The Greatest Happinesses 10/3/2011

When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses.  Joyce Brothers

When family comes to visit it never matters what the weather is, or what we do.  The memories we make are what matter.  Being double-nesters and having children and grandchildren as spread out as we do across this country doesn’t make it easy to spend a lot of time together.  So when we do end up in the same GPS location, we tend to make the most of it.  And that’s just what we did with Jason and Blair for the last four days! 

Forgive me for turning these next two blog posts into a family photo album, but within this album you’ll also see a lot of Mackinac Island, some of it from the perspective of Jason and Blair’s camera “eyes”.  Family and Mackinac Island.  Those two concepts go together really well!

After their arrival on Thursday afternoon and some snacks at the Pink Pony, we went to the condo so Jason and Blair could unpack.

Friday was supposed to be really cold and really rainy and really windy, so we decided we’d better eat out while we could.

We chose the Seabiscuit Cafe for dinner, and not only was the food very good, but we got some really fun entertainment thrown in for free. Not one, but two bats flew into the restaurant while we were eating. This is a common occurrence on the Island, and the wait staff is always prepared with their bat nets. What made this so much more fun was the Seabiscuit was already decorated for Halloween, complete with fake cobwebs that snared the real bats. Jason snapped this shot of a waitress up on a table pulling the bat from the cobwebs into the net. Even the WAITRESS looked "ghostly" in this light. (The bats are taken outside and released.)

Friday arrived, and the weather forecast turned out to be right on.  It was raining,  It was cold (34 degrees).  The wind was blowing, but not howling as it would be by Friday night.  Jason has never been known to sit in one spot for long (even as a little boy), and after lunch he set out to walk the island and take photos – regardless of the weather.  These next images are his.

A bike sits all alone beneath a solitary tree.

He called this one the "upside down question mark" golf path - with the water hazard being the "dot".

The "danger" sign at the top of Turkey Hill.

Mackinac Island's replica of the Statue of Liberty at the marina in Haldimand Bay. Over 200 of the statues were donated to 39 states by the Boy Scouts of America between 1949-1952 in celebration of their 1950 40th anniversary. The theme of the celebration was "Strengthen the Arm of Liberty". Many of the statues have been lost or destroyed, but it is believed over 100 remain. All are even more cherished since 9/11.

The road in front of Mission Point Resort - one of the few times I've ever seen it "almost" empty.

This mirror is on Huron Road next to some State Park maintenance buildings.

We all eventually went out for a little while Friday afternoon, but the weather easily drove us back to the house. We walked back home through some dense woods, trying to stay protected from the rain - which worked pretty well, by the way.

At the corral down from our condo. Jason will probably shoot me for posting this pic Blair took of him. When I look at it, all I see is the 6-year-old Jason saying, "I want to see the horses, Mom."

Saturday dawned.  The rain had ended.  The winds were endurable.  The temp was 34.  Jason and Blair slept late, we ate breakfast late, and the plan was for Jason and Ted to go the Pony around 11:30 to see if they could get the University of Georgia game.  They called about 30 minutes after going down the hill to say “no luck” on getting the game, but for Blair and I to join them for lunch at the Pony.  After lunch we all donned our coats, earmuffs and scarfs (we were already “layered up”), and headed out to see the Island.  By then the temp had risen into the low 50’s.

I should go ahead and tell you Jason is one of the funniest people I know. He believes firmly in the adage, "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming...Wow! What a ride!" That said . . .

. . . he pretty much keeps me grinning whenever he's around.

Blair, the beautiful woman I am proud to call my "bonus daughter".

Jason and Blair

Fun behind the Mackinac Island public library.

Some beautiful photos by Blair

A butterfly flew into this photo just as Blair snapped it.

A Monarch caught feeding on the flowers at the Boardwalk.

A bike parked outside Little Stone Church.

Come back tomorrow for some awesome pics of the rest of our Saturday and Sunday morning’s bike ride!  See you then!

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19 thoughts on “The Greatest Happinesses 10/3/2011

  1. So glad you are having a great time in spite of the weather being a little chilly!! Fred and I are heading to the island on Tuesday to see Alyssa…maybe we will see you too!! Love all the photos…never have too many of the island and your family!!

  2. Oh, we just missed you!. We set up Mom and Dad in the Adorondiak chairs at the library during early Saturday afternoon while the younger ones rode to the Cannonball Drive Inn for some deep fried pickles. I did get to say “Hi” to Jill in the late afternoon at the bookstore, but I will have to postpone meeting you until next year.

  3. Who cares about the weather when you have family to enjoy. So glad ya’ll got to spend a little time around the island in spite of it. I know when we came in late October once, it was quite chilly and rainy and we still trekked on. I LOVE that last picture of the bike that Blair took. It looks like it should be hanging on my wall!! Also the one of Jason with the haunted face behind him (not on my wall…but just like lol) 😉

  4. It looks like the art of picture taking runs in the family….Blair included! Beautiful pictures from all of you, thanks!!

  5. What beautiful pictures y’all have taken. What a different perspective each one has. I love Jason’s saying about “sliding into your grave”. I have heard that from my son, it’s a “son thing”. How fortunate we are to have sons and “special” daughters.

  6. Yes, please enter the photo of the bike at the Little Stone Church in the contest for the calendar. I just love it and always buy a calendar and would so enjoy that being one of the photos. So glad you had such a wonderful time with your family. Will be in Mackinac in 2 weeks hope the weather holds out for us.

  7. Dear Brenda,

    Looks like you are having fun with your family–I love your title for the day! Don’t feel gulity about leaving the blog for the weekend, its a hobby remember!
    I am so blessed to have my two children and grandchildren living close by, I feel for those of you who do not, every moment together is precious.
    You raised wonderful kids, you can tell!

    Pat Steele
    Vernon, MI

  8. Oops, forgot to mention, that photo of Jason looking at the horses, brings tears to my eyes because you always look at “that 6 year old” no matter how old they are!

    Pat Steele

  9. Best photos yet! A winner for sure on the one w/ the butterfly and the lighthouse. The last photo of the bike almost looks like a painting….so too for the one w/ Jason standing in front of the horses. Thanks

  10. Great photos! My family spent some time on the island last month, had the best time… really appreciated the cooler weather after all the heat in Charleston! We loved the Island House.

  11. Brenda,

    Well, I’m back. I really liked so many of the pictures, but I was especially interested in the one of the little Statue of Liberty. I remember it well from the mid-fifties. I have often wondered if it was still there. Now I know. Thanks Jason.

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