This and That 9/15/2013

Things have been pretty quiet around here since the big events surrounding Patriots Day. Tomorrow I’ll spend a few hours in the same building as Lady Liberty, as I volunteer at the Stuart House.  I never went inside the other evening after they placed her in her temporary home, and Monday I’ll have plenty of time to take a few more close-up photos.  We’re all hoping the funds for the construction of the statue’s new pedestal will come in quickly,  If they do, I’m sure she’ll be standing outside at the marina, welcoming the first visitors of the 2014 season!

Ted and I were invited to go over to Round Island Lighthouse on Friday night.  A group of State Park employees were planning an evening exploring the small island and maybe roasting a few hot dogs and marshmallows over a bonfire.  When we found out the trip would involve climbing out of the boat into waist-deep very cold water, wading to shore, AND that the temps were dropping into the low 50’s that afternoon, we sadly declined the invitation.  We were both bummed out because that’s a trip we’ve been trying to make for several years.  I have to admit we smiled when we heard later even the YOUNG people had cancelled for those same reasons – made us feel a little less wimpy :).


Last week was so busy I didn’t have a moment to tell you about all the blog readers who were on the island last Monday and dropped in at the Stuart House to say “hi”.

What a fun group!  These two couples

What a fun group! These two couples, Ron & Susan Jennings and Jim & Marcia Shrauger (all from Kalamazoo, MI) popped in, claiming they had “stalked” me last year, but didn’t come in to say hi during their visit.  So glad they did this year!  I saw them several more times during the week, and each time they looked like they were having the best time ever!  Now here’s a group that GETS Mackinac!

Monica and her husband Rick (who was shy about being in the photo) came by right after I opened the doors.  They are from near Lansing, MI.

Monica and her husband Rick (who was shy about being in the photo) came by right after I opened the doors. They were here from near Lansing, MI. Such a nice couple!

This is a group of cousins - well, except for one.

A group of cousins – well, except for one.  Jill (Mt. Pleasant, MI), Jan (Sunfield, MI) and Gwen (Ionia, MI) are all cousins of Bonnie Foltz ( I forget where Bonnie was that day).  The sweet lady in coral is Yvonne from Sigourney, Iowa.   All of these ladies visit Mackinac Island quite often – needing their “fix” at least once a year!

How blessed I am to have gotten to meet all these wonderful women through Bree’s Blog.  Thank you, thank you for taking time out of your vacation to stop in and say hello!


A few days ago Joan Barch sent an email asking if I’d received my copy of Michigan Country Lines, a magazine sponsored by our electric company, Cloverland Electric Cooperative.  “I’ve got it,” I said, “But I haven’t read it.”

“Well, open it up!” said Joan.  “Your blog is mentioned in one of the articles!”

I grabbed the magazine off the counter and started flipping pages . . .

I grabbed the magazine off the counter and started flipping pages . . .

. . . a nice article written by Mike Buda, editor emeritus of Country Lines, entitled Our Islands.  Mike highlights the two Michigan islands where motorized vehicles aren't allowed 0 Isle Royale and Mackinac.  And at the end of the article . . .

. . . and there it was – a nice article written by Mike Buda, editor emeritus of Country Lines, entitled Our Islands. Mike highlights the two Michigan islands where motorized vehicles aren’t allowed  – Isle Royale and Mackinac. And at the end of the article . . .


Just ask me was I thrilled . . . Why, yes, I was – thanks so much for asking!  I immediately wrote Mike a thank-you email.


You remember Jane Winston – my friend from Georgia who also has a family cottage here on the Island.  She was in some of the blog posts this summer around the 4th of July.  Anyway, she’s back home in Georgia now, and she called yesterday afternoon.  Here’s the jist of what she said:

“So I’m in this store in Warner Robins (GA), looking for a bicycle like the one I have on Mackinac.  I’m telling the clerk that I live in Michigan some during the summer, and from somewhere in the back of the store this man’s voice yells, “You aren’t talking about Mackinac Island, are you?”

“Yes, I am!” I yell back (we do that in Georgia – just yell back and forth from one end of a store to another).

“Out from the back of the store comes this man who tells me all about how he and his family usually go to the island every year either in May or September.  And I say, “I have a friend from Georgia who also lives there in the summer . . . . Brenda 

“No!” the man says.  “You know Bree!”

Turns out this man, Tony Howd and wife Alison, are huge blog fans.

That name rang a bell with me, and after Jane and I finished talking about what a small world it is, I typed Tony’s name into a search engine on my blog . . . and there he was.  He and I had commented back and forth several times this spring about our upcoming trip to the Island, and he had asked if we’d take stowaways – Tony, Alison and two “really cute kids”.  LOVE IT!

Yep it’s a small world.  Hi Tony and Alison and cute kids!!  Hope it’s ok I told this story today!


It seems I’ve had too much free time on my hands for the last few days, and when that happens lately, I find myself thinking too much.  My “free time thoughts” this week have centered on our decision this spring to sell our homes in Michigan and Georgia and start a new adventure in Florida.


To be honest, I truly thought the condo would sell quickly.  It’s among the least expensive offerings on the island.  But what we’ve come to realize is, even though the housing market is coming back, it’s mostly primary residences folks are seeking – not second homes – at least not quite yet.  I know it only takes the “right one” to walk into the Mackinac Realty office, and everything could change in a flash.  But I see little chance that is going to happen before we leave this year.

Our minister, Dr. Vince Carroll, says “You have to be willing to throw your dreams – however wild and crazy they are –  out there into the universe and see what happens.  Maybe God will laugh and say “No way!”  Maybe He’ll laugh and say, “Ok, I really like that idea.  Let’s do it!”  And maybe He will say, “None of that is good.  I have such a better plan for you.  But you’ll have to watch and wait.”

And when you think about it like that, it could be the plan you know nothing about – the plan you didn’t plan at all – may turn out to be the best adventure yet.  And that makes me smile.


Downtown Mackinac Island on a quiet post-Labor Day evening.

Downtown Mackinac Island on a quiet post-Labor Day evening.


View from downtown this evening.  (Photo: Denise Beaudoin)

View from downtown this evening. (Photo: Denise Beaudoin)

Maddie:  "Just trying to help the big guys out while they're on break."

Maddie: “Just trying to help the big guys out while they’re on break.”

Our beautiful Little Stone Church.

Our beautiful Little Stone Church.

British Landing flowers.

British Landing flowers.

I’ll see you back here in a few day.  Have a great week.  God bless.

33 thoughts on “This and That 9/15/2013

  1. I LOVE your this and that blogs…they are always some of the best stories and pictures! I look at your pictures and I think, I was there…I…was…there. 😉

  2. Love your blog. I find it so interesting, and a testament to your writing, that when people are talking about Mackinac that your name always seems to come up. I have a friend through the Laura Ingalls Wilder fan community that lives in SE Michigan. We were discussing favorite blogs one day, and guess which one came up? 😉

  3. I agree with Hilde. This and That Blogs are really something to enjoy, although that’s true of every blog you post, and of course, I also agree with her about “I was there” and “I saw that” etc, and rarely I think, She could be mistaken about that.” Sometimes, I do a little research and sure enough, Brenda is right.

    I’m surprised you and your blog don’t get more mentions, as good as it is. Of course, maybe you do and just don’t hear about it.

    The two pictures I like the best on this blog are Main Street at Night After Labor Day and The View of The Harbor. Wonderful pictures, and such memories from the past they pull out of my brain. Thank you, Brenda.

    • Brenda, I forgot to mention: Please tell Maddie I’ve saved the picture of her pulling the carriage. She sure is one “Superdog” and I wanted a record of her thoughtful and stupendous accomplishment.

      By the way, is that the carriage we rode in, or one just like it?

  4. Your blog has touched SO many people as your story shows with the Georgia couple, how wonderful. Maddie’s photo tied to the carriage just cracked me up. Always a joy to read your blog…..thanks Bree!

  5. Ms. Brenda,

    It really made my day meeting Ms. Jane Friday!!!

    I’ve told this same story countless times over the weekend!!!

    So thankful to have a “Georgian” connection to the Island through your blog. Alison and I so look forward to meeting you someday (maybe at some random bike store in middle Georgia)!

    It really is a small world and it warms my heart that all of us know of a Happy, Enchanted Island called Mackinac 🙂

    Tony, Alison and Cute Kidos

  6. Brenda,

    My how the this and that in ones life seems to have the need to be put in order from time to time. How you have brought life into perspective for all of your blog. The beautiful photos you’ve shared enhanced with such incredable words. All stunning! It’s truely enjoyable to pop in to such pure awe…
    Have an enjoyable week!


  7. Ms. Brenda,

    It made our evening to read your blog post tonight!!!

    I have told the story of meeting Ms. Winston countless times over the weekend. It truly is a small world!!!

    so very grateful to have a “Georgian” connection to the island through your wonderful words and pictures, THANK YOU!!! It warms our hearts knowing that all of us reading this know of a special, enchanted island just north of here.

    We look forward to meeting you and Ted soon. Maybe we will happen to meet at a random bike shop here in Middle Georgia 🙂

    Tony, Alison and Really Cute Kidos

  8. Brenda,

    We do enjoy each and everyday we spend on the island, for sure it is our “Happy Place”!! It was a joy to meet you and your friends and seeing you and them out and about, during our stay. Hope to see you next year, but if not, we know you will be enjoying yourselves in your new adventure.

    Jim & Marcia

  9. Loved the picture of Maddie too! Well, I couldn’t take seeing all the beautiful pictures coming over and talk of fall got me thinking about another trip up north….so I think we’re gonna do it and come up mid Oct. again….why wait right? I’m sure your volunteering will be over by then, but maybe I’ll run into you or Ted while we are there. Can’t pass up those fall specials!

  10. One of my trip highlights last week was attending church at the Little Stone Church. Minister Vince Carroll made me feel so welcome and it was great to see you and Frankie! Dr Carroll was so interesting to listen to and gave a down to earth sermon.

    The picture of Maddie “pulling” the wagon is precious!

    I will go out and buy a lottery ticket today and if I win, I will buy your condo immediately! LOL!

  11. I always enjoy your pictures. Just wish there was technology to include the sounds. I can bring up pictures in my mind’s eye but just to hear hooves on the payment, harnesses jingling, sea gulls screeching and waves breaking on the shore; ok throw in the canon from the fort and taps – oh I’d be a happy camper.

    • Actually, Mary, there IS that technology, but the blog is free for me now, and adding sound and video takes it out of the “free” category. We’ll see for next summer maybe.

      In the meantime, you need to check out Mike Forrester’s blog, He’s posted several 5-minute “movies” from different settings on the island with all the sounds included. Excellent way to get your audio Mackinac. Now if we could just figure out how to add SMELLS!

      Sent from my iPhone

  12. I’ve been wondering about the sale of the condo, thank you for the update. I hope your plans turn out for the best, whatever that may be. The pictures you posted were so pretty, making me long to come back. The Maddie picture steals the show though! I hope you enjoy a beautiful fall up there and I look forward to the pictures of the fall colors.

    • Tom-we’ll be leaving for our home in South Georgia the end of October. If our condo here should happen to sell before then, we’ll put our lake house in Georgia on the market and start looking for a home on the northeast coast of Florida. If it doesn’t sell, we’ll regroup and see what we come up with next.

      • Good success with your plans. Although I would encourage traverse city summers over any summer in Florida. Regardless, new adventures are fun.

      • Thanks, Tom! We will always return to Mackinac for at least a couple of months in the summer, regardless of where new adventures may take us. Mackinac is in my blood now.

        Sent from my iPhone


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