Hello from the chilly South! The sun is setting on the lake, and for the second night in a row we’re expecting temps below freezing (yes, I know – it’s all relative). Ted has had our wood burning stove on the sun porch going full-blast since early this morning, and I’m wondering if I could convince him to spend the night out there tonight so it would still be burning Monday morning. Just for the heck of it, I just turned around and asked if he would do that. He looked up from the paper, smiled, and said sweetly, “Sugar Plum, if you want the fire to be burning in the morning, YOU stay up all night and keep it going.” All righty then!
Tonight will be a photo-only update, but before I start putting those up for everyone to enjoy, I want to take a minute and say a very special thank you to the people and businesses on the Island who makes these updates possible. As I’m sure you’ve figured out over the years, without folks who live year-round on magical Mackinac and who are gracious enough to share their photos with this blog, these winter updates wouldn’t be happening. What really humbles me is though many of these folks are friends, there are a few whom I’ve never even met. They are men and women who post beautiful photos on a Facebook page, and when they get a message from me (who they don’t know from Adam’s house cat), asking to use that photo on a blog about the Island, instantly say “Of course!” And that’s what makes Mackinac Islanders special.
I have hesitated for weeks about doing this because I know I will leave someone out. If I do, please please forgive – it was totally a goof-up on my part. So here goes – and in no particular order:
- Wonderful year-round Islanders Robert McGreevy, Greg Main, Sonnet Quinn (and her blog Mackinac Mommy), Mary McGuire, Clark Bloswick, Orietta Banquero, Heather May, Liz Burt (and her Quilted Turtle blog), Nicole Doud, Rich & Marge Lind, Ray Card, Jason St. Onge, Joan Barch, and Travis Sredzinski.
- The business web sites, Facebook pages and/or web cams of: Grand Hotel, Mission Point Resort, Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau, Chippewa Hotel, Doud’s Market, The Cottage Inn, Mackinac Island Historic State Parks, Mackinac Island News & Views, Horn’s Bar, Island House Hotel, Shepler’s Ferry, and Mackinac Bridge.
- Great friends Patrick Conlon and Jeff Peterson who live nearby, visit the Island often, and always share photos!
- . . . . and anyone else who reads this blog, occasionally visits the Island during the winter, and will always – always – offer their photos (you’ll meet two of them tonight – Andy Rosenbaum & Sue Stejskal).
These next seven shots were taken by Andy Rosenbaum and Sue Stejskal when they visited the Island this past weekend. Thanks so much for emailing these to me!
Lowell is back home from the hospital after having a stent placed in an artery that was partially blocked. More tests and procedures may be in his future, but he is doing much better and plans to start building up his stamina for their island trip in June.
Cheryl Priest, one of Chris Ann’s daughters, just posted this update a few moments ago: “Today Mom has been a bit anxious and is struggling with her breathing. Her ability to swallow also shifted today. We’ve talked about how she spent her life in constant motion and how she may have underestimated her body’s willingness to let that go. We have told her it is ok to go. Other family members have come in or are coming. Family from across the country have started sending video clips with messages of love and goodbyes. Mom might not be able to focus in on them with her eyes, but she has enjoyed listening to them over and over again. My sister Carol sent a message, and her two kids made a video for grandma and helped her join them on a bike ride along the river in Washington state. We now sit holding her hand. Our prayers would be for her comfort and for her next journey to begin soon. Hospice of the Straits has been and continues to do an amazing job, and they make sure that we have everything we need.”
I write these words through tears because I know the end is very near. I hold her hand in my heart. I love you, Sunshine.