About bree1972

My husband Ted and I have lived in Beverly Beach FL since Oct. 2014. We spend three months each summer on beautiful Mackinac Island in Michigan. We have three children and two grandchildren (and two wonderful dogs). We are very blessed.

The Week Nicole Came to Town 11/13/2022

I just realized this morning that it’s been a week since I posted about the “interesting” weather week we were anticipating last Sunday. If we’re friends on Facebook, you already know we had minimal damage to our house when Hurricane/Tropical Storm Nicole came to visit, but I’ll add a little more detail below.

We were still in Michigan when Category 4 Hurricane Ian came through Florida, and when we got home we saw first hand the damage to our beach dunes, our walkover, and to some of the houses in our neighbhorhood of Sunset Inlet. A drive down A1A confirmed there were many homes with tarps covering roof damage, and people were just beginning to start the task of hiring contractors to repair what Ian had destroyed. Even though Ian hit on the other side of Florida from us, we still got damage as it crossed the state as a tropical storm.

Unfortunately, the damage left by Ian only paved the way for Nicole to create a domino affect in Flagler, and especially south of us in Daytona Beach. Washed out dunes resulted in the collapse in many places near us of the A1A highway that runs along the Atlantic Ocean. In Daytona it resulted in several homes falling partially into the ocean and other homes and condo buildings being deemed unsafe for occupancy. I’m sure if you’ve followed the national news this week you’ve seen the remains of homes occupied for many years by families that built along the ocean as part of their retirement dream. It is incredibly sad to see these homes destroyed. In addition, many of the Flagler Beach communities that are built along canals connected to the Instracoastal suffered pretty severe flooding.

Sunset Inlet as it normally looks . . .
. . . and as it looked the morning after Nicole came ashore south of us (Thursday). With the addition of high tide and a full moon (which causes a “higher” hige tide), the water from the Intracoastal rose over the seawall in our inlet. It came about a foot into our backyard. All the boats are raised as high as their lifts allow, and you can see that the water is almost touching the bottom of the one boat in this pic.
This is a home beachside a little north of us.
We lost power around noon on Friday, and before the sun set Ted got out our camp lights, flashlights and larger lanterns. We opened the doors (the rain had stopped by then) and there was a great breeze blowing the sheers around. We could hear generators running in the neighborhood. We had decided to get through the night without firing ours up, thinking we’d hook it up the next morning. But shortly after I took this pic, the electricity came back on. Kudos to Florida Power & Light!
We’ve spent the weekend returning all the outdoor furniture back to the decks, cleaning up shingles (from neighbors’ homes) and palm fronds from our yard, and yesterday doing a thorough clean of green mildew off the railings and spiral staircase outside (can’t blame the mildew on Nicole – it’s just a natural occurance in Florida and a task we’ve been putting off). When Ian came through we lost some soffit and fascia (which had already been repaired), but Nicole only managed to blow one single shingle off our roof. Being the “short” house sitting in between two “tall” houses seems to protect us during these storms.
Today is the first day it’s felt like Fall since we’ve returned. It’s in the 60’s and cloudy, but the seawall is above water again and things are looking more normal. There is a tremendous amount of work to be done along our east coast, in addition to all the work left to be done on the west coast from Ian.

Choosing to live along the ocean is truly a dream come true decision, and we love everything it brings to our retirement years. But beach living definitely comes with its challenges.

I loved this post from a friend in the neighborhood the day before Nicole arrived!
Bodie, resting among some debris near our beach walkover.
And peace returns.

Mackinac Island – The Week in a Glance

The last sign of the ending of the 2022 season – the topiary horses (Peat and Moss) and carriage that normally reside in Grand Hotel’s tea garden on the way to the ferry. They will spend the winter downstate in a greenhouse. (Photo credit: JJ Shaffer)
The sun sinks behind the Mackinac Bridge (Photo Credit: Tom Chambers)
Downtown has become the site of numerous construction/renovation projects. Local and off-island workers will try to complete as many projects as possible before snow slows work down – or stops it completely. (Photo credit: JJ Shaffer)
The elves at Chambers Corner have been busy this week! (Photo Credit: JJ Shaffer)
A dray makes its way down Market Street. (Photo Credit: Tom Chambers)

I heard there was a smattering of snow on the island today, and I’m looking forward to some snow pictures if any of it stuck!

P.S. We had quite a few Mackinac Island friends at Disney World this week. In between breakfasts and lunches with Mickey, they got a full day of Nicole’s shenanigans also! I bet Disney worked enough magic that they didn’t even know she had arrived. That Mickey and Minnie can handle anything “when you wish upon a star. . . . . . “

God bless.

Interesting Weather Week Ahead 11/6/2022

Hi everyone! We’ve had a busy week in our corner of the world, and this coming week is looking rather interesting in the weather department. Yes, it’s November, but hurricane season lasts through this month, and right now there’s a pesky little “disturbance” in the tropics that is predicted to turn into either a sub-tropical or tropical depression and head toward the east coast of Florida Wednesday or Thursday. What our coastline along Flagler Beach, and points to the north and south of us, does not need is more heavy rain and strong winds to further erode our sand dunes and cause local flooding. So we’re watching the development of this storm closely.

The Week at a Glance – Flagler Beach

We celebrated Julie’s birthday this week at Turtle Shack. A great meal and happy times spent with Julie, Jordan, and Matt. We missed Matthew, who was away at college.
It’s good to be out walking at the beach again. There’s almost always a great breeze coming off the ocean, but I have to admit I’m ready for the temps to get out of the 80’s!
Pelicans cruising overhead . . .
. . . and a prop plane cruising low over the beach.
Even though we’re still several days out on the storm’s approach, the ocean is already feeling its first effects. As I mentioned earlier, we’ll be keeping an eye on this one.

The Week at a Glance – Mackinac Island

From JJ Shaffer:

An artist spends some time capturing the remnants of fall.
A beautiful capture of an empty and silent Main Street after the season is over.

From Tom Chambers:

Mackinac had a lot of wind from a storm on Saturday night – the gales of November have arrived! This very old lilac tree was uprooted on the east side of town.
Some last bits of color. Love seeing the Baby Grand cottage up there on the East Bluff.

One More from the Beach!

One of the things we love most about our little town of Beverly Beach is that we’re away from the crowds that ususally congregate around the Flagler Beach downtown area and pier. No matter what time of year, we are almost guaranteed that this section of beach will be uncrowded – and usually just plain deserted. Call us crazy – but we love that!

I’m working on what I hope will be an interesting story soon on a marine biology research project that is taking place right outside out back door! Have to gather a few more pics before I can publish that one, but just letting you know it’s coming in the next week or so (I hope)!

Have a great week – and God bless.

Blending Flagler Beach with Mackinac Island

Many years ago, when we were traveling between our condo on Mackinac and our house on Lake Blackshear in Georgia, I wrote two blogs. When I was writing the Lake Blackshear blog in the winter I’d always share pics from friends that are on Mackinac year-round, and that’s what I’m going to go back to doing now. I hope that by blending the two places where we spend our time, I’ll be able to keep ya’ll excited about the island and also share a little of what it’s like to winter in Florida.

Florida Days

Our “backdoor” view at sunset is usually stunning, but – just like most anywhere – it seems the closer to winter we get, the more spectacular the sunsets become.
Boats of all kinds are traveling from up north down to ports throughout Florida for the winter. The intracoastal is a busy highway this time of year!
Our Sunset Inlet resident tortoise! He crawls out to greet most everyone who walks by his/her burrow, which is next to the path leading to the beach walkover.
I had to share this. When we got home we realized we had forgotten to pick up a 2023 Mackinac Island calendar. I ordered one online from the Island Bookstore (which I thought was already closed), and when it came this week, the back of the envelope was “signed” by Mary Jane, the owner, and Jill and Tam, the best bookstore ambassadors ever! Thanks for the smiles, ladies!

November will be a busy month for us. It’s when we get all our annual doctors/dentists appointments taken care of and when Ted will start back volunteering at Fort Matanzas two days a week. He’s excited to be back “in the groove”. I desperately need to find somewhere to volunteer. May check out the little museum in Flagler Beach – I hear they are looking for volunteers.

Mackinac Island Days

I’m sharing pics and a video clip today from island friends JJ Shaffer, Tom Chambers, and Leanne Brodeur. When we left Mackinac in the middle of October I pretty much thought the colors had peaked, but I was oh so wrong! The leaves have still been showing off for the last two weeks, and they’re just now beginning to fade and float their way down to the trails and paths of the island. What a glorious fall it has been! Thanks to JJ, Tom and Leanne for sharing!

JJ Shaffer

Annually thousands of tulip bulbs are planted at Grand Hotel. Come spring this area will be dazzling!
Looking up Market Street
The trail up to Point Lookout. Can’t you just hear the crunch of those leaves!?

Tom Chambers

The fall display around the iconic front door of a downtown home.
What an amazing pic, Tom! They are painting the steeple at St. Anne’s. Trying my best to figure out where Tom was to get this shot!
This pic is one of my all-time favorites ever taken on the island, and Tom captured it beautifully. The driver is Trish Martin, owner of Bogan Lane Inn, and her passenger is Mayor Margaret Doud. Trish and Margaret are both true islanders and live there year-round. Margaret has served as Mayor of the island since April, 1975 – 47 years! What a treat to see these two hard-working ladies out enjoying a fall ride. Earl Grey, Trish’s much-loved horse, is pulling the buggy.

Leanne Brodeur

A short and happy clip of a buggy ride through the leaves. Leanne was riding shotgun, and Trish is driving Earl Grey. Sound on!

Back to the Beach!
We are still waiting for the November “coolness” to arrive, but for the next two weeks it looks like we’ll continue in the 75-80 degree range.

Hope everyone is having a great week!

God bless.

Something for Free 10/28/2022

We’re having a rainy day here in sunny Florida. Nevertheless, Ted and I ventured out to Java Joint for breakfast and then decided, since we were already out, to go to Publix to pick up a few things for the weekend.

Ted dropped me off at the front of the store because it was pouring rain. I grabbed a cart, pulled my list out of my bag and started checking things off. Since I was buying mostly personal stuff, I made it to the check-out counter first and got in line.

The older gentleman in front of me (he was at least my age which gives me permission to call him “older”) was not having a good day. He was protesting, rather loudly, to the young lady (she was maybe in her early 20’s) ringing up his groceries that it was ridiculous what everything cost now. “How in the world can you put such prices on everything?’ he said gruffly as he slung things on the counter and frowned at the clerk as if she had personally priced every single item in his cart.

The young lady stopped for a moment in her “swiping”, and I thought, “Uh oh. She’s going to say something equally rude back to him.”

But what she said was this. “Sir, there is one thing that you can have for free – and that’s a smile from me. You can get one every day. Right here at my counter. Won’t cost you a thing.”

The old guy looked at her for a moment, started to say smething, then changed his mind, paid and walked away.

But you can bet your last bag of groceries that she got a HUGE smile from me as I told her she had just made my day!

God bless.

And . . . . We’re Home! 10/27/2022

Header pic: Ted Horton

Three days and two nights on the road and almost three days of unpacking. We finally stowed the last piece of luggage back in the closet this morning, and we consider ourselves basically settled in for the rest of fall and the coming winter. We had very little damage to our house from Hurricane Ian (minor soffet and fascia repairs), but what we did have was a leak in our AC return unit (no connection to the hurricane) in the garage. Luckily our neighbors found it when they checked the house after Ian, and we were able to get the AC folks out to fix before we got home. But. Water in the garage for a couple of weeks in humidity-heavy Florida led to a lot of mildew on things stored in the garage. Thankfully, it’s all cleaned up now, and we are good to go!

Our beach walkover was pretty much rendered unusable, but planning is already underway to reconstruct it.
We got all the outdoor deck furniture moved out of the family room and put back in its proper place.
We have two outdoor potted plants that neighbors foster while we’re gone. One is this kalanchoe, which got a visit from a Monarch butterfly as soon as I placed it out on the deck.

My first walk this morning since we’ve been home.
It was high tide!
Bodie seems to be back to feeling at home on the beach rather than the Mackinac woods, but he secretly told me this morning it was still a little warm for him in Florida.

It’s always a transition going from the woods, the Great Lakes, the ferries and the freighters, and the coolness of Mackinac Island to palm trees, the beach, the ocean and the warmth of the sunshine state. But Florida is the perfect place to spend the winter, and I hope to be sharing some adventures with you over the next few months.

Stay tuned, and God bless.

Go Time! 10/20/2022

Wednesday 10/19/2022

The good Lord must have known what a hard time we were having starting the packing process, so He sent us a week of really messy weather to give us a little incentive to head to Florida. In the last few days we’ve had rain, gale force winds, really cold temps (well, cold for us Floridians anyway) and – the perfect touch – SNOW! Ted has gone down the hill twice to Doud’s in some pretty heavy snow flurries. Do I even need to tell you how much my sand and beach and sun-loving husband did not love those particular trips? No – I didn’t think so.

So here it is Wednesday afternoon. We’ll go over to Mac City sometime tomorrow and carry a taxi full of stuff to begin the “pack the truck” process. You see we know better, after all these years, than to take everything over the morning we’re leaving – and then spend hours trying to solve the “I know we had it all in here for the trip up” puzzle. All that will be left to stuff somewhere on Friday morning will be our “carryons” for the trip south – Ted’s, mine, and Bodie’s. Nothing else will come out of the truck except those three bags until we’re home. Well, except for us, of course.

A Few Pics From Before the Messy Weather Moved In

Just can’t get enough of these trees – from close up . . .
. . . to a wider view.
I had to include one more pic of the red phone booth. Lynne, a long-time blog reader who lives in England and who came often to the Somewhere in Time weekend on Mackinac, contacted me after seeing the phone booth (or phone box, as they’re called across the pond) in a previous blog post this summer. She wrote the following: “We used that phone box many years ago to phone our family at home in England. It seemed Mackinac Island had a little piece of England right there. We still have the red phone boxes but they are now used in our villages for swapping reading books as a kind of library for those who can’t get to a book shop. Also some villages have defibrillators in them to be used in emergency. How neat is that, and thank you, Lynne, for sharing!
A Grand Hotel groundskeeping crew prepares a bed for the annual tulip bulb planting.
A look across a fence and Marquette Park to the Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum
The sign comes down from Cindy’s Riding Stable. The horses have left the island, and the building will be buttoned up for winter.
.Fall – at the corner of Main and Fort Streets
Just loved the greens and yellows in this scene – with that pop of red geranium on the side.
Stopped in at Little Stone Church to offer up a prayer for safe travels home. So love being part of this congregation.
Bikes sit on fallen leaves in this yard on Cadotte. A simple scene of the ending season.

Thursday 10/20/2022

We were on the 9 am boat this morning with our BIG suitcases and several plastic bins. It was a cold, crisp, gorgeous blue-sky morning, and we got the back of the truck packed and came back over on the 10:30 boat. Went by and said goodbye to a few folks downtown, grabbed two subs from Island Slice Pizza to take home for lunch, detoured by the post office to pick up the last day of mail before everything starts going back to Florida, and walked back up the hill.

Market Street was empty, but this weekend the streets will be full as Mackinac celebrates Halloween. Can’t wait to see pics of all the costumes!
A last look back toward town from the fort ticket office (now closed).
And one more “vision in yellow” on our walk home on Huron Road.
A “so long for now” from Bodie in his VERY happy place – the Mackinac woods!

The last bag is packed, and we’ll have pizza for dinner. We’ll say we’re going to bed early, but neither one of us will be able to sleep. A long day tomorrow with the three of us climbing on a taxi well before sunrise to leave on the 8:00 boat. Twenty-three years we’ve been doing this – saying “so long” to Mackinac Island in the early glow of a sunrise. We never choose to say goodbye – because we always pray we’ll be back for another season. We’ll say that prayer again tomorrow.


I’ve so loved sharing my heart’s home with you again this summer. I love to write, and in the last few weeks I’ve again found that part of myself I lose when I don’t have an outlet to share the things I love most in life. Writing brings me joy. So when we get back to Florida and get settled in, I’ll be checking in here occasionally with news from Ted, Bodie and I. I so hope to hear from you when I do!

I’ll close with one of my favorite quotes from John Muir: “Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.”

God bless.

And the Days Dwindle Down . . . 10/16/2022

It’s Sunday. We leave on Friday, and the packing has begun BIG time! Boxes will be mailed tomorrow, filled with winter gear I shipped up in July and which now must be shipped south.

The plan is to go across on Thursday with everything EXCEPT the small bags we will need on the three-day road trip to Florida. It takes a while to organize everything in the back of the truck, so we’ll do most of that Thursday afternoon, rather than Friday morning when we have a long day of travel ahead of us.

It has gotten pretty cold and windy over the weekend, and the rumor is we could get some snow – along with the 25-35 mph winds being forecast over the next few days. Sounds like I might not better ship ALL my winter gear.

Our weekend started with a trip off island to take Bodie to the groomer on Friday. It had been six weeks since his last appointment, and let me just say that he needed a bath and a haircut in the worst way.

We left on a taxi in the middle of a very cold rain, following a group of carriage horses departing the island on the same morning. When we got to the open area below the Grand – and before the island school – the wind was so strong it was as though the plastic rain shields weren’t even there.

When I looked out across the Straits my first thought was, “Oh boy, it’s going to be a rough crossing.” But I was wrong. Even though it was a little choppy, it was definitely nowhere near the worst ride we’ve ever had.

By the time we got to the truck the rain had almost stopped. We drove over to Levering, then turned back toward Chegoygan, following a back road to Northern Tails Grooming. And so began a perfectly beautiful tour of Michigan in the fall.

Our groomer has her business in a barn on a farm out in the country. This tree is in their front yard.
The road in front of their farm. I’m obsessed with this picture.

We dropped Bodie off and drove to Cheboygan to pick up a few grocery items to get us through our last week. On the way back to pick up Bodie I happened to look to my left and practically yelled, “Turn around! We have to go back!” ‘Bout scared Ted to death (I have to stop doing that). I thought I had spotted a beautiful park filled with the most gorgeous trees, but it turned out to be . . .

. . . a little cemetery nestled among one of the most beautiful and peaceful scenes I’ve ever come across.
This road . . .
I wish I could somehow convey the sense of calm I had walking among these old headstones and these blazing trees. Wow. Just wow.

We collected Bodie – much cleaner and with much less hair . . .

. . . and we were happy to see the sun shining when we arrived back at Shepler’s dock in Mackinaw City!

Ted would be watching football all afternoon and into the night on Saturday, so we walked into town for lunch at the Chippewa. After lunch I stayed in town and met up with Jill for a few minutes to shop a couple of sales before she had to get to work. Then I roamed around just looking for some good images to shoot. Here’s a few I found . . .

Always one of the most beautiful corners in any season – French Lane and Main. The Hotel Iroquois and The Windermere Hotel face each other, there’s a gorgeous tree, a carriage, and the Straits in the background. Sigh. Perfect.
Behind the library – a favorite spot in the summer. Yesterday it was cold and very windy – I mean a couple of times I had to brace myself against the building! No one was around. Still very much a magical spot, regardless of the weather.
Walking home. Turned around and caught this scene. Always. Turn. Around.

Random Pics

Bodie, waiting at the door of the condo.
All summer I’ve watched the Grand Hotel’s Hackneys and Percherons in the turnout corral behind the condo . . .
. . . but now the Hackneys have all left the island, and the Percherons won’t be far behind. More often than not, when I look at the corral the gate is open, and the corral is empty. Another season is about to end.
I took this pic out our front window this morning. I loved how the sun caught the sheer curtain. We are so thankful for our time on Mackinac this summer. We’ve watched over the months as this window scene has changed from the lush green of summer into the glory of fall.

Almost time to go. I’ll try my best to get one more post in before we leave!

Counting Down . . . . . 10/12/2022

It’s the middle of our next to last week. I’ve collected my boxes, Ted has gone on a last grocery run to Cheboygan, and I’m starting a very feeble attempt at packing. The week started off beautifully (Tuesday was what I’d call a perfect Mackinac Island fall day), and – just like that – we have gale warnings and rain forecast for today. They’re saying we might see a few snowflakes on Friday. Y’all know I don’t usually turn down any chance of seeing the white stuff, but Friday we have to take Bodie off island for his last Michigan grooming appointment of the season – and honestly I’d rather it be warm and dry. But it’s Michigan in October! What’cha gonna do?

Mackinac has opened its Fall coloring book and is picking out all its favorite crayons!
Orange and yellow Crayolas seem to be the most used this week!
I went off island yesterday to run a few errands. A dock employee was providing entertainment to the waiting crowd by hammering down a loose board on the dock.
Tons of luggage going off.
Back up the hill after my return. Couldn’t keep myself from stopping every few feet just to look up and down the street.

The Annex and Airport

In the early afternoon I rode out to the Annex with Jill to visit a friend with a new puppy. This tree proves there were some red crayons in that box too!
Jill had to get back downtown to work, but I decided to head out to the airport – another place I hadn’t been all summer. On the way out of the Annex these “leaves of gold” stopped me in my tracks. Oh my gosh, I wish this picture did them justice!
The further I got into the interior of the island, the more color I found.
I could have just sat down on the grass, leaned back against the fence, and melted into the peace of that spot. No planes took off or landed while I was there, and the only other people were a couple having a picnic at one of the tables by the terminal. Total chill out.

Bodie Pic

Bodie’s thinking, “I sure am glad I don’t have to jump in THIS carriage!”
A little clip of my ride out to the airport.
This is off the condo’s back porch this afternoon. All of the hackneys left the island this week, but the big Percherons will be here until Grand Hotel closes.

Hoping everyone is doing well this week! God bless.

Kaleidoscope 10/8/2022

Hi Everyone! So much going on this past week, and even though it suddenly turned chilly (31 one morning and highs in 40’s and low 50’s), I’ve been trying to get out and take as many pics as I can. We leave for Florida in two weeks, and our precious ime on the island is rushing, rushing, rushing by.

I really don’t have any stories to tell today, so I’m making this a Photo Day with Captions, divided into a few group topics. Here we go. . . .

Cadotte Avenue and The Jewel Golf Course

I loved this photo showing one of the Autumn Blaze Maples along Cadotte Avenue beginning to transition into its fall color scheme. The blue sky, scattered clouds, almost-empty street and bundled up visitors added to the feeling of a season slowly winding down.
This iconic little red phone booth sits among slowly changing birch trees on Grand’s Jewel Golf Course.
The swirls and twirls of this birch tree’s bark are fascinating to me.
Again, the clouds on this day added another whole dimension to the scenes I was trying to capture.

Lunch at Fort Mackinac

We ate lunch at Fort Mackinac one day this week. Before going in we went by the Park Office so Ted could turn in the shirt he wears as a State Park volunteer. Walking back to the front of the fort to go in, a lone Carriage Tour wagon drives by this freshly mowed area. It seems each photo I take now shows the island beginning to breathe more easily and coast into the final days of the season.
We arrived before noon and there were only a few occupied tables – but by the time we left every table was full.
It was a little cool on the porch so I had the soup and sandwich special (cream of potato – so yummy). Ted had a sandwich and tried the blueberry shake that had been recommended to us when we entered the park. So good (I asked for two straws)!
Did you know there is indoor seating also at the fort Tea Room? On a really chilly day in the spring or fall, that fire place would be roaring. I’ve always loved how this room smells. It’s as though the wood smoke from thousands and thousands of fires that have burned here over the years has been absorbed into these old walls. That smell always takes me back to my daddy’s parents home. It was an old wood structure with a fireplace in their bedroom – which also was their sitting room because it was the warmest room in the house. I’m transported right back there everytime I walk into this room.
One of the private residences used by VIP visitors to the State Park
Gorgeous view from the fort ramparts. Little Stone Church’s steeple can be seen against Lake Huron’s blue water in the distance.
Fascinated with clouds this week!
One last look down to Marquette Park and the marina. The marina looks totally different now that the majority of the boats have departed for their winter homes.

Somewhere in Time Weekend at Grand Hotel

When Somewhere in Time was filmed on Mackinac Island in 1979 and released in 1980 I’m sure it never occured to anyone that it would grow into almost cult status. But it has. Each year Grand Hotel hosts a Somewhere in Time Weekend, and movie fans return year after year (from all over the country and the world) to meet many of the people who had a role in the movie and to immerse themselves in the Victorian lifestyle portrayed in the movie. They are invited to dress in period costume all weekend and can often be seen downtown still in costume. It’s really pretty darn amazing to witness.
I’ve never had any qualms about asking total strangers if I can photograph them in their beautiful vintage clothing, and I have never once had anyone tell me no. All of these folks are so excited to be part of this weekend, and they plan their wardrobes far in advance. I admit it though – it’s the ladies’ hats that I love the most!
When you see a group like this just sitting around a table having a conversation, you really do begin to think you could just close your eyes, say some magic words, and travel back in time.
This beautiful lady was doing some shopping . . .
. . . and these two couples were just strolling around the hotel, visiting all the shops.
Loved this sweet couple . . .
. . . and this handsome gentleman was so happy to pose for a photograph!
Two ladies in their beautiful hats . . .
. . . and I especially loved this one, which this lady shared her daughter had hand-made.
Of course the real star today was Jane Seymour, who periodically returns on this special weekend. Jane starred in Somewhere in Time with Christopher Reeve, and she flew into our tiny airport on Thursday, ready to take part in all the festivities.
When Jill and I walked up to the Grand today, a man standing outside said, “You better hurry. Jane Seymour is in the gift shop.” So we hurried . . and there she was – promoting her brand of hats. From the looks of it she was doing a grand job of marketing!
So of course I tried one too. Now here’s the good part. She saw me trying this on and told me I looked “fabulous” in it. She also said she’d been wearing hers for three years and that you can scrunch them up in your suitcase and they come out looking perfect. I honestly loved that hat. But. There was no chin strap and I knew I would be constantly chasing it down the beach at home. So I didn’t get it. If I change my mind I can always order it online. But having Jane Seymour try to talk me into it was pretty special!

Never Saw That Coming

A few days ago I was contacted by MLive (the #1 website in Michigan) reporter Tanda Gmiter. She had read the story I’d written about Noble, the Grand Hotel hackney whose life was saved by the quick attention of our barn staff and island vet Dr. Shaker Hites and by the compassionate decisions made by Grand Hotel. She had interviewed Stable Manager Ben Mosley and written her own story on MLive, which she was about to publish. And she wanted to include my blog address in her story. I said, “Of course you can!” Below is a link to her story, and she did such a great job with it!


Whew! I think that’s it for today. If you’ve stuck with me this long you are probably tired of reading! Gotta go find some boxes this week to ship some things home. And so it begins . . .

Oh. By the way. It was windy today!

God bless.

A Common Thread of Service 10/6/2022

“The island knitters are getting ready to ship out the blankets they’ve been working on all year. You need to go take some photos!”

A suggestion such as this one from friend Jill is how so many of Bree’s Blog posts come to be. Jill – or someone else – will hear about something interesting going on and give me a heads-up. I put on my Lois Lane glasses, grab my phone and notebook, and off I go.

And that’s how Jill and I came to be walking to Trinity Episcopal Church Parish Hall in a chilly rain this afternoon. A group of ladies who call themselves Kitty’s Common Threads meets each week to knit or crochet blankets, and this was the day those blankets were going to be shipped to some very special children in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

The group is named in memory of its founder, Katherine ” Kitty” Hannabass, who visited her grandparents on the East Bluff and played in the woods of Mackinac throughout her childhood. In 1955 she and husband Hayden purchased their own home on the East Bluff, and she summered there for the rest of her life. She started a Community Knitting Outreach group at Trinity Epsicopal Church, where she served as an ordained deacon and member of the Ministry Support Team. The group was renamed Kitty’s Common Threads after her death in 2016.
Using mostly donated yarn, the knitters create colorful and warm blankets that are shipped periodically to Camp New Day in Marquette Michigan.

Camp New Day is a free one-week camp for youth ages 9-14 who have, or have had, a parent or family member in prison/jail. With the focus on the child, Camp New Day provides an atmosphere that emphasizes positive reinforcement, growth, and fun. When the week-long camp is completed, each child is presented with a hand-knitted blanket to take home.

The knitters present today were (l-r) Cordie Puttkammer, Trish Martin, Joan Barch, Sue Sisson, and Kathi Wightman, shown with some of the blankets on the way to Camp New Day.

This dedicated group has been together for over 15 years. Some of them work on whole blankets as one piece, and others either create and/or piece together “panels” they have knitted themselves or been given by others. Most of them knit at home as well as during their regular once a week get-togethers.

Kitty’s Common Threads is always willing to accept donations of yarn (they prefer worsted weight acrylic) or knitted or crocheted 8″ x 40″ panels that they piece together into blankets. If you’d like to donate yarn, panels or a monetary gift, you can send to: Kitty’s Common Threads, c/o Trinity Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 472, 1632 Fort St, Mackinac Island MI 49757.

Although I’ve known most of these ladies for years, I learned today that they all share a “common thread” of service and compassion. God bless.