Strangers are just friends waiting to happen. Rod McKuen
Several nights this past week I’ve found myself staring at the screen of my laptop – trying to find the right words to express what your overwhelming outpouring of emails and comments meant to me. When I found the Rod McKuen quote, I smiled and said to myself, “That’s it.”
Three summers ago we were all strangers. My idea for this blog was to jot down a few words a week to connect to Georgia friends and family we’d be leaving for several months. The camera Ted bought me as a retirement gift was thrown into my purse (I didn’t even have a backpack then), and when I’d think about it, I’d dig down to the bottom (where it fell – being the heaviest thing in there), pull it out and snap off a photo or two – maybe a flower, maybe a horse, maybe a lighthouse.
Little did I know three years later I’d be asking for and receiving advice from hundreds of friends I’ve now come to know and love. Admittedly, I don’t know my readers as well as you know me and our whole little clan. Our lives are so open to you now I don’t even feel as though I have to finish my sentences with you. In fact, you could probably caption every one of the photographs I post just as well as I can. You know me and how I write that well.
There were two running themes through your replies to my request for your ideas and thoughts. One was your passion for this little piece of rock sitting on the southern side of the U.P. – and there have been almost as many stories told about why you love Mackinac Island as there have been emails and comments. The second theme was the sense of building friendships.
We all know that one of the most basic of foundations for a friendship is a mutual interest, and it seems readers come here and find not only stories and photographs – but a collection of people with the same passion they have for Mackinac Island. I find that pretty darn cool.
As I said a few days ago, I need this outlet. I need to write, and as we progress together through the years (gee, I hope there are years left), that passion might spread out beyond Mackinac Island, our home in Georgia, our family, Bear and his therapy work and Maddie and her precociousness. Wherever it goes, I hope you follow me along to see if you want to share any of those other passions.
Beyond the need to write though, something has happened I never expected, and that’s “strangers have become friends”. I love that those of you who comment all the time now know each other well and write back and forth to each other on the “comment page”. When someone hasn’t been heard from in a few days, we get worried and check on each other. And those of you who are the “quiet majority” of readers – I just bet you are keeping up also – even though you don’t say so. We’ve become a little cyberspace circle of friends. I think that’s pretty darn cool also.
So, I first have to say thank you – for your comments, for your emails, for your love of the Island, for your sense of family when you click on Bree’s Blog. I’m still going through every single word of what you wrote to me – taking notes, jotting down ideas. With all your help, I could keep writing for two or three years and hardly scratch the surface of what you want to hear about. Thank you too for caring – about the writing, about my family, about my four-legged babies, and about me. What an inspiration you have been!
Yes, there will be a Bree’s Mackinac Island Blog next summer – there was never a question about that. With your input, I hope to make it fresh and new once more – with some “day-by-day with the Hortons” thrown in also. I know now you’re ok with that.
To be honest, I had been thinking about not writing from Georgia this winter, but that never felt right. So Bree’s Lake Blackshear Blog (http://bree1976.wordpress.com) will be active soon, and we’ll play it by ear how often I publish from there. Last year it was twice a week, and that worked out well. We’ll see.
The only question that really remains is whether to try and continue the weekly updates from the Island over the winter. I’ve got to “put out my feelers” to year-round residents and see who’s willing to accommodate that by sending photographs and news during the snow season. I’ll let you know soon how that works out.
The sleep apnea problem. I heard loud and clear that you are concerned and want me to take care of myself. I know I have to do that. I do not like how I’m feeling these days; so first thing on the agenda – once we get home and unpacked – will be an appointment with my physician for a follow-up and perhaps new suggestions on how I can better adjust. I would so appreciate your prayers for me in my struggles with this.
All that said – it’s pack-up week. I got a lot done over the weekend – even with covering the Great Turtle Half-Marathon and 5.7 Road Race (Ted did the race). There was also “grown-up Halloween” costume night downtown on Saturday. Ted and I went as . . . . . Ted and I. But we sure had fun taking pics – talk about creative costumes! I’ll post all those pics tomorrow – maybe you’ll get some ideas for your own Halloween costumes!
Again, thank you for making me feel like Sally Field when she won the Oscar – “You like me, you really like me!” Corny, yes. Convinced me to carry on and do better, yes. Filled my heart up, yes. Made me cry, yes. Showered me with love . . . priceless.
All that love is returned to each of you in full. Full steam ahead . . . . let’s make more memories together!