Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one. Brad Paisley – on New Year’s Eve.
HAPPY NEW YEAR, my sweet and dear friends! Good gosh – it’s been two months since we’ve gotten together here on Bree’s Blog – longer than I’ve ever stopped writing since beginning this journey in April of 2009!
Ok – let’s go ahead and get this out of the way. Yes, I’ve done my annual soul searching
After a two-month vacation from the blogosphere, I’ve discovered that, although I can live without self-imposed deadlines, hunts for photographs, and times when my fingers stay poised way too long over the keyboard waiting for my brain to come up with something to write, I’m not ready to live without my connection to all of you!
So – Bree’s Blog will roll on for at least one more year. There’s so much I want to share with you in 2017: our trip to Alaska in May, Bodie’s zany antics and Maddie’s sweet senior years, and – most important to all of you – three months of Mackinac in the summer. I’ll try to post a little more often than last year in the time between now and leaving for Mackinac – maybe like the “postcards” I did from the island last year. Then when we hit the island, I’ll post even more.
I’m excited about 2017! Let’s write that 365-page book together . . . . starting now!
Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s Eve are a big blur. We had family come, family go, family come back and leave again. Throughout those happy days we enjoyed more food than should be legal, made some great memories, and got to share a seven-year-old’s Santa Claus!
I know it’s hard for our northern friends to imagine Christmas catalog shopping in shorts out on the deck, but that’s what you have to get used to in Florida!
Our little neighborhood was very festive this year!
We all had great fun decorating palm trees . . .
. . . and pretending snow was falling.
Blake was home for a few days . . .
. . . followed by Jason, Jen, and Alex . . .
. . . followed by Julie, Matt, Jordan, Matthew – and Blake again!
It’s been many, many years since we had a little boy in the house at Christmas! We made cookies for Santa . . .
. . . and opened gifts from Santa and family on Christmas Day.
I loved this gift from Jen and Alex. An artist friend of Jen’s created a pop art canvas from photographs of Maddie and Bodie!
And Ted gave me this wonderful way to park my car correctly in the garage. You see, he got a new weight machine from Santa, and if I don’t park my car perfectly it interferes with his range of motion. Hmmmm . . . some wives get diamonds for Christmas. I get a ball on a rope!
Jason and Jen wishing everyone Merry Christmas from the beach on Facebook . . .
. . . followed instantly by a wipe-out!
Seriously, we had a wonderful Christmas, and the best part was seeing all the kids and grandkids. Speaking of which – they all went together and gave Ted and I a monetary gift for our Alaska trip – what a surprise! Anyone out there who has been on an Alaska land/cruise trip, please weigh in on which excursions we need to book!
I definitely didn’t start the New Year off right though. I had a physical therapy appointment the day before New Year’s Eve. My therapist decided to try something new – working on my back instead of my neck. I knew I was in trouble when I walked out that day, and by the next morning I was in so much pain I finally just had a good, old-fashioned melt-down. I cried for two hours, took a hot bath, put on my pj’s and was in bed by 10 that night. I DID feel much better the next day, but I think physical therapy has about done as much as it can do for this old neck of mine. I have an appointment on Friday with my neurologist to talk about injections. Stay tuned for the next chapter of this adventure!
The island is a winter wonderland, and they had a beautiful white Christmas! Lake Huron has steamed once, and the temps are good and cold. An ice bridge just may be in the cards for this winter.
Unless otherwise noted, all of the photographs below are from Clark Bloswick.
The 20 or so horses that remain on Mackinac for the winter get plenty of exercise. These two beauties were hauling construction supplies from the ferry at British Landing.
The West Bluff – dressed in her winter whites.
Currier & Ives could not have done it better! Perfect Mackinac Island winter scene.
Beautiful Trinity Church on Fort Hill.
Snow “mushrooms” along the shore.
A snow-covered cedar hedge in the Annex frames a snow-covered cottage.
Sunlight spreads over homes early one morning the week before Christmas.
Horses brought to the island to handle the extra holiday business are led down Market Street toward the ferry docks. They will return to their winter home in Pickford. (Photo: Tom Chambers)
The view from a Cedar Hill Condo deck – looking across the Grand Hotel golf course. (Photo: Pam Day)
A beautifully decorated Chambers Corner! (Photo: Pam Day)
Main Street on New Year’s Eve. (Photo: Jake Hudson)
A lone snowmobile makes the run up Cadotte on a wintry night. (Photo: Pam Day)
Friend Eugenia Murray’s 16-year-old Beagle, Titus, on his first snow walk (he normally spends his winters in Florida).
You see those two matching throw pillows on the bed behind my Bodie-boy?
There’s only one now.
Bodie, bless his heart, is a work-in-progress. He can be – on alternate days, hours, minutes (even seconds) – either the most aggravating or the sweetest four-legged creature ever. Our first two-and-a-half months together have been challenging to say the least, and I won’t deny having thought – more than once – “Dear Gussie, what have I done?”
But . . . . when he flops down next to me in the dog bed (it would easily hold me and a small horse) and puts his big, beautiful head across my legs, cutting his eyes up to look at me and seeming to say, “Mom, I know I ate all the paper towels out of the trash can in the kitchen, and chewed up the case for your glasses, and unrolled one of the new rolls of toilet paper you keep in the basket next to that big white funny-shaped water dish I drink out of, but it was just all innocent fun. You forgive me right?” – my answer is an unequivocal yes.
Bodie loves Ted, but he has most definitely bonded with me. In the evening, when I retire to the bedroom tv to watch a movie, Bodie is at my feet the entire evening.
Except when he’s watching himself (he seems to prefer action-adventures with lots of explosions).
When I leave the house for whatever reason, he waits patiently for me at the door to the garage – even if it’s on the days when I work for four hours. His temperament, activity level, and demeanor are totally different from Bear’s (and some of that is definitely affected by his age), but even so he is filling my heart with all the good things that owning a wonderful dog brings. It makes me a little ashamed that my mantra was “I want another golden just like Bear”. I did not need another Bear.
I needed a Bodie.
It’s sooooo good to be back writing! See you back here soon!