A Not So Usual Week on Mackinac 9/8/17

Ted and I are sitting here on Mackinac Island – me attempting to put my thoughts together and write this blog, and Ted aiming the remote control – switching back and forth between the Weather Channel and a movie.  Our thoughts and prayers are over a thousand miles south of Michigan, and like everyone in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas, we are wondering exactly what Hurricane Irma’s final path will be.  At this moment, it’s not looking too promising for Miami, and yesterday it looked as though our little neighborhood in Beverly Beach would once again be visited by a not-at-all-welcome intruder.  Last year, only about two weeks later than this, Hurricane Matthew side-swiped our community.  This morning Irma has shifted west, which should be a little better news for the eastern coast.  But – Irma is so huge I truly believe pretty much every part of Florida is going to feel the effects – it’s just a matter of to what degree.

Yesterday, most of our neighbors were planning to evacuate, but now more are planning to hunker down and ride it out.  If Ted and I were there, I’m not sure what we’d be doing – staying or leaving.   But – we’re in Michigan.  We did everything we could do to prepare for a hurricane before we left in July – took the boat out of the water, installed the hurricane door stabilizer to our garage door, installed water deflectors in the sliding glass doors, emptied the freezer, etc.

And so – like so many thousands of others – we wait to see what will happen.

I’ve been out and about a lot over the Labor Day weekend and the beginning of this week, and that means photos to share!


A newly found cousin, Marv and his wife Ruthie, spent Sunday night with us, and then Marv and Ted participated in the Labor Day Bridge Walk. They got to the island around lunch on Sunday, so we had plenty of time to walk around Mackinac – even making it up to Point Lookout and Fort Holmes!

The path – my island favorite – that connects Point Lookout and Ft. Holmes.

Bridge Walk 2017

Seriously now, could they look any more alike? Come back, Ruthie and Marv, when you can stay longer!


On Tuesday the Mackinac Island Public School opened for the 2017-2018 year. I love that on Mackinac the opening day of school is celebrated by the entire island with a picnic at lunchtime. Every island resident who can shows up at the school at noon to join the students for hamburgers and hot dogs – grilled outside on the school grounds.

Jill and I are so excited to see that Stephanie Fortino is back writing for The St. Ignace News and The Town Crier on Mackinac.  We lost her for a while to another community, but she’s back now, and the entire island is delighted.  She’s just “the best”!


On Wednesday Ted was walking down the hall and stepped on a bone Bodie had left on the floor.  The bone is shaped like a wishbone and Ted’s foot treated it like an ice skate.  He basically did a split – and that’s not something 70-year-old bodies are used to doing.  He was in so much pain he couldn’t walk at all.  For 30 minutes I argued he should go to the med center by ambulance, but of course he wouldn’t listen.  It was only after he called the Nurse Hotline of our insurance company and SHE told him to go by ambulance to the med center that he agreed for me to make the 9ll call.

Diagnosis – severely pulled hamstring. Prognosis – good, IF he follows doctor’s orders to rest, take his meds, and stay off his bike for at least two weeks.  I don’t think that will be much of a problem since he’s having to use a walker just to get from one end of the condo to the other.  Bless his heart, he’s REALLY in a lot of pain.

So – I’m now in charge of all the things Ted would normally do during the day – the early morning (before coffee and practically before the sun comes up) dog walks, as well as all the other dog walks we’d split between us, the trips to Doud’s to buy groceries, COOKING the evening meals and fixing breakfast and lunch (we do our own thing for breakfast and lunch, but Ted is usually the evening meal cook) and serving him all these meals on the sofa so he can keep his leg propped up and on the heating pad.

I drew the line at going down to the Grand and lifting weights for him, even though he did try to talk me into that.

Many thanks to the Mackinac Island EMS team and the doctors, nurses, technicians and staff at the Medical Center.  We are always so impressed with the level of excellence in medical care we have here on Mackinac. 


Chambers Corner is still in full summer bloom  . . . .

. . . but I spotted a few leaves practicing their fall colors on the trees lining Cadotte Ave.

Beautiful container garden in a sitting area along Cadotte.

An everyday scene at Windermere Point. (Photo: Tom Chambers)

Looking down Market Street toward Lake Huron.

Stopping to rest while carrying grocery bags up Fort Hill. I’m in awe that Ted does this hill ON HIS BIKE with groceries in his basket. Geez, I am such a wuss!

A very old dray wagon parked on the side of the road to town.

Veterans Park is always full of blooms, but this year it seems even prettier than usual.

A black squirrel atop a white picket fence – spotted next to the post office.

Can you spot something unusual in this tree next to the Metivier Inn?

“I climbed the ladder and crawled through the tunnel, mom.  Now you want me to do what?”


  1.  Please remember everyone in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas as Irma continues her destructive path – and those in the numerous islands she’s already passed through.  Praying that no other lives are lost.  As Florida Governor Rick Scott said at a news conference this week, “We can rebuild your home, but we cannot rebuild your life.”
  2. Please pray for speedy and complete healing for Ted and for a truck-load of patience for me.  Wait.  Please pray for a truck-load of patience for Ted too.  I/m sure we are both going to learn some good life lessons from this.

Everyone in Irma’s path – stay safe.

God bless.

49757 Postcard – #9 9/9/16

Dear Friends,

We had another of Ted’s newly-found cousins, Dave Bennink and his wife Diane, visit with us for a couple of days this week, and we continue to feel so blessed to have the chance to connect with such nice folks.

We’d been told by other family members what a “big guy” Dave was, and that turned out to be an understatement!


At 6′ 5″ Dave is a commanding presence (no, Ted is not standing on a lower step),and we both instantly fell in love with him and his sweet wife Diane.


Even though the Benninks had been to Mackinac several times over the years, the private tour with Blake Ruddle took them a few places they hadn’t seen . . . like Fort Holmes!


We even spotted some trees at the cemeteries that had begun to show their Fall colors!  I think it’s going to be a brilliant Fall on the island!


While downtown, this sweet lady – Joan Bishop – recognized Ted and I from the blog, and we sat down to chat a moment.  It turns out Joan and Diane know some of the same people from Muskegon and attended the same high school! Such a small, small world!


Diane and I cracked up at this candid pic I took of Ted and Dave working those iPhones one evening.  Look at those faces!  Exact same expressions.  Yep, they’re cousins all right.

Our visit with the Benninks was saddened when we learned of the passing of Harry Shade, husband of Ted’s half-sister, Sheryl.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to Sheryl and her family during this sad time.


A few pics of the new condo . . . .


Thanks to neighbor Pam Day for this nice shot of the condos as she was returning home one evening. We’re in the bottom right-hand unit.  That’s the Grand Hotel stable and carriage museum behind us on the right. 


The living area . . . love that chaise!


. . . and kitchen.


Guest bedroom one . . .


. . . and two.


Master bedroom.

There are also two nice-sized bathrooms, a large walk-in closet, and a laundry room. The landscaping hasn’t been completed yet in the front, but Jack Barnwell is in charge.  Can’t wait to see what he will come up with, and one thing’s for sure – it will be gorgeous!  We are loving being up the hill again!

Backyard space.

Backyard space.


While Ted was seeing Dave and Diane off yesterday, I was transporting Maddie down to Chambers corner for a visit with one of the island vets, Dr. Hites.  Maddie has been limping for over a week, and we discovered a growth between two of her toes. I didn’t want her to have to walk all the way down there, so I put a towel in my bike basket, put Maddie on the towel, and away we went.  No, I didn’t ride the bike, I walked it (I’m off-balance enough without an extra 12 lbs. in the basket to throw me off).  Dr. Hites gave her an oral antibiotic, an antibiotic cream, and something for pain relief.  He said she could have gotten a cut, or a thorn, or it could have just come up on its own.  Back in the basket she went, and up the hill we came.  I can’t begin to tell you how many tourists took pictures of Miss Maddie riding in the basket! 



I received a few more pics of Bodie yesterday, and all I can say is “That boy is growing like a weed!”


This original photo was taken at three months.


And this is Bodie today at 5 1/2 months!


He’s a gorgeous BIG boy already, and I can’t wait to wrap my arms around him and take him home five weeks from now!


It seems there are going to be several blog fans on the island Sept. 18-21, and I’m hoping we can all get together for dinner Monday night, Sept. 19.  Those I know for sure will be here are Lowell & Faye Greene, Frankie Thill and her friend Sue, Kem and Ed Green, Hilde & Bud DaVanon, Yvonne & Tony Pitsch, and Joleen & Bruce Griffin. If you happen to have a trip planned to the island during that time period, I’d love to add you to the dinner group.  Just email me at brendasumnerhorton@hotmail.com.  Looking forward to it!

God bless.

Leaving . . . Soon 10/28/2012

“I need to ask you something,” Ted said to me as we drove Jason to the airport this afternoon.

“The answer is no,” I said as quickly as possible.

“What did you think I was going to ask?” Ted said – a tad testily.

“You were going to ask if we could be ready to go Wednesday morning instead of Friday,” I answered.

Great look of amazement of Ted’s face.  “How did you know that?”

“Because you spent 30 minutes throwing stuff in a bag this afternoon to bring across to the truck today and then said you were all packed,” I said – a tad snappishly.  “Therefore, you think I can have the entire condo closed and EVERYTHING else packed and ready to leave on Wednesday’s 8 a.m. ferry.”

Jason from backseat: “All right, children.  Play nice or you’ll have to go to time-out.”

I thought about it the rest of the way to the airport, through the lunch we ate at the airport restaurant as we waited for Jason’s flight, all the way back to the ferry, across to the island, and up the hill.  I’m still thinking about it.

Can I be ready to leave Wednesday morning – only time will tell.  Time – and maybe even weather – as we wait to see what the remnants of Hurricane Sandy will mean to us by the middle of the week.  There’s already talk of the ferries not being able to run on Tuesday because of high winds, and some of that may impact Wednesday’s boat schedule also. 

So.  After I finish writing this, I’ll start on my very long list of “closing down the condo” chores.  In the next two days I’ll clean some, pack some, and make phone calls changing mail addresses and cutting on or off cable and DSL services.  If, come Tuesday evening, the list has lots and lots of unchecked items, or if the weather doesn’t cooperate, we’ll be here a few more days.  If all items are checked, and the weather doesn’t interfere, our truck will head south on Wednesday.

Only time will tell – which brings us to the next few days. 

I can’t begin to tell you how much fun we had while Jason was here.  His spur-of-the-moment trip took our minds away from leaving and threw us instead into the happy, party-time mode that just naturally follows in Jason’s path.  I was out of the condo more in the last four days than I have been in a month.  We’ve hiked with the dogs and eaten out a lot.  Ted and Jason played golf one afternoon, we went on the Ghost Tour Friday evening, and joined in on the Mackinac Island grown-up costume party on Saturday night.  In between all that, we checked out the Somewhere in Time weekend at the Grand and watched the starts of two road races.  It was a large weekend!

What I’ll do tonight is post a few pics of Jason’s trip, and then I’m just going to say “anything goes” until we’re out of here.  I’ve a ton of pics to share of the Island and a ton more I’d like to take before leaving.  Whether there’s time for that, I just don’t know.  So – here’s the plan.  After tonight, I promise to puts pic up every night until we leave.  I do not promise to write much – but pics with captions WILL appear.  The rush to leave is going to throw me into a tizzy – just warning you – so if I say something that doesn’t make sense, just insert or delete whatever word is needed for you to figure it out.

Ok – all that said – here’s a few pics on Jason’s trip.  I’m not going to try and cover all the stuff we did while he was here in detail, but I promise to come back later and put up more pics on the Ghost Tour, Somewhere in Time, the road race, and the costume party downtown.

After a 2:55 Wednesday arrival in Pellston, we somehow managed to make the 3:30 ferry to the Island – fog and all. The Island had been fogged in all day, and it didn’t lift until almost dark on Wednesday.  Right after this pic, Jason dug a sweater and coat out of his luggage for the trip up the hill.

Thursday morning – checking in at work with a bed full of puppies.  Maddie was saying, “Don’t you know you’re wasting time you could be using playing with me?  Get up!”

Thursday was a great day – not sunny, but warm for this time of year. I had a hair appointment that afternoon in St. Ignace, so Jason, Ted and I hiked up to Point Lookout and Ft. Holmes that morning.

There are very few colors left up this high, but the view is not diminished at all.

We took the dirt trail straight down from Ft. Holmes. I wouldn’t recommend that when the path is covered with wet leaves, but we made it safely – and slowly – to the bottom, which put us on Rifle Range Road. From there, we walked over to Arch Rock.

Ted and Jason played golf on Thursday afternoon while I was off-island, and we all met back up at the condo before walking downtown for dinner at the Seabiscuit. The Island on Thursday was very quiet – but the crazy-busy weekend was fast approaching!  These bikes are outside the Gate House, one of the few restaurants still open Thursday evening.

Glancing up at the windows of a private residence on Market Street, I almost screamed out loud at THIS staring back at me! Getting ready for Halloween!

An almost-full moon was beautiful over the Arnold dock that evening, and the temps were still in the low 70’s. We hurried through dinner though because the weather would be changing overnight. By the time we were back home and taking the dogs out around 11:00, temps were dropping, and we awoke Friday morning to high 30’s.

Even though Friday was pretty chilly, we spent a lot of time outside. It was just too beautiful not to!

On a walk down the boardwalk and out to Windermere Point, we watched the always-present kites ride the winds . . . .

. . . and Jason gave this one a little push-off from where it had crash-dived.

Friday night and time for the two-hour Haunts of Mackinac Ghost Tour, which began at 10 p.m. It was a dark and very chilly night – but we were excited!

Although neither Jason nor I has ever had any ghostly encounters, we thought it would be a hoot to take the tour.  Lamech (please forgive me if I got the spelling wrong) was a friendly, professional, and very interesting guide!

First tour stop – the Murray Hotel, home of the last known murder on the Island. No worries – it happened decades and decades ago!

Another stop – The Island House.  Lots of ghostly stories here!  We made several other stops where Lamech narrated the tales of encounters tourists and others have had with spirits from another time . . .  but you’ll have to take the tour yourself to hear all the details!

The last 45 minutes of the tour is at the Mission Point Resort, and most of the time is spent in the theatre where the TV Show Ghost Hunt taped one of their shows and called this spot one of the most haunted areas they’ve ever covered (FYI – most of the time spent here is in almost total darkness). I won’t go into what all happens here, but if you take the tour and Lamech asks, “Who scares easily?” – don’t raise your hand! I did – thinking he’d not put me in any situation where I might keel over from fright. Wrong! But it was all a very good time, and I would highly recommend the tour – whether you believe in ghosts or not. Jason and I had a blast!

Saturday – another very chilly, but beautiful day! Somewhere in Time weekend at the Grand Hotel, two road races on the Island, AND the adult costume party downtown. The island was hopping. As we walked down for the start of the races, we met two ladies from the Grand out for a morning stroll – in period costume.  I’ll have a few pics later this week from inside the Grand for this event.

Snapping a pic of the Straits.

There were 2500 runners on the Island for the two races PLUS their families and friends!

Georgia was playing Florida in football Saturday afternoon, and Jason thought it would be great fun to walk downtown in costume and watch the game with Ted at the Pink Pony (are you seeing why this 40-year-old-going-on-nine-year-old has always kept me laughing)!?

As he walked down the yard, dray drivers and horses kept a close eye on him.

When I walked down the hill a little later, I met this little boy coming up.  All the children on the island were invited to trick-or-treat downtown at local merchants Saturday afternoon, and I think this “skeleton” had already eaten everything in his bag and was well into a nap!

Georgia BEAT #2-ranked Florida (had to get that in here somewhere), and Ted says now Jason has to wear the costume for EVERY Georgia game!

My favorite gorilla!

We loved, loved, loved Jason being with us for a few days, but we would have loved it even more if his beautiful wife Blair could have been here also.  This younger generation just works too hard and too much, and Blair’s schedule  couldn’t be adjusted enough for her to make the trip.  We missed you, Blair!  Maybe you and I can come up during the winter for a girls trip!

Lots more pics to come this week of all the events above and the closing of the Island.  The Grand ends its season on Monday at 10 a.m., and I’m going to miss that event this year if I have any chance at all of being ready to leave on Wednesday.

I’ll see you back here Tuesday night with more pics!  Can’t BELIEVE the last week is here!