The normal Bree’s Blog routine has been off-kilter for a couple of weeks – but never for a better reason than spending time with kids and grandkids. “Routine” sounds so dull anyway, doesn’t it? And even though I think of the regularly scheduled Bree’s Blogs as “the routine”, they’ve also filled with what I hope is our impulsive, spontaneous and unpremeditated lives on this beautiful rock.
Thanks again for enjoying the family along with me, and on the sweet comments about our beautiful daughter, bonus son, and grandchildren (yes, Matt and Matthew – you were both called “beautiful”).
I’ve said it a million times, but there is nothing like looking at the Island through the eyes of children to give you those “wake up and appreciate this blessing you’ve been given” chill bumps. Our Jordan planned her wedding (at Stonecliffe) and accepted an invitation to hostess at the Harbor View Restaurant at the Chippewa Hotel (when she’s old enough). Matthew changed his idea for “best place to work for the summer” so often I stopped trying to keep up (drive a taxi, work for Shepler’s, work at the Magic Shop, make fudge, bus tables at the Pink Pony, etc. etc.). Speaking of fudge, they both practically OD’d on that particular treat after G-Daddy told them to, “Go to each fudge shop and ask for a sample – which is an ounce. By the end of the day (there are 16 fudge shops), you’ll have a pound of fudge.” They had a ball doing that until they began to forget which shops they’d already been in and store employees started to look at them a little curiously :).
Matthew’s favorite Island store was the Magic Shop and, having his own earned money in his pocket, he visited every day and came home with a new “trick” for BeBe and G-Daddy. His best one was leaving a “shocker pen” in the basket on top of the kitchen counter. We had a condo association meeting here on the last Saturday of their visit, and the Hewitts left for a couple of hours to bike and explore. When I told Matthew how I grabbed his pen out of the basket to take some notes during the meeting, “clicked” it open, and jumped a foot off the floor, he was VERY proud of how that worked out.
And, oh my goodness, I’m talking about grandchildren again!
I always feel so bad when I occasionally talk about the heat up here because I know it is NOTHING compared to what the rest of the country is enduring. Our highs last week (until the break arrived on Saturday) were in the 80’s. That’s ridiculous to even mention when the rest of the country was grappling with 3-digit temps. BUT, most anywhere else, when the temps reach the low 80’s, the old AC unit is turned on. Most Island hotels, inns, and B&B’s are air conditioned, as are the restaurants and many shops. On the other hand, most residences are not. We rely heavily on fans, fans, and more fans. As soon as the sun went down, so did the heat, and nights remained lovely and cool. But, oh! A few hours of AC in the condo in the middle hours of those days sure would have been nice!
As always, the Island’s concern for the horses in every weather condition always makes me proud of their care. At the Carriage Museum next door, where horses pulling carriages full of people arrive every 10 minutes or so, the heat became a critical concern on Wednesday. Our Island vet, Doc Al, arrived on the scene that afternoon and ordered each pair of horses to be “watered down” after each trip up the hill. As passengers unloaded, the horses were hosed off and given extra mounts of water. Doc Al explained, “When horses sweat they give off lots of salt. In the heat, the salt collects on their coat, soon covering it and not allowing them to sweat anymore. The solution is to hose off the salt as often as possible, which also cools them down and allows the normal sweating process.”
The 4th of July
With family gone, Ted and I decided to have a very calm 4th of July, although we did make it downtown at noon to get a great table on the covered patio at the Iroquois Hotel’s Carriage House Restaurant. From there we could watch the stone skipping contest and the kids race up the greased poles to grab $20 bills from the top. For us, the highlight of that tradition is the Mackinac Puff!
After lunch, I went to say hi to friend Ann, who is now in her new shop, Ella & Ivy, every day. She’s retired from her job in Florida and has moved up to Michigan to spend her summers and live her dream of owning a shop on the Island.
We normally go to Fort Mackinac for the huge dinner-on-the-grounds provided by the Grand Hotel, but this year we got in the kitchen on July 3rd to mix up potato salad so it would be cold for the next day. Ted baked a ham, and I cooked some black-eyed peas (garnished with some chopped spring onions), and we ate at our little kitchen bar. We even watched the fireworks from our balcony at the condo.
The Way It’s Done On Mackinac
That about covers the “other” news happening around the Island while the family was here. Come on back Wednesday as we once again post photos from blog readers and check out a new Mystery Spot. And, Bob Rode – winner of the last Mystery Spot – I have not forgotten you – your prize will be in the mail this week, and that’s a promise!
Oh – if you haven’t already checked it out – Bear has a new post on The Dog-Eared Page about Chilidawg, a very famous K9 Working Dog he met. Read it here: http://mackinacislanddogearedpage.wordpress.com/2012/07/06/when-is-a-chilidawg-not-just-a-chilidawg/
Personal Prayer Requests
1) Those of you who have been reading this blog since its inception know that each summer Cathie (Ted’s cousin/sister) and her husband Charlie always visit us from New Orleans for 10 days in early June. This year, just a week before they were to leave for Michigan, a routine physical exam revealed a spot on Charlie’s lung, which was diagnosed as malignant, with lymph node involvement. Charlie had surgery this past Monday, and part of one lung was removed, as well as the entire tumor. He is home now and awaiting the protocol he will follow in the months ahead, which will probably include radiation and chemotherapy. Charlie faces an especially tough struggle because he is already dealing with a diminished lung capacity and a permanent tracheotomy, the aftermath of a rare virus he contracted several years ago. His spirits are good, and although they’ve decided a trip to Mackinac won’t happen this summer, one of Charlie’s major motivational forces will be an Island visit in 2013. Please keep Charlie and Cathie in your prayers over the next months as he goes through his treatments and gets well. We love you Cathie and “Frog”!
2) Dawn and Stevie Lashley and Marianne and Cecil Lashley are our very, very good friends at our home in Georgia. On Saturday, Marianne and Cecil’s son, Jeff (Stevie’s brother & Dawn’s brother-in-law) suffered a massive heart attack and did not survive. Jeff was only 46. Please keep this family in your prayers as they deal with this devastating event in their lives. It’s times like this when being far away from home is very hard. I spoke with Marianne this afternoon, and I just wanted to reach through space and hug her close. It’s hard not to be there when friends are hurting.