Throw Back Thursday – Catch Up! 5/4/17

Personal Note:  SOOOO many faces in this one you’ll recognize if you’ve followed the blog for very long!

I’ll be back on Sunday with a pre-Alaska blog.  This time next Thursday we will be on the way to Fairbanks!

FIRST PUBLISHED JUNE 30, 2013

I’m getting a really late start writing tonight (because we had the most perfectly beautiful day you can possibly imagine on Mackinac, and Ted and I stayed outside and enjoyed it until hunger drove us in).  So, I’m going to just toss up some photos with captions and let that do for now.

We had some foggy days at the beginning of last week, and fog creates some strange illusions. Loved these "waves" of wisp

We had some foggy days at the beginning of last week, and fog creates some strange illusions. Loved these “waves” of wispy fog clouds between the break wall and the lighthouses.

We ate in the Chippewa one evening and watched the fog roll into the harbor . . .

Ted and I ate in the Chippewa one evening and watched the fog roll into the harbor.

When we stepped out onto Main Street to start home, the streetlights shining through the fog turned Main Street

When we stepped out of the hotel to start home, the streetlights shining through the fog gave downtown’s Main Street a rather haunting look . . .

. . . and the east end

. . . and the east end really looked eerie in front of Marquette Park.  Good night for the ghost tours!

Mike Forrester and his family rented kayaks from Great Turtle Kayak Tours and really enjoyed paddling around the marina. We need to go kayaking!

Mike Forrester and his family rented kayaks from Great Turtle Kayak Tours and really enjoyed paddling around the marina on their next-to-last-day on the Island.   Talk about a serene scene!  (Photo: Mike Forrester)

Ted and I met blog reader Jeff and his family - Camille, Lisa, Mia and Jake - at Sadie's Saturday for ice cream. Flavor #5 - Blueberry Cobbler (vanilla ice cream with blueberries AND pieces of cobbler crust)! Oh. My. Goodness. Another 10!

Ted and I met blog reader Jeff and his family – Camille, Lisa, Mia and Jake – at Sadie’s Saturday for ice cream. Flavor #5 – Blueberry Cobbler (vanilla ice cream with blueberries AND pieces of cobbler crust)! Oh. My. Goodness. Another 10!

On a walk the other day, we cut through the Trillium Heights neighborhood, which is about three hills further up Cadotte than we are. I really like this area though - lovely homes and nice folks living in them!

On a walk the other day we cut through the Trillium Heights neighborhood, which is about three hills further up Cadotte than we are. I really like this area – lovely homes and nice folks living in them!

Who, me? Uh-uh. Maddie did it.

“Who, me? Uh-uh. Maddie did it.”

Love this view from the East Bluff.

Have always loved this view from the East Bluff.

Jill - getting some puppy love!

Jill – getting some puppy love!

From a trip to Mac City - out-of-the-water sailboats at the marina.

From a trip to Mac City – out-of-the-water sailboats at the marina . . .

ggggg

. . . and the little park adjacent to the Shepler dock.

Pansies! Don't you just love pansies!

Pansies! Don’t you just love pansies!

One day this week we walked into town and met up with Chris Ann and Burton's family at Marquette Park. Two of the grandchildren fell in love with the Bearster.

One day this week we walked into town and met up with Chris Ann and Burton’s family at Marquette Park. Two of the grandchildren fell in love with the Bearster.

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We went over to visit our neighbor, Chief Duck Andress, this week and noticed a chipmunk running up and down the top of his fence. Duck went over and poured out some peanuts and told me to go stand right by the fence and not move. Sure enough, in just a minute or two, Mr. Chipmunk scurried right down to the treats. Chipmunk to himself: “Hmmmm . . . peanuts!”

"I think I'll try one . . .

“I think I’ll try one . . .

. . . or two, or seven, or twelve. Man, I wish I had bigger cheeks!"

. . . or two, or seven, or twelve. Man, I wish I had bigger cheeks!”

Mary Warner, a blog reader, and her entire family were staying at the Yacht Club this week. I biked down to meet her and husband Steve, their two sons and their wives and the three grandchildren. What a fun family!

Mary, a blog reader, and her entire family were staying at the Yacht Club this week. I biked down to meet her and husband Steve, their two sons and their wives, and the three grandchildren. What a fun family!  And guess what, Lowell – Mary and her parents used to eat at the Carriage Lantern in the 50’s, Mary worked one summer for the Benjamin Photography Store, and (drum roll please) Mary, as an 8-year-old, ALSO walked across Arch Rock!  There seems to have been quite a bit of that going on in the 50’s.

 

I loved these t-shirts they were all wearing. Each date is the year that someone new in the family first visited Mackinac Island.

I loved these t-shirts they were all wearing. Each date is the year that someone new in the family first visited Mackinac Island.

Me - hurrying to the library last Friday to hear authors PJ Parrish (really two sisters

Me – hurrying to the library last Friday to hear author P.J. Parrish. (Photo: Jill Sawatzki)

You'll remember that P.J. Parrish is actually two sisters, Kelly Nichols and Kristy Montee, and their latest book is Heart of Ice, set on Mackinac Island.

You’ll remember that P.J. Parrish is actually two sisters, Kelly Nichols and Kristy Montee, and their latest book is Heart of Ice, set on Mackinac Island.  These two sisters graciously mentioned Bree’s Blog in the Acknowledgement page as a source of some of their Mackinac Island information. 

The library was packed, and the sisters spoke for about an hour about their new book and what it's like to write together - one from Michigan and one from Florida. After the lecture there was a book signing, and the books were flying out of the library! It is SO good!

The library was packed, and the sisters spoke for about an hour about the new book and what it’s like to write together – one from Michigan and one from Florida. After the lecture there was a book signing.  Hope you’ve read Heart of Ice.   It is SO good!

We rode out to today and found a pony wash in progress.

We rode out today to the Mackinac Community Equestrian Center and found a pony wash in progress.

Friend Joan Barch was there with her grandson Jordan. Well, it seems there were no dirty ponies so sweet Blaze got to be "dirtied up" with finger paints . . .

Friend Joan Barch was there with her grandson Jordan. It seems there were no dirty ponies, so sweet Blaze volunteered to be “dirtied up” with finger paints . . .

. . . and Jordan had great fun leaving his fingerprints everywhere!

. . . and Jordan had great fun leaving his hand prints everywhere!

After they decorated Blaze in very patriotic red, white and blue paint, they, of course, washed it all off!

After they decorated Blaze in very patriotic red, white and blue paint, they then washed it all off!  That Blaze will put up with anything for these young horse lovers.

The article reporter Stephanie Fortino wrote on Lowell and Faye's visit to the Island appeared in this week's Town Crier!

The article that Stepanie Fortino wrote about Lowell and Faye’s visit to Mackinac was in this week’s Town Crier!

I have a funny story to tell you, and then I’m done for tonight.  The day that Lowell, Faye, Jill, reporter Stephanie, Ted and I had lunch at the Grand Hotel, we were all sitting and chatting, waiting for our food to arrive.  I totally forget what it was, but Ted said something sweet, and I reached out with my right hand – still chatting with someone down the table on my left – to give him a sweet pat and rub on his cheek.  As I patted and rubbed, I noticed everyone had stopped mid-sentence and they were all staring at me wide-eyed.  I heard Ted clear his throat and say, “Uh, Sweetie?”

That’s when I turned toward Ted and discovered that instead of patting and rubbing Ted’s cheek, I was patting and rubbing the arm of our server.

I put my head down on the table and about DIED! But the waiter thought it was funny (and so did everyone else), and he laughingly agreed to recreating the "scene" for this pic.

I put my head down on the table and about DIED! But the waiter thought it was funny (and so did everyone else), and he laughingly agreed to recreate the “scene” for this pic.  Oh, Lordy.

And that’s the last time I “pat and rub” without looking first!

We have another busy, busy week ahead, with lots of 4th of July activities, and on Tuesday we’re going sailing!  Really excited about that and will share that adventure later in the week, along with whatever other goodies pop up.  The weather is supposed to be stuck on PERFECT all week, so if there’s any way you can jump in a car or bus or train or plane and get up here, you won’t be disappointed!

Have a great week, and I’ll be back in a few days with more good stuff from Mackinac!  God bless.

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Throw Back Thursday – Snapshots from a Golf Cart – or How to Ruin Your Husband’s Golf Game in One Short Morning 2/23/17

Personal Note:  This was such a fun day for me!  Maybe not so much for Ted.

Header:  Ice in the water in front of the Chippewa Hotel on Wednesday, Feb. 22..  (Photo:  Terry Conlon)

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First Published September 23, 2009

Ted just started playing golf after he retired, so he is relatively new to the game.  Since we’ve been up here this summer, he’s played only once – with Duck, our neighbor.  This morning he got up with golf on the brain.  He walked over and asked Duck if he wanted to play, but Duck was going off island today.  He came back in the house, looked at me (as if he knew I was his only chance of not having to go alone) and said, “You want to come with me to play 9 holes?” 

Now even that statement is hilarious to me.  He knew I wasn’t going to actually “play” – what he wanted was someone to tag along who he could complain to when he didn’t hit well (or maybe that’s in baseball).  Anyway, it was a cloudy morning, and I didn’t really have any other plans, so I said, “Sure, I’ll bring the camera!”  Ted just rolled his eyes.

He had called yesterday for a tee time (10 a.m.), so we rode our bikes down to the pro shop at the Grand.  Jason, the pro, got us into a cart (the really fun part of this game as far as I’m concerned), and away we went.

The Grand has two courses – the Jewel and the Woods.  They are nine holes each, and the courses are about a mile apart.  When you finish the ninth at the Jewel, you hop on a horse-drawn shuttle for a ride up to the Woods for the second nine.  Ted was only going to play the Jewel.

I admit to knowing just about nothing about golf.  It is a sport, just like football, baseball, tennis, and volleyball.  And, as most of you know by now – if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time at all – I am not much of a sports fan.  As my husband will tell you with great enthusiasm, to me they are all GAMES.  People should play games for fun.  Therefore, no one should get all worked up over them.   If you don’t get to watch a football game as it is being played, you can always find out the score the next day – or the next!  To me, it is no big deal!  To Ted, it is the difference between life as we know it and some alternate universe!

As we were driving the cart (excuse me, as Ted was driving the cart) out to the first tee, I called our son Jason in Atlanta. 

“Guess where we are!” I said. 

Jason, who LOVES golf, said, “Where – and don’t tell me the golf course!” 

“Yep,” I said.  “Just about to serve off the first tee!”

Jason said, “You serve in tennis, mom.”

“I knew that,” I said.

Jason told me that I would get a totally different view of the island from the golf course.  He had played the Jewel last summer when he was here and came home talking about what a great course it was.

So Ted played golf, and I snapped pictures (making occasional helpful comments on his game).  Here’s the game in pictures – with captions. 

Ted, about to tee off on the first hole of the Jewel.

Ted, about to tee off on the first hole of the Jewel.

The fairway for the first hole. The grass was wet, and the greens were slow (I heard Tiger Wood say that one time).

The fairway for the first hole. The grass was wet, and the greens were slow (I heard Tiger Wood say that one time).

In a couple of weeks, this will be one of the most beautiful trees on the island. I must have taken 20 pictures of it last year from Cadotte Avenue.

In a couple of weeks this will be one of the most beautiful trees on the island. I must have taken 20 pictures of it last year from Cadotte Avenue.

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Can you believe it? Swans on Mackinac Island! NOT! These are actually swan impostors, posted in strategic locations on the golf course to scare away the Canadian Geese. It seems geese hate swans!

A beautiful shot down the fairway, over the trees, and into the water (that's the photograph, not Ted's golf shot).

A beautiful shot down the fairway, over the trees, and into the water (that’s the photograph, not Ted’s golf shot).

The steps led to the teebox on this hole.

The steps led to the teebox on this hole.

This was just beautiful. At first I was concerned because it was cloudy, but the clouds filtered the light so the colors were perfect. I think bright sunshine would have bleached out all the lush greens.

This was just beautiful. At first I was concerned because it was cloudy, but the clouds filtered the light so the colors were perfect. I think bright sunshine would have bleached out all the lush greens.

I think it was here that I asked Ted if this was a Par 10 hole.

I think it was here that I asked Ted if this was a Par 10 hole.

What can I say except - Wow!

What can I say except – Wow!

Another Par 10 hole!

No comment.

You can see the top of Turkey Hill through the trees here. If you look closely, you can see a couple turning the corner from the Governor's Summer Residence, starting down the hill toward town.

You can see the top of Turkey Hill through the trees here. If you look closely, you can see a couple turning the corner from the Governor’s Summer Residence, starting down the hill toward town.

The highest point of the Jewel. There is a bench sitting under these trees, and all I wanted to do was sit there and just look out.

The highest point of the Jewel. There is a bench sitting under these trees, and all I wanted to do was sit there and just look out.

Another view from that hill.

Another view from that hill.

A water hazard, with the Grand in the background.

A water hazard, with the Grand in the background.

On one of the last holes, we could look through the trees out over the roofs of town to the water.

On one of the last holes, we could look through the trees out over the roofs of town to the water.

How Ted finds all the balls in the odd places he hits them is beyond me. He told me several times that I am supposed to be watching where the ball goes when he hits it. I told him I do watch where it is supposed to go - but it never goes there. He didn't comment. Probably a good thing.

How Ted finds all the balls in the odd places he hits them is beyond me. He told me several times that I am supposed to be watching where the ball goes when he hits it. I told him I do watch where it is supposed to go – but it never goes there. He didn’t comment. Probably a good thing.

We were near Cadotte Avenue on the next to last hole. Carriages and taxis were going by - it was very distracting for Ted, especially when I would wave to everyone.

We were near Cadotte Avenue on the next to last hole. Carriages and taxis were going by – it was very distracting for Ted, especially when I would wave to everyone.

Me, in the golfcart.

Me, in the golfcart.

Ted, sinking a beautiful putt on the 9th hole.

Ted, sinking a beautiful putt on the 9th hole.

I had a wonderful time “playing golf” with Ted this morning.  He sweetly said he had really enjoyed having me along, so  I asked him when we could do it again.   I feel sure I just misunderstood him, but I could have sworn the words “pigs” and “fly” were in his answer.

Throw Back Thursday – Ted’s Excellent Adventure 2/9/17

Personal Note This is a fun post from July of 2011.  This one made me laugh out loud and remember every word of this conversation as if it was yesterday!

Header:  Bodie – being a goof ball.

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I love Wednesdays.  Neither Ted nor I have any scheduled activities on Wednesdays, and we usually don’t plan trips to Cheboygan on Wednesdays either.  In fact, sometimes we just choose to sit around and be lazy all day on Wednesdays.

That’s just what I had in mind on Wednesday this week.  I was still resting up from the last 10 days, which included two yacht races and a horse festival.  Ahhhh . . . Wednesday was going to be a REST day!

As I settled into my recliner with my second cup of coffee and opened a brand new book, Ted – who was messing around in the kitchen – looked over the counter and said, “Sweetie, are you going to come down to the marina and take photos of me taking my kayak out this morning.”

I smiled and said, “Would that be the kayak that you ordered and had sent up here three years ago that has only been out of the box once – and that was to inflate it in the bedroom upstairs so I could take your picture sitting in it between the trundle bed and the bunk bed?”

“That would be the one, love bug,” my sweet hubbie replied.

Since Ted has been talking about putting his kayak in the water for three summers now, I continued sipping my coffee and started page one of my book.

“I’m supposed to meet Jacob (a friend of ours) in back of the Visitor’s Center at 11 a.m.,” Ted said.  “We’re going out together.”

“Uh huh,” I replied, not looking up.

“Sugar plum,” Ted said – a little more forcibly (we always call each other silly names when we’re about to have a spat) – “I’m serious – today is the day I’m putting the kayak in the water.”

Now let me stop right here a minute.  At home in Georgia, Ted and I both have kayaks.  He bought himself one when he retired, and when I retired, he bought me one also (I would have preferred a silver Mazda Miata convertible, but a kayak was what I got).  And I have to admit, once I got into it, I really enjoyed kayaking – especially since I have never tipped the thing over in the middle of the lake we live on – not yet anyway.

When we moved to Mac Island for the summers, Ted wanted a kayak up here, but didn’t want to struggle up and down the hill with a hard shell.  So, after days and days of research, he ordered an inflatable kayak from West Marine.  The thing arrived in a few days, and it, and the bright yellow carrying case it resides in, have been stored in an upstairs closet for three summers – except for the aforementioned photo op in the bedroom.

After listening to Ted make a phone call to Jacob (who didn’t answer), I began to grow concerned.

“Munchkin,” I said, not so lovingly, “You are kidding, right?”  Ted has a real flair for getting me all worked up about something, only to tell me he’s kidding one precise second before I go ballistic.

“No, Pumpkin,” he said, not so smilingly.  “Don’t you remember me telling you that Jacob and I had planned this for today?”

“Well, yes, I do remember that, Dumpling Doodle, but I certainly didn’t think you were serious.”

“Well, you thought wrong, didn’t you, my Sweet Pea?”

For the next hour I ranted and raved about what a totally horrible idea it was to take out the kayak.  I had visions of Ted in the middle of Lake Huron either being run down by a ferry, dumped out by a ferry wave, or being eaten by the Loch Huron monster.

Of course, what I was actually concerned about was my husband, who only has kayak experience in the calm waters of Lake Blackshear, being in over his head – so to speak – on the Great Lakes, in a little boat that could spew air out of its valves a lot faster than he could pump it in.

Of course, that’s when macho kicked in.

“I’m leaving now to put the kayak in the water down behind the Visitor’s Center.  See you when I get back.”

What’s a good wife to do?

I followed him.

All the way down the hill I muttered under my breath.  Doesn’t he know the only reason I worry is because I love him?  Doesn’t he know he’s 64 years old, and it’s time he stop some of this foolishness?  Doesn’t he know I’m having a bad hair day and don’t want to be seen in public?

As I rounded the corner of the Visitor’s Center, I found Ted on his knees on the ground fiddling with all the valves and pleats and ripples of the kayak.

Yes – before you even ask – that is the WHOLE kayak – not blown completely up yet, but close.  That thingy with the black hose hanging out of it is the pump.

Yes – after I gave up and saw he was really going to do this, I did suggest that he put the boat in the water on some quiet, calm section of the shoreline. No – he didn’t pay attention to that either.  And yes – he drew a crowd of tourists out of the Visitors Center, hanging over the rails to see if that thing was going to float.

Yes – I did ask.

At this point, I switched into an entirely new mode and attitude.  My husband was about to launch this little balloon boat into the Great Lakes.  What if something happened?  What if he didn’t come back?  What if his insurance wasn’t paid up (just kidding).  Seriously, I began to be helpful at this point.

“Honey buns, I found a path over by the Chippewa where people can get down to the water.”

“Ok, Peaches, let’s see it!”

Stop a minute for one of those great differences between men and women.  When Ted is in a “man” mood for two days and then gets over it, I’m in a “woman” mood for two days to get even.  When I’m in a “woman” mood for two days and then get over it, Ted pretends he never even knew anything was wrong.

Drives me crazy!

The dangerous part.

And he’s away!

Awwww . . . I know he’s so excited!

I wanted to photograph him as far as I could see him, so I went racing down the marina to the dock where the Mackinac Breeze is tied up.  That’s as far as I could go and still have a dock to go out on.  Now “racing” is relative, because by the time I reached the “Breeze”, Ted was already there.

He was holding onto the Breeze and chatting with Captain Bruce, who we’ve known for years. Bruce and the Breeze used to tie up at the Chippewa Hotel and offer catamaran rides, and Ted and I have been on several. Now he ties up further down the marina.

Starting out again.

I asked Ted to tell me a time he’d be back so I’d have a reference to go by for watching for him, and he said “an hour”.

I watched through the camera zoom lens for as long as I could see him.

After he was out of sight around the breakwater, I got an iced coffee from J.L. Beanery and came back and sat on the dock with Bruce and caught up on everything going on with him.  I told Bruce how worried I was about Ted doing this, and he just laughed.  He said, “Brenda, he has on a life jacket, he’s carrying a cell phone, he has a GPS button to push – he’s fine.  Of course, I might be worried that if he fell into Lake Hurom, the cold temperatures could stop his heart.”

Thank you very much, Bruce.

Almost an hour later, I saw Ted come into sight.  He waved at us, but never even veered our way.  I jumped up and “raced” back through the marina and arrived just in time to see him coming around the Coast Guard dock.

One tired, but very happy guy!

Ted tells me he’s going to try and kayak once a week now until the weather gets too cold.

Next time, I think I’ll just stay home with my coffee and book.

But I tell you what – I’m pretty proud of my Baby Cakes.

 

 

 

First Week Back 10/23/16

HURRICANE MATTHEW

We’ll have been back from Michigan a week on Monday, the 24th, and I have to admit to still being somewhat discombobulated.  Although Flagler Beach and Beverly Beach community services are working like Trojans to get our little beach communities cleaned up and everything open again, it’s sad to ride up or down A1A and see the destruction that some subdivisions and towns even smaller than ours suffered.

Ted and I rode up to Fort Matanzas this afternoon (where Ted volunteers), and the destruction to homes and trees and dunes is just devastating.  All along the highway there are piles of debris – some of it is just rubbish from downed trees, but way too much of it is furniture, appliances, clothes and artwork from houses that were once someone’s “dream homes”.  In some areas the ocean came across the dunes and highway and went into neighborhoods and houses on the other side of the road.  Vegetation both east and west of the highway looks as though it’s been sprayed by weed killer.  Such is the destruction of salt water on plant life.

As many times as you read of these kinds of things happening other places, you can never fully grasp the reality until it happens close to you.  In Sunset Inlet, homeowners whose houses sustained damage are struggling to get roofing and siding companies’ attention when there are so many other people needing the same services.  Since we first got home, we’ve learned more about what happened here in our neighborhood, and we now know that several homes suffered pretty substantial damage – mostly from water intrusion from roof damage, windows and sliding doors.  We had sustained winds here of nearly 90 mph for several hours, and that is a terrible force against anything man-made.

But – everyone is pulling together – sharing information, being there for each other, and lending helping hands.  For those in the community who got here a day after the storm passed (one couple actually rented kayaks and came in that way before the bridges opened) – a huge thank you to those who came in and emptied our frig and freezer while the electricity was out and moved it into storage where there were generators.  And thank you for coming – not once, but twice – to check our home for water damage around our doors and windows.

Each day more highways are opened, detours are cancelled, and businesses are opening.  Two of our favorite places – Java Joint and Turtle Shack – were off limits to cars because of a detour, but they opened within days and you could still get there by walking down the side walk.  Today the highway was opened, and we had breakfast at Java Joint for the first time since we’ve been back.

Our Flagler County communities depend on tourism – both summer and winter – for jobs and a good economy.  We are rapidly rebuilding, and I predict by January, when most of the snowbirds arrive, and by next summer, when the beaches will fill with vacationers, this little coastal town will once again be going strong.  We may be small, but we are mighty!

MACKINAC ISLAND

I KNEW I would miss the peak week for Fall colors, and I did.  Thank you to Jill for sharing the first seven pics below (except the one from the Chippewa) from her final week on the island.

Jill found me on our last morning grabbing a cup of coffee from Miranda at Martha's Sweet Shop.

Jill found me on our last morning grabbing a cup of coffee from Miranda at Martha’s Sweet Shop.

One of my favorite places for Fall color - Surrey Hill!

One of my favorite places for Fall color – Surrey Hill!

There's no Halloween anywhere as happy as a Mackinac Island Halloween.

There’s no Halloween anywhere as happy as a Mackinac Island Halloween!

Children fill the streets for a giant parade past the downtown businesses, who pass out goodies to every trick or treater.

Children fill the streets for a giant parade past the downtown businesses, where owners pass out goodies to every trick-or-treater.

After dark the streets belong to the adults, and costumes range from cute and clever to . . .

After dark the streets belong to the adults, and costumes range from cute and clever to . . .

. . . over the top scary!

. . . over the top scary! (Photo: Chippewa Hotel)

A sure sign of season's end - today the Chuckwagon closed for the season. Have a great winter, Donny and Sharon and the crew!

A sure sign of season’s end – today the Chuckwagon closed. Have a great winter, Donny and Sharon and the crew!

The day after we left I saw this Mackinac Revealed LLC photo on Facebook. This has always been one of my favorite vistas, and in this pic our neighbors at the Cedar Hill Condos, Meredith and Craig (and dog Mason) happened to be walking down the hill. Such a perfect photo!

The day after we left I saw this Mackinac Revealed LLC photo on Facebook. This has always been one of my favorite vistas, and in this pic our neighbors at Cedar Hill Condos, Meredith and Craig (and dog Mason),  happened to be walking down the hill. Such a perfect photo!

Shepler Ferry Captain Pat Springate captured this great photo today showing exactly how HUGE a freighter is!

Shepler Ferry Captain Pat Springate captured this great photo today, showing exactly how HUGE a freighter is!

The east end of town from Fort Mackinac this afternoon. (Photo: Tom Chambers)

The east end of town from Fort Mackinac this afternoon. (Photo: Tom Chambers)

 

And earlier today - from Clark Bloswick - a glance toward the Chippewa and Fort Mackinac on a beautiful fall morning.

And earlier today – from Clark Bloswick – a glance toward the Chippewa and Fort Mackinac from the Arnold Dock bike racks.

A CHANCE TO LIVE ON MACKINAC

For anyone who may be interested, I’m mentioning again a condo for sale on the island.  I have a special place in my heart for this condo because Ted and I used to own it!  Yes, our former condo at Surrey Ridge is being sold by the folks who bought it from us.  Improvements to the condo since we owned it are: 1) personal storage units for each owner; 2) new decks and railing; and 3) new landscaping.  The condo has three large bedrooms and two baths, a living area, kitchen, and a loft area that could be used as an office or TV room.  The condo has three levels – entrance on the first floor, living area, kitchen, master bedroom and bath, and guest room and bath on second floor, and loft and third bedroom on third floor. The price is $315,000 FIRM.  Interested folks should contact Steve Gould at (678) 521-3165.  It is for sale by owner.

BODIE

Eventually Bodie will take his place with Maddie as “one of our dogs”, but just for a little while I have to talk about him pretty much constantly.

You remember how you felt when your baby(s) started crawling and you could no longer take your eyes off them for one second. Take that feeling and multiple it by four legs and you get my present position. Negatives: He loves to put things in his mouth and couldn't care less if they are safe or dangerous. Case in point - I was loading the dishwasher tonight when he disappeared behind me and headed for the bedroom. I know to follow him ANYTIME he disappears suddently, and thank goodness I did. He had pulled a steak knife out of the dishwasher and was trying to figure out how to chew it! Oh dear Gussie - I almost had a heart attack! Thank goodness no harm was done, but I spent five minutes with his mouth pried open looking for blood and cuts.

You remember how you felt when your baby(s) started crawling and you could no longer take your eyes off them for one second?  Take that feeling and multiple it by four legs and you get my present life.

Negatives: 1)  He loves to put things in his mouth and couldn’t care less if they are safe or dangerous. Case in point – I was loading the dishwasher tonight when he disappeared behind me and headed for the bedroom. I know to follow him ANY TIME he disappears suddenly, and thank goodness I did. He had pulled a steak knife out of the dishwasher and was trying to figure out how to chew it! Oh dear Gussie – I almost had a heart attack! Thank goodness no harm was done, but I spent five minutes with his mouth pried open looking for blood and cuts.  2)  Hmmm . . . I seem to have run out of negatives.

Positives:  1)  He’s settling down more for longer periods of time.  2) He’s good in his crate at night and when we leave the house. 3) He has SIT and DOWN mastered (as long as there’s a treat involved), knows LEAVE IT and OFF (because he hears it every two minutes), and definitely knows his name.  4)  He and Maddie are learning to share, but Maddie has met her match in “toy snatching”.  For the first time in her life, she gets HER toys stolen as often as she steals Bodie’s. 5)  Did I mention he’s a mama’s boy?  6)  He is so curious about everything.  He will sit and watch an airplane cross the sky and cock his head like “What IS that?”

He loves walking out to the dock on the Intracoastal and watching birds.

He loves walking out to the dock on the Intracoastal and watching birds, but the first time a fish jumped out of the water he almost came out of his skin he was so scared.

Several days after we lost Bear I took all the covers off his huge orthopedic dog bed and washed them.  When I was putting it all back together, I said to Ted I was going to see if anyone in the neighborhood would want the bed, and he immediately said, “No you’re not!”  I asked why not, since we’d both talked about getting another small dog when something happened to Bear.  “Because,” he said, “We’ll have another big dog one day who will need that bed.”  Of course I cried on his shoulder that day, thinking to myself I couldn’t ever love another big dog.

I was wrong.

I was wrong.

One of my readers last week commented that Bodie would never fill the spot in my heart that Bear filled, but that Bodie would create his own spot.

And that’s what he’s already doing.

God bless.

Sharing a Very Special Dinner 9/22/16

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 most of my readers, but I don't know how I got so lucky as to meet up with some of the sweetest folks God ever put on this earth. This is two of them . Lowell & Faye Greene. Lowell worked on the island as a teenager in the 50's, and oh, the stories he can tell about "back in the day"!

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 owners on Mackinac, and I've loved them every since!

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 - taken in the lobby of the Chippewa Hotel. From left to right (back row):

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!

And the “unofficial” one – how we were really acting!

Some candids from dinner . . . .

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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 . . .

From the other end, with Lowell at the head spot.

. . . and Lowell anchored the other.

One thing I discovered everyone LOVES to do is . . . . talk!

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!

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 . . . .

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!

Jill packed up her leftovers and had to get back to the bookstore!

Pam and Denise - two sisters who LOVE Mackinac!

Pam and Denise – two sisters who LOVE Mackinac and visit as often as possible!

Mike and Pam Day - they spend a month on the island both in the spring and in the fall.

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?!

God bless.

49757 Postcard – #8 8/13/16

Dear Friends,

There’s so much news this week, this will be more like a letter than a postcard!

I guess I’ll just go in order of importance, so here we go . . .

MORE FAMILY!

Ted has gone from being an only child to discovering he has two half-sisters, Sheryl and Deb, and a half-brother, Ross.  He had another half-sister, Rhonda, who passed away in 2011.  He also has an Aunt Marcia, an Uncle Paul –  and an Uncle Ken, who is 93 and lives in Arizona.  Because of some health issues in their families, we haven’t had a chance to meet the half-siblings yet, but something tells me that might happen before the summer is over and we return to Florida. We sure are hoping so!

Today, another first cousin, Kel Bennink and his wife Gwen, arrived on Mackinac for a day trip.  Throughout this process of learning more about Ted’s birth family, we’ve been told over and over how Ted looks like the “men in the family”.  Today we saw how true that is!

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Kel and Gwen arrive this morning on Shepler’s.  Kel says Ted is a carbon copy of his brother Marv, but Ted and Kel look a lot alike also.  At least that’s what Gwen and I thought.

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Standing side by side on the Grand Hotel porch, the resemblance is even more pronounced.

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We had a great few hours with the Benninks, showing them a little of the island and having lunch together at the Chippewa.

We are loving meeting all these new relatives – what a wonderful new family Ted (and I) can now claim!  Happy Birthday on Sunday, Gwen!

WHERE TO NEXT?

Sunday night will be our last night in the condo in the Mission, and boy are we going to miss this beautiful place!  Being able to sit out on the deck and people watch, with freighters passing in the background, has been just about a perfect arrangement.  We are going to be “homeless on Mackinac” for one night (not really, we’re bunking in with friends), and then we’ll move up the hill into the new condo on Tuesday.  We’ve hiked up there a few times already to check everything out.  It’s two hills short of where our old condo was, but the Grand Hill hasn’t gotten one bit less steep.  But, for the first time since we moved into our new house in Florida, we’re going to be in a one-level residence.  I’m going to enjoy that.  As soon as we’re settled, I’ll be showing you around the new place!

PHOTOS FROM AROUND MISSION POINT

Since we’re leaving this area and won’t be down here nearly as much, I wanted to give you one more night of photos from this end of the island.  Mission Point is so beautiful this year.  The Ware family, who bought the resort a year or so ago, is really doing a phenomenal job with renovations, new shops and cafes, and gorgeous landscaping!

I mean really, could it get anymore relaxing than this? Two Adirondack chairs, under the trees, and by the water. Sigh.

I mean really, could it get anymore relaxing than this? Two Adirondack chairs – under the trees, and by the water. Sigh.

A freighter passes as we walk Maddie this afternoon along the lakeshore trail.

A freighter passes as we walked Maddie along the lakeshore trail this afternoon.

Masses of flowers are scattered everywhere around the Mission Point Executive Putting Green.

Masses of flowers are scattered everywhere around the Mission Point Executive Putting Green.

Small Point Inn - across a field of wildflowers. (Thought of you, Irene!).

Small Point Inn – across a field of wildflowers. (Thought of you, Irene!).

The Mission Point gazebo - scene of nearly a wedding a day since we arrived four weeks ago.

The Mission Point gazebo – scene of nearly a wedding a day since we arrived four weeks ago.

Who knows what these are? They grow along the path that runs in front of the resort. At first I thought, "Cherry Tomatoes"?

Who knows what these are? They grow along the path that runs in front of the resort. At first I thought, “Cherry Tomatoes”?

Sound of Gong! Nope, they're a species of Rose. Someone help me out here!

Nope, they’re a species of Rose (at least that’s what someone told us). Can anyone help me out here!

A COUPLE OF EXTRAS

Robert McGreevy, great shot of the US Brig Niagara which stayed overnight

Robert McGreevy’s great shot of the US Brig Niagara which docked overnight a few days ago.  The wooden-hulled brig is a teplica of the ship that served as the relief flagship for Oliver Hazard Perry in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812.  It is one of the last remaining ships from the War of 1812. 

Thanks to Cousin Kel for this shot of Ted and I today in front of Little Stone Church.

Thanks to Cousin Kel for this shot of Ted and I today in front of Little Stone Church.

That’s it for tonight, I think.  I’ll be back when we’ve made the move up the hill, and we’ve gotten our luggage unpacked – again!

God bless.

49757 Postcard – #5 (7/26/16)

Dear Friends,

Today . . . .

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Jordan and Matthew arrived at the Pellston Airport!

And, of course, we were there to pick them up! 

What fun!  This is the first time they’ve flown up alone, and we are so excited to have them with us for a whole week!

We got them bikes for their stay, went out to dinner at the Chippewa Hotel, and . . .

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. . . followed that with ice cream at the No Name Café (across the street from the Chip).

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We’d left our bikes beside the Chippewa while we had dinner, which gave us a backdrop of all the boats in the marina from the Chicago to Mackinac Yacht Race.  Tomorrow this marina will return to normal as all these sailboats return to their home harbors. 

Looking forward to a wonderful week with the grands!

Wish you were here.

God bless.