Oh my gosh, it’s been a busy week! It started off with Tropical Storm Colin roaring through (no damage – just a lot of rain) on Sunday night and all day Monday and was followed quickly by the arrival of Jason, Jennifer, and Jennifer’s little boy, Alex, from Atlanta on Tuesday. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a six-year-old in the house, and we’d all but forgotten how much fun it is!
Alex had a blast meeting the dolphins at Marineland (he even got to feed the dolphins and learned how to ask them to do tricks – which they instantly obeyed!)
He toured Fort Matanzas National Park, did all the required activities . . .
. . . and was sworn in by Mr. Ernie as an official Junior Ranger!
We went to the European Village one evening for dinner . . .
. . . and we all watched the sun go down several nights from the top deck. Oh, and Alex and Maddie became really good buddies!
Add to that boat time . . .
. . . and beach time, and you can see how fast the week went!
Heading back to Atlanta on Saturday morning. It’s always sad when company leaves, but we sure enjoyed them being here! The house seems WAY too quiet today!
After three weeks of back-to-back visitors, it’s time to settle down and begin to mark off the calendar days until our trip north for three months on Mackinac Island. The weather in Florida is getting hotter by the minute, but we’ve learned if you limit your outdoor time to the hours before 11 a.m. and after 7:00 p.m., you can pretty much enjoy part of each day. But . . we’re looking forward to the cooler temps on the island, as well as seeing all our friends there.
As I’m writing this on Sunday afternoon, the island is gearing up for the 4:00 p.m. start of the Lilac Festival Parade. I so hate that we’ve missing it this year, but I’m sure someone will share some pics for later.
Friends and readers who are there are reporting the lilacs are FANTASTIC this year! I love this photo shared by friend Misty Martinchek.
And this one by Clark Bloswick.
Another view of St. Anne’s – this one from the West Bluff. I mean, seriously – how perfect is this scene! (Photo: Maryanke Alexander)
Clark Bloswick perfectly captures a blustery summer days. Can’t you just hear the seagulls calling out to each other as they search for lunch among the waves?
The island had some pretty impressive weather one night last week. Isaac Burrell’s photo shows the approach of the thunderstorm over the Mackinac Bridge.
Lunchtime at the ferry docks! (Photo: Clark Bloswick)
I love how Bobby Lee captioned this photo he shot on a ferry trip across the Straits of Mackinac: “Sometimes Heaven finds you – right where you are.”
One of the things I’m missing most right now about Mackinac is the woods. Living in Florida means palm trees and palmettos, and woods here are made up of trees and bushes that can only exist in salt air and sandy soil. The lush, rich smell in the woods of Mackinac – heightened by green foliage, wild flowers, and a pungent base of last fall’s leaves is not something Florida will ever replicate. I miss it. I miss it a lot. When the luggage is unpacked and the groceries are bought, this is where you’ll find me when we get to the island . . . . maybe before the groceries are bought. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)
INTRODUCING . . . YOU!
I had three more readers waiting to be introduced when we lost Bear and my thoughts got taken totally away from everything but him. I want to get back to those readers today!
Meet Beverly DeLauer, a Georgia girl who now lives in Cambria, CA. She’s been reading the blog for two years, and found it through a “share” on Facebook. Beverly, besides sharing a home state, we also share a year of birth!
Pat and Gayle Steele from Vernon MI. I first met Pat and her daughter several years ago when they dropped by the Stuart House and introduced themselves. Pat and Gayle honeymooned on Mackinac in 1971, and they usually visit twice a year. For 15 years Pat served as a Girl Scout Adult Leader at the Scout Service Camp of the Mackinac Island Governor’s Honor Guard (Troop 609). Pat says, “Living and working on Mackinac Island for a week really immerses you with that ‘Mackinac Magic'” Pat and Gayle will be celebrating their 45th anniversary this year.
Meet Marshall and Terry Lambert from Marshall MI. Terry found the blog for the first time when Bear was doing a guest post several years ago. Terry says, “I still miss our Golden Retriever, and the blend of Mackinac Island and a Golden jumped out.” They visit the island a couple of times each year. The photo above was taken as they celebrated their anniversary at the Grand last fall.
I think that brings us up to date on the “Introducing . . . You!” series. Please continue to send in your photos, where you live, when and how you discovered the blog, and any other short comments you’d like to share. I will get them on the blog as I receive them. Send to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
MOVING ON . . . . A DAY AT A TIME
This photo pretty much sums up the last few weeks. There’s a big space that remains empty in our house and in our hearts. We’re moving past the worst of the grief though, and each day draws us closer to being able to open our hearts to a new fur baby. I still have my moments though. The other day I was fixing Maddie’s dinner, and I swear I saw something move out of the corner of my eye. I turned and just for a moment I saw Bear standing there . . . patiently waiting for his dinner too. Yes, I know I didn’t really see him. But his spirit was so strong in that moment that I want to believe he was really there – letting me know he wasn’t too far away. Even now.
I’ve begun to search. At one point I even thought I had found what I wanted. But – things didn’t work out, so I’ve filed that one away as “wasn’t meant to be” and moved on. Right now I’m pretty sure I’m going to want an English Cream Golden Retriever. At first I thought I couldn’t get another Golden because I would be constantly comparing him to Bear. But the English Goldens are shaped differently – a little stockier and shorter than American-bred Goldens. And they are a very light cream color. Some are white. At this point we’re thinking we won’t be getting it until after we return from Mackinac . . . and we may even decide to get a puppy.
But – you know what. You just never know when God is going to open a kennel door. So we’ll see.
Have a great week!