I’m Listening 10/17/2011

This is not the post I promised for today, but it’s something I’ve had on my mind for several weeks, and I’ve decided to go ahead and post it for Monday.  I will post the promised photos and talk about the new construction on the island on Tuesday.

Dear Readers,

Here we are.  Another season almost gone.  Months and weeks and days and minutes shared.  My love for this stunning rock goes on, and the feedback I get from my readers keeps me sitting down almost every day at my laptop to try and share that love with you.

I have to be honest though.  I haven’t been pleased this year with what I’ve done on this blog.  Oh, I think the photos are good – and I love capturing Mackinac Island through my lens.   When I look back over three summers of blogging though, it’s the first two that gave me the most pleasure.  I wrote about the island and how it works, I told stories about people here and the jobs they do, and I tried to make you feel you were right here with me – learning every little nuance of this incredibly beautiful place.  The creative outlet for me has always been the writing.  The surprise that I could take pretty pictures was just that – a surprise.

My dissatisfaction this year is with my writing.  To me, this blog has become not much more than a journal of our days here, and I often wonder – who cares?  In my heart of hearts, I know I am questioning not you, the reader – but me.  I know from the blog statistics that the reader numbers continue to rise, and I know that quite a few new readers came on board this summer.  To those who joined me this year – please, go back and read through the archives.  I can do better than what I’ve done this year.

So, what next?  I truly don’t know.  The magnet that draws me to this keyboard is just as strong as ever.  I just don’t know what to write to keep you interested and not bored to tears. A lot of my frustration is from thinking I’m now covering “old” ground.  It seems I’ve talked about just about everything I know to talk about.  Even with the photos . . .  how many pictures of the Grand do you really enjoy seeing?

So today I’m venting, and I need your feedback.  What are your thoughts and ideas?  I need to know what you’re looking for when you click on Bree’s Blog – is it just the photos?  Is the writing some of it also?  What can I do to improve?

To get even more personal . . . . I’ve talked with you about my problems with sleep apnea.  I have not been diligent this summer about using my apnea machine.  If I added up all the nights I’ve actually used it, I could probably count them on my fingers and toes . . . and have toes leftover.  It’s true – I just cannot force myself to use it.  And because of that, I am now having all the symptoms I was having when I first was diagnosed – lethargy, testiness (Ted has another name for it), inability to focus, daytime sleepiness.  All my fault – and something that HAS to be addressed when we return to Georgia.  In my heart of hearts I also know that this could be the cause of some of my dissatisfaction with the writing and my laziness about getting out and pursuing something more interesting to write about.

Wow – I’ve really put it out there, haven’t I.

But the thing is . . . I feel l can talk to all of you as though you’re my friends.  I know some of you very, very well because you comment all the time, you email, we’re friends on Facebook, and when you come to the island, we get together.  But I also feel a real connection with those of you who never say a word.  I know you’re there because my statistics page says you are . . . and you are a very loyal group.  I don’t want to lose you.

As we prepare to leave the island in a few days, most of my thoughts are turning to next year and what I want to do with Bree’s Blog.  It’s something I’ll be thinking about all winter in Georgia, and with your help, I hope that when we arrive next spring, the blog can be fresher and better than ever.  I need your help for that to happen.

Please – tell me your thoughts and ideas.  If you’d rather not comment online, please feel free to email me at brendasumnerhorton@hotmail.com.  Thanks so much for listening to me for three summers.  Now it’s time for me to listen to you.

Love in Christ,

Brenda (Bree)

P.S.  Some of you have said in the past, “when writing the blog is no longer fun, you should stop”.  Please know that it is more than “fun” – it is an outlet that I need.  But the need is there also to make it better and to make sure readers still think it is “fun” and want to make it a part of their day.


81 thoughts on “I’m Listening 10/17/2011

  1. I came across your blog this summer after planning a week vacation across the U.P. Honestly, I had never heard of Mackinac Island so it originally was not in the vacation plans. Your posts & pictures intrigued me so much that we did add it & spent a day (which is not enough time so we are hoping to come back soon)on the island.

    I have added your blog to my reader & continue to enjoy reading & learning more about Mackinac.

  2. Hi Brenda ! I want you to know that I have read all three years of your blogs and read every work ! When I see the post in my inbox –I read it immediately! It remings me of how I used to have to look at prints immideatelu when I got prints at the drug store! I have been coming to visit the island for over 30 years! I lived there 4 summers! I never tire of seeing the Grand or arch rock or the horses!! I feel that you have become my friend and pen pal! I had pen pals during the Viet Nam War! Pen pals are special! I am making plans to retire next summer and spend my summers up north! It is scary but you make it easier every time I read your blog and I get confirmation in my soul that it is a desire of my heart! When we are doing God’s work– we are notit always sure it is enough or right but we are right where he wants us! I think more happens from our connections than we ever know! You are awesome and just follow your heart and take us along with your journeys !! Maybe you cancut and paste things from others once in a while like you mentioned?? We love pictures! We love the dogs! We love that you share your personal side!!a big thanks from a big fan!!!!

  3. I’m one of your new readers this summer. I stayed at the Grand Hotel for a couple of glorious days this September and I started reading your blog as “homework” if you will to find out more about the Island. The photos are wonderful and I loved hearing about all the unique events that happen during the summer. One of the things that fascinates me about the Island are all the wonderful historical stories of how the Island came to be what it is today. The stories of lumber & railroad barons who built many of the beautiful “cottages” on the bluff. I’m also curious about the folks who call the island home year round, I’d love to have to interview a few and get the first hand historical perspective of what it is like to call the Island home. I took a cottage tour with the Grand Hotel’s historian and could have spent much much more time listening and touring more of the Islands wonderful old homes.

  4. Bree,

    I’m one of the quiet ones. 🙂 I think I’ve posted precisely once, but I look forward to and read every single entry. What might seem to you as a journal of your days is magic to those of us who wish we could be right there with you. It’s not the pictures. Your photos are stunning but believe me, it’s the stories. It’s your excitement and enchantment with your second home. It’s the love you share with your husband and Maddie and Bear. It’s the good times (and bad!) in your condo. It’s the true love you have of the island and all it has to offer. I’ve gone back and read the earlier blogs and although I have truly enjoyed them, I don’t think there has been any decline. None at all. On the contrary, I feel it has become more interesting over time. Maybe it’s because we are all learning more, from you. Maybe it’s because we feel like we’ve gotten to know you even though we don’t really know you at all. But whatever the reason, your blog brings me more pleasure than I could ever describe. I know I’m speaking for others.

    When we’re cranky (I bet that’s not Ted’s word either) about things or not feeling well, we tend to take a more critical look at ourselves. Try not to make any rash decisions when you’re not feeling your best. Especially concerning your blog.

    From a personal perspective my favorite types of articles are the “how things work” or “behind the scenes” stuff. Even if it’s just as simple as how you get the results of your big Walmart trips back to your condo. It’s probably a mundane and uninteresting part of your day. Maybe even annoying at times. But for those of us who wish we were working out those mundane and uninteresting details too, it’s fun to hear.

    So much for being a quiet one. 🙂


    • Liz, you just said it perfectly, I could not say it any better. It is the love you have for your family, your puppies, your friends and your home that you share with us every day. That is what keeps us interested and rushing for your blog every single day! For 3 years!

      • I agree with Liz & Laurie, Brenda! Just follow your heart! I love reading your blog….when I can’t get to it, I’m right there as soon as possible playing catch-up! I love the island, have visited several times and stayed once at the Grand…and yet I can’t get enough! So, I dream of the island and of the more simple, quiet way of life…and live vicariously through your photos, ramblings & rants!!! I love it all! Whatever you decide, you’ve a dedicated follower in me! Take care and peace~

  5. Dear Brenda,

    Please don’t second guess yourself, this blog is not a job–you are retired, remember!
    Those of us that are touched by Mackinac Magic never get tired of hearing about the ordinary day to day things on the island.

    I recently read the book “Dreams of Mackinac” by Charles Jansen and was surprised that a man was so touched by this wonderful place. My husband understands since he totally relaxes when he stays on Mackinac (maybe men don’t admit they are addicted to it like us women).

    As for your sleep apnea, yes it probably is affecting how you are feeling right now. Ask your Doctor for a repeat sleep study for pressure adjustment or see the durable medical equipment folks to find out if your mask needs adjustment. My husband is trying to get used to a full face mask presently and its been trying for both of us! Sleep apnea can be deadly leading to hypertension, stroke etc. (my father-in-law died as a result of a stroke due to untreated sleep apnea at age 61). There are forums on the web for sleep apnea as well.

    Take care and have a safe trip home. I wish good health for you, Ted, Maddie and Bear!

    Pat Steele, RN
    Vernon, MI
    “Whom God Loves He Gives A Home At Mackinac”

  6. Brenda,

    You said, ” I haven’t been pleased this year with what I’ve done on this blog.” Well, I’m pleased and I hope that counts for something. Just yesterday I was telling my sister in law (she and my brother were visiting from West Texas) what a wonderful blog you create and how talented you are – both in your writing and your photography.

    What can you do to improve? Well, quite frankly, I don’t know because I’m more than satisfied, and if it’s a daily journal of your activities, then it’s probably the best journal on the internet. I’m not a writer nor an expert on the writing of blogs, but certainly it’s the best I’ve seen.

    You said, “How many pictures of the Grand do you really enjoy seeing?” I’m sure that is a symbolic question for pictures of the Island you’ve posted and the answer is, “A lot.” I’m still saving many of them (you told me I could, so I’m not stealing) and using them for a screen saver. And beside that, I just enjoy seeing them.

    You say, “…I often wonder – who cares?” Well, I care, and I know ( and you know it too) there are so many others who care. Why else would your readership keep growing?

    And, oh, we are your friends, so I feel free to say, “Do as you’re told and get that sleep apnea mask back on your face! Do it now! There’s no reason to wait until you get back to Georgia! You remember what you used to say to your boys, ‘It doesn’t matter if you don’t like it, you’re supposed to do it- so do it!'” Hey, that’s good advice. I’m glad you said it.

    I could say more, but I think that will suffice, and I’m sure others will be more qualified than I am to to critique the work you’ve done so well.

  7. Brenda, I am a very devoted (daily) lurker, but maybe, by lurking and not participating more, *I* am perhaps not upholding my end of this relationship. Sometimes I think you don’t fully understand the great gift you give us with this blog. After these (what 3, 4?) years though, it has grown beyond just our love for Mackinac Island. We readers have embraced you as someone we know (sort of) and care about. I know you are spiritual, I know you love your kids, your husband and your furbabies. I know your friends are very important to you. I know you have sleep apnea and I now know how the machine works and what the options are. I suspect I will be joining you in using one so your accounts of your experience with it gives me comfort. We both have Goldens and I know your Bear (who is gorgeous by the way) is a therapy dog and I wonder how he will do after being away from it all summer. I have never been down South, but I know what some parts of Georgia look like. I know it is humid and very warm there.

    As far as the Island goes, you give us the most amazing gift, the gift of almost being there. For instance, I know that yesterday there was a terrible accident on the bridge and a man died. I know that it was very windy, I know that large vehicles were being escorted over the bridge. I know the lake was annoyed, I know when special events are happening: the Lilac Festival & parade, the horse festival, the 4th of July celebration, both yacht races, the stone skipping contest, I know what the local business are, what they sell, and who owns them. I know a lot about the restaurants on the Island, I know that McNally cottage is being demolished. And I have amazing photos to go with all this knowledge. I can’t visit every year, I try to make every other year, but because of you and your blog, I always feel like I know what is going on and that gives me comfort. It gives me comfort to look at your photos and know that TODAY or yesterday, the Island looked like this, or that was going on. I know from reading the comments on your blog that I am not alone in my enjoyment of your blog.

    I love your blog and look forward to it daily, thank you for sharing it with us.

  8. Hi Bree,
    My husband and I are also some of the quiet ones, but have truly enjoyed your blog. We have fallen in love with Mackinac Island and are able to learn more about the island through your blog. We enjoy the stories and the photos and are able to “visit” the island vicariously through your words and photos. As far as I’m concerned you can never get enough pictures of the island, the grand or the beautiful sunsets.

    If you could add any new content we would love to learn more about the inner-workings of the island. For example, how people came to live on the island, how they make a living, what it’s like to be a kid and live on Mackinac.

    My husband and I would love to one day spend our summers on Mackinac Island and are currently working on a plan to make that happen. Mackinac Island seems like a somewhat magical and mysterious place. If you could give us an “in” to that mystery we would love to know more.

    Thank you for the words and the pictures of one of the best places on earth. I look forward to your posts.


  9. Bree,
    I just got back from the Island (my third trip this year) today and boy was it a rough boat ride to Mackinac City with 6 to 8′ waves! If one loves the island one never gets tired of seeing the beautiful photos and hearing about the everyday happenings on the island. It facinates me and I can never get enough. Not only have I fell in love the Island but you and your family and thanks so much for sharing. When I am on the island I want to talk with the locals and their stories of growing up there and the changes happening on the island today.

    So Thanks again and keep up the great blogging because I love it!

  10. Brenda, I am not a frequent poster, but I do look forward checking everyday to see what you have to share with us. You are being way to hard on yourself. For us who do not get the chance to see what you do everyday, this is a “mini vacation” without leaving the house. I never get bored with the stories or pictures. I found this blog by accident a year and a half ago and have loved it. I spent the first few days after I found it reading all the back stories and some nights that took me into the wee hours!! Once you get the sleep problems back in check, this will all seem better to you. Take care and God bless you! Have a safe trip home!

  11. Brenda, As an artist I often go through periods of dissatisfaction with my art, where I feel like I am going backward, don’t know where I am headed. I have stacks of half finished paintings to attest to this! What I find is these periods of time are some sign of personal growth. If we were always satisfied, I think we would become bored. We are blessed to have a passion that we can continue to do for the rest of our lives and will never “arrive at where we want to be”. That WOULD be boring!! I think it is about the journey.
    You might be a bit burned out, however, with the number of blogs you create every week. Maybe, more in-depth and fewed blogs would suit you better. I for one would love to see some stories about the many interesting people that are Mackinac Island. Some may not want to be featured in your blog, but others, I am sure, would agree to be interviewed. Hope my ranting makes some sense.

  12. Brenda,
    I comment sometimes. I probably could more, but I’m an occaisonal tourist from Cincinnati – what do I have to add? I have another online friend who I know follows your blog. I noticed when she liked a photo of you on Shepler’s FB page. I think you do a great job of making us feel apart of your life. Last winter, I followed your Georgia blog. I feel a little like, do her real friends mind? But it’s just fun to read! I think I enjoy the behind the scenes or people part. How does a dishwasher get delivered or the fire department work? I love your pictures and often share them with my family. I have a friend who loves hats and loved your photographs from the Grand last weekend. I’ve told several friends about it as a great way to learn about the Island. Also, you seem “real”. I always imagined Mackinac summer residents were millionaire socialites not people I would know, and you make the reader feel apart of your family. Really I think I would try to say hi the next time I come to the island (or pet Bear and Maddie).
    I hope this is an encouragement and I’ll be praying for you and Ted and this blog and your travels.

  13. I look forward to your blogs everyday. We stayed at the Grand three times this past summer, actually meeting you one day while you were going down “the hill” and I was headed up [I believe you had some “southern” girlfriends up visiting]. Don’t ever second guess yourself, you were fantastic this year as well as the previous years. Personally I could look at pictures of the Grand [or any other place on the island] every day …. TOTALLY enjoy them. This island truly holds MAGIC!!!

  14. Bree-
    I just want to tell you that your blog allows me to live your experience on the island with you. I grew up in WI and and as a child, we used to visit the island quite a bit. I returned as an adult not too long ago and I felt ‘homesick’ when I had to leave. I currently reside in Las Vegas and reading your blog gives me that connection I long for here in the dusty, hot desert. I love seeing those amazing pics.
    Peace to you and safe travels in your journeys ahead. Whatever decision you make, I just want to thank you for helping me remedy the homesickness I feel from time to time in your photos and your words.

  15. Brenda,

    Don’t second guess yourself. Your blog is amazing! I can’t wait to read your posts. Even though I travel to Mackinac Island at least 3 times a year, I can’t get enough of this truely magical place. Your wonderful blog and amazing pictures keep me in touch with all the things that are happening on the Island; when I am not there. I love reading your stories, not only about the Island, but the great people who work and live there. It is great to see them around town and be able to say hi to them(saw Jill and Nicole all over town last week). I even got to meet you on your first day at Stuart House and you couldn’t of been nicer or prettier, in person.

    I love the personal stories about your family and friends who come to visit. I love the stories about Ted and his adventures on the Island(loved kayaking story). And Bear and Maddie are just too cute for words. Love it when they blog about their Parents. Your blog is not only enjoyable, but also very educational. Anyone, who truely loves the Island, never gets tired of hearing or seeing the Grand, Arch Rock, Fort etc; again and again.

    We will miss you when you leave Mackinac Island, but I will continue to follow your Georgia blog.

    Thank you Brenda for another wonderful year! Safe travels home!

    God Bless!

  16. So many comments just a few short hours after posting your Blog Brenda SPEAKS VOLUMES!!!
    THANK YOU readers for all the encouragement & support. We all love Brenda and I’ll never be bored seeing Mackinac thru your eyes and words.

  17. Brenda, I too found your blog this year and I have loved every minute of it. I look forward to reading what you, Ted, Maddie, Bear and sometimes Jill have done day to day. I haven’t been to the Island in 3 years but through your blog I feel that I am on the Island experiencing everything through your eyes.

    You are doing a wonderful job with this blog. You are not slowing down it is so wonderful to read. Thank you for doing it, me and my mother really appreciate this so much.

  18. I love your blogs. You don’t have to hit a homerun every time you post. Most of us read the blog because we love Mackinac Island. Your posts, even when they are just the day to day stuff about nothing more than a garden, keep us in touch with that Island and keep us up to date on what’s what there on that ‘rock’. It doesn’t have to be something stunning or exciting or incredible, the simple stuff works just as well.

    If I were to suggest anything, I’d say you could delve into more of the historical stuff. There’s a lot of history on that island and I bought several books this year when we visited. I had no idea about all the additions to the Grand Hotel or how it had changed over the years. Or about the development of the downtown area. More history about the island, even if it were once in a while, would make me happy.

    Other than that there’s lots of stuff that you’ve never talked about or explaining stuff that has a history that you could focus on. I know so much more about the island now when I come just from reading your blog! I feel like an insider when I visit the island now.

    Please continue doing what you do. I’d be lost without your island connection!

    Ypsilanti, MI

  19. Wow Brenda is all I can say after reading these posts!! I so agree with Jill…

    “So many comments just a few short hours after posting your Blog Brenda SPEAKS VOLUMES!!!” AMEN!!

    I could tell you all the same things all these readers of your great blog have already posted but I am just going to say that I love your blog..I have been reading it since almost the beginning (and then I went back and read the ones I had missed)…When I read what is going on with you and others on the Island it brings back so many wonderful memories of the times we have been there over the last 50 years!! Of course the last 6 years we have made more visits to see our wonderful granddaughter that is now living there year round and I have been so blessed to get to see you on several of those trips!!

    I definitely don’t feel the blog has declined in any way..all of it is important…the “journal” as you call it, the photos, the interviews with workers on the island, your photos and stories of your trips off the island and one of my favorite blogs are when Maddie and Bear get to post!! Awesome!! 🙂

    It’s been wonderful Brenda to get to meet you in person and to “meet” your family on the blog…so I will close with this..keep up doing what you are so wonderful at doing!! Love you and may God continue to bless you and Ted!!
    And again…THANKS!!

  20. I thoroughly enjoy your blog! I am not a devoted commenter, but a devoted follower for sure. Your photos are what take me back to the island that I wish I could LIVE on like you do! I enjoy seeing into your life there because it fascinates ME to know how people ‘live’ there, even if only for months at a time, and I love when I visit knowing you are ‘out there’ somewhere! LOL! I would never mind re-seeing or re-visiting places…you have to do what makes the blog fun for you…and that will shine through for all…you will see! Thanks for doing a GREAT job!

  21. I have been reading and enjoying your blog for a few years now and I love seeing everything you put on here! This year we did not have the chance to make it up to the island ourselves, so it makes it extra special for me to see all the beauty through your eyes and read of your days there.. I never tire of them. I look forward to hearing about your adventures from the lake when you get back there also. Happy Monday!!

  22. Bree,
    This is the first summer in many that we haven’t been able to make the trip to the Island. Your pictures and commentary have been a great balm to the ache that arises when I miss the journey. I echo Diane Swihart’s sentiments. Thank you for sharing.
    You are capturing the island for us right now — and for those who do read the archives in the future. The Island changes and you help us remember how it was and look forward to how it will be.
    Thanks for all you do.
    God bless you richly!

  23. Brenda – you know how much we all enjoy your blog – however, no matter how much we love something, at times we have to step back and take a break. When it becomes burdensome or feels like an obligation, it’s time to take a rest. We would all miss you terribly, but I don’t think any of us will be selfish enough to insist that you stay on because we enjoy the pictures and words. Your column has NOT been disappointing this year; however it’s your satisfaction that is important at this point – not ours. As hard as it may seem, we WILL survive without the daily blog; but will hope that you at least just pop on to facebook periodically to say “hi y’all – we’re all doing fine”. For those of us who can only dream of retiring to Mackinac Island one year, you’re a blessing and allow us to spend some time there – even if it’s virtually. But you must take care of yourself – I fear we’ve overwhelmed you. If and when you decide to return – we’ll be here. Godspeed on your journey back to Georgia; you take care of YOURSELF, you hear? Blessings to you and Ted and Maddie and Bear.

  24. I want to tell you how much I enjoy your writings about your life ,travels and Makinac . I have MS
    and I have enjoyed it and you take me places . I think the history that develops between bloggers and bloggies is an important part of the experience . You are a town crier on your world.I will show you a bit of mine.

  25. I agree with all of the above comments Brenda. I don’t comment often, but I DO read your blog every time you post. It is the highlight of my morning! The funny thing about that is, like you and Ted, I live here!! I see the same things, hear the same stories and yet when I read about them in your blog, I see them in a totally different way!

    Your health is what is most important however. All of your loyal readers understand that you need to take care of yourself, first and foremost. Please, please, please do that!

    Love and hugs to you, my dear friend!

  26. I love your blog and have read every post since you started. It’s the first thing I do every day at work. We visit the island every summer for 4-5 days, and by reading your blog and seeing the beautiful pictures it makes me feel like I’m there, if only for a few moments. I’m sure you are looking forward to your return to Georgia, but I will truly miss ‘seeing’ the island every morning.

    We dream of someday spending much more time on the island!

  27. What I love most about your blog is that you capture day-to-day life on the Island. So many of us who stop here every day wish that we could be residents as you are. For us, reading your posts and looking at your photos allows us to imagine ourselves in your shoes. I’ve been to Mackinac a number of times but it wasn’t until this year, after being able to explore all of the out of the way ‘local’ places I learned of from you, that I felt like less of a ‘fudgie’. It was an awesome feeling and I thank you for it.

  28. I love your blog!

    In fact your blog is the only one I have ever wanted to read more than once. I now check for new entries every day for my fix on Mackinac Island. I discovered your blog by accident last year. Since high school I have wanted to visit your island but life always seemed to get in the way and I never made it. Now in my late 40’s I find myself with declining health and physically unable to travel do to severe chronic pain. My computer has became my lifeline to the outside world and the places I never got to see. I often google pictures of places I would like to see and last year I googled Mackinac Island and discovered your blog. That same day I read all of your entries in one sitting mesmerized by your pictures and the lovely voice that comes through in your writing. You have made me laugh and you have brought me to tears. Last winter when you returned to Georgia I followed your lake blackshear blog just as loyally. I love everything you write. Selfishly I hope you continue with your writings but if you need a break take it. Look after yourself and know that when your ready to continue whatever you write about will be cherished as a bright spot in this readers day.

    I love the everyday life of the island and it’s people. I love your personnal stories about your family. I love the Maddie and Bear entries. I love all of it!

  29. I’m a loyal reader of your blog thru it’s RSS feed directly to my e-mail. I never comment but I did say “Hi” to you in person at the Mackinac Island 8 mile in 2010. I just wanted to let you know that your writing and pictures still keep me reading every post. So what if it’s become more of a journal than an on-line magazine. It’s personal and it makes us feel like we’re there too. I really enjoyed your post about the Soo Locks as well as the posts about your son coming for a visit. Whatever direction you take your blog, I’ll be there to follow it.

  30. Good Morning Brenda!

    Like the others, I check your blog nearly everday…its part of my morning internet routine! Love the pictures, love the stories. Since I don’t get a chance to make it up to the island as often as my husband, your blog keeps me connected to a place that feels like home. I hope, in the years to come, to spend a significant amount of time with my husband and kids up there during the summers and your blog allows me to invision that. Until my dream becomes a reality, I live vicariously through you! I assure you that your need to write this blog is as mutual as my need to read it!

  31. Ditto on all the positive comments above! I enjoy your blog as much today as I did 2 years ago when I started reading and I look forward to it ALWAYS! I like both the “informative/historical” posts as much as learning about your family. I have to say, I especially like the posts that Bear and Maddie write and wish they would write more often! As someone else said, even the mundane trips to town are interesting to those of us who wish we could live on the Island. I can’t get to the Island every year and reading your blog keeps me informed so that when I do come back to visit, I feel like I still know what’s going on! Of course, on our last trip, every time we went somewhere on the Island, my husband would ask what “that blog lady had to say about this place?”

  32. Hi Brenda:

    I do love the stores about the island and how it works, things I never get the chance to learn when I am there for a week-end. I also enjoy your pictures, scenes from the island never get old. I find that now I am returning to read about your life on the island, what goes on there for you on a day to day basis. I think about my own retirement one day and hope it is as enjoyable as yours. I realize you didn’t start this blog to become an investigative reporter, but if you were looking for new topics, I would love to see the inner workings of some of the Inns on the island and some of the shops. We always wonder what it must be like to run a seasonal business, especially a retail business there on the island. I’d also be interested in stories about some of the cottages up on the bluff, and wouldn’t everyone love some pictures of the inside? It would also be nice to hear the stories of some of the people who live there, whether for the season or all year. As we ride our bikes past some of those homes I wonder who lives in them, what do they do for a living and what brought them to the island. I would love it if you and Ted ventured out next year to the Traverse City area, especially Sleeping Bear Dunes. There are a lot of hotels that are pet friendly, and I think you would love the views. A tall order, I know. Either way, I keep reading because I enjoy your writing and hearing about your day to day adventures there. I hope everything goes well with your sleep machine and you get the chance to get things back to normal for yourself. Take care and have a safe trip home!

  33. Dear Brenda,
    I so agree with all of the other readers but I think Liz said it best for me.
    After a couple years of medical issues I was finally able to visit the island this Sept. I did pass you on the street but was too shy to say hello! Wish I did so I could have told you face to face how much you helped me with my recoveries after my surgeries. You bring us all the beauty of the island and I never get tired of seeing it through your camera/eyes. While on the island I was quoting info from your blog constantly! You and your blog mean so much more to many of us than you will ever know. Take care of YOU! Take time off when you get home to GA. Relax and think of Brenda. We will pray for you. Safe travels! And once again, Thank You for every minute you have shared with me. You NEVER disappoint!

  34. A picture is worth a thousand words……however, can not tell many of the stories….keep telling the stories and posting the pictures…..

  35. Hi Brenda! I usually post onto your blog daily and have always been amazed at your talent. Your pictures and stories are incredible and I can tell you are truly in love with the island. You probably don’t realize that the “mundane” pictures are intriquing to others. Some of the pictures that I found interesting was a pictures of an island garage sale and taking the horses off the island at the end of the season. I spent an entire day touring the island this summer due to pictures you took of Anne’s tablet, Sugar Loaf, the new community horse barn, and the spot to watch sunsets behind Stonecliffe. I went to Stuart House museum for the first time but unfortunatley you weren’t working but Dale was there and he gave me a personal tour. I probably would never had thought about stopping there without your blog.

    I am sorry to hear about your sleep apnea. For the rest of us, sleep seems so easy and something we take for granite. Take care and I will pray for you. God Bless!

  36. Bree- I am a faithful reader…every morning even before football scores and NASCAR rankings..I know right..it means your pretty damn important to me and my mornings…I’m a dude and I still like all your pictures of the Grand, the flowers, and the seasonal changes you take every year you have a gift and thanks for sharing the gift with us the simple masses. My favorite post of all time was last years post n the horses of the island and going over to the U.P to see them off. Your the best when you do your “Day in the Life Post” Like when you drove the ferry…….Kee up the great worked and please take care of yourself…”Wear your sleeping/breathing gear young lady!!” for Teds sake….it’s not a fun life when momma is cranky cause of lack of sleep..just sayin’

  37. The first thing I do in the morning when I get to work is turn on my computer and read your blog. I don’t know what I would do without it. You’ve found a lifetime reader with me. It doesn’t always have to be something new and exciting, I just have a deep love for the island and I hardly ever get to go. I love the pictures and I love the commentary….and I especially love Bear and Maddie! I live on the island through your blog and I love it! This was my first season reading your blog, I think I’ll have to follow your Geogia blog now that I’ve been so used to reading every morning. I can’t wait til next summer!

  38. Brenda,

    I found your blog this year and love it! While I enjoy all of your blogs, it’s the ones about your day to day life that I really love because I’m envious that you get to live in the island, I have always said that when I retire I would like to live on the island. Reading your blogs about your day to day life is how I imagine it would be to live there. Ah..bliss!

    Also, I too suffer from severe Sleep Apnea and at first I hated wearing the mask. For me, its was very claustrophobic and irritating to have a mask on my face while I slept. I remember seeing your picture earlier on with your mask on and noticed you have the one that covered your mouth and nose, which is like the one I was originally given. My doctor, after telling him I wasn’t wearing my mask because I felt claustrophobic and irritated, sent me to a CPAC Nap study, which is during the day and let me lay down, for about 10 minutes each time, wearing all of the different kinds of mask that they have until I found the one I could tolerate. Now I use the mask that only covers the nose and I don’t feel claustrophobic anymore (it still gets irritating sometimes though!). Maybe you can ask your doctor about a CPAC Nap study when you get home. It’s been 3 years now and I know if I hadn’t changed the style of the mask I was originally given, I wouldn’t being using it every night.

    P.S.: My sister and I were visiting the ilsand 3 weeks ago and I spotted you near Marquette Park and stopped you to tell you I read your blog and enjoy it. I was so excited to meet you and it was the highlight of my trip!

    Don’t stop blogging and taking pictures!

  39. Brenda,
    I will try to comment on things in order of importance, as I see them (therefore, I can’t be wrong!).

    1. Get back on speaking terms with “Dudley”, your CPAP machine. I started using one the same week in early summer when you announced your resolved to “get back on the wagon”. I suggested using the cloth gaskets for the mask, and I still do think that was a good suggestion. I am wondering if your claustrophobia with a full face mask is actually your reluctance to put something on your face that immediately forces you to alter your breathing. I have a machine that starts out at 50% pressure, and ramps the pressure up over 40 minutes. Half pressure is very easy to tolerate, and I am asleep by the time is is going at full pressure.

    Driving while drowsy is very dangerous, and you could fall asleep at the wheel while you are back home in Georgia.

    2. Your subject matter is a large draw to your blog. You past writing has fun to read, well written, and sensitive to your subject, and you are being granted an “all access” pass to the island, something that very few people will ever obtain. Without referring back for details, your article about piloting the Shelper’s ferry, the one about the resident taxi driver, and the one from inside the Soo locks come to mind as articles that I would have never been able to read elsewhere.

    In a similar vein, my most memorable trip to Walt Disney World was when I took a class down there and got to go behind the scenes at Disney world, being given a tour of the “Utilidor” utility tunnels under the Magic Kingdom, eating in the cafeteria with crew members, seeing costume storage, and other details of how they put on the experience. You have been given similar privileges at the island, but you get to take pictures!

    3. Your writing skill and style are a joy to read. Other people have commented on that at length.

    4. Your photographic eye is a delight. I take 50 pictures and get 3 good ones. I suspect that your yield is MUCH better than mine.

    5. Your blog is not a book with only one story in it. It is not a magazine, with closely related articles on a narrow subject. You are actually hosting a variety show, with inside stories, wonderful pictures, verbal portraits of interesting people, and snippets of family life with Ted, the kids, and the dogs. I wouldn’t change anything, other than your internal name of what you are doing.

    6. Finally, you are not the same person when you started your blog. You are years older and wiser, and your knowledge of the island and its people has become more nuanced. Enjoy the difference!

  40. Brenda…I quietly read your blog – almost every day. And if I miss a day, I catch up. It is my way of relaxing and enjoying life because you provide such wonderful stories and beautiful pictures. Some others suggested the “behind the scenes” stories – which I like…especially about the kids on the island. Maybe you could do a regular special where one of the kids could give you a story or two to share. I’m fascinated by what it’s like to live on the Island year round. Thank you for all you do! I’ll miss the blog this winter….

  41. Hi Brenda
    Don’t beat yourself up to bad, we still need you LOL. I for one still enjoy reading your blog everyday. I feel the same way at times as far as coming to the island every summer and wonder if it will feel the same as the first time. It might not feel like the first time, but it still is and will always be a magical place to be. The pictures even tho they might be a picture of something we have seen a million times is still special. Also you have to remember that alot of people might be seeing it for the first time. Keep up the good work and know that you and Ted and the dogs are in our thoughts and prayers as another season comes to a close.

  42. Brenda:

    I still enjoy reading your Blog after reading for the past three years. It is one of the pages I check first thing in the morning. Your picture are beautiful, the stories about things going on the Island are interesting and I do enjoy reading about your everyday activities and happenings. I hope you will continue writing your Mackinac Island Blog and your Blog from Georgia too.

  43. It is so strange that this is todays topic. I almost wrote when you posted the “flaming poplars lighting the way to winter” but so much of what I would have said would have already been said in the comments. While this blog works on so many different levels, you have not just one or two of the things that are necessary for a good story–you have them all.
    1. You have an eye for photographing ordinary things in an extraordinary way. You NOTICE.
    2. Your writing flows seamlessly and with a joyful feel without you having to tell us what you are feeling.
    3.Because of the kind of person you are, you are privy to all kinds of things that your friends share with you so we feel we gain a new friend at the same time.
    4. You are simply the type of person that people gravitate to and so our circle of acquaintances gets ever larger and more interesting.
    5. You make us want to be you or at least be with you on your adventure. I still feel the magic of the dark ride in the woods at night.
    6. Reading each day may not have the surprise of “I didn’t know that” but it always has the joy of seeing how things are changing. It is a movable feast!
    7. It is NEVER boring.

  44. Over the past 3 yr’s you have been my eyes to a world to person that cannot get out of her home very often because of an illness. I know I’ve spoken of this before. But the beauty that you bring in your pictures and the and funny storys that you tell has inspire me to start a journal of my own. I”ve even gone on the the website to learn how to blog a journal, and that’s big for me. I’m can be a quiet person. You’ve inspired me, and I thank you for this.
    Please don’t be discourage as sometimes I think we get an attack at are lowest moments in our lifes and right now your going through one of them having to leave the island once again, its so beautiful. I can’t imagine, but your wonderful friends there will help you get through it for sure. Be Blessed

  45. Brenda-
    If I could only dry my tears long enough to type! Jill (and her mom) are so right-comments speak volumes and you are never boring! Look at all the love you spread, I know you’re listening!
    My letter to you could have been longer! LOL! Like all the other readers, I love Macknac Island and would never tire of any stories or pictures of it. One of the things I love about your blog, is it shows people who have never had the pleasure of visiting or even heard of that special rock what magic it holds! As much as I love that, I also love to read about when things go wrong in the condo, your special friends and family, Ted and his most excellent adventures, Jill and her thoughtful ways, comments from your readers (glad you’re back Lowell!), Bear and Maddie always make me smile-well, let’s just say EVERYTHING!! The way you write and tell a story is as delightful as the pictures you take. From reading all these wonderful comments, I realize you do for so many others what you do for me-help me remember the simple things. Life is hard but, can be so beautiful! By sharing yourself, you help others with the hard part by showing the beautiful part! Those seeds are sprouting! Believe in yourself, God made you special! Take time for yourself, you give so much to others! Remember the simple things, take care and God bless you!

  46. This blog is GREAT! It’s the everyday life on the island that is so interesting. You don’t have to worry about show stopping posts – just your everyday goings on is what it’s all about. The dishwasher, the kids coming home, walks in the woods, Jill and her funniness. It all paints a wonderful picture of life there. I copy your photos and email them around to cheer people up.

    Just life on the island, we read it and LOVE IT!

    With all that being said I do think sometimes it’s nice for you to just put your feet up and not have to worry about blogging. So maybe you could just post a few times a week without a schedule.

    Take care – and your blog has been an everyday event for me since I found it a few years ago…I even go on just to look at the pics that I’ve seen 5 times over!


  47. Dearest Brenda,

    Your Southern hospitality has opened the door for delightful visits to your home, whether in Georgia or Michigan. We have all grown closer to you and want to hear more from you in the future. Your style is captivating and charming. Thank you for all of the effort you put into this blog.

    We will look forward to next year on “our” Mackinac Island because of you.

  48. Brenda, I love your blog just the way it is! I look forward to reading it and looking at those wonderful pictures every day. I feel like I’m reading an on-going novel that takes me away from everyday stress. For several years, I have had a few special magazines that I love to read. However, new editors eventually came along and decided to change the format in all of them. I miss the way they were originally! Unlike those magazines, I hope that you just keep on writing the way you have been. I’m certainly not tired of it (quite the opposite) and think that you do an amazing job. Don’t be so hard on yourself. And take care of your health because I care about you. I also thank you for the joy you have brought me through this blog. May God bless you dearly for the gift you have given me and many others.

  49. I absolutely love your blog. I love the pictures, I love the stories, I love everything about it. I think you should write about the daily activities that are different for island residents. Maybe about the people who live there year round. It is my dream to own a home on the island (and has been since I was in elementary school). I’d love to learn as much ad possible about island life…..and i already have learned so much from you. Thank you!

  50. Brenda,
    I found your blog when I was researching the island a few years ago and have been reading it ever since. I was able to visit the island this June and met you on a rainy day at the museum. I am a “quiet” reader ( I only posted once). It has been great to see all the things that I saw then. It feels like I never left. I especially enjoyed the blog from the SIT weekend. The pictures and writings are great the way they are. I will continue reading your blog to the end of your stay this year and look forward to next year!! Thank you and take care.

  51. I’ve been reading all of the above replies from time to time today. Knowing others would be able to say all the things I wanted to say, only they do it better than I ever could. The day I found you blog 3 years ago was one of the best days of my life. I had found someone who could tell me what life on the island is really like. Since the first time I stepped foot on the island 48 years ago I wanted to live on it. To the point that at one time I applield for the librarian job when it was open. Knew I wouldn’t get it back I can dream. Now I don’t dream I live their thru your blog and pictures. Another thing I wanted to do to be able to be on the island was move to MI and run for governor and win. Now that was dreaming. Spend the summer on the island and be impeached in the fall. When I read your stories I’m hearing from a friend. I hope you chose to continue the blog. But if that isn’t ment to be I and all of the others will understand.

    I hope you take some the ideas those with sleep apena have given today and find a way for you to handle the mask. Your health and well being is the most important thing.

  52. Bree, I have enjoyed each of your posts since I found you this summer! I love hearing about your every day life on the island because I can wistfully imagine myself doing the same things! I returned to Mackinac this past June after 40 years. I last visited when I was 12. It was so much better than I remembered. My parents were able to travel with me. We spent 2 days and one night. It was so hard to leave the 2nd day. My goal is to return at least once a year for as long as I am able. I can’t really explain why I loved the island so much. I think it just seems like a very peaceful, simple place, as well as being magically beautiful. Even though we walked for miles I felt more rested than I have after vacationing anywhere else.
    Reading your blog brings me that same feeling! You are a wonderful writer, I definitely will go back and read your archives this winter.
    I would love to hear more about families that live on the island; why they are there, why they have chosen to stay year round, what a typical day is like. I would also like to hear about the lives of people who work on the island during the season. About waiters and waitresses who ferry over each day, about international students who work at The Grand, about the people who work with the horses. I’d love to learn more about the chefs on the island. Stories from bed and breakfast owners – We stayed at the Haan’s 1830 this summer – and heard some interesting stories of their home being built on the site of one of the original trappers homes (indian bones were found under the foundation).
    All that to say – PLEASE don’t stop writing. You are my connection to Mackinac!

  53. I think everyone has said it all. We love you and your blog. You make us feel like we are part of the island that we all love. But most of all we want you to take care of yourself. So take time for Bree. I don’t think there is anything I would want to change about your blog. Like others I read it daily. After finding your blog last winter and reading it everyday, when I visited the island this summer I looked at it in a whole new way. Not as a vistor, but as an islander. I also love your pictures and can’t seem to get enough of them. Even if they are the same old Grand. 🙂
    Take care and God Bless you…

  54. wow! I hope you take to heart what all these folks have told you about your so called “boring” blog! from the first day I read it, during that first year that you started blogging from the island, I have LOVED your writing style. as others have said, you have a way of describing what you see and feel each day that makes us feel that we are there, right beside you. don’t ever think you are boring…..you have a gift that shouldn’t be hidden, Brenda! BUT I also agree with others to say “take care of yourself” and if you need a break, take one. but don’t ever think we wouldn’t miss your thoughts and pictures, or will get bored! maybe you remember I also have a sleep apnea machine; got it about the same time you did. fortunately I have found it quite easy to wear, and feel a LOT of difference in my outlook on life. I have the nose only mask; think the suggestions of someone to try different masks would be a good one. I didn’t realize there were so many different kinds! SO…will be praying for a safe trip home for you all, and for you to take the time to take care of yourself.

  55. Brenda: As the wife of an apnea machine user, may I say that it is extremely important that you use the machine on a regular basis. You will feel so much better. And your number one concern has to be your health. Your blog is a bright spot in the day for all of your readers, or they would not be reading it. You have had an extremely busy summer and I am just wondering if you don’t need a break. While getting ready to back up and head south why don’t you take a breather. We will all understand.

    The only suggestion I would have for next year might be to show the lives of some of the workers there on the island. Your blog about the captain on the Ferry was so interesting. We often wonder what is going on with some of the regulars. In particular Molly Green. I know she does tours and is an EMT for the island. She has some very interesting stories. What is her life during the winter like. (Just a suggestion)

    Maybe it would be easier for you to limit your blogs to 3 or 4 days a week. Whatever you do we will understand. We love you and want you to be happy, not feel you have to write every day. Take care and have a safe trip to Georgia. LOL

  56. What a wonderful testament from your readers!! Any writer could live on that glow for years. What they say is true and everything I would add has already been expressed both from content to suggestions.

    Thanks you for sharing your inner thoughts. Although I am not a worrier, I sensed something was wrong and was concerned there was a serious issue. The apnea is fixable. The desire for new perspective is doable.

    Your have a gift. It was meant to be shared. I know you are a spiritual person and just today read this verse from Phillippians. “Be confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will cary it on to completion…

  57. Hello there. I do not think you have ever written an entry that does not reflect the peace and beauty of the island. The blog this year may not compare in your mind to previous years but I see it as constantly growing, even flowering. In past years you gave us the base with the workings of the island. Last year, you branched off and gave us a sampling of Mackinac Island side streets and stories that went beyond the daily workings. This year, I think you have presented the “peace” of the island and the blossoms of goodness. I think many of us follow the blog because we really enjoy following “you”. Most times it doesn’t matter what you write about, we just want to check in and see how you are doing. This is a testament to the depth of your writing. You transcend beyond the blog. Thank you.

  58. I found out about the blog at the time we visited Mackinaw Island…it’s WONDERFUL!! Please consider continuing (at least at some frequency) in the future.

  59. I did not have time to read your blog this morning like I usually do and thus, am reading it now. While I am reading your blog, my husband is looking up “Anne’s Tablet” on his I-Pad !!! We now have our mission for the next time we come to the island. I just have to say, “ditto, ditto, and ditto” to all of the above comments. I love hearing your stories – both your personal ones and those of the island. I also understand that we all need a break sometimes and you need to give yourself permission to do that! Please take to heart all of the suggestions for your sleep apnea machine – you need to use it, girl!!!! I also love your stories about family — I identify with some of them more than you know. Thank you for sharing a part of yourself with all of us!

    PS Our grandson, Spencer James, arrived Saturday, Oct. 15th – and guess what? It was my 60th birthday – what greater gift is there??? It was worth giving up our trip to Mackinac this year – but we will be back. (unless of course, there is another grandbaby!)))

  60. Brenda, I don’t comment often…but I simple ADORE your blog. No matter what you write about. I’ve told you before that my husband and I come three or four times each year to the island and still dream of having our own place there someday. I “NEED” you to keep writing! 🙂 No matter what you write about! It is through YOU that I get to continue enjoying the island…even when I’m not there. I don’t care what you write about…I don’t care how many pictures you take of the same thing. Just keep doing it (as long as it makes you happy)…because it certianly makes me happy. 🙂 I so enjoyed meeting you this past summer. You are a sweet lady. I wish you the best as you travel back “home” this winter. God bless.
    Melody (and my three guys)

  61. Hi Bree, I agree, if it’s not fun for you anymore then you shouldn’t write. But, that being said, I truly would miss your blog and being in your life everyday. You’re a gifted writer, you have a way to make everyone relate and feel part of the Island… and the ri’vah.

    I look forward to hopefully read your stories of the ri’vah this winter and the Island next spring. Take Care and God Bless ~Laura

  62. Brenda,
    Thank you so much for opening your life to us. Your blog is special because of the people you share with us while you are sharing your love for the island. Through your blog I feel like a regular visitor to the island.
    Barb (the fan from Oct 12, 2010)

  63. Brenda,

    I know you don’t need any more comments as you have been affirmed with all of the wonderful thoughts and words above. I, too, found your blog this summer and I really enjoy reading your posts. My husband and I spent Monday and Tuesday evenings at the Grand last week (Oct. 10 & 11) and I was so pleased to know BEFORE we left home in SW Michigan (Kalamazoo) that there was plenty of color on the island before we got there. Your blogs helped us with that information.

    When we arrived Monday morning, we “shopped” around a bit before walking up to the Grand to check in. I almost felt like I “knew” Jill in the bookstore because of your posts. We stopped in to look at books and I told Jill that I was a follower of Bree’s Blog and asked her if she was Jill. Indeed she was, and she encouraged me to hop over to the Stuart House to meet you since you were on duty that day.

    We did go to Stuart House where I got to meet you and some kind ladies took pictures of you and I with your camera and mine. Such a simple little thing, but I really enjoyed meeting you. I’m sorry that I didn’t thank you in person for your wonderful writings and pictures. I enjoy the Island so much and I feel like I get to “live there” daily with your blogs.

    Sorry to kind of hop all over, but what I really want to say is to listen to your heart…but I’ll be listening to anything you have to say or post here in blog-land! I actually enjoy your posts that you deem as your journal. I honestly feel like I am with you as you explain where this particular photo was taken or who you ran into on your walks or bike rides.

    Thank you for taking the time to keep us dreaming … of a small, cozy island known as Mackinac.


  64. Brenda,

    I am not sure there is anything more I can add about the actual blog itself – everyone else has already beat me to it. What I can say it that It is sooooo wonderful and brings a little daily joy into my life – especially on the hard days. Which lately there seems to be so many of.

    I am one of those people who want to move to the island someday – at least for the summer season like you do. And, having your blog to open up my eyes to what it would really be like is such a blessing. One I never even realized could exist until I found you and Ted and Maddie and Bear. Living vicariously through you and all of your “adventures” is something that I look forward to – it is almost like receiving a little present every morning (or sometimes at night if I happen to catch it just after you posted it).

    Although you could not change a single thing and I would still immensely enjoy every picture, story, or comment – I do agree with the people who say they just love to hear how people on the island live and the “behind the scenes” information you are able to provide. Although – all of the beautiful pictures are also a favorite of mine. I am not sure I could ever see too many pictures of the beauty of Mackinac Island.

    Keep up the good work!!!! You are such a blessing to all of us and I don’t even know what I would do if I suddenly lost my connection to Island that you so graciously provide.

    Some day, I hope we are able to meet in person during one of my trips to the Island. But, until then, I still consider you a good friend.

    Thank you so much for all of your time, effort, and openness, it is so greatly appreciated.

    Your friend,

  65. I don’t even remember how I first found your blog, but I’m so glad I did! I have read every post. Never once have I been bored. I love the window into island life that you provide with your stunning photographs and captivating words.

    Please take care of yourself! I wish you the very best during the rest of your island season. Have a safe trip back to Georgia. Whatever you write in either of your blogs, I will be reading.

  66. It’s a day later, and I hope that these comments have helped to fill your heart up full. As much as we all love you and your writing, we want you to be healthy and happy. You express your love so beautifully, how can we not be concerned about not only you, but Ted and your family including Maddie and Bear!

    Peace to you, dear lady. With your writing, with your sleep apnea device, and with your decisions. Never doubt that you make a difference in a great many lives. God bless. (((hugs)))

  67. As I’ve subscribed to the comments, one thought has occured to me. Several other blogs I read have had guest posters recently. I know that permissions would have to be given if it was officially as a “Shepler’s crew member”, but as a seasonal worker, full time resident, business owner it might be easier. This might make it easier on you without having to generate as much content.

  68. I love your blog Brenda! Please don’t ever stop! I anticipate your blog every spring and then spend every morning finding myself making a cup of coffee and sitting down to read it. Your blog is my connection to the island when I cannot be there. I did not make it this year, which had me in tears literally, as I decided to take on a few more classes this summer for my culinary degree. Your blog got me through it 🙂 I enjoy everything you write about, especially your blogs about the people and events on the island, you are so detailed that it makes me feel as if I am right there with you. Last week when you mentioned that you and Ted had determined the final date of your island stay for the year, I was very sad for the end to be so close. I just want to say that I hope you have travels home to Georgia and you return to the island in Spring and continue your daily blogs for all of us that appreciate you so much. God Bless

  69. Hi Bree! Your blog is a my connection to Mackinac Island and Pure Michigan!! I love checking in here with you and all the activities of “The Island”…My Island! My husband and I have been married 33 years and honeymooned on “The Island”! Five years ago our son and his wife were married on “The Island” during the Lilac Festival, and every year since we celebrate as a family with them and enjoy the beauty of the lilac festival! As a Michigan native for over 45 years and having made several trips to the Most Beautiful place in the world, we love to visit even more now since moving to Virginia Beach the last 7 years to go into the ministry. This year while walking the paths of the interior island we actually saw you and your husband walking up to your condo….I can’t tell you how much I wanted to come and say HI…your my cute little Mackinac Island Celebrity!! Thank you for all the stories and pictures of Mackinac Island and the day to day events…I just love them! I pray you know how much your blog is loved out here, God Bless You and Your Good Work!!

  70. I really think the charm of your blog is in the “sameness” of the island. Seeing the pictures over and over is what I enjoy. It is like a personal visit every time I do. It’s the day to day stories that I find fascinating because most of us will never have the opportunity to live there. Keep on writing Brenda. We’ll keep reading.

  71. I love this blog! I was fortunate to finally visit Mackinac Island after wanting to get there for 31 years starting when I was 11. I found your blog just a few months before our trip and was further mesmerized. Now that my trip has come and gone (July), your blog is my way to stay in touch with what is going on when I’m not there. It’s nice to see so many of the familiar things we saw along with learning new things as well. Not only that, I am a huge dog lover (and golden retrievers) and really love your inserts about the dogs. I will be back one day (live in S. Louisiana and not a short trip), and I appreciate so much the time and effort you put in maintaining this blog.

  72. Brenda, I had to comment on this post! I look forward every day to reading your blog. For someone who would like nothing more than to spend all summer on Mackinac Island, I can always do it through YOUR eyes and your WORDS. I love the stories you tell and the pictures you post. I have learned a lot from your in depth stories and features on Island life and what happens behind the scenes. There’s soooo much more you can talk about so don’t ever think you have reached the end! Keep doing what you do! I am also so pleased I can say I had the chance to meet you this year and I am looking forward to doing the same next year!

    Your friend,

  73. I am happy sooooooooooooo many people replied to let you know how much WE ALL enjoy your blog. I’m still following it and look forward to what you are posting. I love your stories, wit and love you put in them. I’m sure your sleeplessness has a lot to do with your thoughts. I have sleep issues myself. Keep it up, as long as YOU enjoy it. We are all looking forward to your next post! As you know, I love the photos too. Pictures say many things.

  74. I could write a book w/ comments on your post, but I will keep it short and just say I love the pictures, the stories (regardless if they are about the island or about you and Ted, the dogs etc.)…..love it all, but I do agree that you should only do it if you continue to have the passion…..us readers will understand and know there will come a day (maybe) when you may not feel up to writing and posting those great photos (I hope that day never comes), but I think we are all easy going and understand.

  75. I have enjoyed your blog for the past two years. The funny part is we are Flintside Dr neighbors, though we have never met. I ran into Ted once at FatBoys, and told him to tell you how much I enjoy reading your blog. My spouse and I came up to Mackinac for 4 days in early October. It was splendid! And I do not think we would have ever planned that trip without your blog. I can see why you love that piece of rock so much. So, I selfisly hope you continue to write. Go light on yourself with photos sometimes. We all need a break now and again. Oh, and thanks! Lea

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