Late Thursday afternoon, Maddie and Bear went into the frenzy of barking they save now only to announce something really unusual. They no longer utter a peep when horses, taxis, drays, electric scooters or Grand Hotel buses approach. Maddie will still bark at any dog that gets within a mile of the condo, but at least she do longer barks at little children, which is nice because we live in a neighborhood full of them!
What set them off that afternoon was the arrival of our new downstairs neighbors – Janice Blankenburg and her two daughters, Vika and Anna – from Wisconsin. With them was Tom Boy – a black lab, Hunter – a yellow lab (Bear wrote a new post to introduce you to them. I’ve put The Dog-Eared Page on my Blog Roll on the right-hand side menu of this page so you can easily access it), and two Guinea Pigs – Checkers and JoJo. Yep – Maddie and Bear were in Heaven welcoming these new folks.
We actually met this family last fall when they closed on their condo. When we arrived this spring, we peeked in their windows to see all the work that had been done since then. Wow – their place looks wonderful! Earlier on Thursday, all their kitchen appliances and lots of furniture arrived on the dray, and the taxi they came up the hill on pulled a luggage cart behind it, packed to the brim with luggage, boxes, blinds, a Guinea Pig cage, and lots of other “daily living” necessities.
I can so remember the excitement of getting our condo “fixed up” when we first bought it. Heck, we’re STILL fixing it up!
We kept hoping we would get rain on Thursday night. Michigan is so dry, and wildfires are burning in the U.P. Like so many other areas in the United States, we need lots of rain. We heard on Thursday there were evacuations near Tahquamenon Falls State Park (I wrote a blog about the Falls a couple of years ago), and the park itself is closed because of the fire. Not good. We slept Thursday night with the bedroom door open, hoping to hear rain through the night. What we heard instead was wind, and it is the high winds we are experiencing that is hampering firefighters from getting the fires under control.
The winds have kept the temperatures cool though, and Ted and I decided Friday afternoon to take our first official bike ride of the season (we’ve been on our bikes before this, but only on “business”, like downtown shopping and post office runs.
By the time we stopped at the bookstore to pick up a paper, the post office to pick up the mail, Doud’s to pick up something for dinner, and rode home, we had clocked a little over nine miles. Not bad for our first “official” bike ride!
I think I’ll stop right here for the day, as this is already pretty long (don’t want my “read-it-with-coffee-before-I-dash-off-to- work” bunch to be late)!
After only 14 days on the Island, I’ve already changed my mind about two blogs a week. I will definitely add another one on Wednesday (there’s just too much to write about right now), and I already have plans for the one this Wednesday!
- More photos from the weekend, including Memorial Day observances.
- A new Mystery Spot
- A few of my readers’ own favorite and most spectacular Mackinac Island photographs! Keep those coming, by the way, so we can make that a weekly feature. Just email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- A little feature about nature’s “Circle of Life” – straight from the shores of Mackinac Island!
- . . . and who knows what else!
Before I close, I have to take care of one more mission . . . .
When I retired in 2008, Ted bought me a Canon PowerShot A530 digital camera. As Public Information Director for a 16,000+ school system in south Georgia, I was used to using a Canon that belonged to the system and wanted one like it. I probably snapped maybe 50 shots with it that first year. We bought our condo that year, but arrived in late June to close on it, and I spent most of the summer shopping for our “summer place”. Photography was not on my priority list. Then three weeks before we left for the island the second summer, the blog idea erupted like wildfire in my brain. That little Canon became a constant companion, and I can honestly say I’ve taken hundreds of thousands of photographs with it. It never let me down – even after I’d dropped it too many times to count on Cadotte Hill as I was biking downtown.
The end came our first day back this summer – holding the camera, with the lens already out, and trying to take a photo and talk on the phone at the same time. Camera drops on fireplace hearth, lens bends into sickening angle. Even though I could straighten the lens, it no longer worked.
I’ve often talked about my camera search on this blog – knowing that eventually my little Canon would sigh and say “enough”. I knew there were no more Canons with viewfinders in the “point and shoot” category for less than $600 – and, besides that, those definitely did not fit in my jeans pocket.
A chance comment by someone at the Pink Pony a couple of weekends ago turned into the solution. I was admiring this gentleman’s camera and told him the story of my search. He said, “Why don’t you try to find one like your old one on eBay or Amazon?” Eureka! I almost ran home to get on the laptop.
Yes, there were used Canon PowerShot A 530’s for sale, but none in better than “good” condition. So I went up a few notches. There was a “like new” Canon PowerShot A700 – almost the same size, more features, AND A VIEWFINDER. These were first made in 2006, and I have no idea when they quit making them or how old this particular camera is. I paid less than half of the original camera cost. It arrived two days later in the original box with owner’s manuals, cables, and an unused SD card.
All the photographs on this post were taken with the new camera, and I’m pretty pleased. There are a couple of things I haven’t figured out yet, but I will eventually, AND additional lens can be attached to this camera for more photography options. Those are available on eBay and Amazon also.
Brooks Atkinson said, “The virtue of the camera is not the power it has to tranform the photographer into an artist, but the impulse it gives him to keep on looking.” That is exactly the way I see it also. Having a camera in my hand automatically sets my brain on “search” and causes me to look at the simplest object in countless ways. What fun it is to see how many ways a flower, or a horse, or a tree, or a dog, or a barn, or a fence can be photographed!
See you Wednesday with more news from Mackinac!