Ted’s Excellent Adventure 7/29/2011

Wow!  We already have a winner for the Mystery Spot below!  I thought that one was really hard!  The winners are Paul and Elaine Williams from Yale, Michigan.  See end of this post for the Mystery Spot answer.

I love Wednesdays.  Neither Ted nor I have any scheduled activities on Wednesdays, and we usually don’t plan trips to Cheboygan on Wednesdays either.  In fact, sometimes we just choose to sit around and be lazy all day on Wednesdays.

That’s just what I had in mind on Wednesday this week.  I was still resting up from the last 10 days, which included two yacht races and a horse festival.  Ahhhh . . . Wednesday was going to be a REST day!

As I settled into my recliner with my second cup of coffee and opened a brand new book, Ted – who was messing around in the kitchen – looked over the counter and said, “Sweetie, are you going to come down to the marina and take photos of me taking my kayak out this morning.”

I smiled and said, “Would that be the kayak that you ordered and had sent up here three years ago that has only been out of the box once – and that was to inflate it in the bedroom upstairs so I could take your picture sitting in it between the trundle bed and the bunk bed?”

“That would be the one, love bug,” my sweet hubbie replied.

Since Ted has been talking about putting his kayak in the water for three summers now, I continued sipping my coffee and started page one of my book.

“I’m supposed to meet Jacob (a friend of ours) in back of the Visitor’s Center at 11 a.m.,” Ted said.  “We’re going out together.”

“Uh huh,” I replied, not looking up.

“Sugar plum,” Ted said – a little more forcibly (we always call each other silly names when we’re about to have a spat) – “I’m serious – today is the day I’m putting the kayak in the water.”

Now let me stop right here a minute.  At home in Georgia, Ted and I both have kayaks.  He bought himself one when he retired, and when I retired, he bought me one also (I would have preferred a silver Mazda Miata convertible, but a kayak was what I got).  And I have to admit, once I got into it, I really enjoyed kayaking – especially since I have never tipped the thing over in the middle of the lake we live on – not yet anyway.

When we moved to Mac Island for the summers, Ted wanted a kayak up here, but didn’t want to struggle up and down the hill with a hard shell.  So, after days and days of research, he ordered an inflatable kayak from West Marine.  The thing arrived in a few days, and it, and the bright yellow carrying case it resides in, have been stored in an upstairs closet for three summers – except for the aforementioned photo op in the bedroom.

After listening to Ted make a phone call to Jacob (who didn’t answer), I began to grow concerned.

“Munchkin,” I said, not so lovingly, “You are kidding, right?”  Ted has a real flair for getting me all worked up about something, only to tell me he’s kidding one precise second before I go ballistic.

“No, Pumpkin,” he said, not so smilingly.  “Don’t you remember me telling you that Jacob and I had planned this for today?”

“Well, yes, I do remember that, Dumpling Doodle, but I certainly didn’t think you were serious.”

“Well, you thought wrong, didn’t you, my Sweet Pea?”

For the next hour I ranted and raved about what a totally horrible idea it was to take out the kayak.  I had visions of Ted in the middle of Lake Huron either being run down by a ferry, dumped out by a ferry wave, or being eaten by the Loch Huron monster.

Of course, what I was actually concerned about was my husband, who only has kayak experience in the calm waters of Lake Blackshear, being in over his head – so to speak – on the Great Lakes, in a little boat that could spew air out of its valves a lot faster than he could pump it in.

Of course, that’s when macho kicked in.

“I’m leaving now to put the kayak in the water down behind the Visitor’s Center.  See you when I get back.”

What’s a good wife to do?

I followed him.

All the way down the hill I muttered under my breath.  Doesn’t he know the only reason I worry is because I love him?  Doesn’t he know he’s 64 years old, and it’s time he stop some of this foolishness?  Doesn’t he know I’m having a bad hair day and don’t want to be seen in public?

As I rounded the corner of the Visitor’s Center, I found Ted on his knees on the ground fiddling with all the valves and pleats and ripples of the kayak.

Yes - before you even ask - that is the WHOLE kayak - not blown completely up yet, but close. That thingy with the black hose hanging out of it is the pump.

Yes - after I gave up and saw he was really going to do this, I did suggest that he put the boat in the water on some quiet, calm section of the shoreline. No - he didn't pay attention to that either. And yes - he drew a crowd of tourists out of the Visitors Center, hanging over the rails to see if that thing was going to float.

Yes - I did ask.

At this point, I switched into an entirely new mode and attitude.  My husband was about to launch this little balloon boat into the Great Lakes.  What if something happened?  What if he didn’t come back?  What if his insurance wasn’t paid up (just kidding).  Seriously, I began to be helpful at this point.

“Honey buns, I found a path over by the Chippewa where people can get down to the water.”

“Ok, Peaches, let’s see it!”

Stop a minute for one of those great differences between men and women.  When Ted is in a “man” mood for two days and then gets over it, I’m in a “woman” mood for two days to get even.  When I’m in a “woman” mood for two days and then get over it, Ted pretends he never even knew anything was wrong.

Drives me crazy!

The dangerous part.

And he's away!

Awwww . . . I know he's so excited!

I wanted to photograph him as far as I could see him, so I went racing down the marina to the dock where the Mackinac Breeze is tied up.  That’s as far as I could go and still have a dock to go out on.  Now “racing” is relative, because by the time I reached the “Breeze”, Ted was already there.

He was holding onto the Breeze and chatting with Captain Bruce, who we've known for years. Bruce and the Breeze used to tie up at the Chippewa Hotel and offer catamaran rides, and Ted and I have been on several. Now he ties up further down the marina.

Starting out again.

I asked Ted to tell me a time he'd be back so I'd have a reference to go by for watching for him, and he said "an hour".

I watched through the camera zoom lens for as long as I could see him.

After he was out of sight around the breakwater, I got an iced coffee from J.L. Beanery and came back and sat on the dock with Bruce and caught up on everything going on with him.  I told Bruce how worried I was about Ted doing this, and he just laughed.  He said, “Brenda, he has on a life jacket, he’s carrying a cell phone, he has a GPS button to push – he’s fine.  Of course, I might be worried that if he fell into Lake Hurom, the cold temperatures could stop his heart.”

Thank you very much, Bruce.

Almost an hour later, I saw Ted come into sight.  He waved at us, but never even veered our way.  I jumped up and “raced” back through the marina and arrived just in time to see him coming around the Coast Guard dock.

One tired, but very happy guy!

Ted tells me he’s going to try and kayak once a week now until the weather gets too cold.

Next time, I think I’ll just stay home with my coffee and book.

But I tell you what – I’m pretty proud of my Baby Cakes.

Personal Note:  I’m taking a break for the weekend and will not – repeat, will not – be posting anything the next two days – no text, no pics, nothing.  I mean it.  I really, really mean it – well, EXCEPT for the winner for the Mystery Spot! BUT – I can’t wait to bring you the story on Monday.  If all goes as planned, you’ll learn all about how medical emergencies are handled on our little rock, and I think you will really enjoy all the details!  Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you Monday!

This is a HARD one, and if someone gets this right away, it will have to be someone who knows the island well!  The object of the Mystery Spot is to be the first to identify where the object is located. When you think you have the answer, email me at brendasumnerhorton@hotmail.com. I’ll check my email several times a day, and as soon as we have a winner, I’ll post the winner’s name at the top of this blog so you can stop guessing, AND I’ll post the full photo of the mystery spot at the bottom of the blog with the answer. Is there a prize for the winner – yes there is; but the prize is secret, and the only ones who will know what it is are the winners. To be fair, I’m asking residents of Mackinac Island to please NOT guess. This is just for readers who don’t live here . . . but would like to! And the Mystery Spot is . . . .

Where is it?

Don’t forget!  Please answer by email to brendasumnerhorton@hotmail.com.  Please DO NOT answer in the comment section of the blog.  Thank you!



The marker is located at the west end of Pontiac Trail (look at bottom right of pic between the two trees). It's one of the original boundary markers for the state park.



24 thoughts on “Ted’s Excellent Adventure 7/29/2011

  1. Oh Brenda, you had me LOLLIng all over the place with this story. When Dave and I have words they usually aren’t so sweet. I should try it though. He’d probably laugh and then he’d get over his man mood. I love the Dumpling Doodle name too. And the weight limit on the kayak–ha ha!
    That little spot where he got out was perfect. The post was just right to hang onto so he wouldn’t end up eating sand if the kayak flipped. Teds a smart guy. He had it all figured out. 🙂

  2. WTG, Ted! So, just how sore are his shoulders today? It usually takes two days for the pain to truly set in. That’s really an impressive task he took on.

    To add to your list of loving names, we’ve frequently relied on ‘Light of my life’. Always good to lighten the mood. Of course, dumpling doodle beats them all!

  3. Ted I’m so proud of you. To go out on something that could deflate any minute for whatever reason is very brave. I mean, it WAS just a blow-up thingie.

    Love the names you and Ted have for each other. 🙂

  4. Funniest Thing I Read All Week was “Yes- I asked” and just a reminder for a blog….The Island Police/EMTs and first responders. How do they keep the Island Safe and protected.

    Thanks Bree

  5. And what happened to Jacob, the friend to go out with Ted? It seems to me Ted was alone out there. You know, it has always peaked my interest……how do men just go out and do things without much thought and it seems, we, women, have to analyze and justify everything? Looked like he had a great time though and glad he arrived home safe and sound ! Love those nicknames!

  6. Hi Brenda! I loved what you wrote and could identify so much. I worry way too much when Tom dives or flys in poor weather. Way to go Ted!! I know that proud feeling when we do something that is “out of the box” and succeed. I am “pookie” to Tom when we start to have a discussion and it always seems to cushion it somewhow! I have an idea…..please use my dock on Paradise Lake whenever you wish as it is a great place to kayak and is shallow and very safe. They have a public boat launch there too. I will be back at my cabin with my mom from August 27th to Sept. 5th so maybe we will see you on the Island!! Please give a hug to your “baby cakes”…..

  7. I love the names you give to each other! Husbands don’t get it that wives are the protectors. Men, no matter their age forget that fear & safety factor. We keep on loving & watching out for them.

    Pat Steele

  8. Brenda,

    What a hilarious blog! I certainly enjoyed and laughed at most of it. I bet Ted really enjoyed his hour on the water too. I know it would have been so much fun. And yes, I do think he should go once a week. Like Jeani, I would also like to know what happened to Jacob. Did he chicken out?

    By the way, all those “sweet” nicknames reminded me that when my wife and I had only been married a year or two, someone told us that when we were having an argument, we were not supposed to be smiling. I disagree. I think it’s a really good idea.

    • Great to hear from you, Jenny! We are having a great summer up here in the cooler weather. Hello to your mom and dad from us!

  9. Sooooooooooooooo funny!!! I love how they did the coloring on top of the kyak, very cool. I can imagine how flustered you felt watching him “paddle out” in that huge lake. He did look so alone! He really needs a buddy to go out with next time. I’m glad you could visit with someone while he was gone. Bruce was good company except for that “heart comment”!! Sounds like Ted had it covered with the GPS and everything else he had. Kyaks scare me. My daughter and husband have one………not for me, I’m chicken! Very funny story Brenda…………keep them coming!!

  10. Bree
    Take a well deserved rest. Truely, thanks for all you do. You keep it alive for all of us that can’t be there as much as we would like. I enjoyed meeting you on our recent visit. Thanks again.

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