Enough Already! 11/8/15

I love both of my volunteer jobs – each for different reasons.  At the Flagler Humane Society I snuggle with, pet, and photograph kitties to my heart’s content.  At Florida Hospital Flagler my ER buddy and I keep 31 ER rooms stocked with gowns, sheets, pads, washcloths, hand towels, blood pressure cuffs, heart monitor “stickies”, specimen cups, socks, Kleenex, gloves, etc.  Occasionally we’ll wheel patients to their rooms or deliver them to their cars when they’re discharged.  We provide chilly folks blankets straight from the warmer and do any other chores we’re asked to do by the nurses or administration.

While I’m mostly working alone at the Humane Society, at the hospital I work with a great group of displaced Northerners from New York, Massachusetts, and New Jersey.  Mike, who is my volunteer buddy in the ER, is the only true Floridian in the bunch.  The rest moved down here years ago to get away from the harsh Northern winters.  They LOVE Florida’s weather and are quite vocal during our breaks when I start talking about going to Mackinac in December.  They usually look at me aghast and shake their heads, wondering – I’m sure – why anyone in her right mind would voluntarily go north in the wintertime.

But – when we settled into our chairs around the break table in the cafeteria last Thursday (each of us bringing coffee or soft drinks and one of the fabulous muffins left over at breakfast and offered free on the food line to us volunteers), I distinctly heard one of my Northern friends say – quite loudly – “Enough already!”

“Enough of what, Mary,?” I asked.

“This hot weather!” she said adamantly.  “I moved down here for the warm weather, but almost 90 in November is ridiculous!”

I soooo agree!

By this time last year, we were in the 60’s during the day and having some 50’s at night.  We’re still in the 70’s at night, and I don’t even want to talk about the daytime (ok, I will talk about it – it reached 90 here one day last week).  It might as well be July!  The nor’easter that was supposed to blow in this weekend, lowering temps and bringing rain, must have made a U-turn somewhere and become a sou’wester.  No rain.  No lower temps.  Just hot, with tons of humidity mixed in.

Enough already!

It's hard to believe that a year ago this week Ted and I closed on our house and moved in with just a blow-up bed and two beach chairs. We made do for almost a week until our furniture arrived from Georgia.

It’s hard to believe that a year ago this week Ted and I closed on our house and moved in with just a blow-up bed, two beach chairs and a coffeemaker.

We made do for almost a week until our furniture arrived from Georgia.

We made do for almost a week until our furniture arrived from Georgia.  It was quite the adventure, and we loved every minute of it.  Well, except that first morning when we discovered we’d brought the coffeemaker but no coffee.

Over the last year we've sometimes wondered if we'd ever feel we weren't living in a construction zone. But one night this week, as I was turning down our street from a dog walk, I noticed that - for the last few houses on our block at least - we were almost looking

Over the last year we’ve sometimes wondered if we’d ever feel we weren’t living in a construction zone. But one night this week, as I turned down our street from a dog walk, I noticed that – for the last few houses on our block at least – we are almost looking “finished”.

Our little house looks all snuggled in and protected by those big guys on either size.

Our little house looks all snuggled in and protected by those big guys on either side. 

Weather on Mackinac Island has been unnaturally warm also for November.  They’ve had some pretty gusty November winds a few times, but so far the really cold stuff hasn’t shown up – and snow hasn’t even been mentioned in a forecast.  I’m beginning to think my Christmas Bazaar visit the first weekend in December may be snowless.

A scene from Market Street by the folks at Metivier Inn. November is probably the slowest month of the year on Mackinac. A lot of the men are off-island at hunting camps, and many women are off the island visiting friends and family. It's a relaxed month after the super busy summer season.

A scene from Market Street by the folks at Metivier Inn. November is probably the slowest month of the year on Mackinac. A lot of the men are off-island at hunting camps, and many women are off the island visiting friends and family. It’s truly a time for relaxation – after the super busy summer season.

While Mackinac remains snowless for now, the island has hosted some rainy days and nights . . .

While Mackinac remains snowless for now, the island has hosted some rainy days and nights (Photo: Greg Main) . . .

. . . mornings when fog rolled up from Lake Huron to tickle Fort Mackinac's ramparts (Photo: Clark Bloswick) . . .

. . . mornings when fog rolled up from Lake Huron to tickle Fort Mackinac’s ramparts (Photo: Clark Bloswick) . . .

. . . blustery days when a ferry ride should have included sea sick pills (Photo: Clark Bloswick) . . .

. . . blustery days when a ferry ride might have included some sea sick pills (Photo: Clark Bloswick) . . .

. . . and one morning when there was just a hint of frost on the rooftops at Mission Point. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

. . . and one morning when there was just a hint of frost on the rooftops at Mission Point. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

For the most part though, November has been a beautiful continuation of October. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

For the most part though, November has been a beautiful continuation of October. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

And the sunsets continue to dazzle. (Photo: Greg Main)

And the sunsets continue to dazzle. (Photo: Greg Main)

It’s strange to me how slowly October passed this year and how rapidly November seems to be flying by.  Thanksgiving will be here before we know it, and the week after that I’ll be heading north.  I sometimes wonder if the love and passion I feel for my time on Mackinac will ever change, but I can’t really imagine that happening.  In Joan Chittister’s wonderful book, The Gift of Years, she writes that “the beauty of the later years is that if we have learned through life to trust our own insights at least as much as we trust the insights we have been taught, we find ourselves at the end of a very long life with a very young soul.”  For me, returning to Mackinac turns on my “young soul” so quickly I’m almost dizzy with it when my foot touches down on the ferry dock.  I know many of you feel exactly the same way.

Thanks to everyone last week who added a comment about what you were up to in October.  I so enjoyed reading every one, and I know everyone else did too.

See you back here soon!

God bless.

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2 thoughts on “Enough Already! 11/8/15

  1. I have lived in Florida and spent summers on Mackinac so can relate to both thoughts. I laughed about the horror of going north in the winter–I agree :), but for a Mackinac Christmas, it might be worth it. I loved these pictures. I’d love to be on the Island in October. The only time I made it in the fall it was a bit earlier and HOT, and there I was with my wool clothes. We’ve had unseasonably warm weather here in Virginia too, but now it looks like that’s lover.
    Have a lovely winter.

    • Same to you Foxtop! Just went to your blog and really enjoyed reading a few entries. Will subscribe so I’ll know when you post again. Thanks for commenting!

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