A Not So Usual Week on Mackinac 9/8/17

Ted and I are sitting here on Mackinac Island – me attempting to put my thoughts together and write this blog, and Ted aiming the remote control – switching back and forth between the Weather Channel and a movie.  Our thoughts and prayers are over a thousand miles south of Michigan, and like everyone in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas, we are wondering exactly what Hurricane Irma’s final path will be.  At this moment, it’s not looking too promising for Miami, and yesterday it looked as though our little neighborhood in Beverly Beach would once again be visited by a not-at-all-welcome intruder.  Last year, only about two weeks later than this, Hurricane Matthew side-swiped our community.  This morning Irma has shifted west, which should be a little better news for the eastern coast.  But – Irma is so huge I truly believe pretty much every part of Florida is going to feel the effects – it’s just a matter of to what degree.

Yesterday, most of our neighbors were planning to evacuate, but now more are planning to hunker down and ride it out.  If Ted and I were there, I’m not sure what we’d be doing – staying or leaving.   But – we’re in Michigan.  We did everything we could do to prepare for a hurricane before we left in July – took the boat out of the water, installed the hurricane door stabilizer to our garage door, installed water deflectors in the sliding glass doors, emptied the freezer, etc.

And so – like so many thousands of others – we wait to see what will happen.

I’ve been out and about a lot over the Labor Day weekend and the beginning of this week, and that means photos to share!

SUNDAY/MONDAY

A newly found cousin, Marv and his wife Ruthie, spent Sunday night with us, and then Marv and Ted participated in the Labor Day Bridge Walk. They got to the island around lunch on Sunday, so we had plenty of time to walk around Mackinac – even making it up to Point Lookout and Fort Holmes!

The path – my island favorite – that connects Point Lookout and Ft. Holmes.

Bridge Walk 2017

Seriously now, could they look any more alike? Come back, Ruthie and Marv, when you can stay longer!

TUESDAY

On Tuesday the Mackinac Island Public School opened for the 2017-2018 year. I love that on Mackinac the opening day of school is celebrated by the entire island with a picnic at lunchtime. Every island resident who can shows up at the school at noon to join the students for hamburgers and hot dogs – grilled outside on the school grounds.

Jill and I are so excited to see that Stephanie Fortino is back writing for The St. Ignace News and The Town Crier on Mackinac.  We lost her for a while to another community, but she’s back now, and the entire island is delighted.  She’s just “the best”!

WEDNESDAY

On Wednesday Ted was walking down the hall and stepped on a bone Bodie had left on the floor.  The bone is shaped like a wishbone and Ted’s foot treated it like an ice skate.  He basically did a split – and that’s not something 70-year-old bodies are used to doing.  He was in so much pain he couldn’t walk at all.  For 30 minutes I argued he should go to the med center by ambulance, but of course he wouldn’t listen.  It was only after he called the Nurse Hotline of our insurance company and SHE told him to go by ambulance to the med center that he agreed for me to make the 9ll call.

Diagnosis – severely pulled hamstring. Prognosis – good, IF he follows doctor’s orders to rest, take his meds, and stay off his bike for at least two weeks.  I don’t think that will be much of a problem since he’s having to use a walker just to get from one end of the condo to the other.  Bless his heart, he’s REALLY in a lot of pain.

So – I’m now in charge of all the things Ted would normally do during the day – the early morning (before coffee and practically before the sun comes up) dog walks, as well as all the other dog walks we’d split between us, the trips to Doud’s to buy groceries, COOKING the evening meals and fixing breakfast and lunch (we do our own thing for breakfast and lunch, but Ted is usually the evening meal cook) and serving him all these meals on the sofa so he can keep his leg propped up and on the heating pad.

I drew the line at going down to the Grand and lifting weights for him, even though he did try to talk me into that.

Many thanks to the Mackinac Island EMS team and the doctors, nurses, technicians and staff at the Medical Center.  We are always so impressed with the level of excellence in medical care we have here on Mackinac. 

!THURSDAY/FRIDAY

Chambers Corner is still in full summer bloom  . . . .

. . . but I spotted a few leaves practicing their fall colors on the trees lining Cadotte Ave.

Beautiful container garden in a sitting area along Cadotte.

An everyday scene at Windermere Point. (Photo: Tom Chambers)

Looking down Market Street toward Lake Huron.

Stopping to rest while carrying grocery bags up Fort Hill. I’m in awe that Ted does this hill ON HIS BIKE with groceries in his basket. Geez, I am such a wuss!

A very old dray wagon parked on the side of the road to town.

Veterans Park is always full of blooms, but this year it seems even prettier than usual.

A black squirrel atop a white picket fence – spotted next to the post office.

Can you spot something unusual in this tree next to the Metivier Inn?

“I climbed the ladder and crawled through the tunnel, mom.  Now you want me to do what?”

PRAYER REQUEST

  1.  Please remember everyone in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas as Irma continues her destructive path – and those in the numerous islands she’s already passed through.  Praying that no other lives are lost.  As Florida Governor Rick Scott said at a news conference this week, “We can rebuild your home, but we cannot rebuild your life.”
  2. Please pray for speedy and complete healing for Ted and for a truck-load of patience for me.  Wait.  Please pray for a truck-load of patience for Ted too.  I/m sure we are both going to learn some good life lessons from this.

Everyone in Irma’s path – stay safe.

God bless.

Saying Bye 10/14/16

It’s that time again.  The day before we leave Mackinac, and my emotions are all over the place.  I’m sad to be leaving.  I’m excited to be picking up Bodie.  I’m anxious to get home and see what our precious little neighborhood will be like post-Hurricane Matthew.   I’ve been tottering on the verge of tears all day, but I know I don’t have time for a melt down. So – I’m going to quickly toss up some of the photos I’ve taken over the last few days and ask that you be ok with that for now. 

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The steady stream of horses leaving Mackinac is down to a tiny trickle.  The big barn is nearly empty now, and the majority of these gentle giants are happily munching pasture-land grass and hay on big farms in the U.P.  No more work for them until the spring.  Their only job is to get fat and sassy over the winter.

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When I walked by Grand Hotel earlier today the front flower bed was already empty, and folks were busily pulling up the flowers in the bed in front of Sadie’s.  In the next few days the soil will be prepared and thousands of tulip bulbs will be planted for a spring blooming.

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It seems as though Fall just can’t totally break through this year.  There are patches of beautiful foliage here and there, but only very few places where the color is rampant.  I think anyone coming up for the next two weeks will be the lucky winners of the “perfect time to see the best leaf show” award!

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The hillside leading up to Fort Mackinac will be solid red in a few more days.

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Downtown work is being done on the Stuart House . . . .

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. . . and on Trinity Church.

 

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Jill and I had what we thought would be our last lunch together on Thursday at Mary’s Bistro Draught House . . . but we managed to sneak another one in today with Ted at the Chuckwagon.  We have not been able to get together NEARLY enough this summer!

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The case of the mysterious cameraman.  What a bunch of equipment these guys had!  We  THINK they were doing some filming for Original Murdick’s Fudge.

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I’ll just call this one “Shady Fall Street”.

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It’s always a sad day when they take down all the beautiful hanging baskets from the city lamp posts.

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Workers are busy cutting back greenery on the hill leading up to the fort. 

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I’ve discovered that Fort Hill is by far the easiest way to get home now.  One steep incline to the top, then cut across behind the Governor’s Residence and the Jewel Golf Course.  Now that I can finally do it without stopping and without huffing and puffing, it’s time to leave.  Oh well – I’ll work on it again next summer.

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View from the top of Fort Hill right next to the Governor’s Summer Residence.

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Signs of Fall in the woods.

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One of the best places to see lots of fall color right now is Point Lookout.  Thank you, Orietta Barquero, for this up-to-date look from the top of the stairs leading down to Sugar Loaf . . .

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. . . and this one from the cemeteries.

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From Point Lookout today – thanks, Jill Sawatzki!

 

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Doud’s is all decked out for Fall and Halloween.

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A gorgeous shot from Orietta Barquero of Fall reflected in a clear lake up toward the middle of the island.

 

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A beautiful sunrise shot from Patrick Conlon on his commute to the island this week.

Ted was able to meet another cousin today when she arrived this afternoon for a church conference at Grand Hotel . . .

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Meet Marilyn McNitt from downstate Michigan. 

Lunch on our last day on the island at the Chuckwagon! Have a great winter, Donnie and Sharon!

Lunch on our last day on the island at the Chuckwagon! Have a great winter, Donnie and Sharon!

My head is just filled with things I want to say, but if I get started I might still be here at midnight writing, and Ted will not be happy with me.  We’re meeting friends for dinner later on, but we’ll make it an early evening and be on the taxi when it arrives at 7:15 Saturday morning.  And so begins the trip home.

What a crazy, amazing, emotional, happy, sometimes-frustrating, topsy-turvy summer we’ve had.  We’ve been so blessed to have met several of Ted’s biological cousins on his mom’s side of the family.  It’s so strange to think about this journey and realize that Ted began this year as an only child and will end the year with siblings, uncles and an aunt, and dozens of cousins.  Some of these folks will be in Florida over the winter, and we’re hoping to reconnect with them there.

Besides new cousins, it’s been a summer filled with visits with other family and friends.  From grandkids Matthew and Jordan right after we arrived, Jason, Jen and Alex just before we’re leaving, and friends from Georgia – R.D. and Kim and Glen and Debra – in between, we’ve been happily sharing Mackinac all summer.  And I’m pretty sure we have several among all those folks who will be returning to this magical spot!

This was the summer of a lot of moves.  We won’t be doing that again next year as we’ve already committed to being right here at Cedar Hill Condos for at least three months.  And by the way, if you’d be interested in renting the condo we’ve been in at any time (except when we’re here, of course), email me at brendasumnerhorton@hotmail.com and I’ll get you the contact information.  It’s only available on a monthly basis – 3 bedrooms, 2 baths.  We love it!

One of the best parts of the summer was our Bree’s Blog get-together in September at the Chippewa.  So much fun!!  Hoping we can do it again next summer – only with even more people!  Heck, maybe we’ll have to rent out a whole dining room!

Bodie.  Oh my gosh – I’m so excited.  I’m also scared and anxious.  I have to keep preparing myself that he won’t be “just like Bear”.  He will be a 6 1/2 month old teenager.  Oh my gosh . . . . what a ride this is going to be (and I don’t mean the ride home, although that might get interesting also)!  We’ll pick him up south of Atlanta on Monday morning and drive straight to Beverly Beach – truck full of luggage, Maddie in the front seat, and Bodie in the back seat.  Geez, I hope the big fuzzy guy has a sense of humor!

As always, I’ve had so much fun sharing this beautiful island with all of you this summer.  I’ll be back on line once we get home, but I’m sure I’ll have something up on Facebook on Monday about Bodie – even if it’s just a pic or two! 

Till then . . . . . .

I love you all . . . . God bless.

Family Fall Fun! 10/12/16

Imagine you’re six years old.  Imagine it’s your first Fall Break of 1st grade.  Imagine your mom tells you you’re going someplace “cold” on vacation, so you know you’re not going to the beach where BeBe and G-Daddy live.  Imagine you’re really bummed about that ’cause you’ve asked several times over the last few weeks, “when are we going to see BeBe and G-Daddy again?”

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So you settle into your plane seat in Atlanta, armed with electronic entertainment, and resign yourself to going somewhere the “grown-ups” want to go.  You change planes in Detroit, climb on a much smaller jet, and arrive at a really small airport.  You come through the door to the terminal, looking around at crazy stuff like bears, cougars and deer – stuff you don’t normally see in an airport.  And then, even though you imagine you see BeBe and G-Daddy standing right there in front of you, how can that be possible?

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But it is!

 

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And that’s how one little boy arrived on Mackinac Island Thursday afternoon – with Jason and mom Jennifer.  I told him on the ferry ride over we were going to a place where there were no cars.  His eyes got big.  Then I told him we’d catch a taxi to the condo.  Now he’s totally confused.

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That moment when Alex spots – in the street – what’s causing that amazing only-on-Mackinac aroma!

What a blast we had for four days with these three!  They were right about going someplace “cold” – we had highs in the low 50’s and low’s in the 30’s while they were here. But, they took our advice and brought layers, so everyone stayed warm outside.

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Through special arrangements with Grand Hotel we were able to go on a very special carriage tour on Friday, and Alex got to sit up front on the driver’s seat with Ben Mosley. for the entire tour.  He loved it!

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Thanks to neighbor and friend Pam Day for this shot of our entourage as we passed by Cedar Hill Condos.

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While on the tour, we saw most of the special places on Mackinac.  As you can see, fall foliage has definitely arrived on the island, and Point Lookout is one of the best places to view vast expanses of beautiful trees all dressed up for Autumn.

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Next stop was Fort Holmes.

We traveled through a lot of woods and trails flanked on both sides by trees just beginning to show their most brilliant colors.

We traveled on a lot of woods trails, flanked on both sides by trees just beginning to show their most brilliant colors.

Our last stop was the West Bluff . . .

Our last stop was the West Bluff . . .

. . . and our ride ended at Grand Hotel for lunch.

. . . and our ride ended at Grand Hotel for lunch!

Alex and G-Daddy, enjoying a stroll downtown . . .

Alex and G-Daddy, enjoying a stroll downtown . . .

. . . racing up Turkey Hill . . .

. . . racing up Turkey Hill . . .

. . . and cutting across the Jewel to look for golf balls.

. . . and cutting across the Jewel to look for golf balls.  They found some too!

On Sunday we biked halfway around the island and had lunch at British Landing.

On Sunday we biked halfway around the island and had lunch at the Cannonball at British Landing.

We decided to cut through the island on British Landing Road, enjoying lot of fall color along the way.

We decided to cut through the island on British Landing Road, enjoying lots of fall color along the way.

Stopping for a breather near Wawashkamo, where it seemed like a perfectly great idea to . . .

Stopping for a breather near Wawashkamo, where it seemed like a perfectly great idea to . . .

. . . to play 9 holes of golf on the course's last day of the season.

. . . stop and play 9 holes of golf on the course’s last day of the season.  Only the guys played – Jen and I watched, drove the carts and kept score.  Love this pic of Jason and Alex taking their practice shots.

Sunday night was also the last night Woods Restaurant was open this year, and thank goodness we'd made reservations! The place was packed with locals and a few island visitors also. Such a great way to finish up our time together.

Sunday night was also the last night Woods Restaurant was open this year, and thank goodness we’d made reservations! The place was packed with locals and a few island visitors also. Such a great way to finish up our time together.

Too soon it was Monday morning.  We drove them to Pellston to pick up a rental car, which they drove to Detroit to catch an afternoon flight.  We had such a great time with these three!  It was a little colder than expected, and that ride out to Woods Restaurant on Sunday evening on the taxi was pretty chilly.  But we wrapped up in the blankets the taxis carry, and Jason told Alex ghost stories all the way back in the dark . . . . ’cause that’s just what you do on a cold, dark night on a taxi in the woods on Mackinac Island.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but we’ll be leaving on the first ferry out Saturday morning. Before then – probably Friday night – I’ll get out one more blog post to wrap up our time here this year.  It’s gone by way too fast – as always!

God bless.

A FEW MORE PICS

Alex among the pumpkins on the steps of The Cottage Inn on Market Street.

Alex among the pumpkins on the steps of The Cottage Inn on Market Street.

Gorgeous sunset over the big barn by neighbor and friend Eugenia Murray.

Gorgeous sunset over the big barn by neighbor and friend Eugenia Murray.

View from the Jewel Golf Course.

View across  the Jewel Golf Course at dusk.

That moment when Ben handed Alex the reins and let him "drive" for 2.5 seconds.

That moment when Ben handed Alex the reins and let him “drive” for 2.5 seconds.  Alex’s favorite part of the tour though was when he spotted a huge flock of geese on the open space of grass across the road behind the fort, and Ben drove the horses off the road and straight through them – sending them honking and flying!  Hmmm . . . I think that was my favorite part too!

 

 

Lowell & Faye’s Amazing Trip to Mackinac Island – Part II 6/27/2013

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Faye and I walked east past Marquette Park, the marina, and the Manoogian Art Museum, which used to be the Mackinac Island Indian Dormitory until it became the Mackinac Island Public School for nearly a hundred years.  We continued walking  past the Bay View Inn, the Island House Hotel, originally built in 1852 with the east wing added in 1895 and the west wing added in 1912, Ste. Anne’s Church, the Old Mission Church and many residences.  As we walked along, I noticed a mourning dove sitting on a picket fence, no more than three feet from me.  Apparently, the bird was welcoming us to the Island because it looked at us but never left the fence.  Faye took a picture and we continued our walk.

When we arrived back at the Chippewa, Brenda & Ted, Jill, Lora and Sarah were already there.  It was only a short time until the Town Crier reporter, Stephanie Fortino, walked in and the surprises for the day really began.  Stephanie started the interview right there in the lobby.  After a short time, Brenda said the taxi was ready.  The “taxi” had turned into a beautiful carriage from the Grand Hotel, pulled by a team of the most beautiful high-stepping Hackney Horses and with Ben Mosely, Grand Hotel Stable Manager, as the driver.  He later informed me that Hackneys are born with that high-stepping gait.

Brenda, Lowell and Stephanie.  Stephanie spent several hours with us as we were touring the island.  She was interviewing Lowell for the Mackinac Island Town Crier.

Brenda, Lowell and Stephanie. Stephanie spent several hours with us as we were touring the island. She was interviewing Lowell for the Mackinac Island Town Crier.

Ted riding shotgun with Ben as Brenda gets their picture.  Stephanie the Town Crier reporter is at the left.

Ted riding shotgun with Ben as Brenda gets their picture. Stephanie, the Town Crier reporter, is at the left.

Ted rode shotgun with Ben, and Brenda, Stephanie, Faye & I climbed into the carriage.  Jill, Lora and Sarah left to ride bicycles out to Arch Rock and we were off down the street just as though we were celebrities.  We went through town and up Cadotte Avenue to the Grand, but instead of going on by the east end, as we had done the day before, Ben drove in front to the West Bluff with its very impressive Victorian summer cottages, which are actually mansions from that time period.  Continuing on, he drove us through Hubbard’s Annex, which is more wooded and with homes that are more modest, but not much less impressive.  I had never been in the Annex before.

In the Grand Hotel Carriage riding through the Annex.  The Hackney Horses were beautiful.  Is it all right to say horses are beautiful?

In the Grand Hotel Carriage riding through the Annex. The Hackney Horses were beautiful. Is it all right to say horses are beautiful?

From there we went on through the woods to the cemeteries, where Ben turned left to go up to Fort Holmes.  As we arrived, those who were already there stopped looking at the gorgeous scenic views and turned their attention to the beautiful carriage and horses, with the elegantly dressed driver.  I hope Fort Holmes will be restored in the future.  There isn’t much left except the berm, which used to be covered with timbers, and the entryway to the fort.  Was it from the fort that we looked down on Sugar Loaf Rock?  I don’t remember, but I know we did it.

A good picture of our driver, Ben Mosley, and the Grand Hotel Hackney Horses.

A good picture of our driver, Ben Mosley, and the Grand Hotel Hackney Horses.

After about a half hour at Fort Holmes, we rode the short distance to Point Lookout, and it certainly is a lookout.  The views cannot be described.  I just know they were awesome.  Of course, that’s true all over the Island. (Note from Brenda:  Lowell, Sugar Loaf was viewed from Point Lookout.)

Then it was on to Arch Rock, where Jill, Lora and Sarah met us and Stephanie continued the interview.  Actually, the interview never really stopped during the whole carriage trip.  The metal viewing platform that was new in the 1950’s is still there and looks as strong as ever.  I showed the others where I thought the little Curio Shop had been located where I worked so long ago.  I’m sure I was about right.

At Arch Rock and looking at the area where the Arch Rock Curio Shop used to be when Lowell worked there.

At Arch Rock and looking at the area where the Arch Rock Curio Shop used to be when Lowell worked there.

After more pictures and a lot of talk, at least on my part, it was time to start the last leg of our wonderful carriage ride.  Jill, Lora and Sarah rode their bicycles, promising to meet us at the Grand Hotel.  On the way we went by the back of Fort Mackinac, the summer residence for Michigan’s governor and the Horton’s condo.  (It always seemed odd to me that for so many years there was no Governor’s mansion in Lansing, the capital city, but there was a summer residence on the Island.)

When we arrived at the front steps of the Grand Hotel, it was time to leave the carriage.  Thank you Ben, Brenda & Ted for one of the great treats of life for Faye and me.  By the way, Magic Jill was at the Grand to meet us and take pictures.

Then it was up the steps and into the hotel, where we, including Jill, had lunch and a very good lunch it was.  Of course, I guess my review of the lunch doesn’t mean much.  I once complimented Faye on something she had made. He answer was, “That’s no compliment. you’ll eat anything.”  Well, I do like to eat.

Stephanie and Jill when we had lunch at the Grand Hotel.

Stephanie and Jill when we had lunch at the Grand Hotel.

Inside the Grand Hotel.

Inside the Grand Hotel.

After lunch, Lora and Sarah, who had lunch in the Tea Room at Fort Mackinac, joined us and we went up to the Grand Hotel Cupola.  Once again, we could see the beautiful (I wish there were more synonyms for beautiful) views of the island, the water and Mackinac Bridge.  Then we went down to Sadie’s Ice Cream Parlor and Lora treated all of us.  Thank you, Lora.  I don’t remember what the others had, but I had Raspberry and yes, it was very good.  I’ll give it a 10 for Brenda.

Sarah Elizabeth and Lora in the Grand Hotel Cupola.

Sarah Elizabeth and Lora in the Grand Hotel Cupola.

After the ice cream treat, Ted went to the condo to check on Bear and Maddie.  Jill, Lora and Sarah returned downtown on their bicycles and Brenda took Stephanie, Faye & me in an actual taxi back to the Chippewa.  If I remember correctly, that was when Stephanie left us to go to St. Ignace.  Brenda sent us to our room and she went home. (Note from Brenda:  Hmmmm.  I can’t seem to remember “sending Lowell and Faye to their rooms”, but if Lowell says I did, it must be true!)

Wednesday, June 5,2013

Once again we were up early.  We had our coffee, ate our breakfast and packed everything in preparation for going home.  About 8:30 we walked down Main Street to the Windermere Hotel where we had a nice visit with Margaret Doud.  As I’m sure most of you who read Bree’s Mackinac Island Blog will know, Margaret Doud has been the mayor of Mackinac Island for the past 31 years.  She and her mother, Jeannette, are the owners of the Windermere Hotel.  It was Jeannette’s mother, Ella Chambers, in whose house I lived during the summers of 1954, 55 & 56, and for whom I worked at the Arch Rock Curio Shop during the summers of 1955 & 56.

Mayor Margaret Doud and Lowell.

Mayor Margaret Doud and Lowell.

After our visit and having my picture taken with the mayor, we walked back to the hotel.  On the way we stopped in one of the fudge shops and bought three big slices of fudge.  Isn’t that what everyone does when they visit the Island?  If I remember correctly, Brenda, Ted and Jill were already in the lobby when we arrived.  We brought our luggage down and after checking out, arranging with Josh Carley to take it to Shepler’s Ferry Dock and having my picture taken with Josh and Archie Horn, all of us walked to the dock.  Because we were a little early, we waited on the street out of the wind,  While we were waiting, who should we see coming down the street but Brad Chambers.  Brad lives in the same house I lived in long before he was born.  Of course, it was Brenda who knew him and she introduced us.  That was nice to have a short visit with him.

Lowell with Archie Horn and Josh Carley, dock porters, as we were getting ready to leave the island.

Lowell with Archie Horn and Josh Carley, dock porters, as we were getting ready to leave the island.

When it was time to board the ferry, with our VIP tickets (can you imagine that?) we went to the head of the line and were able to sit in the back of the boat because the water was rather choppy.  Ted left us there, but Brenda and Jill went with us to Mackinaw City.  When we got there, they insisted that Faye & I wait in the warm tent while they took our luggage to the car and brought it to the front for us.  While we were waiting, I heard someone say that’s’ Capt. Shepler over there, so I went over to the ticket booth where he was to thank him and have a short visit with him.  We looked to where Brenda and Jill were and saw that they couldn’t get the trunk open.  (Now, this a secret between you and me.  All they needed to have done was press the little picture of a car with an open trunk that is on the remote, which they had on the key ring.)  Anyway, they decided to put everything in the back seat.  We saw it when Brenda drove up with the car.  At the time, I thought I would transfer everything to the trunk when we stopped later, but I didn’t do that.

After our good-byes , we left Mackinaw City and headed for Cheboygan, fifteen miles southeast along the Lake Huron shore.  On the way, we stopped at the roadside park on the lake where my picnic loving mother once took my brother, sister and me for a very early Good Friday picnic.  It was cold and there were ice floes in the lake, but it was fun.  I took a couple pictures and we continued to Cheboygan, where we drove by a few places that were familiar to me from my teenage years.  Then we drove a few miles south to visit a lady who was a neighbor back then and is now 100 years old.  I really shouldn’t say old because she looked and acted younger than I do.  We visited for about an hour and headed for home.

When we arrived home and were unloading the car, what did we find but another surprise underneath everything in the back seat.  Brenda & Ted had given us two more books, “Wish You Were Here, An Album of Vintage Mackinac Postcards” by Steven C. Brisson and “Above Mackinac” with pictures by Robert Cameron and text by Phil Porter, a book that I had admired at Ted & Brenda’s condo.

The first surprise may have been on Ted & Brenda, but the last surprise certainly was on Faye & me.

A Few Extra Photos

The Grand Hotel horses and omnibus - waiting in front of Shepler's Ferry dock.

The Grand Hotel horses and omnibus – waiting in front of Shepler’s Ferry dock.

Lowell having a cup of coffee as he's sitting on the balcony overlooking the harbor.

Lowell having a cup of coffee as he’s sitting on the balcony overlooking the harbor.

Our Jill.  She, along with Ted and Brenda, made our journey to the island exceptional!

Our Jill. She, along with Ted and Brenda, made our journey to the island exceptional!

Overlooking the city of Mackinac Island with the Straits of Mackinac lighthouses and a freighter in the distance - from Fort Mackinac.

From Fort Mackinac – Overlooking the city of Mackinac Island with the Straits of Mackinac lighthouses and a freighter in the distance.

The big white building is the side of the Chippewa where we sat on our balcony and watched the ferries come in.

The big white building is the Chippewa where we sat on our balcony and watched the ferries come in.

Lowell talking to Captain Bill Shepler, who owns Shepler's Ferry Line.

Lowell talking to Captain Bill Shepler, who owns Shepler’s Ferry Line.

Let me conclude by saying it was such a wonderful trip.  We could not have been treated better by anyone with whom we had any contact on Mackinac Island, especially Brenda & Ted Horton and Jill Sawatzki.  Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35b), so I’m sure everyone who had anything to do with making our trip so memorable has been blessed because I know Faye & I sure were.  I just wish there was some way to thank Brenda for arranging “The Trip of A Lifetime” for Faye and me.

Brenda, you are a gem!  Southern charm, personified, right here in Michigan on our own Mackinac Island!  And yes, Charlie, she truly is amazing!

Note from Brenda:  Those of us who were in on the planning of Lowell & Faye’s trip to Mackinac are truly the ones who were blessed.  Seeing their delight on every street, at every corner, and with each new adventure shared was all the thanks any of us needed.