Countdown to Lowell & Faye’s Visit – Part I 5/31/2013

Those of you who follow this blog know the excitement I’m feeling right now about Lowell & Faye Greene’s upcoming visit to Mackinac Island is a mixture of joy, anticipation and enthusiasm . . . with just a tiny bit of apprehension thrown in for good measure!

Lowell and his family had a scare a few weeks ago when he was hospitalized with congestive heart failure, and we were concerned he may not be able to make the trip.  But – thank you God – his doctor gave him the “ok” to travel, and the much anticipated visit begins Sunday with Faye and Lowell’s arrival on the Island.

I’m asking each and every one of you to promise to take a few minutes each day to pray for their safe travels and for Lowell’s health during the visit.  This trip is so very important to him.

Today and tomorrow I thought I’d re-publish the two blog posts I’ve previously written about Lowell, just to refresh your memories – or introduce those new to the blog to Lowell and his family.  While they are here (arrival on Sunday, departure on Wednesday), I’ll be following their visit some, but I’ll also try to give them some alone time to do whatever they want to do, without me tagging along.

Before I add the first blog about Lowell below, there’s something pretty awesome I want to share with you.  When the idea of this visit came up, I made some phone calls and talked with friends here on the Island.  From those calls and chats, the beautiful spirit of the Island has made me so proud to be a part of this community.  Bobby Benser and Brian Bailey, owner and general manager of the Chippewa Hotel, are providing the Greene’s three nights in one of the Chippewa’s beautiful Harbor Suites at no charge.  Shepler’s Ferry is providing their ferry tickets for the round-trip crossing.  There are others I’ll mention as the week progresses, but to do so now would give away a few surprises we have in store for these two.  Suffice it to say that Mackinac Island is going to give Lowell and Faye a visit that will make some wonderful new memories!

Here’s the first post I wrote about Lowell – August 10, 2010:

Lowell Greene and his wife Faye are two of my most loyal readers.  Lowell comments on my posts regularly, and quite a while ago he asked me to check on something for him.

Lowell and Faye live in Michigan, and he worked on Mackinac Island 55 years ago.  Health concerns prevent Lowell from visiting Mackinac as he’d like, but he has shared some great memories of the Island with me.

In 1955 I hitch hiked from my home in Cheboygan to Mackinaw City and took the ferry to Mackinac Island.  I walked down one side of Main Street and about half way up the other before finding a job.  I worked at two different restaurants that summer, before my 16th birthday on October 6.  I first worked at Phil Corby’s “Coffee Cup.”  Then I worked at “The Carriage Lantern.”  While I was on the Island that summer, I roomed at Ella Chambers’ house.  The next 2 summers I roomed at her house and worked at her “Arch Rock Curio Shop” – a little way to the right of Arch RockI’ve climbed up under Arch Rock from the road below (they’ve taken all the fun out of that now with a stairway), and I actually walked across Arch Rock, something I recommend to no one – but I was a teenager thenAnother memory was the day a friend and I took a small fishing boat out to Round Island.  We beached the boat on the sand and walked over to the lighthouse.  Finding it unlocked, we explored it thoroughly before pushing off to return to Mackinac.  As we were returning, a huge freighter passed us so close I thought I could reach out and touch it.  I don’t know if I was scared or just in awe of that huge ship.”

Because Lowell worked at Arch Rock, he remembered a brass tablet near there dedicated to John Nicolet, the first white man to set foot in Michigan and the old Northwest territory.  He wondered if the tablet was still there and gave me an approximate vicinity to look in – “I think that tablet is just a little way into the trees to the left of Arch Rock, as you’re looking toward the water.”

I’ve been meaning to go out and look for the tablet for a couple of months now, and just never seemed to find the time.  On Sunday I awoke with Lowell’s tablet on my mind, and Ted and I made plans to ride over after lunch, which we did.

It was a wonderful day for a bike ride.  The weather forecast had called for storms all day, but as so often happens, no storms arrived, and by early afternoon the skies were blue, and the temperature was perfect in the mid-70’s.    I’m always the “follower” on bike rides, so Ted chooses how we’re going to get to wherever we’re going.  He loves mixing paved roads, wooded trails , and a few I like to call “nonexistent pathways”, but we nevertheless always manage to arrive at our destination.

So you can get your bearings – you can see a splash of red through the trees on the right side of this photo.  That is someone walking out to the viewing platform at Arch Rock.  As Lowell said, the tablet is to the left of the Arch.
The steps to the top of the hill where the tablet was placed.
At the top of the steps, you walk out on a platform that rests on the top of the hill, and there it is – just as Lowell said it would be!
I got Ted to take my pic with the tablet just to prove I’d really been there!
Standing behind the tablet – looking east.
Another view from the platform.  I can never get over how BIG the great lakes are!
Tranquil Bluff Trail begins at the top of the platform and runs almost all the way to British Landing. It’s one of the most difficult bike trails on the Island.

Lowell, I’m sorry it took me so long to check on this for you, but I figured if I did it too soon, you’d stop writing me all those great memories you have of the Island.  You and Faye have a great day canning those green beans, and God bless.

23 thoughts on “Countdown to Lowell & Faye’s Visit – Part I 5/31/2013

  1. Brenda you are amazing for making sure that Lowell and Faye have a trip to Mackinac they will always remember. It warms my heart that the Chippewa hotel and Shepler’s ferry are being so kind and generous. If there is anything I can to do help with your surprise plans, please let me know. I will be on the Island and look forward to meeting the Greenes. I will pray for their safe travels.

    • Thanks for that offer, Lora! Would love for you to arrange a little warmer weather! Are the three of you getting together while you’re here?

      Sent from my iPhone

      • I hope the weather is a little warmer than they are predicting for next week. We don’t have any definite plans, but I will be making my way down to the Chippewa to met and say hello to Lowell and Faye. I don’t want to take up too much of their time. I want them to enjoy the Island and all the suprises you have in store for them (can’t wait to read/hear about them). I will pray for warm weather, lilacs and safe travels.

      • I can’t say it any better than Lora….” I will pray for warm weather, lilacs and safe travels”. And yes, Bree IS amazing!!

  2. I think all of us that follow your blog are waiting breathlessly to find out how Lowell and Faye enjoy the trip. Prayers for safe travel and for the time on the Island to be everything they need.

  3. How very nice & sweet, I’m sure this will be a vacation they will remember.

    I’m also coming to the island on Sunday for 2 nights. Staying at the Lilac Tree.

    Enjoy Lowell, Faye & Brenda.

  4. Wishing safe travels for Lowell and Faye and the most wonderful of time on the island. The Chippewa and Sheplers are awesome for their part in all this and YOU Brenda are the BEST!
    Again, safe travels Lowell and stay strong. I want to hear ALL about it!!

    • Oh darn, I forgot to ask what ferry they will be on because now we can watch Lowell and Faye arrive on the island thanks to the webcam… I’ll be waving to you 🙂

      • I don’t know yet their arrival time for sure, Hilde, but they’re aiming for the 3:30 ferry.

        Sent from my iPhone

  5. Brenda,

    Never in our lives have we packed for a trip until the night before leaving, but guess what, we are packed and almost ready to go and it isn’t even noon yet. Faye said she was ready to go a day early, but I suppose we’ll just have to wait. I don’t think I have been so full of anticipation since I was a child.

    For us, this is going to be one of those trips that is known as “The Trip of A Lifetime,” and I want everyone to know that it’s you who deserves the credit for it. Oh, I know you want to give all the credit to others, and they certainly deserve a lot, but you deserve the most, which is proven by the fact that you’ve just called to check on us.

    One more little thing: The name on the plaque in the story was made for “John” Nicolet. His first name was Jean, and that is the name that was on the original small plaque that was hidden in the trees closer to Arch Rock, which was the plaque that I saw so many years ago. I hope we’ll be able to get up to the new one when we’re on the Island.

    Hilde, as Brenda said, we plan to catch the 3:30 (that’s PM, if you please) ferry from Mackinaw City, and she has told me it only takes less than 30 minutes to get to the Island, so start watching the webcam at about 3:35- 50 (and don’t forget, that’s PM) on Sunday. If I don’t forget, I’ll wave like a maniac, so you’ll know who it is. That is, I’ll wave if the little men in white coats don’t cart me away first.

    Less than a day left!!!

    • Hilde, I meant to say, start watching the webcam at 3:45-50 PM on Sunday. At least, I don’t think they’ve installed vacuum tube travel between Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island yet.

  6. Lowell, I am so excited for you and Faye!!! You are such a great blogger and I love your stories. I can’t wait for Brenda to do her next blog and find out the fun things you did while on the island. You will be such a celebrity! LOL!

  7. Wow, that is a really big lake. Sounds like Lowell and Faye are going to have an amazing trip due to the amazing Brenda and her amazing friends and all the blog readers amazing good thoughts.

    • Ok guys. If one more person uses my name and the word “amazing” in the same sentence again, you will be placed on blog detention for the entire time Lowell and Faye are here.

  8. Brenda,

    Can we use awesome?

    Enjoy your special time Lowell and Faye!! Enjoy this wonderful blessing you both deserve. Remember “to take the time to smell the lilacs”! We can’t wait to hear of all of the ways Mackinac will wrap it self around the truly special couple you are!

    Enjoy Brenda, Ted, and their furry friends for us all!!


  9. Brenda, isn’t it a blessing to be part of someone’s dream? God Bless you and Lowell and Faye for a safe and memorable trip.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s