Spring . . . Summer . . . Fall? 8/19/2012

Hmmm.  There’s a little nip in the air.  It  warms up nicely by two or three o’clock (“nicely” being low 70’s, not mid-80’s), but then the thermometer mercury begins sliding back down the tube.  Friday and Saturday were very windy, and although I don’t think Fall is quite ready to declare “I’ve  arrived!”, it’s certainly lurking out there somewhere – throwing us a few more sunny, warm days to pamper us, before beginning to turn green leaves into gold and warm breezes into chilly winds.

To be frank, I’m ready for Labor Day.  As big as our crowds on the Island have been all summer, it seems for the last two weeks they’ve been even bigger!  Because of the crowds, I haven’t been downtown as much this summer; but at the same time, I’ve been thanking the good Lord for all the business for the shops, hotels, and restaurants.  The economic numbers have begun to come in, and Mackinac Island is coming back strong.

When I drew the shades up Saturday morning, I knew I just couldn’t stay home.  The sun was shining, the air was cool, it was breezy, and the sky and water were matching shades of blue.  Perfect!  Jill and I had been trying to get together for weeks, and Saturday we finally both were free at the same time!

Jill met me at the condo, and we took the long way downtown, walking down Fort Street. The weeping willow tree shows just how windy it was!

We ate outside at J.L. Beanery, moving to the dock, and sitting at tables in the sun. From there we could see the marina, the lighthouses, and the Straits. I called Ted at the Visitors Center and asked him to walk out on the back deck. From there he could turn in our direction and see us waving at him.  I think he was a little jealous he was working, and we were playing.

When we left the Beanery, we noticed a wedding party across the street at the Island House . . .

. . . . where a very handsome Marine and his beautiful bride were posing for wedding photographs.  Just before this pose, he had swept her up in his arms, and she had taken off his hat and put it on her head – as in the final scene in “An Officer and a Gentleman”.  SO romantic . . . and I didn’t have my camera ready!

I needed a baby gift for my Georgia friend Dawn’s about-to-be-born grandson, so I shopped in Little Luxuries, while Jill ran in the bookstore to put her “left-over” sandwich in the frig.  She was working the late shift on Saturday, so that would become her dinner.  Then we crossed the street to visit Anne at Ella & Ivy’s.  Both places were crowded with customers, and little Ella (Anne’s Maltese) was getting plenty of pampering by everyone who walked in.  We said “Hello!” to Loretta in Martha’s Sweet Shop, but she was so busy she couldn’t break away even for a second.  We all decided after Labor Day we had to have a Girl’s Lunch to celebrate a great season!

Jill had books to return to the library. I never tire of walking in that beautiful building. On Saturday, the back doors were open, and we could look straight through to the lighthouse.  We enjoyed looking at the beautiful art of the Mackinac Seven, a group of local artists who display their work in the library each August.

I browsed through the Used Book section (Hardbacks-$2, Softbacks-$1) and through the DVD and VHS rentals. I thought of all the old movies I had stacked up at home and made plans in my head to ship them to the Island library when we return to Georgia. As you can tell, the wind was kicking up a little more by now, and the waves and whitecaps were becoming more numerous.

Outside the library, I met Jane from Kalamazoo, MI, a fan of Bree’s Blog, with her precious daughter (hope I remembered that name correctly).  Good grief, look at my hair!  Well, I said it was a windy day!

The boardwalk, on the west end of Main Street, was lined with visitors – all enjoying their day on the Island.

Even the sidewalk on Cadotte was crowded . . .

. . . and many visitors stopped to watch a few innings of the vintage baseball game, played every Saturday in the open space below the Grand Hotel.

Saturday night Ted and I headed back downtown for date night.  We had drinks at the Pony, then walked down the street to Mary’s Bistro for dinner (their signature dish is the spit-fired chicken with mashed potatoes). I get it every time we go there – yummy!

We tend to favor restaurants on the water, and Mary’s fills that bill. We usually eat outside on the deck at lunch, but at night inside is more cozy.

Saturday was a great day – spending time with a good friend, visiting other good friends, and capping it off with a sweet date with Ted.  Blessed – so blessed.

Random Pics from the Weekend

Blog reader Yvonne Pitsch and her husband Tony (from Iowa) were on the Island this week, and we made plans to meet up on Friday morning as I walked with Bear down to the ferry (grooming day in Cheboygan).

Bear loved meeting ANOTHER Bear – their German Shepard/Collie mix. What a sweet dog! Tony and Yvonne were staying at the dog-friendly Harbor View Suites downtown. So good to see you again, Yvonne, and to meet Tony and Bear!

Bear on the ferry Friday morning. With the wind like it was, it was going to be a bumpy ride both ways, so we headed to the lower deck. There were a few brave folks who opted to “try it out” up top, but by five minutes into the ride, they were downstairs – not because of the ride, but because of the spray off the water.

The Tale of the Skirt

This morning I decided I would try something new – riding my bike to church, wearing a skirt.  Ted had gone down ahead of me, so I finished dressing, took Maddie and Bear out one more time (in case we decided to eat lunch downtown), locked up and got on my bike.  I was very conscious of trying to ride “ladylike” and also keep the skirt (mid-calf length and full) from getting into gears and bike chain and sprockets.  I was doing a darn good job too . . . until I reached the Grand.  Suddenly, instead of the whir of bike wheels, I heard the “click, click, click” of something wrong.  I was going VERY slowly and had time to stop the bike before it stopped on its own.  I was right next to a stopped carriage, and the driver looked over and said, “Uh, oh!”  My skirt was totally wrapped in the back gears.  Because it was long and full, I was able to get off the bike.  There was nothing to do but rip the material out of the gear (the wheel would no longer turn), leaving about an inch of the skirt in the gear.  I couldn’t see the damage, but I asked the driver his opinion.  “Ah, you can’t even tell it’s torn,” he said.  “Just be thankful you didn’t fall.”  Well, I was, but I also had a feeling the damage was a little greater than what he was letting on.

I ripped the rest of my skirt out of the gears and walked the bike around the corner to Margaret’s Garden Shop at the Grand.  Parking the bike, I walked inside, explained my problem, and asked if they had some sharp scissors.  “Just do the best you can,” I said.  They cut out the ragged edge, straightening the line as best they could, and swearing that because the skirt had an underskirt, it looked right in fashion.  I thanked them and walked the bike the rest of the way to church.

They missed a couple of ragged tears . . .

. . . but like they said, with the underskirt, it doesn’t look really, really bad. Maybe I’ll just cut the other side the same way!

Lesson learned:  Don’t try the skirt thing on a bike again.

Favorite Photos from the Weekend

Sunrise this weekend from Mackinaw City. (Photo: Patrick Conlon, Shepler’s Ferry Line)

One of the most gorgeous dawn photos I’ve ever seen.  Wow and double Wow.  (Photo:  Abby Holstrom)

Another busy week ahead – working on Monday, friends possibly coming on Tuesday, lunch with Frankie on Wednesday, Ted in golf tournament for Medical Center on Thursday, with accompanying dinner at the Woods for wives that evening, and off-island for appointments on Friday.

Have I mentioned it’s been a busy summer?!

See you on Wednesday with the full report.  Have a great week!

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33 thoughts on “Spring . . . Summer . . . Fall? 8/19/2012

  1. Glad you didn’t fall off your bike. You might start a new fashion on the island with extra little pieces of materal missing. Good to know that you and Jill got have some girl time. Hi Jill ! Busy, busy days ahead for you.

  2. And what a pretty skirt it looks like it was (is). I’m just getting so excited…we are leaving Friday right after work to head to Kalamazoo for the night. Plan on a side trip Saturday (for Bud) to the Air Zoo. He has no idea (or at least I don’t think he does) so I’m really looking forward to that. Will be in Mackinaw City on Sunday, hope to run into Chris Ann and on the island by the afternoon!! Can’t wait!!…

    • Hurry and get here, Hilde – then we’ll stop the clock! Looking forward to seeing you and Bud and going on our Lighthouse cruise!

  3. Hi Brenda,
    This is a totally different question but I like your white “Mackinac” shirt you were wearing in the photo with the people from Kalamazoo. A long time ago I found a short sleeved shirt that wasn’t a t-shirt which had “Mackinac Island” embroidered on the front along with a small sailboat. I want another shirt like that, dressier than the usual t-shirts–any places that you know of that may sell something similar?
    Thanks,
    Pat Steele
    Vernon, MI

    • Pat – I bought that shirt at the beginning of the season at Shirt Tales downtown on Main St. I think they still had a few when I was in there last week. I love mine!

  4. So glad you weren’t hurt!. You have quite the busy life on this “relaxing” island. It must be a nice feeling being part of this little community. Maybe someday. I enjoy all your pic and stories. I always feel the little butterflies in my stomach at the thought of experiencing all these things. Will be up Labor day week. Can’t wait! I never thought of donating our old DVD’s to the library. Great idea!

  5. Sounds like you really have been busy!! Lori, Megan and I were on the Island Friday for a few hours..got to spend some time with Alyssa before she had to go to work driving taxi…the weather was gorgeous and we had a good time (as usual) wish we could have met up but didn’t know we were coming over for sure ahead of time!! 😦 Hope to get over one more time this season..possibly around our anniversary (7th of September)…I checked in the book store but Jill wasn’t around right then, so maybe next time!! Glad you didn’t hurt yourself when you fell!!! Blessings!!

  6. Very glad your skirt was the only casualty of the bike experience! Oh, such beautiful island pictures, as usual. And sweet Bear – he is so precious and handsome, he hardly looked like he was in need of a grooming appointment. Give him a couple hugs (and a kiss) for me, one of his adoring fans!

  7. I seriously love your blog.
    Every Monday morning I love sitting down with my coffee and checking out what’s going on at one of my very favorite places.
    We will be back up on the Island September 29 and I can’t WAIT.

  8. I bet the skirt incident was funny to watch, but good thing you weren’t hurt. We were on the island for 5 days last weekend and loved every minute of it. I got a great pic of the rainbow going into the water right next to the lighthouse. I will have to send it to you for one of the ‘reader’s pics’.
    We looked for the new carriage museum, but couldn’t find it. We kept going up the hill past the grand hotel, but I think we should have turned right?

    • Dave – yes – past the Grand and past the horse barns. When you get to the top of the hill past the horse barns, look right and you’ll see the new stable. Please send the rainbow pic!

  9. Great blog post as usual!! I’ve been wondering how little Ella is doing. The last time we were there was her first full week on the island and at the time she was a bit overwhelmed by it all. I’m figuring she’s an old pro by now! Glad you are ok and your skirt is mostly ok!!! 🙂

  10. Brenda-You were so good to take time to meet Tony, me, & Bear. Thank you so much. It was certainly a highlite on our trip! The story about your skirt is hilarious! Tony and I went to the bookstore a few times at night and got to have good visits with Jill. My name for her is “Bookstore Jill”. She is so fun but she is so stinking thin. Makes me so jealous!!! LOL! We also went to Stu Stuart show. It was the first time for us and he was very funny. A definite recommendation to anyone visiting the island. Again, thanks for meeting us with your Bear!

  11. So sorry about your lovely skirt, what a hard lesson to learn. And yes, you’re lucky you did’nt fall. This weeks.pics.are fantastic, I can’t think of anywhere, where the skys are as blue. It’s just beyond beautiful. So good to see some pics.of, Bear. Before or after his grooming? We’ll be up north in Sept. Can’t wait.

  12. Beautiful photos! So glad you share with us, Brenda! Makes me wish I was there. And very happy that Mackinac Island is having a great season! Which is the best month to visit if you had to chose between September or October?

    • Marlena – tough question. I prefer October because of the season change – usually the colors are gorgeous in October. The only negative would be if we have a really cold October. I love the cold, so it doesn’t bother me, but if you’re cold-natured, it might be a problem. Layers, layers, layers!

  13. Dear Bree~
    I am new to view your blog and already am in love! My husband and I made a mad dash to the Island last Tuesday, spending the night in Mackinaw City. I hadn’t been to the Island in 40, yes, 40 years! He wanted to treat me to a little get-away since I had endured a week with his parents in Nebraska this summer!

    I’m just tickled I found your blog and devour your pictures! Thank you so much for sharing!

    Paula from Jackson, MI

    • Hi Paula – and welcome! Now that you know the Island is still basically the same as it was 40 years ago, you can hurry back for a longer visit! So glad you’re enjoying the blog!

      • Bree~ I’m soaking up every picture and word you write! I’m living vicariously through you!
        I turned my pictures from our little trip into a background slideshow on my work computer – it helps get me through the day! 🙂

        Take care and thank you for blogging!

        Paula

  14. I love the pictures from the library view!! I do hope you can repair the skirt – it is tough being a girl !! It’s hard to get off and keep your balance! Kudos to you for remaining upright. I am happy that business is booming on the island, but I also understand that some people go there for the peace and serenity. That is why we usually go in early May or late September. The fall is my favorite time of the year! I agree, Bear looked beautiful sitting there in the ferry. So fluffy and soft!

  15. If Ted got home a little late on Friday I should share in some of the blame for that. His stories and tips about the island were fantastic. It was also great meeting “Ted’s celebrity wife” Saturday night that he had spoken so glowingly of the night before. Looking forward to seeing you folks again on our next trip to the Island and best of luck with your book, you have two more copies sold.

    All the best,
    “Oberon” Greg

    • LOL Greg! My Ted can talk, can’t he? We so enjoyed meeting you and your lovely wife, and I’m going to remind you of that promise to buy a book – if I ever get it published!

  16. I’ve been thinking about giving wearing a skirt to church a try (I get tired of wearing slacks all the time), but haven’t been brave enough. I see lots of ladies doing it, but after your story, I think I’ll just have to continue to wear slacks.
    I agree, it has been really busy. Up at the Fort, we have hardly had any down time. Guess the Pure Michigan ads have worked.

  17. I think that photo of the view out the back door of the library is one of my favorites so far. I can imagine standing in the doorway and looking out at the water instead of sitting in my cube here at work and looking at my computer.
    Glad to hear you didn’t get hurt as a result of the skirt incident.

  18. Brenda-I have a question about a lighthouse. On a bulletin board where I work (nursing home) there are photos of 4 different Michigan lighthouses. Residents are suppose to guess where they are located. One of them is listed as being on Mackinac Island. I’m questioning if that is correct information. Is there a good size red building & lighthouse on the island or is it located on Round Island like your photo’s always show?

    • Hi Deb! The Round Island Lighthouse is located on Round Island. The newer Passage Light is located between Round Island and Mackinac Island (it stands in the water of Lake Huron). There is no lighthouse on Mackinac Island.

  19. Just happened across your blog and wanted to comment and say how much I’m loving it! I haven’t really been east of the Rockies more than a couple of times in my life but heard about Mackinac Island from my driving instructor when I was doing my equine science degree in college. I work now as a carriage driver in Salt Lake City and have been mulling over the idea of coming out to the island for a season if I can get work as a driver. I have no idea whether they need drivers or how I’d find a job doing it, but I’m having a heck of a good time looking at photos of your gorgeous island. 🙂 Keep them coming!

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