A Week Filled with Good Things 10/1/17

Hi Friends!

Last week was busy and so much fun!  Ted’s sister Sheryl and cousin Heidi came for a visit, and we spent three days doing lots of touristy things, as well as just spending time getting to know these newly found members of our family.   After two weeks of above average temperatures (I think we hit 85 one day!), we had a cold front come through the first night our company was here.  From that point on we had absolutely beautiful blue skies, crisp temperatures, and the definite feeling of Fall in the air!

Sheryl and Heidi arrived on Tuesday morning, and I know they thought we were going to walk them all over the island before bedtime that night.

We started with lunch at the Tea Room at Fort Mackinac . . . .

. . . . which is absolutely one of the top five “view” spots on Mackinac!

We roamed around the fort, visited Sutler’s Store, and then walked back to the condo.  Later in the afternoon we walked over to the West Bluff, hiked Pontiac Trail, and walked around the Annex.  By the time dinner rolled around we were all starving, and we all turned in early that evening.

On Wednesday we had planned a special surprise for Sheryl and Heidi.  We started with lunch at Grand Hotel . . .

.. . . . and a visit to the Cupola Bar at the very top of the Grand.

Another one of those top five “view” spots on Mackinac!

We then went to the Grand porch and rocked for a little while, just watching people and enjoying the sunshine.

The big surprise arrived when Ben Mosley drove up in one of Grand Hotel’s vintage carriages and welcomed us aboard.  We spent the next hour touring several of the top tourist attractions on Mackinac, as well as just enjoying riding through the woods in a carriage drawn by two beautiful Hackneys showing off their footwork.

The tour started off with a ride through the Annex and out to Stonecliffe, followed by . . .

. . . riding up to Lookout Point via this wooded road which turns steeply upward at the cemeteries.

We took a few minutes to get off the carriage . . . .

. . . for a great view of Sugar Loaf, an expanse of wooded land, and Lake Huron in the distance.

Although those clouds looked a little menacing, we didn’t get a single drop of rain on our “parade”.

We next visited Fort Holmes, the highest spot on Mackinac . . .

. . . followed by a stop at Arch Rock.

It really doesn’t matter how many times we visit all these places. Each time is special, and I’m glad we made it to all these spots one more time this year.

Although Heidi and Sheryl both had been to Mackinac Island before, they saw a few places they’d never seen and really enjoyed the tour and the carriage ride!  We finished the day with dinner at the Chip and a taxi ride home.

Thursday was spent visiting with the current residents of an East Bluff cottage where Heidi and her family had past connections, lunch downtown, and then a visit with old friends of the family.

We were up early on Friday morning to take a taxi downtown and have breakfast at The Chuckwagon before the ladies caught the ferry off the island.  We were sad to see them go. We had spent Thursday evening at the condo, laughing and telling family stories.  It was just the best visit, and we hope Heidi and Sheryl both come back soon.  We DO have more places to show you because I promise you didn’t see everything (even though it may have felt like it).

A FEW MORE PICS

A shady walk down Huron Street right after the street cleaner had gone through.

The condo’s backyard furniture arrived this week! Condo picnic soon!

We had two cruise ships at the island on the same day.  The ship anchored offshore is the Hamburg.  It has too deep a draft for the big dock, so it anchors off Mission Point and shuttles tourists in aboard her four small launches.

Friends and blog readers Kem Green and Yvonne Pitsch stopped by to visit me at the Stuart House this week!

What are they? Morning Glories? Whatever they are, they are as big as dinner plates and beautiful!

Sunrise from the Chippewa Hotel. (Photo: Kem Green)

“I’d like to come in now please.”

The parade ground at Fort Mackinac.

Mums the word at Doud’s Market!

Pontiac Trail in the mist. (Photo: Kem Green)

The view over the Hackney’s backs!

This great bunch of friends and relatives got together on Shepler’s dock Friday morning. Some were leaving, some were staying.  Left to right: Mike and Pam Day, me, Sheryl, Heidi, Kem and Ed Green, Ted and Jill.  Love you all!

“I think I see dad coming!”

I’ve got a great story to share next time about a birch bark canoe our Mackinac Island public school children helped to build.  It was launched yesterday.  Coming up in a few days!

God bless..

More Fall Beauty From Mackinac 11/3/16

I thought Sunday’s blog post would be the best of the best of “Fall on Mackinac” photos.

I was wrong.

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Every time someone shares one of these pics of this year’s gorgeous trees I tear up a little.  Sure would love to be there to see them in person – to stand in the road and stare, or sit on a leafy knoll and just breathe it all in. (Photo: Tom Chambers)

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I can’t get enough of the maple trees on Cadotte!  These trees were only planted six years ago.  Can you imagine their WOW factor in another decade!  (Photo: Pam Day)

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The folks at Metivier Inn shared this and the next five photos – showing just how empty downtown becomes after most everything has closed.  Here a lone person walks a bike toward St. Anne’s on Main Street.

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In the summer this row of benches would be overflowing with visitors awaiting their turn to board a Carriage Tour.

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Ferry docks usually teeming with people at any hour of the day stand empty until just before the arrival or departure of a ferry.

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Main Street . . .

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. . . Market Street . . .

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. . . and the marina are empty.  November is quiet on Mackinac.  It’s a time when year-round residents give a sigh of relief that another season of hard work has come to an end, men enjoy hunting season, and families travel to see friends and relatives.  Thanks for sharing, Metivier Inn!

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A gorgeous sunrise captured by Patrick Conlon.

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And that’s a wrap.  From Dale Peterson, this photo of the last group of horses leaving the island for the winter.  A few horses will remain for the winter taxi and for the work drays.

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THIS end of Main Street was a beehive on this particular day.  Getting the work done before the snow flies!  (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

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This photo and the next four are from friend and wonderful photographer Bruce LaPine.  Love this one from the Peace Garden, showing the bronze statue, “Be Still”.  The garden is dedicated to the 200 years of lasting peace between Canada and the United States since the War of 1812.  The garden is at the east end of Marquette Park.

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From Point Lookout, overlooking Sugar Loaf.

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I guess it’s strange to say that one of my favorite island spots is a cemetery, but it is – and especially in the fall.  It’s then that the sound of your feet crunching through the fallen leaves is usually the only sound you will hear as you walk among the gravestones.  Such peace for those who rest here.

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The Grand Lady on the Hill – almost hidden by those maples.

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And there are just no words that would do this one justice.  It is perfect.  Awesome photos, Bruce!  Thank you for sharing!

A FEW BODIE THOUGHTS

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I pulled out an old photo of Bear this week (he was about 1 1/2 years old in that one) and compared him to Bodie.  I had forgotten how much lighter Bear had become as he’d aged.  When we first got himhe was almost the exact shade Bodie is now. 

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Bodie is alternately a teenage terror, an obedient angel, and a big puppy who is scary smart.  I taught him to shake the other day in about 10 minutes, and he instinctively knew to alternate paws –  without being taught that – depending on which one I asked for.  You can just see his mind whirling at times.  Gotta be on my toes with this one!

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He and Maddie are bonding.  That means she puts up with him until he crosses a line.  Then she pushes him back across to his side.  Bodie is more assertive than Bear, but Maddie handles him like the Queen she is.  I caught them grooming each other one morning – Bodie washing her face, and Maddie cleaning his ears.  Sweet moment.

Y’all won’t believe this, but I stayed up until 1 am this morning watching the Cubs win the World Series.  First baseball game I’ve watched in at least 10 years (and probably the last one for the next ten).  I’ve never been much of a baseball fan, but that game last night was sports at its greatest.  Congratulations to all the Cubs fans out there! 

Have a great weekend, and we’ll meet back here in a few days. 

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.

Fun With the Grands! 7/31/16

How much fun can you pack into a Friday and Saturday on Mackinac Island with two teenagers?  I think we set the record!

FRIDAY

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We started Friday with a bike ride up to Fort Holmes, with stops along the way near Anne’s Tablet to look out across the Jewel Golf Course to the Straits of Mackinac and the Mackinac Bridge.

I guess I should state right about here that the four of us were on bikes, but there were several stretches when BeBe (that’s me) bailed off the bike and walked up the steepest parts (like Mission Hill, the East Bluff, and Fort Holmes Road).  I was the only one who had to do that, but I’m proud to say I stuck with them for most of the way!

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It was another gorgeous Mackinac summer day – in the 70’s, with a little breeze.  The view from Lookout Point down on Sugar Loaf was a sea of green leading to a brilliant blue Lake Huron.

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Inside the restored Fort Holmes structure, Matthew and Jordan were amazed and astounded by all the history G-Daddy knew about the War of 1812.  LOL!

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On Fort Holmes ramparts. Through the open stockade door, you can see the lake.

 

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The new structure from the edge of the hill.

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After a burger at Mission Point Resort’s Bistro on the Green, we challenged each other to a game of puttputt – girls against guys.

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The girls won, BUT Matthew got a hole-in-one on the last hole!

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After dinner, we headed downtown for ice cream from the No Name Café (loving their Moomers Ice Cream) . . .

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. . . then stopped in to see Jill at the Island Bookstore.  Right next door is Great Turtle Toys, where Jordan and Matthew tried to teach G-Daddy Kendama tricks.

Ted and I have been pretty amused at how early Jordan and Matthew are ready for bed each night AND the fact that they slip in a nap or two during the day.  Of course, so do we!

SATURDAY

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Saturday morning found me back volunteering at the Stuart House Museum  The kids stopped by during the morning, and Matthew came back by with half a pound of fudge for me to have for lunch at my desk.  Thank you, Matthew!

Speaking of fudge, you would not BELIEVE how much fudge these two can consume.  They make a fudge run every single day, and it is all gone by bedtime.  Amazing!  Matthew is also a pickle lover.  The second day they were here he bought a big jar of dill pickles at Doud’s and ate the ENTIRE jar in one sitting (we weren’t aware he was doing that, by the way).  Then he followed it with a 1/2 lb. box of fudge.  I don’t even want to think about what would happen to me if I did that, but he was perfectly fine – ate a huge dinner and went to bed without a problem.  Ahhh, youth!

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On Saturday afternoon, while BeBe and G-Daddy rested, Matthew and Jordan took their island map and rode out to find the Crack in the Island and the Cave in the Woods.  They then rode back to the cave where they’d gone geo-caching with Ted and their parents near Robinson’s Folly back in 2012 (where they’d been with Ted on Wednesday). They found the geo-cache again and opened it to find the note they had written four years ago.  How cool is that!

We had tacos for dinner, then Jordan and I stayed up to watch Somewhere In Time.  It was Jordan’s first time to see the movie, and I’m embarrassed to tell you how many times I’ve watched it.  I cried  . . . . again.

Here it is Sunday night (I’ll tell you about Sunday on another day), and we can’t believe we only have one more full day left with the kids before they leave on Tuesday.  This week has gone way too fast!

The view from the window above our bed at dusk.

The view from the window above our bed at dusk.

God bless.

Photo Night! 9/23/15

Are you kidding me?!  We’ve been here almost SIX WEEKS?!  Are you kidding me?!

Oh. My. Gosh!  It’s just unbelievable how fast these weeks have flown by.  And we’ve been so busy I know I haven’t shown you nearly enough of beautiful Mackinac – and that’s why you come to this blog!!  So, I’m going to try to remedy that, because . . .IT’S PHOTO NIGHT!!

Here’s a sampling of what I’ve captured through my lens during the last couple of weeks.  There are a LOT of pics, but believe me, there were a LOT more I could have posted. But then you’d have been here when you should have been working – or sleeping – or eating!

Let's start with cuteness, with a capital "C" - for Chester! Chester belongs to friend Bart, who also happens to be a volunteer fireman on Mackinac. So . . . now the Mackinac Island Fire Department has an official Dalmatian fire dog mascot!!

Let’s start with cuteness, with a capital “C” – for Chester! Chester belongs to friend Bart, who also happens to be a volunteer fireman on Mackinac. So . . . now the Mackinac Island Fire Department has an official Dalmatian fire dog mascot!!

I wonder what we can get into today!

I wonder what we can get into today!

A walk to the ferry one morning took me by The Island House and its magnificent gardens . . .

A walk to the ferry one morning took me by The Island House and its magnificent gardens . . .

. . . . and Fort Mackinac, framed by newly mown grass and that incredible Michigan-blue sky.

. . . . and Fort Mackinac, framed by newly mown grass and that incredible Michigan-blue sky.

So excited to see good friend Frankie when we met a few days ago in Mackinaw City. We rode over to Petoskey and had lunch at Stafford's Bay View Inn. What a charming place and what yummy food!

So excited to see good friend Frankie and her friend Sue when we met a few days ago in Mackinaw City. We rode over to Petoskey and had lunch at Stafford’s Bay View Inn. What a charming place and what yummy food!  It was a great day, Frankie!

View that same day when I got back to the island - looking at the steeple of Mission Church from one of the high bedroom windows. A peaceful sunset on Mackinac.

View that same day when I got back to the island – looking at the steeple of Mission Church from one of the third floor bedroom windows. A peaceful sunset on Mackinac.

We FINALLY made it up to Fort Holmes last week! This is what it looked like the last time I was up there (two years ago) . . .

We FINALLY made it up to Fort Holmes last week! This is what it looked like the last time I was up there (two years ago) . . .

. . . and here it is now!!

. . . and here it is now!!

What an awesome job they did reconstructing this fort, both outside . . .

What an awesome job they did reconstructing the fort, both outside . . .

. . . and inside. The fort's history is told on placards around the wall.

. . . and inside. The fort’s history is told on placards around the wall.

As you top that last rise of the road past leading up past the cemetery and the structure comes into view, it just takes your breath away . . .

As you top that last rise of the road leading up past the cemetery, and the structure comes into view, it just takes your breath away . . .

. . . and so does that view from the "top of the island".

. . . and so does the view from the “top of the island”.

From Fort Holmes we walked to Lookout Point up one of my favorite paths . . .

From Fort Holmes we walked up one of my favorite paths to Lookout Point  . . .

. . . and even though there was very little "color change" looking out toward Sugar Loaf . . .

. . . and even though there was very little “color change” looking out toward Sugar Loaf . . .

. . . we did see a few leaves changing in the tops of a couple of trees.

. . . we did spot a few leaves turning red in the tops of a couple of trees.

This tree downtown next to the Richard and Jane Manoogian Art Museum is always one of the first to show its fall colors.

This tree downtown next to the Richard and Jane Manoogian Art Museum is always one of the first to show its fall colors, and this year is no different.

Even though summer is officially over on the calendar, Mackinac's flowers are still blooming their hearts out - like here at The Cottage Inn on Market Street.

Even though summer is officially over on the calendar, Mackinac’s flowers are still blooming their hearts out – like here at The Cottage Inn on Market Street . . .

And near Anne's Cottage on Main Street.

. . . and near Anne’s Cottage on Main Street.

The hanging baskets are still going strong.

The hanging baskets are still going strong and continue to grow more beautiful each day.

And these pink and green bikes . . .

These pink and green bikes . . .

. . . seem to match these pink and green baskets on the front of this downtown cottage.

. . . seem to match the pink and green baskets on the front of a downtown cottage.

A freighter passing . . . as seen between downtown condos.

A freighter passing . . . as seen between downtown condos.

So good to run into Pam and Mike Day (from Ohio) while out biking the other day. These two might love Mackinac as much as I do . . . notice I said "might" . . . it's pretty close though. They're on the island around this time every year and are two of the sweetest folks I've ever met!

So good to run into Pam and Mike Day (from Ohio) while out biking the other day. These two might love Mackinac as much as I do . . . notice I said “might” . . . it’s pretty close though. They’re on the island around this time every year and are two of the sweetest folks I’ve ever met!

As you may or may not be aware, last weekend the island was host to the Republican Leadership Conference, and five or six of the candidates in the running for the Republican Presidential nomination were here to speak. While waiting for Carly Fiorina to arrive, I ran into one of my favorite Mackinac Island photographers, Steven Blair. Steven owns Artistic Mackinac Gallery & Studio on Astor Street.

As you may or may not be aware, last weekend the island was host to the Republican Leadership Conference, and five or six of the candidates in the running for the Republican Presidential nomination were here to speak. While waiting for Carly Fiorina to arrive, I ran into one of my favorite Mackinac Island photographers, Steven Blair. Steven owns Artistic Mackinac Gallery & Studio on Astor Street.  If you’re ever in the market for beautiful photography of beautiful Mackinac, you need to stop into Steven’s shop.  Bet you don’t walk out empty-handed!

I managed to get a few shots of Fiorina - both arriving on the Shepler dock . . .

I managed to get a few shots of Fiorina – both arriving on the Shepler dock . . .

. . . and close up, as she walked down for a meet & greet at Mary's Bistro.

. . . and close up, as she walked down for a meet & greet at Mary’s Bistro.

This photo of me with Jeb Bush is from two years ago. He was on the island to speak at the Detroit Chamber of Commerce conference and was leaving just as I arrived from volunteering with Shepler's that day on the mainland. There were maybe three people standing around, and I don't think any of them realized who he was.

This photo of me with Jeb Bush is from two years ago. He was on the island to speak at the Detroit Chamber of Commerce conference and was leaving just as I arrived from volunteering with Shepler’s on the mainland that day. There were maybe three people standing around, and I don’t think any of them realized who he was.  He was carrying his own luggage.

What a difference two years makes! This is Bush's arrival last week! (Photo: Jill Sawatzki)

What a difference two years makes! This is Bush’s arrival last week! (Photo: Jill Sawatzki)

Being so close to town this year, I've spent more time out and about after dark. These next three photos are from an after sunset stroll to the condo from dinner at the Chippewa. Lady Liberty stands guard over the marina.

Being so close to town this year, I’ve spent more time out and about after dark. These next three photos are from a sunset stroll to the condo after dinner at the Chippewa. Lady Liberty stands guard over the marina.

The Island House . . .

The Island House . . .

. . . and Mission Church.

. . . and Mission Church.

We had lunch recently with Steve and Cindy, who bought our condo. They are so sweet and love the condo AND Mackinac a lot. They're from Atlanta and spend most of the summer up here - just like we did.

We had lunch recently with Steve and Cindy, who bought our condo. They are so sweet and love the condo AND Mackinac a lot. They’re from Atlanta and spend most of the summer up here – just like we did.

Things you never want to see on Mackinac - fire trucks! Last Sunday morning a piecing alarm went off just across the street from us, followed within two minutes with the arrival of our Mackinac Island Fire Department. Turned out a sprinkler system pipe had sprung a leak and set off the alarm. Geez - sure wouldn't wish THAT on anyone. But, so glad it wasn't a fire, and our firemen were on it in record time!

Things you never want to see on Mackinac – fire trucks! Early last Sunday morning a piecing alarm went off just across the street from us, followed within two minutes with the arrival of our Mackinac Island Fire Department. Turned out a sprinkler system pipe had sprung a leak and set off the alarm. Geez – sure wouldn’t wish THAT on anyone. But – so glad it wasn’t a fire.  Our firemen were on it in record time!

On the way off island for a final grooming appointment before going home. . . .

On the way off island for a final grooming appointment before going home. . . .

. . . and spreading "Bear love" wherever he goes.

. . . and spreading “Bear love” wherever he goes.

We ran into Mary Lou Peters, my favorite watercolor artist, in the Island Bookstore this afternoon. Love this lady!

We ran into Mary Lou Peters, my favorite watercolor artist, in the Island Bookstore this afternoon. Love this talented lady!

Here's a good one to end with! We stopped in at Sadie's this week so Ted could have a Jersey Mudd. Not to be outdone, I ordered their "special of the day", a Brownie Scotch sundae. Someone on Faceebook asked me if it was the camera angle that made my sundae look five times bigger than Ted's. No, it really WAS five times bigger!

Here’s a good one to end with! We stopped in at Sadie’s this week so Ted could have a Jersey Mudd. Not to be outdone, I ordered their “special of the day”, a Brownie Scotch sundae. Someone on Faceebook asked me if it was the camera angle that made my sundae look five times bigger than Ted’s. No, it really WAS five times bigger!

I can’t WAIT until tomorrow.  For some reason, this seems to be a week when a pretty good number of Bree’s Mackinac Island Blog readers are on the island.  Since I’m working at the Stuart House tomorrow, everyone I could get in contact with is going to show up at the Stuart House at 10:30 a.m. for a group photo, with Jill doing the photography honors.  IF you read Bree’s Blog and you’re on the island and want to join us – whether you’re from out of town or an island reader – please come on by Thursday morning and join in the fun!  10:30 a.m. at the Stuart House!!

Excited to see everyone!!!

A Quiet Week – Until . . . 6/20/2013

The Horton house has been relatively quiet the last few days (insert huge sigh of relief).  I worked Monday at the Stuart House, Ted worked Tuesday at the Visitors Center, Wednesday was off-island grocery day, and today we’ve had a really relaxed day doing mostly nothing.

Even with the lack of any special events going on, I still have some photos to share that I’ve collected during the week, and a little later, I have an exciting island rescue to tell you about!  So let’s get started . . .

While photographing Lilacs at Four Corners the other day, my eye was immediately drawn to this magnificent sculpture of an eagle . .

While photographing Lilacs at Chambers Corner the other day, my eye was immediately drawn to this magnificent sculpture of an eagle . .

Am I going crazy?  Has he always been there, and I've never noticed him?  Geez - I hope not!  Regardless, he is a beauty!

Am I going crazy? Has he always been there, and I’ve never noticed him? Geez – I hope not! Regardless, he is a beauty, and looks very natural soaring between the Lilac trees.

We missed the Blessing of the Animals this year, but this beautiful photo was taken by Stephen Blair of Maryanke Alexander on her awesome Friesian Regina

We missed the Blessing of the Animals this year, but photographer Steven Blair captured this beautiful moment of Dr. Vince Carroll blessing Regina, Maryanke Alexander’s wonderful Friesian.

Looking dwn

Looking downtown from Fort Hill.

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I can’t get enough of Jeff’s garden on French Lane this year.  It is lush with greenery and flowers, and the summer has only just begun!  Give it another month to grow, and oh my goodness!

Blog readers Paul and Elaine Williams, enjoying some cool refreshments at the Pink Pony!

Blog readers Paul and Elaine Williams, enjoying some cool refreshments on the Pink Pony outside patio.  (Photo:  Jill Sawatzki)

Michigan blue!

Michigan blue sky and water – looking across the yard in front of the Grand Hotel, down to the Mackinac Island Public School.

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Doud’s Market on the right, the Chippewa Hotel across the street, the Visitors Center sideways across from the Chippewa, and Marquette Park across from the Visitors Center.  Add bikes, people, carriages and horses, and you have an always busy corner.

fffff

Fort Mackinac, with yellow umbrellas visible at the Tea Room, one of our favorite places to have lunch with a view!

Maryanke and Regina took a ride down Main Street last evening, to the delight of a lot of tourists.  We were downtown to have dinner with the Forresters, so we got to say hello also.

Maryanke and Regina took a ride down Main Street last evening, to the delight of a lot of tourists. We were downtown to have dinner with the Forresters, so we got to say hello also. (Photo: Mike Forrester)

Ted and I took Maddie and Bear up to Lookout Point today.  It was a great day for a walk, and the woods are so green it takes your breath to walk through them.

Ted and I took Maddie and Bear up to Lookout Point today. It was a great day for a walk, and the woods are so green it takes your breath to walk through them.

Cathie, forgive me.  I missed the big Lily-of-the-Valley blooming, but I did find a few for you!

Cathie, forgive me. I missed the big Lily-of-the-Valley blooming, but I did find a few for you!

rrrr

I’ve never seen the grasses in this photo before in the woods.  I know they look blurred, but they are actually just that fine and whispy.  Anyone know what type of grass this is?

Sugar Loaf

Sugar Loaf

It was at Sugar Loaf today that a dramatic rescue took place.  The Mackinac Island Fire Department and EMT’s were called to Sugar Loaf by a family whose son had become trapped inside one of the cave-like opening in the huge limestone outcropping.

In the photo above you can see a wide sand-like trail that winds around sugar loaf on the right.  Above that trail there three holes (almost looks like two eyes and a mouth).  It is hard to tell in this photo, but those holes are quite a distance from the base of Sugar Loaf.

A 14-year old boy, who frequently comes to the island and has done this before, once more climbed into one of the holes.  Not realizing until it was too late that his larger size now would get him in trouble, he became wedged in the hole and could not get out.

In Assistant Fire Chief Jason St. Onge’s words:  “Lt. Larry Rickley and Fire-Fighter Craig Bunker from Engine 1 used air-chisels and other hand tools to help extricate the young man, while Allied EMS, EMT Tony Spata rendered aid.  The three men were able to balance on the edge of the rock while they worked.”

St. Onge said, “Rickley and Bunker worked like horses to free up the young man, and Tony Spata all but climbed in to render aid/oxygen/assurance to keep him calm.”

As I’ve said many times in the past, the Mackinac Island Fire Department, Police Department, and EMT’s are first-rate, professional, highly-trained individuals who have to answer emergency and rescue situations not many other emergency personnel would have to deal with in their districts.  Mackinac Island is unique in so many ways, and these men and women are the best!

A huge thank you to all who took part in this rescue – both on and off duty!

FROM ANOTHER PERSON’S PERSPECTIVE

After a recent visit to Mackinac Island, a new friend of mine, Jean Schachermeyer, shared this the other day on Facebook:

On Saturday I was sitting on a balcony on Mackinac Island watching the folks on Main Street, and I took notice of three things I wanted to share about Michiganders…

1. Kids…riding bikes down Main Street (helmets on:) and one said to the other “Aren’t you going to be sad when we have to leave this place?” 
2. An Amish woman riding a bike putting her face back to feel the wind on her face. I could just tell it was quite a treat for her.
3. Watching the folks as they exited the ferry and walked onto the island, I noticed families, working class families. They had no luggage and were not spending the night, but making maybe an annual pilgrimage to this amazing Michigan treasure. Soaking in the sights, smells, and sounds…spending their hard earned money on fudge, taking a carriage tour, knickknacks to remember the day. 

I think someone already coined the phrase but what the heck . . . Pure Michigan.

Thank you, Jean, for saying so well what I try to say with each post on Bree’s Blog.  Mackinac Island is like a gift, all wrapped up and waiting for all who come to step off the ferry, open her up, and see what what she has to offer.  Pure Mackinac.

This, That, and . . . the Other 8.16.2012

Hi Everyone!  Sorry it’s taken me so long to post this, but I was off-island all day.  After the blog was published last night, I received several correct answers and several more today.The first correct answer came from Tina Fiste of Midland, MI.  The Mystery Spot is the cart trail up to a green in the Jewel Golf Course.  It can easily be seen walking up Cadotte – right before you get to “Four Corners” and the horse barns.

Have we had a “Photos Only” post this season?  I don’t think so!

So . . . I now declare this the First Official “Photos Only” post of the 2012 Mackinac Island Season (Whew!  I’m glad I’m getting at least one in before the season is over)!

THIS . . .

Possibly my favorite Island road – from Point Lookout to Ft. Holmes. Especially glorious in the Fall.

Not a good day for kayaking. We watched from the boardwalk as one boat flipped, and its passenger hit the water. He clung to his kayak until his buddy arrived to help. All ok.

I learned something new about Sugar Loaf! This opening is called “the Keyhole”.  It’s a shallow cave (about 8′ deep) and has two flumes that ventilate at the top.  Climbing up to check all this out is prohibited.

My friend Mcgyver, getting a little buggy-pulling exercise. I was walking up the hill, turned around when I heard clip-clops, and there he was!

The Mackinac Island recycling dray. Recycling day is once every two weeks. As each resident or business recycling container is picked up, it’s sorted on board the dray, then returned for use the next time.  All heavy cardboard, including boxes, must be flattened and tied together in bundles.  Same with magazines and newspapers.

I left my bike parked at the Cloghaun Bed & Breakfast the other night when I rode a taxi to a party with other ladies from downtown. When I picked it up the next day on my way to work, I caught the Cloghaun “mascot” Maggie on the steps going up the the porch. She was keeping a little girl who was staying there with her parents company.

Happy flowers at the Cloghaun B & B.

THAT . . .

A particularly nasty summer storm a couple of weeks ago brought down limbs and a few trees in the middle of the night. The Market Street side of Market and Cadotte was blocked most of the morning as tree cutters worked to remove huge limbs that had fallen – and others threatening to fall.  One house had some roof damage that was quickly repaired.

On Cadotte, a house can barely be seen through all the downed limbs, but there was no damage to the home.

Like magic, wood chippers appeared, and by afternoon all evidence of the storm had vanished.  Amazing!

Georgia visitors on the Island! We’ve known Don and Nancy for years, and they were on Mackinac Wednesday with a tour group from Carrollton, GA. We met them at the Grand Hotel (after they enjoyed the Grand Lunch Buffet) and rode with them on a two-hour private tour of the Island

I love, love, love seeing the Island through the eyes of a first-time visitor! I think the phrase I heard most from Nancy was, “Oh my goodness, look at that!”

AND THE OTHER . . .

We have NO WINNER for the Mystery Spot this week.  I am totally mystified – ’cause it was an easy one – well, at least to me it was.  You know what?  I’m not going to reveal the answer.  Next Wednesday I’ll post it again – but from a different angle.  Bet you get it then!  Between now and then, if the answer dawns on you, go ahead and email me at brendasumnerhorton@hotmail.com!

I’m off to the groomers with Bear tomorrow, which means spending a few hours off-island in Cheboygan’s WalMart.  It’s funny how when we’re home in Georgia, a trip to the local WalMart is no big deal (something I’d rather skip, as a matter of fact).  Up here though,  you’d think I was heading to Bloomingdale’s in New York City by how excited I get.  I guess it’s all relative!

Have a great weekend!  God bless.

Only One More Friday . . . . . 10/21/2011

C   R   A   Z   Y  !  !  !

Strong winds and rain greeted me when the alarm clock buzzed this morning at 5:45, and gale warnings were up until late Thursday afternoon.  I dressed with more layers than I’ve worn on the Island since I returned one February for Winter Festival.  TWO sets of Cuddl Duds (top and bottom), a turtle neck sweater, another pullover and over all that – rain gear (jacket with hood and rain pants).  The only things not protected from the rain were my feet and hands, which was a big mistake.  I wore heavy socks and leather boots, and by the time I’d been working an hour, my socks were squishy wet, and my toes were frozen.  Reminder to self:  Add plain black rubber boots to my Christmas list (I just couldn’t bring myself to don my black and white polka dot rain boots to go work – not a very professional look.  Silly me.  After an hour of being splashed by the river running through the entrance gate and then stepping down into that river to talk to hundreds of ladies going to the island, I would have given anything for dry, warm toes. But everyone survived, and Shepler’s did a fantastic job.  Those were some tired employees at the end of the day, and they didn’t get off at 1 p.m. like I did to go home and nap for three hours.

Jill lives downtown and is an EARLY riser, so she's met me at Martha's Sweet Shop the last two mornings. This is how dark it still was at 7:20 today as I was getting off the taxi.

Inside with owner Loretta Spata, it was bright and warm and filled with the yummy aromas of fresh-baked pastries and hot coffee. This made three mornings of delicious pumpkin and walnut muffins that I couldn't get enough of. By the way, that's just ONE cinnamon roll on Jill's plate - they are huge!

The ride over this morning to Mackinaw City. Visibility was zero through the spray on the windows. The wind was out of the NNE which, according to Captain Billy, was a very good thing. Those who were on duty this past weekend said it was twice as bad Saturday because the wind was from a different direction.

The final group of 1,000 Winsome Women crossed to the Island this morning. As soon as they could be parked, ladies moved into that big blue and white building which houses the ticket office. This building is also dry and heated and has a coffee bar. Talk about a booming business!

Crossing back to the island at 12:30, the wind had shifted to straight out of the north - a bumpier ride.

Much bumpier!

By 2:00 I was home, sitting with my feet up in my recliner (toes all dry and cozy in wool socks) and covered in a blanket.  Three minutes later I was sound asleep and didn’t wake up until almost five.  No matter how wet and wild these three days have been, it’s always fun to volunteer at Shepler’s.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Having worked three days, and with the weather like it’s been, there have been few chances to get out for pics.  So tonight, I’m going to post some photos from Ted and from friends who have given me permission to use their work.  On Monday, while I was working and before the weather got so bad, Ted took Maddie and Bear on a two-hour walk.  I’m so sorry I missed going with them, but Ted got some really nice shots!  Enjoy!

TED’S PHOTOS

Looking up the hill in front of the fort to the area where Anne's Tablet is located.

Downtown on a lazy October day.

All the annuals have been pulled up from the Grand Hotel flower beds, and these gardeners were busy planting the tulip bulbs for next Spring. I always try to guess the pattern and the colors - but it's always a secret.

Hmmmm . . . now there's a mountain of dirt behind the Carriage Museum. Wonder what that's for???

Fall colors at Turtle Park.

The road beside the cemetery leading up to Lookout Point. As you can see, the winds of the last week have really taken a toll on our leaves.

Bear - checking out a pile of leaves for anything worth wolfing down.

Sugar Loaf from Lookout Point.

Lookout Point. Looks lonely up there now.

Approaching the embankment that surrounds the site of Ft. Holmes.

Inside the earthen walls of Ft. Holmes.

The bridge from the top of the Island.

Taken from the top of the Ft. Holmes embankment.

Looking straight down Rifle Range Trail from Fort Holmes, with Fort Mackinac in the distance.

Walking back home on one of numerous gravel trails . . . .

. . . and this one came out on Garrison Road, where they turned and walked toward the Post Cemetery. The flag there could be seen from the bottom of the hill - permanently flown at half-staff.

After a week of wind and rain, we always look for God’s promised rainbow.

Paul Retherford is a wonderful photographer and is on the island often for weddings. On this particular trip, he captured a rainbow over the harbor.

Friend Chris Ann Nelson's photograph from her beach in Mackinaw City - a rainbow over the bridge.

Patrick Conlon, the dock master at Shepler's, took this amazing shot of the first boat out on Monday morning, before the bad weather moved in that afternoon.

Next week will begin the countdown – less than a week to go.  The days are piling up on top of each other now, and the reality has set in.  I’m going to try and get a lot of packing done this weekend so I can at least get a few posts written next week before we go.

See you Monday, have a great weekend, and God bless.

Setting the Date 10/7/2011

Lots of correct answers on the Mystery Spot this week, and they started coming in right after I posted last night.  The very first one though was Laurie Leanna from Greenfield, WI.  Please see end of this post for the answer!

We’ve set the date.  Sunday, October 30.  The taxi will be waiting, the luggage will be stuffed full, the condo will be closed, and we’ll be heading home to Georgia.

Until we set a day, the concept of leaving is always just a random time somewhere “out there”.  When someone asks, I say, “Oh, the end of October – the first week in November – we really don’t know yet.”  But once we write it in on the calendar hanging inside one of our kitchen cabinets, it becomes real, and my mindset changes completely.

Suddenly I’m in a whirl about getting out and photographing the island as often as possible.  I need to stockpile pictures so I will have extras to fall back on when I’m too busy getting ready to leave to go outside with my camera.

I had a “stockpile photographs” day today.  I called Jill and said, “Let’s bike through the woods and see what’s going on with the colors.”  Jill’s only day off is Thursday, and she is always game for an adventure when she’s off.  We stayed out for two hours and covered a lot of Island, but now I find myself not wanting to hold any of these back for another day.  So tonight, along with the Mystery Spot at the end, you are getting a lot of fall Island photographs.  We had a great time zipping back and forth into different areas, and I’ll post some of Jill’s shots later on.  But, for tonight, these are all mine.

We left the condo and rode a couple of blocks north, then turned on Fifth St. That ran us into Cupid's Pathway, and a few minutes later we turned on Carriage Road, which brought us out at St. Anne's Cemetery.

The cemetery area is always one of the most colorful on Mackinac during the fall. Still not at peak, there were, nevertheless, brilliant trees totally ablaze . . .

. . . while others showed that "spot color" so prevalent this fall.

Two crosses - one wooden against sun-kissed leaves . . .

, . . . and one stone - against leaves and blue sky.

The history of Mackinac Island lies within these stone walls.

Bikers, seeking fall colors just as we were, come through the trees.

The bright blue of the cannon in the Fort Cemetery adds yet another splash of color . . .

. . . to this beautiful setting where soldiers rest.

Our stop at Sugar Loaf didn't reveal much color at all.

After puffing up hills and flying down the other sides, we arrived at Arch Rock. If you're familiar with the Carriage Tours, you will notice that the usual three-horse hitch wagons are no longer running out to Arch Rock. The two-horse hitch is used for the entire tour, now that the Carriage Museum has closed for the season.

These two loved posing . . . I think they remembered me from the Carriage Museum as the "lady who always has horse treats in her pocket".

This late in the season you can get away with going places you wouldn't dare tread during the height of the summer. These next few photos were taken from in front of the VIP State Park housing on the west side of the fort.

What a view from the front porches!

These two homes are available for special State Park visitors.

We biked back to the condo through the woods and stopped to say hello to the Carriage Museum staff. They were busy closing the building for the season. Jill continued on up the hill to the Community Stable to meet Leanne and help with some chores.

It was just so gorgeous out that I went inside and got Maddie and Bear, and we walked down toward the corral. There we happened to see Ben and another Grand Hotel horseman out exercising one of the Grand's hackneys.

Denise and Judy race down the hill from the Carriage Museum to catch the 5 p.m. ferry. That little black head you see in Denise's basket is Scooter, her little dachshund she brought to work with her today.

Maddie - among the red sumac leaves near our yard.

Bear - waiting for us in the shade. As you can see, our flowers are still going strong, even with the cold mornings we've been having.

I hope you enjoyed this little fall preview.  There’s lots more to come in the next week of so.  Frankie and I are traveling through the Tunnel of Trees on Friday, an area on the way to Harbor Springs I’ve heard so much about from Michiganders and blog readers.  If it turns out to be as beautiful as all the stories I’ve heard, I’m sure you will get a post full of photographs from that drive next week.  AND – Somewhere in Time weekend at the Grand starts tomorrow!

Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you back here on Monday.  God bless.

THE MYSTERY SPOT

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

Where is it?

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

MYSTERY SPOT ANSWER

The Indian medallion hangs on the side of the beautiful Iroquois Hotel.

Mackinac Island Off-Season Weekly Update – Vol. IV . . . 11/22/2010

Update  11/24/2010:

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for making this year so awesome.  Over the last two years, you’ve come into my life from all over the United States and several foreign countries.  You’ve commented and sent emails and lifted me and my family up in prayer.  You’ve made me laugh a whole lot and occasionally, you’ve caused a few tears to flow.  And over time, we’ve all become friends.  What a blessing you have become to me and my family. 

From the Horton clan – Ted, Bear, Maddie and me . . .

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

God bless.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 

Hi everyone, and Happy (almost) Thanksgiving!  I know you’ve seen that header picture before, but when I look at it, I always think of the fall on the island and the Thanksgiving season.

It definitely doesn’t seem like the holiday season here in south Georgia – the high for Thursday is forecast to be 79!  I just checked the weather on the island for Thanksgiving, and the high there is supposed to be 29 with snow . . . now THAT sounds like Thanksgiving!

I spoke with Ben, our condo caretaker, for a few minutes this week (I left my recipe notebook – the one I cannot boil water without – in Michigan).  I needed Ben to go into our condo, retrieve the notebook from the top of the refrigerator, and ship it to me ASAP (my mom’s recipe for sweet potato souffle is in that notebook, and Thanksgiving just wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without that souffle).  Ben had just returned from a week of deer hunting, but reported that he didn’t have any luck.  He was heading back out after Thanksgiving to give it another try.

Last summer I placed a link on this web site featuring a wonderful video showing “the beauty of the Friesian Horse in combination with the splendor of Mackinac Island”.  I’ve had several people ask if the video was available for purchase anywhere on the island, and I learned this week that it is not available for sale.  BUT . . . if anyone out there would like to make a $25 donation to the Mackinac Island Horseman’s Association (MIHA), a copy of the video will be sent as a “thank you” gift for your donation.  You can click here on the MIHA web site to learn about this great organization (it is also the one spearheading the building of the Mackinac Island Community Stable) and to make a donation and receive your copy of this awesome video:  http://www.mackinachorses.org/.  If your memory needs a little refreshing, you can view the video here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gicaJIfgHHs.

I’m just full of Friesian news this week, so here one’s more item.  It’s never, never, never too early to begin planning to attend the 3rd Annual Festival of the Horse on the island July 21-24, 2011.  This event continues to grow each year, and MIHA has already booked the unbelievable talents of Clay Maier and his special Friesians.  They will performing this year at the Festival, and here’s a little video that will get you even more excited to attend:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_fok1XAS34.to.

Received a great newsletter from Greg Main this week.  Greg has a way of writing that makes me feel like I am right back on the island, walking beside him as he explores all those places that have become some of my favorite spots.  Here’s Greg’s letter:

 “Today finally feels like mid-November should.   After above average temperatures last week, accompanied by abundant sunshine (a taste of late-season  Indian Summer, perhaps?) we’ve finally sashayed into wet, windy, and much cooler weather.   Even as recently as midnight, Saturday, my outdoor thermometer displayed  52 degrees.   It’s difficult at times to convey to people who have only been to Mackinac Island during the tourist season,  just how drastic the transformation is from summer to now, regarding daily activity and noise.  Generally speaking, right now, there is very little of either.  The only noise echoing around the business district lately is generated by the heavy equipment being used to dig a trench along the back wall of the Lake View Hotel and the near-constant assault on one’s auditory senses outside the Chippewa Hotel from the hand-held power tools being used to grind away old lead-based paint from the original tin siding, which has been removed from the front of the building. 

I’m told by one of those doing the work that as much as possible of the original metal is being saved to be put back in place along the upper most part of the front, while new, similar-looking siding will be attached on the rest of the front side.  While not as interesting to me  (as an amateur history buff) as the total take-apart-and-put-back-together-again project like the Mustang Lounge re-do three winter ago, it is still interesting to see the original wood on the face of the hotel, hidden for over 110 years and how little rotted wood there appears to be – at least from the vantage point of the sidewalk below.  Several sections of said wood is being removed in order to install new plumbing and electrical wiring, and new sheathing is replacing the old.      

Friday night was another of those all-too-rare times (for me) when walking through town and along both bluffs seemed to be the thing to do.  Not cold – mid 40’s – and practically windless, there is much to be said during times like these when the only noise heard throughout the walk is the sound of one’s own feet on the pavement.  From either bluff, looking down on the business district, the somewhat straight lines and gentle bends of the illuminated street lights, meandering the lengths of  Main and Market Streets and Cadotte Avenue and easily seen through the naked trees, seemed to serve a dual purpose – standing watch over the village during the dark of night, stalwart sentries regardless of weather,  while also illuminating these thoroughfares, providing safe passage for the occasional passer-by.  From afar, high on the bluffs, one could almost get lost in the moment, taking in the east-to-west view while looking down on the town and the soft glow of the lights that almost seemed to beckon, invite, entice . . . “Come, see what’s down here.  We’ll show you the way.”  It was so quiet and peaceful that night, on either bluff, leaning on the fence rails taking in the views not only of the island and the consistent, every nine-second burst of light from the Round Island Lighthouse,  but also the tiniest dots of lights following the mainland shoreline at Mackinaw City, the colorful lights on the Mackinac Bridge, and the glaring, towering interchange lights at the union of US 2 and I-75 in St. Ignace.  It all added to the moment, the ambiance.  All that was missing was a well-lighted freighter sliding through the shipping channel.  Maybe next time. . . . 

With tomorrow being the start of deer hunting season, the island will be even more quiet than normal for this time of year.  Having spent many, many hours engaged in all the usual activities associated with this 2-week-long ‘holiday’,  I know it’s nice to have an inch or so of snow in order to be able to track an animal if it doesn’t drop on the spot once shot.  As of tonight’s forecast, it looks as though we’ll get none of the snow that some of you to the west of us received over the weekend.  I would rather not have any snow until it will be cold enough for it to stick and stay.  At that time, bring it on!  Snowmobiles are appearing on the docks, ready to be put into use and my skis have been gathering dust for too long.  

With all of my cottage projects  finished or put on hold until next Spring,  I should find time now and then to bike or hike and see what’s what in order to fill these emails with missives, opinions, facts and fancies.  Until then, I hope all is well with everyone.” 

Greg took the following photos this week of the “face” that can be seen in Sugar Loaf.  I admit that I had photographed this landmark rock formation dozens of times without ever noticing a face.  But last summer, on a wonderful nature walk with island native Trish Martin, our group was introduced to this feature.  Show of hands now – and tell the truth -how many of you reading this have visited Sugar Loaf innumerable times and never knew it had a face!

The "face" of Sugar Loaf.

 

The face's other profile. A wide variety of stories were told by Native Americans and frontier dwellers about Sugar Loaf. It was said by some to be the home of Gitchie Manitou (a Native American name for "Great Spirit") and that the face is his.

Here’s a great idea from a reader, Barbara M.   “I check the Horn’s webcam a couple times a day and just grabbed this interesting shot. I think it’s the police department’s SUV. I’m guessing that they’re picking up or dropping off an elderly or disabled person for the ferry. I was wondering what you would think of asking your readers to submit interesting screen grabs from the island’s webcams for your Mackinac Blog during the winter. Have a great weekend!

I love this fun idea!  So for anyone who likes to watch what’s happening downtown on the island using the webcams (and admittedly, there’s not a lot of action right now), and if you happen to see something that looks interesting, go ahead and “grab it” and email the shot to me at brendasumnerhorton@hotmail.com. I’ll be glad to feature it on the weekly updates.  The only web cams that allow you to grab a shot are the one from Horn’s Bar http://www.hornsbar.com/webcamlarge.htm (right click on the pic and use the “save as” feature) and the camera on top of the Chippewa Hotel, which you can even control yourself:  http://www.chippewahotel.com  (scroll down to the menu at the bottom of page, click on “live web cam”, then use the “snap” feature to grab the photo).

 

I "snapped" this one from the camera on top of the Chippewa around 8:30 Sunday morning. The temp was 36 on the island at that time, there was light snow on the roof of the Arnold warehouse, and waves were crashing against the seawall (winds at 10 mph). CHILLY!

My son, Blake, arrived at the river on Friday to spend Thanksgiving week at home in south Georgia.  His brother and sister-in-law, Jason and Blair, will be arriving on Wednesday, and we’ll all have our annual Spicy Potato Soup and Mema cornbread on Thanksgiving Eve.  It’s taken me a while, but I’ve about perfected my mom’s version of “lacey” cornbread.  There are only three ingredients – corn meal, water, and salt.  Mix it together until it’s soupy, and fry it up in about a quarter of an inch of oil in a frying pan.  When you pour that batter into the pan, the edges will cook quickly and have little holes like lace – thus, the name.  As we say in the South – it is some kind of good eatin’!

Hope you’re visiting the Lake Blackshear blog this week.  I’ve posted some pics of the “before” and “after” renovations http://bree1976.wordpress.com.

Here’s wishing everyone a joyful Thanksgiving – filled with family, friends, food, and fun.  As we sit down to eat that holiday feast, let’s not forget to thank the good Lord for everything He has done for us this year.  And let’s all remember – with Him, all things are possible.  God bless.