Countdown! Twelve . . Eleven . . Ten! 5/1/2013

Ten days until we leave.  One box packed to ship.  Nothing else done.  I’m thinking this is the way I should have been doing this for the last five summers instead of turning packing into a month-long marathon!

What’s different this year?  Yes, we are putting the condo on the market – but when Ted and I bought the condo, it had been on the market more than two years.  If it sells in one summer, we will both be in shock – so we are planning on being there from the middle of May until at least the end of October – and enjoying every moment – just like always.

What’s different this year?  I have such a peace about what lies ahead that it seems my usual excitement is being tempered by almost a sense of tranquility, a slow-down of my normal pace in getting ready, an attitude of, “Oh just throw a few things in the suitcase, and if I missed something, I can get it there.”  That is NOT my normal self.  Y’all know that.  I will ship everything I own so I don’t have two of anything.  Why haven’t I been like this before?!  Sooooo much more relaxing!  I know a bunch of you are out there laughing right now, saying “We’ve told you that a million times!”

What’s different this year?  We’re another year older, and this winter, as usual, I’ve become a couch potato. All plans to stay active for the last six months have gone by the wayside.  I know I’m going to struggle the first two weeks on the Island – just like I always do.  I’m dreading that . . . . . but I’m also looking forward to it – the getting back in shape part, not the part where every muscle will be screaming by day three on Mackinac!  You’d think one day I’d learn.

Ok – enough about me.  You’re here to read something about our magical Island!

Mackinac has come alive in the last two weeks.  The snow’s melted – well most of it anyway.  Shops and restaurants and hotels are opening every day, with more to come in the next week or so.  Here’s a few news items:

  • The Spirit of the North Yoga Boutique has moved into the lower level of the Lilac Tree Hotel, and yoga will be offered all summer.  The instructor is Lisa Knaffla, a registered yoga teacher and certified Health & Fitness Coach.  So if you are into yoga – or want to be – you can sign up by calling Lisa at (231) 818-3001.
  • Sadie’s, the new ice cream parlor at the Grand Hotel, opens May 3.  I wonder if Ted will let us stop the taxi on our first trip up the hill to get a Jersey Mud . . . . probably not.  I don’t know though – he’s pretty crazy about Jersey Muds!
  • Stu Stuart, who has been making visitors to the Island laugh for many years, is moving his comedy show from the lower level of the Lilac Tree Hotel to the Eagle Point Cave Room in the Conference Center across from Mission Point Resort’s Main Lodge.  Stu will have you laughing out loud about all things “Mackinac”, and is a must-see during your Mackinac visit!
  • So sad to report that Marc’s Double Oven Bakery will not be open this summer. Marc and his fabulous baked goods will be missed by one and all!
  • A new business – Sail Mackinac – opens this summer.  It will offer sailing lessons on a racing sail boat and special sails for island events like the 4th of July fireworks.  More information here:

Awesome boat!

It’s so funny how fast news gets around on the Island.  The realtor we purchased our condo from six years ago called us this week.  He’d been coming across on the ferry, and one of the island residents – who is a blog reader – said to him, “You knew Brenda and Ted were planning on selling their condo, didn’t you?”

He called to see if he could show it that afternoon!  All I could think about was how we leave that place every fall.  Bikes are stacked everywhere on the inside, along with deck chairs and tables.  Bathroom floor mats are off the floors and kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors are wide open to let heat in so pipes won’t freeze.  I’m sure whoever saw it thought, “Oh my goodness, what a mess!”

The tulips are coming up at the Grand!

The tulips are coming up at the Grand . . .

. . . and the red carpet is rolled out for the Friday, May 1 Grand Opening!  (Photo credit for this and above photo: Grand Hotel)

. . . and the red carpet is rolled out for the Friday, May 3 Grand Opening! (Photo credit for this and above photo: Grand Hotel)

The first Shepler Ferry of the season arrives at the Island early this past Monday morning.  (Photo:  Caddywampus)

The first Shepler Ferry of the season arrives at the Island early this past Monday morning. (Photo: Caddywampus)

The lights of town shrouded in fog. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

The lights of town shrouded in fog. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

The first Adirondack chairs are out at Mission Point.  The grass is still a little brown, but it won't be long before it turns that unmistakable Mackinac green. (Photo: Mission Point Resort)

The first Adirondack chairs are out at Mission Point. The grass is still a little brown, but it won’t be long before it turns that unmistakable Mackinac green. (Photo: Mission Point Resort)

Oh Lordy!  This year Doud's is baking, and donuts will be available warm and oh so yummy every morning! (Photo: Sonnet Quinn)

Oh my goodness! This year Doud’s is baking, and donuts will be available warm and oh-so-yummy every morning!  (Photo: Sonnet Quinn)

It takes a long ladder to reach the flagpole on top of the Grand Hotel's cupola; but when the flagpole needs painting, they find a way to make it happen! (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

It takes a long ladder to reach the flagpole on top of the Grand Hotel’s cupola. But when the flagpole needs painting, they find a way to make it happen! (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

Patrick starts us off with another season of sunrises. BEAUTIFUL!  Can't wait to see one for myself . . . oh wait, I'm never up that early.

Patrick Conlon starts us off with another season of sunrises. BEAUTIFUL! Can’t wait to see one for myself . . . oh wait, I’m never up that early!

Little Luxuries is open for a new season, and the store is now twice as big!  Over the winter they expanded into the space where the Yankee Peddler has been for many years.  One of my first stops after we get unpacked!

Little Luxuries on Mackinac is open for a new season, and the store is now twice as big! Over the winter they expanded into the space the Yankee Peddler occupied for many years. You all know it will be one of my first stops after we get unpacked!  (Photo: Little Luxuries)

A tug and barge headed for Soo Ontario under the light of a full moon. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

A tug and barge headed for Soo Ontario under the light of a full moon. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

Lake Blackshear News

We boarded Bear and Maddie two weekends ago while we went to see the grandkids.  A week later, around 2:30 on Sunday morning,  Bear woke us up coughing and retching so badly we thought he couldn’t get his breath.  I have never heard a dog cough like that.  He finally calmed down and went back to sleep, only to awake around 6:30 a.m. with the same symptoms.  When I got in touch with the vet before noon on Sunday, she diagnosed him over the phone, “He has kennel cough,” she said.  She knew that Bear had gotten all his shots, including the kennel cough vaccine, a month before, and I told her the kennel is adamant about their clients providing records from the vet that the dogs have been vaccinated.

“Doesn’t matter,” she said.  “The kennel cough vaccine is not 100% effective, and we think we’re dealing with a new strain, or a particularly virulent strain that the vaccine doesn’t cover.  We are seeing it pop up in every boarding kennel in the area.”

Geez.  We started Bear on meds, and he is doing great, but today Maddie started coughing.  Yikes!

Off to a wedding this weekend near Athens, GA.  We can’t board Maddie or Bear because of their cough, so Ted is doggie-sitting, and my good friend Dawn is going with me to the wedding.  We’re turning it into a girls road trip and spending the night in the historic Fitzpatrick Hotel in Washington, GA.  We’ll get there in plenty of time to have lunch and look around this sweet little Georgia town before the 6 p.m. wedding.

Then it’s back home on Sunday for a going-away party at Booger Bottom that lake friends are throwing for us that afternoon.  Busy, busy weekend!

Hmmm . . . maybe I’ll start packing on Monday. That will give me five whole days before we leave.  Sure – that’s enough.  Right? Right?


40 thoughts on “Countdown! Twelve . . Eleven . . Ten! 5/1/2013

  1. I obsessed over packing for a two week trip to Alaska a few years ago. Finally, someone on my one Yahoo Group pointed out that they do have stores and laundromats there. Yeah, hard to believe isn’t it?

  2. 7 days and we will be flying to New Mexico..can’t wait, really excited about going…not so excited about flying lol.
    Brenda, if Bud and I could find a job on the island (hint hint) we would buy your condo in a heartbeat! If you hear of anything, let us know! 🙂

  3. So exciting hearing about the island coming to life! Can’t wait to get up there Memorial Day weekend! Hope your pups are feeling better soon. Our kitty just recently went to the vet for a UTI and came home having contracted Kennel Cough from the vet’s office! So we are familiar with that. Hope they are back to their healthy selves soon! Have fun at the wedding! Take care! 🙂

  4. Marc treated me very, very well the summer I interned for the State Park. So sorry to hear i won’t be able to stop in for a cheese danish and coffee on my next trip. Many fond memories in that little bakery!

  5. Brenda,
    Sorry I didn’t get a chance to comment about your last blog. My computer was down. I am very happy for you and Ted about your decision to move closer to your Family. I know God will guide in your journey toward finding the perfect new home. Selfishly, I am hoping that it takes a while before you sell your condo. You have been so generous sharing your amazing life on Mackinac Island and in Georgia. If you choose to continue to blog when you move, I will just as anxious to hear of your adventures in FL.

    I am also in a count-down until it is Mac time. I leave 1 month from today and this year I am taking my little niece with me. She has never been. . . I just hope she loves it as much as I do. I am also sorry to hear about Marc’s bakery. I enjoyed that bakery a little too much for my waistline. I can’t wait to visit Little Luxuries. I already have a whole list of things I want to get and can’t wait to see all the new stuff.

    Enjoy your last week in GA before heading North!

    Safe travels!

    P.S. Hope Bear feels better soon!

    • Lora,

      Will you tell me again what hotel you will be staying in on the Island. We’ll be staying at the Chippewa. I hope my wife and I can meet you and your niece while we’re there.

      • HI Lowell,

        I would love that. We are staying at the Bicycle Street Inn on Main Street. I look forward to meeting you and your wife.

    • Safe travels for you and your niece, Lora! I know she will love Mackinac as much as her aunt!

      Sent from my iPhone

  6. Brenda,

    Truly, the picture of the sailing yacht and the bridge is Awesome. That’s just what I thought when I saw it.

    I’ m glad Bear is getting better, but sorry to hear about Maddie. Were you able to get the medicine into her sooner than you were able to do for Bear?

    Don’t worry about the packing. When we going on a trip, Faye & I usually pack the night before we leave. Of course, that doesn’t mean we haven’t been making a list for awhile before. Also, when we’ve moved (and there’ve been plenty of those during the past 53 years), we’ve usually packed up the house during the week before.

    You and Dawn have fun at the wedding.

    • Lowell, Maddie just started coughing late Wed. afternoon and we can’t pick up her meds until this morning, so we’re a little behind Bear’s time table. On the plus side, she doesn’t seem to have nearly the severity of cough that he did.

      Sent from my iPhone

      • Brenda,

        Are Bear and Maddie doing better today?

        And how are you coming along with the packing?

        It won’t be long now.

      • Bear and Maddie are getting better by the day, Lowell, and I’ve been packing all morning. Hopefully, by Saturday morning, we’ll be ready to roll!

        Sent from my iPhone

      • I forgot to mention that you will need to keep your cold weather gear within easy reach. It’s nice now, but you’re going to need it when you get to Michigan, and especially the Island.

  7. Poor Bear and Maddie-I had a vet tell me that kennel cough is like the flu, it’s always changing and the vaccines can’t keep up. Hope they both get over it soon.

    Glad you’re at peace with all of the upcoming changes in your life. I think that means you’ve definitely made the right decisions for you and your family.

    As to packing-I’ve got 10 days till we leave for our annual trip to Grand Haven for the Great Lakes Kite Festival. We stay in the same cottage every year and I just pulled out the lists of what I need to bring. Food for 6 people, food for one dog, warm weather and cold weather clothes because it can go from one to the other in 10 minutes sometimes, bathroom linens, bug spray and lots more… Just for 4 days!

  8. Well m’lady, if I win big in the lottery over the next little while (I know – get in line), I will find a way to purchase your condo (providing they allow we foreign Canadians to do so); then, you will ALWAYS have a place to stay when you come to visit the island – humans and canines will be welcome. Fingers & toes (and paws) crossed……….oh wait – I guess I’d better go and buy a ticket or two……

    • LOL Deborah! We’ve been waiting to “hit it big” for decades! Hope it comes true for you!

      Sent from my iPhone

      • I just have to tell this little story about my son, Timothy. He was always talking about winning the lottery. Finally, I told him he couldn’t expect to win if he didn’t buy a ticket. His exact words were, “I’m not wasting my money on that!”

        I wonder if he’ll ever share his winnings with me.

    • As long as God makes it possible for us to go, we’ll be on the island sometime every summer, Kristin! Hope to see you during Lilac Festival!

      Sent from my iPhone

  9. Sorry to hear about Bear & Maddie. Our Bear is going in for surgery this Wednesday to have a couple of fatty tumors removed so I am a little nervous. The vet told me that they would give him a pill to relax him prior to the surgery. I asked the vet if I could have one too! LOL!

  10. Brenda,
    Thinking of you today and your packing for the trip up North. Arrived on the island and I always pack far more than I need. Well, I forgot my swim suit, which may seem a little crazy since the temps are in the 50’s. The Island House has a great hot tub, after the long drive, almost a 20 degree drop in tempature the last 20 miles or so, it looked so inviting. Guess what I did? Exactly, bought one! A very lucky find since so many of the shops are still preparing to open.
    Wishing you a safe trip & to living in your new found serenity.

  11. Do you take stowaways? a family of 4? with cute kids? we’ll carry your bags!!!
    Seriously, we live in Macon and have traveled the distance to Mackinac Island the last three consecutive years. We will miss going this year 😦
    Love your blog!!! We are excited on your behalf!!!!

    Tony & Alison

      • We’ll call you when we’re 30 minutes away. That’ll be enough time for y’all, right?!

        Sent from my iPhone

  12. Packing is a breeze compared to my folks who packed for 3 months, before the washer and dryer were in the house. What a pain those days were, with the trunk of the car packed till it was only inches off the ground. It also took 2 whole days to go from Cleveland, OH to Naubinway, MI. No bridge either.
    Happy to hear the doggys are on the mend.
    The pics are beautiful, especially the sailboat on the lake, with the bridge in the background.
    I’m excited for you!

  13. I always love to see your photos, and to read about your love for the island. Looking forward to summer posts. I’m 250 miles away, so you bring it closer. Thanks. (I know 250 miles is nothing compared to some of you!)

  14. Hi Brenda,
    Glad to hear your buddy’s are both on the mend and ready to roll.

    My,my what big dicisions you and Ted have come to. Very difficult I’m sure but so soul settling! Grandchildren if we can be so o’so close and have our island too…best of both worlds!!

    Mackinac island, Amelia island, both so incredibly beautiful and uniquely special. But as you and Ted have found very different. We as a family have been and will remain watchful of your Joyful Journey’s.

    We’ll see you on the island after our youngest graduates early June. Can’t wait to move onto “Island Time”. It’s definitely time!especially this year!!
    Glad to hear so many on Blog will be there too.

    Hey there Lowell how long are you and Faye gonna be on the island for?

    “The lilacs have begun to bloom in the bottom of the mitten this morning it’s heaven in nutshell”

    God speed Brenda & Ted and your furry friends to the great north country!

    Theresa & Gang

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