Here Comes Christmas! 12/20/15

Hi Sweet Friends!

How are things going with y’all as we ease up to Christmas Day? 

Every year I promise myself I won’t get on that holiday roller coaster of trying to fit too many events into the number of days on the calendar and attempting to find that perfect gift for each and every person on my shopping list.  Every year I fail miserably at all of the above – and this year is no exception. 

Although I did cross off the last item on my “gifts to buy” list this afternoon, there is still wrapping to be done and deliveries to be made.  The good news is that the wrapping and delivering is my favorite part!  I’ve always loved to think up different ways to use paper and ribbon, so tonight – after this post is published – you’ll find me standing at my kitchen island (which I’ve discovered is the perfect height for wrapping), putting the finishing touches on each package before placing it under the tree.  Then – since the Christmas cards are mailed and the last Christmas party has been attended – all that will be left to do is a trip to the grocery store. 

Jason – and his girlfriend Jennifer – and Blake are arriving on Wednesday, and we can’t wait to have them here for a few days.  On Christmas we’ll all drive over to Julie’s for dinner with them and their extended family.  The last count I heard was 16!  So much fun!


Our beautiful Jordan turned Sweet Sixteen this week.  It’s killing her G-Daddy that she’s almost as tall as he is (she’s taller here because she’s wearing heels).  We all went out to dinner to celebrate this special birthday!


I had a great time spreading some Christmas Cheer last week at Florida Hospital Flagler on my volunteer day.  My fellow workers got to taste test some Original Murdick’s Fudge, and they all agreed it was the “best” they’d ever had! 


We finally got a little cooler weather.  It actually got down into the low 40’s one night.  Every Beverly Beach resident got an email from the Town Clerk to “be aware we will be experiencing the coldest temps of the winter”.  She also cautioned anyone who worked outside to “be sure and take an appropriate jacket to the job site”.  Gotta love Florida!



It snowed!  (This photo and next one by Orietta Barquero)


Islanders were VERY excited when the flakes began to fall, and they’re hoping the temperatures will remain cold enough to prevent any melting – especially until after Christmas.


Bobby Lee captured Main Street – before the snow – framed by the magic of Christmas lights.


And speaking of Bobby Lee, I tracked him down during my Christmas Bazaar trip and thanked him personally for all the beautiful photos he’s been sharing with us.


A lone biker riding into the sunset. (Photo: Greg Main)

Sad news from the island.  With the snow falling peacefully outside, the beautiful and treasured Grand Lady of Mackinac, Jeanette Doud, passed away early Friday morning.  She will always be remembered for her indomitable spirit and her love for the island she called home for her entire 95 years here on this earth. 

Meeting Jeanette was like meeting Island royalty, and it was through her weekly column in the Town Crier that Ted and I first came to know the names of those who would later become our island friends.  We subscribed to the paper the year after we visited Mackinac for the first time, several years before we bought property there. Jeanette brought the island to us each week, wherever we were, and her words always made us feel as if we were there with her.  I can remember thinking back then that to be mentioned in Jeanette’s column would be a highlight I’d always cherish.

The first time I met Jeanette was the first summer we owned our condo.  She was walking toward her home with a friend, and Jill (who had known her for many years) stopped her to introduce “Brenda, the blogger.”  Jeanette was in her 80’s at the time, and she immediately reached a hand into her pocket, brought out a pen and a notepad, and said, “Please write your name and information down for me so I’ll get it just right.”  In the next week’s column, there it was: “Brenda and Ted Horton of Cobb, Georgia have opened their condo at Surrey Hill for the summer.” I still have that issue of the paper.  Ironically, when the Town Crier arrived this week, she mentioned seeing Jill, me, and Sue at the Christmas Bazaar “photographing all the Christmas activities”.  It would be her final column.

Prayers are lifting for her daughter, Mayor Margaret Doud, and the entire Doud family.  I know those of us who loved her from afar can’t begin to fathom the loss they feel, but we will miss her presence and her beautiful smile on the island we all love so much.  She was truly a Grand Lady.



Personal NoteMerry Christmas to all of you!   I hope your day is filled with family and friends and your homes ring with the sound of laughter, sweet chatter, and the joy of the true meaning of Christmas.  As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, may we always remember it is through Him we are given the blessing of forgiveness for our sins and offered the gift of eternal life.  And it all began with a tiny baby, born in a manger, who was God’s first Christmas gift to us all. 

God bless.

22 thoughts on “Here Comes Christmas! 12/20/15

  1. Love the pictures as always. I retired as of Friday and I have to keep reminding myself that even though tomorrow is Monday…..I get to stay home! Christmas preparations almost done. Tonight I WILL remember to turn off my alarm since I haven’t remembered this weekend. Thank you for recommending the book….I have started reading it. Merry Christmas to everyone! PRay for world peace in 2016!

    • It’s a process, Jeani. Just take one day at a time and enjoy it. It won’t be easy at first – but you’ll get the hang of it!

  2. Brenda, Such nice photos and comments on your goings on…and such a nice tribute to Jeannette..she was truly an Island treasure and will be greatly missed. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and happy family times.

  3. Bree, Thank you for your beautiful tribute to Jeanette Doud. I know the Island will feel a void for a long time at the passing of a grand lady.
    Tony and I wish you and your family a joyous hoiiday with your family.

  4. Merry Christmas! As always, i love reading your blog. This will be an especially good Christmas for me this year as my wife and my parents have reconciled and are now speaking for the first time in 11 years. Since my Dad just turned 82, I wasn’t sure if it would ever happen. But, thankfully, it has, and my parents will visit our house for the holidays for the first time ever ( we built our house 11 yrs ago). God Bless you and your family!

  5. Oh Dave! What a wonderful Christmas you’re all going to have! That is just the best news ever. So excited for all of you! Merry Christmas!

  6. Have a very Merry Christmas; I think I echo everyone’s sentiments when I say seeing your blog in our e mail is like getting a gift – we can hardly wait to open it and see what you’ve brought us. You add a little bit of sunshine to our lives. Enjoy the family, the season and the day. Oh, and Danny-dog says woof woof Merry Christmas to Bear and Maddie and asks if Bear will be making a guest appearance as columnist-in-waiting anytime soon? Merry Christmas…………..

  7. Thank you, Deborah! I’ll have to talk to Bear about doing some writing. Since he retired from therapy work he thinks he doesn’t have a lot to talk about. He’s pretty much settled into being a beach bum. But maybe he can come up with a tail/tale or two if he puts his mind to it.

  8. I was just catching up on your last couple of posts and was so sad to hear about Jeanette’s passing. I just finished up reading my town crier today so I could pass it on to my mother and now I can’t imagine reading it without Jeanette’s column. I was so excited though to read that two of my photos were selected for the 2017 MIRD calendar. I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas.

  9. Oh my gosh, Karen, congratulations on having your photos chosen. That is quite an honor!
    Something tells me we will see Jeanette’s column continue on.

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