When I sat down in 2009 to write my very first blog post, there was never a single thought of one day having dinner with 15 folks who, over the years, have become so much more than readers of a blog about Mackinac Island. These 15, and many more like them, are readers who have become friends – not only to Ted and I, but to each other as well. We’ve shared our joys and sorrows and whispered each other’s names in God’s ear. We’ve shared the loss of family members, friends, and pets and rejoiced in marriages, births, and new fur babies. In other words, we’ve become “family”.
Below are a few memories from a very special “gathering” this week. It came about because these folks just all happened to be coming to the island at the same time – and they shared that with each other and with me!
Some arrived on Saturday, some on Sunday, and some had been here a while. Some were staying three nights, some were staying longer.
I know I say this about all of my readers, but I just don’t know how I got so lucky as to meet up with some of the sweetest folks God ever put on this earth. Lowell and Faye Greene are two of those folks. Lowell worked on the island as a teenager in the 50’s, and oh, the stories he can tell about “back in the day”!
About an hour later, Bud and Hilde DaVanon arrived. I think I met them the second summer we were condo owners on Mackinac, and I’ve loved them every since! That’s Bud and Hilde just coming through the exit.
Our “official” photo from Monday evening – taken in the lobby of the Chippewa Hotel. Back row (l-r): Joleen & Bruce Griffin (Wisconsin), Pam Magers Schuch (Ohio), Kem & Ed Green (Iowa), Denice Magers (Ohio), Pam & Mike Day (Ohio), and Yvonne & Tony Pitsch (Iowa). Front row (l-r): Bud & Hilde DaVanon (Illinois), the Hortons, Lowell & Faye Greene (Michigan) and Jill Sawatzki (Michigan)
And the “unofficial” one – how we were really acting!
Some candids from dinner . . . .
Looking down the table from our end. The Chippewa seated all of us at one table (which was awesome) – upstairs on the outside deck. Mike Day anchored one end . . .
. . . and Lowell anchored the other.
One thing I discovered everyone LOVES to do is . . . . talk! Here on the left is Joleen and Bruce Griffin. They were the only ones there I hadn’t met before, and I was so glad they joined us!
LOL! Bud was trying to shield us on the other side of the table from the sun, until it went down behind a building. Good job, Bud!
Chatting and eating . . . . Yvonne (in the blue sweater) and husband Tony are in the market for a condo (or home) on Mackinac, and Kem (white sweater) and husband Ed visit Mackinac at least twice a year. They may be coming for their first winter visit this year!
Jill packed up her leftovers and had to get back to the bookstore!
Pam and Denise – two sisters who LOVE Mackinac and visit as often as possible!
Mike and Pam Day – they spend two months on the island, one in the spring and one in the fall.
I have to tell you I had an attack of tears before we ever sat down for that official photo. I was standing off to the side in the lobby, taking a few pics and watching everyone introduce themselves. These folks, most of whom had never met in person, were laughing, sharing stories about the island, talking about their families and where they were from, and acting as though they’d been friends forever. I looked at all of them and whispered one more thing in God’s ear . . . . thank you, Lord, for taking me down this path that led me to each one of these dear people. And then I had to excuse myself and go put my face back together.
The first annual “Blog Dinner” was a big success, and there’s talk already about another dinner next year. Or maybe a dinner-a-month. With special coffee mugs. Hmmmm . . . . what do you think?!