Just Friends Waiting to Happen

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!


47 thoughts on “Just Friends Waiting to Happen

  1. Ok, so now you made me cry! I will be right there with you every step of the way. I want to be a part of the memory making process and yes I REALLY LIKE YOU!! 🙂

    P.S.Bud said to say WE LOVE YOU!

  2. Oh, Brenda, now YOU tugged at MY heartstrings. What a wonderful post from you tonight. I am so glad that you, like Sally, have reached a place where you are now willing to accept YOUR Oscar! Thank you for deciding to forge on toward the new horizons of sharing the Summer 2012 from Mackinac.

    Praying that your visit with your physician will help with your apnea issues and you have more restful nights in store. I will be looking forward to posts from the Island’s “Georgia Peach” while you are back home in a little warmer climates for the winter.

    God Bless, Ted, Maddie & Bear this week as you finish packing up and safe travels heading south.


  3. So glad that we got the message to you that of course we ‘really’ like you!! 🙂 I am also glad that you are going to be blogging from Georgia because that way I can keep track of you and the family!!
    I have to tell you one more time how great it was to see you the couple times we were on the Island to visit with Alyssa..so good to see your smiling face!! (And Jill too!!)
    One more thing…I LOVE the quote!! Perfect!! Thanks Brenda for being such a blessing to us!!

  4. Personally – I enjoy the “day to day with the Horton’s” portion of the blog. Besides without your day to day activities, how would we get all the wonderful pictures. Yes, we like Mackinac Island – but I love the blog because of how beautifully you bring it all to life for those of us who aren’t able to be there “day to day”. Thanks again for bringing a little piece of sunshine into my day (and the rainy days too).

    Thanks again,

  5. Dear Brenda,
    Sorry I didn’t get to express myself a couple of days ago. I was wrapped up in “stuff”. Thank you for all your work on this blog. I enjoy every word and picture. God bless and keep you safe as you and Ted travel home from “The Rock” to Lake Blackshear. I hope you will have a terrific winter and get back with the Dudley and feel so much better as a result. Maybe I’ll get to meet you next summer. Blessings and hugs!!!

  6. Hi Brenda! I have been thinking of you! So glad we can follow you in Georgia again with winter blurbs of Mackinac! Maybe Rick Linn and Dennis Bradley can send you pictures and updates and Nicole Dowd too??? I pray for your health and an easier solution to your sleep situation!!! I pray blessings on Ted and your family and the puppies! One more week there!! I am impressed that you can enjoy all seasons with all they bring !! Hugs!!!!!!!

  7. So glad you are going to continue. As you said, this is family and we only want the best for each of us. We are headed to Lake Superior on 10/29 thru 11/4. Right on the beach. Will try to take some pictures and send them to you. (They won’t compare to yours). Check out http://www.exploringthenorth.com/lakeshorelog/lodge.html. Beautiful place and if it snows it would be wonderful. Have a safe trip south.

  8. So glad that “this” will continue…and I’m glad you realized how much we love whatever you write! I’ll be ready next summer to show you some of the “middle” of the U.P…dogs and all. 🙂
    Safe travels back to Georgia and good luck with drs. appointments.

  9. Got me all teary eyed reading and reminiscing the whole journey. I remember when I first found your blog. Al, Muriel, and I had returned to the island in 07 after 14 years. I can remember our very first visits back in 87 & 93 and how much I loved it even back then. I wanted to pack our bags and move to the island with our two little girls and make that home, but Al’s job kept us in Indiana and I probably would have never really moved that far from family back then. When we returned in 07, we wondered why we hadn’t gone back sooner, but ever since then we have been back to the island each year now. I felt such a strong love for the island, that I started doing searches on the internet looking for anything I could find on the island and looking to connect with other people that shared this same love. I found Mike’s Mackinac Island blog and then later came across your blog when you were first starting it. I think I just skimmed the first post as I was doing my searches and at first thought, this wasn’t about Mackinac Island or just not what I was looking for. LOL If I remember correctly, after going back a couple more times doing more searches, I kept seeing your blog in the searches and I think something got me reading more of your post on one particular day and I came to realize that you were heading to the island for the summer. I saved it in my bookmarks and have been reading ever since. So here we are today, I feel like you’re an old friend that I have known for years. I have come to know others through your blog and it’s so wonderful to have this small circle of friends that all share this same love for Mackinac. Love you all my Mackinac friends. :o)

  10. Brenda,

    “…friends just waiting to happen…” Not any longer. They’ve already happened.

    “…lets make more memories together!” Well, I’ll tell you what. You can take that to the bank.

    As for me, you are such a good friend and it seems impossible that we’ve never talked face to face. Hopefully, we can do that some day. If Faye & I ever get to the Island again or to Lake Blackshear, you better believe I’m going to find you, Ted, Bear and Maddie.

    This week as you’re packing, getting ready to close the condo and as you leave the Island, please take the advice that is offered on the following site. Charlie Chaplin wrote the song, but it’s certainly no joke. I know it will help.

    I know it’s asking a lot, but please do the Mackinac Island updates this winter, if at all possible . I hope it works out that you can get information and pictures from local people and others who may visit the Island.

    When you return to Georgia, I hope your doctor will follow through on some of the suggestions that some of your friends have given and that they will be of help to you.

    I’ll surely be following you on the Lake Blackshear blog and looking forward to Spring, 2012 when you return to Magical Mackinac Island, Michigan.

    Oh, and if you don’t mind, I’ll be looking forward to planting my little garden too.

    • Lowell, I cannot tell you how many times Jill and I have talked about tracking you down and showing up on your back doorstep one day. Don’t be surprised if that happens next summer (remember, I have your address now) . . . . although we’d much rather you and Faye come to the island and let us give ya’ll a magical tour.

      And how did you know Josh Groban is one of my favorite singers in the world. “Smiling” through my tears right now. Love you and Faye! Brenda

      • Just let me know what you would like for lunch. Of course, I may just fix what I like and hope you like it too because I might not have on hand what you want .

        As far as knowing Josh Groban is one of your favorite singers: I’m clairvoyant. Didn’t you know? Well, not really, but I like his singing and I hoped you would too. And it was good advice.

      • Oh no. We would BRING lunch with us for everyone! Mackinac Island food. Geez, I’m getting excited just thinking about it! But we would definitely let you know ahead of time – now that the “surprise” is out of the bag.

  11. Such a touching blog Bree! You are an amazing writer who makes you feel like you are “right here”! Thats a remarkable talent! I love, love, love your blog! I will pray for you and hope the doctor can help with your sleep. I am so happy that I have gotten to “know” you and that I have actually got to see and talk to Jill twice! I feel like I know a celebrity!!

  12. Safe travels to you, Ted and the pups. Andy and I will send pictures from the Christmas Festival to help out! All our best, Sue, Andy and the dogs

  13. Bree, this friend is so glad to have found your blog. Like others I had tears as I read this blog. You have given us so much by doing the blog. To know I can see pictures of the island any time I want and that they weren’t taken last summer but in the last few days. What joy you have given me to have this to stay close to a place I love so much.
    Take care of yourself or better still let Ted take care of you and help you with Dudley. My thoughts and prayers will be for you as you pack up for the trip south and for safety on the trip south.

    • Thanks so much, Charlotte. Dudley and I are going to try real hard to get along after we get back home. (for readers who have no idea who “Dudley” is, that’s the name I gave my sleep apnea mask when I first brought it home).

  14. Oh, sweet lady. Of course we love you!

    I’m holding good thoughts for quick packing, and calm winds with warm-ish temperatures when you have to leave the island. No need to repeat the 10 foot wave stuff!!

    I love, love, love it when you show pictures from the island in the winter. So many people love it for three season – just a few of us more for the fall-winter-spring three. And it can be beautiful – soft, gray dawns streaked with pink. Northern lights. Air so cold it doesn’t smell of anything but clean air. Anyway, a few pictures from the island in the winter are pure joy for some of us, and it will be grand if that happens. Have a wonderful week!

  15. You give us wonderful pictures and tales of adventures, I really appreciate it. Here’s wishing a safe journey back to Georgia for you and the family.

  16. Well Brenda I don’t comment much, but you know I follow closely. Have a safe trip back my friend and before you know it the four of you will be back.

  17. Nicely said! I too found your blog thru Mike’s blog and I spent all last winter catching up on past posts. Like I’ve said before, it gives me something to look forward to when I come to work and check for new posts and catch up on the news and hope there is a new breathtaking photo that I can put on my desktop to view throughout my day. It keeps me going! So, thanks for that and save travels back south and here’s to a “good” winter.

  18. what can I say, it’s already been said! I would really miss your blog. Most days I have my breakfast in front of this computer reading your post. I have enjoyed it so very much ever since Judy told me about it years ago. I hope Bear will be more willing to get in the vehicle again when you have to drive him to the therapy visits. He is so dear. Love the photos you send of everything you do and see that interests you. Looking forward to your GA Blog now. Love the fact that you can get photos and news from residents of the island during your stay in GA. That is cool. Perhaps next year I’ll be able to visit again. Love to you and your family and pets, may God Bless you all and provide you with a safe trip home.

    • Thanks so much, Judy! I hope “our” Arizona Judy will be back for the season next year, and you join her here for vacation! Glad to hear you’re coming to Georgia with us!

  19. I would like to give thanks to Ted for putting up with all of us bloggers. We all love the blog that Brenda does and we know that it takes a lot of her time. Brenda is amazing and we are so happy she will continue to be part of our lives. God Belss!

  20. Late to the party today-bad day at work. But…you’ve made me sad and glad all at the same time and gave me just the attitude adjustment needed. As usual, you’ve put into words just what I needed to read. Congratulations to Ted for the 5.7 race! I’d love to do that one myself. Not ready for the Half Marathon yet…
    Have a lovely week and good luck with the packing.

  21. You’ve never written a word I didn’t love and I’m so glad you believe how important you and your blog are to all of us–even those of us who are related. I also love that we stay connected to our magical island during the winter through your use of “correspondents”. Charlie gave me a book of Rod McKeun poetry the first year we were married and Josh Groban is also a favorite. Love and stay safe in your travels. Tell Ted I’ve gone back to the 1300’s in England. He was a slacker. XXOO

  22. Brenda,

    I don’t know why, but my computer doesn’t give me the choice to answer anymore of the replies, so I’ll just do it this way. I was already thinking what we could have for lunch. I thought some kind of soup, 3 or 4 salads, either zucchini or pear bread and some kind of dessert. But Mackinac Island food sounds good too. We’ll see next summer. Wow, that would be so nice.

    I’ll have to fasten Nellie in the bedroom because she does NOT like other dogs, and I would like to meet Bear and Maddie. She also sounds like she would eat people for breakfast, but as soon as she meets them she completely changes and becomes overly friendly.

    • LOL Lowell. I’ll have to think about that bringing Maddie and Bear thing. One hour with Bear means 1,000,000 blonde hairs on your furniture – not a pretty sight. I wish ya’ll would think about coming HERE!!!!!! We’d have so much fun!

      • You can’t be the dogsitter, Jill – you’re going with me to meet Lowell and Faye. BUT – let’s try our best to get them to come HERE!

  23. Another lovely Mackinac time coming to a close. I feel like I’m leaving and looking forward to that warm Georgia hospitality through your continued blog. I was already feeling nostalgic and thanks to Lowell, Josh G. put me over the top. Maybe we’ll have to start a “Somewhere with Bree” weekend on the Island like the Somewhere in Time crowd, only no dressing up. You’ve certainly attracted a lot of nice folks. Since you like quotes how about Frank Burns from “Mash”, “it’s nice to be nice to the nice”. 🙂

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