Welcome, welcome, welcome! Today begins Season II of Bree’s Mackinac Island Blog. From now through October (or longer), you will be hearing from me at this site three or four times a week. On Monday, May 17, our little caravan will arrive on the island – good Lord willing.
Summer hit south Georgia about a week ago, with no warning. We’ve had a fabulous, long spring – unheard of in our neck of the woods. We usually go from winter directly into summer, but this year we’ve had several weeks of warm days and cool nights. Then WHAM! Summer arrived, with temps in the 90’s, and humidity so high all I had to do to open my pores was step out on the deck. Instant sauna – time to go North!
With less than a week until we leave . . . . . . . . . . . we’ve decided to go to the beach!
Yep – into the mix of packing, turning off stuff, disconnecting stuff, forwarding stuff, and canceling stuff, we have thrown in an overnight trip to Panama City Beach, FL. Julie and the grandkids will be there visiting Julie’s mom, and we just can’t let them be that close without seeing them. So Monday morning (May 10) we will kennel Bear and Maddie and drive about four hours south. We’ll take Julie, Jordan and Matthew out to dinner on Monday night (and maybe breakfast Tuesday morning), then come home in time to pick up the two “kids” before the kennel closes for the day on Tuesday. Very quick trip.
Along with the rest of Florida and the entire Gulf Coast, we are all praying that God will work a miracle and move that oil spill away from the coast and out to sea. As we’ve heard over and over again on the news during the last few days, oil on that coastline will be devastating to an area still recovering from Hurricane Katrina. The thought of those white sand beaches – and all the wildlife that calls that area home – covered in black, sticky oil is horrible. Even more horrible is the loss of a whole way of life for the shrimp and oyster fishermen who have harvested those waters for generations. Please send a prayer up today for that area.
I’ve thrown myself full swing into getting most of the packing done before we leave for the beach (or at least having it all spread out on the guest room bed – so I will know how many suitcases I have to talk Ted into “letting” me carry). I was honestly hoping I wouldn’t have to ship anything this year, but that turned out to be wishful thinking. Ted brought home two boxes from the post office this week, and I know we will need at least one more. But – there were several situations last summer that I was not prepared for (dinner at the Grand and a few other “dress-up” events), and this year I want to be able to just reach in the closet and pull out the appropriate dress and shoes.
This afternoon Ted walked in the guest room and shouted, “Baby, would you come here please?”
I peeked around the corner of the door and said, “Yes?”
“Well, you never know,” I said sweetly, “We might get snow in October.” Under my breath I was saying, “Or I might convince you to stay through Christmas Bazaar weekend.” We learned a lot last summer about Michigan weather. As the islanders say, “If you don’t like the weather right now, stick around for five minutes – it will change.” So, it’s the cold weather gear and the dress-up attire that I’m shipping – it just takes up too much space in a suitcase!
I’ve got a big bag already packed with books I want to read (left over from all those reading days I was going to have following my surgery). In that same bag are my favorite catalogs (yes, Ted, I NEED the catalogs).
My good friend Jill arrived on the island Wednesday for the season, and she is keeping me updated on what’s happening on Mackinac until I get there. I was on the floor of my closet, deciding which shoes to pack, when she called one afternoon last week. Ted handed me the phone, then went after the camera.
As you know, Jill works for The Island Bookstore. I can’t believe how busy she says it already is, but, of course, it is a very popular spot on the island. Most visitors can’t return home without a book about the island – its cottages, the fort, or the history surrounding this special place, and The Island Bookstore is the place to find that perfect book. Of course, if you want to read the latest bestseller, you’ll find it there also. The store celebrates its 35th year in business this summer. In an article by Karen Schechner in the American Booksellers Association “Bookselling This Week”, I learned that the store opened in 1975 in a 300 square foot space above the grocery store on Mackinac’s Main Street. Retired Upper Peninsula banker Cliff Olson was the original owner. The present owners, Mary Jane Barnwell and Diane & Joseph Brandonisio, bought the store from Olson when he retired. They expanded to the 1,000 square foot location it now occupies and opened a 2,000 square foot second store in Mackinaw City (also The Island Bookstore). The store stays extremely busy during its open season (May-October), but if winter comes and finds you longing for a certain book about the island (or you just can’t make it to the island during the summer), you can order online at www.islandbookstore.com/mackinacgifts.
Weather Update: On Saturday morning, May 8 – It was snowing on Mackinac Island. Jill emailed that the wind was blustery, and the snow was falling but not sticking. By Mother’s Day, it was all over. The day we are to arrive – looking 8 days into the future – the forecast is for sun and temps back in the 60’s! In Georgia it was 93 degrees yesterday.
I posted basically this same blog on the Lake Blackshear Blog this morning, and after today that blog will be closed for the summer. We’ll be at the beach on Monday and Tuesday, and I hope to post some pics of our beach trip here on Wednesday morning. Thanks to all of you who have stuck with me over the winter. I’m looking forward to being back on the island and reporting all the “goings-on” in words and photographs.
I hear our island home calling – let the summer begin!