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!

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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.

Bear – Back By Popular Demand 3/13/2016

Hey!  Bear here!

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This morning, while we were on the beach, mom told me some of my fans were getting restless since I hadn’t put paw to keyboard in a while.  Now, I just have to tell you that it makes this pooch feel mighty, mighty good to know I’ve been missed.  I know mom told you, but right in the middle of all the moving around we Hortons did – I had to have knee surgery.  And even though I type with my two FRONT paws, having a bum BACK leg makes it a little uncomfortable to sit in that chair in front of the laptop.  But – the leg’s all healed up now, and except for a little touch of arthritis, I’m as good as new.

With mom getting so old and all (dad too, but mom talks about it more), I’ve started thinking about MY age and health.  It’s really hard to believe I turned nine last year (right at Christmas time), and my little sister Maddie is 11 1/2 now.  I tease her all the time about how cranky she’s gotten in her “later years”, and she gets me back by proving she can still steal all my toys in three seconds flat.  When Maddie and I hear mom talking about one of her aches or pains, we just look at each other and roll our eyes.  I know Maddie’s thinking the same thing I am – when humans have an ache somewhere, they just get up and take some medicine.  But Maddie and I can lie around and feel bad for hours without anyone figuring out we’re sick. Yep, the only way Maddie and I can tell mom and dad we don’t feel good is to go throw up on something valuable.  That ALWAYS gets their attention!  And off we go to the vet to get OUR medicine!  Humans have it so much easier!

Maddie spends a lot of time lying outside in the sun these days. She tells me it makes her bones feel all nice and warm.

Maddie spends a lot of time lying outside in the sun these days. She tells me it makes her bones feel all nice and warm.

As for me, I still prefer the cold hardwood floor in an air-conditioned room.

As for me, I still prefer the cold floor in an air-conditioned room.

Ok – enough about our aches and pains.  I’m beginning to sound just like mom!

With such short notice, I don’t really have a story to tell today, but since Mom said you wanted to hear from me, I think I’ll introduce you to all the new friends Maddie and I have made here in Sunset Inlet!

And here they are!

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Top row (l-r):  Lola, Gucci, Brutus, and Cooper.  Lola and Cooper are siblings.  Dad loves Brutus – can you guess why?  He even forgets and calls him UGA sometimes (after the famous University of Georgia mascot).  Middle row (l-r): Jesse, Joey, Legend, Koa, Sophie, and Earl.  Did you notice how I put Jesse (the bird) and Earl (the cat) at opposite ends of the collage? I thought it was safer that way.  Legend and Koa (the German Shepherds) are siblings and love the beach.  Mom cat-sat Earl for a week one time, and I can’t say as I liked it much.  But I got over it.  Bottom row (l-r): Princess, Skye, Little Bear, Sugar and Mitzi.  Princess and Gucci are siblings, as are Sophie, Sugar and Mitzi.  Skye lives in New York most of the time, but she comes down with her mom and dad as often as possible, and we hang out in the parking lot.  I love her stories about life in the big city!  The official neighborhood “welcomers” are Maddie, Joey, Gucci, Princess, Lola and yours truly.  We make sure EVERYONE in the neighborhood knows if ANYTHING is going on!  The first one to spot something barks, and then – chain reaction – we all join in.  It’s SO MUCH FUN!

Hope you enjoyed hearing from me and meeting all our friends!  I promise I’ll be back soon with doggie updates from Florida.  And yes, Maddie and I are already dreaming about Mackinac. In fact, Mom is going to show you some really neat photos from there right now!

Arch rock. Robert McGreevy "painted" the opening with a small flashlight and used a timed exposure. Awesome photography!

Arch rock. Robert McGreevy “painted” the opening with a small flashlight and used a timed exposure. Awesome photography!

Reflections on ice and water. (Photo: Thomas Nighswander on Pure Michigan)

Reflections on ice and water. (Photo: Thomas Nighswander on Pure Michigan)

The snow is slowly giving way to slush. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

The snow is slowly giving way to slush. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

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Snowmobiles will soon be back in storage . . . (Photo: Tom Chambers)

. . . and soon this hill will once again be alive with visitors, taxis, and drays! (Photo: Tom Chambers)

. . . and within weeks this hill will once again be alive with visitors, taxis, and drays! (Photo: Tom Chambers)

Perfectly

Perfectly captured wave splashing against ice.  (Photo:  Clark Bloswick)

And the early morning sun reflecting off snow on the East Bluff. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

And the early morning sun reflecting off a fence on the East Bluff. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

Speechless. (Photo by Bobby Lee)

Speechless. (Photo by Bobby Lee)

Our weekend company sadly had to cancel, but we’ve had a great time here, with perfect weather for the last few days.  Biker week ended today, so the streets are once again quiet (thank you, Lord).  We took the boat out today and rode down to Hidden Treasure Raw Bar & Grill for lunch with neighbors Brandi and Todd.

We love that this place has opened so close to our house. Right on the Intracoastal . . .

We love that this place has opened so close to our house. Right on the Intracoastal . . .

The water was quiet also this afternoon, but we saw a few boats, including this one - under full sail.

The water was quiet also this afternoon, but we saw a few boats, including this one – under full sail.  Just as the streets of Mackinac will soon be busy once again,  this waterway will very shortly be teeming with boats returning north for the summer and with residents taking advantage of this great place we now call home.

I hope everyone has had a wonderful weekend, and I hope your coming week is filled with nothing but good things.

God bless.

Just had to say one last thing. Thank you so much for asking me to write again. And please tell all my doggie and kitty (and birds) fans out there I said hi. And so does Maddie.

Just had to say one last thing. Thank you so much for asking me to write again. And please tell all my doggie and kitty (and bird) fans out there I said hi. And so does Maddie.

Bear . . . out.

Bear . . . out.

Reader Participation Day! 2/21/16

A few days ago I was invited by friend Anne Stanard to post one nature photo per day (on Facebook) for seven days and to invite a different person each day to do the same.  While I was going through what seemed like millions of photos, I had a really great idea – at least I think it’s great.  Let’s see what y’all think!

You know how I’m always trying to get to know all of you better?  How about if each of you emails me one of your favorite photographs showing WHERE YOU LIVE.  I’m not asking for “people” photos (we’ll do that another time if this gets a good response) – just a photograph of the city, town, or general area where you reside (maybe a photo of a local tourist attraction, or one of your favorite spots to visit, or just a photo of an area in your town that has special meaning to you).  I ask that you give your name (first name only), and a few details about the photo (where it was taken, when, etc.)  The deadline is Wednesday, February 24, to get those in to me.  It doesn’t have to be a recent photograph and can be any season.

I will publish the photographs in some format either Thursday or next Sunday – depending on how many I get – and I’m hoping to get A LOT!!  We’ll all get to see different parts of the country and connect the dots of names and locations.  As always, I am hoping – along with my regular commenters – to hear from some of my SILENT READERS out there!

Remember – this is NOT about your favorite vacation spot.  This is about WHERE YOU LIVE!!

I’m EXCITED about this!  Please email photo, your first name, and photo caption to me by Wednesday, February 24, to brendasumnerhorton@hotmail.com.

A FEW PHOTOS

One more thing to love about Florida - a February morning bike ride with next-door-neighbors Lisa and David to Java Joint for breakfast.

One more thing to love about Florida – a February morning bike ride with next-door-neighbors Lisa and David to Java Joint for breakfast.

bear

The newest “Bear” in the neighborhood – a little smaller than our Bear, but such a sweetie!

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A golden photograph by Robert McGreevy of downtown Mackinac Island one evening this week. 

Personal note:  I’ve been referred for physical therapy for my neck but haven’t heard from them yet about an appointment.  My doctor said the LAST thing he wanted to do was a triple (insert long word here I didn’t comprehend) fusion of vertebrae in my neck, so he wants to try PT first.  If that doesn’t work, we’ll move to injections.  I’m pulling for the PT to make a huge difference.  Surgery is the LAST thing I want also.

Don’t forget. . .  please find a great photo of where you live and email to me at brendasumnerhorton@hotmail.com.  Thanks!

God bless.

Settling In At Home! 10/4/2015

Hi Everyone!

Just a note to let you know we are safely back in Florida, unpacked, and settling in.  We had a good trip to Florida with no problems of any kind.  Thank you so much for every safe travel prayer that you lifted.  We felt them all the way home.

We are so fortunate to be able to come home to beautiful Sunset Inlet! (Photo: Missy Freedman)

So happy to be back at Sunset Inlet! (Photo: Missy Freedman)

I’m going to take a little vacation from blogging for the month of October.  There is so much to do this month.  I’ve got to have some health concerns looked into (neck issues), start back volunteering, meet new neighbors, and just get all nestled back into our Florida home for the winter.  I’ll be back the first part of November, with news from both Florida AND Mackinac Island.

Speaking of Mackinac . . .

The day after we left the island, the temps dropped, the winds started to get crazy, and the ferry trip got a lot more exciting!

The day after we left the island the temps dropped, the winds started to get crazy, and the ferry trip got a lot more exciting! (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

We sure hate that we’re missing October on Mackinac – my favorite month on the island.  I know the trees are turning all shades of red, yellow, and brown, and oh my gosh I love walking through the woods there in the fall.

But – good news!  I’m pretty sure next summer we will be on Mackinac for three whole months, and that is going to be awesome!!

Prayer Request

When Jill left Mackinac a few days before we did, she was going home to join her mom and her brothers in caring for her dad.  Ken had been diagnosed with cancer a few weeks earlier; but treatment was being planned, and Jill thought she’d be back on the island in a few days.

Sadly, Jill’s dad took a turn for the worse and passed away on Friday afternoon.  His services will be Tuesday morning in Lansing.

In October of 2012, Jill and I left the island to go meet Lowell and Faye Greene for the first time.  We spent the night with Jill’s parents, Ken and Joanne, at their beautiful home in Lansing, before leaving the next morning for our trip to Lowell’s.

From the moment I walked into their living room, the warmth and love of this gracious couple embraced me.  Sitting down at the breakfast table with them for coffee the next morning was like having a chat with my own mom and dad.  They accepted me into their hearts and home – and made me feel like family.

Jill and her parents in October of 2012.

Jill and her parents in October of 2012.

I know Jill, Joanne, and Jill’s two brothers, Mark and Eric, would appreciate your prayers in the coming days.

Jill and Joanne, I wish my arms were long enough to reach you in Michigan. Please know – in spirit – you’ve been wrapped up in huge hugs from Ted and I since Friday.  We love you both – so much.  ______________________________________________________________________

See you back here in November – and God bless.