The October Season 10/20/2013

I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”  L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables.

Me too, L.M.  Me too!

When I was young and thought my days stretched before me for decades and decades, I seldom equated Nature’s seasons with the seasons of my own life.  As I’ve grown older though, I find myself doing just that, and doing it quite often.  My spring and summer seasons have passed – childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, becoming a mother, and raising children until they are out on their own – all of that is behind me now.  The Fall of my life – my October season – is upon me, and living out my Octobers on Mackinac Island these last few years is proving to be one of the most beautiful times of my life.

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On Mackinac Island, October is truly so magnificently beautiful it defies description.  Even with the chores of moving and packing up, Ted and I are finding time almost every day to get out and walk in the woods.  To not take these moments to inhale the crisp clean air and walk through these ageless forests would almost be sacrilege.

Gone two weeks ago were the days of finding a rust-colored leaf here and a gold leaf there.  Now they are all so brightly hued

The days of finding a rust-colored leaf here and a gold leaf there were gone two weeks ago. Now they are all so brightly hued it’s as though bits of sunlight have become gold coins that cling to every tree limb and twig. And then – at the perfect moment – they fall to carpet our path.

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Billions of those bits of sunlight – far above us – await a breeze strong enough to send them gently floating to the ground . . .

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. . . where the sun is absorbed from the leaves into the earth – to prepare it for next spring’s awakening.

The pavilion at Turtle Park will soon stand

The pavilion at Turtle Park stands lonely now, but during the winter island residents will gather here for Winter Festival, and children will use the hills to compete on their sleds.

Bear and Maddie love October too, but for them it's all about the smells!  Gone are the light aromas of sunshine - replaced by the rich, loamy smell of dying leaves and damp ground.

Bear and Maddie love Fall too, but for them it’s all about the smells! Gone are the light aromas of sunshine – replaced by the rich, loamy smell of dying leaves and damp ground.

We came out on the other side of Turtle Park at the cemeteries, where only the snows of winter make this place more beautiful than it is in the Fall.

We came out on the other side of Turtle Park at the cemeteries . . .

where only the snows of winter make this place more beautiful than it is in the Fall.

. . . where only the snows of winter make this place more beautiful than it is in the Fall.

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Sometime I wish I knew every name of every soldier and civilian who rests here in the Post Cemetery.

Sometime I wish I knew every name of every soldier and civilian who rests here in the Post Cemetery . . .

If I did, it would bring me such joy to write each family and enclose a photograph of the beautiful place where their ancestor rests.

. . . so I could do the research and send each family a photograph of the beautiful resting place of their ancestor.

October is Bear's favorite season too . . .

Bear loves that the weather is cool,  the leaves are fun to roll in, and there’s always some edible morsel to be sniffed out.  Much more fun than just finding it on the ground out in the open!

And for Miss Maddie - as always - it's all about the hunt!

And for Miss Maddie – as always – it’s all about the hunt!

An old hose reel sits among the trees.

An old hose reel – nestled between two trees.

This totem pole sits on one side of the Spirit Garden burial mound . . .

This totem pole sits on one side of the Spirit Garden burial mound in St. Anne;s cemetery . . .

. . . and on the other side is a

. . . and on the other side is a wooden carved turtle.  The totem pole was donated by the Indian Drum tobacco shop and has been lovingly refurbished over the summer by Donald “Duck” Andress.  He removed rotted wood and repainted sections of the pole depicting animals like a woodpecker, beaver and bald eagle.  The wooden turtle monument was created by Cecil Pavlat and carved by Chief Duck.  The Spirit Garden burial mound includes the remains of Native peoples from both Mackinac Island and Bois Blanc Island.  The remains from Mackinac Island were unearthed during an excavation on Main Street in 2011.

Like I said - October is Bear's favorite month to be in the woods.

Like I said – October is Bear’s favorite month to be in the woods.

Through a gate at St. Anne's Cemetery.

Through a gate at St. Anne’s Cemetery.

A carpet of crunchy leaves led us back to Turtle Park . . . .

A carpet of crunchy leaves led us back to Turtle Park . . . .

. . . which is surrounded by trees brushed by every October color on God's palette.

. . . which is surrounded by trees brushed by every October color on God’s palette.

The park turned into a playground when we ran into Annie and Diesel and their owners.

The park turned into a playground when we ran into Annie and Diesel and their owners.

We finally called a halt to the playtime and walked home, leaving behind another October memory from Mackinac.

We finally called a halt to the playtime and went our separate ways –  leaving behind another October memory from Mackinac.

A HAPPY SHOUT-OUT TO AUNT BETTY and UNCLE BILL

Mary Stanick and I were having coffee Friday morning at Lucky Bean when Jill and her cousins, Steve & Nancy (from Frankenmuth) walked by and saw us through the window.  Steve’s mom and dad are Jill’s Aunt Betty and Uncle Bill, and Aunt Betty is one of my most loyal readers!  So this one’s for you, Aunt Betty!!

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The summer clothes have been shipped home, and Ted and I don’t go out these days without our layers.  We have snow in the forecast Tuesday-Friday of this week, but it seems like we heard that quite a few times last year before we actually awoke to a snow-covered Mackinac . . .on the day we left for Georgia.

We're prepared though.  Let it snow!

We’re prepared though. Let it snow!

Y’all have a wonderful week, and I’ll see you back here in a few days.  God bless.

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39 thoughts on “The October Season 10/20/2013

  1. This was a really beautiful blog.You must have been inspired by, October on your magical island. October is my favorite too.

  2. It was our first trip to Mackinac in October that sealed our love for this island and kept us returning every year possible.. Missed one year, and have been back every year since! Only wish would be that we had found Mackinac many years earlier.

  3. LMM quote to start always a way to make me love a blog entry.
    So beautiful, and I never thought any place could beat Miami University in the fall.

  4. Thank you for letting me share Mackinac Island through your beautiful pictures and your beautiful thoughts. I could even feel the rustle of all the beautiful leaves as you walked throughout the paths of Mackinac. Thank you so much.

  5. So glad that you stay long enough to take pictures of the island that remind me of my time up there. It’s more personal in the off season, and easier to enjoy the quiet beauty.
    Love the picture of the pups playing! Bear has the best smile!

  6. Thank You again for the lovely pictures.
    We did the carriage tour on October 1st on our visit and the color then was minimal so it is wonderful to see it through your eyes.
    As soon as I got home a neighbor shared a book to read it is a Murder Mystery by PJ Parrish called Heart of Ice.
    Beautifully written and it all takes place on Mackinac Island.
    What was great was just visiting the Island and your blog photos made it all so real for me of all the places mentioned in the story.
    One example being the St. Anne’s Cemetery and your close up of the Gate.
    I am sad you are moving as I just found this Blog this year.

    • Hi Angie! Check out the acknowledgements in Heart of Ice. Bree’s Blog is mentioned! And please don’t be sad. We’ll be back next summer, and I’ll be writing then and over the winter also.

      Sent from my iPhone

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    • Angie – It’s been raining all night here and seems to just be drizzling now. Woke up and checked the time – then decided to check the weather and that led to checking comments – and there you were! Not up, and now I think I’ll try to go back to sleep! Why are YOU up so early?!

      Sent from my iPhone

      >

  7. We spent September 30th through October 1st on Mackinac Island, staying at The Grand Hotel the evening of the thirtieth. The weather was perfect and we were fortunate to be able to do the carriage ride tour followed by a self-guided fort wandering. Our friends were celebrating their 48th wedding anniversary and had never been to the island. Your story along with the pictorial highlights brought back warm memories. Thank you!

  8. Another great post Brenda. If you and Ted weren’t so busy I’d be emailing you for all these fall photos. Very inspiring post, your words are second to none. The pictures you capture to share are well……the best way to put it is by telling you that I just sat back in my chair and said “life is good”. I have only one regret of this year and that regret is we (Sirena ) and I didn’t make it to the island this year.

    Through your words and pictures though we have been your guest all year long.

    As always thanks for doing what you do, and having all of us along on this journey with you.

  9. Oh, Brenda, your words were so beautifully descriptive in this post – they painted wonderful images that would have been clearly seen in my mind even if there hadn’t been the gorgeous photographs accompanying them. What an awesome gift of your narrative and photos! Thank you!

  10. Wow, did I love this post! The pictures and and writings were fantastic!
    Thank you so much for sharing the beauty of October on the island with us.
    The full quote from Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery is-
    “Oh, Marilla,” she exclaimed one Saturday morning, coming dancing in with her arms full of gorgeous boughs” ‘I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. It would be terrible if we just skipped from September to November, wouldn’t it? Look at these maple branches. Don’t they give you a thrill–several thrills? I’m going to decorate my room with them.”
    Anne of Green Gables is one of my favorite book and movies.
    Your quote fit this post perfect!

  11. Is Jason coming to stay in October? If so, you can rope him into helping with the packing! LOL!

    It is amazing when you sell a house “furnished” it still means you have a ton of stuff you still have to pack. YIKES!

    The picture of Bear sitting so nice is adorable. And the “Bear in Action” picture is fun also!

  12. Such a lovely thought you had on the Post Cemetery. Wouldn’t it be nice to send a photo of each head stone to a family member. Great pictures too! I think I love fall on the island more than summer. They are all great seasons when you are on Mackinac!

  13. Thank you, Bree, for the beautiful fall color pics. Hope to see more before you leave paradise. I’m still catching up with your blogs. I’m in July 2009. A long ways to go but I’m loving every minute of it.

      • I was wondering what your blog would be about when you are not on the Island, so I jumped ahead to see what you have in the winter months. Wow…you actually publish winter pics and stories. Now I’m excited to get to those months. You obviously get pics and info from Islanders but you probably explain that at some point. Hopefully you include pics and stories about your life in Georgia and soon to be Florida. I’ll just keep reading. I live in Michigan just 4 hours south of Mackinac Island so catching up on your blog will help me get through a dreary winter. Thank you so much, Bree.

      • Pam, you are dedicated! In the winter I’ve been publishing a winter update once a week with pics from year-round islanders who have been so nice to share with me. I also try to get to the island at least once during the winter. For the last few years I’ve also published a Georgia blog http://bree1976.wordpress.com. Haven’t decided yet what my winter writings will be, but I’ll definitely be blogging from Georgia – and Florida too if we get lucky enough to buy something there over the winter. So I guess you’re stuck with me until either I get tired of writing or you get tired of reading!

        Sent from my iPhone

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      • Well….guess I won’t be checking anymore books out of the library. LOL!! Keep writing.

  14. So beautifully written. You made my heart heavy again. I can almost see you there whispering goodbye (for now) to the exquisite trees, the cemetery, to every little path. Enjoy every minute of your last few weeks. Thank you for the gorgeous words and pictures.

  15. Thank you for your beautiful blog! I miss Mackinac so much, and it is wonderful to see the familiar sights in the beauty of fall! You are a blessing!

  16. Brenda, this particular blog entry really touched my heart. For me and my husband it is the October of our lives as well being 61 & 64. My husband said the other day ” we are on the downhill slide now” which really scares you when you think about life being 3/4 over but have to take each day as it comes and savor them. Your photos do exactly that, savor the feeling of Fall days on Mackinac and enjoy October!
    I hope your upcoming days get exciting rather than sad and remember that wonderful saying “Whom God Loves He Gives a Home at Mackinac”for you will be back.
    God Bless to you and Ted and the puppies!

    Pat Steele
    Vernon, MI

  17. Your words had a wistful sadness but a sweetness also. Chapters are written and pages turned. I love autumn also and like you those times have caught up with me as well. May these final days bring a flood of joyous memories.

  18. Ted,

    I’m sorry Ted, I didn’t notice your cap until just now. Sure do like it. I’m sure you wore it just for me. You did remember that I graduated from CHS, didn’t you!?

  19. Since finding your blog a couple weeks ago, I’ve been overly intrigued by life on Mackinac Island. It has always been a dream of mine to live there one day.
    It reminded me of a blog I came across about a year or so ago about a 20 something woman living on the island at least part time if not year round. I think she worked part-time at one of the churches on the island. Do you have any idea what blog I am talking about it, I remember really enjoying her writing especially being a 20 something myself. If you could give any insight, or any other blogs about life on the island I would really appreciate it!

    Hope all works out however you and your husband dream it to, and safe travels!

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