On Saturday, Siena Forrester turned 4 years old. After almost a month in the Geary House, in the heart of downtown Mackinac Island, Jeanine and Mike thought a Mackinac-style birthday party was in order – and what could be more “Mackinac” than a hayride!
Mike’s sister and her husband (Holly and Travis) and their daughter Lauren and her boyfriend Bryan had been on the island for the three days leading up to Saturday. This group – and some island friends – met at the Geary House late Saturday afternoon for Island Slice pizza, Martha’s Sweet Shop birthday cake, and ice cream from Doud’s. By the way, have I mentioned that any island birthday party should include a home-baked birthday cake from Martha’s? Oh my gosh! Ted is still talking about the cake they made for Matthew’s birthday last summer!
Ok – I have to leave the birthday for a moment and throw in here another example of how like a “small town” the island is. Loretta and Tony live next door to the Geary House, so they have gotten to know the Forrester’s over the last month (in Mackinac Island terms, “next door” means they share a fence and lean across that fence to chat during the day). Loretta owns Martha’s Sweet Shop. Working in Martha’s is Miranda, who made the cake served at the birthday party. Miranda also babysat Siena while the Forrester’s went out to eat at the Grand one night. Then there is Lily Porter, who also babysat for the Forrester’s this month. Lily is one of Phil and Valerie Porter’s daughters, all of whom grew up living in . . . the Geary House. I love this place! Back to the birthday. . . .
Soon it was time to gather out front to await the arrival of Princess Siena’s chariot.
Now here is another “Mackinaw-ism”. All along the streets and roads, we passed crowds and crowds of people. They would take one look at our merry little band, see Siena planted on the top haystack with her birthday crowd on, and everyone would yell, “Happy Birthday!” Siena, of course, thought it had all been planned just for her.
I look back now and think how wonderful it would have been for our children to have memories of Mackinac from their early years. I know Siena won’t remember every detail of her 4th birthday, but I think she will recall . . . a singing necklace, a pink Princess castle, chocolate cake with white icing three inches thick, running around a huge backyard with her uncle, climbing on bales of hay in a wagon just for her, riding through town with well-wishers shouting and waving . . . and hay sticking to her leotards until her 5th birthday!
What a beautiful, sweet little princess you are, Siena. We will miss you and your family next week. Hurry back with your mom and dad to Mackinac!
Note: Thanks to Jill for the pics I’m in (including the header) and the pic of Siena on her “throne”.