Throw Back Tuesday – Back Track and Forward March 4/11/17

Personal Note:  Loved reposting this blog today because of the many Mackinac friends – and blog readers – who happen to be in it!  Also, it was written at the end of the Lilac Festival that year and involves a parade!  Sweet memories.

______________________________________________________________________

FIRST PUBLISHED JUNE, 18,2013

You will not BELIEVE all the photographs I have backlogged over the last few days!  I’ve been focusing mainly on Lilacs for a good two weeks now, and the Lilacs are still going strong, even though their “festival” ended yesterday. Tonight I want to catch up on a few other topics, throw in a few more flowers, and highlight some of the parade from yesterday. So, here we go . . .

THE PEOPLE WE MEET!

New lady on the corner! Walk down Main Street as far as Shepler's Ferry, look directly across the street on the corner of Main and Astor, and you will more than likely see - during daylight hours anyway - the brilliant smile of Mert. As the Corner Concierge, Mert helps visitors with all things "Mackinac" and does it so easily and with such friendliness that you just want to stay and chat a while longer. She'd love for you to stop by - to ask questions, to talk about Mackinac, or just to say hi! Oh, and tell her "Bree" sent you!

New lady on the corner! Walk down Main Street as far as Shepler’s Ferry, look directly across the street to the corner of Main and Astor, and you will more than likely see – during daylight hours anyway – the brilliant smile of Mert. As the Corner Concierge, Mert helps visitors with all things “Mackinac” and does it so easily and with such friendliness you just want to stay and chat a while longer! She’d love for you to stop by – to ask questions, to talk about the Island, or just to say hi!  You will love her!

This beautiful family, Theresa, Allen, Amelia and Michael - from Tecumseh MI, met me last week at Sadie's for ice cream. Theresa is a frequent commenter on Bree's Blog and follows us in Georgia during the winter also.

This beautiful family – Allen, Theresa, Amelia and Michael – from Tecumseh MI, met me last week at Sadie’s for ice cream.  While we were there, Amelia chose my 4th flavor to try – Caramel Turtle Cheesecake!  A T-E-N!

Loved hanging out with this great family, and while we were in Sadie's Amelia chose my 4th flavor to try - Caramel Turtle Cheesecake! A T-E-N!

Theresa is a frequent commenter on Bree’s Blog and follows the Lake Blackshear Blog in Georgia during the winter also.  Loved hanging out with this great family!

A couple of days later, I turned the corner down French Lane and spotted Theresa and Allen trying to find all the hidden treasurers in Jeff's garden. They didn't know I was anywhere around until after I snapped this. They left the island the day of the Lilac Parade and watched it on Theresa's iPad in the car going home. LOVE IT!

A couple of days later, I turned the corner down French Lane and spotted Theresa and Allen trying to find all the hidden treasurers in Jeff’s garden. They didn’t know I was anywhere around until after I snapped this. They left the island the day of the Lilac Parade and watched it on Theresa’s iPad in the car going home. LOVE IT!

Richard! This sweet gentleman used to live all summer on the Island, and Ted and I first met him several years ago. Now he returns for a few days here and there, and I happened to spot him downtown this week, resting on a bench in the sun. Always good to see Richard!

Richard! This sweet gentleman used to live all summer on the Island, and Ted and I first met him several years ago. Now he returns for a few days here and there, and I happened to spot him downtown this week, resting on a bench in the sun. Always good to see Richard, and he always asks about Bear and Ted . . . in that order.

On the way home a couple of days ago, right by the big barns on Cadotte, someone called "Bree?" I turned and met Ted (I'll remember that name for sure) and his wife Rebecca. They were married on Mackinac just last year and were up for a visit. This sweet couple is from Aurora, Ohio, and their love of the island was so evident, they reminded me of ME!

On the way home a couple of days ago, right by the big barns on Cadotte, someone called “Bree?” I turned and met Ted (I’ll remember that name for sure) and his wife Rebecca. They were married on Mackinac just last year, found Bree’s Blog when they returned home from their honeymoon, and were up for a visit. This sweet couple is from Aurora, Ohio, and their love of the island was so evident.  They reminded me of ME!

Evi is a blog fan from New Jersey, and we met up - finally, after several attempts - at the Island Bookstore one evening last week! Hope to see you again soon, Evi!

Evi is a blog fan from New Jersey, and we met up – finally, after several attempts – at the Island Bookstore one evening last week! Hope to see you again soon, Evi!

Tommy and Gerald - our two teenage young men who stayed with us Saturday night. They are part of an A Cappela Choir from Roosevelt High School in Wyandotte, MI. We had a fun time with Tommy and Gerald, who challenged us to a game of Monopoly (who knew teenagers still played Monopoly). Three hours later, Ted was bankrupt, I was on the verge of bankruptcy, and Tommy was Donald Trump Jr.

Tommy and Gerald – our two teenage young men who stayed with us Saturday night. They are part of an a cappella choir from Roosevelt High School in Wyandotte, MI. We had a fun time with Tommy and Gerald, who challenged us to a game of Monopoly (who knew teenagers still played Monopoly) after returning from singing for their supper at the Seabiscuit restaurant. Three hours later, Ted was bankrupt, I was on the verge of bankruptcy, and Tommy was Donald Trump Jr.  During that Monopoly game, they also put away two large bottles of juice, a huge bowl of popcorn, a whole bag of tortillas, a jar or salsa and a jar of cheese dip – with a little fudge as dessert .  LOL – they SO reminded me of Jason and Blake at that age!  We enjoyed having Tommy and Gerald with us – they were smart, well-mannered, and fun – a tribute to their families.

The choir group after church on Sunday.

The choir group after church on Sunday.

Blog readers Traci and Bill stopped by the Stuart House this morning while Mike Forrester was visiting, so Mike became our photographer. Traci and Bill are from Pulaski, Tennessee, and it was so nice to hear a Southern accent! It was a spur-of-the-moment visit for them (the best kind). They drove 13 hours to get here and plan just to relax and "do Mackinac" with no real set agenda (the best way). Have fun, you two!

Blog readers Traci and Bill stopped by the Stuart House this morning while Mike Forrester was visiting, so Mike became our photographer. Traci and Bill are from Pulaski, Tennessee, and it was so nice to hear a Southern accent! It was a spur-of-the-moment visit for them (the best kind). They drove 13 hours to get here and plan just to relax and “do Mackinac” with no real set agenda (the best way). Have fun, you two!

FOUR-LEGGED CRITTERS

Out snapping Lilac photos the other day near The Gate House, I ran across this sweet puppy, obviously tied out while mom and dad lunched on the patio just a few feet away. The Gate House provides water dishes for pets! A cutie-pie!

Out snapping Lilac photos the other day near the Gate House, I ran across this sweet puppy, tied out while mom and dad lunched on the patio just a few feet away. The Gate House provides water dishes for pets! A cutie-pie!

This precious baby was enjoying the shade at Park Place Suites, which is pet-friendly!

This precious pooch was enjoying the shade at Park Place Suites, which is pet-friendly!

Back to front Grand Hotel omnibuses, the first driven by Shelby and the second by new driver Caleb (I hope, I hope I'm right on that name).

Back to front Grand Hotel omnibuses, the first driven by Shelby and the second by new driver Caleb (I hope, I hope I’m right on that name).

New neighborhood pooch, Charlie!

New neighborhood puppy, Charlie . . .

. . . and our condo neighbor, Judy, is back for the summer with her sweet Buddy.

. . . and our condo neighbor, Judy, is back for the summer with her sweet Buddy.

It's not often you can wake up with two Budweiser Clydesdale in your front yard, but it happened this week! These two, Duke and Jack, were here with four of their team-mates for the Lilac Parade! That's Kyle on Duke's back.

It’s not often you can wake up with two Budweiser Clydesdales in your front yard, but it happened this weekend! These two, Duke and Jack, were here with four of their team-mates for the Lilac Parade! That’s Kyle on Duke’s back.

A FEW MORE FLOWERS

Only had to walk down Cadotte to find this big clump of Lady Slippers - near where the old Grand stable once stood.

I only had to walk down Cadotte to find this big clump of Lady Slippers – near where the old Grand stable once stood.

Lilacs!

Dark Lilacs . . .

. . . and light Lilacs!

. . . and light Lilacs!

A friendly group of Pansies . . .

A friendly group of Pansies . . .

, , , and one loner.

. . . and one loner.

A very, very small section of Jeff's garden on French Lane.

A very, very small section of Jeff’s garden on French Lane.

The always-charming Cloghaun B & B, with its luscious gardens in full bloom.

The always-charming Cloghaun B & B – surrounded by Lilacs.

A curve on Cadotte . . .

A curve on Cadotte . . .

. . . . and Mahoney Avenue.

. . . . and Mahoney Street.

THE PARADE!  THE PARADE!

The mighty Clydesdales!

The mighty Clydesdales!

FFFF

Do not try this at home – at least not if you are MY age!

This couple had a choice spot to watch the parade - right in the shade - and sweet smell - of beautiful Lilacs!

This couple had a choice spot to watch the parade – right in the shade – and sweet smell – of beautiful Lilacs!

We had serious bands . . .

We had serious bands . . .

. . . and not so serious bands.

. . . and not so serious bands.

We had beautiful performing horses . . .

We had beautiful performing horses . . .

. . . and

. . . horses performing beautifully . . .

. . . and a couple of silly horses!

. . . and a couple of silly horses!

vvvv

We had musical marching groups . . .

. . . and patriotic marching groups.

. . . and patriotic marching groups.

We had clowns in groups . . .

We had clowns who came in groups . . .

. . . and some alone.

. . . and some who came alone.

We had celebrity local dogs, like Chloe and Bella, who represented Wheels of Mackinac . . .

We had celebrity local dogs, like Chloe and Bella, who represented Wheels of Mackinac . . .

. . . and dogs whose names we'll never know - but who will grow up to be service dogs all over the country.

. . . and dogs whose names we’ll never know – who will grow up to be service dogs all over the country.

We had beauty queens who rode in carriages . . .

We had small beauty queens, teenage beauty queens .  .

. . . and some who walked.

. . . and grown-up beauty queens.

And we had bicycles in all sizes and shapes.

And we had bicycles in all sizes and shapes.

Grand Marshall of the parade was our neighbor Donald "Duck" Andress. Duck rode in a carriage this year instead of on horseback, but his son

Grand Marshall of the parade was our neighbor Donald “Duck” Andress. Duck rode in a carriage this year, but his son Jamie – seen behind him in the white headdress – continues the tradition of their family by riding on horseback.

Are you asleep yet?

I think that catches us up to today in photos.  As you can see, it’s been a busy time on the Island, and today the Island was taking a great big breath and relaxing after a tremendously successful Lilac Festival.

God bless.

Introducing . . . YOU! Part III 4/14/16

WooHoo!  Another great week of opening emails and seeing smiling faces!  As of now, I’ve received 51 photographs. Tonight I’ll post another 15, taking the number posted up to 45, and leaving only six.  BUT – I’m hoping by Sunday I’ll have enough to post another 15!  Regardless, I’ll post the remaining ones on Sunday.

As I said, you keep sending them in, and I’ll keep on posting them.  No deadline on this!  I’ll just place them into the blog as I receive them!  Include your name, a photo as an attachment, where you’re from, and how and when you discovered Bree’s Blog.  Easy!

Ok . . . here we go!

paul wright

Meet Paul Wright and his lovely wife Bette Ann from Lathrup Village MI.  Paul and Bette Ann have been visiting the island since 1975, and I know you’ve already figured out this photo was taken on Grand Hotel’s front porch!

Mary Hughes

Meet Mary Hughes from Marion OH.  Mary found the blog two years ago on the Mackinac Island News & Views Facebook page and has read every post!  I’m in awe that some of you do that!

jamie, melody, nathan, Evan James

This great family is Melody James, her husband Jamie, and sons Nathan & Evan.  They hail from Zeeland MI and found the blog link from a Mackinac Island business website in 2010.  I met Melody for the first time in 2011 when she stopped by the Stuart House to say hi.

This smiling face belongs to Deborah Crawford from Midland Ontario, Canada. Deborah has been reading for 6-7 years after finding the blog link on Google. The photo is from a Memorial Day weekend at Colonial Fort Michilimackinac in Mackinaw City, and the handsome gentleman in the photo is a re-enactor portraying Deborah's 6 X great-grandfather, Ezekiel Solomon!

This smiling face belongs to Deborah Crawford from Midland Ontario, Canada. Deborah has been reading for 6-7 years, after finding the blog link on Google. The photo is from a Memorial Day Pageant weekend in 2008 at Colonial Fort Michilimackinac in Mackinaw City.  The handsome gentleman in the photo is a reenactor portraying Deborah’s 6 X great-grandfather, Ezekiel Solomon.  Ezekiel’s trading post was one of the first structures studied by archaeologists at the fort site, and it has now been completely reconstructed.

Ezekiel was also Michigan's first Jewish settler, and this marker

Ezekiel was also Michigan’s first Jewish settler, and this marker at the fort tells his amazing story.  How cool is that!

Meet Marlena and Larry Black from Kansas City MO. Marlena had wanted to visit Mackinac since she first saw the movie Somewhere in Time. She was researching for their first trip in 2012 and discovered the blog. She said, "I've laughed with you, cried with you, and prayed for and with you." Bless you, Marlena, my friend - and thank you.

Meet Marlena and Larry Black from Kansas City MO. Marlena had wanted to visit Mackinac since she first saw the movie Somewhere in Time. She was researching for their first trip in 2012 and discovered the blog. She said, “I’ve laughed with you, cried with you, and prayed for and with you.” Bless you, Marlena, my friend – and thank you.

Meet Anita Henry from Sandusky MI. Anita has been a blog reader since 2009.

Meet Anita Henry from Sandusky MI. Anita has been a blog reader since 2009.

Two dear friends from Albany GA - Marty Harris, who passed away in February, 2014, and Betty Hester.

Two dear friends from Albany GA – Marty Harris, who passed away in February, 2014, and Betty Hester.  Betty has read Bree’s Blog for many years.  Marty is the awesome lady who peaked my interest in getting Bear and I certified as a Pet Therapy team, and she and Betty supported and encouraged me every step of the way.  The beautiful plaque behind them is of Marty and her loyal therapy dog, Hero.  April 30th is National Therapy Animal Day, created by Pet Partners to “recognize the exceptional therapy animals who partner with their human companions to bring comfort and healing to those in need”.  Bear and I both miss being involved in this fulfilling work.  Betty, you REALLY need to come visit us on Mackinac!

Meet Susan and Lee Stahl from Lakeside MI. they'd been coming to Mackinac Island for 38 years as "boating fudgies", anchoring their boat at the island marina each year. In 2012 their boat wasn't ready, and they decided to drive up. They spent a week at the Grand Hotel and "we finally felt like we were locals", says Susan. "I can still hear 'clop, clop, clopping outside our bedroom window. It was the best vacation ever." Susan found the blog that year on their way home by Googling "why they chopped down the trees on the way to the Grand". Up came the blog, and she's been reading ever since. They were on the island when they were filming Somewhere in Time with their teenage daughters, who are both now in their 50's. Susan says, "The island is always in my heart." Yes, Susan, I know that feeling well.

Meet Susan and Lee Stahl from Lakeside MI. They’d been coming to Mackinac Island for 38 years as “boating fudgies”, anchoring their boat at the island marina each year. In 2012 their boat wasn’t ready, and they decided to drive up. They spent a week at Grand Hotel and, “We finally felt like we were locals”, says Susan. “I can still hear clop, clop, clopping outside our bedroom window. It was the best vacation ever.” Susan found the blog that same year – on their way home – by Googling “why they chopped down the trees on the way to the Grand”. Up came the blog, and she’s been reading ever since. They were on the island when they were filming Somewhere in Time with their teenage daughters, who are both now in their 50’s. Susan says, “The island is always in my heart.” I know that feeling well, Susan.

This is Jeani and Jerry Gabor from Sun Prairie WI. Jeani is a frequent commenter and found the blog four years ago on the Mackinac Island web site.

This is Jeani and Jerry Gabor from Sun Prairie WI. Jeani is a frequent commenter and found the blog four years ago on the Mackinac Island web site.

Meet Cindy Cislak from Indianapolis IN - and her beautiful granddaughter Kira. Cindy and her husband started coming to Mackinac in 1985 with their two children, and they've come every year since. There are now 10 coming each year - including their childrens' spouses and four grandchildren. Cindy has followed the blog since the beginning, and she's come by several times to say hello at the Stuart House. In fact, Cindy may be the very first reader who came by and introduced herself to me there. Cindy says, "Even after all these years, Mackinac is still magical!" Amen, Cindy.

Meet Cindy Cislak from Indianapolis IN – and her beautiful granddaughter Kira. Cindy and her husband started coming to Mackinac in 1985 with their two children, and they’ve come every year since. There are now 10 visiting each year – including their childrens’ spouses and four grandchildren (the two granddaughters – four and seven years of age – are already planning Macknac weddings). Cindy has followed the blog since the beginning, and she’s come by several times to say hello at the Stuart House. In fact, Cindy may be the very first reader who came by and introduced herself to me there. Cindy says, “Even after all these years, Mackinac is still magical!” Amen, Cindy. This photo is from the Carriage House at the Iroquois Hotel.

Meet Lisa Foose from Medina OH. She found the blog five years ago on Google.

Meet Lisa Foose from Medina OH. She found the blog five years ago on Google.

This is Kathy and George Strukel with two of their darling grandchildren. They've just moved to Tampa FL, and they've been coming to the island since they were married in 1985 - first with kids, then grandkids, and now with their precious little furbaby, Sophie. I have a photo of all of us together on the Stuart House steps in 2010. Kathy found the blog on Google years ago.

This is Kathy and George Strukel, with two of their darling grandchildren. They’ve just moved to Tampa FL, and they’ve been coming to the island since they were married in 1985 – first with kids, then grandkids, and now with their precious little furbaby, Sophie. I have a photo of all of us together on the Stuart House steps in 2010. Kathy found the blog on Google years ago.

This is Megan Murray from Frankfort KY, where she's a 4th grade reading and writing teacher. Megan is Ann M.'s sister (Ann was in the first installment of Introducing . . . You!, and she was the one who told Megan about the blog). The sisters' grandparents had a cabin on Carp Lake, and they vacationed there for two weeks each summer. Megan says, "I've been reading the blog for 5-6 years and have very found memories of Carp Lake, Mackinaw City, and Mackinac Island."

Meet Megan Murray from Frankfort KY, where she’s a 4th grade reading and writing teacher. Megan is Ann M.’s sister (Ann was in the first installment of Introducing . . . You!, and she was the one who told Megan about the blog). The sisters’ grandparents had a cabin on Carp Lake, and they vacationed there for two weeks each summer. Megan says, “I’ve been reading the blog for 5-6 years and have very fond memories of Carp Lake, Mackinaw City, and Mackinac Island.”

I love this pic! This is Jay Rupprecht, and that charming creature next to him is Louie the Loon, the mascot of the Class A farm team for the L.A. Dodgers who play in Midland MI.

I love this pic! This is Jay Rupprecht, and that charming creature next to him is Louie the Loon, the mascot of the Class A farm team for the LA Dodgers, who play in Midland MI where Jay works.  Jay and wife Peggy live in Frankenmuth MI (another favorite town of ours) and have been blog readers for about five years.  They were married on the island in 2004 in the Mission Point gazebo.  Jay says, “We love the island, and my wife says it’s the only place on earth where I calm down and can actually relax some.”  Their long-term goal is to become full-time Mackinac Island residents!  Hold on to that dream, Jay and Peggy!

This is Kathleen and Jim Tilson, enjoying a sweet treat at Sadie's in 2014. They hail from Indianapolis IN. Jim first went to the island with his grandparents back in 1953 and has returned many times. He and Kathleen honeymooned there in 1973. Jim says, We've been there at all times of the year - including December. Each time we go we say 'it's the perfect time to visit.'"

This is Kathleen and Jim Tilson, enjoying a sweet treat at Sadie’s in 2014. They hail from Indianapolis IN. Jim first visited the island with his grandparents back in 1953 and has returned many times. He and Kathleen honeymooned there in 1973. Jim says, “We’ve been there at all times of the year – including December. Each time we go we say ‘it’s the perfect time to visit.'”

And that’s your next 15!

Keep ’em coming, y’all!

WHAT’S HAPPENING ON MACKINAC!

It's hard to believe this is an April 10 photo! (Photo: Carolyn May)

It’s hard to believe this is an April 10 photo! Carolyn May captured the conditions on Cadotte Avenue from her snowmobile.

I believe this was actually a few days before the middle of April snow storm began. A beautiful shot of Anne's Tablet and the town below. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

I believe this was actually a few days before the middle of April snow storm began. A beautiful shot of Anne’s Tablet and the town below. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

This robin seemed to be considering heading back a little south as it contemplated its reflection in the icy puddle. (Photo: Robert McGreevy)

As it contemplated its reflection in an icy puddle, this robin seemed to be considering heading back south.  (Photo: Robert McGreevy)

 

A downtown scene - after it'd been snowing for 24 hours straight. (Photo: Tom Chambers)

A downtown scene – after it’d been snowing for 24 hours straight. (Photo: Tom Chambers)

Not your typical April photograph! (Photo: Greg Main)

Not your typical April photograph! (Photo: Greg Main)

April 11, and the snow is still falling. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

April 11, and the snow is still falling. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

The same day, and through the snow workers make their way up the hill past Grand Hotel. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

The same day, and through the snow workers, residents, taxis and drays make their way down the hill past Grand Hotel. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

Island friend Kay Berke was returning home from Europe and was able to spot the island from thousands of feet overhead! What a photo catch, Kay!

Island friend Kay Berke was returning home to Illinois from Europe and was able to spot the island from thousands of feet overhead! What a photo catch, Kay!

Cutest. Photo. Ever. Andrew Doud (owner of Doud's Market) patiently shows his oldest son, Louie, how to stock shelves. Generation to generation. And that's how it's done on Mackinac.

Cutest. Photo. Ever. Andrew Doud (owner of Doud’s Market) patiently shows his oldest son, Louie, how to stock shelves. Generation to generation – that’s how it’s done on Mackinac.

Although the temps have risen this week into the 40’s, Mackinac is really blustery right now, with wind chills in the 30’s.  Everyone is hoping the snow will melt soon, and that before long the Grand Hotel tulips (which are already breaking above the ground) will be basking in a glorious, warm Mackinac Spring!

FLORIDA NEWS

Nothing that even resembles snow here in Sunset Inlet. A different view of our neighborhood from Cat Brooks - a neighbor "across the way". That's her husband Eddie in the kayak.

Nothing that even resembles snow here in Sunset Inlet. A different view of our neighborhood from friend Cat Brooks – a neighbor “across the way”. That’s her husband Eddie in the kayak.

We were so excited to see Mike, Jeanine and Siena Forrester a couple of weeks ago. They drove down for dinner with us from St. Augustine, where they were enjoying Spring Break. Dinner at the Funky Pelican and a tour of the Flagler Beach pier! Love these folks!

We were so excited to see Mike, Jeanine and Siena Forrester a couple of weeks ago. They drove down for dinner with us from St. Augustine, where they were enjoying Spring Break. Dinner at the Funky Pelican and a tour of the Flagler Beach pier! Love these folks!

I pulled over on the side of the road last Thursday morning on the way to volunteer to capture the sun rise.

I pulled over on the side of the road last Thursday morning on the way to volunteer to capture this sunrise.

A day of shopping, lunch, and more shopping ended in a furniture store - trying out couches. I think the owners thought we were going to all take naps before we moved on to our next stop.

A day of shopping, lunch, and more shopping ended in a furniture store – trying out couches. I think the store owners were afraid we were going to all take naps before we moved on to our next stop because they sure moved us quickly away from the mattress display!  Love these ladies – all Sunset Inlet neighbors – Lisa, Sue, Jennifer and Sharon.

You never know what will be waiting where Hwy. 100 runs into the ocean in Flagler Beach!

You never know what will be waiting where Hwy. 100 runs into A1A in Flagler Beach.I love this intersection – especially since the specialty kite store has opened just across the street!

angelique2

Another sunrise – this one captured by friend and neighbor Angelique Delage. I love that our little house is in this one!

Ok – I think that catches us up!!

Have a great weekend and keep those photos coming in!  Love y’all!

God bless.

Covering Mackinac Island 9/3/15

Living downtown in the Mission District has quite a few advantages over living “up the hill” past the Grand Hotel.  Here are a few:

  1. A bike ride to town and back does not include a prayer request for your brakes to not fail and many, MANY stops on the way back home to catch your breathe.
  2. If we forget to buy bread, the trip to Doud’s only takes 10 minutes (round-trip)!
  3. Being much closer to the water, we get the full sound affects from the harbor – freighters blowing salutes, ferries blowing at other ferries, and the buoy bell.
  4. And my personal favorite – being able to hear Taps played at 10:00 each night from the fort ramparts.  Priceless..

The disadvantages are:

  1. Cutting out that hill also cuts down on the daily exercise.  My big plan to ride around the island every day has so far – sadly- not happened.
  2. Being closer to town makes it a lot easier to opt out of cooking dinner.  With so many restaurants within a 10-minute walk or a five-minute bike ride, we find ourselves eating out more.  Add that to less exercise, and our waistlines are sure to suffer the consequences.
  3. We miss the Village and our friends up there!  We see many of them downtown every day, but it’s not the same as being “amongst” them!

But I AM NOT complaining!  We are so fortunate to have found a place for six weeks that allowed us to bring our pooches, and the only thing bothering us is that our stay is almost half-way over already.  Where the heck is the time going?!

Tonight I’m going to share a bunch of pics I’ve been collecting for the last few days as we’ve been here and there around the island.  And later this week (probably Sunday) I’ll be sharing photographs from the Grand Garden Show.  I can promise you those photos are going to make you want to get online or on the phone and book your reservations for next year’s show.  I know I’m going to be there again!

A LITTLE BIKE RIDE

Even though I haven't biked all the way around the island yet, I HAVE done half that ride. Ted and I biked out to Silver Birches one afternoon, hoping owner/friend Liz would be there. We were out of luck on that, but we did get a couple of photographs from outside the gates.

Even though I haven’t biked all the way around the island yet, I HAVE done half that ride. Ted and I biked out to Silver Birches one afternoon, hoping owner/friend Liz would be there. We were out of luck on that, but we did get a couple of photographs from outside the gates.

We've heard it will be the summer of 2017 when this property is open for guests, and when we saw the massive restoration going on, we could sure understand why it might take that long. All I can say is that once this property is completed, it will be one of the premier destination spots on Mackinac. Hoping to get a tour inside before we leave at the end of September!

We’ve heard it will be the summer of 2017 when this property is open for guests, and when we saw the massive restoration going on, we could sure understand why it might take that long. All I can say is that once this property is completed, it will be one of the premier destination spots on Mackinac. Hoping to get a tour inside before we leave at the end of September!

Instead of finishing the ride around the island, we chose to turn up British LandingRoad and stop at Croghan Water.

Instead of finishing the ride around the island, we chose to turn up British Landing Road and stop at Croghan Water, named after Colonel George Croghan, Commander of the American forces during the Battle of Mackinac Island on August 4, 1814.

Croghan Water is a natural drainage area for rain and meltwater from the surrounding fields and woods. It's not fed by a running stream or springs, so it goes through cycles of wet and dry periods.

Croghan Water is a natural drainage area for rain and meltwater from the surrounding fields and woods. It’s not fed by a running stream or springs, so it goes through cycles of wet and dry periods. Every spring the marsh is filled with life as it’s an excellent environment for animals, birds, and vegetation that thrive in cool, damp wetlands.  By autumn, the marsh is frequently dried up, leaving the bare stalks of cattails and rushes.

It always amazes me how nature finds a way to replenish herself. Even though this tree trunk was barely showing above the earth, new leaves were pushing out and skyward.

It always amazes me how nature finds a way to replenish itself. Even though this tree trunk was barely showing above the earth, new leaves were pushing out and skyward.

Looking down British Landing Road - where we'd just ridden . . .

Looking down British Landing Road – which we’d just ridden up . . . .

. . . and further up - where Ted

. . . and further up – where Ted is stopped next to the sign marking where American soldiers futilely attempted to drive the British from their hill in 1814.

That battlefield is now Wawashkamo Golf Club.

That battlefield is now Wawashkamo Golf Club, one of very few American courses laid out in a links style that remains substantially unaltered, and the only nine-hole course in America to be designated an American Historic Golf Landmark by Golf Digest.

Back in town. It was a great day to hang out in Marquette Park!

Back in town. It was a great day to hang out in Marquette Park . . .

. . . or sit on the corner and watch the world go by!

. . . or sit on the corner and watch the world go by!

 HANGING OUT AT GRAND HOTEL

I can always count on getting some pretty good photos just by going and hanging out at Grand Hotel . . and this day was no different. Sadie's Ice Cream Parlor

I can always count on getting some pretty good photos just by going and hanging out at Grand Hotel, and this day was no different. Sadie’s Ice Cream Parlor is surrounded by flowers on the outside and filled with frozen yumminess on the inside!

The Michigan Governor's Summer Residence - as seen from the porch at the Grand.

The Michigan Governor’s Summer Residence – as seen from the porch at the Grand.

The western portico and its fabulous view over the Straits of Mackinac.

The western portico and its fabulous view over the Straits of Mackinac.

The Grand omnibus approaching the entrance to pick up guests going downtown.

A Grand omnibus approaching the entrance to pick up guests going downtown.

The Grand Rose Garden - through the trees.

The Grand Rose Garden – through the trees.

FRIENDS

It’s been great fun to connect with readers and friends over the last few days!

Patty and Buz, our condo neighbors at Surrey Ride, as well as Cindy and Steve, who bought our condo. We had lunch together at Gatehouse after church Sunday.

Patty and Buz, our condo neighbors at Surrey Ridge (from Oklahoma), as well as Cindy and Steve, who bought our condo (from Atlanta). We all had lunch together at Gatehouse after church Sunday.

Katie, her husband Kevin, and little Claire - blog readers from Clarkston, MI who stopped us on a recent dog walk. Loved meeting y'all, and give your mom a big hug for me!

Katie, her husband Kevin, and precious little Claire – blog readers from Clarkston, MI who stopped us on a recent dog walk. Loved meeting y’all, and give your mom a big hug for me!

Girl friends Patty and Sue. Sue spent two nights with us on the island, and the three of us had a blast

Girl friends Patty and Sue. Sue spent two nights with us on the island, and the three of us had a blast “doing” the show!

Others have been Hilde and Bud (why didn’t I get a photo?), Paul and Elaine (same question), Stu Stuart (same question), Joleen and her husband (who I never saw, but they saw Jill), and two ladies at the Garden Show who introduced themselves as readers (I didn’t get their photos and I can’t remember their names, but I think they both started with a “J” – how far off am I, ladies?).  One thing, sweet readers – don’t EVER hesitate to introduce yourselves – no matter what I might be doing.  I LOVE meeting all of you!

RANDOMNESS

Wedding photos in the Mission Point intersection below our condo.

Wedding photos in the Mission Point intersection below our condo.

One of my favorite curves on M-85.

One of my favorite curves on M-85.

Yes, there is a young person who rides this bike filled with soft drinks up and down Grand Hotel porch. Don't you just love that?!

Yes, there is a young person who rides this bike filled with soft drinks up and down Grand Hotel porch. Don’t you just love that?!

Mission Point Resort from Robinson's Folly.

Mission Point Resort from Robinson’s Folly.

Island friend Mary Jane Barnwell at her recent book signing at Little Luxuries of Mackinac Island.

Island friend and owner of the Island Bookstore, Mary Jane Barnwell, at her recent book signing at Little Luxuries of Mackinac Island.

The book, Goodnight, Mackinac Island was written by Mary Jane and illustrated by wonderful Mackinac artist Lily Porter. A wonderful souvenir of the island that you'll read over and over again to the children and grandchildren!

The book, Goodnight, Mackinac Island – A Vacation Journal, was written by Mary Jane and illustrated by wonderful Mackinac artist Lily Porter. This is the first Mackinac Island board book for toddlers!!

A FEW FLOWERS TO GET YOU READY FOR THE NEXT BLOG ABOUT THE GARDEN SHOW!

38

Grand Hotel garden flower.

 3940

And – as a real tease – one of the gardens you’ll be seeing from the perspective of the cottage owner – not as a visitor to the island . . .

IMG_8023.2

Whew!  I told you I’ve been busy!!

Hope everyone is doing great and getting ready for an awesome weekend!  And I hope you’ll join me back here on Sunday for the garden tour to end all garden tours!!

God bless.

Catch Up! 6/30/2013

I’m getting a really late start writing tonight (because we had the most perfectly beautiful day you can possibly imagine on Mackinac, and Ted and I stayed outside and enjoyed it until hunger drove us in), so I’m going to just toss up some photos with captions and let that do for now.

We had some foggy days at the beginning of last week, and fog creates some strange illusions.  Loved these "waves" of wisp

We had some foggy days at the beginning of last week, and fog creates some strange illusions. Loved these “waves” of wispy fog clouds between the break wall and the lighthouses.

We ate in the Chippewa one evening and watched the fog roll into the harbor . . .

Ted and I ate in the Chippewa one evening and watched the fog roll into the harbor.

When we stepped out onto Main Street to start home, the streetlights shining through the fog turned Main Street

When we stepped out of the hotel to start home, the streetlights shining through the fog gave downtown’s Main Street a rather haunting look . . .

. . . and the east end

. . . and the east end really looked eerie in front of Marquette Park.  Good night for the ghost tours!

Mike Forrester and his family rented kayaks from Great Turtle Kayak Tours and really enjoyed paddling around the marina.  We need to go kayaking!

Mike Forrester and his family rented kayaks from Great Turtle Kayak Tours and really enjoyed paddling around the marina on their next-to-last-day on the Island.   Talk about a serene scene!  (Photo: Mike Forrester)

Ted and I met blog reader Jeff and his family - Camille, Lisa, Mia and Jake - at Sadie's Saturday for ice cream.  Flavor #5 - Blueberry Cobbler (vanilla ice cream with blueberries AND pieces of cobbler crust)!  Oh. My. Goodness.  Another 10!

Ted and I met blog reader Jeff and his family – Camille, Lisa, Mia and Jake – at Sadie’s Saturday for ice cream. Flavor #5 – Blueberry Cobbler (vanilla ice cream with blueberries AND pieces of cobbler crust)! Oh. My. Goodness. Another 10!

On a walk the other day, we cut through the Trillium Heights neighborhood, which is about three hills further up Cadotte than we are.  I really like this area though - lovely homes and nice folks living in them!

On a walk the other day we cut through the Trillium Heights neighborhood, which is about three hills further up Cadotte than we are. I really like this area – lovely homes and nice folks living in them!

Who, me?  Uh-uh.  Maddie did it.

“Who, me? Uh-uh. Maddie did it.”

Love this view from the East Bluff.

Have always loved this view from the East Bluff.

Jill - getting some puppy love!

Jill – getting some puppy love!

From a trip to Mac City - out-of-the-water sailboats at the marina.

From a trip to Mac City – out-of-the-water sailboats at the marina . . .

ggggg

. . . and the little park adjacent to the Shepler dock.

Pansies!  Don't you just love pansies!

Pansies! Don’t you just love pansies!

One day this week we walked into town and met up with Chris Ann and Burton's family at Marquette Park.  Two of the grandchildren fell in love with the Bearster.

One day this week we walked into town and met up with Chris Ann and Burton’s family at Marquette Park. Two of the grandchildren fell in love with the Bearster.

chip1

We went over to visit our neighbor, Chief Duck Andress, this week and noticed a chipmunk running up and down the top of his fence. Duck went over and poured out some peanuts and told me to go stand right by the fence and not move. Sure enough, in just a minute or two, Mr. Chipmunk scurried right down to the treats. Chipmunk to himself: “Hmmmm . . . peanuts!”

"I think I'll try one . . .

“I think I’ll try one . . .

. . . or two, or seven, or twelve.  Man, I wish I had bigger cheeks!"

. . . or two, or seven, or twelve. Man, I wish I had bigger cheeks!”

Mary Warner, a blog reader, and her entire family were staying at the Yacht Club this week.  I biked down to meet her and husband Steve, their two sons and their wives and the three grandchildren.  What a fun family!

Mary, a blog reader, and her entire family were staying at the Yacht Club this week. I biked down to meet her and husband Steve, their two sons and their wives, and the three grandchildren. What a fun family!  And guess what, Lowell – Mary and her parents used to eat at the Carriage Lantern in the 50’s, Mary worked one summer for the Benjamin Photography Store, and (drum roll please) Mary, as an 8-year-old, ALSO walked across Arch Rock!  There seems to have been quite a bit of that going on in the 50’s!

The article reporter Stephanie Fortino wrote on Lowell and Faye's visit to the Island appeared in this week's Town Crier!

The article reporter Stephanie Fortino wrote on Lowell and Faye’s visit to the Island appeared in this week’s Town Crier!

I loved these t-shirts they were all wearing.  Each date is the year that someone new in the family first visited Mackinac Island.

I loved these t-shirts they were all wearing. Each date is the year that someone new in the family first visited Mackinac Island.

Me - hurrying to the library last Friday to hear authors PJ Parrish (really two sisters

Me – hurrying to the library last Friday to hear author P.J. Parrish. (Photo: Jill Sawatzki)

You'll remember that P.J. Parrish is actually two sisters, Kelly Nichols and Kristy Montee, and their latest book is Heart of Ice, set on Mackinac Island.

You’ll remember that P.J. Parrish is actually two sisters, Kelly Nichols and Kristy Montee, and their latest book is Heart of Ice, set on Mackinac Island.

The library was packed, and the sisters spoke for about an hour about their new book and what it's like to write together - one from Michigan and one from Florida.  After the lecture there was a book signing, and the books were flying out of the library!  It is SO good!

The library was packed, and the sisters spoke for about an hour about the new book and what it’s like to write together – one from Michigan and one from Florida. After the lecture there was a book signing.  Hope you’ve read Heart of Ice.   It is SO good!

We rode out to      today and found a pony wash in progress.

We rode out to today to the Mackinac Community Equestrian Center and found a pony wash in progress.

Friend Joan Barch was there with her grandson Jordan.  Well, it seems there were no dirty ponies so sweet Blaze got to be "dirtied up" with finger paints . . .

Friend Joan Barch was there with her grandson Jordan. It seems there were no dirty ponies, so sweet Blaze volunteered to be “dirtied up” with finger paints . . .

. . . and Jordan had great fun leaving his fingerprints everywhere!

. . . and Jordan had great fun leaving his hand prints everywhere!

After they decorated Blaze in very patriotic red, white and blue paint, they, of course, washed it all off!

After they decorated Blaze in very patriotic red, white and blue paint, they then washed it all off!  That Blaze will put up with anything for these young horse lovers.

I have a funny story to tell you, and then I’m done for tonight.  The day that Lowell, Faye, Jill, reporter Stephanie, Ted and I had lunch at the Grand Hotel, we were all sitting and chatting, waiting for our food to arrive.  I totally forget what it was, but Ted said something sweet, and I reached out with my right hand – still chatting with someone down the table on my left – to give him a sweet pat and rub on his cheek.  As I patted and rubbed, I noticed everyone had stopped mid-sentence and they were all staring at me wide-eyed.  I heard Ted clear his throat and say, “Uh, Sweetie?”

That’s when I turned toward Ted and discovered that instead of patting and rubbing Ted’s cheek, I was patting and rubbing the arm of our server.

I put my head down on the table and about DIED!  But the waiter thought it was funny (and so did everyone else), and he laughingly agreed to recreating the "scene" for this pic.

I put my head down on the table and about DIED! But the waiter thought it was funny (and so did everyone else), and he laughingly agreed to recreate the “scene” for this pic.  Oh, Lordy.

And that’s the last time I “pat and rub” without looking first!

We have another busy, busy week ahead, with lots of 4th of July activities, and on Tuesday we’re going sailing!  Really excited about that and will share that adventure later in the week, along with whatever other goodies pop up.  The weather is supposed to be stuck on PERFECT all week, so if there’s any way you can jump in a car or bus or train or plane and get up here, you won’t be disappointed!

Have a great week, and I’ll be back in a few days with more good stuff from Mackinac!  God bless.

A Perfect Greene Day 6/4/2013

It does not get any better than today – it just doesn’t.  In fact, the day was so perfect, as I sit here trying to think of how to tell you about it, I’m still wearing the biggest smile ever.  Let me just say, dear readers, you did good with those prayers!

Lowell and Faye were already waiting in the lobby when I bounced in at 9:30 – a good 30 minutes before “the surprise”.  I don’t think I’ve mentioned that another blog fan – Lora – is on the Island this week, staying at another hotel with her niece, Sarah.  She, Lowell, and Faye have been trying to get together for a few minutes since the Greene’s arrived, but every attempt had failed.  So this morning Lora and Sarah came down to the Chippewa to see everyone off on the Grand Hotel VIP carriage.

I snapped this shot of Lowell and Lora in front of the Chippewa's elevator door.

I snapped this shot of Lowell and Lora in front of the Chippewa’s elevator door.

Soon our reporter from The St. Ignace News/Town Crier arrived - Stephanie Fortino.  She went along with our little "fib" about ordering a taxi to take us to Arch Rock for her interview with Lowell.

Soon our reporter from The St. Ignace News/Town Crier arrived – Stephanie Fortino. She went along with our little “fib” about ordering a taxi to take us to Arch Rock for her interview with Lowell.

Ben told me he would pull the carriage up in front of the Visitor’s Center and wait for a signal to pull down in front of the Chippewa.  When Ted saw him go by, he and Jill walked down and said we were all in the lobby.  As soon as Ben started moving, we told Faye and Lowell their “taxi” was outside.  Oh my gosh, I wish you could have seen their faces!

ggggg

We all climbed on, including Ted, who got to ride up top with Ben.  I honestly think Faye and Lowell were speechless for a few moments.

Off we went through downtown.  Now, when a vintage vi

Off we went through downtown. Now, when a vintage Grand Hotel vis-à-vis carriage, pulled by two majestic Hackney horses (named Jester and Joker) start high-stepping through the streets, it stops traffic, bikers, and pedestrians!

We drove up Cadotte and turned in front of the Grand Hotel.  Faye and Lowell finally just shook their heads in wonder and started laughing.

We drove up Cadotte and turned in front of the Grand Hotel. Faye and Lowell finally just shook their heads in wonder and started laughing.  It was great!

We traveled up the West Bluff in front of the summer cottages, with Lowell talking to Stephanie and Ben occasionally giving some history of what we were seeing.

We traveled up the West Bluff in front of the summer cottages, with Lowell talking to Stephanie and Ben occasionally giving some history on what we were seeing.  Stephanie, bless her heart, had a hard time writing while riding in the carriage, so she finally pulled out her recorder.

As we road through the Annex, which Lowell had never seen, he entertained us with stories from his years on Mackinac Island in the 1950, when he was a teenager.

As we road through the Annex, which Lowell had never seen, he entertained us with stories from his teenage years on Mackinac Island in the 1950’s.

We stopped in a shady spot for photos . . .

We stopped in a shady spot for a photo . . .

. . . then Ted climbed back up in the driver's seat.  They sure did chatter a lot up there, and I tried to listen to Lowell with one ear and their conversation with another.  I think they occasionally veered off the subject of island history.

. . . then Ted climbed back up in the driver’s seat he was sharing with Ben. They sure did chatter a lot up there, and I tried to listen to Lowell with one ear and their conversation with another. (To be honest, I think they occasionally veered off the subject of island history.)

We turned up the hill next to the cemetery and headed for Ft. Holmes.

We turned up the hill next to the cemetery and headed for Ft. Holmes . . .

. . . where we made our first official stop.

. . . where we made our first official stop.  There were several people at Ft. Holmes already, and with the arrival of the Grand carriage, they all immediately stopped looking at the view and wanted photos of Ben and the horses.

They ARE gorgeous - the horses, I mean :).

They are very photogenic.

Lowell said Ft. Holmes had changed quite a bit since he had visited there.  Where grass creates the walls of the fort now, there once were timbers.

Lowell said Ft. Holmes had changed quite a bit since he visited there. Where grass creates the walls surrounding these gates now, there once were timbers.

fff

Lowell and Faye at Ft. Holmes.

The interview really never stopped.  With each new spot, Stephanie would ask more questions, and Lowell told more stories.

The interview really never stopped. With each new spot, Stephanie would ask more questions, and Lowell would tell more stories.

Lowell and Faye at Lookout Point.

Lowell and Faye at Lookout Point.

While Lowell was being interviewed, Ted was entertaining Faye and Ben.

While Lowell was being interviewed, Ted was entertaining Faye.

Our last stop before the end of the tour was Arch Rock, where Lowell worked so many years ago.

Our last stop before the end of the tour was Arch Rock, where Lowell worked so many years ago.  Lora and Sarah rode their bikes out there to meet us.

Lowell showed Stephanie where the Curio Shop was at Arch Rock . . .

Lowell showed Stephanie where the Curio Shop was at Arch Rock . . .

. . . and the reporter gets a photograph of Lowell and Faye.

. . . and the reporter got a photograph of Lowell and Faye.

Jill also met us at Arch Rock and snapped this one or Ted and I.

Jill also met us at Arch Rock and snapped this one of Ted and I with Ben.

From Arch Rock, we headed back to the Grand . . .

From Arch Rock, we headed back to the Grand . . .

From Arch Rock we headed back to the Grand - but we weren't faster than Jill on her bike.  She had time to park the bike and get up on the porch and shoot this photo of us pulling into the Grand driveway. I'm telling you - she is the energizer bunny!

. . . but we weren’t faster than Jill on her bike. She had time to park the bike, get up on the porch, and shoot this photo of us pulling into the Grand driveway. I’m telling you – she is the energizer bunny!

We all thanked Ben for a fabulous tour!

We all thanked Ben for a fabulous tour . . .

. . . then went inside for a wonderful lunch at the Grand.

. . . then went inside for a wonderful lunch at the Grand.

Since Lowell, Faye, and Stephanie had never been to the Grand cupola, we took the elevator to within one floor of the top, then took the stairs the rest of the way.  Lowell said the view was worth every step.

Since Lowell, Faye, and Stephanie had never been to the Grand cupola, we took the elevator to within one floor of the top, then took the stairs the rest of the way. Lowell said the view was worth every step. 

I love this photo.

I love this photo.

dddddd

Our last stop was Sadie’s for ice cream.  By the way, flavor #3 was Triple Peanut Butter Cup, and on a scale from 1 to 10, I give it a 10.  Tasted like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups – with chocolate chips.

Again, it was just a perfect day.  Even the weather cooperated – sunny blue skies, no wind, and low 60’s.  We grabbed a taxi downtown and were dropped at the Chippewa, where we collapsed on a sofa in the lobby and talked about Wednesday.  It is so hard to believe their days here have flown by this quickly!

I’ll be meeting them at the Chippewa Wednesday morning in time to get down to Shepler’s for the 11 o’clock ferry.  But that’s a story for tomorrow.

A huge thank you to the Musser Family, Grand Hotel, Jennifer King and Ben Mosley for inviting the Greene’s to experience this special day on the Grand carriage.  Awesome doesn’t even begin to describe it!

Have I mentioned it was a perfect day . . .

Good Times . . . and Sad Times 5/28/2013

Memorial Day was beautiful on the Island.  Ted and I biked over to the Post Cemetery to wait on Fort Mackinac interpreters, dressed in period costume, to arrive.  A small crowd had gathered by the time we heard the drum cadence in the distance.

When the first soldiers come around that curve in the road, you can almost put yourself back in time and imagine what it must have been like to be waiting for this same ceremony over 200 years ago.

The Fort Mackinac interpreters, acting as soldiers, walk up to the cemetery from the fort . . .

. . . followed by a small group from town.

. . . followed by the ladies of the fort and a group of visitors from town.

Phil Porter, the Director of Mackinac Historic State Parks, gave a brief history of the traditional ceremony . . .

Phil Porter, the Director of Mackinac Historic State Parks, gave a brief history of the traditional ceremony . . .

. . . and one of the ladies laid a wreath at the grave of an unknown soldier.

. . . and one of the ladies laid a wreath at the grave of an unknown soldier.

At the end of the ceremony, the soldiers fired three rounds, and then came the poignant playing of "Taps".

At the end of the ceremony, the soldiers fired a salute, and then came the poignant playing of “Taps”.

The soldiers and ladies then march solemnly from the cemetery and return to Fort Mackinac.

The soldiers and ladies then march solemnly from the cemetery and return to Fort Mackinac.

Jim and Janice Groat, who have been on the Island for almost a month now, came up for the ceremony.  We will miss them when they have to leave at the end of May.

Jim and Janice Groat, who have been on the Island for almost a month now, came up for the ceremony. We will miss them when they have to leave at the end of May.  Hoping they come back before the summer is over!

While we were chatting after the ceremony, a runner came by, followed by her dog - who was carrying a stick almost as big as he was!

While we were chatting after the ceremony, a runner came by, followed by her dog – who was carrying a stick almost as big as he was!   He stopped long enough to let one of us toss the stick a couple of times . . .

. . . then took off running after his master.

. . . then took off running after his mom.

We stopped by Surrey Hill to pick up some fresh-baked donuts, then went back to the condo until it was time to walk downtown for the Memorial Day service at Veterans Park.  Crazy me – I forgot to take my camera card out of the computer and arrived downtown with no way to snap photos . . .

. . . so I'm borrowing one of Clark Bloswick's.  That's Paul Waundrie acting as Master of Ceremonies.  By the way, I finally met Clark this morning up at the Post Cemetery ceremony.

. . . so I’m borrowing one of Clark Bloswick’s. That’s Paul Wandrie acting as Master of Ceremonies. By the way, I finally met Clark this morning up at the Post Cemetery ceremony.

Since Ted hadn’t visited Sadie’s Ice Cream Parlor yet, we stopped in there on the way home.  I ordered Royal Coconut Chocolate (one dip, sugar cone), and Ted ordered his first of many Jersey Mudds.

This flavor has a lot more coconut than chocolate, and it was really good.  On a scale of 1 - 10, with 10 being the best, I have to give it an 8 - mostly because I would have liked a little more chocolate flavor.

This flavor has a lot more coconut than chocolate, and it was really good. On a scale of 1 – 10, with 10 being the best, I have to give it an 8 – mostly because I would have liked a little more chocolate.  But that’s just me.

My "one dip" was so large I almost lost it to the floor after one lick!  So they gave me a cup, and that worked much better.  Here I'm trying Ted's Jersey Mudd.  Oh my goodness, it was good!

My “one dip” was so large I almost lost it to the floor after one lick! So they gave me a cup, and that worked much better. Here I’m trying Ted’s Jersey Mudd. Oh my goodness, it was good! 

Ted agreed!  He said it tasted just like he remembers them from the Bon-Aire in Cedarville.

Ted agreed! He said it tasted just like he remembers them from the Bon-Aire in Cedarville.

On Sunday night we had the pleasure of having dinner at The Woods Restaurant with Cindy and John Irish.  Cindy had contacted me about a book she is writing that she wanted to base in a southern town, and they asked us to dinner to get some background about the south and the area of Georgia we're from.

On Monday night we had the pleasure of having dinner at The Woods Restaurant with Cindy and John Irish. Cindy had contacted me about a book she is writing that she wants to base in a southern town.  They asked us to dinner to get some background about the south and the area in Georgia where we live.  We really enjoyed our time with Cindy and John, and I’m hoping to see some of our shared information in her book.

We Tuesday morning to chilly temps and rain – a really yucky day to go off-island for Bear’s grooming – but I wasn’t about to put it off any longer!  Bear and I walked down the hill, caught the ferry, and rode to Alanson, where we stopped at Taylor’d Grooming and Pet Resort, a groomer recommended to us by the Conlons.  After dropping Bear off, I rode into Petoskey and spent a few hours exploring.  It’s a much larger than Cheboygan, and I can see myself really enjoying shopping there this summer.  Bear looked awesome, by the way, when I picked him up later in the afternoon.

Around noon I received a text message from Jill to call her “when I stopped somewhere” because she needed to tell me something.  My immediate thought was, “This can’t be good.” And it wasn’t.  Our cab driver to The Woods last night was our friend Ron McCord.  We all chatted together on the drive out through the woods to the restaurant, and the subject turned to ghost stories on the Island.  Ron shared a couple of his favorites and told us a funny story about one night when he discovered thousands of frogs on one of the Island’s deserted roads.  He dropped us at the restaurant, and I remember turning around on the porch and calling, “Thank you, Ron!”

He answered, as always, “My pleasure!” Then, smiling and waving his hand, he drove away.

That was at 6:45.

A couple of hours later, Ron died from an apparent heart attack as he sat on his taxi seat, talking with someone on the street downtown.  He simply bowed his head and was gone, his hands still holding his team’s reins.

I will miss Ron so much, and so will everyone on Mackinac.  He was one of the people I most look forward to seeing each year when we arrive, and I’d already ridden with him several times this year.  He leaves a wife and at least one grown daughter.  Our hearts and our prayers are with them tonight.

A photo from June 12, 2012 blog post.  We met Ron on his taxi while we were biking around the island that day.  He stopped a moment to chat and told us he'd just taken some young people about half-way around the island to a spot where they could swim.

A photo from June 12, 2012 blog post. We met Ron on his taxi while we were biking around the island that day. He stopped a moment to chat and told us he’d just taken some young people about half-way around the island to a spot where they could swim.  A good memory.

Here and There and All Around 5/15/2013

Best News First!  Faye just let me know Lowell is doing much better today and will return home tomorrow from the hospital!  They discussed the Mackinac trip with his doctor, and he said as long as Lowell felt like going, it was ok. Let’s keep those prayers lifting that Lowell continues to improve and that he and Faye arrive on the Island June 2 as planned.

It’s been kind of a bittersweet day.  We officially signed the papers to list our condo, and I’ve spent a large part of the morning snapping photographs of every room, nook, and cranny in our little piece of paradise.  Right now I’m at 50 shots, and that’s after deleting at least 50 others.  Still haven’t shot the upstairs third bedroom because Ted hasn’t completely cleared it of four bikes and luggage . . . as you can see!

IMG_3582

On the way down I passed what is supposed to be the oldest Lilac bush on Mackinac.  Leaf buds were appearing!

I walked to town early this afternoon to have lunch with Frankie at Horn’s.  On the way down I passed what is supposed to be the oldest Lilac bush on Mackinac. Leaf buds were appearing!

4

So far Frankie hasn’t had any luck finding a job opening, and she will probably leave the Island tomorrow. Still praying that a door will open for her.

After lunch I popped into the Island Bookstore to get Ted a newspaper and found Mary Jane Barnwell, one of the store's owners busy at the cash register . . .

After lunch I popped into the Island Bookstore to get Ted a newspaper and found Mary Jane Barnwell, one of the store’s owners, busy at the cash register . . .

After lunch I popped into the Island Bookstore to get Ted a newspaper and found Jill putting new books on the shelves.  This time of year they receive boxes and boxes of books each day!

. . . and Jill putting new books on the shelves. This time of year the store receive boxes and boxes of books each day!

It was so much warmer today - in the high 50 - so I decided to take the long way home by the boardwalk.  As soon as I got past the library though, the wind off the lake picked up, and it was as though someone was forcing the wind through an ice machine.

It was so much warmer today – in the high 50 – so I decided to take the long way home by the boardwalk. As soon as I got past the library though, the wind off the lake picked up, and it was as though someone was forcing that wind through an ice machine.  Nevertheless, the water was Michigan blue, and this patch of grass has turned summer green.

I knew this was going to happen as soon as I saw they were adding an Ice Cream Parlor at the Grand Hotel.  Sure enough.  My legs just hung a 90-degree left and took me straight into Sadie's.

I knew this was going to happen as soon as I saw they were adding an Ice Cream Parlor at the Grand Hotel. Sure enough. When I reached the Grand, my legs just hung a 90-degree left and took me straight into Sadie’s, where they serve 24 flavors of Hudsonville Ice Cream.

This will be a deplorable chore, but I'm vowing to my readers right NOW that I will leave no flavor at Sadie's untried and unreported.  I started today with the Sea Side Caramel because that's what I was told was the first big seller.  I will limit my scoops to "one" and always use a sugar cone for consistency.

This will be a deplorable task, but I’m vowing to my readers right NOW that I will leave no flavor at Sadie’s untried and unreported. I started today with the Seaside Caramel because that’s what I was told was the first best seller. Seaside Caramel is made up of chocolate covered salted caramels in vanilla flavored ice cream with a salted caramel ribbon. Just typing that added a pound to each thigh.  I will limit my scoops to “one” and always use a sugar cone for continuity.  Then I’ll score each flavor on a scale from 1 to 10, with a 10 being the highest possible score.  I give Seaside Caramel a 12.

What could be better - a beautiful day on Mackinac Island, a delicious ice cream cone to be enjoyed as I walk up the hill (thereby burning all the calories in the aforementioned ice cream cone)!

What could be better – a beautiful day on Mackinac Island, a delicious ice cream cone to be enjoyed as I walk up the hill (thereby burning all the calories in the aforementioned ice cream cone)!  Perfect day!

I’m working at Shepler’s again tomorrow as the last group of Winsome Women arrives and the second group leaves.  It always amazes me to see how everything gets to where it’s going when these huge groups come in.  Thousands of pieces of luggage are tagged, shrink-wrapped on carts, carried over on ferries, transferred to drays, and hauled by horses to hotels all over the Island.  Amazing!