Here we are. Last post of the season. How can that be?
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.
A Few More Pics From This Past Week
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 http://bree1976.wordpress.com (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 https://bree1972.wordpress.com.
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.