You Gotta Laugh 9/23/17

You gotta laugh.

When Ted and I look back on our three months on Mackinac the summer of 2017, we will laughingly (hopefully we’re laughing) label it “the summer of the mishaps”.  We have definitely spent more time on the ground and on the floor from falls than ever before on the island (which is saying a lot cause I’m a klutz and fall a lot – off bikes in front of horses, over roots in the woods, over my shoelaces, over a crack in the sidewalk,etc.), and we are hoping – from this point on until we return to Florida – we will be staying upright.  Wait.  I hope we stay upright in Florida also!

Most of you already know this from Facebook, but for those who don’t, it was my turn to hit the deck this week.  Actually, it was the street I hit when I stepped into the intersection at Market and Cadotte, and Bodie stepped in front of me at the same time.  I was distracted watching for taxis and tourists and horse poop, and I did a face plant over Bodie’s back into the pavement.

My cheekbone was the first body part to hit the cement . . .

.. . . . followed by the side of my hand as I tried to catch myself. I didn’t. My shoulder was next.  Then I rolled over onto my backpack, and was suddenly staring up at a circle of worried looking people and one very upset golden retriever, who was standing over me like, “Back off – this is my mom, and you aren’t touching her.”

In the next 20 minutes everything that I love about Mackinac Island came into play.

A couple, who I heard say “We’ll take the dog, we have goldens”, took Bodie’s leash and dragged him over to the sidewalk.  They told me later he continued to try to pull away from them and get to me.

Someone got my backpack off, but I was still laying in the middle of the intersection.  Several people asked if they needed to call the ambulance, and I repeatedly said “no”, and then I would hear Jill (who was with me and capturing the whole thing on camera because after knowing me all these years she KNEW I’d want to blog about this) say, “no” again.  My hand was hurting more than anything, and suddenly there was this VERY young, VERY nice looking guy bending over me saying, “May I look at your hand? I’m an orthopedic surgeon.”  To which I replied, “Yes, please.”

He examined by hand in minute detail and said, “I really don’t think it’s broken.  I’d ice it, rest it, and give it 2-3 days.  If it feels worse, get an x-ray.  If it feels better, you’re good to go.”

Now, while all that was going on (I didn’t know all this till Jill told me later), Carriage Tours had diverted taxis and tours in another direction.  The city police were there, as was Shelley, a Michigan state policewoman we know well.  Another friend, Gwen, found the lens that had popped out of my glasses and popped it back in.  She tried her best to bend the frames back into a somewhat normal position, and she did to the point that I could wear them.  Eventually, I was helped to my feet and walked over to the bench beside Mayor Doud’s house.  Bodie immediately jumped on the bench with me, and about that time Ted (who Jill had called) arrived by bike.

The intersection was cleared, and we all went wherever we were going – except for Bodie and I.  We went back to the condo instead of getting on the ferry for a grooming appointment.

All that happened on Tuesday and now today (Saturday), the swelling is way down, and my range of motion is much better. For the first few days Ted took over dog walking duty for both dogs, but I began to take Bodie on short walks yesterday.  So far, so good.

And that’s the Horton Drama of the Week!

PHOTOS

A just-washed Main Street in the early morning. (Photo: Hilde DaVanon)

One of my favorite island quiet spots – in back of the library. (Photo: Yvonne Pitsch)

Island House flowers. (Photo: Pam Magers Schuch)

Impromptu dinner with blog reading friends at the Chippewa: Pam and Mike Day, Denice Magers, Ted and I, Bud and Hilde DaVanon, Pam Magers Schuch, and Jill.  Love these people SO MUCH!

And loved running into these two blog readers from Ohio, Tara and Kyle Brodbeck!

A look up an almost- deserted Cadotte Avenue.

A beautiful late summer day on the island. (Photo: Tom Chambers)

Leaving the island for a trip to Cheboygan on Wednesday.

The John D. Leitch off Windermere Point. (Photo: Tom Chambers)

Out our window this morning.

That’s all for today except to say it’s the hottest day of the year here on Mackinac.  No worries though.  By the middle of the week it’s going to be into the low 60’s again.  We have company coming the next two weeks and then one more week after that we’re on our way home.  Can’t believe how fast it’s gone this year.

God bless.

 

Island Postcard #2 8/22/17

Hi Friends!

Slowly, but surely, things are starting to return to more normal island activities.  My cough crud is definitely better, and a few days of enforced rest have helped my ankles return to almost their pre-island size.  So – six weeks into our 13-week stay – I’m getting up to speed and hopefully can finish out this trip with a lot more writing and photos than have come your way so far this summer!  And – hopefully – this is the last blog of the summer that will begin with a health report from yours truly!  Thank you SO MUCH for all the prayers lifted over the last few weeks.  Y’all are just the BEST!

In the category of “Things you don’t see out your window everyday – even on Mackinac”, I submit this entry.  Have you ever heard of slacklining?  Me either!  Our condo neighbor’s grandson is visiting this week, and he put on a slacklining demo for us early one morning.  It’s like tightrope walking, except the line is flat and made of a weaved material.  The tension can be changed just by tightening the line at either anchor – in this case a tree and a utility pole.  This young man was very good at this and kept us – and dozens of island visitors who happened to walk by – entertained for a good hour!

I walked downtown on Saturday evening to meet Ted for dinner.  At close to seven, the streets were much emptier than just a couple of hours earlier.  There’s always kind of a mass exodus from the island around 6 pm, as day trippers return to the mainland.  I confess to staying away from the downtown area as much as possible during the day!

A huge pot of petunias next to Trinity Church.

This pooch was getting a help up the hill from his sweet mom. Bike baskets are for more than hauling groceries!

An awesome Straits of Mackinac shot from Tom Chambers on one recent foggy morning. That’s the Ottawa and the James L. Oberstar passing by Windermere Point, with a Star ferry in the foreground.

A Bart Theron sunrise photo on Aug. 19. No words needed.

On Saturday night Ted and I walked down to The Island House for dinner. We hadn’t eaten there in a year or so, and we had a wonderful meal. Of course, the view from the dining room is awesome also. Afterwards we called for a taxi and, while we waited, we sat in rocking chairs out on the porch and watched as the light slowly dissolved into darkness. The taxi took almost an hour to arrive, but who cares! With this kind of beauty to take in, sitting and rocking is a very pleasant pass-time.

Dave and Diane, who were supposed to arrive today, postponed their trip until September.  We look forward to seeing them next month when they celebrate their anniversary on the island! 

Had a video chat with Blake on Sunday morning, and he looked and sounded great. This photo is on his second night in Ankara – with other team members.

Have a great week!

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 IV 4/17/16

I’m so PROUD of y’all!  The photos have continued to come in, and the number is at 58 as of today.  I’ll be posting the remaining 13 tonight, and this will be the last post I’ll use the title, “Introducing . . . YOU!”  BUT – if you keep sending me your photos, I will continue to integrate them into the blog posts.  So I really, really, really hope you don’t stop!

This has been such a fulfilling time for me as the writer of Bree’s Blog.  Getting to know those of you who decided to share your faces and your Mackinac stories has meant the world.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Here we go . . . .

melissa and travis flegel

This beautiful family is Melissa and Travis Flegel and their precious children Charleigh and Griffin – from St. Johns MI.  Melissa worked on Mackinac her first summer of college (1998), fell in love with the island, and has visited every summer since.  Travis proposed to her there in 2009 on a cold, rainy day.  Later that night they stopped by the Pink Pony and met  – guess who? – Ted.  Later on, when Melissa found the blog, she showed Travis Ted’s pic and said, “Look! We met him!”  So funny the number of folks who have met my Ted in the Pink Pony over the years!

Mary Jane McNeill and her fabulous family, while vacationing in Alaska last August. M.J. is from Thomasville GA and found the blog following the Island Bookstore Facebook page. Yeah, Jill! She's been a reader for about four years and couldn't believe that we lived at Lake Blackshear at the time - about 100 miles north of Thomasville. MJ has visited the island I think twice since beginning to read the blog. Correct me, M.J., if I'm wrong on that.

Mary Jane McNeill and her fabulous family – while vacationing in Alaska last August. MJ is from Thomasville GA and found the blog following the Island Bookstore Facebook page. Yeah, Jill! She’s been a reader for about four years and couldn’t believe that we lived at Lake Blackshear at the time – about 100 miles north of Thomasville. I think MJ has visited the island twice since beginning to read the blog. Correct me, MJ, if I’m wrong on that.  Photo above is son Archer, husband Arch, son Noah, daughter Rachel, son Patrick and Mary Jane.

This is Diane Boszko and her late husband Jeff at the Butterfly House on Mackinac. Diane and Jeff first visited Mackinac in 2007 and bought the best souvenir ever - an island condo. They fell in love with it that much on the first visit. Diane said, "I know it might seem strange for me to send in this photo of me with Jeff, but whenever I'm on the island I still feel as though he is right there with me - and I always visit the Butterfly House." Thank you Diane for sharing such a personal and poignant story. Ted and I can certainly relate to how much magic Mackinac can work with just one visit. Hugs.

This is Diane Boszko  (Chicago IL) and her late husband Jeff – at the Butterfly House behind St. Anne’s on Mackinac. Diane and Jeff first visited Mackinac in 2007 and bought the best souvenir ever – an island condo.  They fell in love with the island that much on the first visit!  Shortly after they bought the condo she read about the blog in The Town Crier.  Diane said, “I know it might seem strange for me to send in this photo of me with Jeff, but whenever I’m on the island I still feel as though he is right there with me – and I always visit the Butterfly House.”  Thank you Diane for sharing such a personal and poignant story. Ted and I can certainly relate to how much magic Mackinac can work with just one visit. Hugs, and I hope to meet you on the island soon.

 

Meet Roger and Barbara Blem from Perrysburg OH. They've been visiting a relative's cabin on Mullet Lake for years and often travel on up to the island. Barbara is that rare individual who, as a Freshman, attended the short-lived Mackinac College. She was good friends while there (and still is) with Irene Cowley, a loyal reader who began the Mackinac College web site (Barbara was one of the first adminsitrators of the site). Irene told Barbara about the blog almost at the very beginning.

Meet Roger and Barbara Blem from Perrysburg OH. They’ve been visiting a relative’s cabin on Mullet Lake for years and often travel on up to the island. Barbara is that rare individual who, as a Freshman, attended the short-lived Mackinac College. She is good friends with Irene Cowley, another Mackinac College alum and loyal blog reader.  Irene began the Mackinac College web site, and Barbara was one of the first administrators of the site. Irene told Barbara about the blog almost at the very beginning.  Barbara says, “We visit every couple of years and love it every time we’re there.  And I cry every time I leave.”  Me too, Barbara.

Meet Missy and Jason Howard and their darling children Brady and Holly - Fort Wayne IN. This photo is from Fort Holmes in 2011. She found the blog researching for this trip and went back to read everything, "not wanting to miss anything."

Meet Missy and Jason Howard and their darling children Brady and Holly – Fort Wayne IN. This photo is from Fort Holmes in 2011. Missy  found the blog researching for this trip and went back to read all the posts, “because I didn’t want to miss anything!”

Meet Gail and Karl Richter from Wisconsin. This photo is from ten years ago when they attended a Somewhere In Time Weekend at Grand Hotel, and they come back every year for that special event. Now this is REALLY cool - Gail made her suit (she makes most of her suits and dresses for the Somewhere in Time weekends), and although she didn't make Karl's suit in this photo, she HAS made many of the suits he wears on these occasions. She occasionally has a vintage pattern to copy, but mostly just sees a photograph and designs the clothese from the photo. Now THAT is a real gift!

This is Gail and Karl Richter from Wisconsin. The photo is from ten years ago at one of the many Somewhere In Time Weekends they’ve attended at Grand Hotel.  Now this is REALLY cool – Gail made her suit (she makes most of her suits and dresses for the Somewhere in Time weekends), and although she didn’t make Karl’s suit in this photo, she HAS made many of the suits he wears on these occasions. She occasionally has a vintage pattern to copy, but mostly just happens upon an antique Edwardian era photograph and designs the clothes from the photo. Now THAT is a real gift!  Oh, Gail worked at the Lakeview Hotel as a chambermaid during her college years.

You met Kem and Ed Green a couple of posts ago, but this is Kem and her mom Arlene - Hampton Iowa. Kem told her mom about the blog when I mentioned she and Ed the first time in 2013, and she's been a reader ever since. Arlene has never visited the island, but she and Kem's daddy drove across the Mackinac Bridge on their honeymoon in 1958. Hugs, Arlene - I just love that daughter of yours!

You met Kem and Ed Green a couple of posts ago, but this is Kem and her mom Arlene – Hampton Iowa. Kem told her mom about the blog when I mentioned her and Ed the first time in 2013, and she’s been a reader ever since. Arlene has never visited the island, but she and Kem’s daddy drove across the Mackinac Bridge on their honeymoon in 1958. Hugs, Arlene – I just love that daughter of yours and her sweet husband!

Meet Jennifer Herko, her daughter Sarah, and her mom and dad. They hail from Warren OH. This photo is in front of The Island House in 2012, and that's when she became a reader. Jennifer says, "If I could, I'd trade in my vehicle for a bike and snowmobile and go live on Mackinac!" That's a dream a lot of folks have, Jennifer!

Meet Jennifer Herko, her daughter Sarah, and her mom and dad. They hail from Warren OH. This photo is in front of The Island House in 2012, and that’s when she became a reader. Jennifer says, “If I could, I’d trade in my vehicle for a bike and snowmobile and go live on Mackinac!” That’s a dream a lot of folks have, Jennifer!

This is Darcy Cole, who splits her time between Dallas TX and Cheboygan MI on Twin Lakes. Darcy's grandparents were from Cheboygan and Mackinaw City, so she grew up visiting both places frequently. I was immediately jealous when I saw where Darcy was standing in this photo - on Round Island! She was lucky enough to get a tour of the Round Island Lighthouse last summer (yes, that's Grand Hotel in the background). Darcy's been a blog reader since she retired in 2011and found it on Facebook. She and her husband's have a goal of wintering in Florida and summering in Michigan. Go for it, Darcy!

This is Darcy Cole, who splits her time between Dallas TX and Cheboygan MI on Twin Lakes. Darcy’s grandparents were from Cheboygan and Mackinaw City, so she grew up visiting both places frequently. I was immediately jealous when I saw where Darcy was standing in this photo – on Round Island! She was lucky enough to get a tour of the Round Island Lighthouse last summer. Darcy’s been a blog reader since she retired in 2011 and found it on Facebook. She and her husband have a goal of wintering in Florida and summering in Michigan.  I highly recommend it, Darcy!

This is Joan and Roland Asoklis from Shelby Township MI. Ted and I have met this great couple on the island. They are part of a group of friends who visit every year in August. She says, "I've found many island treasurer from your blog posts - like Anne's Tablet!" Oh - very important fact. Joan two cats, Abby and Benny are paw pals with Bear and Maddie!

This is Joan and Roland Asoklis from Shelby Township MI (shown here before a ride out of Cindy’s Stables on Mackinac). Ted and I have met this great couple on the island. They are part of a group of friends who visit every year in August. Joan says, “I’ve found many island treasures from your blog posts – like Anne’s Tablet!” Oh – very important fact – Joan’s two cats, Abby and Benny, are paw pals with Bear and Maddie!

These beautiful faces belong to Abby Barber, her daughter Sloane and son Berkeley - Minneapolis MN. Abby, her husband Jason, and Berkeley visited the island for the first time in June of 2014, although she had been a couple of times as a child herself. When she returned home she had that same feeling a lot of us do after our first visits and searched the Internet for anything that would keep her connected - and she found Bree's Blog! They're going back this August, and I hope we run into them during their visit!

These beautiful faces belong to Abby Barber, her daughter Sloane and son Berkeley – Minneapolis MN. Abby, her husband Jason, and Berkeley visited the island for the first time in June of 2014, and Abby had been a couple of times as a child. When she returned home she had that same feeling a lot of us do after our first visits and searched the Internet for anything that would keep her connected.  That’s when she found Bree’s Blog! They’re going back this August, and I hope we run into them during their visit!

Meet Bobbie and Tommy Gaye, sweet friends from my hometown of Sylvester GA (they've lived in Albany GA since 1992. Bobbie's been reading the blog for about five years.

Meet Bobbie and Tommy Gaye, sweet friends from my hometown of Sylvester GA (they’ve lived in Albany GA since 1992). Bobbie’s been reading the blog for about five years.

This is Sally and Scott Kiekintveld from Holland MI, and I love Scott's story. His father and grandfather participated in the Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Walk the second year after the walk was created. Scott joined them the next year, and they've continued that tradition for 56 consecutive years, and now his wife, their sons and their wives, children and grandchildren all do the walks together. Scott learned about the blog from a friend about five years ago. They usually include a visit to Mackinac either before or after the walk, Scott says, "It's so fun to watch the grandkids' faces when they step off the boat and see the horses and bikes!""

This is Sally and Scott Kiekintveld from Holland MI, and I love Scott’s story. His father and grandfather participated in the Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Walk the second year after the walk was created. Scott joined them the next year, and they’ve continued that tradition for 56 consecutive years.  Now his wife, their sons and their wives, children, and grandchildren all do the walks together. Scott learned about the blog from a friend about five years ago. They usually include a visit to Mackinac either before or after the walk, Scott says, “It’s so fun to watch the grandkids’ faces when they step off the boat and see the horses and bikes!””

And there you are – 58 blog readers and a little taste of their Mackinac stories.  Just makes me want to hear from more of you!  Keep ’em coming please to brendasumnerhorton@hotmail.com

Oh, IF you’ve sent in a photo and story, and I haven’t posted it, PLEASE let me know at my email.  Some of your emails have gone to my spam filter, but I’ve tried to check there on a regular basis.  If I’ve missed one, please let me know – or resend!

Not much has been happening since we chatted on Thursday, so I’ll just save up what I have from Mackinac and the beach for the next post.  Hoping all of you have a great upcoming week!

Hugs all around – and again THANK YOU for reading and being part of this blogging family we’ve created.

God bless.

Photo Night! 9/23/15

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

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

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

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

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

I wonder what we can get into today!

I wonder what we can get into today!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

. . . and here it is now!!

. . . and here it is now!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And near Anne's Cottage on Main Street.

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

The hanging baskets are still going strong.

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

And these pink and green bikes . . .

These pink and green bikes . . .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Island House . . .

The Island House . . .

. . . and Mission Church.

. . . and Mission Church.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Excited to see everyone!!!

Fall? Who Said? 9/25/2013

After working Monday morning at the Stuart House, I took some time to walk through downtown with my camera.  Everywhere I turned were gardens, flower beds, flower pots and hanging baskets – all beautiful and happily blooming away.  You’d never know we’ve been in the 50’s for highs this week and frost warnings have been issued the last two nights. 

So . . . Fall might be here on the calendar – but Mackinac Island’s summer flowers are still blooming their little hearts out!

Our post office always looks good, but this year the entrance is surrounded by tall, beautiful flowers that are really showing off. Makes going after the mail a real treat!

Our post office always looks good, but this year the tall, beautiful flowers surrounding the entrance are really showing off. Makes going after the mail a real treat!

One of many hanging baskets at The Cottage Inn . . .

One of the many hanging baskets at The Cottage Inn . . .

. . . and a little frog named Bob who just can't stay away from his cell phone.

. . . and a little frog named Bob who just can’t stay away from his cell phone.

These beauties were outside Weber's, across

These beauties were outside Weber’s on Market Street.

Butterflies are still fluttering around also - like this one sipping at some flowers in front of a summer cottage on Huron Street.

Butterflies are still fluttering – like this one sipping at some flowers in front of a closed-for-the-winter cottage on Huron Street.

There are no words for the floral wonders at the Island House this year.

There are no words for the floral wonders at the Island House this year.

Every garden is a masterpiece of color, variety . . .

Every garden is a masterpiece of color, variety . . .

. . . and

. . . and uniqueness.

The side of Bay View is

Bay View of Mackinac is a riot of flowering bushes.

Doud's Market.  I remember these window boxes in the spring when they first were planted.  They have thrived all summer, and right now they are peaking!

Doud’s Market. I remember these window boxes in the spring when they first were planted. They have thrived all summer, and right now they are peaking.

Hanging basket outside Mary's Bistro.

Hanging basket outside Mary’s Bistro.

One perfect blossom - along the board walk.

One perfect blossom – along the board walk.

Cadotte from the Grand Hotel.

Cadotte Avenue from the Grand Hotel.

MORE SCENES FROM THE MONDAY AFTERNOON STROLL

GGGG

Looking across Marquette Park toward Fort Mackinac.  Not much Fall color yet – but it’s coming!

J.L. Beanery

J.L. Beanery Coffee House is a great place for breakfast – and awesome lunch sandwiches.

ddd

Quiet street – from the Fort to the Island House.

The Mackinac Island Marine is another quiet place these days.

The Mackinac Island Marina is another quiet place these days.

The Island House

The Island House – tucked between Michigan blue skies and shamrock green lawns.

dd

A nice afternoon to visit across the white picket fence in front of the Windermere Hotel.

A shady curve of sidewalk leading to the library . . .

A shady curve of sidewalk leading to the library . . .

. . . where I ducked through the side yard to check out

. . . where I ducked through the side yard to check if the chairs were still out on the back deck.

Quite possibly the most beautiful boardwalk in the world.

Walking along the boardwalk these days is a treat to all the senses . . .

. . . especially the visual.

. . . especially the visual.  A Shepler ferry . . .

. . . and Arnold's freight boat.

. . . and the Arnold freight boat glide across sparkling blue water.

Chambers Corner

Chambers Corner and a glimpse up Market Street.

Little Stone Church

Little Stone Church through the changing leaves of the new trees that line Cadotte.  I wonder how many more years I’ll call them the “new” trees?

A touch of color on a Jewel Golf Course tree . . .

A touch of color on a Jewel Golf Course tree . . .

. . . and apples near the road that every horse on Mackinac are trying to swipe with every pass along the road.

. . . and apples near the road that every horse on Mackinac tries to swipe as they walk by.

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A wagon and a carriage stand side by side in the sunshine at Barn View.

NEWSY STUFF

Picking up the mail at the post office.

Picking up the outgoing mail at the post office.  The dray delivers it to the ferry, and the next morning the whole process starts again – in reverse.  (Photo:  Jill Sawatzki)

It's definitely Fall inside Doud's Market! (Photo:  Little Luxuries of Mackinac Island)

It’s definitely Fall inside Doud’s Market! (Photo: Little Luxuries of Mackinac Island)

Remember those empty blue barrels from the other day?  These are packed full and on their first leg of their journey to Jamaica.

Remember those empty blue barrels from the other day? These are packed full and on the first leg of their journey to Jamaica – along with what looks like some carpet.  (Photo: Jill Sawatzki)

Getting my coffee fix at Lucky Bean before opening the Stuart House on Monday morning.

Getting my coffee fix at Lucky Bean, before opening the Stuart House on Monday morning.  (Photo: Jill Sawatzki)

Meet the Green's - Kem and Ed from Des Moines, Iowa.  Kem discovered Bree's Blog last summer after visiting Mackinac, and if I've ever met anyone who mirrors how I felt with my first trip here, it is Kem.  Ed feels the same way, and they have a plan to be living (maybe full-time) on the Island in five years.  They're staying at the Chippewa and asked us to have dinner last night so they could ask questions about island life.  Such a nice couple.  I fell immediately in love with Kem's enthusiasm and positive attitude.  If anyone can make that plan come true, these two can!

Meet the Greens – Kem and Ed from Des Moines, Iowa. Kem discovered Bree’s Blog last summer after visiting Mackinac, and if I’ve ever met anyone who mirrors how I felt after my first trip here, it is Kem. Ed feels the same way, and they have a plan to be living (maybe full-time) on the Island in five years. They came over to the Stuart House on Monday and asked us to have dinner with them at the Chippewa Hotel (where they’re staying) last night so they could ask questions about island life. Such a nice couple! I fell immediately in love with Kem’s enthusiasm and positive attitude. If anyone can make that plan come true, these two can!

When the Greens came by the Stuart House Frankie and Hershey were visiting for a few minutes so everyone introduced themselves.  This morning was very foggy so Kem went out shopping and stopped in to see Frankie at Benjamin's.  She asked where Hershey was, and Frankie said "Upstairs in the apartment."  So Kem said, "Why don't we take her for a walk?"  Do you see now why I'm crazy about these two.  Kem got Hershey, called Ed at the Chippewa and they all went for a walk in the fog!

When the Greens came by the Stuart House Frankie and Hershey were visiting for a few minutes, so everyone introduced themselves. This morning was very foggy so Kem went out shopping and stopped in to see Frankie at Benjamin’s. She asked where Hershey was, and Frankie said “Upstairs in the apartment.” So Kem said, “Why don’t we take her for a walk?” Do you see why I’m crazy about these two. Kem collected Hershey, called Ed at the Chippewa, and they all went for a walk in the fog!

And speaking of fog.  The morning started off bright and beautiful, but Jim Ryerse captured the fog bank as it rolled in.  So eerie-looking!

And speaking of fog. The morning started off bright and beautiful, but Jim Ryerse captured the fog bank as it rolled in. So eerie-looking!

It looks like I'm not going to get out to Silver Birches after all this week, but the Town Crier interview worked out.  Stephanie Fortino, the reporter who wrote the wonderful story about Lowell & Faye's trip to the Island rode up to the condo this afternoon, and we all chatted for over two hours.  The story should run in the October Town Crier.

Stephanie Fortino, the reporter from the St. Ignace News/Town Crier who wrote the wonderful story about Lowell & Faye’s trip to the Island, rode up to the condo this afternoon, and we all chatted about Bree’s Blog for over two hours. The story should run in the October Town Crier.  I love working with Stephanie – another enthusiastic – and very professional – young lady.

WEDNESDAY WALK

After Stephanie hurried down the hill to catch the ferry, Ted and I took Maddie and Bear for a long walk.  I am always amazed at some of the bizarre formations of the island's

After Stephanie hurried down the hill to catch the ferry, Ted and I took Maddie and Bear for a long walk. I am always amazed at some of the bizarre forms aged or dead trees take on over the years.  These trunks on Cupid’s Pathway seemed almost fossilized.

ggg

Rays of sunlight breaking through thick still-green foliage.

Now that Bear is feeling better, he is getting rid of a lot of pent-up energy on every walk.  Once off-leash in the woods he breaks into an all-out run and races through bushes and over fallen trees like a pack of wolves is after him.

Now that Bear is feeling better, he is getting rid of a lot of pent-up energy on every walk. Once off-leash in the woods he breaks into an all-out run and races through bushes and over fallen trees like a pack of wolves is after him.

Then he stops, digs a hole . . . .

Then he stops, digs a hole . . . .

. . . . grabs a stick . . .

. . . . grabs a stick . . .

. . . and chews.

. . . and chews.

And then he starts all over again!

And then he starts all over again! 

How they like to end every walk . . . running up the hill at the Carriage Museum to get treats from Denise!

How they like to end every walk . . . running up the hill at the Carriage Museum to get treats from Denise!

Well, I guess you didn’t know when you sat down to read this you were going to be here this long!  I’ve really been out a lot with the camera this week! 

I still haven’t worked out the details with Liz Ware about my night at Silver Birches, but hopefully that is still going to happen. 

One big bit of news.  We had an offer on the condo this week, but after counter offers and re-counter offers, we just couldn’t get together on price.  So . . . no sale on that one. 

Hoping everyone is having a good week.  Stay safe, stay well, and I’ll see you back here in a few days!  God bless.

Mackinac Island Winter Update – Volume 4 12/23/2012

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas . . . .

All I have to do is put on some Bing Crosby, scroll through the photos below, and imagine myself inside the photos.  Why don’t you do the same . . . .

Sweet artist friend Mary Lou Peters used watercolor to create a merry scene around the Christmas tree on Main Street, with Fort Mackinac

Sweet artist friend Mary Lou Peters used watercolor to create a merry scene around the Christmas tree on Main Street, under the watchful eyes of Fort Mackinac.

Always beautiful, St. Anne's church decorated for Christmas is even more heavenly.

Always beautiful, St. Anne’s Catholic Church, decorated for Christmas, is even more heavenly.

Children at the Island school prepared Christmas treats for the 4-H horses wintering in Mackinaw City.  They were delivered the day before the snow arrived, and Blaze and his pasture-mate sure enjoyed their surprises!

Children at the Island school prepared Christmas treats for the 4-H horses wintering in Mackinaw City. They were delivered the day before the snow began, and Blaze (on the left) and his pasture-mate sure enjoyed their surprises! (Photo: Mackinac Horses Association)

The snow began on December 20, and one of the first places I went to look was the Island House webcam.

The snow began on December 20, and one of the first places I went to look was the Island House webcam.

This is friend Joan Barch hiking over to a friend's house for a knitting circle - in the snowstorm!

This is friend Joan Barch hiking over to a friend’s house in a snowstorm – for a knitting circle!  (Photo:  Orietta Barquero)

By Friday the snow was arriving in huge, wet, heavy snowflakes.

By Friday the snow was arriving in huge, wet, heavy snowflakes.  (Photo: Marge Lind)

Little Luxuries Nicole Doud's bicycle, sitting outside her home.  In the summer that basket is woven with flowers and greenery.

Little Luxuries Nicole Doud’s bicycle, sitting outside her home. In the summer that basket is woven with flowers and greenery.  (Photo: Nicole Doud)

And speaking of Nicole, she and Andrew celebrated their 2nd wedding anniversary this week.  This photo is from their wedding day - a gorgeous, snow-covered Island made the perfect background for a wedding.

And speaking of Nicole, she and Andrew celebrated their 2nd wedding anniversary this week. This photo is from their wedding day. A gorgeous, snow-covered Island made the perfect background for their wedding.

A little further south - in Gaylord - Brian and Jeri-Lynn's "Cricket" awoke to a deep covering of snow in their backyard.

A little further south – in Gaylord – Brian and Jeri-Lyn Bailey’s “Cricket” awoke to a deep covering of snow in their backyard . . .

. . . and at Black Lake near Cheboygan, Patrick Conlon’s new Golden Retriver puppy Ruby discovered snow for the first time.

A perfect winter snowland scene - again from Black Lake.  (Photo: Sue Conlon)

A perfect winter snowland scene – again from Black Lake. (Photo: Sue Conlon)

Snow-laden branches on the Island Christmas tree. (Photo: Mission Point Resort)

Can you believe the Mackinac Bridge was still open in these conditions?!  I don't think I would have even considered crossing in that!

Can you believe the Mackinac Bridge was still open in these conditions?! I don’t think I would have even considered crossing in that!

Last Friday the Island snowmobilers  enjoyed the beauty of a frozen Island.  (Photo: Jeff Peterson)

Last Friday snowmobilers enjoyed the beauty of a frozen Island. (Photo: Jeff Peterson)

An eerie photo from downtown . . . low light, ghostly buildings, a lone snowmobiler.  (Photo: Marge Lind)

An eerie photo from downtown . . . low light, ghostly buildings, a lone snowmobiler. (Photo: Marge Lind)

The Mackinac Island Post Office.  Open - come rain, or snow, or sleet, or dark of night.  (Photo:  Mission Point Resort)

The Mackinac Island Post Office. Open – come rain, or snow, or dark of night. (Photo: Mission Point Resort)

A decorated lamp post stands strong in 25 mph winds.  (Photo: Mission Point Resort)

A decorated lamp post stands strong in 25 mph winds. (Photo: Mission Point Resort)

Downtown

Downtown Mackinac – from the top of Fort Hill.  (Photo:  Greg Main)

The winter's only taxi passes The Cottage Inn.  I know our friend George Wellington is driving that taxi!

The winter’s only taxi passes The Cottage Inn. I know our friend George Wellington is driving that taxi!

State Park employee Myron Johnson, checking the trails for downed trees and debris.  (Photo:  Robert McGreevy)

State Park employee Myron Johnson, checking the trails for downed trees and debris. (Photo: Robert McGreevy)

Mission Point Resort stands on its hill - covered in snow, quiet, lovely.  (Photo: Mission Point Resort)

Mission Point Resort stands on its hill – covered in snow . . . quiet . . . lovely. (Photo: Mission Point Resort)

A view of the city from Anne's Tablet.  (Photo:  Greg Main)

A view of the city from Anne’s Tablet. (Photo: Greg Main)

The heavy, wet snow caused many, many downed trees and broken branches.  Lots of work to be done before the State Park crew can get the trails groomed for cross-country skiing.

The heavy, wet snow caused many, many downed trees and broken branches. Lots of work to be done before the State Park crew can get the trails groomed for cross-country skiing.

The Island cemeteries today. (Photo: Mackinac Island Winters)

The Island cemeteries today. (Photo: Mackinac Island Winters)

The Baby Grand - an East Bluff cottage.  (Photo: Mackinac Island Winters)

The Baby Grand – an East Bluff cottage. (Photo: Mackinac Island Winters)

Skull Cave.  (Photo:  Mackinac Island Winters)

Skull Cave. (Photo: Mackinac Island Winters)

Thank you so much to everyone on the Island (and those who visit) who allow me to use their photographs on this site.  All of you rock!

Chris Ann Update

I spoke with Chris Ann on the phone a few days ago.  A friend of hers from the Island, Mary Saul, was there spending some quality time, and Chris Ann was enjoying her company. 

Then this past Friday evening Burton answered a knock on the door.  Outside were around 20 Shepler employees who had come to sing Christmas carols for them – practically in the middle of a snowstorm!  Chris Ann and Burton welcomed them into their warm cottage where they filled the living room and sang carol after carol.  They brought dinner for the next day (when family was arriving), a Christmas tree, and a platter of Christmas goodies.  It warms my heart to think of this wonderful evening the Shepler Ferry family pulled together for their favorite fan.  I’ve talked to several people who were there, and each one said the same thing, “No matter what else we do during the holidays, our visit to Chris Ann and Burton will be the highlight.” 

I called Chris Ann later that night, and she and Burton were still bubbling over with smiles about the visit.

Chris Ann and Burton expect to welcome several of their family (a few at a time) members over Christmas.  They continue to make memories in their little cottage under the bridge.

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With temperatures staying in the 20’s and low 30’s for the next few days, I think the Island will definitely be celebrating a White Christmas.  Wishing everyone there – and everyone reading this – the merriest of Christmases.  Love and hugs to everyone, and God bless you every one.

The Mellower Season 9/18/2012

We have a Mystery Spot winner!  She is Mariann Arendsen from Zeeland, MI!  Please see end of this post for the correct answer!

Autumn is the mellower season . . . .  Samuel Butler

When the noon siren blew today, I glanced at the thermometer, and it read 48 degrees.  It finally inched its way into the low 50’s this afternoon, and the rest of the week calls for more of the same.  We haven’t seen our first 30-something morning yet, but I have a feeling it could be soon.  So – I have plans to spend one morning or one afternoon this week pulling out sweaters, sweat shirts, rain gear, overcoats, gloves, neck wraps, and earmuffs and packing away sleeveless blouses, flip-flops and shorts.  That’s another thing we’ve learned about the U.P.  When Fall walks in the door, it doesn’t change its mind and walk back out a few days later  It is here to stay – so get prepared!

Ted took the dogs for a good, long walk up to Lookout Point and Ft. Holmes Monday and while he was there, grabbed some photos from as high up on the Island as you can go.

From the Lookout, it’s easy to see that the hardwood trees are just on the verge of turning gold. Did you spot the private tour carriage at the base of Sugar Loaf?

Here’s a closer view!

Bear enjoyed the wind at the top of the Island – Ft. Holmes.

What a view!  We’ll try to walk back up there in a week or so to check out how things have changed with the trees.

Downtown there are images of Fall everywhere – like those two baskets of bright yellow mums sitting on the fence posts at the Windermere Hotel.

It’s been normal over the last week to see rain out over the Straits . . .

. . . dark clouds over the Grand Hotel . . .

. . . and on Monday – while I was working at the Stuart House – rain!

Fall continues to bring Bree’s Blog readers to the Island, and several stopped by on Monday – like Jeff and Jacob from Garden City, MI (we had to stand inside because of the rain) . . .

. . . Mary, daughter Rory, and Goldendoodle McNally (husband and dad David took the photo) from Houston, TX . . .

. . . and Joyce, Al and Muriel from Indiana. This family loves to Geo-Cache . . .

. . . and next summer, good Lord willing, maybe we’ll do a blog story about their adventures while they’re here on one of their “expeditions”!

Thanks also to Cathy Cislak from Indianapolis (didn’t get a photo, darn it) who dropped by to leave some doggie treats for Bear and Maddie, which they wanted me to thank you for, Cathy!  Bear said, “Could she come to the Island more often, please!”

Reader Photos

Rebecca Bruner photographed the Round Island Lighthouse on August 9, 2012, near the spot where her wedding was held on August 12 at Windermere Point.

Jennifer Gilbert.  Jennifer was here in June working on an article about families visiting Mackinac Island for www.southshoreparent.com. She stayed at the Island House Hotel and loved this window (and the view) from the sitting room inside the hotel.

Craig Wicks – Roanoke, Virginia. This photo is from Criag’s visit in 2001 and shows the Shepler Ferry dock at sunrise.

Fran from Florida. Fran visited the Island with her two boys, and this photo shows one of them, at the garden on French Lane, trying to find all the Seek & Find items.

Neil Heineka – Benson, Illinois. Neil and his wife Erica have been coming to the Island for 10 years, beginning shortly after their marriage. They hope one day to summer here. Now they bring their two daughters and stay at Stone Cliffe, where the girls can play on the wide lawn, and they enjoy music on the portico and the marvelous views.

Lori Henes. Lori and her husband planned a vow renewal ceremony for Labor Day weekend – just the two of them. But her husband had other ideas. He contacted all their children and her mom and dad. On Sunday, the day of their vow renewal, the family surprised Lori and attended the service. This photo is Lori’s of the Grand Hotel flowers.

Mystery Spot

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

Something a little different – not WHERE is it, but WHAT is it?

Again, please email your answers to me at brendasumnerhorton@hotmail.com.  PLEASE DO NOT ANSWER IN THE “COMMENTS” SECTION OF THE BLOG.  Remember, I’ll post the winner at the top of this blog as soon as someone gives the correct answer.

That’s all for tonight.  I’ll see you back here on Thursday night or Friday morning!  Stay warm!

MYSTERY SPOT ANSWER

The Mystery Spot is the lantern on a Grand Hotel carriage. So many readers guessed correctly that it was a “lantern on a carriage”, but I needed to know “which” carriage.

Spring . . . Summer . . . Fall? 8/19/2012

Hmmm.  There’s a little nip in the air.  It  warms up nicely by two or three o’clock (“nicely” being low 70’s, not mid-80’s), but then the thermometer mercury begins sliding back down the tube.  Friday and Saturday were very windy, and although I don’t think Fall is quite ready to declare “I’ve  arrived!”, it’s certainly lurking out there somewhere – throwing us a few more sunny, warm days to pamper us, before beginning to turn green leaves into gold and warm breezes into chilly winds.

To be frank, I’m ready for Labor Day.  As big as our crowds on the Island have been all summer, it seems for the last two weeks they’ve been even bigger!  Because of the crowds, I haven’t been downtown as much this summer; but at the same time, I’ve been thanking the good Lord for all the business for the shops, hotels, and restaurants.  The economic numbers have begun to come in, and Mackinac Island is coming back strong.

When I drew the shades up Saturday morning, I knew I just couldn’t stay home.  The sun was shining, the air was cool, it was breezy, and the sky and water were matching shades of blue.  Perfect!  Jill and I had been trying to get together for weeks, and Saturday we finally both were free at the same time!

Jill met me at the condo, and we took the long way downtown, walking down Fort Street. The weeping willow tree shows just how windy it was!

We ate outside at J.L. Beanery, moving to the dock, and sitting at tables in the sun. From there we could see the marina, the lighthouses, and the Straits. I called Ted at the Visitors Center and asked him to walk out on the back deck. From there he could turn in our direction and see us waving at him.  I think he was a little jealous he was working, and we were playing.

When we left the Beanery, we noticed a wedding party across the street at the Island House . . .

. . . . where a very handsome Marine and his beautiful bride were posing for wedding photographs.  Just before this pose, he had swept her up in his arms, and she had taken off his hat and put it on her head – as in the final scene in “An Officer and a Gentleman”.  SO romantic . . . and I didn’t have my camera ready!

I needed a baby gift for my Georgia friend Dawn’s about-to-be-born grandson, so I shopped in Little Luxuries, while Jill ran in the bookstore to put her “left-over” sandwich in the frig.  She was working the late shift on Saturday, so that would become her dinner.  Then we crossed the street to visit Anne at Ella & Ivy’s.  Both places were crowded with customers, and little Ella (Anne’s Maltese) was getting plenty of pampering by everyone who walked in.  We said “Hello!” to Loretta in Martha’s Sweet Shop, but she was so busy she couldn’t break away even for a second.  We all decided after Labor Day we had to have a Girl’s Lunch to celebrate a great season!

Jill had books to return to the library. I never tire of walking in that beautiful building. On Saturday, the back doors were open, and we could look straight through to the lighthouse.  We enjoyed looking at the beautiful art of the Mackinac Seven, a group of local artists who display their work in the library each August.

I browsed through the Used Book section (Hardbacks-$2, Softbacks-$1) and through the DVD and VHS rentals. I thought of all the old movies I had stacked up at home and made plans in my head to ship them to the Island library when we return to Georgia. As you can tell, the wind was kicking up a little more by now, and the waves and whitecaps were becoming more numerous.

Outside the library, I met Jane from Kalamazoo, MI, a fan of Bree’s Blog, with her precious daughter (hope I remembered that name correctly).  Good grief, look at my hair!  Well, I said it was a windy day!

The boardwalk, on the west end of Main Street, was lined with visitors – all enjoying their day on the Island.

Even the sidewalk on Cadotte was crowded . . .

. . . and many visitors stopped to watch a few innings of the vintage baseball game, played every Saturday in the open space below the Grand Hotel.

Saturday night Ted and I headed back downtown for date night.  We had drinks at the Pony, then walked down the street to Mary’s Bistro for dinner (their signature dish is the spit-fired chicken with mashed potatoes). I get it every time we go there – yummy!

We tend to favor restaurants on the water, and Mary’s fills that bill. We usually eat outside on the deck at lunch, but at night inside is more cozy.

Saturday was a great day – spending time with a good friend, visiting other good friends, and capping it off with a sweet date with Ted.  Blessed – so blessed.

Random Pics from the Weekend

Blog reader Yvonne Pitsch and her husband Tony (from Iowa) were on the Island this week, and we made plans to meet up on Friday morning as I walked with Bear down to the ferry (grooming day in Cheboygan).

Bear loved meeting ANOTHER Bear – their German Shepard/Collie mix. What a sweet dog! Tony and Yvonne were staying at the dog-friendly Harbor View Suites downtown. So good to see you again, Yvonne, and to meet Tony and Bear!

Bear on the ferry Friday morning. With the wind like it was, it was going to be a bumpy ride both ways, so we headed to the lower deck. There were a few brave folks who opted to “try it out” up top, but by five minutes into the ride, they were downstairs – not because of the ride, but because of the spray off the water.

The Tale of the Skirt

This morning I decided I would try something new – riding my bike to church, wearing a skirt.  Ted had gone down ahead of me, so I finished dressing, took Maddie and Bear out one more time (in case we decided to eat lunch downtown), locked up and got on my bike.  I was very conscious of trying to ride “ladylike” and also keep the skirt (mid-calf length and full) from getting into gears and bike chain and sprockets.  I was doing a darn good job too . . . until I reached the Grand.  Suddenly, instead of the whir of bike wheels, I heard the “click, click, click” of something wrong.  I was going VERY slowly and had time to stop the bike before it stopped on its own.  I was right next to a stopped carriage, and the driver looked over and said, “Uh, oh!”  My skirt was totally wrapped in the back gears.  Because it was long and full, I was able to get off the bike.  There was nothing to do but rip the material out of the gear (the wheel would no longer turn), leaving about an inch of the skirt in the gear.  I couldn’t see the damage, but I asked the driver his opinion.  “Ah, you can’t even tell it’s torn,” he said.  “Just be thankful you didn’t fall.”  Well, I was, but I also had a feeling the damage was a little greater than what he was letting on.

I ripped the rest of my skirt out of the gears and walked the bike around the corner to Margaret’s Garden Shop at the Grand.  Parking the bike, I walked inside, explained my problem, and asked if they had some sharp scissors.  “Just do the best you can,” I said.  They cut out the ragged edge, straightening the line as best they could, and swearing that because the skirt had an underskirt, it looked right in fashion.  I thanked them and walked the bike the rest of the way to church.

They missed a couple of ragged tears . . .

. . . but like they said, with the underskirt, it doesn’t look really, really bad. Maybe I’ll just cut the other side the same way!

Lesson learned:  Don’t try the skirt thing on a bike again.

Favorite Photos from the Weekend

Sunrise this weekend from Mackinaw City. (Photo: Patrick Conlon, Shepler’s Ferry Line)

One of the most gorgeous dawn photos I’ve ever seen.  Wow and double Wow.  (Photo:  Abby Holstrom)

Another busy week ahead – working on Monday, friends possibly coming on Tuesday, lunch with Frankie on Wednesday, Ted in golf tournament for Medical Center on Thursday, with accompanying dinner at the Woods for wives that evening, and off-island for appointments on Friday.

Have I mentioned it’s been a busy summer?!

See you on Wednesday with the full report.  Have a great week!

Mackinac Island Winter Update – Vol. 16 – 3/21/2012

Spring is breaking out all oh-oh-ver!  Oh wait!  That lyric begins with “June”, not “Spring”!

Here in Georgia, it might as well be June.  Temps are in the high 80’s already, Azaleas and dogwoods and crabapple trees are in full-bloom.  It’s beautiful,  but all of that is supposed to happen toward the end of April – not March!

Our yard in Georgia this week (these azaleas are usually blooming Easter weekend).

Same thing on Mackinac Island – well, not azaleas, but warm temps.  Two weeks ago 14 inches of snow covered the ground.  Today on Mackinac it was 66.  Sixty-six! It wasn’t 66 last year when we arrived on the Island mid-May!

Ok – it is what it is.  I have a feeling Georgia is only going to get hotter, but hopefully, this is truly just a few crazy days on the Island, and then the weather will return to normal.  If not, I’m seeing an air conditioner in our future this summer.

I have a few news items today, a few photos, and one totally awesome video . . .

The Island is coming out of its winter lull and about to crank up and get ready for the season (I’m wondering if everyone has their snowmobiles in storage yet, or are they keeping them around a little longer to see if a spring snow surprises everyone).  For sure, bikes are already out and about (they’ve been out and about most all winter), and hotels are already planning spring specials!  Like these two . . .

What about an early June getaway to The Island House? June 1-3 you can stay for $99/night plus tax, and that includes breakfast in the 1852 Grill Room (that's 50% off the regular price). Make your reservations online and use promo word "JUNE". By the way, The Island House's opening weekend is May 4-6!

Ever thought about staying at the Grand Hotel BEFORE IT'S FULLY OPEN? You can do it April 27-May 3. Explore the hotel on a daily tour with the hotel historian, or sneak a peek on your own. Accommodations available in many of the Grand's newest rooms, including the Millennium Wing, as well as the grandest of all, the Masco Cottage. Continental breakfast included, and dining is available at The Gate House for luncheon and dinner.

Where can you find other specials?  It’s so simple!  Go to http://www.mackinacisland.org OR (for the very best last-minute deals and immediate island news) go to: http://www.facebook.com/mackinacislandtourismbureau and “join”!  It’s fast, it’s simple, it’s free, and each time some great special is available, you will KNOW ABOUT IT immediately!

Ferry news!  Shepler’s Ferry began it’s Island service from St. Ignace on March 15.  It’s the Sacre Bleu that’s running now, but on April 1 (maybe sooner), the fast ferry will be back in business.  Shepler Ferry service from Mackinac City will begin April 23.

The Sacre Blue's first trip to the Island, after a very short winter break. Can't wait to see all that Island "brown" begin to turn Island "green"!

Once again . . . . RESIDENT FERRY PASSES must be purchased BEFORE MARCH 31!

Here’s a few “springtime” photos from the Island . . .

Lake Huron waters at the Island marina are turning green for spring! (Photo: Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau)

Flowers are beginning to break through the cold earth at Harbour View Inn (Photo: Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau) . . .

. . . and what is this? Tulips starting skyward at Mission Point Resort. (Photo: Mission Point Resort)

A view of Lake Huron this week from the platform at Arch Rock. (Photo: Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau)

My favorite photo this week. Beautiful Round Island Passage Light in the glow of the sun. (Photo: Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau)

I’m hoping everyone reading this is already planning a trip to the Island this season.  Just in case you were wondering about the many festivals held during the summer, here’s a list:

  • Lilac Festival:  June 8-17
  • Festival of the Horse:  August 8-12
  • Mackinac Music Festival:  August 14-16
  • Mackinac Island Fudge Festival:  August 24-25
  • Restaurant Week:  September 23-29
  • Great Turtle Shopping Week:  October 1-6
  • Halloween Weekend:  October 26-28 (includes Great Turtle Half Marathon Run/Walk)

You'll see several of these beautiful Friesians (this one ridden by Maryanke Alexander) and every other breed of horse on the Island at this summer's Festival of the Horse!

Can’t think of anything else for this week . . . except that promised video.  It was compiled from many sources and features interviews with Islanders, Island residents and loads of imagery and insight into what makes the Island so special.  This is a vintage video and is about 30 minutes long (watch when you have enough time to enjoy without interruptions). Interviews include Mayor Margaret Doud, Scottish immigrant Agnes Shine, Mackinac Island Police Chief Otto Wandrie, Grand Hotel musician/clarinetist Bob Snyder, writer/professor/biographer John McCabe. Fudgemaker Harry Ryba and media guru Bill Rabe.  You will love it!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BK4EjTr1Wqo&feature=you.tu.be

One more thing.  I’ve been giving a lot of thought this week to the coming season on the Island and how to showcase this summer.  I’ve read and reread all of your excellent suggestions from last Fall, and I think what I’m planning is going to be fresh and just different enough to be . . . different.  More on that in the weeks ahead, but gosh, it’s less than 8 weeks before we’ll be heading north again.  Can you believe it?

Have a great rest of the week, and thank you for all the Happy Anniversary wishes for Ted and I on St. Patrick’s Day.

God bless.

P.S.  I think next week we’ll start calling this the “Mackinac Island SPRING Update”!