If I were a bird . . . 10/1/2010

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns” . . . George Eliot

A Mackinac Island friend, Nicole Smith – who owns Little Luxuries on Mackinac Island – used the above quote on her Facebook page yesterday.  I knew immediately I had to steal it. 

Leading up to today’s blog, I’ve been cruising along – posting photos as I got them.  Occasionally, I’d feel I posted a fairly good shot, but to be honest – with my camera not performly up to par (really, Irene, it’s not), and with leaving the island looming just around the corner – well, I’ve had a definite case of the mulligrubs, and not much of anything was going to satisfy me. 

Until today.

I had a few photographs collected to post on “Random” Day, but not nearly enough.  So, this afternoon I threw the camera in my bike basket (which is probably one thing that’s wrong with it – no TLC treatment) and rode through the Village snapping away.  Finishing that, I rode back home, attached Bear to my bike handlebars with his leash and rode up to the cemeteries.  As soon as we were there, I took him off the leash, and we rode along those beautiful roads (Bear churning up the road at a slow gallup at times and a full-out run at others), stopping here and there to take in the glory of Mackinac Island in autumn.

And today, for the first time in quite a number of days, I am so excited with what you’re about to see.  Maybe my camera decided to give me this one perfect day before it finally bites the dust for good.  But for whatever reason, I can’t wait for you to see what’s below . . . . .

The shots I had already planned to post . . .  

The Grand at its grandest. I took this last week on one of those perfect days when there wasn’t a single cloud in the sky – not even a wispy one.  Since the Grand is surrounded mostly by evergreens, there is not a lot of fall color.


A different shot of the Crack in the Island. An island resident told me this week that long, long ago islanders would use this fissure as a garbage dump. He said that people for years have been trying to find a wooden bicycle that is buried in here somewhere that someone dumped many, many years ago.  Hmmm – wonder what else is down there!


I just liked the “abstractness” (is that a word?) of this one – I was pointing straight up to take the shot.


There was just so much going on in this one – a couple playing golf, a lady standing in front of the red phone booth having her picture taken, a lady who had gotten off her bike to watch (I love her bright backpack in the bike basket), bikers riding up the hill, carriages going down the hill to town, and people on the sidewalk going both ways.

Riding through the Village this afternoon . . .

I always take a photo of our bikes outside the condo in the fall.  I love this tree and all the leaves from it that the wind randomly scatters over the backyard.

If you’re new to the blog and haven’t gone back and read the posts in the Archives, the Village is the area of the island where the majority of the year-round residents live. Officially, it’s called Harrisonville, but for decades and decades it has been known simply as “the Village” by those who live here. Our condo is in the Village, and just up the street I spotted my first photo op – a brilliantly decorated fall doorway.

Ron, one of my favorite (oh heck, he IS my favorite) taxi drivers was coming down Cadotte (maybe from the airport?). Ron is the one who ALWAYS is somewhere around when I do something clutzy – like fall off my bike.

Fifth Street in the Village (we live on Third). At the end of this street, we walk through the woods to Cupid’s Pathway.

The other side of Fifth.  Can you believe that tree!

One side of Sixth Street. Can you believe those trees! Have I already said that??

The cemetery photos . . .

After running Bear alongside my bike up  Custer Road, we turned back right onto Garrison Road and made our first stop at the Post Cemetery, where soldiers who died at Fort Mackinac in the 1800’s are buried.

Most of those buried here are very young men – in their late teens and early 20’s.  I always think of their mothers and wonder if they ever got to visit their son’s grave.  So here I am, 200 years later, visiting for them . . .

. . . and I think each one would feel comforted knowing their sons rest in this peaceful, achingly beautiful spot.

The flag at the Post Cemetery is always flown at half-staff.  Only three other cemeteries in the United States are designated for this honor – Pearl Harbor, Gettysburg National Cemetery, and Arlington National Cemetery.

We followed Garrison Road up to the Mackinac Island Cemetery, where I parked my bike and walked in to find a particular grave.

I love how at each water faucet in the cemetery, there is a water bucket. It’s not only for the families’ use, but they are there so that anyone visiting or just walking through the cemetery can water flowers they see that need freshening up.

A whole generation of island workers knew Irene King as “Twilight Mom”.  The Twilight was the name of the building downtown used as employee housing by the Grand Hotel, and Ms. King was “Mom” to everyone there for many, many years.  Ms. King was the real mother of Mary G’s (one of my readers) brother-in-law, Edward King, who is buried nearby.  When Mary G. saw the photo of Bear running down the road close to the cemetery in a recent blog post, she asked me to go out and see if I could find the graves.  And like an idiot, I took Irene’s and not Edward’s.  I promise you, Mary G. – tomorrow you will get an emailed photo of the one you asked for.

I haven’t visited many cemeteries in my life, but without a doubt, the ones on Mackinac Island have to be among the most beautiful anywhere – especially in the fall.

Continuing the ride up Garrison Road . . .

. . . sometimes I think I will just have to stop and cry when I round a curve and see something like this. This island is so beautiful to me.

My personal favorite of the day – my bike, my Bear, and God’s handiwork.

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it and putting up the photos.  Have a glorious weekend, and I’ll see you back here Monday morning – good Lord willing.  God bless.

Personal Note:  Thank you so much for your prayers for Blake’s continued job search.  He has been invited for a third interview on Tuesday.  Please keep those prayers going up.


25 thoughts on “If I were a bird . . . 10/1/2010

  1. Love the whole blog..all the pictures..beautiful is the word that keeps coming to mind!! Your pictures remind me of the ones we took last October when we made that last trip of 2009 to the island..this year it was in September and only got a few of the changing leaves…but it was great to be there anyway…great job Brenda..so glad to hear about Blake’s 3rd interview!! Praying!!

  2. Love these pics. I went through the cemetery area on Weds too, and stopped in the Post cemetery to look at the graves. It’s amazing to me the history and those three cemeteries on that island. And this time of year it’s so beautiful there.

  3. Brenda,

    Exquisite! Susan H said it and how right she is.

    Those graves and thoughts of the mothers (and fathers) bring “dampness” to the eyes as I think of so many others who have been in the same situation. Thank you for visiting those graves and thinking of something other than the beauty of the location, as wonderful as it is.

  4. Absolutely beautiful photos! . I love the little bits of history you add into your captions too. Thanks for another great start to my day!

    PS-sending good thoughts for Blake!

  5. Brenda, can’t you also get to Turtle Park by going down 5th Street? When we left the park and cut through the woods we came out on one of those roads. It seemed like we were cutting through someone’s back yard? (I hope not)
    Love all the trees at this time of year and your shots are gorgeous!! I’m so glad I got to spend some “Fall” time on the island to see all the beauty that is there. Your pictures bring back such nice memories.

    • You are right, Hilde. Just take a right on Cupid’s Pathway and that takes you to Turtle Park – maybe a two minute walk.

  6. Loved your pictures. I took many of the same last Monday and it was a georgeous day. When you see the cemetaries tears just come to your eyes. Sounds like Blake will have a job soon. Good luck! Enjoy your weekend.

  7. Bree I hope some day you may write a guide to Mackinac Island. I love the blog, like I’ve said before, but you always seem to add so much more information, stories, and sentiment to the beautiful locations.
    I also enjoy reading the comments from readers.
    I feel we’ve become a little Mackinac Groupie Family!
    I’m still recovering from spine surgery and am going to try my hardest to get to the Island in 2011! I miss it so much but through this blog I have been getting the best “therapy” I could have asked for.
    Thanks you ALL!

    • Thanks so much for the kind words, Connie. Keep working on getting well, and go ahead and book that room. It will give you the incentive to heal faster!

  8. Fantastic photos!

    I’m sure we’ll all keep praying for Blake until we hear he has a job. Third interview sounds good! Good Luck to Blake! God Bless you all.

  9. Thank you for the great pictures. We have been visting Mackinac for 20 years and just love it. We did not have a chance to visit this year due to me having surgery, but it is a must next year. It never gets boring. We love riding our bikes through The Village. Have a great rest of your day.

  10. Bless you for the photos. It was lovely to see Irene’s. My sister, who lives in Virginia, will be equally touched. When she and her children went to the Island for Irene’s funeral, Mr. Musser, gave them a lovely suite at the Grand, no charge, as a tribute to her.
    My sister worked several summers at the “Snack Bar” at the Grand, aka, the Jockey Club, the Grand Stand. It was simply the Snack Bar then, the waitresses worn plaid uniforms and sometimes entertained the guests with a song about “Scaramouche” (look that one up) whose large likeness was painted on the wall behind the bar. Mackinac hot fudge sundaes were served in “spiders”.

  11. Beautiful! As always…thoroughly enjoyed the beauty of the Island through your eyes.

    Prayers for Blake’s successful job search!

  12. My kind sister, Mary, has shared your blog and pictures with me and I so enjoy them. I’m forwarding it to my children as I know they will love to see their grandmother’s gravestone and apprciate the pretty plant by its side. Irene was a generous soul and deserves to be well remembered.

  13. Beautiful pictures Bree! Will you post a picture of your condo? I think I have seen it before but when you said you live on third street, I got kinda confused. (Nothing new for me!) Prayers are sent for Blake also! Michelle

  14. Wonderful. I loved my tour of the back roads on the island! Thanks for sharing. I swear I was almost crying it is all so beautiful. Don’t know how you bear to leave it..but then I guess winter is another story!

  15. I love seeing Bear & Maddie. I grew up w/a golden and they are such great companions. Now I have a miniture wiener dog and an American Bulldog. They really are mans best friend. I agree, the photos of the cemetary were emotional and beautiful. Cannot wait to see the blog on Monday…

  16. Thanks for such beautiful photos. We rode by the cemeteries in May the year we stayed on the island. How different they look in the Fall. Unfortunately, the Cannonball wasn’t open for the season yet so no pickles for us.

    Enjoy these last couple weeks in our great state. Good luck to Blake.

  17. Beautiful fall pictures…I live in tha south and it has been so hot here and no rain so our colors are not very pretty. My friend and I plan to visit there this summer. We are already making plans and can hardly wait!!!!!

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