And the Days Dwindled Down . . . 10/27/2013

I’m finding it extremely difficult to stay indoors and pack when all I want to do is walk up and down Main and Market Streets, wander into the woods and along the trails, hike out to Arch Rock and Sugar Loaf, climb up to Fort Holmes, and stare out across the Straits from Sunset Rock . . . just one more time.

Coming back next summer is a no-brainer, but we’re having a pretty hard time finding a spot to roost for two months.  Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you choose to look at it), the condo selling so late in the season left us struggling to find accommodations – most of which have already been filled.  A couple of places have been offered, but for one reason or another, we’ve turned them down – rent too high, not enough room for Maddie and Bear and the worry their barking would be disruptive, and the months we want not being available.  It’s been a lot more difficult than we thought it would be.  We’re still waiting to hear from one other place, but it will probably be later in the winter when we find out the terms on that one.

But – we’re being optimistic.  If push comes to shove, we can always book a hotel room at the Chip for a couple of weeks and kennel Maddie and Bear.  We would hate doing that, but  . . . . .

FRIDAY

I had cleared my calendar for Friday through Tuesday and told Ted I HAD to get serious about packing.  But then we made an appointment to go look at a house up in Trillium Heights with our realtor and Mike Gamble, an island builder – so off we went at noon to meet them.  Why are we looking at a house, you ask?  I wish I could answer that question with some clarity, but just let me say this . . . we’re still keeping all our options open and trying to figure out what doors are closed, what doors are open, and what doors God is still planning to cut in the wall of our lives. So we went and looked at a house . . . but no bells and whistles went off, and that door closed.

After our appointment we walked downtown and ate lunch again at Mighty Mack (Mighty Mac has had several days this last week or so when they’ve donated their proceeds to the Save Our Statue campaign).   Ted biked home, and Jill walked me almost home before having to return for the second part of her split shift.

We've had several days now of rainy, windy, cold weather, and the Straits on Friday were

We’ve had several days now of rainy, windy, cold weather, and the Straits on Friday were pretty turbulent.

The flags at the Gate House weren't getting any rest at all as we walked by.  The winds had them standing straight out

The flags at the Gate House weren’t getting any rest at all as we walked by. The winds had them standing straight out or flapping back and forth with a noisy thur-rump, thur-rump sound.

There were a large group of art teachers staying at the Grand this weekend, and they were supposed to be painting at the Grand Hotel/Carriage Tours stable Friday afternoon.  We walked there to see if they'd come out in the bad weather, but we were either too late, or they canceled the session.

There was a large group of art teachers staying at the Grand this weekend, and they were supposed to be painting at the Grand Hotel/Carriage Tours stable Friday afternoon. We walked there to see if they’d come out in the bad weather, but we were either too late, or they’d canceled the session because of the weather.

All of the high-stepping Hackneys have left the island, and Friday afternoon the few remaining Percherons were out pulling the Grand omnibuses back and forth from the ferry docks.

All of the high-stepping Hackneys have left the island, and the few remaining Percherons were out pulling the Grand omnibuses back and forth from the ferry docks.  It sure seemed quiet in there.

Jill went back to work, and I got home in time to join Ted in walking Maddie and Bear.  As you can see, I’m using any excuse I can find NOT to pack.

The woods trails are not covered in layer after layer of fallen leaves.

The trails are now covered in layer after layer of fallen leaves.

We walked through the woods to Turtle Park, then up a trail and back into Trillium Heights.

We walked through the leaves to Turtle Park, then up a trail and back into Trillium Heights.

We wanted to look at that house one more time, talk to out one more time and list the pros and cons.  And once again we came to the same conclusion.  It wasn't for us.

We wanted to look at that house one more time, talk it out one more time and list the pros and cons. But once again we came to the same conclusion . . . it wasn’t for us.  We LOVE that neighborhood though, and we spent some time roaming around looking at other houses and vacant lots.

We came back home by way of the Carriage Museum and a took one more photo of the Grant stable - so beautiful surrounded by fall colors.

Home was by way of the Carriage Museum and I took one more photo of the Grand Stable – so beautiful surrounded by fall colors.

THE REST OF THE WEEKEND

It was a really busy weekend for the Island – there was the Great Turtle Race, bringing in 3,000 runners, and it was also the weekend of the “adult” Halloween party downtown.  I missed them both this year (finally got serious about packing), but thanks to Ted and Jill, I do have some photos for you!

Jill was SO HAPPY I wasn't coming out for the race because she was dressing in a turtle outfit to man the water station at Arch Rock for the runners.  She DID NOT want her photo taken.  But Ted went out there and snapped this one of her directing traffic, and of course I'm posting it!

Jill was SO HAPPY I wasn’t coming out for the race because she was dressing in a turtle outfit to work the water station at Arch Rock for the runners. She DID NOT want her photo taken. But Ted went out there and snapped this one of her directing traffic, and . . . here it is.  he tortoise and the hare.  Or maybe that’s the turtle and the rabbit.  Either way, Jillski, you sure look cute in that turtle suit!

Saturday night downtown was crazy, and all the photos below were taken by Jill – thank you very much, my trusty assistant!  Every year I think, “There’s no way the ideas can get any better,” and every year – I’m wrong.

hh

A variety of costumes, but my favorite is the bath PUFF!  

There were a lot of themed costumed this year, with several people going together to create a group scene

There were a lot of themed costumes this year, with several people going together to create a group scene – like these ladies representing different brands of beer!

The Star Wars characters!

The Star Wars characters!  I bet “Chewy” was the warmest!

Headless on Mackinac

Headless on Mackinac – I’m glad he has someone to carry it around for him.

A

A very, VERY tall . . . . person?

Ouch!

Ouch!

"We're off to see the Wizard . . . ."

“We’re off to see the Wizard . . . .”

Mr. B!  A sweet gentleman and one of my favorite Island people.

Mr. B! A sweetheart . . . and one of my favorite Island people.

My favorite group costume.  How clever is that!

My favorite group costume. How clever is that!

A COUPLE MORE FROM JILL

The line at Shepler's this morning.  3,000 runners came to the Island, and now they all have to go home!

The line at Shepler’s this morning. 3,000 runners came to the Island, and now they all have to go home!

Beautiful rainbow over Market Street!

Beautiful rainbow over Market Street!

After spending the majority of Saturday and Sunday packing, I’m about 98% done.  Tomorrow Ted will take more boxes downtown to ship, then make a trip across to start loading the car with luggage already packed.  We’ll spend most of Monday and Tuesday cleaning.  We close on the condo Tuesday, and the plan now is to leave on the 11 a.m. ferry Wednesday.

It’s very hard to say what I’m feeling right now.  I’m still praying for clarity and for peace, but for some reason the clarity is eluding me, and the peace hasn’t filled my heart.  The one thing I do know is I’m longing for friends I haven’t seen for six months and for our sweet little lake house.  Maybe there, clarity and peace will come.  I pray so.  

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36 thoughts on “And the Days Dwindled Down . . . 10/27/2013

  1. Maybe it is hard to find clarity while you’re still in the midst of it all, and a little distance will be helpful while you’re pondering and praying. Thanks for openly sharing all your feelings with us, and prayers will be with you all for safe travel and clear answers.

  2. WOW!! What great costumes……very creative. Anyone who wears a turtle costume certainly deserves to be featured in your blog!! Hang in there Brenda. When you get home your heart will settle.

  3. I agree, Kem. And I so often find clarity is the most elusive when you are searching for it!
    So let go and enjoy your last beautiful days of this year on the Island! See the people you want to see, eat where you want to remember the food. Walk where your memories are stored (and take pictures!!). And over the winter, things will settle and His/Her plan will become clear!
    May God go with you on this journey! And thanks so much for sharing these wonderful pictures of October Mackinac!

  4. Dear Brenda,

    I am reading your latest post with tears in my eyes. Not only is this the end of the season for Mackinac Island, but the Island will be loosing one of their beloved part-time residents. I don’t know if the Island will ever be the same without you, Ted, Maddie and Bear. I can’t even tell you how much your blog has meant to me. I have been very fortunate to have met you in person several times and you are just as lovely in person as you are in print. Thank you Brenda, you have brought so much joy to so many people with your beautiful blog. I wish you the best in what ever God has planned for you and Ted. Safe travels back to your lake home and I will pray that you find your way back to Mackinac Island next year.

    God Bless you and your Family!

    Lora

  5. As I have other years, I will be praying for safe travels as you zoom by our house on your way south, knowing how special both places are in your heart. Take a deep breath, do what you have to, and know that everything will work out in God’s time. I have found that that is not usually the same as my time. . . . .
    Wishing I could take some of the anxiety away from you and Ted, and knowing that I can’t, I’m sending loving thoughts your way.

  6. As usual the photos are first rate. Maybe one day I’ll see the Island in the fall. I know this is hard on you. Just know that you both are in my prayers.

  7. Take one day at a time. Don’t forget to breathe. Enjoy your family and friends down south. It’ll come to you. Safe trip.

  8. Love the pictures as always. Maybe the home in Trillium Heights is not the one that you hoped it would be, but who knows through the winter into next year you might just find a home that, when you walk in, will say “Welcome Home Horton Family!” And I’m not just talking about Mackinac Island. Good luck in future adventures.

  9. Brenda,

    Remember Mackinac Dreams are just that. We have all lived them one in way or another. The best part is we get to keep them forever. What beautifully gifted memories you and Ted have made over your island time. The friends, the shared meetings of new friends that you cherish,the incredible opulent parties……..

    My,my oh just to see island finery from the lilacs to the leaves. The beautiful photos…..we can all see you smiling with each click of your cameras shutter! You are truely a blessing my dear friend…..as my bunch at this end shared on this beautiful day of Mackinac Memories…..you never know, where Mrs. Brenda will pop up to just share a smiling hug,laugh,or secret. We’ll see you and Ted at least for an ice cream at Sadie’s next season!

    By the way our sweet Amelia, turned 18 as you made this last post….she(we)
    agreed that getting quiet within yourselves, and letting go, to allow God is always the best….even when it may seem the most impossible. Take the time to enjoy your trip back to the loving arms of your cherished family.

    Love,hugs and many blessings in the next exciting chapter for the Horton family.

  10. Love all the different costumes….some I would have never thought of at all. So creative!. Love the picture of the Grand Stables engulfed in the Fall colors. Things WILL work out Brenda…give it time. We will see you next Summer on the island!! Wouldn’t be the same if we didn’t. Safe travels home. Love you my friend. 🙂

  11. The ferry ride on Wednesday is sure to be difficult….I will be praying extra hard for you and Ted. Keep thinking of all that awaits you – all of your friends will be so happy to welcome you home! Love and wishes for a safe trip.

  12. Your photos were marvelous and what GREAT costumes. I agree the bath net ball was really cute and I also loved the group barcode.
    I can only imagine your feelings right now as you get ready to depart. Keep your mind on reuniting with your friends and neighbors in Georgia and I feel all will work out for next year finding a place to stay on the island. It has to!!
    Safe travels to you, Ted, Maddie and Bear and God bless you all!
    Joleen

  13. The picture of you and Bear is adorable!

    I am determined not to shed tears until Wednesday in regarding your departure (but I am not holding myself to that!) LOL! I think all of us readers will be sitting around the computers on Wednesday morning with Mackinac withdraws.

    Good luck with the packing!

  14. I think Kem said it very well. Maybe once you’ve gone back to Georgia and had some time to regroup everything will be clear. Whatever happens, we’ll all be right with you for the journey so you’ve got lots of listening and caring ears and hearts.

    • For Annie and everyone writing such supportive notes, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Was just talking with my sweet Georgia friend, Dawn, and was reminded once more how blessed we are to have such wonderful friends, both north and south. Thanks for the offers of ears and shoulders. You are all so loved.

      Sent from my iPhone

      >

  15. I do hope that you are able to settle your thoughts once you’ve settled yourselves back in Georgia. You have so much going on in such a short time! I’d probably be a mess if I were in your place so you are doing well. Thank you so much for sharing your hopes, dreams, fears, and laughter with us this year and in the past. Have a safe trip back to the lake.

  16. Love that picture of you and Bear!! Maybe Bear and Maddie can help with what to do. I know something will come to light and when it does, you’ll know it! Happy packing!

  17. Y’all just take it easy, keep the eyes dry as best you can and have a safe trip home to GA. You’ll be back next year and we will all be here with you throughout the winter.

    Loved all the pictures, but the one of you and Bear is just classic.

    To a good closing and a safe journey back to the rivah……cheers Hortons!

    Till next time…

  18. You love some of those empty lots; you met with a builder; you love that neighborhood; I pray you find the answer you are seeking. However, call me selfish, I am hoping you decide to put all 3 of those things together and build a home! 😉 Good luck, best wishes, safe travels, prayers for peace! Sue

  19. Brenda & Ted,

    So long Mackinac. Hello Lake Blackshear. You’re sad and conflicted now, but in a few more days you’ll be so happy to be back with all your southern speaking friends.

    I enjoyed all the Fall pictures, but there were three that I liked the best: Bear & Brenda, the Grand Stable and the one of Turtle Jill. However, I wondered why she didn’t have a camera in her hand.

  20. The dust will settle and you & Ted will know what to do…in due time. Thanks for the great posts, the beautiful words and photos…I feel like I have known Jill and sweet Ann thru your words. The 3 of you are like a ray of sunshine. Anne is up there glowing for us all. Your peace will come.Love & prayers. Have a safe trip. Your friends in GA are waiting for your arrival! Give the doggies a treat from me!

  21. Brenda I am sure everything will fall in place. As we know know, God always leads the way and hasn’t failed us yet. It was such a pleasure to meet you and Ted this summer and every time you passed my booth with your wonderful smiles it brightened my day. Have a wonderful Winter and I will look forward to seeing you next summer. Safe travels.

  22. Lots of Rainbows on Mackinac Island. Why is that, do you supposed. A blessed land, indeed. I know everything is going to work out for the best for you and Ted…..WAY beyond your wildest expectations. You are both blessed also. MY FAV Costume…..MSU man of course; and we’ll let the UM part stand for Tom’s great recovery of skin cancers due to their excellent work at the UM Dermatology and Cancer Center. BUT this weekend…….GO SPARTANS.

  23. My husband and I visited the island for the first time this past weekend. What a beautiful place! We are already planing a trip back for next spring or summer—can’t wait to see the lilacs—and enjoy some warmer weather! There were so many things we wanted to do & see, but couldn’t due to it being end of the season, time & weather issues. Looking forward to reading all your blog posts so we know what “not to miss” next year!

  24. Is there any way a person (or two, with two dogs…) could “commute” to the island with his/her own boat from either Mackinaw City or St. Ignace? When I’m up by the bridge, I am so focused on getting to the island that I haven’t ever really studies the other shores.
    Just thinking out loud…

  25. Bree,

    I just wanted to wish you all a safe trip.
    Everyone said what I would have written. There is no rush.
    Relax, enjoy that lake house you put so much work into last year. Hug those southern friends and enjoy some warmer weather and hopefully sun!

    Bless you!

    Connie

  26. Thank you for the beautiful pictures and the lovely descriptions of island life, people, dogs, and activities. Sharing your special insights has been a wonderful gift to those of us who so enjoy your blog. May your path be smooth in your travels and adventures yet to come. Send best wishes for peace and continued joy in your seasons to come.
    Marsha

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