilling. I know Bear and I will love doing this – IF we pass all the tests. My home study book from the Delta Society came today, and it is HUGE! Lots to study – there is a written test I have to pass, and Bear has to pass an obedience test and get a health approval from our vet. I’m hoping we will both pass everything with flying colors and be able to start work after Christmas. (Note: For a more complete story about my visit, you can go to http://bree1976.wordpress.com/2009/11/22/a-little-help-from-our-four-legged-friends-11-23-09/.)
Ted and I are leaving Thanksgiving morning to drive about 3 hours north to have dinner with my first cousins and their families. My daddy had one brother, who had four children. Being an only child, I always thought they were so lucky to be part of that big family. We are joining them and all their children and grandchildren out on a farm. I have heard rumors about a planned hayride – lots of opportunities for pictures! I wish each of you the happiest of Thanksgivings filled with family, food, and fun. Please be careful, if you are traveling. God bless!
NOTE: Some news items taken from Jeannette Doud’s Mackinac Island column published in the St. Ignace News.
The scoop for the week of November 9-16:
- Charlie, the gentlemen ghost at the Island House hotel, made his appearance while four members of the Michigan Area Paranormal ghost hunting team spent two nights investigating strange events which have occurred at the hotel. For more than 15 years, hotel guests and staff have reported doors opening and closing and objects moving in the rooms. The investigators came to the hotel in October to provide logical explanations for the events, which is usually what they find when they study a “haunting”. But at the Island House they discovered things that couldn’t be explained by reflective lights, shadows from trees, or sounds from water pipes. Over the two nights, the team recorded unexplainable whisperings, a responsive knocking sound, and captured three photographs of the silhouette of a ghostly figure of a man wearing a top hat. Past guests of the hotel were emailed and invited to share any unusual occurences they had experienced as guests. Most of those who responded repeatedly pointed to rooms 400 and 409, and these two rooms were the focus for the investigation, although other rooms were also checked out. In room 400, the team recorded a 10-degree temperature drop within an instant, an indication of paranormal activity. Over the next few months, the investigators will review 14 hours of film on each of six cameras and listen to audio recordings several times before they will have a final report. The Island House was built in 1852 and has 93 rooms. It is only open in the summer. (NOTE: This story was reported by Karen Gould in The St. Ignace News.)
I chatted online with Jennifer today from the Grand Hotel. She has just returned from a trip to South America, recruiting employees for the 2010 season. She reports that it is good to be back on the island, which is relatively quiet right now. It is hunting season, and Jennifer said that most of the island men are off the island hunting deer.
- How would you like to see the Straits from the top of a tower on the Mackinac Bridge? You can win a tour for two of the Mighty Mac by entering a ticket raffle online at www.gllka.com/bridgeraffle.htm. The tour includes an elevator ride to the top of one of the towers. The tickets are $5.00 each or five for $20.00. Proceeds will go to assist the Great lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association, which works toward lighthouse preservation and education. After doing the Labor Day Bridge Walk, I would LOVE to win this! There were a few workers standing on top of those towers watching the walkers that day. They looked like little ants up there!
- The new 2010 Seasons of Mackinac calendars are now available. The calendars are a fundraiser for the Mackinac Island Recreational Development (MIRD). They are $10.00 plus $2.50 shipping & handling and can be ordered online at www.mackinac.com/mird/index.html or sending check to: MIRD, P.O. Box 421, Mackinac Island, MI 49757. Ted and I always have one of the MIRD calendars both here at the lake and at our condo on the island. The photographs on these calendars are absolutely beautiful!
- You can see the island anytime you like AND control where you want to look! There is a web cam atop the Chippewa Hotel that you can control. You can choose to view the harbor, Main Street, the marina, Round Island, the fort, or the West Bluff. You can even zoom! Check it out at www.chippewahotel.com/web-cam.cfm
- Islanders are calling the weather they are having this week “Indian summer”. It seems that the gales of November came in October this year, leaving November sunny and warm. What a wonderful treat for everyone still on the island.
- Have had one meeting about the book and I’m already discovering that book publishing isn’t for sissies! Please keep me in your prayers as I walk through this process. Have already run into problems with the resolution of the photographs, but we are working on that. Stay tuned!
- Bear was very ill at the first part of this week, but seems to have recovered fully. I have my first meeting Thursday with the Delta Society, which is the international board which certifies Therapy Dogs.
That’s all I have for this week. Hope all my readers are doing well. See you here next week, good Lord willing, and hopefully I will have a couple of pictures to post. God bless.
The scoop for the week of November 1-8:
- There have been snow flurries reported – but so far nothing is sticking to the ground. Just not cold enough yet, even though I heard that a couple of days after we left the snow was flying so thickly over the Straits that Round Island Light was hardly visible.
- My buddy Jennifer, who works for the Grand, has been on a recruiting trip to Brazil and Argentina. Talk about change of climate! This is her really busy time of the year – hiring workers for the Grand Hotel for the 2010 season.
- During the upcoming week, I will be having my first meeting on the publishing of the “blog book”. Please keep that whole process in your prayers as I try to make the right decisions.
Until we return to Mackinac Island in the spring, Bree’s blog can be found at beautiful Lake Blackshear in south Georgia. The address is: http://bree1976.wordpress.com. Can’t wait to show you what good old southern hospitality is all about! See you there!
NOTE: For those of you who are just finding this Mackinac Island blog through search engines, please feel free to read through the archived stories here of our wonderful season on Mackinac Island. We arrived on the island in May, 2009 and returned to Georgia on Nov. 1. There are over 150 posts, so reading one a day will almost get you through the winter! If you’d like to follow us to Georgia, see the address above for the Lake Blackshear blog. Thanks for dropping by, and I hope you will join us in the spring back on the island.