I’m taking a few minutes off from packing to jot down a few thoughts and ideas that have been brewing in the old brain about what’s happening after we return to Georgia. This will be one of those rambling “type it as I think it” posts, so bear with me here, and please forgive the uncrossed t’s and the undotted i’s, ’cause I can type pretty darn fast when I get going, and sometimes the fingers get ahead of the brain.
We leave the island on Sunday – more on that later in the week (you see how I’m pretending there are days and days left?). For those of you who have been loyally reading these ramblings for two years now, you know that last winter I continued to blog from our lake home in south Georgia. And yes, I have paid attention to those of you who have already said, “Can’t wait to ‘read you’ from Georgia”.
To be perfectly honest, I had not planned to blog this winter. I felt the need for a break. I don’t want you to think I’m complaining about writing, because I absolutely am not. You know my passion for this little rock we’re blessed to live on half of the year, but devoting 3-4 hours a day to photography and writing all summer was almost a full-time job. Do I want to give it up? Of course not! To stop writing about the joy this magical place gives me – and sharing that with you – would numb a part of me that has just found life in the last two years. So, yes, I will continue to write.
So, the question is – are you interested in me continuing to write from Georgia? Those who followed that blog last winter (Bree’s Lake Blackshear Blog) know that some days there just wasn’t a thing to write about. There’s a big difference between living in a resort area like Mackinac Island, where stories abound for the telling, and living on a lake in rural south Georgia. If you’re truly interested in me writing from Georgia, I will gladly do that – but I’m thinking twice a week – posting on Monday morning and Friday morning. Besides needing a little break, there is another reason to limit the number of posts I commit to each week. I have already enrolled Bear and I in Therapy Dog training over the winter, and we attend the first training workshop the first weekend in November (well, actually – I attend it – Bear comes later). I wanted to do this last winter, but was just too busy – and putting it off another year is not an option. He is such a beautiful, smart dog – and he needs a job to do. I think visiting assisted living and nursing home residents and hospital patients will be right up his alley. All we have to do is pass the tests!
Now – about the Mackinac Island blog. Just like last winter, I plan to write weekly updates (those will probably post on Monday mornings also). I have friends on the island who have promised to email winter photos and news just like last year, and I think I can easily keep you updated throughout the winter on “what’s happening” up here. Will I return to the island during the winter as I did last year? I have no clue. Ted and I have some much needed home improvements to take care of at the lake house, so finances will definitely be a determining factor. You can bet your snow boots though – if it’s at all possible – I’ll be catching that puddle jumper over from St. Ignace sometime during the winter – especially if the “big snows” return this year, and there is an ice bridge. The thought of photographing and writing about a trip across the frozen Straits of Mackinac on a snowmobile makes me giddy with excitement. We’ll wait and see what happens!
The Mackinac Island Blog continues to grow. The social media network has played a huge part in that, and friends made at the MackiTAC this summer on the island have boosted my reader numbers tremendously through their support. I’m averaging over a thousand readers a day now, and when http://www.mackinacisland.net posts a link on Facebook to some particular blog, my readership jumps to over 1,500. Amazing. Thanks so much, Patrick, for your continued support – and Ken for keeping those twitters flying!
Please let me know your thoughts about the Georgia blog. I’ll be anxious to hear what you think.
There will be extra posts this week as we wind down and get ready to catch that ferry on Sunday. I’ll post on Saturday AND Sunday mornings, then try to let you know where we are on Sunday night from the road.
OK – enough of that stuff. Bear wrote the following story today while I was packing. He wanted me to share it so your four-legged buddies would have all the correct steps on “How to Season a New Tennis Ball”.
I love, love, love, love, LOVE new tennis balls. You know, those bright yellow ones right out of the can? Mom brought home a new supply the other day so I'd have fresh ones in Georgia. Only one thing wrong with new tennis balls - they don't smell right. Too . . . clean. So I have to take them out in the yard and "season" them. Here's how. First you put it on the ground and make sure it is round - very, very important. No round - no bounce.
Then I pick it up so I can position it just right on the ground . . .
. . . sometimes I have to nudge it a little to the right or left to get it ready for the next step . . .
. . . which is to throw myself over on my back on top of it and roll it around between my body and the ground (and whatever yucky smelling stuff might be mixed in with all those leaves). This is a very important step - do not leave it out!
This was a perfect tennis ball seasoning day because it was BEFORE I got my bath on Wednesday in all that sweet smelling shampoo Mom makes the doggie beautician use. I mean, between smelly me and those leaves, we were smelling GREAT!
One more roll for good measure . . .
. . . and the ball is ready to be thrown.
Ya'll know I love Mom to pieces, but she cannot throw a ball. And ever since she lost that blue thingy that helped her hurl it, she has been useless as a ball-thrower. Yep, I love her - but she throws like a girl. P-i-t-i-f-u-l.
Dad, on the other hand, should have been in the majors! He can throw that ball waaaaayyy down the hill . . .
. . . and since I don't know how to run s-l-o-w, I usually kick the ball with my feet as I run over it, sending it even further!
Stopped it! Don't you dare roll!
Bringing it back (that's why we are called "retrievers") . . .
- And that’s how you season a tennis ball!
Mom’s gone to bed. She said before I turn off the computer to remind you she’ll see you back right here on Saturday morning.