One day last week I decided to go through all my camera cards from Mackinac Island and delete photos I knew I’d never use. Big, big mistake. The first card I inserted into the slot on the laptop just happened to be the first one I filled upon arriving on the island last May. I was suddenly so homesick for my favorite rock that I almost lost my breath. Scrolling through those photos was like taking that first week on the island each year and compressing it into a little mini-album of memories. The wonderful thing is, of course, we will be going back in 10 weeks – good Lord willing – to begin another summer there. But for that one day last week, I was back on the island during spring, and I began to think ahead to what awaits us there – come May.
So please indulge me this one week. No snow photos today . . . it’s all about springtime memories.
First taxi ride up the hill after getting off the ferry. If I remember correctly, we took up the whole taxi that day - with luggage, boxes, groceries, dogs, a grill, Ted's golf clubs, new linens, and a beautiful oil painting done by our grandchildren that we couldn't wait to hang in the condo. We should have put everything on the dray, but we somehow managed to get it all on the carriage.
We opened our home, knowing that a couple of days later all the furniture we had bought with our condo was going to be replaced with something more "homey".
Two days later the new stuff arrived on the dray. Our original furniture found a new home with a neighbor . . .
. . . and a few hours later the condo "as I dreamed it" was filled with comfy recliners for Ted and I, a new couch, some new tables and lamps, and - our favorite - an electric fireplace with a flame that looks almost real.
First morning on the island. Maddie in her daddy's lap, Ted and I having one or two or three cups of coffee on the balcony, Bear lying at our feet with his nose poked out between the white spindles of the porch railing . . .
. . . all of us waiting to spot the first Carriage Tours buggy filled with tourists - coming up the hill to the Carriage Museum . . .
. . . where they disembarked, enjoyed looking at the antique carriages, had some refreshments, then loaded onto a three-horse hitch carriage to start the second part of their tour of the island.
When we arrive back on the island after months away, it takes me several days to get past the feeling that I'm seeing everything for the first time. Even though I pass each house and flowerbed hundreds of times each summer, it's all different each year. I can remember almost to the hour when I walked by this fencerow of tulips our second day back and saw the dove on the ground next to them. The way the sun was shining through the tulips was so unusual that day, and I remember thinking "someone should paint this".
- Our first trip to town included a stop at Doud’s Market. Andrew and his workers had completed all kinds of renovations during the winter months. We couldn’t get over all the great, fresh produce. And it continued like that all summer. We could walk in there and pick up fresh veggies for dinner, and the meat market and deli were to die for. Doud’s announced this week that Doud’s would have 150 new items in the store this summer. Can’t wait to see what they are!
First time of the season meeting Ted at the Pink Pony for a drink before dinner. That's Jacob and John, two of our favorite bartenders.
For the life of me I don't remember where I could have been to take this photo. I don't remember using it on the blog last year either - probably because my intent was for the church to be in focus and the trees to be out of focus . . . not vice versa. Anyway, I like it, and it's in that first week of photos. Hmmm . . . maybe at the top of Turkey Hill?
The Grand Hotel tulips were already in full bloom when we arrived last year. Each year the tulips are planted in a different design, and different colors are used. Can't wait to see what Mary and her crew have planned for this spring.
The lilacs bloomed early last year also.
Walking back up the hill that second day on the island, I was lucky enough to catch one of the barn workers washing down one of the carriage horses, before putting him in his stall for the night.
Sometime during that first week, Ted talked me into getting out of bed and going with him and the pups on an early morning walk, which included Pontiac Trail . . .
. . . a chance to capture the Straits of Mackinac in the beautiful morning light . . .
. . . and a May flowerbed already teeming with promises of what we'd have to look forward to over the summer months.
Lilacs at the Grand, the porch at the Grand, the flags at the Grand, the rocking chairs at the Grand. Ahhhhh . . . the Grand!
And just like coming home to the ri'vah, the best part of going home to Mackinac is seeing our friends. Jill was waiting for us when the ferry docked that first day, and Bear and I stopped off to see her at the Island Bookstore about 50 times that first week back.
We saw Anna every time we walked up the hill or down the hill. I wonder if she'll be back this spring.
I ran into Joan a few days after we arrived, as I was turning the corner at Cadotte heading home. She was pushing grandson Jordan downtown in his stroller. THIS is what I love most about Mackinac . . . the people, the small town atmosphere, meeting friends on the street.
Some hadn't arrived our first week back. Vince and Molly, who live here in the Little Stone Church parsonage, didn't get to the island until a week after we did. And I might not have run into Leanne, or Frankie, or Candy, or Mary, or Chris Ann, or Jennifer, or Tamara, or Nicole, or Bonnie until a few days after we arrived. But that's ok. I eventually saw them all downtown that first week at either the post office, or in Doud's, or on the street or walking up the hill home. And we stopped and chatted and caught up on a winter's worth of news. And it was is if we'd never left.
First freigher of the week - coming through the pass - and blowing his horn to the harbor master.
Bear - doing one of his two favorites things on the island. #1: Playing ball under the shade trees in the big yard below the Carriage Museum . . .
. . . and #2 - posing for photographs. I truly think he knows that on the island when I "pose" him somewhere for a photograph, there are tourists all around me taking the same photo of him. I have a feeling there are people all over the world with a photo of Bear on one of their camera cards. He LOVES it!
Hope you enjoyed this little walk down nostalgia lane. Ten weeks from today (Sunday, March 6) we’ll be heading north – that’s only 70 days – that’s only 1,680 hours . . . but, who’s counting.
Have a wonderful week, and God bless.
P.S. Ok, ok . . . . . . ONE announcement and ONE snow pic:
You can now buy Mackinac Associate memberships for Mackinac State Historic Parks online! Membership includes a seasonal pass, discounts on museum store purchases, and newsletters (and more
depending on your level)! For more information follow this link: http://www.mackinacparks.com/mackinac-associates/
The photo is from Nicole of Little Luxuries on Mackinac. Nicole and Andrew live year-round on the island (a little further up the hill from us), and they have the pleasure of enjoying the beauty that is Mackinac 365 days a year. She took this a couple of days ago, while out romping in the snow with their four-legged babies, Charlie and Penny Lane.