Settling In – The First Time 7/24/16

We’ve almost been on Mackinac for a week, and we’ve settled comfortably into the condo in the Mission.  Having stayed here for six weeks last summer, it was easy to slip right back into very familiar surroundings. We knew where everything was, and we’ve been enjoying our views on this end of Main Street.


Mornings find us out on the deck – coffee in hand – watching the island wake up.

That deck is also a great place to be in the afternoon – with a book or newspaper (although I’ve tried to avoid all news from the “outside”).  The other day I was sitting out there, reading, and I heard someone yell, “Hello, Brenda!”  I glanced up to see a man on a bike, waving as he rode by and then disappeared into the Mission Point tunnel of trees.  I’m really not sure who he was, but it was fun that someone knew it was me up there.


Thursday’s Town Crier announced our arrival.  It ‘s always a mystery to me who collects all this information and provides it to the newspaper!

We went to the Little Stone Church today,and it’s there we saw most everyone we know who we hadn’t already seen during the week.  Nothing makes us feel more welcome than to have island friends wrap us in hugs and say, “Welcome home!”

In the week we’ve been here we’ve spent some great times with Patty and Buz, attended a friend’s birthday party, picked up extra bikes for the summer from our former condo’s owners (thank you Cindy and Steve for your continued graciousness), and inspected (twice) the condo we’ll be moving into once it’s finished (where we’ll settle in for the second time).  There’s been a girls day with Jill, Patty, and Sue, trips to Doud’s and the Island Bookstore, and walks with Maddie in Mission Point.


Maddie is loving the cooler weather and enjoying her walks again.  She especially enjoys ending the walks sitting on a Mission Point bench and having admirers stop and fuss over her!  When I walk Maddie alone, I use Bear’s old leash.  Yes, it’s way too big for her, but it makes me feel good to still use it.

There have been so many “Bear moments”.  The other day, when we went after the bikes, we walked up and through the Grand Hotel stable.  From there we’d usually see Denise, who works for Carriage Tours at the Surrey Hill Museum.  She’d always spot Bear at the bottom of that hill and yell for him.  We’d release him from his lead, and he’d go flying up the hill – straight into Denise’s arms as she’d kneel to welcome him. Exact same scenario this week – except Denise was standing there, and there was no Bear to send.  Broke my heart – again. It will get better the longer we’ve been here, but those “first times” are going to be brutal.

Tonight we’re going on a Sip ‘n Sail Sunset Cruise, tomorrow there’s a grocery run off island and a porch party tomorrow evening.  And on Tuesday we pick up Jordan and Matthew at the Pellston Airport.  We can’t WAIT for the two of them to get up here!!  Oh, the fun we’ve got planned!


I haven’t captured the Mission Point beaver family on film yet, but this almost-chewed- through tree trunk proves they’re continuing their building project just off-shore in the Mission.



The Pink Pony (in the Chippewa Hotel) has its own exclusive store now (just off the Chippewa’s lobby).  There’s a new logo and a whole new look to their merchandise –  it is awesome!


Sailors fold the sails aboard a tall ship that visited the island this week.  (Photo: Jill Sawatzki)

Mission Point flowers are absolutely incredible this year!

Mission Point flowers are absolutely incredible this year!

Beautiful beds of day lilies are everywhere. These are in the yard of the condo where we're staying.

Beautiful beds of day lilies are everywhere. These are in the yard of the condo where we’re staying.

It’s been rainy today, so after church and lunch with Patty and Buz (who leave tomorrow for their home in Oklahoma), we’ve been hunkered down for a lazy afternoon.  It’s about time to get ready for that Sip ‘n Sail Sunset Cruise (I don’t think there’s much chance of seeing the sunset), so I’ll close now.

It’s so good to be on Mackinac for the next three months.  Each time we return there’s always a little moment when I secretly wonder if the island could possibly be as wonderful as I remember it.  And each time the island laughs at me and says, “I’m even MORE wonderful than you remember!”

And it always is.

God bless.


22 thoughts on “Settling In – The First Time 7/24/16

  1. Lovely post. I was going to ask you about the beavers since your condo isn’t very far from where we saw them! So glad they are doing well too! Glad you are enjoying the cooler temps!

  2. Hi Brenda. What is that pink building in the last pic? I can’t place it. Did I miss some condos? I can’t wait to meet you on my next trip. I promise not to be a “pest” :-).

      • Why do they look so different (no answer needed). I was looking at that one as you know. I guess I wasn’t interested in that side view so I didn’t pay attention. Dah!

  3. Even better than the first ‘ahh, we’re back’ moment is when you realize that this place, and this pace, will be your life for the next few months. So glad you’ve found your ‘groove’!

  4. Love the picture of the tall ship. All the pictures are wonderful, I was going to ask you about the pink condos too! Now I have my answer. Keep ’em comin!!!’

  5. How nice to have “home” feeling. I can relate about “the firsts” with missing Bear this time up there. How those darn firsts crush our insides and the pain rushes through all over again.

  6. I want to do the Sip n Sail when we came up. Going to church must have felt like coming home. I understand about Bear, I haven’t switched my screensaver from Blitzen even though he’s been gone for over a year and a half.
    Have fun, hopefully it’s cooler there then in the rest of the country.

  7. Wonderful to have you blog from Mackinac! Very happy for you & Ted. Tears when I read about Bear moments. A dear friend once shared with me, those spikes of grief ease with time. Feel them , accept them, the healing is at work.
    I would love to know more about your condo. I have been keeping an eye on them during my trips.


    • I think five of the eight are sold, Gail, and the owner is saving one to lease (that’s the one we have until the middle of October). Will give you a tour once we’re in!


  8. We’re doing a sip n sail Sunday Aug 7. I’ll look forward to hearing what u have to say about it, as this will be our 1st time. I usually run the island in the morning once when we are there, I will look for you on the deck relaxing as I run by, lol

    • Sounds like a plan, Dave! If the weather is good, arrive at sunset boat at 8:00 for 8:30 departure so you’ll be at front of line. Great seats (couches) on top deck!


      • thanx for advice. I think ours departs at 8:00, so I’m sure my wife will have us there early. Were there a lot of people on the boat?

  9. Hey Bree,
    I’ve looked online for the new Pink Pony merchandise, but couldn’t find anything. Next time you and Ted are down there and Ted is settled in on his stool, can you check to see if they will have an online store? For us off-islanders? 🙂

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