My Perfectly Ordinary Wednesday 9/23/2010

Walking to work Wednesday morning, I figured how many more nights we had left to spend on the island before heading back to Georgia.  When I counted them up on my fingers, I was shocked to only come up with 25 – less than 4 weeks!  I simply cannot believe how fast this summer has flown by.  When we talk to folks at home and hear that it is still in the 90’s everyday, I just roll my eyes and hope that in the next 25 days, Fall at least begins to find its way south.  If not, I plan to roll some of it up in my luggage and take it with me!

My Wednesday volunteer job at the Stuart House gets me out of the house earlier than on most mornings, and today I left even a little earlier than usual.  I began shooting photos of ordinary things as I walked by the golf course, then down Turkey Hill to town.  Here’s a sample:

This white picket fence runs all the way around the Governor of Michigan's Summer Residence and yard.

As I started off down Turkey Hill, I looked straight up into these birch trees that lean over the road. When the wind is blowing they moan as they sway against each other. Really - it sounds just like someone moaning - very eerie at night. Every year I wonder if they will survive another Winter of snow without falling. So far, every Spring they are still there.

I know this is really weird, but the tree roots on the Island fascinate me. With so little top soil, the trees have to spread their roots out shallow, instead of seeking water and nutrients deep in the earth. Some of these roots seem to have sent out root "fingers" to find a little patch of soil with life-giving essentials.

These trees on the bluff rising above Turkey Hill Road seem to be growing straight out of the rocks.

This apple tree along Turkey Hill is filled with ripe fruit. Since horses don't travel down this hill very often and haven't relieved the tree of a lot of its apples, many are now falling to the ground, lining the grass and road.

This past Sunday we were in the fort, photographing the town and harbor below. Today, I stood at the base of the fort and photographed up.

I'm beginning to see more drays like this now. As Fall advances and maintenance and renovation work begins, the trash that work produces fills drays and is transported off the island. This dray was packed with what was the front porch of the Trinity Church Vicarage. The porch is being replaced this fall.

I turned the corner onto Market Street, finding it empty except for a gentleman walking his dog. There seemed to be some activity way down at the end of the street, but I couldn't make out what it was from this far away.

I always laugh when I look up at the weathervane on top of Weber's Florist. I love the whimsical "When Pigs Fly" character.

As I walked nearer the Stuart House Museum, I realized what the "end of the street" activity had been - horses. They'd been led down Cadotte Avenue and were making the turn toward Main Street and the ferry docks.

This little turtle "hood" ornament, perched atop a bike's handlebars, caught my eye as I walked past the post office.

Candy was waiting for me to take her place at the museum.  She hurried off for a few minutes, then returned with boxes of candy treats.  She told me that about 45 school children – kindergarten through 7th grade – would be visiting the museum around noon.  They were walking down from the Mackinac Island Public School, with their teachers, to tour the building.  Thank goodness Candy had arranged for Dale Gensman to take them through.  Dale knows that museum like the back of his hand.  He personally built all the historic building replicas and the models of the Mackinac Bridge and the Titanic that are housed in the museum.

It turned out to be another great day for blog buddies!  A young mom and dad, Tina and Jeff from Ubly, Michigan – and their precious little boy Joel – dropped in to say hello.  They had been vacationing in Mackinaw City for a few days and came to the island on a day trip.  Tina has just started reading the blog, but she remembered that I work at the museum on Wednesdays.

Tina's husband, Jeff, took this pic from the street in front of the museum. That's little Joel in his mom's baby-pack.

You remember the couple I told you about yesterday who had come over while we were having coffee at the Carriage Museum?  I knew I had his name wrong!  It’s Dennis – not George!  He and wife Rose stopped by the museum today, and I’m so glad they did so I could get his name right this time!  They’re from Austin, Minnesota.

Jill took this pic - she popped in to give me a two minute break, and I grabbed her to take the photo.

Dale Gensman, his wife, and friends of theirs arrived to greet the school children, who were a little late getting there. It was such a gorgeous day that we all just went out on the porch to enjoy the sun.

Here come the kids! Ranging in age from five to 12, these children make up 2/3 of the school's enrollment. Just like children everywhere, they were excited to be out of the school building and going on a field trip! What a bunch of cuties!

After work, I ran by the post office than slipped over to Main Street just to see if anything interesting was going on.  It seems all I look for now are the changing leaves, but really – once they start turning,  it’s just hard not to photograph them!

This Dutch Elm at the corner of Fort and Main Streets is already beautiful - and about to be glorious!


That same tree, which shades this corner of Marquette Park all summer.

One of my favorite "Jewel" trees - on the golfcourse.

As I’ve been sitting here pasting photos into tonight’s blog post,  my mind has been semi-focused on what I want to do with the days we have left on the Island, and I want to ask my readers for your help.  Is there anything that you’d like me to write about or photograph that I haven’t already covered – or is there a subject you love so much, you’d like to see more of it?  I want to make these last weeks really special, so whatever you want, let me know.  If it’s possible (well, if it’s close to possible), I’ll try my best to get it done.  Now don’t go asking me to hang upside down under the Mackinac Bridge and take a picture of the underside!  But, hmmmm, if a ferry happens to be going out there under the bridge, I’d sure be glad to ride along.  I could get the underside that way!

Let me know what you’re thinking.  Let’s see what you come up with and just how far I’ll go to make you happy.  I love a good challenge!

NOTE:  Mary from the Grand was up much, much, much earlier than I was.  She was on the docks at sunrise seeing off the West Bluff Friesians as they left the Island for the winter.  Thanks to her for the header – it almost makes me want to get up that early . . . . almost!


41 thoughts on “My Perfectly Ordinary Wednesday 9/23/2010

  1. In honor of the glorious trees of Mackinac Island and Bree’s 25 days left on the Island ….. with thanks to Joyce Kilmer.


    by: Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918)

    THINK that I shall never see
    A poem lovely as a tree.

    A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
    Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

    A tree that looks at God all day,
    And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

    A tree that may in Summer wear
    A nest of robins in her hair;

    Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
    Who intimately lives with rain.

    Poems are made by fools like me,
    But only God can make a tree.

      • The night you posted this, I dreamed about trees! I’m wondering (if you don’t mind) if you’d write about winter on the Island. I have so many questions: how many year-round residents are there? How do they obtain groceries, etc.? Do all of the horses leave the island during winter? Do most, if not all of the shops close for the season? In general …. what is winter like on the Island …. ?

      • Hi Susan! I don’t know if you’ve already done this, but if not, if you’d go back into the achived articles for last year and begin reading in the month of Oct. 2009, I think you will find the answer to a lot of your questions. As you may or may not know, we leave the island for the winter. I’d love to be here year-round one year, but so far I haven’t persuaded my husband to do that. I did, though, fly up in Feb. 2010 for three days during winter festival. You can go to the archived Feb. 2010 articles to read about my few days here in the winter. Since you aren’t the only one who has asked for a “winter” story lately, I will write another one soon and try to answer your questions, as well as others that have been asked. I tend to forget that readers find this blog every day and sometimes don’t start at the beginning (two years ago) and read forward – although many do. So – one “wintertime” blog coming up soon! Thanks for writing! Brenda

      • Good Afternoon, Brenda …. Oh, thank you. I’ll check the archives you suggested and look forward to a winter blog. Thank you ever so much …..


  2. My husband and I will be coming to the Celebrate Your Marriage conference at the Grand on Oct. 10-11. This will be our 3rd time to attend. You and your husband should check it out, if you haven’t already been to one. IT’S SO MUCH FUN!! Thinking of staying at the Windermere the night before, unless you can suggest another place that’s comparable in price. Love to come a day early so we can bike all around!

    • It’s hard for me to suggest hotels because we’ve only stayed in two – the Chippewa and the Cottage Inn. I love them both, but I know you will be very pleased with the Windermere.

  3. Aww gee whiz… I was just going to ask you to hang upside down and even bungee jump off the bridge with a video for us readers – Ha! 🙂 I just love anything and everything you photograph and tell us about. Happy Thursday!

  4. Gorgeous shots, as always, Brenda! I love the way that you capture the little details that make Mackinac so special for me. Gosh, what will we all do in 26 days when you’re on the way to Georgia??? Mackinac withdrawals, I’m afraid!

  5. What a great photo that Mary was able to get. Just a couple more weeks before I get to see those sunrises again. Its worth getting up early.

  6. All of your pictures are beautiful. I especially enjoyed the night pictures you had of Main street. When you are on the island for the day you don’t get to see how pretty Main street is after dark. We will be on the island this weekend and I so want to catch the beautiful sunrises. Maybe I will catch up with you at the Pink Pony. Thanks again for all you do.

  7. Beautiful picture of the sunrise Mary!

    I have no special requests Brenda, I love everything you blog about and every picture you post! If it has to do with Mackinac Island, I am right here with you (till you go home to Georgia and I follow you there). I have never been disappointed, no matter what you write about. I just wish summer wasn’t coming to an end so soon….

  8. Thanks for all you put on here about the island. Anything you decide to put on will be fine with me. I love anything to do with the island. How I wish I could return this fall.

  9. Oops, I forgot to mention how I love Mary’s picture of the sunrise. So glad she is a morning person. Thanks for sharing with us Mary.

  10. I would love to hear what life is like for those who remain on the island during the winter months. Could you interview someone for us? Why do they stay, how do they pass the time, and do they have any winter pictures they could share? What is Christmas like on the island?

  11. The comment about the Michigan flag flying at the Governor’s residence only when she or her family is there is not true. They changed that about 10 years ago. Due to security reasons they fly it every day. The flag was probably not up because there could be something wrong with the ropes, the flag or the clips.

    Part of the scout program that works on the island.

    • Thanks so much for that update. I took that data off what I usually consider a reliable website, but should have checked more closely. I have deleted that statement from the blog.

      • Just wanted to make sure you knew.

        Thanks for the blog! I love reading it and keeping me updated on the island when I am not thre.

  12. Brenda, I just love looking at the pictures you take. You bring everything ‘home’ to me. If at sometime it would be great to see pics of the middle of the island………along with interviews of people who live on the island all year. I too would like to hear about their life and what Christmas is like on the island.

  13. First, I must say that I have never been disappointed in any of your blogs. They have all been great. However, I do have one request (if it is still possible). Last year you mentioned interviewing a man and his wife who were the caretakers at one of the “cottages” on the West Bluff. At least I think it was the West Bluff. Are those people on The Island this year? If they are, I think an interview with them and your wonderful pictures would make an interesting blog.

    Thank you Brenda.

    • Hi Lowell! Believe it or not, I’ve been trying to get that interview set up all summer. This wonderful couple, who are caretakers for one of the West Bluff cottages, have been so busy this summer that we just haven’t come up with a time I could catch them on an off-day and get the blog done. It’s probably too late now again for this year. Top of my list for next spring though. Remind me again then, Lowell – you know how my memory is!

  14. How about:
    “Still life with fudge”?

    Even though it is a cliche, they have some of the best fudge around. Now…. if only you could capture the scent also!

  15. Loved the blog today Brenda!! As usual the photos were outstanding!! We so enjoyed our day there on Monday..Our third visit this summer but never often enough!! Whatever you decide to post during these last few weeks we will love!! God Bless!!

  16. I love the tree root photo. I noticed a bunch of them while I was running the race and thought they were really interesting. As to what you should write about-I enjoy every post no matter what the subject!

  17. Bree, I have been reading your blog for months plus the archived blogs. My cousin and I try to come to the island during the Lilac Festival. We both LOVE Mackinac Island. My cousin is not on the internet so when we talk at night, she now asks me, “What was Bree up to today?” This year we will be on the island the weekend of Oct. 15. I enjoy all your topics. I like being surprised when I open the blog. Thank you!

    • Joanne – Your comment made me really smile. I love that you cousin asks, “What’s Bree up to?” So cute! You are arriving the weekend we are leaving. We are pulling out on Sunday, Oct. 17.

      • We will head out sometime on Sunday also. I plan to keep an eye out for you, Bear, and Maddie. I would love to say “Hi” and give the dogs a pet.

  18. Thanks for the reply you left me on yesterdays blog! I check everyday to see if you write a response so I was happy! I only live 25 minutes from Ubly, Mi! That is so great that other people in the “thumb” are reading your blog and going to the Island. I love your blogs, I also would like to read about an interview with a family that lives there year round. How do the kids like it? Where do the parents work? How do they like when they have to bike in all sorts of weather? Is there anyone that rarely leaves the island? What every you choose to blog about will be just fine with me!

  19. While we all love the picture postcard shots, like others, I enjoy you capturing the little details of the Island. Being a former teacher, I would love to see inside the school now that it’s in session. Maybe the kids could use the blog as a lesson in communication.

  20. I only have one request: don’t let the leaves completely change before next week! I’ll be there next Friday!
    I’m coming by myself for the first time. I’m the one who posted last year that my husband brought me for the first time on our honeymoon now 16 years ago, and we’ve been there every year since.
    This year has been difficult to say the least. We had reservations for the whole family, but things are so, well, nuts that we can’t all make it. Instead of losing our deposit, my husband suggested I come on my own. I will miss him terribly, but I need the time in “my heart’s true home”, as a very wise lady once put it. 😉
    Thanks again Brenda. Your blogs have helped through some difficult times this year. Seeing the beauty of that special place, even on the computer screen, brings some peace. Now I just need the live version! Be there soon!

    • There will still be plenty of color, Steph, if this darn wind “leaves any leaves” on the trees. I’m so sorry you’ve had a difficult year, but I know in my heart that time spent on the island will help heal better than any other place on earth. So sweet of your husband to suggest you keep those reservations.

  21. Brenda, I think that you are a great resource and asset to Mackinac Island, especially for pulling people into the island. They should pay you for living there with all the people you’re bringing in to the area!

  22. Brenda, several years ago one of the teachers on the island used to conduct a walking tour for visitors. It was in the evening. Those interested would meet across front the Metivier. She would tell those on the tour little know facts about living on the island. I know she conducted the tours when school was not in session.
    Bob and I tried numerous times to take that tour, but never got the timing right. Do you know anything about this? Will she she doing this again in the Summer of 2011? Any info. would be appreciated.

  23. Hello! I love your photography and I love the island. We stay every summer at the Inn on Mackinac and I love the wonderful paint colours of the place. I am sure you could capture beautiful images of it–any photos of it would be wonderful also the side street that leads to the stairs up the bluff is a perfect little street. Any stories on this area of the island would thrill me!!! Thank you so much for your blog!

    • I think I’ve covered that side street up to the bluff stairs (I will check to make sure), but I know I haven’t done the Inn on Mackinac. Great idea, Lisa. Thanks!

  24. Great photos as usual…..also loved Mary’s pic. Enjoy any info you write about the island! It always takes me back to when I visited Judy with my daughter and son-in-law! Great time!

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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