Going Back and Catching Up 10/11/2012

Our non-stop week came to a screeching halt this morning when we awoke to rain, wind, and low temperatures that haven’t risen more than a degree or two all day.  In fact, at 11:30 this morning, it was 38 (with a wind chill of 30), it was raining, and the wind was seriously blowing.

I stood, coffee mug in hand, this morning and looked out the deck doors.

I had planned to walk downtown and photograph my god-horse Teddie leaving the Island for the winter, but I totally wimped out on that because of the weather.  And – because I’m such a wimp – I also didn’t get to meet a pair of blog readers Jill had told I would be at the dock this morning.  I felt SO bad about that!

Thank goodness JILL showed up (I always rationalize it’s easier for Jill since she LIVES downtown). Tony and Barbara from Tennessee (couple on the left) were there to see Teddie and me . . . .

. . . but if they had to choose between me and and a big, handsome Friesian, I’d say they definitely got the best deal! Mary, Teddie’s mom, emailed me later that he arrived safe and sound in Mac City – rolling waves and all.


On Friday morning, Tony and Barbara emailed this pic of Mary leading Teddie onto the boat on Thursday, so I’ve added it to yesterday’s blog post. Boy, I KNOW I’m wimpy when I’m having blog readers do my job for me!

While Jill, my blog fans and Mary and Teddie sloshed around in the rain, Ted and I turned up the fireplace, got out our current books and settled in for cozy day.  Again – I am a wimp.


Back in July, during a thunderstorm, an enormous red oak at Wawashkamo Golf Course fell during high winds.

Why is that tree falling important?  Well, I’ll tell you . . .

In one of the first actions of the War of 1812, British troops surprised and captured Fort Mackinac from the Americans on July 17, 1812. Two years later, 750 American troops attempted to recapture Mackinac Island. To counter the American attack, British, Canadian, and Native American troops took up positions on the fields of Michael Dousman’s farm. On the afternoon of August 4, 1814, the two forces met and fought the Battle of Mackinac Island. The Americans were defeated, and the battle left Mackinac in British hands until the end of the war.

Mackinac Associates Vice President Peter Pellerito, among others, believed this red oak could have been a “witness” to that American defeat.

Pellerito arranged for a large cross-section of the tree to be examined by Dean Reid, a forester. Meticulously counting each ring and allowing for the height at which the section was cut, Reid determined the age of the tree to be 207 years old. Though very small at the time, there’s no doubt that this red oak was present during the battle and can be designated a “witness tree”.

A cross-section of the 200 year old oak tree. A Michigan driver’s license is inserted to give scale to the image.

The remains of the fallen tree are in storage, and there is interest in using the rings of the tree to show a natural timeline for the island.  Now how cool is that!


Blog readers Joyce and Bob visited me recently at the Stuart House. They were on the Island with J.P. and Liz.

The folks at the Riviera Motel in Mackinaw City snapped this awesome photo on Sept. 30. It shows the aurora borealis over the Straits of Mackinac on that evening. I have yet to see this astonishing sight, but I sure have been looking!

When I was in Cheboygan last week with Bear, I rode around in a residential neighborhood looking at the trees all decked out in their fall dresses. This yard was one of my favorites.

The Grand, as I walked home on Monday. You can see how hard the wind is blowing by looking at the flag atop the cupola and the grasses in the pots at the sitting area.

The old Grand Hotel stable on Sunday. We heard this week that work will be done on the stable, and it will ultimately be used as a storage facility.

Last Sunday’s sunrise. (Photo credit: Mission Point Resort)

Same Sunday. Same sunrise – at a little different time – and at a different location. I love that Patrick caught the bird in flight in this one. (Photo credit: Patrick Conlon)


Before we leave we’re expecting a last-minute visit from Jason and Blair from Atlanta.  Jason has always wanted to be on the Island for the Halloween parties downtown, and this year they are trying to get up here for that.  If they make it, they’ll be leaving the Island on Oct. 30 (the parties are the weekend before that), and we’ll be leaving a few days earlier than we thought.  We were planning to leave on Sunday, the 4th, but we’ve just learned there will only be two ferries off the Island on Sundays after Oct. 31 (when Arnold Transit becomes the sole winter ferry), and the first doesn’t leave the Island until 12:30.  There’s no way we can make it home with only one night on the road if we leave after noon.  So we’ve had to rethink that, and we’ll probably leave on Friday, Nov. 2, when there’s an 8 a.m. boat.

Big news for the coming week!  Jill and I are going on a road trip to see one of my most loyal fans.  Lowell Green and his wife Faye have been reading Bree’s Blog practically since I wrote the first word four summers ago, and Lowell has loved Mackinac Island since he worked here as a young man.  I begged and begged them to come to the Island so we can show them around to all the places he’s talked about in comments over the years, but so far, no luck on that.

So, Jill and I decided to just go take a little of Mackinac to them!  We leave on Wednesday, spend the night with Jill’s parents in Lansing that night, then go have lunch with Lowell and Faye on Thursday – we’ll be back on the Island that night.  We are SO EXCITED, and I think Lowell and Faye are too.  Can’t wait to share our visit with you!

Hoping everyone enjoys the weekend.  The days are flying by now, and “things to do” are beginning to be turned into lists so nothing is forgotten.  Can’t believe we’ll leaving in four weeks – just . . . . cannot . . . . believe . . . . it.

God bless.


15 thoughts on “Going Back and Catching Up 10/11/2012

  1. OMGosh!! Your going to see Lowell and Faye! Please tell Lowell I said hello and that I LOVE reading all his stories about the island. Very interesting about the tree. Hope to hear more about that. YES, very HARD to believe there is only four more weeks before you head back to Georgia, but (and you know how much I LOVE hearing about the island) I can’t wait to hear news about Lake Blakeshear. Looking forward to Jason and Blair’s visit too!

  2. wow…very kewl tree! We had some northern lights down state last night … they were gorgeous! (it was VERY cold out, but i had to see them!)
    Awesome pics….have fun w/Lowell! Tell him we ALL said hi! 🙂

  3. Great pictures – love them. I did the same today (hid out in the house due to wind, rain, and low temps). Although, I did it in 70 degree weather. It’s FREEZING out here in AZ! Seriously, great shots… missing Mackinaw Island a lot lately. Looking forward to more pictures before y’all head south!


  4. I can’t WAIT to hear about the visit to Lowell and Faye! I imagine he’s just as witty in person as he is in his blog comments. Have fun!!!

  5. Just think, Brenda and Jill are coming to our house! I am honored, and that’s the truth. I have never been visited by celebrities before and now two (check that -TWO) famous people are coming to visit and have lunch. Who could ask for anything more? (Should I ask for autographs, or would that be too bold?) I do make a real good potato soup, but I think I’ll make something better than that. After all, there’s no point in driving almost to Indiana for soup. Then again, it would be made by me……

    However, as far as the wittiness is concerned, I’m not so sure. When I make comments for the blog, I have time to think about what I want to say -and even then I sometimes forget what I had planned to say.

    I do want to say that I sure enjoyed the blog today, especially the picture of the Bridge with the northern lights, and the picture of the Cheboygan residence in it’s Autumn dress. Sure brings back memories of when I lived in Cheboygan. When I was a teenager in Cheboygan, I worked after school as a bellhop at the Ottawa Hotel. We lived at the west edge of town, and many nights as I walked the mile to our house, the Northern Lights would be dancing across the sky. Beautiful! Of course, in the Fall, the trees were just as beautiful in their own right. However, I won’t tell you about the times I had to wade through the snow drifts across the road. Yes, there really was more snow in the 1950s than now. It’s not just an old guy’s imaginative tale.

    • WHAT? INDIANA???? Brenda didn’t tell me that! Potato Soup will be perfect for me Lowell, I don’t eat much. See you soon.

      • Well, Brenda and Jill, I’ve planned for more than potato soup, so maybe you better not eat for a couple of days before you come.

  6. I’m so bummed I didn’t see the northern lights and we were right there on Sept. 30th! Maybe some day! Enjoy your visit with Lowell! Love the story about the tree which I just read in the Towne Crier last night!

  7. Tell Ted I am VERY familiar with sitting in my chair with a lap full of little red dachshund, and from that picture, I can see that he is also!

  8. What a bunch of sissies. I thought you Lake people from Georgia were made of sterner stuff. I see Ted in his King chair being guarded by Maddie and Bear trying to mind meld the big fuzzy to fall on him. once again you and Jill are the only ones hard at work. I betcha Lowell’s soup is as good as what we used to call back porch soup. It was so good you didn’t mind eating it off the back stoop.

  9. Seeing the northern lights again is on the top of my bucket list, although I’m not interested in going to penquin country to do so.
    I have seen them twice in my life and once was on Mackinac

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