Happy Dance! 5/13/2013

Happy dance, happy dance . . . . we are unpacked!  I’ve even washed the first load of clothes!


It’s kinda weird how it takes us a few days to get our minds and hands reset to a new place, even one in which we spend half our lives.  We find ourselves reaching into the drawer by the stove for utensils because that’s where we keep them in Georgia.  Here, the ones we use the most are in a canister on the counter.  It takes a while to get back into the swing of recycling – paper products in the trash container on the left side under the sink, “garbage” on the right side, cans rinsed and put in yet another container.  In Georgia we don’t have a garbage disposal; here we do.  But by next week, we’ll have it all straightened out in our brains . . . . until we return to Georgia and do it all over again :).

We awoke to blue skies and sunshine.  I do so love our view!

We awoke this morning to blue skies and sunshine, and it sure looked good!  Our lilac bushes are not budding yet, and the Lilac Festival starts June 7.  Right now it’s a race against time.

After the last piece of luggage was put away, I bundled up and headed downtown for the first time.  It was SO GOOD to be outside walking down “the hill” again – even if it was cold!

First trip down Cadotte!

First trip down Cadotte!  The trees down the hill haven’t started adding leaves yet, so Lake Huron was clearly visible.

Wow! No tulips at the Grand this year. I'm not really surprised because the tulips for the last couple of years have just not done well. This year they've been replaced with daffodils, and they look happy and healthy.

Surprise! No tulips at the Grand!  This year they’ve been replaced with white and yellow daffodils, and they look happy and healthy.  Very pretty!

My good friend Frankie arrived on the Island this afternoon for a few days.  Her position as housemother was abolished at the end of last season, and she is trying to find another job and housing for her and Hershey.

My good friend Frankie and her sidekick Hershey arrived on the windy Island this afternoon. Her position as housemother was abolished at the end of last season, and she’s trying to find another job and housing for her and Hershey.  Sure hope she can find something! (Thanks, Jillski, for the photo!)

We ran into Chloe and Bella on Main Street.  They are the mascots for Mackinac Wheels and were enjoying a free ride home with their mom.

We ran into Chloe and Bella on Main Street. They’re the mascots for Mackinac Wheels and were enjoying a free ride home with their mom.  Chloe looks a lot like Hershey, doesn’t she!

I walked with Frankie and Hershey down to the Mission District where she is staying and visited with her awhile, then came back through town and up Cadotte home. Oh my gosh it felt good to be moving again! 

Tomorrow and Wednesday I’ll be in Mackinaw City volunteering for Shepler’s as a greeter.  It’s time for the Winsome Women conference at the Grand, and there will be a thousand ladies arriving for Tuesday’s session.  On Wednesday, that thousand will leave, and another thousand will arrive.  It’s going to be crazy busy!  The only sad part is that Chris Ann won’t be there alongside me.  We had so much fun volunteering for this conference over the years.  I know she’ll be smiling down on us though! 

Personal note:  Please keep Lowell and Faye Greene in your prayers this week.  They have a trip planned to the Island June 2-4, and they are so, so excited.  Lowell has been feeling a little under the weather for the last few days, and we need to send up prayers that he will feel stronger and be able to make the trip.  (Lowell, I hope you don’t mind that I shared that prayer need.)

Mackinac Island Winter Update – Vol. 15

Hello Mackinac Fans!

Can you believe all that snow from last week is almost gone?  It’s true – warmer temperatures and rain took care of most of it, but I received so many more snow photos after last week’s post, I’ve just got to pass them along to you tonight.  I don’t think I would ever tire of seeing Mackinac Island dressed for winter, and I’m guessing you wouldn’t either.

Before we get to snow pics, here’s a few news items:

  • Wawashkamo Golf Course has a brand new and exciting web site.  Designed and constructed by Nate Jorgensen of Curiosity Creative, you can check it out here:  http://www.wawashkamo.com
  • Becki Barnwell is opening a new gallery in the space that housed “Paintings by Richard Wolfgang” on Market Street.  It will be called “Mackinac’s Little Gallery” and will feature equine art.  The gallery will be open mid-May through October.  Can’t wait to check it out!

A sample of the equine art that will be featured at Mackinac's Little Gallery.

  • A very important reminder:  Those qualifying for Resident Passes on ferry tickets must purchase the passes prior to March 31Summer residents are urged to make arrangements to purchase those tickets before that date, even if your arrival time to the island will be later.
  • Shepler Ferry representatives will be selling Resident Passes at Cawthone’s Village Inn on March 16 and March 30 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.  Photos for the passes will be made at that time, and payment is due upon ordering.  If you are not going to be on the island before the deadline, of if you can’t make it to the V.I. on the dates listed, Shepler’s is asking that you call their office at 1-800-828-6157 to purchase your pass by phone.  In order to purchase a Resident Pass, you must meet the qualifications below:  1)  Be a registered voter on Mackinac Island; OR 2) Pay property taxes to Mackinac Island for a residence or a business; OR 3)  Have a Mackinac Island address on your driver’s license.  Cost for Shepler’s Resident Pass is $100 per adult, FREE for children 12 and under.  Passes will be valid from April 23 – October 31, 2012.
  • Our favorite bike shop, Mackinac Wheels, is open for business already!

Mackinac Wheels' web site is http://www.mackinacwheels.com. This photo is from this past summer.

  • Jeannette Doud reported in her Mackinac Island column in The St. Ignace News that she took a tour of the new barn being built by Mackinac Island Carriage Tours and Grand Hotel.  She said it was beautiful, with dark green siding and red windows.   Jeannette stated “it will be a wonderful place for the horses and a carriage museum.  It is a great addition to the community.”
  • The Mackinac Island Horseman’s Association was well represented this past weekend in Lansing at the Michigan Horse Council’s International Stallion Expo and Trade Show:

Island friend Jill worked the Mackinac Horsemen's Association booth, along with many other island friends. She snapped this shot of Steve Rilenge- in red coat - and Leanne Brodeur - in riding habit (both are MHA Board members, and Leanne is MHA Executive Director), who worked the booth also. On either side of Steve are Jamie & Tina, blog fans who stopped by to say hello. On the far right is Alison Cram, one of the Horse Show judges.


Abby Holstrom, who is a year-round Island resident, shared these photos, and they are amazing!

A grand old tree, laden with snow, leans out over the street that runs parallel to the Boardwalk.

Some special effects here add to the dazzle of ice, water, and the Round Island Lighthouse.

If this shot doesn't make you shiver, you must be sitting by a fire somewhere! Gorgeous!

Sunrise at Windermere Point, with the "closed for the winter" Dog House Restaurant in the foreground.

Windermere Hotel.

Sonnet Quinn a.k.a. Mackinac Mommy posted these beautiful photos of several Mission Point Resort locations:

The Lakeside Market.

The Little Golfer statue across from Bistro on the Green.

Mission Point Resort's main entrance.

This skier didn't have to worry about running over anyone as he came down the hill at the entrance to Mission Point. Those are the Violet Residence of Mackinac Island condos behind the skier.

Tranquility Point at the east end of Mission Point Resort.

The tree-lined road in front of the resort. In several of these photos, the orange snow fencing is seen.

The sheer cliff of Robinson's Folly (at the top right) is the only space not covered in snow in this pic - except for the child in the foreground.


Robert McGreevy captured another coyote on the run over the ice.

A Shepler's representative got this shot of the line of "student and teacher transportation" at the Island school. No yellow school buses here!

After looking at all this cold and snow, we start to think that Spring can’t be very far behind.  Here’s a couple of shots that may start you thinking happy springtime thoughts . . .

This is a photo from a couple of summers ago. It shows Finnigan, Mike & Jeanine Forrester's dog, looking out over Fort Street from near Anne's Tablet.

A peaceful photograph taken off the beach near the Cannonball Restaurant. (Photo by: Hailey Armstrong)

One more item.  Today Ted and I rode down to my hometown of Sylvester and talked to the Barnard Trail Chapter of DAR about the history and magic of Mackinac Island (Ted covered the history, and I covered the magic).  We had a great time sharing information about our second home, and I think the entire crowd is planning a bus trip north in the near future – just kidding, but I wish they would!

The best part of being invited to speak was getting to see so many folks I had not seen in years - including Dr. Gordon Davis, who had brought his wife Marian to the meeting (we're cousins). I also saw several ladies who I went to high school with, including . . .

. . . Mary King Gammage Givens, who reads the Mackinac blog and invited us to come present the program.

Ted and I on the steps of the Chapter house. So good to be in my hometown - thanks for inviting us!

Whew!  That was a long post!  Hope you enjoyed it and come back next Wednesday for more on Mackinac Island.  Have a great week and weekend (Ted and I will be celebrating our 23rd anniversary on St. Patrick’s Day). 

God bless.

The 2011 Mackinac Island Lilac Festival Parade 6/23/2011

Mark Twain said, “So far as I can see, a parade has value in two ways–as a show and as a symbol – its minor function being to delight the eye, its major one to compel thought, exalt the spirit, stir the heart, and inflame the imagination.”

The 62nd annual Lilac Parade filled every one of those conditions on Sunday afternoon, and Ted and I thought it was maybe the best one we’d witnessed yet.  The weather was certainly perfect, and as we rushed down Fort Hill, we could hear the emcee – WKLT’s Terri Kay -warming up the crowd.  We arrived about two minutes before the parade began, and I chose to stand on the wall in front of the bike racks at the Visitors Center.  That way I could lean on the railings for balance.  Everyone in front of me cooperated and remained seated on the curb, so I had a perfect view!

There’s really not a lot of narration I can add to the following photos, besides tell you what or who they are – and sometimes I’m afraid I didn’t get a name as it was announced.  But I’ll do my best.  I also know that I missed an entry or two for one reason or another – someone stopping to say hello or my batteries dying and having to be changed.  I apologize to those I missed.

Trumpet sound . . . . . . . .  here they come!

The crowd stands at attention as Jeri-Lynn Bailey beautifully sings the Star Spangled Banner.


Perfect, perfect, perfect day! Even the seagulls agreed!


Leading the parade - as always - is our favorite Native American, Donald "Duck" Andress, direct descendent of Chief Mackinac and our across-the-street neighbor. Duck won the "Best Equestrian" Award.


The United States Coast Guard


Representatives of American Legion Chapman-St. Onge-Dankowski Post 299, chartered in 2003 and named for three island residents who lost their lives serving their country - Joe Chapman (WWII), John St. Onge (Korea), and James Dankowski (Vietnam).


The Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps from Sault Ste. Marie - Ontario, Canada


The male members of our wonderful Fort Mackinac interpreters - they reenact battles, court martials, close order drills . . . and play instruments!


The lady members of the Fort Mackinac interpreters. These young women, always in period costume and in character at the fort, can knit, tell beautiful stories, play instruments, bake and cook over a wood stove, use a spinning wheel, wash clothes on a scrubbing board . . . . and, as here, play a mean game of Graces.


The beautiful Lilac Queen and her court, traveling in the "Best Carriage" Award winner.


The theme for the parade was Board Games. This first float was the Pine Cottage and Chateau Lorraine entry, constructed in memory of the life and legacy of firefighter Bobby Roach, an island resident lost to the ice in February of this year. His favorite childhood game was Chutes and Ladders. This float won the "Humanitarian" Award.


Troop 327 - Governor's Honor Guard - Girl Scouts of Metro Detriot. These young ladies added a little extra "spirit" to their march!


A view of the crowd, the lilacs, Marquette Park, and the fort.


Grand Traverse Pipe & Drums from Traverse City, MI. and winners of the "Best Marching Band" Award. I love bagpipe music!


Photography by Blair parade entry. Steve is a wonderful wedding and freelance photographer and has a studio on the island.


The Royal Canadian Legion - Sault Ste. Marie, Canada. I so wish you could hear the music - it was wonderful throughout the entire parade. I've loved band music since high school!


The Rescue Greyhounds of Eastern Michigan.


A wonderful band - I missed the name - so sorry.


A group of young gymnists entertained the crowd. This little girl was the smallest in the group, and she was really a star!


The Glen Erin Pipe Band - Lansing, MI. won "Best Musical Group" Award.


Back to the parade theme - Mission Point Resort portrayed it with a game of Scrabble.


The Pink Pony Float - a game of Candyland! The ponies pulling this float won the "Best Horse Hitch" Award. The ponies are from Brugger's Other Farm.


Horn's Bar and the Yankee Rebel Tavern played Jeopardy and won the "Best Float" Award.


Beautiful ladies on beautiful horses - I missed the name of the group.


This float featured children wearing the newly designed Mackinac Island helmets, just introduced on the island as part of the "Brains are Swell, Wear your Shell" campaign. Everyone who rides a bike on the island is urged to wear a bike helmet.


The beautiful OrrKids Bike Rental entry - a Victorian couple on a tandem bike - very romantic.


OK - absolutely the funniest entry in the parade (not just my opinion - they won "Most Humorous" Entry) - the Northern Michigan Beach Queens. These ladies have a blast "strutting their stuff".


You go girl!


Leader Dogs for the Blind


'Nuf said.


Mary Michelle riding the Little Luxuries of Mackinac Island entry (it won "Best Bicycle" Entry).






Representatives of Therapy Dogs International out of Rochester, MI.


Shepler employees played Battleship on their float, which won the "Best Parade Theme" Award.


A wagon full of Chess pieces and children made up the Seabiscuit Cafe float.


Leanne Brodeur and Maryanke Alexander, representing the Mackinac Horsesmen's Association.


"Best Walking" Entry - Ste. Anne's Church


The Wings of Mackinac "Barrel of Monkey Butterflies" entry - winner of "Most Creative" Award.


Cindy's Riding Stable - winners of the "Best Equestrian Group" Award.


The Miss Bellaire Realty entry - carriage driven by island friend Molly Green.


The 7th Heaven Beauty Salon & Spa ladies and gent played Clue and won the "Stella King" Award. Stella King was one of the founders of the Lilac Festival parade.


The Arnold Ferry float, representing the vintage board game - "Don't Miss the Boat".


Here come the Clydesdales!


Representing Lake View Hotel, these beauties are from Resting Spirit Stables in Ontario.


Trick riders from Mackinac Wheels won the "Stunt Junkies" Award.


Always the last entry - the fantastic Scottville Clown Band. They were the "Grand Award" winners!


These guys sure know how to have fun!

Like I said, I sure wish I could have had some band music playing in the background on this one – it would have added a lot, as would the sound of the crowd chatting, children squealing and laughing, dogs barking, the jingle of the horses’ harnesses, and the squawk of the gulls.  Maybe you can go back and scroll through the photos one more time and imagine all that added in!
Hope you enjoyed the parade . . I certainly enjoyed being there and being able to share it with you!  See you tomorrow!


Hurry Back! 8/8/09

I HATE it when friends go home.  Dawn and Stevie left Friday morning, the backs of their heads showing in the window of the taxi going down the hill.  I have to admit to crying.  We had so much fun with them here.  They loved the island – everything about it – the cool weather, the horses, the walks through the woods, the restaurants, the carriage rides, the views, even the horse poop smell.  How blessed Ted and I are to live here in the summer so friends and family can come up and unwind –  and soak up the magic of Mackinac. 

I’ve mentioned in another blog about Ted and I opening our “adventure” suitcase when folks arrive, and trying to empty it before they leave.  We never do.  We have so many more memories to make in that suitcase, and we hope Stevie and Dawn return to us next summer so we can open it again.  Dawn and I talked about how the first trip is always so busy – we’re trying to show them EVERYTHING – and it just can’t be done.  Second trips will be more relaxed – one adventure per day – not five or six!  Then the rest of the time can be spent truly relaxing – which is really what you are supposed to do on this island. 

But they weren’t complaining about the action – in fact, they welcomed it.  They were seeing a place they had never been, and Mackinac in all its summer glory was ready to be seen! 

Our Thursday plan was a bike trip around the island, a visit to The Grand Hotel, a shopping trip for Dawn and I, a Pink Pony visit for the “boys”, and dinner in town.  Quite a busy plan for one day, but we managed to get it all in.

When we got down to The Grand, I discovered I had forgotten mycamera.  Ted, bless his heart, biked back to the condo and got it for me while Stevie, Dawn and I started our tour of the hotel.  When he got back, he was having trouble with his bike and decided to ride on to town and take it by Mackinac Wheels to get it checked out.  Dawn, Stevie and I went up to the Cupola at The Grand, where I took Dawn’s picture and we watched someone para-sailing far below in the Straits.





We peeked into The Grand’s dining room, where several scenes from Somewhere in Time were filmed, and Dawn and Stevie relaxed for a few minutes on the longest hotel porch in the world.




Ted called while we were on the porch and said his bike was ready (a very minor adjustment was needed).  We started out on our 8.2 mile ride around the island, stopping along the way to skip stones, pick raspberries on the side of the road (delicious!), and test some really cold water!  It was another beautiful Michigan summer day – and can you believe the color of this water and how clear it is!








We stopped at British Landing and at the Somewhere in Time spot where the “Is it you?” scene was filmed.  If you haven’t seen Somewhere in Time, rush out right now and rent it (or buy it, like I did).  It is in my top five most romantic movies of all time.  And make sure you have a few hankies on hand before you watch it!


We made a “photo op” stop at Devil’s Kitchen before biking home.  Dawn and I spent the afternoon shopping, and Ted and Stevie took the dogs for a long walk.  Then we changed places.  Ted and Stevie went to the Pony, and Dawn and I came home to feed the dogs, get cleaned up for dinner, and meet the boys downtown. 


When Dawn and I got back downtown, we saw The Wheelmen of Michigan had arrived and had lined up their bikes in a special reserved parking area.  The Wheelmen is an organization dedicated to the enjoyment and preservation of bicyling heritage, and there are clubs in many states.  The Michigan chapter will be on the island this weekend, and I hope to have more pictures for you tomorrow.




Dawn and I had a little surprise for Ted and Stevie when we met them at the Pink Pony.  We had bought some REALLY tacky sunglasses at The Big Store and walked into the Pony wearing them.  I wish I had taken a picture of their faces when they turned around and saw us!


We ate dinner at the Village Inn (great whitefish!), did some last minute shopping for Stevie’s mom, and headed home.  I still can’t believe how fast those 5 days went.  We hope Stevie and Dawn are already planning a return trip next year, ’cause we sure want them back!  Love you two!

Mystery of the Week

Whose yacht is it?  A 197 foot yacht, the Linda Lou, tied up at the Arnold Dock yesterday, and the island is abuzz with rumors about who is on it.  Celebrities often visit the island, and many slip in and out with very little fanfare.  Will keep my ears open for the identity, and you will be the first to know!