It’s Time 1/7/18

When we arrived home from Mackinac Island this October I decided to take a break from writing until the first of the year. I confess to having an ulterior motive.

For at least two years now, I’ve been thinking the lifespan of Bree’s Mackinac Island Blog has really more than run its course.  When I began the blog in 2009 it was just at the beginning of the social media era.  Bree’s Blog was one of only a very few places on the web where folks could go for information about Mackinac, and I slid myself right into that special little niche – reserved for the dear folks who believe Mackinac Island is magical and the most beautiful place on earth.  The blog blossomed, and at its peak nearly 2,000 readers a day stopped by to see what was happening with the Hortons and their pooches on the island.

You followed us home to our precious lake house in Georgia for winters and packed up with us for the move back to the island for the season.  You gave us support and love through so many hard times – selling the condo on the island and our home in Georgia, moving into a rental while we built a new home in Florida, my hysterectomy, Bear’s knee surgery and two years later his death, hurricanes – the list goes on.  But for every hard time, there were hundreds of good times – endless summer days exploring the island, listening to the trees sing their song in the up north woods, riding hundreds of ferries back and forth across the Straits, horse and buggy adventures, nights at the Pink Pony, the discovery of Ted’s birth mother’s family . . . the list again goes on and on.  Even when we weren’t on Mackinac you traveled with us – a trip to Colorado to a ski resort, a trip to Alaska, a trip to Key West, a trip to an amazing little island in Canada, and numerous trips to Flagler Beach as we built our home.

The decision to post the “Throw Back Thursday” posts has given me so much joy – looking back at those first few years and remembering things I haven’t thought about since they happened.  But they also gave me the strength to say . . . .

It’s time.

I’ve told almost a thousand stories about Mackinac Island, and there are many other excellent blogs being written about the island.  All you have to do is Google “Mackinac” and hundreds of resources appear.  Through blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and all those other media channels out there that I don’t even know the names of, Mackinac is now an open book.

This past summer on Mackinac was a little bit of a wake-up call for Ted and I.  We seemed to spend a lot of time recovering from spills – and we blamed most of them on Bodie.  But, being totally honest about it – and although Bodie did play his part – a lot of those falls and spills were because our reaction times have gotten slower, our ability to heal quickly has slowed down.  Since returning home we’ve begun to think about the time we would no longer be able to return to Mackinac on an extended time line.  We’ve begun quietly searching for other places where my need for cooler summers would be closer than 1300 miles away.

Until that time comes, and we pray we’ve still got years ahead of us before we have to get serious about it, I selfishly want to enjoy every minute on Mackinac without those self-imposed blog deadlines.  I just want to go and enjoy every second of its beauty and peace and magic.

So, it’s time.

What’s next?  The ending of Bree’s Blog certainly doesn’t mean I won’t be taking photos and posting to Facebook – about Mackinac, and about anything else either serious, mundane or silly that happens in our lives.  So, if you haven’t already, please follow me on Facebook.  Just search for “Brenda Horton” and you’ll find me.

And – there is certainly a possibility I will one day (maybe soon, maybe later) find my way back to blogging about something completely different.  But, that’s just a thought now – not a decision.  I do know writing is in my blood, and if I do go in another direction, I will let you know by posting the info here on this blog – so please don’t “unfollow” me here.  I’ll also let you know on Facebook.

Bree’s Blog will live on forever on the web.  I hope in the years to come newcomers who are just discovering Mackinac will click a key and discover a little blog about the Hortons spending part of their time on magical Mackinac. And I pray they know each and every word and each and every photograph is filled with love and thankfulness and the awe of the discovery of my heart’s home.

I can’t even begin to thank you all for the happiness writing this blog and sharing Mackinac with all of you has brought me.  It’s hard to believe I’ve been writing about the island for almost as long as I’ve been retired.  I began it on a whim, and that whim has buoyed me up over all these years and brought the most amazing people into our lives.  As half-year residents of Mackinac, we were given a behind the scenes glimpse over the years to what makes Mackinac tick, and I tried my best to share it all with you – so you could love it as much as I do.

Thank you to everyone to provided photographs over the winters when we weren’t on the island.  Your generosity and willingness to share your talents kept Bree’s Blog up and running over the cold season.  Thank you to readers, friends, and business owners who allowed me access to stories that wouldn’t otherwise have been told.  Your love of Mackinac makes my heart smile.

And a very special thank you to my dear friend Jill.  Without you there wouldn’t have been a Bree’s Blog.  Thank you for all the insider information over the years, the story ideas, and the thousands of photographs.  Thank you for being my sidekick, my always-willing-to-get-up-early partner in crime, my confidant, my shoulder to cry on, my “no-you-can’t-write-that” editor.  But most of all – thank you for being my forever friend.  You are beautiful and amazing, and I love you to the moon and back.  Ok – make that to the sun and back.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve written and rewritten this post.  If I’d let myself I would have turned into a blubbering baby and sobbed my way through it.  But I want you all to know I don’t have one regret about the years spent here with all of you.  You all became friends – many of you close friends – and I love you all immensely.  You let me into your homes and lives by reading this blog, and that is the greatest gift writing this blog has given me.

So, for now, it’s time.

 

 

Thanks, Mary, for helping me make what I thought was an impossible dream come true . . .

God bless.

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Back in My Happy Place 7/27/17

Hi Everyone!

We’ve been on the island now for almost two weeks, and I think we’re about settled in.  I’m a little surprised that the first week was harder than usual for me – physically I mean.  I knew I hadn’t been exercising much in Florida since it had gotten so hot (short walks with Bodie just don’t equal “in shape” on Mackinac).  The first walk up the hill to our condo left me breathing hard and thinking, “Geez, what the heck is this?”  But, it’s amazing how fast that climb got easier each time I did it, and yesterday Bodie and I covered over two miles of trails – up and down hill – and came back to the condo feeling great.  It makes me feel better that Bodie is having to get in shape too, but for some reason, I think he’s having a lot more fun than I am during the process.

Weather – what can I say?  We came from over 100 degrees heat index in Florida to here where the temps haven’t gotten out of the 70’s for highs since we arrived.  Shorts and t-shirts during the day, a jacket at night for the last dog walk, and a lap blanket out on the porch in the mornings while we have coffee.  We’ve had a couple of days of rain, but that’s ok.  We’re on the island.  We just pull on the rain gear and keep on truckin’.

Bodie has amazed us by how well he’s taking the island busyness in stride. From the time he stepped off the ferry . . .

. . . and jumped right into the taxi, he’s handled it all with a maturity I really didn’t think he possessed yet. He’s been surrounded by horses, carriages and people and is amazingly calm about all of it.  Maybe Maddie’s “so what” attitude has rubbed off on him!  Still very excited though when he meets new folks one-on-one.  We continue to work on that!

The island is beautiful in July, and we were so excited when we got to the condos to find all the landscaping done, flowers blooming, and butterflies floating from bush to bush.

And, we’re excited that we’ll be right here in this same place until we leave mid-October!

OUR FIRST TWO WEEKS IN PHOTOS

We celebrated our first evening on Mackinac with dinner at the Chippewa (a tradition). The second night we went out with friends Buz and Patty from Oklahoma. They’re here until the middle of September, and we’re so excited we’ll be seeing lots more of them before they leave. I think it was the third night we finally ate at the condo, and then walked down to Sadie’s for ice cream.

One of those stormy days. It’s amazing how quickly I forgot how dirty a golden retriever can get on the wet streets of Mackinac Island! (Photo: Jill Sawatzki)

One thing all that rain produces are lush gardens all over the island, like this one of the west bluff.

As I was leaving the reunion, one of Ted’s newly-found cousins, Diane Caruso, gave us this wonderful pillow she had made because she knew of our love for little Maddie. It’s wonderful to have something “homemade” in the Mackinac condo, and when we leave we’ll take it to Florida, and it will find a home there.

You all know Ted and I have a morning coffee ritual – wherever we are. Maddie in Ted’s lap . . .

and Bodie guarding the front porch seems to be the theme for this summer.

One of cousin Dave and Diane’s sons, Scott, and his wife Tina and their boys spent the day on the island the week we arrived. They stopped by to say hello and added another “personal” item to the condo . . .

. . . . this great candid shot of their family on vacation!

Ran into artist Mary Lou Peters in Little Luxuries of Mackinac Island this week. Love this sweet lady!

Backtracking some now – I know most of you saw this on Facebook, but just in case you didn’t, Ted and I stopped in to see Lowell and Faye for a few moments as we passed through Olivet. It was storming and we had to leave the pups in the car, so we didn’t get to visit nearly long enough!

And one day while we were at Dave and Diane’s, I met Mary Saul and Frankie Thill in downtown Spring Lake for a girls chat session. So happy to see these two sweet friends.

I dropped by Mackinac Mud Pottery this afternoon and was just in time to watch owner Jay Barch creating at the wheel. Love this shop filled with original items. Ted and I use coffee mugs from Jay’s shop on Mackinac and in Florida.

Heading down Fort Hill this afternoon. There it is – that Michigan blue water and sky!

Pretty zinnias at the Grand!

Fort Mackinac on a gorgeous July day!

INDULGE ME – PLEASE

You’re just going to have to indulge me now for this section.  I’ve taken about 352 photos of Bodie since we arrived, and if left up to me I’d force you to look at each and every one. But I’m going to take pity and try and just put up a few of the best ones.  I promise, promise, promise I will NOT do this in every blog this summer, but for this one . . . well, please indulge me.

Mackinac, as seen through Bodie’s eyes his first week:

First of all, the cars here are pulled by animals called horses. Horses are much bigger than me, so I leave them alone. I don’t even bark at them. I have to admit riding around in a carriage is pretty cool stuff!  Would you believe there are people here who sweep up after the horses when they poop in the street.  I sure am glad, cause I don’t think they make poop bags big enough for horse poop!

Out my window I get to see horses in a corral. Seriously, I do.

Mackinac has woods, and being in the woods means I can be off-lead. That makes me very, very happy!

Mom makes me practice my Sit/Stay command all the time here (so she can take photos of me).

Mom said we didn’t have room in the truck for both my crate AND my bed. I’d rather she brought my bed. Maddie shares hers sometimes, but it’s not quite as big as mine.

Mom and I go on long, long walks – usually twice a day, and I’m really getting a full tour of Mackinac. Mom LOVES to take my photo at the different places we visit. Like the gazebo for Somewhere in Time . . .

. . .this place called Anne’s Tablet . . .

. . . . and in the Grand Hotel gardens!

Today we were in Turtle Park and this guy was kicking a soccer ball around. I figured he needed help.

I ran out to help him with the ball, and he stopped what he was doing and gave me great pets!  I thought that was pretty cool, but since he didn’t have treats in his pockets, I ran back to mom when she called.

This is absolutely the best place I’ve ever been so far in my life. It’s summertime, but it’s cool. There are miles and miles of trails to run on. Just about every person I meet wants to pet me. Everyone of you should seriously pack up all your pets and bring them to Mackinac!  They will thank you forever!

ONE MORE THING

Jill and I sat downtown at Marquette Park this afternoon people-watching and drinking our Arnold Palmer Lite Ice Tea (99 cents at Doud’s).  I have it on good authority that Friday, July 28, is Jill’s birthday, so everyone feel free to wish her a HAPPY BIRTHDAY right here!  Yes, she’s going to kill me for doing that, but that’s the way it is with good friends.  We can get away with stuff!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JILLSKI!!

See you back here in a few days!  God bless.

Slow Weekend 9/29/2013

You know how it is when you find a book you really, really like, and you don’t want to put it down . . . not for anything?  Well, that’s how I’ve been the last few days.  I’ve been reading Susan Wiggs’ Table for Five, and after two really “heavy-duty” books, Table for Five, although not exactly a “light” subject, is an easy-to-read and compelling story.

I’ve said all that because I’m using it as an excuse not to have much for you tonight in the way of news OR photos.  I know, I know.  I don’t need excuses with y’all, but it really IS the reason I’ve been sticking close to home for a few days.

Anyway, here’s what I have – taken on walks with Bear and on the way home from church this morning.

A tree on Fourth Street, just before I enter the State Park on Whitefield Road.

A tree on Fourth Street.  I’d just come off Whitefield Road, which is in the State Park,  into the Village.

The remains of an old wooden fence on Whitefield Road.  You can see leaves beginning to shift into yellow

The remains of an old wooden fence on Whitefield Road.  Love old fences!

We always have a goose or two around the Island, but now they're arriving in great flocks.  These were behind the school this morning as I came back from church.

We always have a goose or two around the Island, but now they’re arriving in great flocks. These were behind the school this morning as I came back from church.

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The Grand Hotel has been a beehive of activity for the last week.  They’ve been replacing the worn pavement in front of the hotel, and I’ve seen more motorized vehicles at the Grand (asphalt trucks, front-end loaders, etc) than I’ve seen on the entire island in the last six years.

The amazing thing is it's entirely done - in one week!  Old pavement removed, ground prepared, and new pavement poured.  People have asked why they didn't wait until after the hotel closed at the end of October.  The answer is WEATHER.  Asphalt cannot be poured below a certain outside temperature, and by the first of November, we could have snow.  So - it's done, it looks great, and next season, NO trucks or mess!

The amazing thing is it’s entirely done – in one week! Old pavement removed, ground prepared, and new pavement poured. People have asked why they didn’t wait until after the hotel closed at the end of October. The answer is WEATHER. Asphalt cannot be poured below a certain outside temperature, and by the first of November, we could have snow. So – it’s done, it looks great, and next season, NO trucks or mess!

My favorite golf course tree again - from another angle.

My favorite golf course tree again – from another angle.

The annual big barns pumpkin patch!

The annual big barns pumpkin patch!

We got a good rain last night - the first we've seen in a few weeks.  Well, we didn't actually SEE it 'cause we were asleep!  By morning, it was over except for some damp roads, which by noon were practically dry.

We got a good rain last night – the first we’ve seen in a few weeks. By morning, it was over except for some damp roads, which by noon were practically dry.

That’s it for tonight.  We’re about to leave for Mackinac Night at the Chippewa (which we’ve never attended before), and I’m running late as usual.

Hope everyone has a great week, and I promise to get out of the house more in the next few days.  God bless.

Mackinac Island Spring Update 4/7/2013

Five weeks to go . . . I think.

Ted has had a possible 3-day job come up May 6-8 here in Georgia (the week we would be doing our final packing to leave).  If that job commitment is made, there’s a chance we won’t get out of here Mother’s Day weekend.  We’ll just have to wait and see what happens . . .

I only have a few photos tonight, and most of the ones I do have deal with more snow . . . something the island will be happy now to see end.  The first of the Grand Hotel workers arrived this week, and most of them came from very warm climates.  I’m hearing there are a lot of very happy Jamaicans seeing their first snow ever and enjoying it immensely!  I just can’t quite comprehend that the Grand “soft” opens at the end of this month and officially opens one week later, on May 2.

I read in The St. Ignace News this week that P.J. Parrish, the author of “Heart of Ice” – set on Mackinac Island – will be participating in the Mackinac Island Library Summer Author Series.  As you know “P.J.” is actually the pen name for two sisters, Kristy Montee and Kelly Nichols.  They’ll be at the island library on June 28 at 4 p.m. – can’t wait to hear them!

The Seabiscuit Cafe is already open!  Love, love, love their English Pot Roast Muffins!  Oh my gosh – now my tummy is growling!

April 4 and it is snowing on the island.  That cart just arrived with the first of this year's merchandise for Little Luxuries of Mackinac Island.  Have I mentioned that Nicole's shop will be twice as large this year?!  Oh my goodness, do NOT tell Ted!

April 4 and it is snowing on the island. That cart just arrived with the first of this year’s merchandise for Little Luxuries of Mackinac Island. I chatted with Nicole this afternoon, and she said more snow is forecast for the end of the coming week.  Good grief!  Oh . . .have I mentioned that Nicole’s shop will be twice as large this year?! Oh my goodness, do NOT tell Ted – he will chop up my charge card. (Photo: Nicole Doud)

The Father Marquette statue welcomed April to the Island through a veil of snow flakes.

The Father Marquette statue welcomed April to the Island through a veil of snow flakes. (Photo:  Clark Bloswick)

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For the entire month of April the Mackinac Bridge is illuminated by blue lights as part of an autism awareness campaign.  So beautiful.  (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

Perfect place - perfect time.  Clark Bloswick was walking down Astor Street when he spotted the Huron coming straight on to the Arnold dock.

Perfect place at the perfect time. Clark Bloswick was walking down Astor Street when he spotted the Huron coming straight in to the Arnold dock.  I swear when we get to the Island I’m tracking down Clark Bloswick and Robert McGreevy and following them around all summer.  Maybe that way I can get some fantastic shots too!

Greg Main posted this photo of the new street lights that are being added.

Greg Main posted this photo of the new street lights being added downtown.  The light with the speed limit sign is older, and you can see the new lights beyond that one are brighter and seem to direct more light down on the street.  Love them!

As the weeks tick by, I’ve begun to think seriously about Bree’s Blog, and where I want to go with it this summer .  Coming up in June will be what I hope is one of the best stories yet from that magical spot.  It involves a wonderful, loyal reader and his wife and the amazing way the Island is helping make a dream come true.  That’s all I’m giving away for now . . . . :)!

That’s all for tonight.  Have a great week, think SPRING, and God bless.

Mackinac Island Winter Update 3/10/2013

Hi everyone!

News from the Island has been a little slow this week, and snow pictures may be soon turning into slush pictures.  I’ve heard from a couple of Islanders that temps are hovering right around freezing, so sometimes it’s rain falling instead of that pretty white stuff.  If it rains much at all (and temps don’t fall and turn it all into ice), that wonderful snow is going to be gone soon.  But you know what?  It’s close to the middle of March!  Can Spring be far behind?

News item:  I reported a few weeks ago that there would be no deadline for Island residents to purchase their Resident Ferry Passes.  I think I need to re-address that and say it would probably be a good idea to contact your ferry line for Resident Pass deadline information.  I’m hearing now there may be an April 1 deadline.

A Few Photos

Friend Tim Leeper rode his bicycle out on the ice this past week (gulp) and posted this photo.

Friend Tim Leeper rode his bicycle out on the ice this past week (gulp) and posted this photo.

An awesome photo by Mary McGuire of the Mackinac Island Marina.

An awesome photo by Mary McGuire of the Mackinac Island Marina.

Not an Island photo, but very Island related.  The Mackinac Island Horseman Association was in attendance this weekend in Lansing at the Michigan State University's Horse Expo.  Jill took this photo, showing Cowboy Bob (who appears each year at the Island's Festival of the Horse, and Frankie Thill, working as a volunteer.

Not an Island photo, but very Island related. The Mackinac Island Horseman Association was in attendance this weekend in Lansing at the Michigan State University’s Horse Expo. Jill volunteered there and took this photo, showing Cowboy Bob (who appears each year at the Island’s Festival of the Horse, and friend Frankie Thill (in pink), working as a volunteer.

Still plenty of snow on the Arch Rock Bicycle Trail. (Photo: Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau)

Still plenty of snow on the Arch Rock Bicycle Trail. (Photo: Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau)

These last two are from Robert McGreevy who seems to catch the sun at its most beautiful practically every day.

From Robert McGreevy, who seems to catch the sun at its most beautiful practically every day.

Just for fun, here’s a couple of past photos to get your mind thinking toward the Island changing from a landscape of white and grey into a kaleidoscope of colors!

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See you back here next Sunday!  Have a wonderful week, and God bless.

Mackinac Island Winter Update 2/24/2013

Hi All!

The weather continues to be the main topic of conversation on the Island this week.  More snow, more cold temps, but unfortunately . . . no ice bridge.  What I’m hearing now is that with the days getting longer, the hope of an ice bridge is fading.  If those of you on the island know different on this, please comment so everyone will know!

The weather was so bad this weekend that the Mackinac Island Boys and Girls Lakers Basketball teams couldn’t leave the island to participate in The Northern Lights League conference tournament being held in Hannahville.  In fact there were no flights off or on the island for two days straight.  So, in true Island spirit, the girls team played the “All Stars”, and the boys played the Island Fire Department in the Mackinac Island Public School gym.

Friend Jeff Peterson happened to be on the island for the game and captured Friend Jeff Peterson was on the Island for the last few days and was able to get to the game.  He caught #33 Laker Will Barnwell getting this three-point basket.  After a VERY hard-fought game, the Fire Department defeated the Lakers 80-78.

Friend Jeff Peterson was on the Island for the last few days and was able to get to the game. He caught #33 Laker Will Barnwell getting this three-point basket. After a VERY hard-fought game, the Fire Department defeated the Lakers 80-78.  Anyone know the girls game score?

A VERY big event this weekend was the monthly (during the winter) 20% off sale at Doud’s Market.  It was today (Sunday), and my Island reporter Jeff Peterson said Doud’s was packed!

Here it is the dead of winter, and all three cash registers are open and busy at Doud's Market.  That Andrew sure knows how to throw a sale!

Here it is the dead of winter, and all three cash registers are open and busy at Doud’s Market. That Andrew sure knows how to throw a sale!  (Photo: Jeff Peterson)

And how do all those groceries get to the store when there are no ferries?  They're flown in!  A carrier is pulled behind a snowmobile to the airport, groceries are unloaded from the plane into the carrier, and back to Doud's it goes, where it is unloaded into the store. (Photo: Doud's Market)

And how do all those groceries get to the store when there are no ferries? They’re flown in! A carrier is pulled behind a snowmobile to the airport, groceries are unloaded from the plane into the carrier, and back to Doud’s it goes, where it is unloaded into the store. (Photo: Doud’s Market)

Sadie’s Ice Cream Parlor

It’s official!  The Grand Hotel announced this week its brand new addition for 2013 – Sadie’s Ice Cream Parlor, which will serve Hudsonville Ice Cream.  Sadie’s is named after the Scottish Terrier belonging to Mr. and Mrs. R.D. Musser, proprietors of the Grand Hotel. Sadie is famously known for her “Best In Show” win at the 2010 Westminster Dog Show.

SadieLogoforweb

Sadie’s will be located just outside the east entrance to the Grand, where Margaret’s Garden was formerly located.  Grand Hotel’s interior designer, Carleton Varney, has created a traditional ice cream parlor in which guests can choose from 24 Hudsonville flavors, or order up shakes, malts, sundaes and a special Grand Sundae made to share with large groups.  Sadie’s will be open daily to the public with no admission charge.

Oh my goodness, I will have to pass it every time I walk downtown!  Oh Woe! What is a girl to do???!!!

To read more about Sadie’s and view some wonderful photos of its creation over the winter, please click here: http://blog.grandhotel.com/?p=2844.

Winter Photos!

The Mackinac Island Airport from a Great Lakes Air plane. (Photo: Robert McGreevy)

The Mackinac Island Airport from a Great Lakes Air plane. (Photo: Robert McGreevy)

Other things besides groceries and passengers arrive by plane now.  Here a Cawthorne Village Inn employee is picking up a few cases of beer.

Other things besides groceries and passengers arrive by plane now. Here a Cawthorne Village Inn employee is picking up a few cases of beer.

An awesome pic of Sugar Loaf from the air. (Photo: Travis Sredinski_

An awesome pic of Sugar Loaf from the air. (Photo: Travis Sredzinski)

Can you guess where this is?  I really had to look closely.  It's the Fort Cemetery.  The gravestones are almost covered in snow. (Photo: Travis Sredzinski)

Can you guess where this is – I really had to look closely. It’s the Fort Cemetery. The gravestones are almost covered in snow. (Photo: Travis Sredzinski)

Don't know who took this photo, but I think that's Heather May on her birthday doing some sledding down Fort Street!

Don’t know who took this photo, but I think that’s Heather May on her birthday, doing some sledding down Fort Street!

Ice on the north shore on Feb. 21.  It was 8 degrees that day. (Photo: Grand Hotel)

Ice on the north shore on Feb. 21. It was 8 degrees that day. (Photo: Grand Hotel)

More ice mountains.  (Photo: Travis Sredzinski)

More ice mountains. (Photo: Travis Sredzinski)

It's just my personal opinion, but I think Steve Humphrey is a tad too far away from the shore here. (Photo: Orietta Barquero)

It’s just my personal opinion, but I think Steve Humphrey is a tad too far away from the shore here.  Those are West Bluff cottages behind him. (Photo: Orietta Barquero)

I love this photo of Diane Karkau on her snowmobile downtown.  (Photo: Travis Sred

I love this photo of Diane Karkau on her snowmobile downtown! (Photo: Travis Sredzinski)

Who can tell me where this is?  It was a Mystery Spot this summer! (Photo: Travis Sredezinski)

Who can tell me where this is? It was a Mystery Spot this summer! (Photo: Travis Sredzinski)

I know you’ve noticed the photos I included of the awesome ice mounds that are forming along the north shore of the Island.  Not only does Travis Sredzinski take great photos, but he captured the ice on a video that I know you will love!  You can watch it here: http://static.ak.fbcdn.net/rsrc.php/v1/y2/r/5l8_EVv_jyW.swf?v=10101275329855662&ev=0

All in all, a pretty busy week!  Hope everyone at your house is doing well.  February is almost over, so can Spring be far behind?  Have a great week, and God Bless.

For Those of You Who Don’t Read the Blog from Lake Blackshear

 

parrish

FINALLY!  I’ve been waiting all winter for the publication of Heart of Ice, and it’s out on February 26.

Well then, Brenda, just how did you come to have a copy already . . . . I know you’re asking!

OK – I’ll tell you! P.J. Parrish is actually the two-sister team of Kristy Montee and Kelly Nichols.  They write fabulous novels that make the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists.  This latest novel is set on Mackinac Island, and one day a couple of summers ago Jill introduced me to Kristy.

Me with Kristy Montee
Me with Kristy Montee

Kristy had actually been reading my blog and took some island details for Heart of Ice from what she read.  We have chatted back and forth since then, and this week the book arrived in the mail!

My autographed copy!
My autographed copy!

And when I turned to the Acknowledgement Page . . . .

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Jill and I got a thank you, along with Jane, Kathy, Tam, Cass and Jeremy
at the Island Bookstores on Mackinac and in Mackinaw City!

How cool is that!

So now I can’t wait to settle in and start reading Heart of Ice and figuring out all the places they talk about in the book.  Here’s a little preview of what it’s about:

Florida PI Louis Kincaid wants to wear a badge again. But before he can, he must return home to Michigan – and some unfinished business.  He hopes to bond with ten-year-old Lily, the daughter he only recently learned existed, and reunite with girlfriend Joe Frye.  But new clues to an unsolved murder put his plans on ice.  A trip with Lily to enchanting Mackinac Island turns grim when the child falls on a pile of old bones; the dangerous discovery reopens the cold case of Julie Chapman, a teenager from one of the wealthy summer families, who vanished two decades ago.  And when Louis is forced to cooperate with a tough state investigator who once worked with Joe, tensions skyrocket.  Now, what was supposed to be a time of building lasting ties splinters into disturbing fragments, personally and professionally, as Louis pursues a mystery entangled in dark family secrets and twists even he can’t predict.

Sounds like I’m going to have to find an unoccupied cushion on the couch and curl up.  With over 10 inches of rain expected here over the weekend into Monday, and flood warnings posted, I’d say it’s the perfect time to read!

If you’ve read something you really, really liked and want to share, please tell us about it in the comments section!  Always looking for a good read!

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PRAYERS

1)  Please keep Lowell Greene and his wife Faye in your prayers.  Lowell goes into the hospital on Monday morning for a heart cath and possibly a stent. Jill and I visited Lowell and Faye last fall in Olivet, MI, and he and Faye will be visiting the Island in June. 

2)  I talked with Chris Ann for a few minutes on Wednesday and it was so wonderful to hear her voice.  She sounded very weak, but I understood everything she said and even got a small laugh from her when I said some stupid, silly thing.  When I talked to Burton, he said Hospice had come the day before and washed her hair, and they continue to juggle her pain meds for the best combinations.  Both of their Michigan children and their families have been there this weekend.   Chris Ann is very close to the end of her journey.

Party Weekend! 6/10/2012

Whew!  I think I’m getting too old for all this fun!

It was another beautiful weekend on the Island, and the Lilac Festival activities are in full swing!

Ted began working at the Visitors Center this week, and after he got off Saturday afternoon, we walked downtown with Patty and Buz to have dinner and check out all the fun.  We stopped in at the Chippewa patio for a drink, then walked down to the Seabiscuit Cafe for dinner.  I’m such a stick-in-the-mud about ordering the same thing over and over, and this year I promised myself to try something new each time we eat out.  On Saturday night I chose the English Pot Roast Muffins . . . slow-cooked pot roast, smothered in caramelized Spanish onions, served over a toasted English Muffin and drizzled with Bleu Cheese sauce.  It came with a side of Tavern Dark Ale onion rings.  Oh yeah – it was yummy!

When we walked out of the restaurant, we could hear music coming from Market Street and knew “Dancing in the Street with the West Michigan Bootscooters” had begun.

We got there about twenty minutes before the dancing was over, but Patty and I got to line dance (no, we’re not in this shot) . . .

. . . and joined in on a very spirited rendition of Y.M.C.A.

We got “Dancing in the Street” medals to prove we’d been out there!

Patty and Buz are MUCH younger and MUCH more flexible than Ted and I, so they joined in on the Twist & Shout number. Wow! How low can they go?

Friends Bonnie and Don and Mary and Skip were in the crowd.

The evening ended with a little slow dancing.  Ahhhhhh . . . . .

Sunday was Buz’s birthday, and as a surprise Patty placed flowers at the alter for him in Little Stone Church for the morning service.  After church a big group surprised him again with lunch at the Gate House.

Don’t you love surprise parties – especially when they are really surprises!

A great group of friends!

Buz – working the table.

Love these two!

I know there haven’t been many Mackinac Island photos tonight – this one has mostly been friends and fun together.  But, after all, having friends and family here makes the Island that much more magical.  Sharing the magic . . .  I love it!