Happy 4th of July! 7/3/16

Hi Everyone!

Here in Beverly Beach we’ve been enjoying a week of hot days, afternoon thunderstorms (normal summer weather in Florida) . . . .

. . . and amazing sunsets. When they named our little neighborhood Sunset Inlet, they sure knew what they were doing, didn't they? (Photo: Neighbor Monika O'Connor)

. . . and amazing sunsets. When they named our little neighborhood Sunset Inlet, they sure knew what they were doing, didn’t they? (Photo: Neighbor Monika O’Connor)

On Mackinac Island, this Sunday afternoon before the 4th was busy with visitors by the thousands. . . .

. . . and every one of them arrived on one of these ferry lines -

. . . and every one of them arrived on one of these ferry lines – Shepler, Star, or Arnold!  This photo from Tom Chambers shows some of the action today as ferries came to the island and departed to Mackinaw City and St. Ignace.

Blog readers (and friends from Georgia) Dr. Karen Castleberry and her husband Raymond, were on Mackinac a few days recently and shared the next photos.

Blog readers (and friends from Georgia) Dr. Karen Castleberry and her husband Raymond were on Mackinac for a few days recently and shared this and the next four photos.

Beautiful clouds over Fort Holmes.

Wispy cloud strands over Fort Holmes.

Wildflowers on a shoreline beach.

Wildflowers on a shoreline beach.

A wonderful and delicious presentation at the new Sushi Grand.

A wonderful and delicious presentation at the new Sushi Grand.

An illuminated American flag on the West Bluff.

An illuminated American flag on the West Bluff. Thanks, Karen and Raymond, for sharing your memories!

One of my favorite times of the summer on Mackinac is right now - when the woods are a blanket of yellow. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

One of my favorite times of the summer on Mackinac is right now – when Mother Nature rolls out her yellow carpet.  (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

Josh Carney (dock porter extraordinaire) captured Mackinac at night with this and the next two photos.

Josh Carney (dock porter extraordinaire) captured Mackinac at night with this and the next two photos.  I don’t even want to imagine how early this was in the morning for him to have found the streets empty!

Fort Mackinac

Fort Mackinac and Father Marquette – with floodlights.

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A path usually  teeming with visitors waiting to board carriage rides.  Thank you, Josh, for these three photos showing “life after everything closes” on Mackinac.

British Landing on an early, sunny morning - as seen by Alyssa Henes from her taxi. We've known Alyssa for years and years.

British Landing on an early, sunny morning – as seen by Alyssa Henes from her taxi. We’ve known Alyssa for years and years.

It might have been on that same early morning that Clark Bloswick and his faithful dog were creating long shadows at Fort Holmes.

It might have been on that same early morning that Clark Bloswick and his faithful dog were creating long shadows at Fort Holmes.

Island resident Larry Rickley made an amazing discovery in the woods last week and called Clark Bloswick to hurry over for a photograph. There are about seven deer on the island now, and this is the newest one!

Island resident Larry Rickley made an amazing discovery in the woods last week and called Clark Bloswick to hurry over for a photograph. There are about seven deer on the island now, and this is the newest one!

A gorgeous sunset from Captain Pat Springate off the back of a Shepler ferry.

A gorgeous sunrise from Captain Pat Springate off the back of a Shepler ferry.

Friend Sandi Steensma took this photo of the Straits from near her home in downtown Mackinac.

Friend Sandi Steensma took this photo of the Straits from near her home in downtown Mackinac.  Looks like a painting doesn’t it?

One more from Sandi. The crystal clear blue waters of Lake Huron, framed by Arch Rock. The brightly colored kayaks just pop against that water!

One more from Sandi. The crystal clear blue waters of Lake Huron, framed by Arch Rock. Love the brightly colored kayaks against that water!

We’re counting down the days until we head to Mackinac (10-11 more days, depending on when we leave).  I’m going to take a little break from the computer until just before we head north, so I’ll be back around July 12 or 13 (after our bags are packed, but before we hit the road).  Lots to do between now and then as we’ll be preparing the house to leave it during hurricane season – more on that later. I can’t wait until we’re on the island, and I’m sharing personal photographs and stories with all of you during our three-month stay.

See you in about 10 days! Have a great and safe 4th of July holiday!!

See you in about 10 days! Have a great and safe 4th of July holiday!!

God bless.

Photo Day! 6/26/16

This has been one of those slow news weeks.  I do have one little story to tell, and then the rest of tonight’s post will be a “Photos and Captions.”  I’ve got some great pics to share from both the beach AND our favorite Michigan island!

THE SEA TURTLE PATROL

Ted and I went down to the beach around 7:30 one morning and happened to arrive in time to watch the Sea Turtle Patrol in action!

This volunteers hit the beach early each morning of turtle season to look for tracks and new nests.

These volunteers hit the beach early each morning of turtle season (May-October) – at first to look for tracks and new nests, and then later on to check that nests haven’t been disturbed or to see if turtles have hatched.

We were very lucky that morning, because we spotted the new nest at almost the same time they did?

We were very lucky that morning, because we spotted the new nest at almost the same time they did!

I took this after they had staked out the nest. You can see the tracks of the "mama turtle" (obviously a very BIG mama turtle) leading up the the

I took this AFTER the volunteers had staked out the nest. You can see the flipper tracks of the “mama turtle” (obviously a very BIG mama turtle) leading up the mound of dirt where she covered her 80-120 eggs.  The sign on the nest gives the nest number and states the date it was found.  The eggs will hatch in approximately 60 days, and on day 45 the volunteers will place a red flag on the right rear stake and begin to check the nest on a daily basis.  Lights on the beach (even flashlights)are restricted during turtle season as they may confuse turtles coming to the beach to mate or lay eggs.  Lights also could confuse young hatchlings on their dangerous trip across the beach to the ocean.  So far we have about 20 sea turtle nests along the one-mile stretch that is Beverly Beach.

BEVERLY BEACH PHOTOS

Arriving on the beach after sunrise.

Arriving on the beach just after sunrise.  On this day the wind was churning the waves up pretty good.

An amazing shelf cloud forming over the beach early this morning. (Photo: Neighbor Kevin Freedman)

An amazing shelf cloud forming over the beach early this morning. (Photo: Neighbor Kevin Freedman)

That same cloud coming from the beach over our house in Sunset Inlet. As ominous as it looks, it blew right over us, and we didn't get a drop of rain. (Photo: Neighbor Lisa Mordecai)

That same cloud coming from the beach over our house (2-story on the left) in Sunset Inlet. As ominous as it looked, it blew right over us, and we didn’t get a drop of rain. (Photo: Neighbor David Mordecai)

MACKINAC ISLAND PHOTOS

KathyJo Strukel, who won the Mackinac Island coloring book, is making good progress on the first page!

KathyJo Strukel (Oldsmar FL), who won the Mackinac Island coloring book, is making good progress on the page she chose to tackle first!  She’s using colored pencils.  Good job, Kathy!

The Lilac Festival Parade! A great pic from Clark Bloswick of the Seabiscuit Café float, part of the crowd, and Fort Mackinac in the background.

The Lilac Festival Parade! A great pic from Clark Bloswick of the Seabiscuit Café float, part of the crowd, Marquette Park, and Fort Mackinac in the background.

A simply stunning photo by Steven Kopacki of Artistic Mackinadc Gallery and Studio of the strawberry moon rising

A simply stunning photo by Steven Kopacki, Artistic Mackinac Gallery and Studio, of the “Strawberry Moon” rising over the Straits of Mackinac.  Oh. My. Goodness.  Can’t wait to get back on the island and check out what Steven has new in his studio!

Blog reader Jan Weir and her husband Don (Harbor Springs MI and Indianapolis IN) visited the island for several days a week or so ago. This photo and the next six are from Jan.

Blog reader Jan Weir and her husband Don (Harbor Springs MI and Indianapolis IN) visited the island for several days a week or so ago. This photo and the next five are from Jan.

Lilacs blooming along the boardwalk

Lilacs blooming along the boardwalk bordering Lake Huron.  What a wonderful (and romantic) spot to settle in for a chat.

The hanging baskets are up, and from now until Fall they will grow and grow and grow. When they are taken down, their leaves and flowers will be almost touching the sidewalk. Oh - the former Weber's Florist is now

The hanging baskets are up, and from now until Fall they will grow and grow and grow. When they’re taken down, their leaves and flowers will be almost touching the sidewalk. Oh – the former Weber’s Florist is now Vintage Glam, a new salon offering hair care, nail care, and makeup services.  They specialize in wedding parties!

The beautiful Cloghaun Bed & Breakfast - always an oasis of gorgeous flowers, and breathtaking landscapting - not to mention an awesome place to spend a few nights! Friend Aretha Jansen is the Cloghaun's new Manager this year, taking over from the wonderful Marti Gmazel Carey who retired at the end of last season.

The beautiful Cloghaun Bed & Breakfast – always an oasis of gorgeous flowers and breathtaking landscaping – not to mention an awesome place to spend a few nights! Friend Aneta Jansen is the Cloghaun’s new Manager this year, filling the shoes of the awesome Marti Gmazel Carey, who retired at the end of last season.

Silver Birches! The renovation of the wonderful lodge is on schedule! Looking forward to riding out there and checking it all out!

Silver Birches! Renovation of the wonderful lodge is on schedule! Looking forward to riding out there soon and checking it all out!

Pontiac Trail, along the West Bluff.

Pontiac Trail – along the West Bluff.

A dreamy shot from one of our favorite taxi drivers - Jim Gillespie. He had stopped to rest his horses a moment at Mission Point and took this great photo.

A dreamy shot from one of our favorite taxi drivers – Jim Gillespie. Jim had stopped to rest his horses a moment at Mission Point and took this great photo, looking across the resort’s expansive yard.  Someone asked Jim recently if working on the island – after 30 seasons driving taxi – ever gets old.  His answer was a resounding “NO”!

A great catch of interesting clouds over Grand Hotel. (Photo: Max Jones)

A great catch of interesting clouds over Grand Hotel. (Photo: Max Jones)

A view of the Pink Pony patio and part of downtown from an interesting perspective. (Photo: Tom Chambers)

A view of the Pink Pony patio and part of downtown from an interesting perspective. (Photo: Tom Chambers)  Hmmmm . . . . . where were you, Tom?

The Round Island Lighthouse is rarely illuminated. But one night recently, it was. And Clark Bloswick was around to catch the moment.

The Round Island Lighthouse is rarely illuminated. But one night recently, it was. And Clark Bloswick was around to catch the moment.

Friend Steve Fridley and his family love Mackinac almost as much as I do. When they're on the island, Steve has a way of being at the right place at the right time. Like last week - when this rainbow appeared to arch across the sky.

Friend Steve Fridley and his family love visiting Mackinac and do so often. When they’re on the island, Steve has a way of being at the right place at the right time. Like last week – when this rainbow appeared and seemed to arch across the Straits from Mackinac to Bois Blanc.

I. Love. This. Photo! Mary Bailey, the beautiful teenage daughter of friends Jeri-Lynn and Brian Bailey, snapped this shot one recent afternoon. In the way of all teenagers, Mary and her friends were looking for something to do and decided to haul their hammocks all the way up to Anne's Tablet and hang them among the trees. What a way to spend a fun - and leisurely - afternoon on Mackinac!

I. Love. This. Photo! Mary Bailey, the beautiful teenage daughter of friends Jeri-Lynn and Brian Bailey, snapped this shot one recent afternoon. In the way of all teenagers, Mary and her friends were looking for something to do and decided to haul their hammocks all the way up to Anne’s Tablet and hang them among the trees. What a way to spend a fun – and leisurely – afternoon on Mackinac!

With heat indexes in the triple digits here in Beverly Beach, I am counting down the days before we leave for Mackinac.  Right now the plan is to arrive on the island on Monday, July 18, so we’ll be leaving a few days before that.  It will be so strange to pack the car without all of Bear’s paraphernalia (he had his own suitcase), and then there was also the 30-lb bag of dogfood.  Maddie only eats 2/3 of a cup a day, so a 5-lb. bag lasts her a very long time.  I was so hoping we’d have a new furbaby to take with us, but it just hasn’t worked out . . . haven’t found the one who speaks to my heart yet.  So we wait.

Hoping you all are doing well and wishing you a great week ahead!

God bless.

Memorial Day Weekend 5/29/16

Hi everyone!

Just a short note tonight to wish everyone a very Happy Memorial Day on Monday, May 30.

Here in Sunset Inlet we had a wonderful party today that brought our entire neighborhood together for food and fellowship.

Here in Sunset Inlet we had a wonderful party today at Ernie and Jennifer’s that brought our entire neighborhood together for food and fellowship.

Adding to our fun this weekend is a visit from our Lake Blackshear friends, Dawn and Stevie. They arrived Friday evening and will be here until Wednesday! So, so good to reconnect with these two sweet friends.

Adding to our fun this weekend is a visit from our Lake Blackshear friends, Dawn and Stevie. They arrived Friday evening and will be here until Wednesday! So, so good to reconnect with these two sweet friends.

As the sun began to slip toward the horizon, we all walked down to our dock on the Intracoastal . . .

As the sun began to slip toward the horizon, we all walked down to our dock on the Intracoastal . . .

As the sun was beginning to slip toward the horizon we all walked out to the Intracoastal dock and had a brief ceremony honoring those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

and held a brief ceremony honoring those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

We had just enough time to get back to the house, climb up to the top deck and watch the sun reflecting off the dark clouds coming in from the southwest.

Then we had just enough time to get back to the house, climb up to the top deck and watch the sun reflecting off the dark clouds coming in from the southwest.

Our neighbor, Kevin Freedman, captured the sunset tonight beautifully.

Our neighbor, Kevin Freedman, captured the sunset tonight beautifully.

One final note:  Lowell Greene came through his surgery beautifully and is back at home with a new pacemaker functioning perfectly in his heart.  He has strict orders that he is to stay out of his garden for two months.  Faye, I’m so glad it’s you who has to enforce that rule, and we’re all wishing you “good luck” getting him to follow those instructions!

Many, many thanks for all the prayers lifted this week for Lowell and his family.

God bless.

Dancing With A Limp 5/22/16

As I was thinking of how to transition from several years of blogs filled with photographs of my sweet Bear, to writing the first one without him, I came upon a quote from Anne Lamott.  She said, “Grief is like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly.  It still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”

That about says where I am right now. . . . I’m beginning to learn to dance with the limp.

Life does go on though, doesn’t it.  And if anything could have started my heart on the path to dancing, it was the arrival of Blake last Monday.  One of my readers said on Facebook, “I’ve heard that sons always know when their moms need them.”  And although Blake’s trip had been planned for several weeks before everything that happened with Bear, I believe God, who knows all things way ahead of all of us, had Blake’s trip in the works for a reason.

Blake arrived last Monday from Colorado for a week of beach time.

Blake arrived from Colorado for a week of beach time.

He's soaked up the sun (in between lots of rain storms), eaten some of his favorite mom-cooked food, and also enjoyed a few meals out like here at the Funky Pelican for dinner last night.

He’s soaked up the sun (in between some rain storms), eaten some of his favorite mom-cooked food, and also enjoyed a few meals out –  like here at the Funky Pelican for dinner last night.

Another night Julie and her gang came over for dinner. Only one missing was Jason and Jennifer, but they are coming in a couple of weeks!

Another night Julie and her gang came over for dinner. Only ones missing were Jason and Jennifer, but they’re coming in a couple of weeks!

We’re putting Blake on a plane back to Colorado late this afternoon.  It’s been a super-great week!

MACKINAC ISLAND NEWS

Another reason to smile is our upcoming trip to Mackinac.  Still almost eight weeks away, but you all know how I like to plan ahead!  Jill returned to the island last week and has been TORTURING me with photos ever since she got there.

But first- can you believe they had SNOW on the island a couple of weeks ago?  Unbelievable!  Residents were beginning to wonder if spring would ever come.  And then . . . it did!

Horses have been arriving for weeks now - these loading onto a ferry from St. Ignace. (Photo: Kellie Lawrence)

Horses have been arriving for weeks now – these loading onto a ferry in St. Ignace. (Photo: Kellie Lawrence)

Construction is rapidly coming to a close as Memorial Day approaches. Once that weekend is over, the island will be in full "season" mode! (Photo: Jill Sawatzki)

Construction is rapidly coming to a close as Memorial Day approaches. Once that weekend is over, the island will be in full “season” mode! (Photo: Jill Sawatzki)

 

The sunrises continue to be incredible. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

The sunrises continue to be incredible – as this one from the Arch Rock platform (Photo: Clark Bloswick) . . . .

But they are riveled in beauty by the sunsets - this one captured by Stefanie Congdon from Stonecliffe.

. . . but they are rivaled in beauty by the sunsets – this one captured by Stefanie Congdon from Stonecliffe.

And then there are those full moons (Photo: Clark Bloswick) . . .

And then there are those full moons (Photo: Clark Bloswick) . . .

. . . and some amazing rainbows. Jaime Andress captured this one in the side yard of our former condo at Surrey Hill.

. . . and some amazing rainbows. Jamie Andress captured this one in the side yard of our former condo at Surrey Hill.

A sure sign of spring on Mackinac - the tulips at Grand Hotel are up and glorious! (Photo: Orietta Barquero)

A sure sign of spring on Mackinac – the tulips at Grand Hotel are up and glorious! (Photo: Orietta Barquero)

But the Grand's not the only one with bragging rights with the tulips!

But the Grand’s not the only one with bragging rights with the tulips! (Photo: Jill Sawatzki)

Early morning at the Grand Hotel barn. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

Early morning at the Grand Hotel barn. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

Yeah!!! It's George, my favorite dray driver! I didn't see nearly enough of this sweet guy last summer. So glad he's out and about this year. Happy Birthday, George! (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

Yeah!!! It’s George, my favorite dray driver! I didn’t see nearly enough of this sweet guy last summer. So glad he’s out and about this year. Happy Birthday, George! (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

Horses and tulips - one of those perfect combos! (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

Horses and tulips – one of those perfect combos! (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

PRAYER REQUEST

Our dear friend Lowell Greene will be having heart surgery on Thursday, May 26 at the Cleveland Clinic in the Sydell & Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute.  Lowell has had a pacemaker for many years, and it seems one of the wires has become frayed and must be replaced.  The problem is the wire has become imbedded in the wall of his heart, and it’s going to be a pretty tedious procedure. He tells me he’s in excellent hands (his surgeon AND his God), but I think he’d appreciate knowing we’re all lifting him up on Thursday that things go well, and that he’s home quickly with no complications.  Please remember his sweet wife Faye and his sons also – as they wait.

I guess that about catches us up.  Many thanks one more time for all your love during the last weeks.  You kept me going in more ways than one, and I am beyond grateful for every card sent, word written, and prayer lifted.  You are simply the best.

God bless.

Spring Showers, Horses Returning . . . and More Readers! 4/24/16

After everything that was going on with Bear this week keeping my anxiety level at a peak, I needed a few even-keeled days.  And thank the good Lord, He provided them.  Friday and the weekend have been lazy days in Sunset Inlet, and what activities there have been are those calm, satisfying ones that require little more than showing up . . . or just sitting and watching the weather.

We've had a couple of days of threatening rain . . .

We had a couple of days of threatening skies . . .

. . . and then on Friday the skies opened . . .

. . . and then on Friday the skies opened . . .

. . . and we got quite a few hours of hard rain with a little thunder and lightning mixed in.

. . . and we got a few hours of hard rain, with a little thunder and lightning mixed in.

After all that life-nourishing water, the sun came out, and all my plants turned that awesome "spring-time green" and added more bright flowers. So I went to the nursery and bought some more!

After all that life-nourishing water, the sun came out, my plants turned an awesome “spring-time green”, and more bright flowers bloomed.   So –  I went to the nursery and bought some more!

Ted and I went to out favorite outdoor furniture store last week to replace some chairs on the top deck that couldn't withstand all the wind and salt we get pounded with here. While there, I spotted this outdoor lamp and loved the way it looked. It's now on the second floor deck, and . . .

Ted and I went to our favorite outdoor furniture store last week to replace some chairs on the top deck.  It’s hard to find things that can withstand all the wind and salt we get pounded with here. While there, I spotted this outdoor lamp and loved the way it looked. It’s now on the second floor deck, and . . .

. . . I can sit outside at night and read while I listen to waves crashing across the street behind me. Since our next door neighbor Lisa took this photo I've toned down the brightness of the bulbs in the lamp. That first night they were on I had a helicopter stop and hover at the entrance to our inlet, and I thought, "Oh no, the light is so bright he thinks it's the airport!" It was so funny how he just hung there for a few moment like he was trying to figure out where all the illumination was coming from.

. . . I can sit outside at night and read while I listen to waves crashing across the street behind me. Since our next door neighbor Lisa took this photo from HER deck, I’ve toned down the brightness of the bulbs in the lamp. That first night they were on I had a helicopter stop and hover at the entrance to our inlet, and I thought, “Oh no, the light is so bright he thinks it’s the airport!” It was so funny how he just hung there for a few moments like he was trying to figure out where all the illumination was coming from!

We had our first official meeting of the Sunset Inlet Book Club this past week. We had read Kate Morton's newest book, The Lake House. Fun discussion, yummy food and good wine (and Mimosas)!

We had our first official meeting of the Sunset Inlet Book Club this past week. We had read Kate Morton’s newest book, The Lake House. Fun discussion, yummy food and good wine (and Mimosas)!  Love these ladies – Jennifer, Sue, Angelique . . .

. . . and Lisa, our hostess with the moistest! We're hoping to add ladies each month. Our next book is Kimberly McCreight's Where They Found Her.

. . . and Lisa, our hostess with the mostest! We’re hoping to add more ladies each month. Our next book is Kimberly McCreight’s Where They Found Her.

MACKINAC MOMENTS

The snow is gone, and the island activity is increasing with each passing spring day. And - when there's more island work to be done - that means more horses are needed. There have been a steady stream of horses arriving on the ferry. They're all fat and rested up from a winter on the Pickford farms . . . ready to

The snow is gone, and island activity is increasing with each passing spring day. And – when there’s more island work to be done – that means a bigger workforce is needed. Horses have been arriving on the ferry in a steady stream, and they’re all fat and rested up from a winter on the Pickford farms.  Let the season begin! (Photo: Bobby Lee)

You just never know what you might find on a freight ferry - like this one carrying a police car and . . . a pool table! (Photo: Tom Chambers)

You just never know what you might find on a freight ferry – like this one carrying a police car and . . . a pool table! (Photo: Tom Chambers)

A photo from this morning by Clark Bloswick. This is the first time this spring I've seen all three ferry companies represented in the harbor - Arnold, Shepler, and Star.

A photo from this morning by Clark Bloswick. This is the first time this spring I’ve seen all three ferry companies represented in the harbor – Arnold, Shepler, and Star.

Horses in the fog up near the Grand Stables. (Photo: Joseph Herscher)

Love this photo of horses in the fog up near the Grand Stables. (Photo: Joseph Herscher)

One of my favorite artists, watercolorist Mary Lou Peters, made her first visit to Mackinac this weekend to drop off a supply of her notecards to Little Luxuries of Mackinac Island and Mackinac Island Artists Market. Love this sweet and colorful turtle card!

One of my favorite artists, watercolorist Mary Lou Peters, made her first visit to Mackinac this weekend to drop off a supply of her notecards to Little Luxuries of Mackinac Island and Mackinac Island Artists Market. Love this sweet and colorful turtle card!

INTRODUCING . . . YOU!  PART V

Yeah!! Nine more readers to introduce . . .

Meet Chris and John Roddy from Hudson OH. This great couple has vacationed in their UP cottage for the last 45 years, and Chris discovered the blog on Google four years ago.

Meet Chris and John Roddy from Hudson OH. This great couple has vacationed in their UP cottage for the last 45 years, and Chris discovered the blog on Google four years ago.

This sweet couple is Rebecca and Jon Jacobs from Three Rivers MI. Rebecca has been visiting the island since she was three, and when she was four years old she was at the island school when they were filming the "gazebo scene" in Somewhere in Time. She introduced Jon to Mackinac on their first anniversary when they stayed at The Island House. They try to visit at least once a year. This photo is from last July when they were fortunate enough to get to go to the top of the Mackinac Bridge! Still on my bucket list!

This sweet couple is Rebecca and Jon Jacobs from Three Rivers MI. Rebecca has been visiting the island since she was three, and when she was four years old she was at the island school when they were filming the “gazebo scene” from Somewhere in Time. She introduced Jon to Mackinac on their first anniversary when they stayed at The Island House. They try to visit at least once a year. This photo is from last July when they were fortunate enough to get to go to the top of the Mackinac Bridge! Still on my bucket list!

This lovely couple is Paula and David DeWald who spent a weekend in January, 2011 at the Cottage Inn in memory of their daughter Rachel. After that weekend she subscribed to the Town Crier, found the blog on Google, and went back and read each one.Paul and David live in Fort Wayne IN and try to visit Mackinac two or three times a year. Sometimes they fly their plane to the island and "troll our luggage behind us walking into town for exercise. We love the island so much we walk around it two times each day we are there." Paula tells everyone that the best thing about the island is the people. Isn't that the truth!?

This lovely couple is Paula and David DeWald who spent a weekend in January, 2011 at the Cottage Inn in memory of their daughter Rachel. After that weekend Paula subscribed to the Town Crier, found the blog on Google, and went back and read each one. Paula and David live in Fort Wayne IN and try to visit Mackinac two or three times a year. Sometimes they fly their plane to the island and “troll our luggage behind us walking into town for exercise. We love the island so much we walk around it two times each day we are there.” Paula tells everyone the best thing about the island is the people. Isn’t that the truth!?

This dear lady is Rosalyn Forsyth, and she and I go WAY back. Rosalyn was my high school cheerleading sponsor and how she kept up with all of us remains a real mystery. In later years she taught at Albany Middle School where Ted was principal. Rosalyn just discovered the blog last year, and I've so enjoyed catching up with her through Facebook and her comments

This dear lady is Rosalyn Forsyth, and she and I go WAY back. Rosalyn was my high school cheerleading sponsor and how she kept up with all of us teenage girls remains a real mystery. In later years she taught at Albany Middle School where Ted was principal. Rosalyn just discovered the blog last year, and I’ve so enjoyed reconnecting with her through Facebook and her comments.  Rosalyn lives in Albany GA.

This cute couple is Kendra and Michael Kain, daughter Rylee and Rylee's friend Kylie. They're all from Wilson NC. Kendra found the blog when she was doing research for their Mackinac wedding in 2012. Since they moved to NC they haven't had a chance to return to the island, but she remembers fondly visiting every year when she was a child.

Meet Kendra and Michael Kain, daughter Rylee, and Rylee’s friend Kylie. They’re all from Wilson NC. Kendra found the blog when she was doing research for their Mackinac wedding in 2012. Since they moved to NC they haven’t had a chance to return to the island, but she fondly remembers visiting every year when she was a child.

Meet Frances Mountjoy, who is Darcy Cole's mom (Darcy was featured in an earlier "Introducing YOU" blog post. Frances lives in Clinton Twp MI. She can remember riding the mail boat to the island (she thinks it was called the Buddy L), and she used to swim free in Grand Hotel's pool! This

Meet Frances Mountjoy, who is Darcy Cole’s mom (Darcy was featured in an earlier “Introducing YOU” blog post, and Darcy introduced her mom to Bree’s Blog). Frances lives in Clinton Twp MI. She can remember riding the mail boat to the island (she thinks it was called the Buddy L), and she used to swim free in Grand Hotel’s pool! Darcy took this photo of her mom on Market Street a few years ago, near The Lilac House.

Meet Eileen (aka Gibby) and Bernie from Okemos MI. This couple shares a cottage on Hammond Bay with her two sisters and their families. The cottage originally belonged to the girls' grandparents, who passed their love of the UP down to their children and grandchildren. And now that is what Gibby and Bernie are doing with their granddaughter Aria.

Meet Eileen (aka Gibby) and Bernie from Okemos MI. This couple shares a cottage on Hammond Bay with her two sisters and their families. The cottage originally belonged to the girls’ parents, who passed their love of “up north” on to their children. And now that is what Gibby and Bernie are doing with their granddaughter Ava.  Gibby has been reading Bree’s Blog for quite a few years and goes to the island 2-3 times each summer.  Their daughter Meagan was married at Stonecliffe Inn in 2014.  Gibby has “many wonderful memories of Mackinac!”

Meet Sue and her father Pat from Saginaw MI (Pat is celebrating his 86th birthday in this photo, taken last week). Sue's parents took her to the island many times as a child and now they take their children. Sue shared this great story from her childhood: "Dad had me in a big wire basket on the front handlebar of a bike when I was 4. We were on one of the steep, curvy roads (probably Turkey Hill), flying down it, with my mother falling way behind. But we could hear her - screaming for my father to Stop! Slow Down! You're going to dump Susis on the road! Me? I was screaming for joy, loving it, saying Daddy, faster!" Sue found the blog about 4 years ago researching for a Mackinac trip.

Meet Sue and her father Pat from Saginaw MI (Pat is celebrating his 86th birthday in this photo, taken last week). Sue’s parents took her to the island many times as a child, and now they take their children. Sue shared this great story from her childhood: “Dad had me in a big wire basket on the front handlebar of a bike when I was 4. We were on one of the steep, curvy roads (probably Turkey Hill), flying down it, with my mother falling way behind. But we could hear her – screaming for my father to Stop! Slow Down! You’re going to dump Susie on the road! Me? I was screaming for joy, loving it, saying Daddy, faster!” Sue found the blog about 4 years ago researching for a Mackinac trip.

Meet Pam Bond from outside Cincinnati OH. She found the blog in 2010 on an Internet search. Pam and her late husband Ernie discovered Mackinac for the first time in 1983, about four years after they married. Pam says she was "smitten" They round around the island on a bike made for two, saw Round Island light for the first time (she loves lighthouses), and discovered another love - Silver Birches. After that year they came as often as possible, usually bringing their own bikes. It was in 1990, while on an island picnic that she first heard the hauntingly beautiful theme song to Somewhere in Time, a song that captured her heart even though she had never seen the movie. They got back to the island several times after that. She lost Ernie in 2015 after 35 years of marriage. Pam wrote me the dearest letter which I won't share because it is very personal. But allow me to say her words touched my heart in the way that few ever have. Thank you Pam, for sharing the story of You and Ernie and Mackinac. I hope you return one day soon to the island you love so much.

Meet Pam Bond from outside Cincinnati OH. She found the blog in 2010 on an Internet search. Pam and her late husband Ernie discovered Mackinac for the first time in 1983, about four years after they married. Pam says she was “smitten” They rode around the island on a bike made for two, saw Round Island light for the first time (she loves lighthouses), and discovered another love – Silver Birches. After that year they came as often as possible, usually bringing their own bikes. It was in 1990, while on an island picnic that she first heard the hauntingly beautiful theme song to Somewhere in Time, a song that captured her heart, even though she had never seen the movie. They got back to the island several times after that. She lost Ernie in 2015 after 35 years of marriage. Pam wrote me the dearest letter which I won’t share, but allow me to say her words touched my heart in the way that few ever have. Thank you Pam, for sharing the story of you and Ernie and Mackinac. I hope you return one day soon to the island you love so much.

Please continue to send in your photo (as an attachment), where you live, how long you’ve been a blog reader, and how you found out about Bree’s Blog to: brendasumnerhorton@hotmail.com.

Bear is doing fine.  I stopped his pain meds today (they were just for a couple of days for the soreness of his incision), and he’s back to his old, unmedicated self – running, playing, eating, and begging for treats.  Hoping this week brings the good news we are praying for about his biopsy.  Thank you all so much for your continued prayers.

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.

Let’s Get Personal! 4/3/16

I think it’s only fair – after I’ve shared thousands of photos over the years of me and my family – that y’all get a chance to finally share yourselves for a change!  I should have done this years ago, but I guess “better late than never” is what I have to say about that.  I’m hoping this will be a really fun “audience participation” project!

Here are the “rules”:

  1.  ONE photo only, please!
  2.  That one photo should be of yourself – OR you and anyone else you want to introduce.  Maybe you want to include your spouse, your significant other, your kids, or your pets!  But just ONE photo please – and let’s limit it to people/pets living in your own home.  And it’s fine if it’s just a photo of YOU!
  3. With the photo please include this info:  a) Your name (and names of people/pets in the photo – let’s do first AND last names – if it’s ok with you for me to publish that.  If not, just a first name will be great (it just seems I have a lot of  readers with the same first names)!  b) Where you’re from (that will keep me from having to look back on the “where you live” blog and match up names and places. c)  How did you first find Bree’s Mackinac Island Blog?  d) How long have you been reading Bree’s Mackinac Island Blog (first blog post was on April 26, 2009 – can you believe it)? 

I can’t tell you how excited I am to see photos of my readers.  Yes, there are many of you I’ve met, but a very large majority are those “silent” readers I talk about occasionally.  Please, please, please – if there was ever a blog post request you were going to respond to, let it be this one!  I hope to have at least as many responses to this as to the “places we live” request – and hopefully a lot MORE than that!

As before, please email photo (as an attachment) and information to brendasumnerhorton@hotmail.com.  I’ll be working on compiling everything you send and hopefully will begin publishing your photos and responses later in the week.  I’m hoping I’ll have to use 3 or 4 blog posts to get them all published!!!

Ok – that’s your assignment, if you should choose to accept it.  And I surely hope you do!

A FEW PHOTOS

Another day of snow for the island. April feels more like winter there than spring right now!

Another day of snow for the island. April feels more like winter there than spring right now! (Photo: Tom Chambers)

Quite the contrast. Our friend Jennifer snapped this shot of our neighborhood this week.

Quite the contrast. Our friend Jennifer snapped this shot of our neighborhood this week.  Did you spot the blue umbrella we’ve added to our back yard (it’s not open).  Our house is the blue one – second from the left end.

Watching the sun go down. The bridge lights had just turned on in the distance.

Watching the sun go down. The bridge lights had just turned on in the distance, and the really bright white light is from a ballpark.

Everyday it's different - but always beautiful.

Everyday it’s different – but always beautiful.

Bobby Lee captured the Huron framed by two dock posts

Bobby Lee captured the Huron, framed by two dock posts

Paul and Elaine from Yale, MI spend a month in Ormond Beach each winter. We always try to see them at least once while they're down this way. It was great having lunch with them Friday at The Blue Heron. Hope you see them again on the island this summer!

Paul and Elaine from Yale, MI spend a month in Ormond Beach each winter. We always try to see these two at least once while they’re down this way. It was great having lunch Friday at The Blue Heron. Hope to see them again on the island this summer!

Ok – enough of this chatting.  I’ll let you go so you can find (or take) that photo you want to send in.  Have a great week!

God bless.