Introducing . . . YOU! Part IV 4/17/16

I’m so PROUD of y’all!  The photos have continued to come in, and the number is at 58 as of today.  I’ll be posting the remaining 13 tonight, and this will be the last post I’ll use the title, “Introducing . . . YOU!”  BUT – if you keep sending me your photos, I will continue to integrate them into the blog posts.  So I really, really, really hope you don’t stop!

This has been such a fulfilling time for me as the writer of Bree’s Blog.  Getting to know those of you who decided to share your faces and your Mackinac stories has meant the world.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Here we go . . . .

melissa and travis flegel

This beautiful family is Melissa and Travis Flegel and their precious children Charleigh and Griffin – from St. Johns MI.  Melissa worked on Mackinac her first summer of college (1998), fell in love with the island, and has visited every summer since.  Travis proposed to her there in 2009 on a cold, rainy day.  Later that night they stopped by the Pink Pony and met  – guess who? – Ted.  Later on, when Melissa found the blog, she showed Travis Ted’s pic and said, “Look! We met him!”  So funny the number of folks who have met my Ted in the Pink Pony over the years!

Mary Jane McNeill and her fabulous family, while vacationing in Alaska last August. M.J. is from Thomasville GA and found the blog following the Island Bookstore Facebook page. Yeah, Jill! She's been a reader for about four years and couldn't believe that we lived at Lake Blackshear at the time - about 100 miles north of Thomasville. MJ has visited the island I think twice since beginning to read the blog. Correct me, M.J., if I'm wrong on that.

Mary Jane McNeill and her fabulous family – while vacationing in Alaska last August. MJ is from Thomasville GA and found the blog following the Island Bookstore Facebook page. Yeah, Jill! She’s been a reader for about four years and couldn’t believe that we lived at Lake Blackshear at the time – about 100 miles north of Thomasville. I think MJ has visited the island twice since beginning to read the blog. Correct me, MJ, if I’m wrong on that.  Photo above is son Archer, husband Arch, son Noah, daughter Rachel, son Patrick and Mary Jane.

This is Diane Boszko and her late husband Jeff at the Butterfly House on Mackinac. Diane and Jeff first visited Mackinac in 2007 and bought the best souvenir ever - an island condo. They fell in love with it that much on the first visit. Diane said, "I know it might seem strange for me to send in this photo of me with Jeff, but whenever I'm on the island I still feel as though he is right there with me - and I always visit the Butterfly House." Thank you Diane for sharing such a personal and poignant story. Ted and I can certainly relate to how much magic Mackinac can work with just one visit. Hugs.

This is Diane Boszko  (Chicago IL) and her late husband Jeff – at the Butterfly House behind St. Anne’s on Mackinac. Diane and Jeff first visited Mackinac in 2007 and bought the best souvenir ever – an island condo.  They fell in love with the island that much on the first visit!  Shortly after they bought the condo she read about the blog in The Town Crier.  Diane said, “I know it might seem strange for me to send in this photo of me with Jeff, but whenever I’m on the island I still feel as though he is right there with me – and I always visit the Butterfly House.”  Thank you Diane for sharing such a personal and poignant story. Ted and I can certainly relate to how much magic Mackinac can work with just one visit. Hugs, and I hope to meet you on the island soon.

 

Meet Roger and Barbara Blem from Perrysburg OH. They've been visiting a relative's cabin on Mullet Lake for years and often travel on up to the island. Barbara is that rare individual who, as a Freshman, attended the short-lived Mackinac College. She was good friends while there (and still is) with Irene Cowley, a loyal reader who began the Mackinac College web site (Barbara was one of the first adminsitrators of the site). Irene told Barbara about the blog almost at the very beginning.

Meet Roger and Barbara Blem from Perrysburg OH. They’ve been visiting a relative’s cabin on Mullet Lake for years and often travel on up to the island. Barbara is that rare individual who, as a Freshman, attended the short-lived Mackinac College. She is good friends with Irene Cowley, another Mackinac College alum and loyal blog reader.  Irene began the Mackinac College web site, and Barbara was one of the first administrators of the site. Irene told Barbara about the blog almost at the very beginning.  Barbara says, “We visit every couple of years and love it every time we’re there.  And I cry every time I leave.”  Me too, Barbara.

Meet Missy and Jason Howard and their darling children Brady and Holly - Fort Wayne IN. This photo is from Fort Holmes in 2011. She found the blog researching for this trip and went back to read everything, "not wanting to miss anything."

Meet Missy and Jason Howard and their darling children Brady and Holly – Fort Wayne IN. This photo is from Fort Holmes in 2011. Missy  found the blog researching for this trip and went back to read all the posts, “because I didn’t want to miss anything!”

Meet Gail and Karl Richter from Wisconsin. This photo is from ten years ago when they attended a Somewhere In Time Weekend at Grand Hotel, and they come back every year for that special event. Now this is REALLY cool - Gail made her suit (she makes most of her suits and dresses for the Somewhere in Time weekends), and although she didn't make Karl's suit in this photo, she HAS made many of the suits he wears on these occasions. She occasionally has a vintage pattern to copy, but mostly just sees a photograph and designs the clothese from the photo. Now THAT is a real gift!

This is Gail and Karl Richter from Wisconsin. The photo is from ten years ago at one of the many Somewhere In Time Weekends they’ve attended at Grand Hotel.  Now this is REALLY cool – Gail made her suit (she makes most of her suits and dresses for the Somewhere in Time weekends), and although she didn’t make Karl’s suit in this photo, she HAS made many of the suits he wears on these occasions. She occasionally has a vintage pattern to copy, but mostly just happens upon an antique Edwardian era photograph and designs the clothes from the photo. Now THAT is a real gift!  Oh, Gail worked at the Lakeview Hotel as a chambermaid during her college years.

You met Kem and Ed Green a couple of posts ago, but this is Kem and her mom Arlene - Hampton Iowa. Kem told her mom about the blog when I mentioned she and Ed the first time in 2013, and she's been a reader ever since. Arlene has never visited the island, but she and Kem's daddy drove across the Mackinac Bridge on their honeymoon in 1958. Hugs, Arlene - I just love that daughter of yours!

You met Kem and Ed Green a couple of posts ago, but this is Kem and her mom Arlene – Hampton Iowa. Kem told her mom about the blog when I mentioned her and Ed the first time in 2013, and she’s been a reader ever since. Arlene has never visited the island, but she and Kem’s daddy drove across the Mackinac Bridge on their honeymoon in 1958. Hugs, Arlene – I just love that daughter of yours and her sweet husband!

Meet Jennifer Herko, her daughter Sarah, and her mom and dad. They hail from Warren OH. This photo is in front of The Island House in 2012, and that's when she became a reader. Jennifer says, "If I could, I'd trade in my vehicle for a bike and snowmobile and go live on Mackinac!" That's a dream a lot of folks have, Jennifer!

Meet Jennifer Herko, her daughter Sarah, and her mom and dad. They hail from Warren OH. This photo is in front of The Island House in 2012, and that’s when she became a reader. Jennifer says, “If I could, I’d trade in my vehicle for a bike and snowmobile and go live on Mackinac!” That’s a dream a lot of folks have, Jennifer!

This is Darcy Cole, who splits her time between Dallas TX and Cheboygan MI on Twin Lakes. Darcy's grandparents were from Cheboygan and Mackinaw City, so she grew up visiting both places frequently. I was immediately jealous when I saw where Darcy was standing in this photo - on Round Island! She was lucky enough to get a tour of the Round Island Lighthouse last summer (yes, that's Grand Hotel in the background). Darcy's been a blog reader since she retired in 2011and found it on Facebook. She and her husband's have a goal of wintering in Florida and summering in Michigan. Go for it, Darcy!

This is Darcy Cole, who splits her time between Dallas TX and Cheboygan MI on Twin Lakes. Darcy’s grandparents were from Cheboygan and Mackinaw City, so she grew up visiting both places frequently. I was immediately jealous when I saw where Darcy was standing in this photo – on Round Island! She was lucky enough to get a tour of the Round Island Lighthouse last summer. Darcy’s been a blog reader since she retired in 2011 and found it on Facebook. She and her husband have a goal of wintering in Florida and summering in Michigan.  I highly recommend it, Darcy!

This is Joan and Roland Asoklis from Shelby Township MI. Ted and I have met this great couple on the island. They are part of a group of friends who visit every year in August. She says, "I've found many island treasurer from your blog posts - like Anne's Tablet!" Oh - very important fact. Joan two cats, Abby and Benny are paw pals with Bear and Maddie!

This is Joan and Roland Asoklis from Shelby Township MI (shown here before a ride out of Cindy’s Stables on Mackinac). Ted and I have met this great couple on the island. They are part of a group of friends who visit every year in August. Joan says, “I’ve found many island treasures from your blog posts – like Anne’s Tablet!” Oh – very important fact – Joan’s two cats, Abby and Benny, are paw pals with Bear and Maddie!

These beautiful faces belong to Abby Barber, her daughter Sloane and son Berkeley - Minneapolis MN. Abby, her husband Jason, and Berkeley visited the island for the first time in June of 2014, although she had been a couple of times as a child herself. When she returned home she had that same feeling a lot of us do after our first visits and searched the Internet for anything that would keep her connected - and she found Bree's Blog! They're going back this August, and I hope we run into them during their visit!

These beautiful faces belong to Abby Barber, her daughter Sloane and son Berkeley – Minneapolis MN. Abby, her husband Jason, and Berkeley visited the island for the first time in June of 2014, and Abby had been a couple of times as a child. When she returned home she had that same feeling a lot of us do after our first visits and searched the Internet for anything that would keep her connected.  That’s when she found Bree’s Blog! They’re going back this August, and I hope we run into them during their visit!

Meet Bobbie and Tommy Gaye, sweet friends from my hometown of Sylvester GA (they've lived in Albany GA since 1992. Bobbie's been reading the blog for about five years.

Meet Bobbie and Tommy Gaye, sweet friends from my hometown of Sylvester GA (they’ve lived in Albany GA since 1992). Bobbie’s been reading the blog for about five years.

This is Sally and Scott Kiekintveld from Holland MI, and I love Scott's story. His father and grandfather participated in the Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Walk the second year after the walk was created. Scott joined them the next year, and they've continued that tradition for 56 consecutive years, and now his wife, their sons and their wives, children and grandchildren all do the walks together. Scott learned about the blog from a friend about five years ago. They usually include a visit to Mackinac either before or after the walk, Scott says, "It's so fun to watch the grandkids' faces when they step off the boat and see the horses and bikes!""

This is Sally and Scott Kiekintveld from Holland MI, and I love Scott’s story. His father and grandfather participated in the Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Walk the second year after the walk was created. Scott joined them the next year, and they’ve continued that tradition for 56 consecutive years.  Now his wife, their sons and their wives, children, and grandchildren all do the walks together. Scott learned about the blog from a friend about five years ago. They usually include a visit to Mackinac either before or after the walk, Scott says, “It’s so fun to watch the grandkids’ faces when they step off the boat and see the horses and bikes!””

And there you are – 58 blog readers and a little taste of their Mackinac stories.  Just makes me want to hear from more of you!  Keep ’em coming please to brendasumnerhorton@hotmail.com

Oh, IF you’ve sent in a photo and story, and I haven’t posted it, PLEASE let me know at my email.  Some of your emails have gone to my spam filter, but I’ve tried to check there on a regular basis.  If I’ve missed one, please let me know – or resend!

Not much has been happening since we chatted on Thursday, so I’ll just save up what I have from Mackinac and the beach for the next post.  Hoping all of you have a great upcoming week!

Hugs all around – and again THANK YOU for reading and being part of this blogging family we’ve created.

God bless.

Three Weeks To Go . . . . 9/8/15

I know this blog was supposed to be Part II of the Grand Garden Show, but I decided to break up all those flower gardens with some photos of daily life around the island this week.  We’ll get back to the garden show in the next post!

Labor Day is over, and the island has already made the subtle swing into the relaxing season of Fall.  The huge crowds left on Monday, and although there are still plenty of folks downtown, you can just feel the island beginning to breathe a little more slowly.

I even started back volunteering at the Stuart House this week. I worked all day Saturday and will be back on duty on Thursday! It felt great to be back!

I even started back volunteering at the Stuart House this week. I worked all day Saturday and will be back on duty Thursday! It felt great to be back inside this historic Mackinac building!

There are several new businesses in town, and one of my favorites is a new shop opened by Nicole Doud, who also owns Little Luxuries of Mackinac Island.

There are several new businesses in town, and one of my favorites is a new shop opened by Nicole Doud, who also owns Little Luxuries of Mackinac Island.  She’s calls it the Little Luxuries Artists Market.

The Artists Market carries items handmade in the USA (there are a lot of Michigan and Midwest artists). Nicole loves craft fairs and markets, so she is concentrating on unique handmade gift items. The market has a modern vintage feel with wood floors and vintage display pieces. Nicole loves supporting independent artists/makers, and it is a consignment shop as well. I love it!

The Artists Market carries items handmade in the USA (there are a lot of Michigan and Midwest artists). Nicole loves craft fairs and markets and loves supporting independent artists/makers.  Concentrating on unique handmade gift items, the Artists Market has a modern vintage feel with wood floors and vintage display pieces.  I love it!

Bear's new favorite spot - with his head between the porch rails and overseeing the carriage, bike, and pedestrian traffic down below.

Bear’s new favorite spot – with his head between the porch rails overseeing the carriage, bike, and pedestrian traffic down below.

Sunday was a beautiful day on Mackinac! The second annual Labor Day Weekend sailboat race was in full swing when I spotted the boats from our window and went over to take a photo.

Sunday was a beautiful day on Mackinac! The second annual Labor Day Weekend Sailboat Race was in full swing when I spotted the boats from our window and went over to take a photo.

Mission Point was beautiful in the sun . . .

Mission Point was beautiful in the sun . . .

. . . and the wind was spreading the seeds of this purple plant far and wide.

. . . and the wind was spreading the seeds of this purple-flowered plant far and wide.

The Mackinac Island version of AAA.

The Mackinac Island version of AAA.

Stormy Labor Day weather didn't stop Ted from joining approximately 40,000 other walkers for the Annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. This photo is just before he joins the crowd at the beginning point in St. Ignace.

Stormy Labor Day weather didn’t stop Ted from joining approximately 40,000 other walkers for the Annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. This photo is just before he joins the crowd at the starting point in St. Ignace.

LOL - no, he's not walking in the wrong direction - just turned around for a photo op before reaching one of the bridge towers.

LOL – no, he’s not walking in the wrong direction – just turned around for a photo op before reaching one of the bridge towers.  The bridge walk covers 5 miles and ends in Mackinaw City.  This was Ted’s sixth bridge walk.  Yes, I’ve done it . . . . once.

This morning was foggy, and I had to go off-island for an appointment and a little grocery shopping.

This morning was foggy, and I had to go off-island for an appointment and a little grocery shopping.

Coming back across the Straits this afternoon was a very rainy ride. Would you believe there were folks who opted to ride on the top deck with no cover!

Coming back across the Straits this afternoon was a very rainy ride. Would you believe there were folks who opted to ride on the uncovered top deck!?

You know it's a crowded ferry when the baggage section is packed on full of luggage and bikes that a few bikes had to be transported on the front deck!

You know it’s a crowded ferry when the baggage section is packed so full of luggage and bikes that a few bikes had to be transported on the front deck!

Coming up before we leave . . . . 1) Part II of the Garden Show and garden photos from two downtown summer cottages and the Iroquois Hotel.  2)  An update on Silver Birches.  3) A report on the marine rescue boats and equipment used by island rescue units and the U.S. Coast Guard.  4)  An update on Fort Holmes

Less than three weeks left on the island.  How can that be?

See you back here in a few days!

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.

Just Your Typical Labor Day Weekend on Mackinac Island 9/4/2012

We have a Mystery Spot winner!  She is Fran from Florida!  Please see end of this post for the answer!

It was a spectacular Labor Day weekend on Mackinac Island, and I don’t think even one more event could have been packed into those three days.  I’ll get to all that in a moment, but first I have to tell you that knowing Labor Day heralds the end of summer makes my heart a little sad.  Even though we have another two months before we leave and head south, I know – from past experience – those eight weeks will flash by in a whirlwind of last minute visitors, leaves changing colors, seasonal sales in all the shops, less crowded streets, and the slow decline in the warm temps we’ve enjoyed this year. 

But, you know, there’s only one thing to do when your time on the Island is getting shorter and shorter . . . . . . GET OUT AND ENJOY BEING HERE!  I hope I can make these next few weeks of blog posts so exciting and colorful you’ll just have to jump in your vehicle and drive up (or down) to experience fall on Mackinac for yourself.  If there’s no way you can do that this year, maybe reading these words and looking through the photos will help you imagine being here – the next best thing!

So hang on!  Summer is over, Fall is peeking around the corner, and we’re going to have tons of fun between now and the first week in November (our “go” date to hit I-75 South).

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Labor Day Weekend

Streets downtown this weekend were packed with families enjoying one more little get-away before schools started on Tuesday (every school in Michigan opens the day after Labor Day).

Jill snapped this shot downtown on Sunday afternoon. It looked like the typical summer day on Mackinac Island this year – crazy crowded!

Same street – Labor Day, after check-out time at all the hotels.

Beginning on Friday, the Grand Hotel presented its annual Labor Day Jazz Weekend.  And believe me – nobody knows how to throw a party like the Grand!

The Tea Garden became Party Central during the day on Saturday and Sunday. Each morning the grounds would look like this . . . .

. . . and by noon – with live concerts by jazz musicians and cookouts providing the food – the party would be in full swing!

And – because it’s the Grand – by Monday afternoon there was no evidence at all that there had even been a party!  I would not have wanted to be on THAT clean-up crew!

Saturday began with the annual last official formal ride of the season.  These ladies and gentlemen – in formal riding attire – met at 9 a.m. on the East Bluff to begin their ride, which took them throughout the island, downtown, and to the West Bluff.

There were 18 participants this year, and as they rode around the corner at Pontiac Trail, they made a beautiful entrance onto West Bluff Road.

Following tradition, the group stopped at one of the homes on the West Bluff, where the residents awaited them with Mint Juleps for the riders . . .

. . . and special, home-made treats for the horses.

There were black horses . . .

. . . and gray horses . . .

. . . and colors in-between . . .

. . . and I believe the horses were having almost as much fun as their riders!

Here’s to this wonderful season of horses on Mackinac!

On Saturday at noon, the most important event of the weekend happened for Ted . . . . . . the first University of Georgia football game!  I think everyone who reads this blog probably knows by now that if Ted was not able to watch his beloved “Dawgs” up here in Michigan, we would either be going home at the end of August or I would be spending two months up here by myself.

You know you are a VIP at the Pink Pony when they dedicate one TV set just for you to watch the Georgia game. Ted (I was there two minutes) was the only one watching, but he was a happy man – even more so because Georgia WON. Go Dawgs! Woof! Woof!

The crowning event of the weekend is the Labor Day Bridge Walk. Even before the sun rises, thousands of people converge in St. Ignace from the Island and from all over Michigan and other nearby states.  Two lanes of the bridge are closed to vehicle traffic, and for several hours people and cars move together for the five-mile walk across the Straits of Mackinac to Mackinaw City.  Ted and several friends made the walk again this year – that makes four times for Ted!

Starting out.  Up ahead – WAY up ahead – is the first tower of the bridge.

Such a happy group!

At this point, they were definitely going UP!

It’s a long way down when you reach the top!

Safely back on solid ground in Mackinaw City . . .

. . . with thousands following behind!

At lunch on Tuesday, Ted and I walked down to the Mackinac Island Public School for the annual First Day of School picnic.  I love this tradition, where the community comes together to support the Island children and to encourage them to continue their education.

Students, teachers, moms, dads, and Island residents crowded around tables set up outside . . . .

. . . and we found Dave Wasso, Superintendent and Athletic Director, manning the grill and serving up some mighty tasty burgers and hot dogs.  Great food, great fellowship, and what a way to start the school year!

Photographs from Readers

Pam Schuch – Wauseon, Ohio.  This photo is from Pam’s trip in October, 2007.  Pam loves walking, biking, and exploring the interior of the Island.  She says, “Downtown is nice, but people should explore the State Park, which is tranquil and beautiful.”  Pam loves everything about the Island – even the cemeteries.

Jill Sawatzki – Mackinac Island and Lansing.  Jill snapped this photo during the weekend of Christmas Bazaar in 2009.  A huge snowstorm blanketed the Island with inches and inches of snow on the first day of the Bazaar weekend.

Sarah Fredricks – Phoenix, Arizona. This photo is from Sarah’s trip last year. It’s the “0” mile marker in front of the Mackinac Island Marina.

Jane Haviland – Portage, MI. – from Jane’s Fall trip to the Island two years ago.  She biked  M-185 and loves the house that sits alone around this curve.  She says when she first saw it years ago, no one lived there.  She called it the “Egg House” because there seemed to be what looked like stacks of egg cartons on the table she could see through the big front window.  She loves that now it looks so lovingly cared for and the flowers and garden are beautiful.

Mystery Spot Contest

The object of the Mystery Spot is to be the first to identify where the object is located. When you think you have the answer, email me at brendasumnerhorton@hotmail.com. I’ll check my email several times a day, and as soon as we have a winner, I’ll post the winner’s name at the top of this blog so you can stop guessing (you may have to refresh your page for this to show up). Is there a prize for the winner?  Yes there is; but the prize is secret, and the only ones who will know what it is are the winners. To be fair, I’m asking residents of Mackinac Island to please NOT guess. This is just for readers who don’t live here . . . but would like to! And the Mystery Spot is   . . . .

Again, please email your answers to me at brendasumnerhorton@hotmail.com.  PLEASE DO NOT ANSWER IN THE “COMMENTS” SECTION OF THE BLOG.  Remember, I’ll post the winner at the top of this blog as soon as someone gives the correct answer.

Mystery Spot Answer

This one was TOO easy, and there were lots of correct answers! It’s the bell atop the Mackinac Island Public School.

Photo Patchwork 9/9/2011

We have a winner for our Mystery Spot!  She is Ashley Felstow from Brighton, MI.  Please see end of blog post for answer.

What an outstandingly busy week this has been!  It seems something was happening every day of the week, and if there wasn’t anything “planned”, the “unplanned” popped up, and thank goodness – in most cases – I had my camera with me!

Hope you enjoy today’s “patchwork” of photographs on this first lovely week of cooler weather on the rock.

The Labor Day Bridgewalk "crew". This was Ted's third time participating. I rolled over and said, "Been there, done that." It was a chilly, windy morning for Ted, Bobby, Mary, Erin, Roy, and Brian.

The first 2 1/2 miles is a steady incline toward the center of the bridge. It's really not a bad walk because the incline is so gradual. And it's downhill for the rest of the way!

A gorgeous photo from the bridge. That's Mackinac Island on the left, and Round Island and Bois Blanc on the right. Great pic, Ted!

From another perspective, Chris Ann snapped this eerie photo of the bridge shrouded in fog from her beach cottage in Mackinaw City.

This is what you call a "fixer-upper" snowmobile. It was on a dray going up into the Village this week. A little work, a little elbow grease, and she'll be running fine by winter.

School opened on the Island on Tuesday, and the annual community picnic took place at noon on the school grounds. The entire Island community is invited to come out for grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, and brats - with all the trimmings. The school kids sit on the grassy hills around the school and let the "old folks" have the tables. It's a great way for Islanders to let the students know they have everyone's support.

Spotted at picnic - an Island Bookstore bike!

Can you imagine this being your school playground? How in the world do they study??

Little Maddie - snoozing in a patch of sunshine - on top of my PJ bottoms.

I can't seem to get enough of these planters this year. These line the steps down to the Grand's shade garden off Cadotte Avenue.

A beautiful bride and her handsome groom - being photographed in Marquette Park late one afternoon this week.

I wasn't going to include this pic, but I just couldn't help myself. It's a teaser for Monday's blog post. Guess what I did today!!!!

THE MYSTERY SPOT
The object of the Mystery Spot  is to be the first to identify where the object is located. When you think you have the answer, email me at brendasumnerhorton@hotmail.com. I’ll check my email several times a day, and as soon as we have a winner, I’ll post the winner’s name at the top of this blog so you can stop guessing, AND I’ll post the full photo of the mystery spot at the bottom of the blog with the answer. Is there a prize for the winner – yes there is; but the prize is secret, and the only ones who will know what it is are the winners. To be fair, I’m asking residents of Mackinac Island to please NOT guess. This is just for readers who don’t live here . . . but would like to! And the Mystery Spot is . .

Where is it?

Don’t forget to email your answer to me at brendasumnerhorton@hotmail.com.  Please do not answer in the comment section.

MYSTERY SPOT ANSWER

The Mystery Spot this week is the old red phone booth that stands across the street from the Grand Hotel.