A Surprise Around Every Corner 5/27/2010

If you followed me to Lake Blackshear this winter, you know I would talk about days when there was just not a lot to write about.  I never have that problem on the island.  There is always something going on, and all I need to do to find a story is poke my camera in my pants pocket and head down the street.  And sometime when you turn a corner here, you find something that really surprises you – even for Mackinac Island! 

On Tuesday I was downtown to drop off a birthday card to Jeannette Doud.  Jeannette writes the Mackinac Island column for the Town Crier and the St. Ignace News, and she celebrated her 90th birthday the Sunday before we arrived.  There was a huge party at the Grand, complete with several cakes and 90 long-stemmed pink roses.  Everyone on the island was invited, and I think everyone on the island attended.  We missed it by one day.  Anyway, on the way to the Windermere Hotel to leave Jeannette’s card, I heard bagpipe music as I was walking in front of the library.  Now you know how you never know where music is coming from these days.  You can hear anything from Beethoven to Bon Jovi to the B-52’s coming out of cellphones and iPods, and I assumed the bagpipe music would end when someone answered their phone.  But the music continued to play. 

As I walked past the corner of the library, I glanced back toward the water and saw – amazingly – a man playing the bagpipes.  I walked a little further until I got to the opening in the fence where The Windermere Doghouse sits and where you walk out to Windermere Point.  I sidled up behind the man with the pipes and shamelessly took these two photographs.  I honestly don’t think he ever knew I was even there – he was that engrossed.  I have no idea if he was a professional musician or a tourist just enjoying his music on a beautiful afternoon on the island.  Needless to say, I loved getting these photos of him. 

A man and his music.


A man, his music, and a Star Line ferry with its famous rooster tail.


 The second surprise of the day happened when I was almost home.  I topped the next to last hill before our condo and saw a lady, sitting on a bike, seemingly talking to a stand of  trees.  As I got closer, I heard other voices inside the stand of trees.  When I reached the bike lady, I looked into the trees and saw Kim from Carriage Tours holding onto the base of a ladder.  At the top of the ladder was Doc Al, one of the island’s veterinarians (and Bear and Maddie personal physician).  It seems the carriage roofs have been hitting the overhanging branches of these trees when the drivers stop there to rest the horses.  So Doc Al and Kim to the rescue. 

Doc Al and Kim said, "This is in the part of our job description that says 'and anything else we're asked to do'."


Hope you’re all having a great week.  We’ve had fabulous weather on the island, with highs in the 70’s and sunny skies.  It’s so different from last Spring – when cold and wet was the order of the day – that it’s hard to believe I’m on the same island.  See you Friday, good Lord willing. 


12 thoughts on “A Surprise Around Every Corner 5/27/2010

  1. Bagpipes!! More memories! When I was a little girl, living in Small Point, about where the Studio sits now at Mission Point, a close family friend, Ray Purdy, Jr., was learning to play the bagpipes. He would walk the field below (where the Adirondack chairs now sit) practicing. I remember following alongside him, calling to him, trying to get him to talk to me. He wouldn’t ever stop (couldn’t!!) Only years later I realized what a pest I must have been! Somehow the shore just calls to the bagpiper, as your photo shows!

  2. How marvelous to be able to see and hear that man playing the bagpipes by the shore like that!
    I’m so glad that you take your camera with you so you can share memories like that with us. Cute picture of your Vet hanging in the trees – I was thinking as I read it maybe there was an animal or bird in need of assistance. It’s been in the 80’s and humid here – way too hot this early in the season this Yankee gal 🙂 Happy Thursday!!

  3. I remember how different the weather was at this time last year. It was pretty similar here and I was hoping this summer would be much better. So far it has been!
    I like the sound of bagpipes but it always seems to sound so sad. I like the pictures you took tho. I wonder if this man knows what a star he is now 🙂

  4. Wonderful! My grandpa from Glasgow played and always tried to get me to learn. He had JC Penny(yes the J. C. Penny from the store),a Scottish Right Mason brother from Detroit and a piper, write my recommendation to Alma College for me. Anyway, I have traveled to and from the Island several times with a full quilted piper that come often to the Island to weddings. I wonder if it is the same man.

  5. “The pipes, the pipes are calling… from glen to glen and down the mountain side”, or in this case: from shore to shore the pipes are calling.. Maybe he is calling to the weary to come to the island for some soul nourishment!!

    You have just the BEST experiences there Bree, we are so lucky that we get to share them with you- what fun! Loved the lilacs & the birch trees pix, am still enjoying it on my computer…

  6. Just found you! I live in Southern Calif and miss my Michigan! I have many memories
    (grew up in Detroit area)of family vacations
    through out the state. Mackinac Island was a favorite, even went to college in the UP.
    MI just looks so green compared to CA and
    NO LILACS here!
    I dream of living on Mackinac Island when LaLaLand gets too crazy! Thanks for telling me what’s really happening every day in my “gotta get away dream place”!!

    • Welcome! I know I have one other reader in California, and there may be others. Isn’t it amazing how the love of one tiny little island stretches all the way across this country!

  7. I love the sound of bag pipes! Great pictures also! Thanks so much for sharing! Looking forward to Friday! Michelle

  8. Thank you for your beautiful pictures of live on the island. We had our 50th wedding anniversary on the island last year and it was like heaven.

  9. I’m so happy to have found you! I’m a Michigan transplant that lives in South Carolina now, but often longs for home…
    I remember camping early one summer on Manitou Island and hearing the sound of bagpipes being carried on the wind. It was one of the ethereal, unreal experiences, but so beautiful. I was told later that it came from the ranger station. Of course, I’d imagined a good ghost story! 🙂
    Thanks for sharing your experiences!

  10. I am thoroughly enjoying your blog! We have been to Mackinac Island many times over the past 20 years! We had great times when our children were younger and then again when they were older. No matter what age, we all love it. Staying at the Stonecliffe several times what a very neat experience. We are planning a trip back to the island this fall. It will be just the two of us now that we are empty nesters. Loved reading the blogs about “getting ready for summer” – the behind the scenes stuff is what we all miss. Enjoy your trip to the UP – we spent time at Whitefish and the Falls. They can be absolutely breathtaking!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s