Throw Back Tuesday – Back Track and Forward March 4/11/17

Personal Note:  Loved reposting this blog today because of the many Mackinac friends – and blog readers – who happen to be in it!  Also, it was written at the end of the Lilac Festival that year and involves a parade!  Sweet memories.

______________________________________________________________________

FIRST PUBLISHED JUNE, 18,2013

You will not BELIEVE all the photographs I have backlogged over the last few days!  I’ve been focusing mainly on Lilacs for a good two weeks now, and the Lilacs are still going strong, even though their “festival” ended yesterday. Tonight I want to catch up on a few other topics, throw in a few more flowers, and highlight some of the parade from yesterday. So, here we go . . .

THE PEOPLE WE MEET!

New lady on the corner! Walk down Main Street as far as Shepler's Ferry, look directly across the street on the corner of Main and Astor, and you will more than likely see - during daylight hours anyway - the brilliant smile of Mert. As the Corner Concierge, Mert helps visitors with all things "Mackinac" and does it so easily and with such friendliness that you just want to stay and chat a while longer. She'd love for you to stop by - to ask questions, to talk about Mackinac, or just to say hi! Oh, and tell her "Bree" sent you!

New lady on the corner! Walk down Main Street as far as Shepler’s Ferry, look directly across the street to the corner of Main and Astor, and you will more than likely see – during daylight hours anyway – the brilliant smile of Mert. As the Corner Concierge, Mert helps visitors with all things “Mackinac” and does it so easily and with such friendliness you just want to stay and chat a while longer! She’d love for you to stop by – to ask questions, to talk about the Island, or just to say hi!  You will love her!

This beautiful family, Theresa, Allen, Amelia and Michael - from Tecumseh MI, met me last week at Sadie's for ice cream. Theresa is a frequent commenter on Bree's Blog and follows us in Georgia during the winter also.

This beautiful family – Allen, Theresa, Amelia and Michael – from Tecumseh MI, met me last week at Sadie’s for ice cream.  While we were there, Amelia chose my 4th flavor to try – Caramel Turtle Cheesecake!  A T-E-N!

Loved hanging out with this great family, and while we were in Sadie's Amelia chose my 4th flavor to try - Caramel Turtle Cheesecake! A T-E-N!

Theresa is a frequent commenter on Bree’s Blog and follows the Lake Blackshear Blog in Georgia during the winter also.  Loved hanging out with this great family!

A couple of days later, I turned the corner down French Lane and spotted Theresa and Allen trying to find all the hidden treasurers in Jeff's garden. They didn't know I was anywhere around until after I snapped this. They left the island the day of the Lilac Parade and watched it on Theresa's iPad in the car going home. LOVE IT!

A couple of days later, I turned the corner down French Lane and spotted Theresa and Allen trying to find all the hidden treasurers in Jeff’s garden. They didn’t know I was anywhere around until after I snapped this. They left the island the day of the Lilac Parade and watched it on Theresa’s iPad in the car going home. LOVE IT!

Richard! This sweet gentleman used to live all summer on the Island, and Ted and I first met him several years ago. Now he returns for a few days here and there, and I happened to spot him downtown this week, resting on a bench in the sun. Always good to see Richard!

Richard! This sweet gentleman used to live all summer on the Island, and Ted and I first met him several years ago. Now he returns for a few days here and there, and I happened to spot him downtown this week, resting on a bench in the sun. Always good to see Richard, and he always asks about Bear and Ted . . . in that order.

On the way home a couple of days ago, right by the big barns on Cadotte, someone called "Bree?" I turned and met Ted (I'll remember that name for sure) and his wife Rebecca. They were married on Mackinac just last year and were up for a visit. This sweet couple is from Aurora, Ohio, and their love of the island was so evident, they reminded me of ME!

On the way home a couple of days ago, right by the big barns on Cadotte, someone called “Bree?” I turned and met Ted (I’ll remember that name for sure) and his wife Rebecca. They were married on Mackinac just last year, found Bree’s Blog when they returned home from their honeymoon, and were up for a visit. This sweet couple is from Aurora, Ohio, and their love of the island was so evident.  They reminded me of ME!

Evi is a blog fan from New Jersey, and we met up - finally, after several attempts - at the Island Bookstore one evening last week! Hope to see you again soon, Evi!

Evi is a blog fan from New Jersey, and we met up – finally, after several attempts – at the Island Bookstore one evening last week! Hope to see you again soon, Evi!

Tommy and Gerald - our two teenage young men who stayed with us Saturday night. They are part of an A Cappela Choir from Roosevelt High School in Wyandotte, MI. We had a fun time with Tommy and Gerald, who challenged us to a game of Monopoly (who knew teenagers still played Monopoly). Three hours later, Ted was bankrupt, I was on the verge of bankruptcy, and Tommy was Donald Trump Jr.

Tommy and Gerald – our two teenage young men who stayed with us Saturday night. They are part of an a cappella choir from Roosevelt High School in Wyandotte, MI. We had a fun time with Tommy and Gerald, who challenged us to a game of Monopoly (who knew teenagers still played Monopoly) after returning from singing for their supper at the Seabiscuit restaurant. Three hours later, Ted was bankrupt, I was on the verge of bankruptcy, and Tommy was Donald Trump Jr.  During that Monopoly game, they also put away two large bottles of juice, a huge bowl of popcorn, a whole bag of tortillas, a jar or salsa and a jar of cheese dip – with a little fudge as dessert .  LOL – they SO reminded me of Jason and Blake at that age!  We enjoyed having Tommy and Gerald with us – they were smart, well-mannered, and fun – a tribute to their families.

The choir group after church on Sunday.

The choir group after church on Sunday.

Blog readers Traci and Bill stopped by the Stuart House this morning while Mike Forrester was visiting, so Mike became our photographer. Traci and Bill are from Pulaski, Tennessee, and it was so nice to hear a Southern accent! It was a spur-of-the-moment visit for them (the best kind). They drove 13 hours to get here and plan just to relax and "do Mackinac" with no real set agenda (the best way). Have fun, you two!

Blog readers Traci and Bill stopped by the Stuart House this morning while Mike Forrester was visiting, so Mike became our photographer. Traci and Bill are from Pulaski, Tennessee, and it was so nice to hear a Southern accent! It was a spur-of-the-moment visit for them (the best kind). They drove 13 hours to get here and plan just to relax and “do Mackinac” with no real set agenda (the best way). Have fun, you two!

FOUR-LEGGED CRITTERS

Out snapping Lilac photos the other day near The Gate House, I ran across this sweet puppy, obviously tied out while mom and dad lunched on the patio just a few feet away. The Gate House provides water dishes for pets! A cutie-pie!

Out snapping Lilac photos the other day near the Gate House, I ran across this sweet puppy, tied out while mom and dad lunched on the patio just a few feet away. The Gate House provides water dishes for pets! A cutie-pie!

This precious baby was enjoying the shade at Park Place Suites, which is pet-friendly!

This precious pooch was enjoying the shade at Park Place Suites, which is pet-friendly!

Back to front Grand Hotel omnibuses, the first driven by Shelby and the second by new driver Caleb (I hope, I hope I'm right on that name).

Back to front Grand Hotel omnibuses, the first driven by Shelby and the second by new driver Caleb (I hope, I hope I’m right on that name).

New neighborhood pooch, Charlie!

New neighborhood puppy, Charlie . . .

. . . and our condo neighbor, Judy, is back for the summer with her sweet Buddy.

. . . and our condo neighbor, Judy, is back for the summer with her sweet Buddy.

It's not often you can wake up with two Budweiser Clydesdale in your front yard, but it happened this week! These two, Duke and Jack, were here with four of their team-mates for the Lilac Parade! That's Kyle on Duke's back.

It’s not often you can wake up with two Budweiser Clydesdales in your front yard, but it happened this weekend! These two, Duke and Jack, were here with four of their team-mates for the Lilac Parade! That’s Kyle on Duke’s back.

A FEW MORE FLOWERS

Only had to walk down Cadotte to find this big clump of Lady Slippers - near where the old Grand stable once stood.

I only had to walk down Cadotte to find this big clump of Lady Slippers – near where the old Grand stable once stood.

Lilacs!

Dark Lilacs . . .

. . . and light Lilacs!

. . . and light Lilacs!

A friendly group of Pansies . . .

A friendly group of Pansies . . .

, , , and one loner.

. . . and one loner.

A very, very small section of Jeff's garden on French Lane.

A very, very small section of Jeff’s garden on French Lane.

The always-charming Cloghaun B & B, with its luscious gardens in full bloom.

The always-charming Cloghaun B & B – surrounded by Lilacs.

A curve on Cadotte . . .

A curve on Cadotte . . .

. . . . and Mahoney Avenue.

. . . . and Mahoney Street.

THE PARADE!  THE PARADE!

The mighty Clydesdales!

The mighty Clydesdales!

FFFF

Do not try this at home – at least not if you are MY age!

This couple had a choice spot to watch the parade - right in the shade - and sweet smell - of beautiful Lilacs!

This couple had a choice spot to watch the parade – right in the shade – and sweet smell – of beautiful Lilacs!

We had serious bands . . .

We had serious bands . . .

. . . and not so serious bands.

. . . and not so serious bands.

We had beautiful performing horses . . .

We had beautiful performing horses . . .

. . . and

. . . horses performing beautifully . . .

. . . and a couple of silly horses!

. . . and a couple of silly horses!

vvvv

We had musical marching groups . . .

. . . and patriotic marching groups.

. . . and patriotic marching groups.

We had clowns in groups . . .

We had clowns who came in groups . . .

. . . and some alone.

. . . and some who came alone.

We had celebrity local dogs, like Chloe and Bella, who represented Wheels of Mackinac . . .

We had celebrity local dogs, like Chloe and Bella, who represented Wheels of Mackinac . . .

. . . and dogs whose names we'll never know - but who will grow up to be service dogs all over the country.

. . . and dogs whose names we’ll never know – who will grow up to be service dogs all over the country.

We had beauty queens who rode in carriages . . .

We had small beauty queens, teenage beauty queens .  .

. . . and some who walked.

. . . and grown-up beauty queens.

And we had bicycles in all sizes and shapes.

And we had bicycles in all sizes and shapes.

Grand Marshall of the parade was our neighbor Donald "Duck" Andress. Duck rode in a carriage this year instead of on horseback, but his son

Grand Marshall of the parade was our neighbor Donald “Duck” Andress. Duck rode in a carriage this year, but his son Jamie – seen behind him in the white headdress – continues the tradition of their family by riding on horseback.

Are you asleep yet?

I think that catches us up to today in photos.  As you can see, it’s been a busy time on the Island, and today the Island was taking a great big breath and relaxing after a tremendously successful Lilac Festival.

God bless.

Another Week is Gone 9/25/16

Another great week has come and gone, leaving us only three more weeks on Mackinac.  I just can’t believe we’ve been here over two months, but I can tell from all those “X’s” marked on the calendar that our days here are dwindling rapidly down.

No big story to tell today, so I’m just going to post photos I’ve been saving up this week.  With cooler weather arriving a few days ago, I’ve been throwing on jeans and long-sleeved tops – and occasionally another layer like a vest or sweater – and just going wherever a road takes me.  Fall is absolutely my favorite season on Mackinac!

img_1937

Visitors to the island this week saw more motorized vehicles on the street than they’ve probably ever seen before, regardless of how many years they’ve been coming. Main Street is being repaved from the boardwalk to the water treatment plant beyond Mission Point.  This work really needs to be done, and completing the project before the snow flies meant starting just after Labor Day.  Vehicles are not something any of us want to see, but the work neeeds to be done, and the project will mean a much nicer Main Street next season!

img_1938

While the paving is going on, all the street corners are being converted to handicap-accessible.  That work is already completed (after this photo was taken), and the corners look awesome.  (This photo and one above by Jill Sawatzki.)

img_1940

Jill also ran across the Michigan State Tennis Team one day up at Turtle Park.  They were enjoying a game of disc golf!

img_1971

Walking to the condo at dusk – just after the streetlights came on.  Can you tell how quiet the island is becoming now that Labor Day has passed?  Still busy downtown during the day, but after the 6:00 ferries leave, you know Fall is upon us, and the huge crowds won’t return until next spring.

img_2018

I have to introduce you to Susan and Keith Miller.  They arrived on Mackinac on Monday, the afternoon of the blog dinner.  They didn’t know if they’d get to the island in time to eat with us (their home is in Phoenix, Arizona), so they didn’t RSVP the invitation to dinner.  They DID arrive in time and were in the Chippewa lobby when that group photo was taken – but they didn’t want to interrupt since they hadn’t made a reservation.  Jill discovered all this and talked to them later in the bookstore. Susan has been a blog reader for many years, and I’m so sorry I missed meeting them!  Next year, Susan and Keith!

img_2019

Yvonne and Tony stopped to talk to the Greens, Jill, the DaVanons, and me as we sat and rocked on the porch at the Lake View Hotel on Tuesday.  Later we  all walked down and saw them off on the ferry.

img_2029

Lowell wanted to walk up to Grand Hotel’s shade garden, so we headed that way.  We’d stop and rest occasionally, like here at the corner of Cadotte and Market . . .

img_2033

. . . and here, after we’d made it to the shade garden.  That beautiful cane Lowell is holding was a gift from Hilde and Bud.  Lowell loved it and used it the rest of his time on the island.  I have a feeling he’s using it at home too!

img_2035

Sweet Hilde and Bud in the shade garden.

img_2043

Another late afternoon walk home past Grand Hotel.

img_2054

We were up early Wednesday morning to see Lowell and Faye off on the 8:00 ferry . .

img_2064

. . . . always sad to see friends go home.

img_2073

Hilde, Bud,Ted and I rewarded ourselves for getting up early by stopping by the Chuckwagon for breakfast.  Love sitting at the counter and watching Donny work his magic on the grill!

On Friday morning we were up and off to town again . . .

On Friday morning we were up and off to town again . . .

. . . to see off Pam and Denise (with the bikes) and Kem and Ed (in the blue jackets). They left on the 11:00 Arnold ferry.

. . . to see off Pam and Denise (with the bikes) and Kem and Ed (in the blue jackets). They left on the 11:00 Arnold ferry.

Going back home up Fort Hill, I stopped to watch groceries going by conveyer belt from a dray into the supply room of Doud's Market.

Going back home up Fort Hill, I stopped to watch groceries going by conveyer belt from a dray into the supply room of Doud’s Market.

At Trinity Church, I took the path toward Turkey Hill. The fenced road above me is Fort Hill and the blockhouse against a beautiful Michigan blue sky.

At Trinity Church, I took the path toward Turkey Hill. The fenced road above me is Fort Hill and a Fort Mackinac blockhouse against a beautiful Michigan blue sky.

There were several apple trees along Turkey Hill (Spring Street) - all full of ripe fruit!

There were several apple trees along Turkey Hill (Spring Street) – all full of ripe fruit!

View across the Jewel Golf Course from the top of Turkey Hill.

View across the Jewel Golf Course from the top of Turkey Hill.

jjjj

Almost to the condo, I spotted a little tinge of rust in a few trees near the road.

img_2086

On Friday afternoon we walked up to the cemeteries, looking for fall color.  We didn’t find that much . . . .

img_2089

. . . but we sure enjoyed walking the trails – like this one leading from the cemetery to Turtle Park . . .

img_2095

. . . and this one from Turtle Park to the Surrey Hill Carriage Museum (more visions of Bear).

 

img_2099

How have I missed this giant butterfly created with colored rocks around two trees at the Wings of Mackinac Butterfly House at Surrey Hill?!

img_2106

Walking through Grand Hotel’s stable late in the afternoon, we came across two buses, parked for the night and ready to go as soon as the sun comes up the next day.  There’s even a top hat resting on the bus lantern.

As I end this post, I turn for a moment to look out the kitchen window.  Two Hackneys are standing in the corral, and I rise and tap on the window.  They both look up at me . . . .

. . . and as much as I feel myself beginning to prepare to leave in three weeks, I know part of my heart will stay here on Mackinac.

. . . and I know – as much as I feel myself beginning to prepare to leave for home in three weeks, and as much as I’ve missed our beautiful Florida home and wonderful friends, and as much as I know I can’t wait to pick up my Bodie-boy – I also know part of my heart will be staying here on Mackinac.

God bless.

Through to the Other Side 9/2/2013

You know that feeling you get when you’re not feeling well and you suddenly think, “Oh my gosh, this is it.  I’m never going to feel better than what I do right now.  Woe is me.”  You know that feeling?

I’m past that.

Yep, I’ve come through to the other side.  A few prescription-dose tablets, and the world suddenly looks all sunny and bright again.  I DO feel better.  In fact, I feel great!  Thank you, Lord, for doctors and medicines and time to let them work!

Although I’d been out and about ac couple of times during the last 10 days, on Saturday I finally felt like going out and DOING something!  It was a good thing too, because Labor Day weekend was filled with activities!

LABOR DAY LAST RIDE OF THE SEASON

Each year island residents who own horses celebrate the end of another wonderful summer on Mackinac with a last ride.  In formal riding attire they meet on the East Bluff and ride throughout the island.  There’s no set route each year.  They just ride and enjoy the beauty of this gorgeous place where we spend our summers, before most of these privately-owed horses (and their owners) leave the island for the winter.

The riders culminate their journey on the East West Bluff,  where the flowers around each of these beautiful homes are still at their peak.

The next-to-the-last leg of the ride is to the West Bluff, where the flowers around each of these beautiful cottages are still at their peak.

horses2

horses4

horses5

house

The riders pass several of these homes on the ride down the West Bluff . . .

. . . until they come to this one . . .

. . . until they come to this one . . .

. . . where they assemble for Mint Juleps  . . .

. . . where they assemble for Mint Juleps served in silver goblets . . .

. . . and toast the end of the season and all the Mackinac Island riders who have gone before them.

. . . and toast the end of the season and all the Mackinac Island riders who have gone before them.

After the toast, they continue down the West Bluff . . .

After the toast, they continue down the West Bluff . . .

. . . ride in front of the Grand Hotel and then return to the East Bluff where they meet for breakfast at one of the East Bluff cottages.  What a great Mackinac Island tradition!

. . . ride in front of the Grand Hotel and then return to the East Bluff, where they meet for breakfast at one of the East Bluff cottages. What a great Mackinac Island tradition!

FAREWELL DINNER FOR VINCE AND MOLLY CARROLL

I’ve spoken often here of Little Stone Church and our wonderful minister Dr. Vince Carroll and his wife Molly.  It was with great sadness we learned last spring this would be their final summer on the island, as Vince has accepted a church in Long Boat Key, FL – near their home in Sarasota.  He and Molly have served Little Stone Church and the island of Mackinac for ten years, and next summer will certainly not be the same without them.  Vince is one of the most dynamic and powerful ministers I’ve ever heard, and both those adjectives are somehow projected without the raising of his voice.  I could honestly listen to him for hours, and I have never once had my mind stray beyond the pulpit when he is speaking.  Molly is a dear friend and loving part of this community, and these two walk together on God’s path – showing all of us the ideal of a Christian marriage.

Vince and Molly – everyone on Mackinac will miss you greatly, but none more than Ted and I.

Unless he is in the pulpit you hardly ever see Vince when he is not sporting a bow tie.  The men of the church thought it would be great fun to show up at Vince and Molly's farewell dinner all wearing bow ties.

Unless he is in the pulpit you hardly ever see Vince when he is not sporting a bow tie, and the men of the church thought it would be great fun to show up at Vince and Molly’s farewell dinner all wearing bow ties.  We ladies decided we loved the look, and we’re all encouraging our husbands to continue wearing them!

vvvvv

Nearly 80 people  attended the dinner, which was served under a tent at the Yacht Club.  As usual, the food was some of the best on the island.

Thanks to Patty for this pic of Ted and I at the dinner.  LOVE the bow-tie!

Thanks to Patty for this pic of Ted and I at the dinner.

Vince and Molly Carroll.  And for some strange reason, Vince chose that night NOT to wear his bow-tie!

Vince and Molly Carroll. Which man didn’t wear his bow tie?  Vince!

SUNDAY

After church on Sunday, Buz, Patty, Ted and I rode out to Silver Birches for a little informal get-together.  Rain clouds were gathering as we started toward British Landing, but we managed to get to Silver Birches, eat some great food, and dash inside just as the rain hit.

We continue to be impressed at the progress Liz and her team from Gamble Construction have made between each of our visits.  Liz said I had now graduated to "tour director", so I showed Buz and Patty around.

We continue to be impressed at the progress Liz and her team from Mike Gamble Construction have made between each of our visits. Liz said I had now graduated to “tour director”, so I showed Buz and Patty around.

jdjddjdj

I took these late in the afternoon, but earlier this was the scene of food being served . . . .

. . . and a band had been playing on the porch of the blue cottage.

. . . and a band had been playing on the porch of the blue cottage.

A taxi came out to pick up the band's equipment and deliver it back to town.

A taxi came out to pick up the band’s equipment and deliver it back to town.

Patty and Buz on the steps of the yellow cabin, which should be completed by the end of October.

Patty and Buz on the steps of the yellow cabin, which should be completed by the end of October.

Vintage photograph of Silver Birches - back in the day.  (Posted on Facebook by Brad Conkey)

Vintage photograph of Silver Birches – back in the day. (Posted on Facebook by Brad Conkey)

LABOR DAY BRIDGE WALK

Ted participated in the 5-mile Labor Day Bridge Walk again this morning . . .

Ted participated in the 5-mile Labor Day Bridge Walk again this morning.  This is the beginning of the walk, leaving from the St. Ignace side of the bridge . . .

. . . . about the pass the highest point . . .

. . . . about to pass the highest point . . .

. . . and celebrating afterwards with Bobby and Jen in Mackinaw City.

. . . and celebrating afterwards with Bobby and Jen in Mackinaw City.  He walked it in only a little over an hour.

I can’t believe Labor Day is almost over, officially marking the end of the summer and the beginning of our last two months on the island for this year.  It was chilly today – in the high 50’s.  But with 15-25 mph winds, it didn’t seem that warm.  We’re heading back into the low 70’s tomorrow, so the cooler weather is going to tease us a while before getting serious about the start of Fall.

A FEW MORE PHOTOS

Bob and beautiful daughter Ava popped in to say hi last week.  He and wife Kara are blog readers.  Kara and their son Will were shopping and didn't make it by before I had to close for the day.  See you next time!

Bob and beautiful daughter Ava popped in at the Stuart House to say hi last week. He and wife Kara are blog readers. Kara and their son Will were shopping and didn’t make it by before I had to close for the day. See you next time!  Oh, they’re from Wausau, WI.

Another blog reader, Joan from Shelby Township, MI, visited the Stuart House last week.  We changed location and sat on the BACK steps!

Another blog reader, Joan from Shelby Township, MI, visited last week. We changed locations and sat on the BACK steps!

The Mackinac Island Post Office front door - framed by flowers.

The Mackinac Island Post Office front door – framed by flowers.

Something NOT so pretty - a bat hangs upside down on a light fixture outside the Island Bookstore.  If you ever want to show your kids a bat, there are usually a few sleeping in the hallway to the left of the bookstore.  Harmless . . . very harmless.  I promise.  I even visit the bookstore sometimes just to see the bats.  Oh geez - am I in trouble with the bookstore now?

Something NOT so pretty – a bat hangs upside down on a light fixture outside the Island Bookstore. If you ever want to show your kids a bat, there are usually a few sleeping on the ceiling  in the hallway to the left of the bookstore. Harmless . . . very harmless. I promise. I even visit the bookstore sometimes just to see the bats. Oh geez – am I in trouble with the bookstore now?

Back to pretty things - the Metivier in full summer dress.

Back to pretty things – the Metivier Inn in full summer dress.

Chambers Corner.

Chambers Corner

A hay wagon heads up Cadotte to the big barns.

A hay wagon heads up Cadotte to the big barns.

A fun dinner with Jill, Bud & Hilde DaVanon, Frankie Thill and Mike Forrester.

A fun dinner with Jill, Bud & Hilde DaVanon, Frankie Thill and Mike Forrester at the Pink Pony recently.

Thank you, Brad Conkey, for being brave enough to go up in the Red Baron, a bi-plane giving flights over the Island this summer.  What a view!  We can even see our condos behind the Grand Hotel!

Thank you, Brad Conkey, for being brave enough to go up in the Red Baron, a bi-plane giving flights over the Island this summer. What a view! We can even see our condos behind the Grand Hotel!

Whew!  I feel like I’m really back now . . . a long blog post with lots of photos!  Oh, here’s one more:

Our friend Samile posted this last week - a wonderful Lake Blackshear sunset.  Made me VERY homesick for south Georgia.  We are so blessed to live in two such awesomely beautiful places on this earth.  Thank you, Lord.

Our friend Samille, back home in Georgia, posted this last week – a wonderful sunset from Lake Blackshear, our winter home. Made me VERY homesick.. We are so blessed to live in two such awesomely beautiful places on this earth. Thank you, Lord.

Here and There and All Around 5/15/2013

Best News First!  Faye just let me know Lowell is doing much better today and will return home tomorrow from the hospital!  They discussed the Mackinac trip with his doctor, and he said as long as Lowell felt like going, it was ok. Let’s keep those prayers lifting that Lowell continues to improve and that he and Faye arrive on the Island June 2 as planned.

It’s been kind of a bittersweet day.  We officially signed the papers to list our condo, and I’ve spent a large part of the morning snapping photographs of every room, nook, and cranny in our little piece of paradise.  Right now I’m at 50 shots, and that’s after deleting at least 50 others.  Still haven’t shot the upstairs third bedroom because Ted hasn’t completely cleared it of four bikes and luggage . . . as you can see!

IMG_3582

On the way down I passed what is supposed to be the oldest Lilac bush on Mackinac.  Leaf buds were appearing!

I walked to town early this afternoon to have lunch with Frankie at Horn’s.  On the way down I passed what is supposed to be the oldest Lilac bush on Mackinac. Leaf buds were appearing!

4

So far Frankie hasn’t had any luck finding a job opening, and she will probably leave the Island tomorrow. Still praying that a door will open for her.

After lunch I popped into the Island Bookstore to get Ted a newspaper and found Mary Jane Barnwell, one of the store's owners busy at the cash register . . .

After lunch I popped into the Island Bookstore to get Ted a newspaper and found Mary Jane Barnwell, one of the store’s owners, busy at the cash register . . .

After lunch I popped into the Island Bookstore to get Ted a newspaper and found Jill putting new books on the shelves.  This time of year they receive boxes and boxes of books each day!

. . . and Jill putting new books on the shelves. This time of year the store receive boxes and boxes of books each day!

It was so much warmer today - in the high 50 - so I decided to take the long way home by the boardwalk.  As soon as I got past the library though, the wind off the lake picked up, and it was as though someone was forcing the wind through an ice machine.

It was so much warmer today – in the high 50 – so I decided to take the long way home by the boardwalk. As soon as I got past the library though, the wind off the lake picked up, and it was as though someone was forcing that wind through an ice machine.  Nevertheless, the water was Michigan blue, and this patch of grass has turned summer green.

I knew this was going to happen as soon as I saw they were adding an Ice Cream Parlor at the Grand Hotel.  Sure enough.  My legs just hung a 90-degree left and took me straight into Sadie's.

I knew this was going to happen as soon as I saw they were adding an Ice Cream Parlor at the Grand Hotel. Sure enough. When I reached the Grand, my legs just hung a 90-degree left and took me straight into Sadie’s, where they serve 24 flavors of Hudsonville Ice Cream.

This will be a deplorable chore, but I'm vowing to my readers right NOW that I will leave no flavor at Sadie's untried and unreported.  I started today with the Sea Side Caramel because that's what I was told was the first big seller.  I will limit my scoops to "one" and always use a sugar cone for consistency.

This will be a deplorable task, but I’m vowing to my readers right NOW that I will leave no flavor at Sadie’s untried and unreported. I started today with the Seaside Caramel because that’s what I was told was the first best seller. Seaside Caramel is made up of chocolate covered salted caramels in vanilla flavored ice cream with a salted caramel ribbon. Just typing that added a pound to each thigh.  I will limit my scoops to “one” and always use a sugar cone for continuity.  Then I’ll score each flavor on a scale from 1 to 10, with a 10 being the highest possible score.  I give Seaside Caramel a 12.

What could be better - a beautiful day on Mackinac Island, a delicious ice cream cone to be enjoyed as I walk up the hill (thereby burning all the calories in the aforementioned ice cream cone)!

What could be better – a beautiful day on Mackinac Island, a delicious ice cream cone to be enjoyed as I walk up the hill (thereby burning all the calories in the aforementioned ice cream cone)!  Perfect day!

I’m working at Shepler’s again tomorrow as the last group of Winsome Women arrives and the second group leaves.  It always amazes me to see how everything gets to where it’s going when these huge groups come in.  Thousands of pieces of luggage are tagged, shrink-wrapped on carts, carried over on ferries, transferred to drays, and hauled by horses to hotels all over the Island.  Amazing!

I Think I’ll Go Outside a While . . an jus’ smile 9/30/2012

It’s a beautiful mornin’ ahhh
I think I’ll go outside a while
An jus’ smile
Just take in some clean fresh air boy
Ain’t no sense in stayin’ inside
If the weather’s fine an’ you got the time
It’s your chance to wake up and plan another brand new day
Either way
It’s a beautiful mornin’ ahhh  – Rascals

Makes you want to sing along, doesn’t it!

We’ve had three days of beautiful mornings – and days – this weekend, and being outside is all I’ve wanted to do.  I LOVE Fall – wherever I am.  In the South, Fall usually continues past Christmas and New Year’s Day (I’m talking Fall temperatures – the trees lose their leaves before then).  Winter (meaning we might throw on a fleece layer over a long-sleeve cotton shirt) usually arrives sometime in January.  So, even though we’ll leave here after the beautifully-colored leaves have probably all been blown from the trees, we’ll arrive in Georgia in time for another Fall that could last two more months.  We are so blessed.

The ri’vah is calling me more strongly each day.  We’ve been gone a long time now, and I’m yearning to see family and our sweet friends and to sit on the sun porch, coffee mug in hand, and watch the birds at their feeder and the lake shimmering with sunlight.

But that’s five weeks away, and right now I’m planning on enjoying Fall on Mackinac in all its brilliant glory.

So much to talk about from the Island, but first . . . .

Ted’s Trip to Chicago and the 39th Ryder Cup

Ted was invited along on the trip with a group of guys he’s gotten to know well since we made Mackinac our summer home.

The group drove to Traverse City and flew to Chicago on a charter. Now I ask you – does this group look like they could have fun or what!

Beautiful homes they passed on the way to their hotel.

Along Lake Michigan, with the Chicago skyline in the background.  Ted loved the biking, walking and running trails, but said there was no time in their schedule for exercising.  Uh huh.

View from the 40th floor of the Crowne Plaza Hotel, where they stayed the first night.

On Tuesday, they attended the first practice round of the Ryder Cup and the Pro-Am Celebrity Tournament.

Some of the celebrities they spotted playing were Michael Phelps, George Lopez, Bill Murray and Justin Timberlake (sorry, no close-ups).

The 17th hole. Golfers they watched practice were Phil Mickleson, Bubba Watson (go Georgia!) and Zack Johnson.

After a full day at the golf course, one of the guys gets in a little power nap on the train.

Since Ted had never been to Chicago, the guys took him to the Trump Tower Terrace bar, where you can look down the Chicago River to Lake Michigan.  What an unbelievable view!   They ate at Gibson’s Steak House on Monday night and at Topo Giogio’s Italian Restaurant in Old Town Tuesday evening.

Night in Chicago.

View of Lake Michigan Wednesday morning from the Embassy Suite.

In the Tribune Tower (home of the Chicago Tribune) there is a tangible piece of history from each of the 50 states embedded into the building. Ted found Michigan’s block, which held a bit of Fort Brady from Sault Ste. Marie.

The guys flew into Traverse City early Wednesday afternoon, drove to Mackinaw City and caught the 4:30 ferry to the Island.  I didn’t get to hear much about the trip until Thursday morning ’cause Ted went straight to sleep in his recliner after dinner.  What a great trip for everyone!

Fire Drill

The Mackinac Island Fire Department is one of the best-trained group of firefighters anywhere – they practice and drill constantly.  On Thursday evening our Fire Department conducted a training event at British Landing Dock, with the help of SEMCO energy.  The training involved burning propane tanks ranging from the “grill” sized tanks to the “home heating” style tanks, which are becoming more prevalent on the Island. 

Battling the flames are Assistant Fire Chief Jason St. Onge, Harold Jonas, Travis Vartanian and Ben Mosley.  The flames were visible from St. Ignace.  (Photo credit:  Dan Seeley)

Preparing to take care of their equipment, after the fire was out.  The lights of St. Ignace are visible across the lake.  (Photo Credit:  Dan Seeley)

The Weekend in Photographs

Friday morning’s sunrise. (Photo Credit: Patrick Conlon)

Maddie thought it was a good day to sleep in the sun (a fluffy fleece blanket only made it better)!

Jill and I hopped a ferry Friday afternoon for St. Ignace and hair appointments. All I did was get my boring gray covered, but Jill went crazy with a PINK streak!

Jeremy’s reaction to Jill’s PINK streak! Not to worry, by Sunday morning, she had washed it out.

A sign of the season. Our recent cold snap was hurtful to some of our beautiful summer flower baskets. These from Main Street Inn & Suites came down this weekend.

More Fall signs – the shops are decorated for Autumn. These mums and scarecrows are outside of Decked Out.

Little Luxuries has some great Halloween goodies. Hey! That pumpkin matches my backpack!

Ted and I popped in at Ella & Ivy’s in time to wish Anne’s mom a Happy 90th Birthday!  She had flown up from Florida to spend the week with Anne and commented it quite a bit chillier in Michigan!  What a sweet and beautiful lady.

Steven Kopacki closed his gallery at 6pm Saturday evening and took a fall hike to Fort Holmes where he took this picture. It was taken at dusk, no flash, no tripod, looking southeast, full moon and fall color. Did you see the freighter in the moon reflection in the water. Steven’s gallery is offering 20 to 30% off on canvases and prints thru Oct 14th: www.photosbyblair.com

The peacefulness and beauty of the water near Mission Point Resort on Sunday morning promised another wonderful day outside! (Photo credit: Mary McGuire)

Late this afternoon Ted and I decided to take the pups up to Lookout Point. The trees at the Carriage Museum are turning more golden each day, and Wednesday is the last day they will be open – no more doughnuts till next year!

One of my favorite trees at the back entrance of the Carriage Museum (that’s the Wings of Mackinac Butterfly Exhibit over the dropoff there).

All paths to Lookout Point lead first through the cemeteries.  Today was a wonderful day for a Drive-it-Yourself buggy ride!

The trees at the cemeteries had much more color than Surrey Hill – just 1/2 mile away.

A canopy of gold.

The view from Lookout Point out to Lake Huron – so much change from when Ted was up here a week ago!

Lots of summer picnics have been enjoyed under this little shelter at Lookout Point!

The road not taken – at least not today. Next week we’ll go through here to Ft. Holmes.

We had started our walk late and then stopped to talk with several folks along the way. It was WAY past Maddie and Bear’s dinner time . . . .

“I wonder if this leads to Afternoon Snack Trail?”

Last wood path before home . . . what an awesome weekend!

I left out a very important part of Saturday.  A group of visually impaired children and teenagers visited the Island this weekend, and one of the highlights of their trip was a visit to Jack’s Livery Stable, where they were introduced to all things horse – including a ride!  I was so excited to be  invited to come with my camera, and I’ll have that story for you Wednesday.

The days will begin to fly by now, and I’m hoping I can give those of you who can’t come for Fall a real sense of what Mackinac is like during this season.  It’s a wonderful time to be here – maybe some photo will convince you to plan a trip in the next few weeks . . . everyone is offering specials!  And if not a photograph, what about a little movie – taken Saturday afternoon on my way home:  http://youtu.be/_RWwwSVYHRg

See you Wednesday!

The Winds of Autumn 9/16/2012

The winds have started.  Almost a more accurate announcement of Fall than cooler air and changing leaf color, we’ve learned – after five summers on Mackinac – that the arrival of day after day of blustery wind means summer is over and it’s time to unpack the warmer clothes.

After church and lunch today I asked Ted if he’d like to ride downtown with me.

“Why?” he asked with some interest.

“Oh, I’m going to check out the summer sales and maybe shop a little for fall,” I said innocently, knowing full-well that mentioning the “s” word would secure him in his chair.

What I really planned to do was ride around and shoot some photos.  When Ted rides with me on those expeditions, it usually turns frustrating for him because I am constantly stopping and starting.  When Ted rides, he RIDES!

“You go ahead, sweetie,” he mumbled, picking up the Sunday newspaper and diving behind it.  I smiled.

When we went down the hill to church this morning, the winds had been brisk, but not really bad.  By afternoon, they had become almost constant and pretty high.  I gripped my handlebars so tightly going down Cadotte by the Grand that they turned white, and I wished I’d tied my hair back to keep it out of my eyes.

I turned right on Mahoney, next to the Somewear on Mackinac shop, and rode down to the water.

Parking in the grass on the water side, I walked almost down to the water . . .

. . . where white caps could be seen across the Straits, and waves were crashing on the shoreline.

Walking back to my bike, I decided to try something different – filming a few seconds in “movie mode”, just so you could hear the sound of the wind and waves.  You can watch that by clicking on the link at the end of this post. 

I stopped for a few minutes to visit Bonnie, who is vacationing on the Island in a friend’s home on the Boardwalk, then headed into town, where I spotted some leaf color on a big tree framed up against the Lake View Hotel.

I parked in front of the Horse Corral and went in to see Anne at Ella & Ivy (BIG sale going on there) then crossed the street to say hello to Jill and Jeremy at the Island Bookstore . . . .

. . . where the Fall book sale has begun!  It’s 25% off everything in HARDCOVER –  EXCEPT new, bestsellers, Michigan, Mackinac, vintage, and Somewhere in Time hardcover books.

Riding on through town and past the marina, I decided to see what was happening at Mission Point Resort. Leaving my bike out in the big, open area in front of the resort, I found the gazebo still ablaze with summer colors.

My bike looked pretty lonely out there today.  With the wind blowing like it was, there weren’t a lot of folks taking advantage of the Adirondack chairs, but a lot more people were biking than I thought would be out today.

This tunnel of trees leading into Mission Point is always a lovely spot to photograph . . .

. . . and at the beginning of that tunnel is an area still blooming brightly.

I walked my bike up Fort Hill . . .

. . . stopping to shoot back down the hill at the fort entrance . . .

. . . just past the first gate . . .

. . . at the rest stop . . .

. . . and at the top of the hill, next to the Governor’s Summer Residence.

From there I turned toward the back of the fort, then cut through the state park maintenance area, coming out at the path we take through the woods to Surrey Hill.  And guess who I ran into there?  It was Ted, Bear and Maddie – out for an afternoon walk!

“Where are all the packages from your shopping trip?” Ted asked.

“Oh, I couldn’t find anything I liked – I’ll try again another day!” I laughed.

And then we all went home together.

Link to the eight-second movie filmed this afternoon at the windy shoreline:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1V6ogtTnB-U

FROM BEAR

Bear wants me to tell you that this afternoon he published his interview with Joe Joe Cocker, the CEO of the Cottage Inn.  He hopes you’ll go there now and read all about Joe Joe:  http://mackinacislanddogearedpage.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/mr-joe-joe-cocker/

Mackinac Island Winter Update – Vol. 6 1/4/2012

Happy, Happy New Year!  It seems as though I haven’t written about Mackinac Island for two months instead of two weeks, but one good thing came from not hearing from me for so long – I’ve stored up a LOT of news and photos from the island!

What better way to start this update than with a newsletter from Greg Main.  Greg penned this one on December 22, and it’s filled with all kinds of good stuff AND what sounds like a good story we might add to past ghostly happenings at the Island House Hotel!

“A glance at the calendar hanging above my laptop notes that today is the first day of winter.  A quick glance out the window offers evidence to the contrary.  Although the temperature dropped at least 10 degrees early this afternoon – from an early morning thermometer reading of 35 – it is the temperature alone which is the only indication that winter is upon us.  If I were to make a list of five things I would be engaged in as far as outdoor activity on the 20th of December, in this part of Michigan, in any year, raking and bagging leaves would not be one of them yet, there I was.

Sunday morning, we awoke to the skimpiest dusting of snow, just enough to barely cover paved areas and roofs, yet nowhere near enough to hide the grass or deter anyone from biking.  One good thing to come of this pathetic attempt from Mother Nature to pacify the snow lovers was that it provided an ideal opportunity to begin setting out our ski trail markers and track critters at the same time.  Needless to say, rabbit tracks, of varying sizes,  dominated the scene.  I would like to say I saw fox tracks also, but they seemed to be quasi-following  some human footprints, crisscrossing the road, heading slightly into the woods, emerging back onto the pavement, staying in line for several paces before bounding off to the other side of the road.  The freshness of the tracks indicated they were made at or near the same time, and since I did not take time to look for distinguishing clues, it may have been a dog.

The snow-starved natives are getting restless.  I listened to one person lament how much snowmobiles cost to buy in relation to the limited amount of time one gets to use them here on Mackinac Island during a typical season and how he thought it would be nice to be able to ride 4-wheelers during the allotted snowmobile season when there is insufficient snow.  Personally, I would hate to see that happen and also offer that the odds of that happening would be one of the best long-shot bets of all time.  Snow.  We need a lot of snow.  It‘s time for a good stomping from Heikki Lunta . . .after we’re all done traveling for the holidays, of course.

There was a bit of excitement Wednesday afternoon.  While I wasn’t present during this event, my boss was, and he explained that there was a smell of propane emanating from the Lakeview Hotel, apparently inside the building as doors were propped open and fans were in place, blowing the odor out.  Soon after the smell was detected, Main Street was closed off from the Windermere Hotel to Marc’s Double Oven, the construction project at the former McNally lot was halted and evacuated, one fire truck was positioned on Main Street, near the Lakeview, and another was on Market Street.  People were told to stay away, yet the Village Inn, mere watermelon seed-spitting distance from the Lakeview and a building which sits between said hotel and the evacuated McNally lot, was allowed to remain open.  Hmm.  Anyhow, as it was told to me, less than an hour later, whatever was causing the problem was taken care of, and all was well again on the relatively quiet thoroughfares of off-season Mackinac Island.   Our lack of snow is something we can deal with, like it or not, but if cold weather sets in for any stretch of time, and the ground remains bare, shallow water lines could be easily frozen.  Snow.  We need snow.  We need a good stomping from Heikki Lunta.

While I make my way through every room in the Island House Hotel, I’m offered varying views from high and low, views which present a slightly different perspective of the island and its surroundings.  Even though the sights are not new, the angles are, and that has helped make this winter work even more enjoyable.  Being the only one working inside the hotel, other than Ryan from h.r. working down in the laundry room (the annual, temporary winter office), it took some time getting used to the creaks, groans and oft-times unidentifiable noises I hear most every day.  The building and rooms are as cold as outdoor temps, and the hallways are dark but for the occasional exit sign, glowing eerily red. Even heating the rooms while painting only goes so far because the cold air, having invaded every breathable space,  only relinquishes so much square footage, allowing everything from waist-high and up to become comfortably warm while maintaining a firm grip on the lower regions.  It’s far from uncomfortable, just interesting to note the distinct temperature difference, especially in the tiled bathrooms.  Cold floors, indeed.

While on the subject,  I thought it wise to begin this winter work at the room farthest away and work my way down to the first floor, figuring by the time I was tired of climbing several flights of stairs, several times each day, I would be finishing on the first floor, only 10 steps up from the laundry/break room and maintenance shop.  As such, I was farthest away from any human contact most of the first few weeks on the job, and any noises I was hearing could not be contributed to Ryan, way down in the laundry room. All was fine until I began moving furniture in what’s known as “the parlor” on the fourth floor, east wing.  From the street, this room is above the dining room.

“As in nearly all the rooms, it was necessary to move most of the furniture away from the walls in order to paint baseboards and windows.  After moving a small sofa-sleeper a couple feet from the front windows and spreading a drop cloth onto the floor, I knelt down to begin painting, and my right knee immediately “came alive” with a sharp pain, reminiscent of a rap on your funny bone, only worse . . . . and not funny.  Moving the drop cloth aside, I found the source.  A blue M&M, hard as a rock.  Giving it little thought, I tossed the candy onto the bed, which was covered with old sheets for the winter (as was all the furniture in all the rooms) and resumed painting.  A short time later, it was off to lunch.  Returning to the room, it was time to  push some furniture back to their respective places in order to make space in the middle of the room for more furniture to come away from the walls.

A much larger sofa-sleeper was moved next and, much to my surprise, I see another blue M&M on the floor.  My first thought was kids tossing them at each other or some such nonsense, and a couple of them disappeared under the furniture, away from the housekeepers vacuum.  Picking this one up, my thought was to toss it onto the bed alongside the other one.  However, the other one was no longer on the bed.  Nor was it under the bed.  How odd.  Holding the ‘second’ candy in my hand, I looked everywhere in the room.  The more I looked, the more I wanted to keep looking as there was no way the M&M I tossed onto the bed, the one I saw land on the sheet covering the bed, the one which was still on the bed as I left the room for lunch, could have rolled off the bed and across the room, stopping six feet away underneath another piece of furniture.  I had no explanation.  I wasn’t imagining things.  It was on the bed, now it was gone, and I had another one in my hand.   Side note: despite the television commercial and the marketing slogan, if you hold an M&M in your hand long enough, it will melt.
This incident happened a few weeks ago, and in the following weeks there have been some more odd noises now and then for which I also have no explanation, but I choose to not dwell on such things, preferring to simply to chalk it up as another page in my book of Mackinac Island experiences.  I hope everyone has a great Christmas and I wish you all a prosperous New Year!”

If you keep up with Island happenings on Facebook or Twitter, you already know that the Island FINALLY received enough snow to talk about just before New Year’s Eve, and they’ve been getting more the last couple of days.  I know the Islanders are silly happy and having a ball on their snowmobiles – snow was a long time coming this year!  Friends who live on the Island year-round and friends who returned for the New Year’s Eve festivities have shared photos, and they are good ones!  Here we go . . .

Christmas morning sunrise after a dusting of snow. (Photo: Mission Point Resort)

A friend of ours, Brad Conkey (you might remember him from this summer – Brad, his sons and Ted went cave exploring together), arrived on the Island with his family on December 30 to celebrate New Year’s Eve Island-style.  The next six photos are his – thanks, Brad!

Islanders were enjoying a game of street hockey the day before New Year's Eve. It was cold and wet, with the beginnings of the snow that was to come in the next few days.

Sun rising over the Straits on New Year's Eve morning.

Downtown - and the horses are working. Wonder if they know the next day is the beginning of a new year.

The Grand Hotel porch - no rocking chairs, no flags, no geraniums - just a little snow.

Stone Cliffe looks frozen in time.

Round Island Light. And is that ice along the shoreline?

There was a brand new celebration event on the Island this New Year’s Eve.  Instead of dropping a huge ball like they do in Times Square, there was a “Great Turtle Drop”. The brainchild of Rich and Marge Lind, innkeepers at The Cottage Inn, the idea came from their wish to “come up with something fresh, new and fun for New Year’s on the Island”.  The giant fiberglass turtle was a loan from the Grand Hotel (it was originally part of a Mackinac Island Community Foundation fundraiser which auctioned off the decorated turtles).   Marge constructed a green felt jacket covered in green LED lights for the turtle to wear.  The turtle sat 30′ in the sit on top of a lift provided by the Chippewa Hotel.  As the seconds were counted down, the lift gently lowered the turtle to the ground.  Man, I would have loved to be there for that!

This photo of all the action was captured by the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau. Looks like a great crowd!

Here's another view from our friends Rich and Marge at the Cottage Inn.

New Year's Day, and the snow was really coming down. This pic is from the Lilac Tree Hotel Facebook page.

A friend's home up near the airport.

The community stable. (Photo: Mackinac Horses Facebook page)

Looks like big, fat, wet flakes. So pretty. (Photo: Doud's Market Facebook page)

A winter wonderland. (Photo: Brad Conkey)

In the days since January 1, more snow has fallen, and the Island is finally looking like it should this time of year!

Hoban Street at dusk. (Photo: Jennifer King)

Snow behind an Island friend's home.

Mission Point. (Photo: Mission Point Facebook page)

Main Street in front of the Chippewa Hotel (Photo: Island Bookstore Facebook page)

Harbour View Inn. (Photo: Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau)

St. Anne's Church. (Photo: Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau)

Have you ever seen anything as beautiful as Mackinac Island in the snow?  I look at these pictures over and over again and daydream about being there.  I bet you do too!

One other important news item:  In a story in The St. Ignace News by Matt Mikus, it was reported that the Mackinac Island City Council voted to “dedicate a plot of land at the Ste. Anne Cemetery for the reburial and memorial of the bones unearthed from the Bicycle Street Inn construction site this fall.”  According to the story, the bones, contained in seven truckloads of earth, may be buried at the site relatively soon because the ground remains unfrozen.  The article went on to say “the burial mound will be in the shape of a turtle, and a memorial will also be constructed.”

See you back here next Wednesday with more from our favorite Island.  God bless.