And the Days Dwindled Down . . . 10/27/2013

I’m finding it extremely difficult to stay indoors and pack when all I want to do is walk up and down Main and Market Streets, wander into the woods and along the trails, hike out to Arch Rock and Sugar Loaf, climb up to Fort Holmes, and stare out across the Straits from Sunset Rock . . . just one more time.

Coming back next summer is a no-brainer, but we’re having a pretty hard time finding a spot to roost for two months.  Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you choose to look at it), the condo selling so late in the season left us struggling to find accommodations – most of which have already been filled.  A couple of places have been offered, but for one reason or another, we’ve turned them down – rent too high, not enough room for Maddie and Bear and the worry their barking would be disruptive, and the months we want not being available.  It’s been a lot more difficult than we thought it would be.  We’re still waiting to hear from one other place, but it will probably be later in the winter when we find out the terms on that one.

But – we’re being optimistic.  If push comes to shove, we can always book a hotel room at the Chip for a couple of weeks and kennel Maddie and Bear.  We would hate doing that, but  . . . . .

FRIDAY

I had cleared my calendar for Friday through Tuesday and told Ted I HAD to get serious about packing.  But then we made an appointment to go look at a house up in Trillium Heights with our realtor and Mike Gamble, an island builder – so off we went at noon to meet them.  Why are we looking at a house, you ask?  I wish I could answer that question with some clarity, but just let me say this . . . we’re still keeping all our options open and trying to figure out what doors are closed, what doors are open, and what doors God is still planning to cut in the wall of our lives. So we went and looked at a house . . . but no bells and whistles went off, and that door closed.

After our appointment we walked downtown and ate lunch again at Mighty Mack (Mighty Mac has had several days this last week or so when they’ve donated their proceeds to the Save Our Statue campaign).   Ted biked home, and Jill walked me almost home before having to return for the second part of her split shift.

We've had several days now of rainy, windy, cold weather, and the Straits on Friday were

We’ve had several days now of rainy, windy, cold weather, and the Straits on Friday were pretty turbulent.

The flags at the Gate House weren't getting any rest at all as we walked by.  The winds had them standing straight out

The flags at the Gate House weren’t getting any rest at all as we walked by. The winds had them standing straight out or flapping back and forth with a noisy thur-rump, thur-rump sound.

There were a large group of art teachers staying at the Grand this weekend, and they were supposed to be painting at the Grand Hotel/Carriage Tours stable Friday afternoon.  We walked there to see if they'd come out in the bad weather, but we were either too late, or they canceled the session.

There was a large group of art teachers staying at the Grand this weekend, and they were supposed to be painting at the Grand Hotel/Carriage Tours stable Friday afternoon. We walked there to see if they’d come out in the bad weather, but we were either too late, or they’d canceled the session because of the weather.

All of the high-stepping Hackneys have left the island, and Friday afternoon the few remaining Percherons were out pulling the Grand omnibuses back and forth from the ferry docks.

All of the high-stepping Hackneys have left the island, and the few remaining Percherons were out pulling the Grand omnibuses back and forth from the ferry docks.  It sure seemed quiet in there.

Jill went back to work, and I got home in time to join Ted in walking Maddie and Bear.  As you can see, I’m using any excuse I can find NOT to pack.

The woods trails are not covered in layer after layer of fallen leaves.

The trails are now covered in layer after layer of fallen leaves.

We walked through the woods to Turtle Park, then up a trail and back into Trillium Heights.

We walked through the leaves to Turtle Park, then up a trail and back into Trillium Heights.

We wanted to look at that house one more time, talk to out one more time and list the pros and cons.  And once again we came to the same conclusion.  It wasn't for us.

We wanted to look at that house one more time, talk it out one more time and list the pros and cons. But once again we came to the same conclusion . . . it wasn’t for us.  We LOVE that neighborhood though, and we spent some time roaming around looking at other houses and vacant lots.

We came back home by way of the Carriage Museum and a took one more photo of the Grant stable - so beautiful surrounded by fall colors.

Home was by way of the Carriage Museum and I took one more photo of the Grand Stable – so beautiful surrounded by fall colors.

THE REST OF THE WEEKEND

It was a really busy weekend for the Island – there was the Great Turtle Race, bringing in 3,000 runners, and it was also the weekend of the “adult” Halloween party downtown.  I missed them both this year (finally got serious about packing), but thanks to Ted and Jill, I do have some photos for you!

Jill was SO HAPPY I wasn't coming out for the race because she was dressing in a turtle outfit to man the water station at Arch Rock for the runners.  She DID NOT want her photo taken.  But Ted went out there and snapped this one of her directing traffic, and of course I'm posting it!

Jill was SO HAPPY I wasn’t coming out for the race because she was dressing in a turtle outfit to work the water station at Arch Rock for the runners. She DID NOT want her photo taken. But Ted went out there and snapped this one of her directing traffic, and . . . here it is.  he tortoise and the hare.  Or maybe that’s the turtle and the rabbit.  Either way, Jillski, you sure look cute in that turtle suit!

Saturday night downtown was crazy, and all the photos below were taken by Jill – thank you very much, my trusty assistant!  Every year I think, “There’s no way the ideas can get any better,” and every year – I’m wrong.

hh

A variety of costumes, but my favorite is the bath PUFF!  

There were a lot of themed costumed this year, with several people going together to create a group scene

There were a lot of themed costumes this year, with several people going together to create a group scene – like these ladies representing different brands of beer!

The Star Wars characters!

The Star Wars characters!  I bet “Chewy” was the warmest!

Headless on Mackinac

Headless on Mackinac – I’m glad he has someone to carry it around for him.

A

A very, VERY tall . . . . person?

Ouch!

Ouch!

"We're off to see the Wizard . . . ."

“We’re off to see the Wizard . . . .”

Mr. B!  A sweet gentleman and one of my favorite Island people.

Mr. B! A sweetheart . . . and one of my favorite Island people.

My favorite group costume.  How clever is that!

My favorite group costume. How clever is that!

A COUPLE MORE FROM JILL

The line at Shepler's this morning.  3,000 runners came to the Island, and now they all have to go home!

The line at Shepler’s this morning. 3,000 runners came to the Island, and now they all have to go home!

Beautiful rainbow over Market Street!

Beautiful rainbow over Market Street!

After spending the majority of Saturday and Sunday packing, I’m about 98% done.  Tomorrow Ted will take more boxes downtown to ship, then make a trip across to start loading the car with luggage already packed.  We’ll spend most of Monday and Tuesday cleaning.  We close on the condo Tuesday, and the plan now is to leave on the 11 a.m. ferry Wednesday.

It’s very hard to say what I’m feeling right now.  I’m still praying for clarity and for peace, but for some reason the clarity is eluding me, and the peace hasn’t filled my heart.  The one thing I do know is I’m longing for friends I haven’t seen for six months and for our sweet little lake house.  Maybe there, clarity and peace will come.  I pray so.  

DSC02219

Walking on Sunshine! 5/26/2013

Good Day Sunshine!  Sunshine On My Shoulders!  Walking on Sunshine!

Are you catching my theme here?

If the first few days of last week were about as dark and stormy as they could get, the last few days have more than made up for them!  We’ve had sunshine, blue skies, and not a cloud in the sky.  It’s still a little chilly, but nothing an extra layer won’t fix.

Maddie was SO excited to be outside on dry grass.  She is the fussiest little thing about her feet getting wet!

Maddie was SO excited to be outside on dry grass. She is the fussiest little thing about her feet getting wet!

Bear, who couldn't care less whether it's wet or dry, was just happy to be able to run around off the leash, instead of being dragged into the condo as soon as he'd taken care of business!

Bear, who couldn’t care less whether it’s wet or dry, was just happy to be able to run around off the leash, instead of being dragged into the condo as soon as he’d taken care of business!

With the sun

With the sun came the crowds to the Wings of Mackinac Butterfly Conservatory . . .

. . . and the

. . . and the Surrey Hill Carriage Museum, where folks were eating outside for the first time this spring!

Not finding Denise unloading riders at the front of the Carriage Museum, Bear made a bee-line for the back lot - where he waited for her to get off the phone before begging for treats.

Not finding Denise unloading riders at the front of the Carriage Museum, Bear made a bee-line for the back lot – where he waited for her to get off the phone before begging for treats.

Before going in we checked on the progress of our Lilac bushes.  Leaves are coming on really fast!  I still haven't checked downtown . . . have GOT to do that!

Before going in we checked on the progress of our Lilac bushes. Leaves are coming on really fast! I still haven’t checked downtown . . . have GOT to do that!

Blue sky, sunshine, flowers bloomin’, children say-in’ hello. Row boats, bird notes, People smilin’ everywhere that they go!

My 15-minutes walking excursion on Friday didn’t seem to set my foot back, so I was rarin’ to go when we had the opportunity to go over to Cedarville Saturday with friends Orietta and Steve – and their teenage neighbor Max. Ted had sailed with Steve last fall from the Mackinac Island Marina to the Viking Boat Harbor to take their sailboat out of the water for winter.  Now it was time to sail it back to Mackinac.

We all piled into Orietta's car in St. Ignace and made the 45-minute drive to Cedarville.  A quick stop at a grocery store, and we had the makings for lunch in the sun, which we enjoyed on a picnic table at the Viking Boat Harbor dock.

We all piled into Orietta’s car in St. Ignace and made the 45-minute drive to Cedarville. A quick stop at a grocery store, and we had the makings for lunch in the sun, which we enjoyed on a picnic table at the Viking Boat Harbor dock.

The boat was in the water, and while the guys puttered around getting ready to sail, I noticed some activity out at the end of the dock.

Now I don't know too much about fish, but this little boy was VERY excited when he pulled this one in. The funny thing was, after he landed it, he didn't want anything to do with it - wouldn't even hold the line so I could get his picture . . .

Now I don’t know too much about fish, but this little boy was VERY excited when he pulled this one in. The funny thing was, after he landed it, he didn’t want anything to do with it – wouldn’t even hold the line.  So his big brother helped him out – and told me it was a Northern Pike – about six lbs. worth.  After the photos, they removed the hook and released it to grow some more.  Good job guys!

When we were here in the fall, the shoreline was ablaze with red and yellow foliage.

When we were here in the fall, the shoreline was ablaze with red and yellow foliage.  Now, the first hint of green is beginning to appear.

Steve brought the dinghy around to tie up to the Windmill . . .

Steve brought the dinghy around to tie up to the Windmill . . .

. . . then was pulled aboard by First Mate Max.

. . . then came aboard.

Orietta hands off the most important cargo - snacks!

Orietta hands off the most important cargo – snacks!

Ready to leave the harbor.

Ready to leave the harbor . . .

. . . Steve maneuvers away from the dock . . .

. . . Steve maneuvers away from the dock . . .

. . . and they're away.

. . . and they’re away.

The 45-minute road trip took four hours by boat.  Ted snapped this shot of Steve and Max putting up the sails, but the wind held out for only about 30 minutes.  A motor provided power for the rest of the trip.

Ted snapped this shot of Steve and Max putting up the sails, but the wind held out for only about 30 minutes. A motor provided power for the rest of the trip.

They passed Dollar Island (one of the 36 Les Cheneaux Islands), which is almost totally covered in this one house.

They passed Dollar Island (one of the 36 Les Cheneaux Islands), which is almost totally covered by this one house.

Max - showing what a true Michigander he is.  Notice the bare feet.

Max – showing what a true Michigander he is. Notice the bare feet.

Steve and Max.  I hope to write a story on this young man this summer. At 13, he is a budding entrepreneur and has a thriving delivery service on the island.  He's on call seven days a week - at most any hour to run errands for islanders.

Steve and Max. I hope to write a story on this young man this summer. At 13, he is a budding entrepreneur and has a thriving delivery service on the Island. He’s on call seven days a week – at most any hour – to run errands for Islanders.  Steve is teaching him to sail.

Ted at the helm (no bare feet here)!

Ted at the helm.  Orietta and I drove back to the St. Ignace ferry dock and were back on the Island at 4 p.m.  The guys puttered into the Mackinac Island Marina at 6:30 p.m.  What an awesome day!

Just a note on Steve and Orietta.  They will be leaving the Island for a year, beginning in July.  They are off to Tanzania as doctors with the Peace Corps.  What an awesome opportunity to serve others!

Sunday Sunshine!

The Sunday-before-Memorial-Day service at Little Stone Church is always touching, and today was no different.  Island veterans Donald “Duck” Andress and Ben Horn have presented the colors at the service for the last six years, representing the Island’s American Legion Post 299. 

Andress is a veteran of the Korean War, and Horn served in Germany and during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Andress is a veteran of the Korean War, and Horn served in Germany and during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

After the presentation of the colors, a wreath was brought to the altar – in memory of all soldiers who have laid down their lives for their country.  Our minister, Dr. Vince Carroll, who served in the Vietnam War, spoke on his experiences in that country as a Naval Chaplain.  Every pew was filled this morning as worshippers gave thanks to our veterans.

After the service, a large group walked over to The Gate House for lunch.  These folks are our foundation here on the Island.

After the service, a large group walked over to The Gate House for lunch (only two of the people in this pic are not Little Stone Church folks). We love being a part of this church’s  fellowship.

Walking home after church.  The tulips in the front bed at the Grand are in full bloom now!

Walking home after church. The tulips in the front bed at the Grand are in full bloom now!

Our downstairs neighbors are here for the weekend with their two labs.  We finally got them to pose together!  Bear, Tom Boy, and Hunter.

Our downstairs neighbors are here for the weekend with their two labs. We finally got them to pose together! Bear, Tom Boy, and Hunter.

SO MUCH TO COME!

There is so much coming up this week that I’m having to make lists on the calendar so I don’t forget something!  Here’s a few things about to happen . . .

  • Monday – Memorial Day service at the Post Cemetery and downtown
  • Monday evening – Ted and I are going out to dinner with Cindy Irish and her husband.  Cindy is a writer who reads Bree’s Blog – both on the Island and in south Georgia.  She wants to talk to us about a fictional town she is using in her next book that will be based on someplace very near and dear to Ted and I (more to come on that)!
  • Tuesday – Bear FINALLY gets bathed and groomed, so I’ll be off-island all day.
  • Wednesday – Volunteering for Shepler’s as they welcome 1,300+ Detroit Chamber of Commerce representatives to the Island. 
  • Thursday – Resting (I hope)
  • Friday – Back to Shepler’s as the Detroit Chamber leaves the Island
  • Saturday – Resting (I hope)
  • Sunday – BIG, BIG, BIG DAY!  Lowell and Faye Greene arrive on Mackinac for the first time in 26 years.  And boy do they have some surprises waiting for them.  I cannot WAIT to write this story (MUCH more to come on that)!

It will be at least Tuesday night before I publish again.  We’ll see how the week is going at that point and go from there.  Have a great Memorial Day on Monday and, if you’re traveling, stay safe!  God bless.

It’s Feeling “Real” 5/16/2013

Another busy, busy day at Shepler’s as the last group of Winsome Women arrived.  I crossed over on the 8 a.m. boat.

Some friends were on board with their dog, Sage.  What a cutie!

Some friends were on board with their dog, Sage. What a cutie!

Jill rode over with me to go to the Mackinaw City Bakery.  She stopped and snapped a couple of shots before crossing back over.  This is me earnestly explaining the parking procedure and affixing the most coveted pink sticker.

Jill rode over with me to go to the Mackinaw City Bakery, and she stopped and snapped a couple of shots before crossing back over. This is me earnestly explaining the parking procedure and affixing the very coveted pink sticker.

Cindy, Sue and I.  600+ ladies off the Island, 800+ ladies onto the Island - plus about 10 packed tour buses.  It was a busy morning on the ferry dock!

Cindy, Sue and I. 600+ ladies off the Island, 800+ ladies onto the Island, plus about 10 packed tour buses. Cindy and I were greeters, and Sue was the be-everywhere-at-once lady.  It was the wonderful dock porters who worked themselves silly all morning making sure everyone (and their luggage) got to the right spot.  Congratulations on a good well done!

I was back on the Island by 2:00 and heading home past The Gate House.  The weather has warmed to the point that a few folks were eating outside on the patio!

I was back on the Island by 2:00 and heading home past The Gate House. The weather has warmed to the point that a few folks were eating outside on the patio!

That’s about all I have for today except . . . . .

Signing the contract with our real estate agent yesterday gave me a really sad moment, and when he asked me to take a few photos to share on their website, I thought, “Oh Geez, we’re really doing this.”  That was quickly followed by that sense of peace again, and the moment passed – but it’s one I’m sure I’m going to feel again and again as we go through this process.

I’ve just emailed the photos to our agent, and I thought I’d share them with you.  IF you know of anyone who might be interested in a 3-bedroom, 2-bath condo on Mackinac Island, please have them contact Mackinac Island Realty, Inc. and speak with either Bill Borst or Jim Smith (906) 847-6483.

There’s a BUNCH of these!

A front view of Surrey Ridge Condos

A view of second floor deck which runs in front of den and master bedroom

Back door entrance into condo

Back door entrance

Back door entrance-001

Corner of den and part of kitchen bar

Den (2)

Den (3)

Den and Kitchen

Den with electric fireplace

Den

Kitchen 2

Kitchen 3

kitchen

kitchen-001

Master Bedroom 3

Master bedroom and office area

Master Bath

Master bedroom bath

Second floor guest bathroom (2)

Second floor guest bathroom

Second floor guest room

Seconf floor guest bedroom (2)

Stairway to third floor loft and 3rd bedroom

Third floor bedroom 2

Third floor bedroom

Third floor sink area

TV room and loft

TV room view into third floor bedroom

View down hall with pantry on right and laundry closet on left

View from deck off den and master bedroom (2)

View from third floor bedroom of Lake Huron

View of den from third floor bedroom

View of loft from den

View of loft from third floor bedroom

View through Master Bedroom French doors of Surrey Hill and Lake Huron (2)

View through Master Bedroom French Doors of Surrey Hill and Lake Huron

What do you want to bet I get an email from our agent tomorrow saying, “Brenda, I only wanted three or four pics!”  Hey, he asked the wrong lady to take the photos!

Leaving . . . Soon 10/28/2012

“I need to ask you something,” Ted said to me as we drove Jason to the airport this afternoon.

“The answer is no,” I said as quickly as possible.

“What did you think I was going to ask?” Ted said – a tad testily.

“You were going to ask if we could be ready to go Wednesday morning instead of Friday,” I answered.

Great look of amazement of Ted’s face.  “How did you know that?”

“Because you spent 30 minutes throwing stuff in a bag this afternoon to bring across to the truck today and then said you were all packed,” I said – a tad snappishly.  “Therefore, you think I can have the entire condo closed and EVERYTHING else packed and ready to leave on Wednesday’s 8 a.m. ferry.”

Jason from backseat: “All right, children.  Play nice or you’ll have to go to time-out.”

I thought about it the rest of the way to the airport, through the lunch we ate at the airport restaurant as we waited for Jason’s flight, all the way back to the ferry, across to the island, and up the hill.  I’m still thinking about it.

Can I be ready to leave Wednesday morning – only time will tell.  Time – and maybe even weather – as we wait to see what the remnants of Hurricane Sandy will mean to us by the middle of the week.  There’s already talk of the ferries not being able to run on Tuesday because of high winds, and some of that may impact Wednesday’s boat schedule also. 

So.  After I finish writing this, I’ll start on my very long list of “closing down the condo” chores.  In the next two days I’ll clean some, pack some, and make phone calls changing mail addresses and cutting on or off cable and DSL services.  If, come Tuesday evening, the list has lots and lots of unchecked items, or if the weather doesn’t cooperate, we’ll be here a few more days.  If all items are checked, and the weather doesn’t interfere, our truck will head south on Wednesday.

Only time will tell – which brings us to the next few days. 

I can’t begin to tell you how much fun we had while Jason was here.  His spur-of-the-moment trip took our minds away from leaving and threw us instead into the happy, party-time mode that just naturally follows in Jason’s path.  I was out of the condo more in the last four days than I have been in a month.  We’ve hiked with the dogs and eaten out a lot.  Ted and Jason played golf one afternoon, we went on the Ghost Tour Friday evening, and joined in on the Mackinac Island grown-up costume party on Saturday night.  In between all that, we checked out the Somewhere in Time weekend at the Grand and watched the starts of two road races.  It was a large weekend!

What I’ll do tonight is post a few pics of Jason’s trip, and then I’m just going to say “anything goes” until we’re out of here.  I’ve a ton of pics to share of the Island and a ton more I’d like to take before leaving.  Whether there’s time for that, I just don’t know.  So – here’s the plan.  After tonight, I promise to puts pic up every night until we leave.  I do not promise to write much – but pics with captions WILL appear.  The rush to leave is going to throw me into a tizzy – just warning you – so if I say something that doesn’t make sense, just insert or delete whatever word is needed for you to figure it out.

Ok – all that said – here’s a few pics on Jason’s trip.  I’m not going to try and cover all the stuff we did while he was here in detail, but I promise to come back later and put up more pics on the Ghost Tour, Somewhere in Time, the road race, and the costume party downtown.

After a 2:55 Wednesday arrival in Pellston, we somehow managed to make the 3:30 ferry to the Island – fog and all. The Island had been fogged in all day, and it didn’t lift until almost dark on Wednesday.  Right after this pic, Jason dug a sweater and coat out of his luggage for the trip up the hill.

Thursday morning – checking in at work with a bed full of puppies.  Maddie was saying, “Don’t you know you’re wasting time you could be using playing with me?  Get up!”

Thursday was a great day – not sunny, but warm for this time of year. I had a hair appointment that afternoon in St. Ignace, so Jason, Ted and I hiked up to Point Lookout and Ft. Holmes that morning.

There are very few colors left up this high, but the view is not diminished at all.

We took the dirt trail straight down from Ft. Holmes. I wouldn’t recommend that when the path is covered with wet leaves, but we made it safely – and slowly – to the bottom, which put us on Rifle Range Road. From there, we walked over to Arch Rock.

Ted and Jason played golf on Thursday afternoon while I was off-island, and we all met back up at the condo before walking downtown for dinner at the Seabiscuit. The Island on Thursday was very quiet – but the crazy-busy weekend was fast approaching!  These bikes are outside the Gate House, one of the few restaurants still open Thursday evening.

Glancing up at the windows of a private residence on Market Street, I almost screamed out loud at THIS staring back at me! Getting ready for Halloween!

An almost-full moon was beautiful over the Arnold dock that evening, and the temps were still in the low 70’s. We hurried through dinner though because the weather would be changing overnight. By the time we were back home and taking the dogs out around 11:00, temps were dropping, and we awoke Friday morning to high 30’s.

Even though Friday was pretty chilly, we spent a lot of time outside. It was just too beautiful not to!

On a walk down the boardwalk and out to Windermere Point, we watched the always-present kites ride the winds . . . .

. . . and Jason gave this one a little push-off from where it had crash-dived.

Friday night and time for the two-hour Haunts of Mackinac Ghost Tour, which began at 10 p.m. It was a dark and very chilly night – but we were excited!

Although neither Jason nor I has ever had any ghostly encounters, we thought it would be a hoot to take the tour.  Lamech (please forgive me if I got the spelling wrong) was a friendly, professional, and very interesting guide!

First tour stop – the Murray Hotel, home of the last known murder on the Island. No worries – it happened decades and decades ago!

Another stop – The Island House.  Lots of ghostly stories here!  We made several other stops where Lamech narrated the tales of encounters tourists and others have had with spirits from another time . . .  but you’ll have to take the tour yourself to hear all the details!

The last 45 minutes of the tour is at the Mission Point Resort, and most of the time is spent in the theatre where the TV Show Ghost Hunt taped one of their shows and called this spot one of the most haunted areas they’ve ever covered (FYI – most of the time spent here is in almost total darkness). I won’t go into what all happens here, but if you take the tour and Lamech asks, “Who scares easily?” – don’t raise your hand! I did – thinking he’d not put me in any situation where I might keel over from fright. Wrong! But it was all a very good time, and I would highly recommend the tour – whether you believe in ghosts or not. Jason and I had a blast!

Saturday – another very chilly, but beautiful day! Somewhere in Time weekend at the Grand Hotel, two road races on the Island, AND the adult costume party downtown. The island was hopping. As we walked down for the start of the races, we met two ladies from the Grand out for a morning stroll – in period costume.  I’ll have a few pics later this week from inside the Grand for this event.

Snapping a pic of the Straits.

There were 2500 runners on the Island for the two races PLUS their families and friends!

Georgia was playing Florida in football Saturday afternoon, and Jason thought it would be great fun to walk downtown in costume and watch the game with Ted at the Pink Pony (are you seeing why this 40-year-old-going-on-nine-year-old has always kept me laughing)!?

As he walked down the yard, dray drivers and horses kept a close eye on him.

When I walked down the hill a little later, I met this little boy coming up.  All the children on the island were invited to trick-or-treat downtown at local merchants Saturday afternoon, and I think this “skeleton” had already eaten everything in his bag and was well into a nap!

Georgia BEAT #2-ranked Florida (had to get that in here somewhere), and Ted says now Jason has to wear the costume for EVERY Georgia game!

My favorite gorilla!

We loved, loved, loved Jason being with us for a few days, but we would have loved it even more if his beautiful wife Blair could have been here also.  This younger generation just works too hard and too much, and Blair’s schedule  couldn’t be adjusted enough for her to make the trip.  We missed you, Blair!  Maybe you and I can come up during the winter for a girls trip!

Lots more pics to come this week of all the events above and the closing of the Island.  The Grand ends its season on Monday at 10 a.m., and I’m going to miss that event this year if I have any chance at all of being ready to leave on Wednesday.

I’ll see you back here Tuesday night with more pics!  Can’t BELIEVE the last week is here!