Spring . . . Summer . . . Fall? 8/19/2012

Hmmm.  There’s a little nip in the air.  It  warms up nicely by two or three o’clock (“nicely” being low 70’s, not mid-80’s), but then the thermometer mercury begins sliding back down the tube.  Friday and Saturday were very windy, and although I don’t think Fall is quite ready to declare “I’ve  arrived!”, it’s certainly lurking out there somewhere – throwing us a few more sunny, warm days to pamper us, before beginning to turn green leaves into gold and warm breezes into chilly winds.

To be frank, I’m ready for Labor Day.  As big as our crowds on the Island have been all summer, it seems for the last two weeks they’ve been even bigger!  Because of the crowds, I haven’t been downtown as much this summer; but at the same time, I’ve been thanking the good Lord for all the business for the shops, hotels, and restaurants.  The economic numbers have begun to come in, and Mackinac Island is coming back strong.

When I drew the shades up Saturday morning, I knew I just couldn’t stay home.  The sun was shining, the air was cool, it was breezy, and the sky and water were matching shades of blue.  Perfect!  Jill and I had been trying to get together for weeks, and Saturday we finally both were free at the same time!

Jill met me at the condo, and we took the long way downtown, walking down Fort Street. The weeping willow tree shows just how windy it was!

We ate outside at J.L. Beanery, moving to the dock, and sitting at tables in the sun. From there we could see the marina, the lighthouses, and the Straits. I called Ted at the Visitors Center and asked him to walk out on the back deck. From there he could turn in our direction and see us waving at him.  I think he was a little jealous he was working, and we were playing.

When we left the Beanery, we noticed a wedding party across the street at the Island House . . .

. . . . where a very handsome Marine and his beautiful bride were posing for wedding photographs.  Just before this pose, he had swept her up in his arms, and she had taken off his hat and put it on her head – as in the final scene in “An Officer and a Gentleman”.  SO romantic . . . and I didn’t have my camera ready!

I needed a baby gift for my Georgia friend Dawn’s about-to-be-born grandson, so I shopped in Little Luxuries, while Jill ran in the bookstore to put her “left-over” sandwich in the frig.  She was working the late shift on Saturday, so that would become her dinner.  Then we crossed the street to visit Anne at Ella & Ivy’s.  Both places were crowded with customers, and little Ella (Anne’s Maltese) was getting plenty of pampering by everyone who walked in.  We said “Hello!” to Loretta in Martha’s Sweet Shop, but she was so busy she couldn’t break away even for a second.  We all decided after Labor Day we had to have a Girl’s Lunch to celebrate a great season!

Jill had books to return to the library. I never tire of walking in that beautiful building. On Saturday, the back doors were open, and we could look straight through to the lighthouse.  We enjoyed looking at the beautiful art of the Mackinac Seven, a group of local artists who display their work in the library each August.

I browsed through the Used Book section (Hardbacks-$2, Softbacks-$1) and through the DVD and VHS rentals. I thought of all the old movies I had stacked up at home and made plans in my head to ship them to the Island library when we return to Georgia. As you can tell, the wind was kicking up a little more by now, and the waves and whitecaps were becoming more numerous.

Outside the library, I met Jane from Kalamazoo, MI, a fan of Bree’s Blog, with her precious daughter (hope I remembered that name correctly).  Good grief, look at my hair!  Well, I said it was a windy day!

The boardwalk, on the west end of Main Street, was lined with visitors – all enjoying their day on the Island.

Even the sidewalk on Cadotte was crowded . . .

. . . and many visitors stopped to watch a few innings of the vintage baseball game, played every Saturday in the open space below the Grand Hotel.

Saturday night Ted and I headed back downtown for date night.  We had drinks at the Pony, then walked down the street to Mary’s Bistro for dinner (their signature dish is the spit-fired chicken with mashed potatoes). I get it every time we go there – yummy!

We tend to favor restaurants on the water, and Mary’s fills that bill. We usually eat outside on the deck at lunch, but at night inside is more cozy.

Saturday was a great day – spending time with a good friend, visiting other good friends, and capping it off with a sweet date with Ted.  Blessed – so blessed.

Random Pics from the Weekend

Blog reader Yvonne Pitsch and her husband Tony (from Iowa) were on the Island this week, and we made plans to meet up on Friday morning as I walked with Bear down to the ferry (grooming day in Cheboygan).

Bear loved meeting ANOTHER Bear – their German Shepard/Collie mix. What a sweet dog! Tony and Yvonne were staying at the dog-friendly Harbor View Suites downtown. So good to see you again, Yvonne, and to meet Tony and Bear!

Bear on the ferry Friday morning. With the wind like it was, it was going to be a bumpy ride both ways, so we headed to the lower deck. There were a few brave folks who opted to “try it out” up top, but by five minutes into the ride, they were downstairs – not because of the ride, but because of the spray off the water.

The Tale of the Skirt

This morning I decided I would try something new – riding my bike to church, wearing a skirt.  Ted had gone down ahead of me, so I finished dressing, took Maddie and Bear out one more time (in case we decided to eat lunch downtown), locked up and got on my bike.  I was very conscious of trying to ride “ladylike” and also keep the skirt (mid-calf length and full) from getting into gears and bike chain and sprockets.  I was doing a darn good job too . . . until I reached the Grand.  Suddenly, instead of the whir of bike wheels, I heard the “click, click, click” of something wrong.  I was going VERY slowly and had time to stop the bike before it stopped on its own.  I was right next to a stopped carriage, and the driver looked over and said, “Uh, oh!”  My skirt was totally wrapped in the back gears.  Because it was long and full, I was able to get off the bike.  There was nothing to do but rip the material out of the gear (the wheel would no longer turn), leaving about an inch of the skirt in the gear.  I couldn’t see the damage, but I asked the driver his opinion.  “Ah, you can’t even tell it’s torn,” he said.  “Just be thankful you didn’t fall.”  Well, I was, but I also had a feeling the damage was a little greater than what he was letting on.

I ripped the rest of my skirt out of the gears and walked the bike around the corner to Margaret’s Garden Shop at the Grand.  Parking the bike, I walked inside, explained my problem, and asked if they had some sharp scissors.  “Just do the best you can,” I said.  They cut out the ragged edge, straightening the line as best they could, and swearing that because the skirt had an underskirt, it looked right in fashion.  I thanked them and walked the bike the rest of the way to church.

They missed a couple of ragged tears . . .

. . . but like they said, with the underskirt, it doesn’t look really, really bad. Maybe I’ll just cut the other side the same way!

Lesson learned:  Don’t try the skirt thing on a bike again.

Favorite Photos from the Weekend

Sunrise this weekend from Mackinaw City. (Photo: Patrick Conlon, Shepler’s Ferry Line)

One of the most gorgeous dawn photos I’ve ever seen.  Wow and double Wow.  (Photo:  Abby Holstrom)

Another busy week ahead – working on Monday, friends possibly coming on Tuesday, lunch with Frankie on Wednesday, Ted in golf tournament for Medical Center on Thursday, with accompanying dinner at the Woods for wives that evening, and off-island for appointments on Friday.

Have I mentioned it’s been a busy summer?!

See you on Wednesday with the full report.  Have a great week!

One day away . . . from gone 10/16/2010

I should have never, never, never, never said I would post a blog for Saturday morning.

After a day of cleaning, Ted and I were ready to get out of the condo late this afternoon and go do something a little more exciting than vacuum cobwebs out of corners.  Therefore, this little post is going to be somewhat (actually, a lot) shorter than I planned.  Thank goodness I already had some photos picked out and ready to go.

Jill snapped this pic of the "four of us" a few days ago in front of the Jockey Club. Notice that, as usual, Maddie has her mind on everything BUT having her picture made.

The J.L. Beanery window - ready for the ghosts and goblins!

The Mission end of Main Street - quiet on this late afternoon a few days ago.

Across the Jewel Golfcourse late this afternoon, as Ted and I walked downtown. It would be so much easier to leave if the weather was not so perfect.


One of the Grand Hotel ivy topiary horses (don't know if this is Peat or Moss - seriously, that is their names) - taken very early this morning by Mary. The horses and carriage were being loaded on a ferry for a trip downstate, to winter in a large greenhouse.

Thanks, Jill, for this cute pic of happy pumpkins in front of a home in the Mission District.


Ted, Maddie, and Bear coming down Cadotte to meet me one day this week.

The steeples of St. Annes - against a beautiful sky.

Ted on the way to the post office this morning with the three boxes I had to ship home - even after all that organized packing.

I snapped this late this afternoon as we walked into the Chippewa Hotel for dinner. It might be one of my top three favorites photos for the whole season.

See you back here on Sunday morning for my final glimpse of Mackinac Magic for the season.

Personal Note:  Thanks to all of you who lifted Blake up last week during his third Skype interview with the church in Nashville, TN.  Today he was invited to come to Nashville next week, Oct. 20, for a person-to-person interview with the pastor and staff director.  He is so excited, but trying not to get his hopes too high.  Please continue to remember him in your prayers as he goes through this next step.  God bless.

Jack Frost and Friend Jill 10/2/09

IMG_8027There was frost on the pumpkin this morning.  Well, actually there wasn’t a pumpkin near our condo to judge by, but the lawn in front of us was covered with white crystals.  It was exactly 32 degrees when we got up, with promises of highs only in the 50’s.  It is a gorgeous day on the island.  Blue skies, plenty of sunshine, no clouds, no wind.  A perfect fall day.

I’ve gotten so used to the hush of the island that I don’t even think about it usually – until something interrupts it.  Wednesday and today there have been workers  replacing doors in two of the condos in our building.  I wasn’t here yesterday for the noise, but this morning the banging and drilling started early.  It was quite an intrusion into our quiet little universe, and I’ll be glad when the hammering stops, and the only sounds again are clip-clips and the calls of seagulls, crows, and geese.

All the noise started me thinking about the adjustment back to life in the “real world” that is coming soon.  Even yesterday, driving in the little town of Cheboygan, I found myself having to think about driving rules that I’ve used since I was 15.  But I know the instincts will all return quickly, just as the skill of riding a bike returned, even after almost 40 years between bike rides. 

Jill called about 2:30 this afternoon and wanted me to come downtown to play.  Thursday is her day off from the bookstore, and she had taken care of all her errands.  I had finished everything I had planned to do today at the condo, so I said “Sure, I’m on the way!” 

I packed up all the photographs I’ve been passing out, in case I saw anyone on the streets, put on two layers, threw the earmuffs in my bag, and biked down the hill. 

Jill and I met at the Little Stone Church.  We rode on into town and stopped at Wolfgang’s Gallery to give Helen a picture Jill had taken of her and Millie.  Millie is a Portuguese Water Dog who has a restaurant named after her on the island – Millie’s on Main.  The photograph shows them in the Island Bookstore – with Millie getting a treat, of course.


Then we rode by Weber’s Florist to deliver a picture to Patti.  The door was closed, with the “On a Delivery” sign taped to the front.  I was going to slip the envelope under the door, but I looked through the window into the shop and saw Patti preparing to go out the backdoor.  I caught her before she could get on her bike and delivered the photo.  It shows Patti waving to friends as she stands beside a full stand of lilac plants.  I took it this spring soon after we arrived.  Patti said today that she had sold three stands of those lilac bushes over the summer.



We went to see Ted in the Visitor’s Center and found him practicing his expertise at the cup and ball game.  He told us they were testing the aerators in the harbor, so we walked out to the marina to check it out.  In the photo below, you will see air bubbles coming up next to several posts. In the winter, when the Straits of Mackinac are freezing over, the aerators run continuously to keep ice from forming around the dock pilings.  The ice would be so heavy that the marina could literally be destroyed if it was allowed to push against the pilings.  Wow!  Talk about stuff we don’t have to worry about in south Georgia!




Jill and I decided a coffee was in order – we were cold!  J.L. Beanery was a short walk down the marina, and Brett was 10 minutes away from closing.  The view out of the Beanery windows is pretty special, even when the harbor is almost empty of boats.




As we headed back to the Visitor’s Center to pick up our bikes, we happened to glance up to the  top of the Bay View Bed & Breakfast.  There stood a minister, a bride, a groom, and several attendants.  You just never know where you will spot a wedding on Mackinac Island!


We were going to the library when I saw Ben coming down the street with two of the Grand hackneys pulling a carriage.  He and a Grand stable worker take the hackneys out each afternoon to exercise them.  I hailed him down in the street to give him some photos I’ve taken of him and the Grand horses over the summer.


The island library is something I’ve wanted to show you all summer, and until this afternoon I’ve just never taken the time to do it.  The library was dedicated in 1992 and sits right on the Lake Huron shore.  It stays open year-round, and there is a wood-burning fireplace inside.  To me, the walls look they were painted the exact color of Lake Huron, which you can see out the window.  Today, there were several people sitting around the fireplace reading books and newspapers, while others worked on computers or searched the racks for a special book.  There are used books for sale, and you can rent movies. 




As if all that isn’t enough to make you want to come check out a book, there is even a backporch right on the beach, with rocking chairs.  And if the rocking chairs are all in use, just make yourself comfortable down at the shoreline.




Friday night about 10 of “us girls” are going out to dinner and then to see Julie, Julia, which has finally arrived at Mission Point Resort.  Then Saturday night is date night. 

The next new post will be Monday morning.

NOTE:  Please remember me in your prayers this weekend.  I lost my mom two years ago on Oct. 3.  She died from a stroke she suffered a week earlier, and went to be with our Lord on her 86th birthday.  I miss her and think about her every day.  My sadness is made easier because I know she and my daddy are together now in Heaven.  All the years of missing him are behind her, and now they both know only joy.  Knowing that, and knowing that one day I will see them both again will make Saturday easier.  For those of you who will lift me up this weekend, I thank you.