Good News First? Or Bad?

Thank you to Steven Blair for the photograph above from this morning’s Little Stone Church service.


Let’s start with the good news.

We sold our condo last week.

It IS GOOD news.  When we began this journey in the spring by putting our condo on the market, the intent was to sell it, go home and sell our lake house in Georgia, and then buy what would be our “nesting” home in Florida.  We’d be near our grandchildren and on the beautiful sandy beaches of the Atlantic Ocean, where we’d awake each morning to the sound of waves crashing against the shore and seagulls sailing across sunny skies.  We prayed for God’s guidance and for Him to open the doors He would want us to walk through.  When nothing happened all summer, we just smiled and said, “Ok, it wasn’t supposed to happen this year,” and began making our plans to go home for the winter and return next summer for another season.  And we were perfectly happy about that.

Two weeks ago a couple from Atlanta, GA came by with our realtor to look at the condo.  They visited the island often, had a real love for Mackinac, and wanted to buy here.  We could see they liked our place – in fact they came back a second time the next day.  When they called to make an offer, we countered, and they countered again; but we couldn’t come to an agreement on price.  They went back to Atlanta, and we thought that was that.

But at the beginning of last week, they called with another offer – one that we could accept.  And suddenly we were signing papers and looking for boxes – big boxes.  And suddenly it was real.

And now for the BAD news.

We sold our condo last week.

With the reality of signed contracts, it hit us hard that we no longer own a piece of this magical place.  Both Ted’s shoulder and mine stay moist from the crying we’ve been doing, and as we’ve told Island friends, we’ve cried with them also.

Today was so emotional because we attended Vince and Molly Carroll’s last service at Little Stone Church.  Tomorrow they leave the island, and Ted and I know in three weeks we will make that same journey.  Of course we will return, but no longer as residents . . . only as visitors.  I have to confess to you that the distinction does make a huge difference – in our everyday lives since selling and in our hearts, which love this island so much.

The roller coaster of emotions is still going full-speed.  We’ve prayed, we’ve discussed, we’ve tried to get a handle on why we aren’t as joyful as we thought we would be.  And I think it comes down to this.  Ted and I have been married 24 years, and on Mackinac Island we’ve lived what to me is the fullest part of our marriage.  In this special community – where everyone knows your name – where a trip to the post office takes three hours because of conversations under the hanging baskets, where we’ve volunteered our time, where we’ve met people from all walks of life, and where we’ve become active in a church family that is so close . . . it is here, I believe, that the best in both of us emerged.  And even though this step takes us toward our nesting goal, it will be an extremely hard one to take.

We have entertained a lot of different thoughts over the last three days, but there’s no need to go into those now because at this point, they’re just thoughts.  I will keep you updated as we begin to move forward, and I ask, once again, for prayers from each of you – especially prayers for clarity.

I love you all.  God bless.


59 thoughts on “Good News First? Or Bad?

    • My thoughts are with you and best wishes in your new venture. I can’t thank you enough for letting me visit Mackinac Island through your wonderful stories all summer. I so enjoyed your writings, your thoughts and your love of this special Island. Thank you for giving us a little glimpse of letting us live on the Island through your eyes and beautiful pictures. Much happiness to you in the future!!!

  1. Congratulations. I think. I can see how it would be bittersweet. At least you got your whole summer in first. I’m sad that it wasn’t us buying it! Prayers for you, my friend.

  2. This is a step that you’ve thought about, prayed about and now it is happening. Of course you’re sad, you and Ted have spent lots of happy time in that condo. God has a reason for it happening now. Enjoy the time you have left in the codo. You’ll be back to visit,

  3. Happy (and sad) for you both. I doubt you’ll have to worry about a place to stay the next time you visit Mackinac though. I’m glad you were able to enjoy an entire summer before selling. Prayers!

  4. This is sad news…sad for me…Through you I have lived the life I wish I could on Mackinac Island. Since I started following your blog over a year ago I have so enjoyed reading about life on Mackinac and seeing all the beautiful pictures you post. I look forward to it every week and will surly miss it. I wish you well in your new life adventure and I hope you will continue to blog and share your life. Happiness to you, Ted, Bear and Maddie.

    Kathryn Moffatt,
    Midland, MI

    • Thank you so much, Kathryn, for your sweet comments. One thing I can promise is that the blog in some form will continue, and that each and every day we spend on Mackinac – in whatever capacity – will be shared with all of you who love it as much as I do. God bless.

  5. Empathizing with you. We have enjoyed your photos and comments about our special island. May The Lord give you peace as you start the next leg
    of your life journey together.

    We will be glad to tag along for the ride!

  6. Wishing you an immense amount of good luck and strength as you make this wonderfully amazing changes in your life! You have such happiness ahead of you. I am excited for you to begin your new journey.

  7. Congratulations Brenda & Ted. I pray that you will find clarity. I think its safe to say you will graciously walk thru the doors God is opening for you. Life is a journey & I sooooo admire you for sharing your journey with us. I also pray that you’ll sleep well knowing your best interests are in God’s hands.

  8. Bittersweet, I am sure. I believe there is a reason for the timing, God will reveal in time.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you, although it is what you ultimately want, there will be a journey in getting there.

  9. Bree I’m sooo happy for the two of you and am sooo sad at the same time!! Thank you for a wonderful blog!!! Many Blessings to you on your new journey!

  10. Congratulations and condolences all at the same time. We pray for you both, Maddie & Bear and the new journey in front of you. We arrived on the island this afternoon and hope to run in to you before we leave on Wednesday morning. If not, we’ve seen you the last two Octobers and will always hold you dear to our hearts! Thank you for the “island life” that you’ve given to us through your words and photographs.

    Gary & Sue from the Kalamazoo area

  11. Congratulations to you and Ted. I’ve read your blog since the beginning, and you both seem like such honest, genuine people. I’m very happy for you guys and hope all your dreams come true. You can’t argue with a house on the beach! I will certainly miss your blog

  12. I have such mixed feelings after reading this…So happy for you as I know you have prayed and trusted the Lord for direction in this decision to put the condo up for sale. Sad that you won’t be there all summer next year so when we do get a chance to come visit Alyssa we can hope to run into you!! I know Alyssa will miss you too!! We thought we were going to have her back home this winter but plans have changed and she’s staying on the island for the winter. 😦
    Our thoughts and prayers will continue to be with you as you continue on the “new journey”!! Here is a short little devotion that I found that I thought was so good…

    Keep Calm & Pray On

    God has a place of rest for us,
    even in the midst of our busy and challenging days.
    It isn’t an escape from the stress-
    it’s an oasis of calm despite the demands.

    His very presence is our ultimate peace.
    He brings quiet streams of refreshing grace
    to restore us in our times of need.
    Praying God’s peace and joy for you today.

    Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in Him, for He shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between His shoulders. Deuteronomy 33:12

    Many blessings…Love and peace….

  13. Oh, man! I am so sad… for me as a poster commented above. I grew up spending two weeks every summer at my grandparent’s cottage on Carp Lake. One day during those two weeks would always be spent hiking the Island. Mackinaw City, the Island, the UP and of course Carp Lake are chock full of some of the best memories a girl could have. Your blog has kept me abreast of the happenings on the Island and has kept some precious memories fresh and alive. I will surely miss your frequent postings of that special place. One day, I hope to get back Up North for a visit… it’s been far too long.

    I wish you well as you journey on. The most important thing we can ever do in life is to follow Jesus and be obedient to each step He calls us to… even when those steps mean letting go of what we hold so dear.

  14. Congratulations on the next step in your journey. I too am a bit sad to hear the news. I love the island and all the magic it holds. I live vicariously through you and your experiences on the island. Thank you for sharing your journey and your stories with us. I wish you and Ted all the best.

  15. Dear Brenda,
    I am so grateful that you have shared our island with all of us who can’t be there. And will continue to do that in the future! You and Ted are thoughtful, intelligent, sincere people (as far as I can tell!), so please don’t second-guess and make yourselves unhappy. There’s a plan for you – and it might even be better than Mackinac (sacrilege!) Remember, you didn’t know how wonderful Mackinac was before you got there, either.
    My prayer will be for strength (all that packing!) and joy, which you deserve. Like the old hymn says, All, all is well!
    Lovingly, with tears, Barbara
    ps – I didn’t say not to cry! Tears sanctify life changes, I think.

  16. Brenda, as soon as I saw the title in my email I knew that you and Ted sold the condo. Congratulations to both to both of you. This is getting you closer to where you want to be – Florida – near the grandkids.

    We all look forward to your continuing adventures – where they may take your family. 🙂

  17. Babe, Mackinac was your launching pad. Yeah, you and Ted have been married for 24 years. But how much of that time was spent working jobs, raising kids, and doing all sorts of stressful things? At Mackinac, you’d finally completed the stressful things that split your attention and were putting your marriage and each other at the forefront rather than the back burner. Think of Mackinac as your base that allowed you to build and fortify your marriage.

    You’ve built the base, you’ve made the rules of your marriage in retirement; now you’re ready to launch and take things to a much higher and deeper level. And where are you going to do that? In sunny, beautiful, happy Florida where your kids and grand-kids will be a daily part of your life. Where you can walk on the beach and enjoy them and each other.

    Mackinac was important and it served it’s purpose: to put you in a place that forced you to slow down and recommit to this marriage in a way that will delight and astound you as you go through your golden years. Yes, you will undoubtedly miss this wonderful security blanket that protected you and allowed you to build. But trust me when I say that you will love this next chapter even more!!!

    Congratulations my friend. On the sale of the condo; on the upcoming sale of your GA house and your new move to FL; and on taking three or four years to create a rock-solid base that will see you and Ted through everything that life has yet to bring you. Kick back, babe! It’s Miller time!

  18. Congratulations! Mackinac Island is near and dear to me but it has been you that has kept me following this blog. You are an amazing, captivating writer. No matter what your location, I’m looking forward to having you paint new images with your words.

  19. I’m feeling like your other readers, very happy for you and sad at the same time. The very best to you and Ted on your new adventure and will always be looking for you when your visiting Mackinac Island from one visitor to another. God Bless!


  20. Good Morning Bree,

    I got to know you and Ted from your blogs that my wife Nancy was receiving. She would send them to me and we both enjoyed your observations of life on the island. No matter where my travels took me, I got a dose of “Island Life” when you sent your blog! And the island is beautiful! One of those spots we love to visit … at least twice/yr. We are going to miss your detailed island experiences, your pics, your adventures! We both wish you and Ted well in your future adventures. Please keep up the post.

    Jim Rice

  21. You and Ted will be in our prayers for sure! Its hard to believe that I stumbled upon your blog when it was just in the beginning stages and now you are selling your condo. I’ve read your blog posts for years and gained so much knowledge about the island. Although I love the stories and beautiful pictures, I found that I kept coming back for your thoughtful insights about life on the island and in general. I’m so glad my two daughters and I were able to stop in and say hello in August and got a chance to meet you in person. Good luck to you on the next part of your adventure!

  22. As others said above me, I’m happy for you, sad for us. But I’m sure I’ll only be sad for a little bit as hopefully you’ll blog about your adventures in Florida and we’ve got Lake Blackshear news to catch up on as well. Enjoy your last few weeks on the island and I hope the transition goes smoothly.

  23. First, ( selfishly I say ) damn! damn! DAMN! damn! DAMN!!!! Second ( unselfishly and officially I say ) Congratulations! This is a huge step and I cant imagine how hard it is and will be to ‘leave’ the island and your island friends. As you said, you’ll be back but I cant help but feel ( and I think I can speak for a lot of people that I have never even MET that follow your blog ) that the island just wont be the same with out you and Ted there. You’ve given me a tremendous gift in bringing the island to me weekly which I am SO grateful for. So I sincerely thank you for not only that but sharing very special parts of your life. You two are good people and even though I never officially met you ( I came close once when my daughter and I were heading back to the ferry and you were talking to Hershey’s mom and I didnt want to interrupt) I am very grateful for the experience I had ( your blog and interacting with such a sweet and genuine spirit).
    I wish you and Ted all the best and I hope that your ‘nesting’ residence exceeds your Mackinac residence in the joy that it will bring you two ( or at lease be a close second!).

    Best of luck to you both!


  24. My husband will be the first to say that I don’t handle change well at times and this is one of them. I am in sitting in my office at the body shop crying for my own selfish reason and for your tears that you have shed over the past few days.

    My heart aches but my head knows that this is a positive step for you and Ted. You and Ted will have such wonderful times in Florida in the years to come.

    I am giving you a long distance hug right now and saying thank you for allowing allow of us Mackinac lovers to be part of your journey.

  25. I think anytime there is a move, especially a significant one, the feelings are bittersweet. We’re looking to sell our home in the next year, and even though it will be a short move and to a better house, I know tears will fall as we pack up the house we lived in as newlyweds and where we brought home both of our babies. In the coming days and weeks, when the shock of actually selling the condo diminishes, I’m sure you and Ted will have a clearer vision of what you both want for the future, whether that means following the plan you set forth when you put the condo up for sale or something different. Good luck with whatever the future holds and know that Mackinac will always be there, both in your heart and as a wonderful place to visit for however long you like.

  26. It has been wonderful to share your time on the island. Thank you for giving so much of yourself to your many readers. We deeply appreciate it! It is great that you can begin your new plan now. I look forward to following your journey as it winds through Mackinac, Florida, and beyond.

  27. I could feel the emotion in your blog. Mackinac does something to those who love it. That will never change. Whether resident or visitor (but never fudgie 🙂 that attachment will always be there. Getting on with plans is a good thing. Our lives play out in phases, you have just completed another.

  28. I’m sure it’ll take some time to get used to the idea….but I agree with you and everything happens for a reason. All the best in the future and for sure I’ll have to stop by and see you next week if you are still volunteering.

  29. I’m going to echo everyone else. I know this is something that you & Ted have prayed about and feel this is how God is calling you. How exciting to put that in motion!
    At the same time, Dang it!!! I enjoy my weekly “trips” to the Island. I do hope you continue to blog. You have created a community here and made us feel a part of your family.

  30. I have so enjoyed your writings of living on Mackinac Island. Best wishes to you and Ted as you head into a new phase of your lives!

  31. My thoughts are with you both. We sold a summer place a few years ago on a beautiful lake in Michigan. Still, to this day, wish we were there. But the Good Lord has other roads for you to travel. Enjoy the memories that you have and enjoy the future, wherever it may lead you. Be safe, and return to the island as a visitor. Love you.

  32. What’s weird is that you have lived MY dream, and because it was documented so fabulously for me, I feel like I’M the one that has to say good-bye to everyone and everything.
    At least I have the memories, kind of. 🙂

  33. I’m kind of sad. I love going to the island through your words and pictures. I will continue to follow you wherever you go. I feel like i know you and we have never met! Best of luck to you and Ted.

  34. Brenda & Ted,

    You already know how much I’ve enjoyed the blog and how many memories have been brought to my mind through the words and pictures, so I won’t say anything about that. Oops, I guess I just did. I’ve never figured out to talk without talking. Anyway, I’m so glad you will continue blogging and I hope you’ll do something like the winter updates you’ve done in the past. I’m trying my best to be upbeat and positive about all this, but it’s extremely difficult. I know that’s very selfish of me, but maybe I’m human. Nevertheless, I do hope the four of you are able to fulfill your dream of moving to Florida and I also hope you can live either on the ocean or very near to it and visit the Island every year for two months. Maybe you could make that September and October in some years. Of course, maybe not because I know you’ll want to spend time away from the heat and humidity of the Southeast.

    As a side note, our son, Todd, will be having a phone or Skype interview in a day or two with a company in Coral Gables, Florida. If that goes well, he will probably be flying down for an in person interview early next week and if that goes well, he’ll be moving before the end of the month. According to the man who is the recruiter, Todd is almost a perfect fit for the job. So get ready for visitors. At least I hope it works out that way.

    • Good luck to Todd!! We’re still on the roller coaster here, Lowell. We just need to get packed up, go home and get away from all the emotional stuff for a month or two.

      Sent from my iPhone


  35. So very glad we met!!!!! Thank you for your devotion to this magical Island. . . .you were our eyes and ears when we could not be there . . . . .so very, very happy for all of you on your new life chapter!!!!! We will be fine!!!!!!!! Embrace, and know how much you brought Mackinac into our daily lives!!!!! We will all miss you!!!!!! God bless!!!! Thank you!!!!!!

  36. What very bittersweet news. I certainly understand your torn feelings. Have faith that this is happening as it should. In the meantime, enjoy your last several weeks on the island. Cherish the time with your friends. God bless!

  37. I have enjoyed living on Mackinac Island through you, thank you for all the stories and pictures. So happy that we were able to meet you the last tw summers, and I will be looking for you around the Grand Oct 20-21!!! I know you are following God’s leading in your lives and I pray for peace for you as you begin this new chapter of your lives. Thnk you again!

  38. Dear Brenda and Ted,
    I am so happy your prayers have been answered and you get to set in motion your next journey in life. I share the same sentiment with the rest of your readers, I am a little(a lot) sad that you will no longer be summer residents on Mackinac Island. You have been such wonderful Ambassadors for the Island. Thank you for sharing your life on the Island with us. Brenda you are an incredible story teller. I honestly think you should write a book about your adventures on Mackinac Island. Hint, hint! I look forward to reading about your new life in Florida and hope you will be able to return to the Island soon. Safe travels back to Georgia.

  39. I can’t say anything that hasn’t already been said. It will be a real joy for you to be closer to the grandchildren. Hope everything goes smoothly for both of you. God Bless….waiting for your future posts!

  40. I have to say “ditto” to everything above. Sorry I didn’t get a chance to meet you last week. I have loved reading your blog about the island and Georgia. It will be great to hear about Florida too!! We will follow you wherever you go!! We live very close to our grandkids and I can’t imagine not having them close by! You will never regret that experience!

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