Georgia On My Mind 11/1/2012

Here we are.  Last post of the season.  How can that be?

This can’t possibly have been 5 1/2 months ago!

Ted and I went downtown this morning to ship a box home.  Can you believe it – I only had one box to ship – of course it weighed 33 lbs and 4 ozs (no, that is not a made-up number).

I should have come right back up to the condo with Ted, but instead I spent about an hour walking around, snapping photos, thinking about the summer behind us and all the fun we’ve had, the people we’ve met, the friends we’ve become closer to.

There are very few taxis running now, and soon there will only be one – driven by George.  I even had to make advance reservations for our taxi for tomorrow morning!    I did find two smiling drivers downtown I knew – Anna and Alyssa.  They’ll be spending the winter on the Island this year –  but not as taxi drivers.

There were less than five businesses open downtown, and one of them was Doud’s – open all winter . . .

. . . and making sure year-round residents will have fresh supplies of meat and produce through rain, wind, sleet and snow.

I bought a few raffle tickets for this snowmobile – to be given away at the Christmas Bazaar in December.

The Pink Pony and the Chippewa Hotel are closed, but there were workers inside, and the door was open. Sure looked different than it did a few nights ago!

Even the beer taps were covered!

I shot this one through Joanne’s window. The big copper kettle used to cook all that delicious candy was turned upside down on the marble table.

The Lilac Tree was all shut down, including the mall area beneath it where the Island Bookstore, the Great Turtle Toy Store, and Peace Frogs is housed.

Loved this sign in the Chuckwagon’s window!

There are no awnings anywhere – they’ve all been taken down and put into storage for the winter . . .

. . . and furniture inside most of the hotels (like here at the Windermere) has been covered in white linens.

Fort Mackinac’s flag is still flying.

Just like me, good friend Jeff Peterson was making one final pass through town before leaving the Island.  Jeff was a great Shepler’s employee this summer on the Island dock!

There were several trucks downtown today – all with special permits to be here a certain number of days for a specific job. Lots of work going on next to Cawthorne’s Village Inn.

Here’s another one – coming down Cadotte.

The kids were all in school today – high on candy, I’m sure. We sure had a good number stop by our place last night!

The Grand Lady on the Hill today – all closed up for winter. She always looks so lonely without her flags and geranium boxes.

A Few More Pics From This Past Week

The back of the Carriage Museum – cold and wind-swept.

What’s missing? If you said the ivy carriage and horses, you are correct! They’ve been taken off island to reside in a greenhouse downstate for the cold months.

Almost packed!

Doc Al offered me a ride home the other day, and after he dropped me at the boardwalk and turned around, Molly, a friend who drives private tours, pulled up to chat.  Guess what was in her bag!  One of her passengers enjoyed her tour so much that she’d left a message for Molly to stop at the Grand to pick up something she’d left for her.  It was a Somewhere in Time vintage dress and hat!  Molly was so excited!

Great friend Frankie and sweet Hershey.

One of the last sunset’s from a Shepler ferry this season.

Grand Hotel moving day. (Photo: Kellie Lawrence)

A dray run on a cold fall day. (Photo: Mission Point Resort)

Leafy pathway. (Photo: Mary McGuire)

An almost-winter sunrise. (Photo: Mission Point Resort)

So again.  Here we are.

There’s been something strange about this summer for me, but I can’t put my finger on what exactly, and that bothers me a bit.  In thinking back, I’ve boiled it down to a few possibilities:

1)  It was so . . . busy.  With the warm weather beginning practically when we arrived in mid-May, the fudgies came in droves.  Because of that, I went downtown less during the day (crowds have never been my favorite thing).  Now don’t get me wrong.  I was SO happy to see business booming for the merchants, hotels, and restaurants.  Businesses have had some lean years lately on Mackinac, and this summer it really seems as though we’ve made the turn-around back to good times – or at least “much better” times.  But hey – I can go downtown early in the morning or after the day-trippers go home!

2)  It was so . . . warm.  I laugh when I write that.  Compared to what?  Certainly not Georgia, where the 100 degree mark was reached too many days to think about this summer.  I’d gotten used to the cool weather of our first four summers in Michigan, and when we reached the mid-80’s several days a week there for a stretch, the heat really  . . . . well, it annoyed me.    But hey – I admit to being spoiled rotten by Mackinac’s usually perfect weather – I can adapt or buy more fans!

3)  It was so . . .  busy.  Yes, I know I’ve already said that.  But this busy has nothing to do with the crowds.  This busy is personal.  Someone told me this summer that I’ve gotten “too” involved on the Island, and maybe they’re right.  The blogs, volunteering, all the activities to attend and photograph and write about.  There have been times I’d find myself thinking wistfully back to those first couple of summers when all there was to do was to savor this magical place – to stop and smell the roses (and the geraniums), to spend half an hour at Anne’s Tablet just watching the boats come in, to wander around in the woods listening to the birds and hoping to spot one of the huge pileated woodpeckers.  I’ve lost the time to do some of that . . . . and I miss it.

4)  I’ve been so . . . tired.  Sleep apnea is a strange malady.  You’re not sick.  You don’t feel bad.  But you do stay tired.  I came north this summer without my sleep apnea machine.  I was sick and tired of trying to deal with it, and I rationalized I didn’t need it up here (I exercise more; therefore, I’d sleep better).  That hasn’t been the case.  I know when I get home I have to re-evaluate the whole machine-thing again and try my best to use it.  This summer has been an eye-opener on how not sleeping at night can affect my attitude, my health, and my spirit. 

Right now though – sitting at my little desk in our bedroom, tapping away on the laptop keys – all I’m thinking about is leaving this place I love so much and traveling south to another place I love just as much.  I’ve spent five summers trying to figure out which is my favorite place to live, but now I’ve given up on that because it’s like comparing apples and oranges.

Mackinac Island in the grand state of Michigan and Lake Blackshear in the grand state of Georgia are as different as night and day.  Mackinac Island is a moment frozen in time, and living here we’re able to suspend ourselves in a world of almost-fantasy, where the buzz and pop of the outside world makes little headway into our daily lives.  The fact that we rarely turn on a television here is evidence that we guard our little fantasy world pretty closely.

Lake Blackshear is southern living at its finest.  We live on the water, we enjoy watching nature’s daily show right from our sun porch, we visit by boat, and our bodies become tuned to the slow rhythms of our lives in the country.  Our Georgia drawls become more syrupy after a month at home, and Michigan friends who call have trouble understanding our words.  We are home in Georgia – only in Georgia.

It’s going to be a while before I make a decision on what next year on the Island will bring as far as Bree’s Blog, but I know I will continue to write as long as there are folks like you out there who love to read about this beautiful place.  I just never seemed to get in sync this summer – something I noticed even if you didn’t.  I want to rectify that next year – I’ve just got to figure out how to do it.  Maybe it just goes back to that “busyness” factor.  We’ll see.

Winter.  I plan to continue to write the weekly Winter Updates to Bree’s Blog – I enjoy them as much as you do.  As in years past, friends here have graciously agreed to send photos of the Island to me, and – if it’s a really a good snow winter – I may even come up myself for a few days.  I’d love that!

Right now though, after almost four years of continuous writing, what I think I need is a little break; and I can’t think of a better time to take one than during our transition back to Georgia.  We’re going to Florida soon after our return to see Julie and Matt and the grandchildren.  For Thanksgiving, Jason and Blair and the Sumner (my daddy’s) side of the family will all gather at our house for dinner.  We’re excited that we’ll be seeing all the cousins, their spouses, their children and their spouses, their grandchildren – well, you get my drift.  After that, Frog (Charlie) and Cathie are coming for a little visit on their way back to New Orleans from Thanksgiving in Atlanta. 

Along with everything mentioned above, November will also be filled with doctor visits, and just plain “settling in” chores.  Bear and I want to get back into our therapy visits, and I’ve taken on the responsibility of writing blog posts for our Pet Partners group website (I’ll post that address later, if you’d like to read it).

So – here’s the plan.  We leave on Friday for home, spend that night in Kentucky probably, then spend Saturday night in Atlanta at Jason and Blair’s.  We just found out that Blake will be in north Georgia on business this weekend, and he’ll be at his brother’s also.  So we’ll get to see all of them!  Blake won’t make it home from Colorado for Thanksgiving this year, so this worked out perfectly.  We’ll be at Lake Blackshear, good Lord willing, on Sunday, Nov. 4.
I’ll post here on this blog Sunday evening to let you all know we’ve made it safely (safe travel prayers are so appreciated).

After that I’m going to take the month of November off  – well, off from blogging (maybe November will become my “vacation from blogging” from now on).  I’ll start back up at (Bree’s Lake Blackshear Blog) on Monday, Dec. 3 (or Sunday, Dec. 2 – you know how that goes). If you’re not familiar with that site, you need to click on the link, then click on the “follow” button, so you’ll get an email notice when I publish there.  I should have the first Mackinac Island Winter Update ready about that time also, and that will be published, as usual, at

There are never enough words – or the right ones – to thank you for visiting with me each summer through this blog.  Writing is so much easier when I know you are all out there – loving Mackinac Island right along with me.  I’m beginning to meet more and more of you in person, and I hold your faces in my mind when I write.  Our little blog family continues to grow, and we just continue to draw closer.

I hope you’ll follow me home to Georgia for the winter and check in on the Winter Updates from the Island.  I don’t want to lose touch with any of you.  Feel free to comment during November.  I WILL be reading comments, and I will respond.

As I said, I’ll check in Sunday evening when we reach home, then I’ll be back on Dec. 3.

I love each and every one of you.  God bless you all.

Heading home . . .

. . . to the ri’vah.

103 thoughts on “Georgia On My Mind 11/1/2012

    • Thanks, Steven – and the same to you. I went by the studio today and took a pic of the photo we talked about for next year. I just love it.

  1. Thanks again for sharing Mackinac Island through the blog. I know it must take lots of time to keep it going. You certainly deserve a break if that’s what you want. Enjoy your trip back to GA, getting to be with Jason, Blair, and Blake this weekend. God bless and keep you, Ted and the fur babies safe on the trip home.

  2. Thank you for all you do and for sharing this magical place with everyone. Safe travels and take time to enjoy life. See you next spring.

  3. There is sadness in my heart …sad because..and this is really strange because I know you will still blog and I will still read your words…BUT I will MISS you! It’s like your moving away and I will never see you…strange feeling right now. Maybe some of it has to do with what’s going on in my own life…whatever…I will be sending good vibes for a VERY safe trip…will be waiting to hear from you whenever you decide to write…Love you guys and will be thinking of you!

    • Well, darn it, Hilde, you made me cry. And I was doing so good! I love you sweetie, and if you ever need to talk about anything, I’m only an email away. Do you have my cell? If not, I’ll email it to you. Love you and a great big hug!

  4. Bree, thanks so much for all your work and bringing us the beauty of the Island. I have such a passion for the place and seeing pictures and hearing about the happenings mean a lot to me. It is awesome to be able to see the island at rest. If I could go there now I would just want to stand in the middle of the street and pretend to hear the horses and island sounds. I will just have to wait until next summer to get back there. Enjoy some rest, you deserve it for bringing us so much pleasure from the island each week. Don’t ever stop.

    • So funny, Lisa, that you mentioned standing in the street. When I was walking around today it was so odd to NOT have to stop at each corner and look both ways for bikers and taxis and drays and carriages. I could just walk down the middle of the street. Very strange! Thanks you for the kind words. They mean a lot to me.

  5. Blessings to you, Ted, Maddie and Bear. You will all be in our thoughts and prayers. we will be here when you return. Godspeed, happy trails and Bon voyage.

  6. Bree words can’t say how much I enjoy your blog & wish I could live on the island. I feel so blessed to have a window into life on Mackinaw Island. I have gotten to see so many special things I would have never known about. It makes me sad that you were so busy keeping us informed that you lost some of your special time. Take care and know that we are sending prayers for a safe trip south.

    • Oh my gosh, Lori, I didn’t mean to give that impression at all. There was just so much going on this summer, and yes – I wanted to tell ya’ll about it, but writing was only a small part of the “busyness”. I feel like the writing suffered because of everything else, and that made ME sad. I think part of the magic of the island IS the stillness of the woods, the boats coming into the harbor, the other million and one things that I feel folks who don’t live here want to know about. And when I can’t find time to get out there and experience it myself, then I can’t write about it. Don’t be sad – I love writing about Mackinac!

  7. Thank you Brenda for sharing another summer with us. You need a break, that is what retirement is all about! Please, please take care of yourself and your sleep apnea–it will get you down in more ways than one. My husband still fights with a perfect fit on his full face mask but its better.
    God speed!

    Pat Steele
    Vernon, MI

    • Thanks Pat. You’ve always kept up with me and the sleep “thing” and I know your words are true. I promise to give it another try when we get home.

  8. I loved the last walk through town. I felt like I was there with you, visiting all those special places that are so unique to the island. I have never been able to understand why some of us (so many of us) love it like we do while others never know its magic…why there is such an attachment to a tiny place in a large, bustling world. I thank you for taking me there, for letting me connect with my (our) special place. I thank you for your time, your beautiful pictures, for your inviting words. Thanks, Brenda, for sharing your love and yourself.

  9. Bree, what a beautiful blog entry this was, you have such a way with words. As much as I loved seeing your pics of the Island this way, sooo late in the season, it has a certain sadness to it. I have vacationed many places, including some of our countries most beautiful National Parks, but Mackinac has settled deep into my heart and I could spend endless time there. One day my sister and I want to spend an entire year there. I hope you blog about the island for many years to come. It is so wonderful to enjoy your blog entries and pics until we can be there again. So, enjoy your winter in GA (yea for Albany, I have such fond memories of living there) and enjoy seeing all of your family and friends and we all look forward to that first blog in May when you and Ted (Bear & Maddie) return to beautiful Mackinac Island. It was a pleasure to meet you this year. Prayers for safe travels.

    • Thank YOU, Pam, and I loved meeting you this summer also. Keep dreaming about that year on the Island. I will change you forever.

  10. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for your wonderful blog!! This was my first summer reading your blog and this is actually my first time commenting. Every time I get the email notification of a new posting, I always stop what I do and read it. I absolutely love the island and it brings me joy to read and see what is going on, on the island. I have “liked” practically every page associated with Mackinac Island on facebook so stay updated on what is going on, but your blog shows a whole different perspective and I absolutely love it. I pray for your safe travels home to Georgia. I also pray for a snowy winter for you to get the chance to visit Mackinac in a layer of white!

    • I love hearing from you, Taylor, and you sound just like I did before we lived here part-time. I read everything I could get my hands on about the island. That’s one of the main reasons I started to write about it – I figured there had to be folks like me out there who’d like to get the “inside” scoop! Thanks so much for writing – don’t let it be the last time!

  11. I just want to stop by and tell you how much I appreciate all that you do to let us “visit” Mackinac Island with you all summer long. I am so sad to see another season come to an end and look forward to the Lake Blackshear Blog when you start back up again. I also want to let you know that I enjoy the days that you just put up a few photos with a caption or two just as much as the posts that I am sure you put so much time into. Just to have a peak of the Island and it’s beauty brings a little joy into my day. I really enjoy your blog so much. Thank you and wishing you safe travel home to the ri’vah. I will definitely miss you.

    • Thanks so much, Tina! I know how much you love the island and want to live here one day with your horses. Hoping one day that dream comes true for you!

      • Every single day that goes by is one day closer to that dream coming true. I have no doubt that I will be calling Mackinac Island “home” at some point in the very near future. I believe that if God would give me such a strong desire that He would also give me the means to make it happen!!!

  12. Brenda,

    Reading this blog tonight certainly has been a bittersweet time for me. I feel bad that you, Ted, Bear and Maddie are leaving the Island, but on the other hand, I’m glad you’re able to return home to friends and relatives in Georgia.

    I suppose it goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, “Today’s blog was wonderful and I’m going to miss them during November.” However, please enjoy your little vacation from blogging and I’ll be waiting for the Lake Blakeshear Blogs and the Winter Updates.

    Have a safe trip home and a very good visit with Jason, Blair and Blake.

    Cathy & Frog, enjoy your time in Atlanta and with Ted & Brenda. Wish I could be there too.

    • Aw, Lowell, wouldn’t that be great! You, Faye, Frog and Cathie, Ted and I all sitting on the sun porch, sipping iced tea and TALKING! Hold that thought until next summer, and let’s do it on the island – well the river won’t be here, but maybe we can scare up some iced tea on this rock!

  13. NO! It just can’t be time. This is my second “goodbye” from you, Brenda, and I honestly have to say that I’m all choked up. My husband, Gary and I caught you on the hill next to the Grand the second week of October on a chilly, dreary afternoon, and I was already feeling a bit blue to say hi and goodbye that day.

    I have to admit, this goodbye is worse than last year. Yes, I still read/follow your posts during the winter, but it’s just not the same. I thank you again, for all of the hard work and determination that you devote to providing us with so much more information on “our Island” than we cold ever unearth on our own. Thank you for making me feel almost like an islander myself.

    I pray for safe travels for you, Ted, Bear and Maddie. I pray that you get back into a routine where you are taking care of your sleep problems and getting some well deserved rest.

    Although I love your blog and look forward to your updates, I would certainly understand if you and Ted decided that it is too time consuming and takes away from the purpose of relaxing on the Island, spending more time in her woods and watching, waiting and listening…

    Thank you again, and God Bless you all.

    • It was SO nice meeting you and Gary this fall, Sue! Thank you for the safe travel prayers, and hopefully we’ll get in a longer visit next summer!

  14. Thank you again for the wonderful summer on Mackinac Island. The tears come to my eyes for your leaving. It is like I am leaving there again. Have a safe trip, enjoy your family and please do take care and use your breathing machine. It is soo… important!

    Love Maryellen

    • Thank you, Maryellen – I’m going to do better when I get home (well, I couldn’t do any worse, since I don’t even have the machine with me up here) – but you know what I mean.

  15. You’ve become the Ambassador of Mackinac! When I was planning a trip, I googled Mackinac Island and found you. I’ve been reading since that day, more than 2 years ago. I’m sure you know, you are a friend to many who you’ve never met. Through your words, your pictures and …. well. You!

    Take a break, for a break’s sake. For those who love to write, it’s a must do to keep your writing mojo in tune.

    It’s exhausting to think up topics, download images, put words into meaningful sentences. It’s not easy. Anyone who has ever blogged (personally or professionally) knows exactly what you’re going through.

    Enjoy your time away.

  16. Bree,

    I look forward to your posts all summer! I am also amazed how fast it went by. I remember how excited I was when you were headed up for the season and I could read your posts. I enjoyed seeing you again this year.

    Mackinac is feeling different for me also, and I’ll tell you my reason. I have come to the Island for 15 years, and there have been SO many changes recently. Most of which have been for the worse. I remember walking downtown in front of the lovely cottage covered in flowers with a cute park across the street opening up to the harbor. By the next year or two, that park will be eaten up by another Disney World-like representation of what is “historic”. The cottage is long gone, and a immensely tall hotel with huge white pillars is in its place. The ice cream shop we went to nightly for 10 years when I was a kid is going to be knocked down, as is the Magic Shop my deceased grandfather loved to go into. The small little restaurant we used to watch Jessie cook breakfast in will also be gone. Yes, these places will exist in a new building, but it will not be the same.

    I used to think Mackinac was my favorite place in the world, but it might be moving down the ranks a bit. If it was still the way I used to know it, it might still be. Change is not easy.

    Looking forward to your weekly updates. Thank you thank you thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your island life with us several times a week. I am also glad that I was able to win the mystery spot contest once this year! SAFE TRAVELS!!! And see you next year.

    Your Friend,
    Garden City MI

    • Change IS hard, Jeff, and I know exactly how you feel. It’s hard to let go of the places that have such great importance in our memories – especially if they are tied to beloved family members. But, when faced with change on Mackinac, we have two choices. As you say, move it down on our places to visit – or try to embrace the change. What’s making it easier for me is knowing that for the generations that come after us – our grandchildren’s children – it is the NEW places where their memories will be made and where they will want to bring their children and grandchilden. The buildings downtown may continue to be renovated or rebuilt – but the spirit that is Mackinac will live on in the hearts of those of us who love it so much. Hoping to see you many more times next summer!

  17. Bree, we enjoyed meeting you and Ted this summer while visiting the Porters. It was wild finding someone also from GA while we were there..
    I loved this blog and all the pictures. Brought back wonderful memories.

  18. Wow, look at everyone checking in with you on your final 2012 Mackinac Island blog! You are loved. Yes, I’d say you’ve been BUSY…..and busy with your faithful blogs of being BUSY! Your blogs serve as more than information and your large, large following is testimony to that. You serve our hearts, Bree. You do.

    SO, if you win the snowmobile raffle, are you and Ted going to spend the 2013-2014 winter ON Mackinac Island? Just wondering. Wouln’t have use for it in Georgia, would you?

    Bree, about the tiredness. You are right, you are not sick, but you are tired. I heard that come out as an undertone in a few of your summer blogs. Guess what? I have a sleep test in 3 weeks, right before Thanksgiving. THe info I have read is you are right to re-evaluate the need… says symptoms do not go away if you don’t use it. That is probably what you are experiencing. Good luck in the future with a comfortable adjustment and decision. I would estimate my chances of being positive are about 101.1% so I have some decisions ahead of me.

    Safe and blessed traveling and loving welcome to your home in Georgia.

    • You know me too well, Sue. Thanks for the sweet words, and if your test comes back positive, may you have a very easy time getting adjusted to the machine!

  19. Our best to you and Ted and the pups. Be safe, be well, and most of all, be happy. We are all blessed to be able to know and enjoy tour words and photos. See you next year! Sue, Andy, Chili and Buzz

  20. OK, gang – it’s going to be a LONG day on the road tomorrow. Going to bed and hoping for a few hours sleep. Thank you, thank you for all the safe travel prayers. Love ya’ll!

  21. Brenda I loved your post and all the pictures..of course I LOVE the one with Alyssa in it…we miss her so much but know she loves ‘her’ Mackinac Island!! So sorry we didn’t get to meet up with you this summer and we didn’t make it back for a late fall visit..I had two cataract surgery’s in October so that kept us home for sure!! Looking forward to meeting up with you next spring/summer!! Have a safe trip back to Georgia..many blessings and enjoy that family get together!! ♥

  22. I had already wished you a safe trip home, but after reading this last blog of the season, I had to comment. I so agree with many of the comments made here. The island is my little piece of paradise I get to enjoy a few times during the season. I always hate leaving it behind, but your blog helps me “feel” the island. So many times after a rough day, your blog has made me smile and “feel”my piece of paradise. You have a great gift of words and a long with the pictures it is a virtual visit to paradise. I use to feel so absessed with the island, but glad to know others love it and apprieciate it as much as I do. Our visits have also been enhanced thru news and also info we didn’t know of. So nice to be in the loop. So, once again. Wishing you and Ted, Maddie and Bear a safe trip home. Will be looking forward to the Lake Blackshear blog. Please give Maddie and Bear a huge hug for me. They are sooo sweet. Take Care!!!

  23. Thanks for sharing all the wonderful pictures and stories of your adventures. It was so nice to meet you this summer. I’ll be praying for a safe and uneventful trip home for you, Ted and the pups.

  24. Thank you for writing your wonderful blog! I just love it and look forward to it!!! I have never been to the island but hope to change that in the near future! Until then I have your blog to allow me to look at all the beauty there. Thank you so much:)))

  25. Brenda, I am going to miss reading about Mackinac Island, but I can’t wait until December to find out what has been happening in Georgia. You deserve to take a break and just “chill out” at home with the family. In fact next year, you should see about having some people do guest spots once or twice a week sending in information about their time on Mackinac and this would give you the much need rest to just enjoy the Island you love so much. Or heck, take off a week or two a month and don’t blog at that time and consider it “Family time”, we’ll understand.

    Safe travel south. Oh, and tell the family Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

  26. Thank you so much for so graciously and vividly bringing me along to my very favorite place over the summer. For various reasons, my husband and I have not been able to visit Mackinac Island for several years. But your blog is absolutely the next best thing – all the great descriptions and the beautiful photos, the generous way you share all of your experiences to help make them mine as well. You have given me a real connection back to that magical place that holds so many special memories. I have loved getting to know you, Ted, Maddie, and Bear through your blog. And, as a southern-born girl myself (TN now living in OH), I know I will love following your GA blog as well. Sending up a prayer for safe travels back to your winter home. Absolutely enjoy your well-deserved off-time during November and have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family. Looking forward to hearing from you in December. Love ya, Brenda!

  27. Thanks for a wonderful summer and have a great winter! We’ll miss you but we’ll be here whenever or whatever you decide. Take it easy!

  28. Like I said yesterday, I will miss the Mackinac info but look forward to hearing about your Lake Blackshear life just as much. Relax and enjoy November with the family-we’ll be waiting for you when you get back and we’ll pick up right where we left off. That’s what good friends do!!!!!

    Safe travels and I hope the Captain’s Table has some perch waiting for you!

  29. I just looked at the webcams and saw it – SNOW!!! This is why the Good Lord had you stay until today, rather than leaving Wednesday. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays have become my favorite days, just so I can get that glimpse of the island through your caring, expressive, beautiful eyes. We met at the September 11 ceremony and it was the highlight of my visit. Enjoy your November – you certainly deserve some time off. Knowing how important family is to you and Ted, I know they will be appreciative to have you all to themselves! December will just give us that much more to look forward to. Safe travels to you and Ted, Maddie and Bear. Talk to you soon – miss you already!!

    • Hi Kate! So good to hear from you! I can see you understand how much seeing that snow meant to me this morning. Oh my gosh, I was excited!

  30. Bree…I don’t post many comments but I always read your blog. I love the stories. I’ve spent time on Mackinac Island that last two summers and it has been wonderful. In fact, my husband and I are thinking about spending New Year’s Eve on the Island. It is an incredible place. Safe travels home and enjoy your time off. Thanks for writing your blog. It means so much to me (and I think to many others).

    • Hi Stephanie! New Year’s on the island is really becoming a popular event. Wish I could get Ted up there for that. If you and your husband go, please send me some pics to post on the Winter Updates!

  31. What a great final post! Bittersweet, though. It’s that time of year, with the time change and darker, colder, gloomy days here in Ohio, it’s time to move indoors for us. Loved the pics of the island with nobody around. I sometimes dream of just being there with no one in the world to bother me. I have so much work to get done today at my office, but instead I’m reading your post and all the comments. Absolutely love your blog and will miss it greatly. I always check in to the GA blog as well. Have a safe, safe trip home!

    • I love that you squeeze reading my blog posts into your work day, Dave! And I sure can understand that sentiment about spending some time there during the winter when very few people are around. Sounds positively dreamy.

  32. Brie, I can’t begin to tell you how much fun I’ve had following you this summer. You are my eyes and ears for the Island. It’s great to be reminded why I am so fortunate to live here in Northern Michigan. Safe journeys.

  33. Thank you for another wonderful season of visits to Mackinac. I don’t comment often, but I read every word and enjoy every picture. Have a safe trip back to Georgia. I’ll be waiting for your posts on both blogs in December.

  34. I think that we can all agree that we all love Mackinac, but that what truly makes your blog so special is you! Thank you so much for taking time out of your life to help us all live vicariously through you. And what a wonderful (although slightly sad) last post!! Please travel safely and enjoy some much needed down time. I look forward to checking in with your life down on the ri’vah in December!

  35. Thank you for taking that wonderful last walk around the Island for us. Very bittersweet. I can’t believe how quickly everything shuts down. I hope you know how much we all love your blogs. Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy live to share this special place with us. You take all the time you need to recharge yourself. We will all be waiting anxiously for your return to blogging from your Georgia home in December. Prayers for a safe trip.

    P.S. Love the beautiful snow!

    • They have to shut down quickly and work like crazy folks to get maintenance done before the snow flies, Lora. It amazes me also how fast they get going when the Grand closes down.

  36. By the time you read this, you will be home! Thank you so much for giving me a great blog to read on the Island. I had been looking for such a blog and just “Googled” Mackinac Island blogs, and yours popped up and that is how I found you this summer. Immensely enjoyed reading all summer and look forward to learning about your “southern” life at Lake Blackshear. Have a great restive and restorative Winter! And my DH says “riv’ah,” too. 😉 (Texan). Sue

  37. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many comments as this time. You know we all adore you, Ted, Bear, Maddie, Jill….the whole group. Does feel like a family and loved this post. Enjoy your time off and the holidays with family and until next year……we all have something to look forward to. Us folks in the “winter” part of the country know alot about “looking forward to” things.

  38. Brenda, you are probably already home so welcome home! Thank you so much for your hard work for doing the blog! I can’t imagine starting and then continuing the blog. I am sure that most of us out here in the blog world would totally understand if you wanted to quit the blog but we hope you take the month of November off, enjoy your blog vacation, and come back in December.

    Again it was such a treat to meet you in June by myself and then with my husband Tony, and our furry child Bear in August. The trip you and Jill did to see Lowell was so sweet and something I am sure he won’t forget!

    I have to say one of the most rememorable posts was the one with the blind children. I cried and cried because those children are so brave and sweet!

    You are just like part of our family. Tony and I discuss you alsomst everyday such as “Brenda said” “Brenda is doing” “Brenda posted”! It is hilarious!

    Take care and god bless!

    • You are absolutely right. Neither Faye nor I will ever forget having Brenda and Jill visit us. When Brenda told me she and Jill wanted to come, I was dumbfounded that they would make a special trip and go out of their way to come to our house. It was grand

  39. We have been going to Mackinac Island since our honeymoon in 1975, and it is our dream to live on the island someday. We try to visit as often as we can, and always feel as if we are leaving a little bit of ourselves behind when we have to leave. By reading your blog and seeing your beautiful pictures, I still feel the connection to this magical island and all the beauty it has to offer. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the hard work and time you put into it. We had the opportunity to meet Ted in October and enjoyed playing trivia with him at the Pink Pony. It was nice to talk to you that night and I’m hoping to officially meet you next year. It’s easy to see how much your blog means to so many people and that you will be missed in November. Thanksgiving will be upon us soon and your return to the Lake Blackshear blog on December 3rd will be here before we know it. Wishing many blessings to you and your family at Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season. Looking forward to reading your Winter Updates from the Island and the blog posts from the Pet Partners group.

  40. It’s been a great summer of sharing your life with us at that magic place we call, Mackinac Island. We are always so sad when it comes to your last post of the summer. We will look forward to the winter updates and news from the rivah. Could certainly understand taking a break in Nov. You have had a hectic summer.

    Have a safe trip home and a Happy Thanksgiving!

  41. Thank you for sharing your wonderful summer on Mackinac Island with all of us!! It was a beautiful season of pictures and stories that I will look at often through the long cold winter!! It was so nice to meet you and Jill and Steven Blair, I have some of his photos framed and hanging in our home. Thank you again for a great summer blog. Praying for safety as you travel to your other home!!

  42. I love reading all about the Island and it just brings back the memories of all our trips there…including the two this year! I also appreciate the pictures and especially the ones with my awesome daughter Alyssa! I pray you have a safe trip back to Georgia and look forward to you arriving next year…be blessed!

  43. Wishing you and Ted and the dogs a safe trip and a wonderful winter. I can’t wait to read your blog -I usually save it for the afternoon recess when my 3rd graders go outside and I need a few minutes of peace. Your blog takes me to a serene place and I so appreciate sharing those moments with you. I will keep you in my prayers.

  44. wow that was great, I love those last 2 pictures, but being the Southern Girl that I am, I love the last one, it reminded me a little of “Gone with Wind”……keep writing girl

  45. I know it is always good to get “home”, but it is always hard to leave Mackinac Island. You just get caught up in the magic and the people and the history! Thank you for helping keep Mackinac Island alive for the rest of us when we are not able to be there! Enjoy your time off. It is well deserved.

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