Let’s finish that walk . . . .
The Lilac Tree is getting some touch-up painting done. They are opening for New Year's this year.
The Big Store still had open doors, but Saturday, according to a store employee, was to be their last day open.
Hmmmm . . . . there are usually hundreds of bikes parked here for visitors to rent. Today, only three (and I think they belong to employees who are cleaning up).
Doud's Market is open all winter. Andrew Doud does a fantastic job making sure islanders have whatever they need all winter - including fresh produce!
In the summer this brick pathway between Market and Main Streets is packed with people waiting to board Carriage Tour wagons.
I stopped in to say goodbye to Marge at Cottage Inn. She and husband Rich (the innkeepers) will be open off and on through New Year's. She also told me they were spiffing up the rooms over the winter - new paint and carpet.
An empty Marquette Park.
One lonely taxi heads down to the Mission District. There are only four taxis running now. Soon, there will only be one.
Our little island drugstore, Alford's, will be open all winter. It's right next door to Doud's, so that's a busy corner during the snow season.
Horn's Bar - closed until spring.
The Village Inn, which was recently bought by the Grand Hotel, will be closed during November for renovations. After that, they will be open the rest of the winter.
It was really chilly behind the library, but the view was awesome, and the chairs were still set up for brave souls who wanted to sit and just be still for a while.
Round Island Light from the boardwalk.
Wish I was going to be here to see all this covered in snow.
Are you ready for this one? Cadotte Avenue - without the big trees. All together now . . . breathe deeply. I took this standing in the street in front of the Gate House (on the left), so the difference in the view of the Grand is amazing. Little Stone Church sits back from the road just past the white house on the right. Now don't panic. This next week 31 trees will replace the 24 that were removed, and they will even be a little bigger than the ones planted last year. Yes, it takes a little getting used to, but it was something that had to happen for safety's sake . . . .
. . . and you can see that the trees planted last year have done well, grown several inches, and have been a wonderful shade of red this fall.
The snow fence is up around the Jewel Golf Course - and the geese are back by the hundreds. The little goose-chasing Australian shepherd has gone home for the winter.
Ron - coming down from a run to Surrey Hill. Monday is his last day on the island.
I decided to end our walk with this photo because it kind of sums up what I've been saying about coming full circle. The tools were lined up on this log bench as I walked by - used by the Grand gardeners to clear away the debris left from the trees that were removed. These same tools will be used next spring - to prepare the soil, to plant flowers, to begin the cycle of the seasons again on Mackinac Island.
Some of you will read this Saturday night, others sometime on Sunday. If you’re reading it on Sunday, you know we’re already off the island, if all has gone as planned. The taxi will have picked us up at 7 a.m., allowing plenty of time to load what was left from the condo, get down the hill, then unload it all onto a cart to be shrink-wrapped and put on the 8:00 ferry. In Mackinaw City, we might have been the only ones leaving, so they’ll be no scurrying crowds or waits at the luggage tent. We’ll have pulled out of the parking lot without a hint of the summer traffic to deter us from a fast departure.
I know once I’m snapped into my seat belt and out of sight of the island, I will be ok. My thoughts will turn toward home in Georgia and all that awaits us there. From Georgia, our grandchildren are only four hours away in Florida, instead of thirteen hours away in Arkansas as they’ve been for the last eight years, and we will go down often to watch ballgames and dance recitals. The whole crew (we hope) will pile into our lake house for Thanksgiving – what a joyous weekend that will be! Girls Night Out is the Wednesday after we arrive home on Monday. I’ll be there! Cannot wait to see all the ladies of the lake!
We have some “renovation” plans for our lake house over the winter – new flooring, replacing rotting window sills all around the house, maybe some more painting. After a two-week lull, Bear and I will fit ourselves back into the Paws Patrol in Albany and start our therapy dog visits again. This year we’ll be visiting schools in a reading program, as well as hospitals, nursing and assisted living homes.
I’m hoping to visit Blake in Colorado sometime after the first of the year. And, of course, you’ll all be invited to go along!
It will be a busy winter.
I’ll try to check in from the road on Sunday night (if we have wireless in our room) – if not, I’ll let you know on Monday that we’ve hopefully arrived safely. After that, the Mackinac Island blog will get updated each Monday (beginning about two weeks after we get home, if all goes as planned), but other than that, it will all be about Georgia and the lake at http://bree1976.wordpress.com – Bree’s Lake Blackshear Blog. I sure hope you’re coming to Georgia with us for the winter.
Thank you for all the offered safe travel prayers – they are much appreciated.
I’m typing this around 9 p.m. Saturday night, after a full day of cleaning. My back hurts, and I’m tired, so please forgive me if my writing tonight has been all over the place. I’m also sad, but I was sad when I left Georgia also. I know when we turn into our driveway at the lake, and I see our sweet little house on the water, I will be grinning as big as I was when I saw the condo this spring.
Full circle. We are so blessed.
Chris Ann snapped this pic while we were waiting on racers to finish a couple of weeks ago. Boy, if that doesn't capture me - cell phone in one hand, camera tucked under my arm, and grinning so big my eyes are all scrunched up! See you in the spring, Mackinac - if not before!