News from North to South 3/5/17

Hi Friends!

The big news from Mackinac is one of my favorite four-letter words . . . . . . SNOW!

Over 8″ of the white stuff fell this week, and residents are happily off their bikes again and zipping everywhere on their snowmobiles!

This awesome photo from Mel Bunk (taken from St. Ignace shows a snow squall sitting directly over Mackinac Island.

This awesome photo from Mel Bunk (taken from St. Ignace) shows a snow squall sitting directly over Mackinac Island.


Anything sitting for any length of time was soon wearing a thick layer of snow - like these snowmobiles parked along Main Street. (Photo: Doud's Market)

Anything that sat stationary for any length of time was soon wearing a thick layer of snow – like these snowmobiles parked along Main Street. (Photo: Doud’s Market)


Eugenia Murray was downtown duringall that snow and took this beautiful photo of Market Street as the snow fell.

Eugenia Murray was downtown and took this beautiful photo of Market Street as the snow fell.


When Patrick Conlon left work at Grand Hotel, he headed up into the island interior to capture this great shot . . .

When Patrick Conlon left work at Grand Hotel, he headed up into the island interior to capture this great shot . . .


.. . . and Stefanie Congdon shot this one as she was leaving Stonecliffe.

.. . . and Stefanie Congdon shot this one as she was leaving Stonecliffe.


Hmmmm - sweet 9-year-old Kaylee (Tracy and Gabe;s daughter) sold 39 8 cases (that's 464 boxes) of Girl Scout cookies this year. Thank goodness the snow fell, and they can deliver all these by snowmobile!

Sweet 9-year-old Kaylee (Tracy and Gabe’s daughter) sold 38

cases (that’s 464 boxes) of Girl Scout cookies this year. Thank goodness the snow fell, and they can deliver all these by snowmobile!
A rare capture. A sun pillar

A rare capture by Robert McGreevy during sunrise on March 4 – a sun pillar.  Amazing!

So glad the islanders got a big snowfall, even if it did come late in the winter months.  I don’t think there’s any way now there’s enough time for an ice bridge to form, so this will mark the first time in I don’t know how many years the island has had ferry service the entire winter.  I may be wrong on that, but it seems as though last year there were maybe two weeks when the ferry couldn’t get through.  Someone let me know if I got that wrong.

Here’s a date to put on your calendar as you’re thinking about future trips to Mackinac – the 2017 Lilac Festival is June 9-18,and here’s a link that will give you all the details: https://www.mackinacisland.org/mackinac-island-lilac-festival/

One last Mackinac note: Many of you have written me about what’s happening on the Mackinac Island News and Views Facebook page.  If you go there, you will see a notice that the page has been archived.  I haven’t been able to find out what’s going on, but I just can’t imagine the page will no longer be maintained.  It’s a fountain of information about what goes on day to day on the island (not to mention the incredibly beautiful photographs that are posted), and there are literally thousands of followers who LOVE that page – including yours truly.  Hope it’s back up soon!

FROM SUNSET INLET

We were so excited Kel (one of Ted's newly-found cousins) and his wife Gwen stopped overnight with us last week. They were headed down to Cocoa Beach from Michigan for two weeks of Florida fun! We first met them when we spent a day showing them around Mackinac last summer. Hoping to see them on the island again this summer!

We were so excited Kel (one of Ted’s newly-found cousins) and his wife Gwen stopped overnight with us last week. They were headed down to Cocoa Beach from Michigan for two weeks of Florida fun. We first met them when we spent a day showing them around Mackinac last summer. Hoping to see them on the island again this summer!


Our view of the sun setting from the top deck was pretty impressive that evening!

Our view of the sun setting from the top deck was pretty impressive that evening!


Thought this was a cute pic of the three of us - four if you count the turtle!

Thought this was a cute pic of the three of us – four if you count the turtle!

That’s it for now.  See you on Tuesday with a “throwback”!

God bless.

 

Throw Back Tuesday – The Many Shades of Lilac 2/28/17

Personal Note:  Ahhh -Mackinac Lilacs!  Once you’ve been on the island for the Lilac Festival, you’ll always want to come back for the next one!______________________________________________________________________

First Published:  May 31, 2012

Until we moved to Mackinac Island for our summers five years ago, I never gave much thought to lilacs.  Before we bought on the Island, we’d come up for two weeks in July, thereby missing the lilacs blooming and the Lilac Festival by several weeks.  It was actually our second summer on the Island – when we arrived in May for the first time – that brought them to my attention, and ever since then the topic of “when will the lilacs bloom” has become almost as important as “when will the fall colors arrive”.

Being from the south, I didn’t know a lot about lilacs.  The closest thing we have to a lilac in Georgia is the crape myrtle – they’re even called “the lilac of the South”.  Our crape myrtles (we have two in the yard at the lake in Georgia) are white-blooming, but they come in pink and several shades of purple also – just like lilacs.  What crape myrtles do not have is that unbelievable perfume lilacs produce, and that perfume is hovering over Mackinac Island right now – a scent so sweet and heavy you could almost float on it .  The lilacs are in full bloom – not good for the Lilac Festival which doesn’t begin until June 8; but hey – no one has any control over when they bloom but the good Lord.  And who’s going to fuss about His timing?

Tonight I just want to share a few photos I’ve taken this week of the lilacs I see on a daily basis.  Most of these are in the downtown area, so you know there are hundreds more lilacs around the Island that aren’t even represented here.  It’s been fun for me this week to try and capture them in relation to something else – a home, a building, other trees, water, even a wedding carriage.

I sure wish I could attach a scratch-and-sniff add-on right here so you could inhale the perfume as you look at the photos.

Grey-white Percherons and the burgundy Grand Hotel omnibus, with lilacs blooming in the background. Does anything say “Mackinac Island” any better than this?


From the corner of Cadotte and Market, up to that first curve on the way to the Grand, the lilacs are putting on a major show!  These are some of the Island’s oldest lilacs.


The last and worst snow and ice storm of the winter took many of the over-a-hundred-year-old lilac bushes in Marquette Park. The ones that remain seem to be trying their best to make up in quality what they lost in quantity.  Maquette Park is a fantasy-land of lilacs.


I never tire of admiring all the different shades of purple these trees produce. From dark . . .


. . . to light . . .


. . . and everything in between.


Lavender Adirondack chairs enjoy the shade of a lilac bush so large I’d call it a tree – in the yard of what else . . . the Lilac House Bed & Breakfast!


A private tour buggy turns onto Market from Fort Street. The lilac bushes here are in front of the Market Street Inn and next to Weber’s Florist.


This wall of lilac bushes all but hides the Mackinac Island Public School, across Cadotte from Little Stone Church.


Lilacs form a canopy over the preparation of a wedding carriage.


Beautiful Trinity Church on Fort Street, perfectly framed by white lilacs on one side and lavender on the other.


Steven Blair couldn’t ask for a better setting for his Artistic Mackinac Gallery and Studio. Can’t imagine a shade of purple that’s not represented here.


The lovely McGreevy Cottage on Market Street.

I’m hoping some the lilacs you’ve seen here will last another week for the start of the Lilac Festival, and there are other later-blooming varieties that will fill in over the next couple of weeks.  But have no fear, Mackinac Island’s Lilac Festival is ten days of wonderful entertainment with everything from the arts, to good food, to the best parade in all of Michigan.  Come on up- I promise you will have a great time!

Mackinac – Beautiful Mackinac! 6/5/16

WE HAVE A WINNER FOR THE CONTEST AT THE END OF THIS BLOG.  THE WINNER IS KATHY STRUKEL!  Answers to the three questions are: 1) 1902; 2) Lawrence Andrew Young; 3) 1944.

I guess you’ve been wondering if I was EVER going to get back to Mackinac on this blog, and I’m happy to report today is the day!  With reports coming in from friends on the island, and photographs being shared every day, I’m hoping today’s post will fill the needs of all of you who are “Mackinac deprived”.  Writing it – and looking at all the photos – has sure helped me as I sit here in Florida – with temps in the 90’s and humidity that has my hair curling into Shirley Temple mode!

Doesn't Bobby Lee capture great angles and perspectives on his photographs? I love this double dose of the Mackinac Bridge - the real thing and its reflection in the ferry windows.

Doesn’t Bobby Lee capture great angles and perspectives on his photographs? I love this double dose of the Mackinac Bridge – the real thing and its reflection in the ferry windows.  Wishing I was on that boat!

And speaking of the bridge . . . Atlanta friend Mike Forrester got the rare chance to climb to the top of said bridge yesterday. Oh, what a view! Later on he and Jill sent me a photo of them together at the Pink Pony. Both of the photographs were meant to drive me crazy and make me very jealous - and they succeeded in that goal!

And speaking of the bridge . . . Atlanta friend Mike Forrester got a rare chance to climb to the top of said bridge yesterday. Oh, what a view! Later on he and Jill sent me a photo of them together at the Pink Pony. Both that photograph and this one were meant to drive me crazy and make me very jealous.  Mission accomplished!

Weather has been very random the last couple of weeks. Even in the fog though, the island is beautiful, and the activities that define the island - like drays and taxis - never change.

Weather has been very random the last couple of weeks – cool days, warm days, sunny days, rainy days, and foggy days. Even in the fog though, the island is beautiful, and the activities that define the island – like drays and taxis – never change. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

Tulips, beautiful Grand Hotel tulips! (Photo: Patrick Conlon). Now you see them . . . .

Tulips, beautiful Grand Hotel tulips! (Photo: Patrick Conlon). Now you see them . . . .

. . . and now you don't. In one day and night, the tulips are gone, and the annuals are planted. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

. . . and now you don’t. In one day and night, the tulips are gone, and the annuals are planted. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

All those plants have to come from somewhere! They arrive by ferry, are transferred to drays, and then they make their way to the businesses or homes of Mackinac. (Photo: Jill Sawatzki

All those plants have to come from somewhere! They arrive by ferry, are transferred to drays, and then they make their way to the businesses and homes of Mackinac. That’s master gardener Jack Barnwell (Barnwell Landscape and Garden Services) driving the forklift.  (Photo: Jill Sawatzki)

One of my favorite island flowers - ladyslippers - are blooming in their favorite spots around the island. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

One of my favorite island flowers – ladyslippers – are blooming in their favorite spots around the island. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

And whether you see them from afar or from up close, once you've experienced Mackinac during lilac season, you will always want to return at the same time the next year - and the next. (Photo: Tom Chambers)

Another favorite – crabapple blooms in high focus with a blurred out Round Island Light in the distance.  (Photo:  Tom Chambers)

And yes. It is lilac season on Mackinac. The Lilac Festival is in full swing, and the lilacs have cooperated by showing up right on cue! (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

And yes. It is lilac season on Mackinac. The Lilac Festival is in full swing, and the lilacs have cooperated by showing up right on cue! (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

—And whether you see them through the fog (Photo: Clark Bloswick) . . .

—And whether you see them through the fog (Photo: Clark Bloswick) . . .

And whether you see them from afar or from up close, once you've experienced Mackinac during lilac season, you will always want to return at the same time the next year - and the next. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

. . . or from up close, once you’ve experienced Mackinac during lilac season, you will always want to return at the same time the next year – and the next. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

Would love to be in these woods and walking this trail! Patience, patience. (Photo: Jill Sawatzki)

Would love to be in these woods and walking this trail! Patience, patience, patience. (Photo: Jill Sawatzki)

A busy summer day on Main Street! (Photo: Jill Sawatzki)

A busy summer day on Main Street! (Photo: Jill Sawatzki)

A recent full moon appears to be lighting Lady Liberty's torch. (Photo: Josh Carley)

A recent full moon appears to be lighting Lady Liberty’s torch in the marina. (Photo: Josh Carley)

A great one to close this section! Can you find the upside down girl? (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

A great one to close this section! Can you find the upside down girl? Great capture, Clark Bloswick!

SOMETHING NEW AND COLORFUL AT THE ISLAND BOOKSTORE

I recently received two complimentary copies of a new coloring book that is already selling like hotcakes at the Island Bookstore.  Now, don’t think CHILDREN’s coloring book – think ADULT coloring book!!  It’s called “IlluMInations – The Mackinac Island Coloring Book for Grown-Ups”.

This is the third in a series of coloring books for people of any age, and Mackinac Island's many architectural, thematic and natural treasures lend themselves wonderfully to the current craze of adult coloring books.

This is the third in a series of coloring books for people of any age, and Mackinac Island’s many architectural, thematic and natural treasures lend themselves wonderfully to the current craze of adult coloring books.  The book was conceived by Kristen M. Hains and Matt McCormick and published by Denali & Co.

CollaboratorMatt McCormick spent summers in college working on the island - first as a dock porter/bellman and reservationist for The Island House Hotel and later as a Front Office Manager at the Lake View Hotel. He then spent two full seasons (in 1986 and 1987) working as a photographer with Rob Jerstrom at Resort Photography. It was during these two years that McCormick amassed quite a collection of images of the island, many of which inspired the artists who created the coloring pages.

Collaborator Matt McCormick spent summers in college working on the island – first as a dock porter/bellman and reservationist for The Island House Hotel and later as a Front Office Manager at the Lake View Hotel. He then spent two full seasons (in 1986 and 1987) working as a photographer with Rob Jerstrom at Resort Photography. It was during those two years that McCormick amassed a collection of images of the island, many of which inspired the artists who created the coloring pages.

I’ve already ordered my coloring pencils and can’t wait to get started!  What could be more creative and relaxing than spending a few hours bringing my favorite island to life – changing a black & white drawing into a kaleidoscope of magical colors!

Now – what about if I offer one of my complimentary copies to YOU!  Let’s have a contest to see who gets it.  Hmmmmm . . . how about this?  Be the first person to answer correctly – in the COMMENT SECTION of the blog – the following three questions (all three have to be correct):  1) In what year was the Michigan Governor’s Summer Residence built on Mackinac?  2) For whom was the residence originally built?  and 3) In what year was the residence purchased by the Mackinac Island State Park?

Whoever answers all three questions correctly first will receive a copy of this great coloring book!

As soon as I have a winner, I’ll enter that info at the top of the blog (like I used to do with contests on the blog) – so folks can stop sending in answers.  You might want to check the top of the blog before you write in your answers to see if someone has already won.  I will also post the winner in the Comments Section.  I don’t expect it will take long to get a winner!

If you don’t win one, you can find copies at The Island Bookstore when you visit the island!

Ready, set, go!

God bless.

Mackinac June Visit – Monday Afternoon/Tuesday 6/18/15

 

Being on Mackinac for a few days refueled my engines in so many ways.  First, it got me away from the oven that Florida has become in the last week or two.  Although the thermometer just topped 90 today for the first time this summer, the humidity makes it feel infinitely hotter.  Bear and Maddie can’t even take their normal walks out to the intracoastal dock anymore because the wood on the walk-over is too hot for their paws.  They just put on their brakes and refuse to move.  So – I was more than delighted to dig out a sweater and jacket for the island highs – only in the 60’s!

Second, it was wonderful to see so many island friends!  On Mackinac you can hardly turn a corner without seeing someone you know, so we spent a lot of time catching up on a year’s worth of news.

And third – for me – it was a homecoming.  No matter where else we go, I believe Mackinac is always going to be my ultimate destination on this earth. The island recharges my spirit in some unfathomable way that defies explanation.  I feel energized when I’m there – able to climb hills, walk miles and miles, leap small buildings in a single bound – well, that might be a slight exaggeration, but you get my drift.

After meeting with Stefanie on Monday morning and getting a tour of beautiful Stonecliffe, I grabbed the shuttle to town, planning to meet up with Ted, who had already borrowed a Stonecliffe bike and was out exploring.  I don’t think I’ve mentioned that I’ve been having some back issues for a couple of weeks, so biking was out of the question for me on this trip.

Since this was the noon shuttle, a stop at the barns for a team change was on the schedule.

Since this was the noon shuttle, a stop at the barns for a team change was on the schedule.

Cadotte Avenue over a horse's back!

Cadotte Avenue over a horse’s back!

My first stop was the Island Bookstore.  Jill was out on an errand, but Tamara and Emma were there - all smiles!

My first stop was The Island Bookstore. Jill was out on an errand, but Tamara and Emma were there – all smiles!  Coming into that store is like opening a door to a favorite room in your home . . . familiar, comfortable, cozy – and filled with folks you can’t help but love.

I found Ted, who had left his bike up at the Fort Mackinac offices (on the back side of the fort).  The plan was to walk up and get his bike, and he'd walk/bike with me back to Stonecliffe.  There was music playing we were walking through Marquette Park (it was Lilac Festival Week, and there were all kinds of activities going on)

I found Ted, who had left his bike up at the Fort Mackinac offices (on the back side of the fort). The plan was to walk up and get his bike, and he’d walk/bike with me back to Stonecliffe. There was music playing in Marquette Park (it was Lilac Festival Week, and there were all kinds of activities going on).  This lady was videoing her husband dancing in front of the lilacs.  The man had some serious moves . . . so cute!

5

A broader view of Marquette Park and all the lilac trees.

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One good thing about living in a two-story house is that you get a good dose of aerobic activity each day, and that comes in handy on Mackinac!  I usually have to stop several times going up the ramp in front of the fort, but this time it was a relatively easy climb – and the higher you go, the better the view!

One view from the ramparts of Fort Mackinac,

One view from the ramparts of Fort Mackinac, looking across Marquette Park out to the Straits . . .

. . . and another looking straight up Main Street.

. . . and another looking straight down Main Street.

We walked through the fort and over to the State Park offices, where we picked up Ted's bike.  Our trip back to Stonecliffe was over ground on familiar we could have both navigated it blindfolded.

We walked through the fort and over to the State Park office, where we picked up Ted’s bike. Our trip back to Stonecliffe was over ground so familiar we could have both navigated it blindfolded.

One leg took us past the Surrey Ridge Carriage Museum.

One leg took us past the Surrey Ridge Carriage Museum.

. . . . where nothing had changed.  Carriages filled with excited visitors pull up and empty. The visitors spend time looking at the vintage carriages, checking out the shops (lots of sweatshirt sales that day), and grabbing a snack.  Then they board a larger carriage out back for a narrated ride to most of the island's main tourist attactions.

. . . . where carriages filled with excited visitors pull up and empty. The visitors spend time looking at the vintage carriages, checking out the shops (lots of sweatshirt sales that day), and grabbing a snack. Then they board a larger carriage out back for a narrated ride to most of the island’s main tourist attractions.

The woods we passed through were lush with vegetation.  Although the trillium was mostly gone . . .

The woods we passed through were lush with vegetation. Although the trillium was mostly gone . . .

. . . the Lady Slippers were still blooming in several areas.

. . . the Lady Slippers were still blooming in several areas.

And then, of course, there were the lilacs!

And then, of course, there were the lilacs!

We spent Tuesday morning hiking around the Stonecliffe area and enjoying the cool weather.  I wrote another blog that morning, and early in the afternoon Ted left for town.  The annual Community Foundation celebration was that evening in Turtle Park, and Ted had volunteered to help cook (something he did for several years when we had our condo).  Around 4 p.m. I set out on foot for Turtle Park, hoping I'd get to see friend Denise at Surrey Ridge

We spent Tuesday morning hiking around the Stonecliffe area and enjoying the cool weather. I wrote another blog that morning, and early in the afternoon Ted left for town. The annual Community Foundation celebration was that evening in Turtle Park, and Ted had volunteered to help cook (something he did for several years when we had our condo). Around 4 p.m. I set out on foot for Turtle Park, hoping I’d get to see friend Denise at Surrey Ridge.  Sure enough she was there, and we had a great visit!

The Community Foundation celebration is always a great event, and we got to visit with so many of our friends from the "Village" - where our condo was located.

The Community Foundation celebration is always a great event, and we got to visit with many of our friends from the “Village” – where our condo was located.

Ted rode the dray back to town with the cooking crew, and I set off walking back to Stonecliffe, walking down trails that we'd use practically every day.  I'd stop occasionally and just take in the sounds of the birds and the wind rustling through the trees.

Ted rode the dray back to town with the cooking crew, and I set off hiking back to Stonecliffe, walking down trails that we’d use practically every day in our summers there. I’d stop occasionally and just take in the sounds of the birds and the wind rustling through the trees.  I love the Mackinac woods more than any other part of the island. It’s in those woods I find the peace that makes the island so special to me.

I came out once again at Surrey Ridge and paused long enough to snap a photo of the Grand Hotel stable . . .

I came out once again at Surrey Ridge and paused long enough to snap a photo of the Grand Hotel stable . . .

 . . . and the horse corral nearby - larger now than it was when we lived there in the summers.

. . . and the horse corral nearby – larger now than it was a couple of years ago.

And . . . for the first time since we sold  . . . I was able to look up the hill and photograph our condo without shedding tears.  Well, maybe just one or two.

And . . . for the first time since we sold . . . I was able to look up the hill and photograph our condo without shedding tears.   Ok, ok . . . maybe just one or two.

Our last full day on the island was Wednesday, and that story is coming soon.  But first, tune in Sunday for one more post about Stonecliffe – its hidden nooks and crannies and what goes on behind the scenes to ensure your stay is perfect!

God bless.

Back on Mackinac 6/5/2014

My face is so sore from grinning all day – every day – since we arrived on Sunday afternoon, I will probably have to have face therapy when we get back to Georgia.  At first it was a little rainy, then a little windy, then a little chilly – but we couldn’t care less.  We have been on a permanent Mackinac high, and it could snow for all we care – wouldn’t faze us a bit!

All the clouds and showers and wind disappeared this morning, and it was one of those sunny, crystal clear Michigan early summer days.  There’s been very little indoor time – all we’ve wanted to do is get outside and enjoy every minute.

There’s so much to talk about!  I’ve been very busy with my free lance work with Original Murdick’s Fudge, and for those of you who’ve been checking their web site each day for blog postings, just please be patient.  I’ve submitted one already, and it should go up soon.  I’ve also submitted quite a few photographs for them to use on their Facebook page.  Those will begin posting soon also, so please go to their Facebook site and “like” it, so you’ll be notified of activity there.

Ok . . . what have we been up to – besides work?  So glad you asked!

We’ve spent an unbelievable amount of time just talking to friends!  You know Mackinac.  A walk to the Island Bookstore turns into a three-hourSAM_1242 meet and greet trip.  It’s so much fun seeing everyone again after being away all winter.  Ted and I have felt so much love this week we are totally blown away.

We arrived on the Island in time for Ted to help out again at the Community Foundation Celebration in Turtle Park last night.  Bob Benser and the crew from the Chippewa Hotel are in charge of the food each year, and Ted has joined the crew for two years now.  They packed up a dray in front of the hotel yesterday afternoon, stopped at the Grand for more equipment and supplies, then rode to the park to set everything up and start grilling.

Coolers full of food, a grill, and other necessities - waiting for a driver!

Coolers full of food, a grill, and other necessities – waiting for a driver before heading to Turtle Park.

 

Over a hundred folks gathered for hamburgers and all the fixins'!  The kids enjoyed pony rides and games, and one lucky child won a new bicycle!

Over a hundred folks gathered for hamburgers and all the fixins’! The kids enjoyed pony rides and games, and one lucky child won a new bicycle!

 

Bob Benser

Bob Benser makes sure the food table is stocked and chats with a community member, as Rich Lind looks on.

Since Ted rode up early on the dray, I was in charge of the afternoon dog walk and feeding.  With the celebration scheduled to start at 5:00, I knew I’d have to leave downtown by at least 4:30 to get to the park.  As usual things didn’t go as planned, and I walked out the door at 4:50.  I started off, dialing the taxi stand as I walked.

Once again, Dean answered the phone.

“Dean, it’s Brenda Horton.”

“Yep?”

“You have any taxis headed up toward Turtle Park?”

“Nope, don’t have a thing.”

Big – very big – dramatic sigh from me.

“Where are you, Brenda?” Dean asked, and I could just see him shaking his head, wondering why I don’t plan just a little ahead for things like this.

“In front of St. Anne’s.”

“Sit down on the steps at St. Anne’s, and I’ll get something to you.”

Yeahhhh!  Two minutes later I’m on a taxi headed up toward the top of the island.  I arrived in plenty of time to eat and enjoy all the festivities . . . and talk, talk, talk!

I walked home alone, leaving Ted helping with clean-up.  I confess . . .  I could not walk by the condo.  I took a path through the woods that brought me out at Surrey Ridge, where I turned down the hill without ever looking up toward our old place.  Just couldn’t do it.

The woods are full of Trillium!

The woods are full of Trillium!

 

The Grand Hotel and Carriage Tour Stable and Carriage Museum looks beautiful against all the springtime green!

The Grand Hotel and Carriage Tour Stable and Carriage Museum looks beautiful against all the springtime green!

 

The corral was full of horses, but I liked the way this one looked standing alone under a beautiful white-blooming tree.

The corral was full of horses, but I liked the way this one looked – standing alone under a beautiful white-blooming tree.

 

How many times have I walked this road . . . . too many to count.

How many times have I walked this road . . . . too many to count.

 

Around the next curve.

Around the next curve.

 

Looking through the trees, across the Grand Hotel Golf Course to the Straits.

Looking through the trees, across the Grand Hotel Golf Course to the Straits.

 

The back porch of the Governor's Summer Residence (no one was home).

The back porch of the Governor’s Summer Residence (no one was home).

 

A crow stands guard atop the gate at the top of Fort Street.

A crow stands guard atop the gate at the top of Fort Street.

 

I will never, never, never tire of this view.

I will never, never, never tire of this view . . .

 

. . . or this one!

. . . or this one!

 

The ticket booth at the lower level of Fort Mackinac - at the bottom of Fort Hill.

The ticket booth at the lower level of Fort Mackinac – at the bottom of Fort Hill.

 

Market Street at twilight.

Market Street at twilight.

 

At the bottom of Fort Hill I ran into a group of Village friends.  So good to see them!

At the bottom of Fort Hill I ran into a group of Village friends. So good to see them!

 

Our castle for the week - in the heart of the Mission District.  We love it!

Our castle for the week – in the heart of the Mission District. We love it!

 I could keep going, but it’s midnight, and my eyelids are closing between each word.  More to come as the week goes on, and I’m sure I’ll still be writing about this week after we get home.  We are so blessed to have this opportunity to be here right now, and I love being able to share it with all of you.

God bless.

Oh. Oh. Oh!  Guess what happened today????!!!!!

The first lilacs of the season bloomed . . .

The first lilacs of the season bloomed . . .

. . . at the Mackinac Island Marina!

. . . at the Mackinac Island Marina!  Just in time for the Lilac Festival which begin June 6!

 

 

Weekend News and Fun 6/9/2013

Oh my gosh, what a wonderful weekend we’ve had here on Mackinac.  SO MUCH to tell you about I don’t even know where to start . . . so, let’s start with Friday, which just happened to be . . .

MY BIRTHDAY!

Sixty-five.  How can that be?  I remember when I’d meet someone who was 65 and think, “Golly, that is really, really OLD!”  And now here I am . . .  really, really OLD!  But I don’t feel 65 – well except when I first get up in the morning and haven’t had my coffee.  And when I’ve walked up Cadotte more than once a day.  And when I’ve climbed the stairs from Marquette Park to Anne’s Tablet.  And when . . . well, you know what I mean.

My sweet Ted took me to dinner Friday evening at The Island House, which overlooks the Mackinac Island Marina.

My sweet Ted took me to dinner Friday evening at The Island House, which overlooks the Mackinac Island Marina.

We haven't eaten there in several years.  I don't know why except it's a little further to walk.  Our dinner was excellent, and the view of the Straits and the freighters passing between the lighthouses just don't get much better than this!

We haven’t eaten there in several years. I don’t know why. except it’s a little further to walk. Our dinner was excellent, and the view of the Straits and the freighters passing between the lighthouses just can’t get much better than this!

MEETING ANNA

A few weeks ago I received an email from Anna Marlis Burgard.  Anna is the author and principal photographer for the forthcoming book, “Island of America: A River, Lake and Sea Odyssey”.  She is finalizing publisher negotiations, and National Geographic Traveler will feature the book when it releases.  Anna has worked for quite a while in the illustrated book business as an editor, creative director and author, but she says the “Islands” book is certainly her biggest adventure.  She is planning to include Mackinac in the book, and while “noodling” around online she found Bree’s Blog and wanted to meet me and get my thoughts about the island.  “Would I be available,” she asked.  “Why, yes I would!” I replied.

I later learned she had been in contact with our Tourism Bureau Director Mary McGuire, and had three days of photography scheduled during her visit.

On Saturday Anna and I met at the Chippewa for lunch and had a happy time discussing what is – of course – the very best island – Mackinac! I learned that Anna has been researching this book for 1 1/2 years and will probably spend at least another year traveling before it’s ready for the printer.  It will be published in 2015.  I had a blast listening to her stories of all the islands she is visiting around the country, and I hope I was able to give her some local color about our “rock”.  I invited her to Little Stone Church for Sunday services, and there she was this morning! 

So enjoyed meeting you Anna.  I’m looking forward to the publication of your book, and we’re so excited you’re including Mackinac!

SUNDAY MORNING

This weekend – weatherwise and otherwise – has been awesome!  We’re finally beginning to get warmer temps, and walking to church this morning was a real treat.  Instead of layers upon layers, I ambled down the hill without a single “cold weather” wrap.  The sun felt great!

Walking back home, I stopped to snap a few photos.  Flowers are popping up everywhere now, and it constantly amazes me how flowerpots empty just yesterday can be filled with overflowing blossoms - overnight!

Walking back home after services, I stopped to snap a few photos. Flowers are popping up everywhere now, and it constantly amazes me how flowerpots, empty just yesterday, can be filled with overflowing blossoms – overnight!  I think we must have some flower genies on Mackinac!

The Grand golf

Everything is green, green, green . . .

. . . and the Grand Jewel Golf Course is manicured to perfection.

. . . and the Grand Jewel Golf Course is manicured to perfection.

SUNDAY WALK

After lunch and a long afternoon nap, Ted and I headed out with the pups for a walk in the woods.  They were so excited when we got out the leashes they were practically bouncing off the walls!

The Lilacs in the Village are joining those all over the Island in trying to outdo each other for color and variety.

The Lilacs in the Village are joining those all over the Island in trying to outdo each other in color and variety.  One block from our condo, we turned left onto Fourth and walked the short block to the gravel road where Fourth ends and Whitefield Road begins.

. . .

At that point, we are in the Mackinac Island State Park.

Just a few yards on the gravel, and we turned down Trail

Just a few yards on the gravel, and we turned down Fire Break Trail.

I'd walked Maddie and Bear down this trail a few days ago, and I wanted to show Ted the rock formation that had frightened Bear.

I’d walked Maddie and Bear down this trail a few days ago, and I wanted to show Ted something that had frightened Bear. This trail is really thick with vegetation this year.  All the snow this winter failed trees and branches, and although it’s hard to see in this photo, the dirt path is completely covered here by brush – but not so bad we couldn’t push our way through.

I love these woods walks.  It's out here that you find the real Mackinac - in the trees, in the wildflowers, in the wind and birds and small animals scurrying away at our footsteps.

I love these woods walks. It’s out here that you find the real Mackinac – in the trees, in the wildflowers, in the wind and birds and small animals scurrying away at our footsteps.

When I was out here a few days ago, Bear ran ahead of me and up over that hill.  A few seconds later, he began barking - something he normally doesn't do unless Maddie does it first.  I hurried ahead and found him backed off several feet and frantically warning me that there was a dangerous creature ahead . . . .

When I was here a few days ago, Bear ran ahead of me and up over that hill. A few seconds later, he began barking – something he normally doesn’t do unless Maddie does it first. I hurried ahead and found him backed off several feet and frantically warning me that there was a dangerous creature ahead . . . .

, , , this rock cairn someone had recently formed!  For Bear, who knows every rock and branch and tree out here, this was different and therefore worth

, , , this cairn rock sculpture someone had recently formed! For Bear, who knows every rock and branch and tree out here, this was different . . .

gggggg

. . . and therefore. it was worth it to sound an alarm.

Maddie, jumping over a couple of small trees that had fallen across the path.

Maddie, jumping over a couple of small trees that had fallen across the path.

Out of the State Park and back into the Village.

Out of the State Park and back into the Village.  Lilacs . . .

14

15

. . . and Bleeding Hearts.

. . . and Bleeding Hearts against a neighbor’s fence.

Cadotte Avenue runs all the way through the Village and into the State Park - where it dead ends into Annex Road.

Cadotte Avenue runs all the way through the Village and into the State Park – where it dead ends into Annex Road.  I love the Village!

vvv

Two “drive it yourself” buggies – grown children in the first one, grandparents and grandchildren in the second – followed by a taxi.  Where else but on Mackinac!

OTHER GOODIES!

My friend Frankie and sweet Hershey are on the Island for a few days.  They stopped in to see Jill at the Island Bookstore.

My friend Frankie and sweet Hershey are on the Island for a few days. They stopped in to see Jill at the Island Bookstore.  Sorry, Hershey, no treats in my pocket.

After a party downtown Saturday night, Ted and I waited at the cab stand for a taxi home. God painted quite a beautiful tapestry across the sky that evening.

After a party downtown Saturday night, Ted and I waited at the cab stand for a taxi home. God painted quite a beautiful tapestry across the sky that evening.

A wedding photographer was doing some special shots out on our lawn late this afternoon.  I rushed inside to get the big lens, but only caught them as they rode away.

A wedding photographer was doing some special shots out on our lawn late this afternoon. I rushed inside to get the big lens, but only caught them as they rode away.

The Lilac bush at the corner of our back yard.

The Lilac bush at the corner of our back yard.

My sweet boy.

My sweet boy.

I  begin volunteering tomorrow at the Stuart House and will be there every Monday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. for the rest of the season.  If you’re on the Island on a Monday, I’d sure love it if you’d stopped by and said hi!

Happy, Happy Birthday this weekend to our special brother-in-law, Charlie/Frog McMichael, and a Happy, Happy Birthday also to Mr. Pat Pulte, owner of the Murray Hotel and the Inn on Mackinac!  Pat is one of the Mackinac 7 – a group of talented artists who live and work on the Island.  Pat, I have my eye on that painting of the Stuart House on Market Street!

The Lilac Festival is in full swing this week, culminating in the Lilac Festival Parade next Sunday afternoon.  Stay tuned for all the fun!

Beauty is God’s Handwriting 6.6.2012

We have a Mystery Spot Contest winner!  Congratulations to Pat Steele!  Please see the very end of this post for the answer to this week’s Mystery Spot.

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Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwritingRalph Waldo Emerson

I’ve had several readers be concerned whether the lilacs will still be blooming for the 10-day Lilac Festival, which begins June 8.  Let me say this about that.  The lilacs are still here.  Downtown, some have already faded, some are beginning to fade, and a few are still in full bloom.  Away from downtown – up along Cadotte Avenue and further up into the Island, – there are still many, many bushes that are blooming beautifully.  Come, you won’t be disappointed.

Having said that, now let me say this.  If not a single lilac blossom was left on this Island, you would still be so entranced by the beauty that is springing to life on every other flower, plant, and tree you would probably not miss the lilacs one bit.  I have never seen Mackinac turn so beautiful so quickly as it has this year.  Maybe it was the warm winter, maybe it’s the warm spring.  Whatever it is, Mackinac is blooming, and beauty is everywhere!

And that’s the truth.

This week every light post in town was adorned with a gorgeous hanging basket. These purple petunia baskets are all now hanging on the balconies at the Lilac Tree Suites and Spa.

Geraniums along the side fence at Little Stone Church.

This old bench is almost hidden in the yard of a home on French Lane. It is surrounded by flowers.

There is a beautiful home on the corner of French Lane and Market Street.  Behind this home (on French Lane) is a garden which I photograph each year.  This photo and the next few are from that garden this afternoon.  Here, blooms are about to burst open.

Every year I say, “Ok, this is it. It can’t get any better than this.” Every year I am wrong.

Whether the flowers are kissed by the sun or rest in the shade, each one is perfectly placed and tended.

You see that white Adirondack chair? I’d like to sit right there for an entire day and just watch people walk by.

Honeysuckle in the Village near our condo.

Lilacs on Cadotte Avenue.

Lady Slippers on the side of the road, just past the Grand Hotel.

Readers Favorite Mackinac Island Photos

I love this feature, and I knew when we started it this would be a popular addition.  I’m getting photos every day now.  Some frame special memories of Island visits, some tell a funny story, and some are jaw-droppingly beautiful!  I could have posted 10-12 pics, but I’m trying to limit it to four each week.  If you’ve received an email from me after submitting your photo, you know I will be using yours sometime this summer.  And yes, keep them coming in to brendasumnerhorton@hotmail.com.

From Beth Brandt. This was taken around 10:30 a.m. last fall. Beth first visited the Island when she was 12. She worked at Martha’s Sweet Shop 1998-2000 and is an “Island lover” for life. She and her husband were here last fall to celebrate their 10th anniversary.

I love this photo from Jerry Fields of Chesterfield, Indiana. He says this policeman was “taking names” and writing tickets just past Mission Point. Jerry and his wife said the policeman was very nice and posed for them to get the perfect photo.

Bob Caylor – Hemlock, MI.  Bob loves Mackinac Island so much he has published two books about it – so far.  They are: “Behind the Scenes: Mackinac Bridge Maintenance” and “Behind the Scenes: Mackinac Island Ferry Boats”.  Both are available on Amazon.com, from Barnes and Noble, and of course, from the Island Bookstore!

Patti Root – Litchfield, MI. Patti was born and raised in New York City, but love brought her to Michigan. They travel to Mackinac Island twice a year, and she captured the boardwalk here last fall.

Meeting A Blog Reader

On Monday I began my volunteer work at the Stuart House Museum for another season.  One of my blog readers, Yvonne Pitsch from Sigourney, Iowa stopped by, and we had a wonderful time chatting about the Island, our homes, and our pooches!  Yvonne was staying at the Cottage Inn with innkeepers Marge and Rich and having a wonderful time.  She and her husband will be back  in September!

Thanks so much for stopping by, Yvonne!

Casting Light

All day Monday, and then again today I’ve found myself thinking about something I read this weekend.  It was in another person’s blog, and I would never have found it except that the person who writes that blog happened to stop by to read Bree’s words on Mackinac Island.  The software I use is such that if someone who has a blog reads my blog, I get a message with their blog address.  It’s pretty cool!

The name of the blog is “Cast Light”, and I’m already hooked after reading only a few posts.  The author is giving us all a daily reminder to give our best to others.  She says, “Every day we choose to either “cast shadows” (gossip, complaints, cynicism) or to “cast light” (enthusiasm, encouragement, generosity).  Life is made up of moments and choices.  In all that you think, do and say, look for light and cast it back out.”

Oh my goodness!  Wouldn’t this world be a better place if we all chose to cast light instead of shadows in our day-to-day dealings with family, friends, fellow workers, and anyone we happen to come in contact with!

If you’d like to read more, you can click here, and I’ve added the blog to my blogroll on the right: cast-light.com

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   . . . .

Where is it?

 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.
Personal Note:  There won’t be a post on Friday this week because I’m going to be out celebrating my birthday on Thursday evening with my hubby.  Look for me back on Saturday morning instead!  See you then.
P.S.  Don’t forget to check out The Dog-Eared Page.  Bear just posted something new there today!  The link is in the blogroll on the right side of this page!
Mystery Spot Answer

That fabulous stone chimney is located at the pavilion at Great Turtle Park. On the other side of the chimney is a huge open fireplace and grill. It’s a great spot to have a picnic, and the kids will love the nearby playground.