Only One More Friday . . . . . 10/21/2011

C   R   A   Z   Y  !  !  !

Strong winds and rain greeted me when the alarm clock buzzed this morning at 5:45, and gale warnings were up until late Thursday afternoon.  I dressed with more layers than I’ve worn on the Island since I returned one February for Winter Festival.  TWO sets of Cuddl Duds (top and bottom), a turtle neck sweater, another pullover and over all that – rain gear (jacket with hood and rain pants).  The only things not protected from the rain were my feet and hands, which was a big mistake.  I wore heavy socks and leather boots, and by the time I’d been working an hour, my socks were squishy wet, and my toes were frozen.  Reminder to self:  Add plain black rubber boots to my Christmas list (I just couldn’t bring myself to don my black and white polka dot rain boots to go work – not a very professional look.  Silly me.  After an hour of being splashed by the river running through the entrance gate and then stepping down into that river to talk to hundreds of ladies going to the island, I would have given anything for dry, warm toes. But everyone survived, and Shepler’s did a fantastic job.  Those were some tired employees at the end of the day, and they didn’t get off at 1 p.m. like I did to go home and nap for three hours.

Jill lives downtown and is an EARLY riser, so she's met me at Martha's Sweet Shop the last two mornings. This is how dark it still was at 7:20 today as I was getting off the taxi.

Inside with owner Loretta Spata, it was bright and warm and filled with the yummy aromas of fresh-baked pastries and hot coffee. This made three mornings of delicious pumpkin and walnut muffins that I couldn't get enough of. By the way, that's just ONE cinnamon roll on Jill's plate - they are huge!

The ride over this morning to Mackinaw City. Visibility was zero through the spray on the windows. The wind was out of the NNE which, according to Captain Billy, was a very good thing. Those who were on duty this past weekend said it was twice as bad Saturday because the wind was from a different direction.

The final group of 1,000 Winsome Women crossed to the Island this morning. As soon as they could be parked, ladies moved into that big blue and white building which houses the ticket office. This building is also dry and heated and has a coffee bar. Talk about a booming business!

Crossing back to the island at 12:30, the wind had shifted to straight out of the north - a bumpier ride.

Much bumpier!

By 2:00 I was home, sitting with my feet up in my recliner (toes all dry and cozy in wool socks) and covered in a blanket.  Three minutes later I was sound asleep and didn’t wake up until almost five.  No matter how wet and wild these three days have been, it’s always fun to volunteer at Shepler’s.


Having worked three days, and with the weather like it’s been, there have been few chances to get out for pics.  So tonight, I’m going to post some photos from Ted and from friends who have given me permission to use their work.  On Monday, while I was working and before the weather got so bad, Ted took Maddie and Bear on a two-hour walk.  I’m so sorry I missed going with them, but Ted got some really nice shots!  Enjoy!


Looking up the hill in front of the fort to the area where Anne's Tablet is located.

Downtown on a lazy October day.

All the annuals have been pulled up from the Grand Hotel flower beds, and these gardeners were busy planting the tulip bulbs for next Spring. I always try to guess the pattern and the colors - but it's always a secret.

Hmmmm . . . now there's a mountain of dirt behind the Carriage Museum. Wonder what that's for???

Fall colors at Turtle Park.

The road beside the cemetery leading up to Lookout Point. As you can see, the winds of the last week have really taken a toll on our leaves.

Bear - checking out a pile of leaves for anything worth wolfing down.

Sugar Loaf from Lookout Point.

Lookout Point. Looks lonely up there now.

Approaching the embankment that surrounds the site of Ft. Holmes.

Inside the earthen walls of Ft. Holmes.

The bridge from the top of the Island.

Taken from the top of the Ft. Holmes embankment.

Looking straight down Rifle Range Trail from Fort Holmes, with Fort Mackinac in the distance.

Walking back home on one of numerous gravel trails . . . .

. . . and this one came out on Garrison Road, where they turned and walked toward the Post Cemetery. The flag there could be seen from the bottom of the hill - permanently flown at half-staff.

After a week of wind and rain, we always look for God’s promised rainbow.

Paul Retherford is a wonderful photographer and is on the island often for weddings. On this particular trip, he captured a rainbow over the harbor.

Friend Chris Ann Nelson's photograph from her beach in Mackinaw City - a rainbow over the bridge.

Patrick Conlon, the dock master at Shepler's, took this amazing shot of the first boat out on Monday morning, before the bad weather moved in that afternoon.

Next week will begin the countdown – less than a week to go.  The days are piling up on top of each other now, and the reality has set in.  I’m going to try and get a lot of packing done this weekend so I can at least get a few posts written next week before we go.

See you Monday, have a great weekend, and God bless.

35 thoughts on “Only One More Friday . . . . . 10/21/2011

  1. Beautiful pictures by all. Thank you everyone for them. Brenda, it’s hard to believe in a little over a week that you, Ted, Maddie and Bear will be packed up and heading home. It seems that I just found your blog and started reading it. Where has the time gone????

    Well I just want to say a big “THANK YOU” for sharing everything that you and the family have done this year and I can’t wait to read what happens in Lake Blackshear and when you get back to Mackinac. Let me be the first to say that I am going to miss reading the posts from Mackinac, but look forward to any post that do write for Lake Blackshear and please be safe on your drive home.

    Oh, also Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas. (Way early) Don’t worry I’m still going to be reading the blog the last week, but I wanted to get this in so I wouldn’t forget.

    Oh, also, do you have a countdown to how many days until your return to Mackinac yet????? LOL 🙂

  2. I live for rough ferry rides, so much fun, yet I haven’t ridden in the Fall! I would love to experience it. Something about Shepler’s boats and their deep V shaped hull always seem to be the “roughest” of the three also (which I enjoy). Great post!

  3. Well, I thought I’d just check your log before falling into bed, but after those first pictures of your busy day, I REALLY need to fall into bed!! It exhausts me just to look at them!

    Ted, your pictures are wonderful. THIS is my favorite time of year on the Island – or later in winter when everything’s white. But I love that windswept feeling in the woods, the wet leaf smell, and the cloudy skies. I guess because it sort of highlights the warm lights that shine out of the houses and the busy times we had indoors!

    Counting down with you and praying for a safe journey to your ‘other’ home!

  4. The island will miss you Brenda – you’re far more than just a summer resident – you not only share the island with all of us, but you contribute with all your volunteer duties – you probably have no idea how many lives you touch on a daily basis as a volunteer and I know you’re appreciated greatly by many. Are you this busy in the winter months too? Have a wonderful weekend!

  5. Isn’t it amazing how close the bridge looks from the top of the island, yet when I take photos of it from the Grand it looks so far away? Must be that perspective thing.

    Hope your packing goes efficiently this week, Brenda! Mail early!

  6. Sounds like you had quite a day! Hopefully your feet are warm and dry now-cold feet and squishy socks are not fun but it sounds like the meeting and greeting was!

    Thanks for the shot of the road to Lookout Point-reminds me of when we took that same route in September and brings a big smile to my face.

    Good luck with your preparations for the transfer from Michigan to Georgia-drive safe and I’m crossing my fingers that they don’t run out of perch at Captain Joe’s!

  7. I never get tired of seeing pictures of Sugar Loaf from Lookout Point. It is just so unique sitting there so tall between all those beautiful trees. Especially in the fall with the change of colors. Great pic Ted!! One of my favorites.
    Can’t believe that it’s almost time to leave the island again. Seems as we get older, time just goes by so much faster. Even though, I can’t wait to hear all about the happenings at the Lake. I just don’t look forward to winter, especially now, since I will be doing alot more driving during the snow. Too bad it can’t be by snowmobile, then it might not be so bad. 😉

    • When I was young, I would hear “old” people (about my age now) talk about how time seemed to go so fast and think they must be just a little “tetched in the head,” but you know, they were abosolutely right. How can that be? I guess it’s just one more proof of why we should pay attention to our elders.

      As far as driving in the snow is concerned, I’d much rather enjoy the warmth of the car as the cold of the snow mobile. Snow mobile riding was fun at one time for me, but no more. Does that make me a “stick in the mud?”

      • You can never be a stick in the mud way. I guess I should have said that it’s not so much the snow that bothers me, it’s more driving on icy roads that make me nervous. As I’ve grown older, I’m not the winter person I was when I was younger.

  8. I should send you a picture I took last weekend in Mack.City of the rainbow by the bridge….it was a beautiful sight just like the pictures you shared. Thanks and I’m sure your last week on the Island will fly by. Are you attending any Halloween parties this weekend?

  9. Hi Brenda,
    Thought I would give you an update on my husband’s Cpap use. He just got a full face mask (Quatro 4), He had problems with getting a good seal & sore nose. We bought some Coral Fleece (found at Walmart-they make baby blankets out of it) per suggestions of one of the Cpap forums ( , cut out the shape of the mask and wha-la, it worked. No more sore nose or leakage.
    I can’t remember your specific issue with the Cpap but I thought I would share.
    Great photos!

    Pat Steele
    Vernon, MI

  10. Brenda,

    Another great blog. You are right about the cold and wet feet. No matter how warm and comfortable the rest of my body may be, if my feet are cold and wet, my whole body is miserable.

    Ted’s pictures and your comments today were greatly appreciated by me. They put me right on the Island. Tell Ted I thank him for the pictures. I would tell you which one was my favorite, but that would be impossible.

    I hate to think of you leaving the Island, but I know you will be glad to get back to Lake Blackshear, good friends, Georgia speech and warmer weather. And of course, I know Maddie will be glad that she won’t have to have the leash every time she goes out the door.

    • Maddie will be ecstatic, Lowell. But that just means we will be constantly worried she’ll be going after snakes in the yard – and our Georgia snakes are the BAD kind.

  11. The pictures of Bear have such a soft spot in my heart because we have a dog who is named Bear also. Our bear looks somewhat like your bear. Our bear is a german shephard/collie mix. My husband and I are thinking about driving to Mackinac next summer for a week and taking bear. If we do, I would love to have the two dogs meet for a picture.

  12. Brenda,

    I forgot to ask the question I had. Is the red roofed building in Ted’s picture of “Downtown on a lazy October day” still the Coast Guard Station, as it was many decades ago?

    • Lowell, the red-roofed building is now the Mackinac Historic State Park Visitor’s Center, where Ted works twice a week. We sometimes watch the parades from those second story windows. The upper floor is still as it was when it was the Coast Guard station.

  13. Even though I knew, I can’t believe you will be leaving so soon! Gorgeous photos everyone. They are all my favorites, I cannot choose a “favorite”. That would not be fair to the photos. You, Ted, and friends have all done an excellent job of keeping us informed with photos. Maddie and Bear have served as good models.

  14. Thanks for all the photos. I miss being outside watching the colors change. Haven’t been out due to weather & work.

  15. I just found your blog tonight and have spent 2 hours going through the archives! My wife grew up next door on Bois Blanc Island, so I have always felt this connection with this great and beautiful area. She lived on the island for 7 years and her parents owned and operated the hotel on the island. She has told some very interesting stories, especially from the winter months! Thank you for taking the time to share your stories and have a very safe trip back south.

  16. Beautiful pictures Bree! I think the Island looks so lovely this time of year! You do such a great job capturing everything for us. Ted’s pictures were great also. So hard to believe that you will be leaving for Georgia shortly! Time sure flys!!

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