A Full Fall Weekend! 9/26/2011

What a wonderful, busy fall weekend we’ve had!  The leaves are turning so fast you can practically watch it happening, the Michigan Republican Convention has come and gone from the Island (as have Mitt Romney and Rick Perry), and my friends from Georgia have arrived for their stay at the Grand.

I rode over to St. Ignace on Friday and volunteered at Shepler’s – meeting and greeting and directing cars to the correct lot for the Republican crowd.  It was steady there all day, but Mac City Shepler’s got slammed, running three boats at a time most all day.  I don’t think I’ve mentioned this, but the Mackinac Island airport is closed now (will try and do story on that before the end of season).  The runways are being leveled and repaved, and the airport closure certainly increases the ferry traffic when a large group is trying to get on and off the island.

Cadotte Avenue right before the Republicans arrived. The annuals are still going strong in the Grand's flowerbeds.

The young trees are still far ahead of the old ones in color change.

This golf course tree is really beginning to dazzle.

A Jill pic. I promise I don't close my eyes and coast down the hill. She just happened to catch me with my eyes shut!

Out in the wonderful sun on Friday with Maddie on the front lawn.

Jill was downtown early Saturday morning when Mitt Romney and his wife arrived on the 9:30 Shepler's Ferry (in the middle of photo - Mrs. Romney is in the orange top).

To say there was a huge crowd waiting on the street for the Romneys is a big understatement.

Jill got some really good shots as she followed them down the street - like this one in front of Little Luxuries and the Michigan Peddler . . .

. . . and as they turned and walked up Fort Hill to the Governor's Summer Residence, shaking hands and chatting the whole way.

Special permission was given for a satellite truck to be brought to the Island and parked at the Grand so the major (and minor) news networks could broadcast the convention.

As I was walking by the Grand later that afternoon, Secret Service men were waiting for Rick Perry to come out of the Grand and get into a carriage. I heard he was leaving by helicopter from the airport - which is still possible even with the construction going on. That's our Chief of Police, Jim Marks, standing with his arms folded talking to Secret Service agents.

That's Perry waving from inside . . .

. . . and here's the traffic that was released from the top of the hill after he went by.

The Republicans left on Sunday morning, and on Sunday afternoon friends from Georgia arrived with a tour group of 73 folks staying at the Grand. These three ladies I have known FOREVER - that's Pat, me, Sharon, and Joanne. We plan to get into some serious fun tomorrow - if the weather cooperates!

One more item before I close.  Several readers have commented, and even more have emailed to ask about Lowell Greene, who is such a loyal blog reader and is always sharing his memories of the island.  After Lowell didn’t comment on the Soo Locks story (one he had been looking forward to), I emailed him to make sure all was well.  Lowell shared that his mother-in-law had passed away, and he and his wife Faye were dealing with all the details that follow the passing of a loved one.  Almost two weeks passed, and still no comment from Lowell, so I emailed him once again.  So, just so those of you who have asked can rest easy, I asked Lowell’s permission to post his reply today, and he said “ok”.  It is so “vintage” Lowell!  I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did.

     “It’s so nice to be remembered and wondered about.  Actually, we’re moving along through life.  What else can we do?  It sure is hard to lose one you love, even when that person is 91 years 7 months old.  It seems that the old saying is true: Even when you know it’s coming soon, you are never ready for it.
     We have also been busy with canning the garden produce.  Although our garden isn’t very large, it still has to be taken care of.  I have White Half Runner green beans laid out to dry on newspaper on the dining room floor.  After they are dry and I shell them, we’ll have seed for next year.
Yesterday, after I saw your email, I was going to answer it right then, but I knew I needed to get lunch started.  We had round steak & gravy in the slow cooker, mashed potatoes with roasted garlic and the last of the green beans from the garden.  Really quite good, even though I had to substitute a number of ingredients in the round steak & gravy.  How’s that for tooting my own horn?
     In the afternoon, I decided to pull wild grape vines out of a maple tree at the end of our driveway near the road.  Of course, some of them didn’t want to come out easily.  As I gave a mighty jerk on one group of vines, it decided to break free (suddenly).  I took a hard fall on my back in the driveway.  I laid there for a few minutes to make sure nothing was broken, but I couldn’t manage to get myself up.  I called to Faye, who was picking tomatoes from the garden near the driveway.  She rushed over to help me up.  After a few minutes rest, I continued my job, even though my left wrist was quite sore.  Later, after I had pulled as many of the vines out of the tree as I could pull out, I went into the house to rest.  That’s when I realized I hurt all over (and still hurt almost as bad today).  To top it off, this is the third day of a very bad head cold.  I guess it’s not too good for an old guy whose heart is less than 25% efficient.
     I think it may be definite:  These “Golden Years” have become quite tarnished.
     But this is the day the Lord has made AND I’M GOING TO ENJOY IT!
     I want you to know that I especially enjoyed your blog on the Soo Locks.  It’s been so long since I’ve been to the Soo.  I’ve also enjoyed every blog you’ve published since then, but I just haven’t felt up to commenting on each of them.  I’ll get back to it in a few days.
     Please continue to relish Fall on the Island, as I’m sure you will.
     Hello to Ted and anyone who has asked about me.  I really appreciate the concern.
Lowell
PS:  Tell Ted I think you should spend at least one winter on the Island, and this might just as well be that winter.  Right?  Right.
I’ll be back on Tuesday with what I hope turned out to be a great and fun surprise for my Georgia friends! 

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16 thoughts on “A Full Fall Weekend! 9/26/2011

  1. Brenda, I am so glad you cleared up the mass of people escorting Mitt Romney yesterday. I just happened to put the webcam on as it was happening and I thought it was some sort of protest march! The idea of a protest march on Mackinac Island was disturbing to me.
    Lowell, as we get older it seems to get harder to learn to pace ourselves-I just finished about 5 hours of gardening today and hurt everywhere, so I feel your pain. Please be careful. Sorry to hear about your mom. It is never an easy experience to go through. It is the loss of a generation.

  2. So glad Lowell is OK. As my dad used to say “Old age is not for sissies”. Old age is defined as anything over 35. Saw the island on the news with your fameous visitors. Fall is beautiful and the Grand’s flowers are still going strong. Also love the paint-fresian horse you had pics of earlier.

  3. “But this is the day the Lord has made AND I’M GOING TO ENJOY IT!”
    I like this comment. I always let little things get to me, and this reminds me that enjoying the day or life is a decision we have to make.
    Was there security around Romney? I guess so, but how interesting they look like any other couple enjoying the Island.

  4. Although I was sad to leave Friday, I’m glad I got out before all the excitement (and mess) happened on Saturday. I was thinking it was bad on Thursday and Friday with all the Republicans on the Island, I wouldn’t have wanted to deal with all the bigwigs on Saturday.

  5. I saw some of the crowds of people Saturday on the webcam, including all the boy scouts that were there. All I can say is WOW! That was a serious mass of people! Too many for me. Glad your friends arrived safely and looking forward to hearing about all the trouble you guys got into while they were here 😉
    Happy to hear from Lowell. Sorry about his mother-in-law and his minor mishap with the vines. Sure hope your feeling better now Lowell. Hurry back, we miss you!!

  6. Glad to hear Lowell is okay.

    Ya know, now that you mention it, another person I havn’t heard you speak of since you’ve been on the island is your winter island friend, Greg. Is he only on the island in the winter? Just curious!

    Have fun w/your friends this week.

    • Thanks for asking, Nancy. I think I have only seen Greg twice this summer – both times biking somewhere. Summer is a very busy season for him, and it’s only in the winter that he has the time to write those beautiful updates about the island. I’m sure they’ll be starting soon. Right, Greg???

  7. Glad to hear Lowell’s ok-thanks for the update. And, wow-that’s quite a crowd of people there! Must have been a very exciting weekend on the island. You don’t get to see Secret Service guys all that often… Can’t wait to read about your adventures with the girls!!!

  8. Lowell-Sorry to hear about your loss. It is always hard to say goodbye, whatever the age.

    Brenda & Jill-Thanks for the pictures! I tried to find some pictures online yesterday on google but with no success and then I bring up your blog today and of course you have them. What was I thinking, you always have pictures! Ha! Ha!

    P.S. Maddie looks so cute!

  9. I missed the crowds. I arrived early Friday and left at Noon Sunday. I really loved all the color and even the drive home was beautiful. In the next few years I would like to spend Thanksgiving on the island.

  10. We will be glad when Lowell is back on with his replys. They are always so interesting (and funny too). I’m dealing with the same thing with my in-laws who are both well in their 80’s and in ill-health….it can be very stressful.

  11. Happy to see the island looking it’s best this past weekend. A friend of mine was on the island over the weekend for her nephew’s wedding at the Grand.
    Lowell sorry to hear of your loss. Look forward to your return.
    Bree and Jill thanks for the pictures.

  12. Its very nice that you have a lot of pictures…I got to see my dad (Chief Marks) talking with the secret service at the grand… thanks for keeping in touch with Mackinac Island!!!

  13. I don’t know Lowell but feel like I do, I would like to anyway and understand the new challenges that infirmities bring. Sorry about your loss. I can’t think about the Island without thinking of my Mom, who I lost at 96 five years ago. We spent many happy days together there as a family.
    I expect Mackinac seemed like coming home for Mitt Romney. His dad, George Romney, was Govenor the year I worked on the Island in the 60’s, and was often at the Governor’s mansion, as I’m sure Mitt must have been.

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