Full Circle 10/30/2011

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!

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34 thoughts on “Full Circle 10/30/2011

  1. Thanks . I love the pix , no matter where you are at. You can go places my MS makes it pretty difficult to go so I love it that are willing and so kind to take me and everyone else witth you.

  2. Great last post for the season Brenda!! I love walking with you too and the last picture was awesome!! Thanks for sharing. Safe traveling to all of you..looking forward to that first post from Georgia!! Enjoy the trip and be safe!! God Bless…

  3. I love your blogs from both the island and the lake. Thanks for taking us on your walk the last few days. Now you’ll be taking us on trip to Ga. For me, I’vd never been to Ga, so I love learning about the state and especially your area. God bless you trip south as it begins tomorrow,

  4. I felt the sadness of your last walk with each word and each picture. I remember you felt that way when you left Georgia last May. It must be tough leaving “home” every half a year. Travel safe, and thank you again for sharing a little bit of the island!

  5. As much as I love the island , I love you more, my friend, safe travels home to Georgia for you, Ted, Bear and Maddie. Thank you for all you have done from the island and for us. I will be waiting for you at the lake.

  6. Dear Brenda,

    Take care and have a safe trip home with Ted and pooches! We too will miss the island happenings but I do get the Town Crier so that helps a little. We plan to go to the island in June the week of the Lilac Festival but I don’t want to be around all the crowds so I hope the lilacs will be out a bit early.

    God Speed!
    Pat Steele
    Vernon,MI

  7. Fall was always my favorite time of the year on Mackinac. It always seemed as if the whole Island breathed a sigh of relief and things slowed down to a snail’s pace. Thank you for being a consistent link to my favorite place… and safe travels as you head south for the winter!

  8. Have a good winter. Still hoping things will work out so we can join you on the island next year, but nothing panned out yet. Praying God watches over you as you travel.

  9. Prayers for a safe trip home and I be will be watching for the blogs to begin to let us know what is happening on the Island over the Winter. Thanks for sharing your Spring, Summer and Fall with us Brenda! It was a great joy to see what was happening and the photos all told a story. Let us know when you are home safe and sound!!!

  10. Again as I have said, have a safe journey back to Georgia. I will definitely be following the Lake Blackshear blog, can’t wait to see what happens while you are in Georgia and Colorado, plus anything that happens while you and Bear are doing the therapy.

    • Brenda,

      Hey, I sure enjoyed today’s walk around, and your writing was just fine. I want you to have a safe and pleasant trip to Lake Blackshear. However, as you drive past Ann Arbor, be sure to look west. I only live about 70 miles from there and I’ll be waving from the back porch.

      The last picture is just the way my imagination sees you.

      I’ll be seeing you on the Lake Blackshear blog as soon as you open the door.

  11. I am so glad I came across your blog. I have enjoyed the stories of your final 2011 days you have spent on the island. I am so looking forward to spring when you once again return. Is it time yet? Safe travels.

  12. It sort of made me sad to see the pictures. Everything looked so lonely. We were just there a couple weeks ago. I know…..a full circle.

  13. I am reading this at 6:30 a.m. – you are probably working your way down to the ferry now. Seems like it will be a pleasant traveling day – the east coast snowstorms thankfully stayed well over that way. Bon voyage.

  14. Thought of you all this morning when I woke up. Had to come and see what you posted last night, and it was so perfect. You’re probably unloading the taxi about now, wondering if the sun will come up soon! Here’s hoping for smooth, dry, not so busy roads on your way home. When you switch from 23 to 75 south of Toledo, know that my thoughts and prayers are the wind at your back. Safe travels, and pretty vistas, Brenda and Ted, Bear and Maddie!

    You have satisfied so many of us Mackinac devotees with your stories and your photos and your joy of life. Many, many thanks for all of that! Can’t wait to hear of the ri’vah ladies and all the fun you’ll have this winter! God’s speed!

  15. Thank you for another wonderful Mackinac season, Brenda. I hope you all have a safe trip to the lake. Lowell won’t be the only one waving as you pass Ann Arbor. Although if you’re going to be on 23 as Barb just said, then I’ll be waving from the other side.

  16. Safe travels Brenda, Ted and your sweet dogs! Hard to believe another season has come and gone. I will look forward to hearing about your adventures in Georgia! Perhaps I will see you at New Year’s up here…I’m pretty sure I will be here the week between Christmas and New Year’s! Until then….

  17. I woke up to a thick layer of frost and a thick layer of fog – almost thought it was snow at first. I know you will be going right past where I live, so I am hoping that the fog is not causing a problem for you.

    Seeing the Island winding down for the winter and knowing that you are going home to Georgia brought tears to my eyes as I realized that my “visits” to the Island are over for this year. But, I will also follow you down to Georgia so that I can dream of someday living somewhere in the winter that is not freezing cold and sometimes knee deep in snow.

    I don’t comment everyday – but I look forward to your blog and I read it everyday. Thank you again for taking the time to include us all in your “blessed life”. Hopefully next summer, we can meet during one of our trips to the Island. I should be able to get up there more next year (hopefully).

    Wishing you safe travels,
    Tina

  18. I found your blog by accident over a year ago and love it. I am sad that you are leaving the Island, but looking forward to reading about Georgia again. Have a safe trip home.

  19. Spectacular “goodbye” blog Life is change and I need to admit that sadness is part of it. It enriches me. The sadness that I feel now is for the mystical place…..but the important part of Bree’s blog is YOU and you will continue to charm and enrich us as only you can. Cheers to new beginnings on the lake. Drive safely and hug the poochies and the bro. xxoo

  20. What’s left to say but have a great time on your drive home. Sometimes it is so nice just to spend some quiet time with your spouse while driving. You never know what you are going to see along the highway either. On our last trip, we drove from Mackinac to Iowa and saw a zebra!!! Yes, it was actually a zebra in a trailer. The trailer was part of a circus caravan. Take care!

  21. Have a safe journey home.
    My husband and I were in Traverse City for a meeting yesterday. Driving back down I-75 from northern Michigan, we noted how light the traffic was. Hope that you are able to enjoy the drive back to Georgia safely and with (mostly) empty roads. I’ve been lurking here this summer and look forward to following you this winter.

  22. Loved these last two posts and taking a walk with you. It has been a special season on the island and I can’t wait for weekly updates! See you “in” Georgia and THANK YOU for doing what you do to keep us all connected to the island.

  23. I’m kind of a little sad reading your last post from the island. Another great Mackinac Island season lived through the words in your posts. It was a great little written vacation you took us on this year!

    I loved every word your wrote and anxiously awaited new pictures and stories. I’ve stopped in your blog many times over the last couple of years, but this year became more connected and came back when I knew there would be something new to read.

    Thanks for writing all that you do and taking the time to keep us connected to everything Mackinac Island. Looking forward to your winter adventures and your return to the island next spring – or is it too soon to already think about that! 🙂

  24. I enjoyed the “lonely” photos. They always look so peaceful.
    I’ve enjoyed your blog ever since I heard about it. Has brought me many hours of enjoyment. Just “catching up” today.

  25. The Cottage Inn will be open Dec. Jan. and Feb if you get Island fever. Safe Travels I’ll try to get you some winter pics as Rich and I will be here till the end of Feb.

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