Posts Tagged ‘Mackinac Island’

Just reminding myself that life is good…with images that please me.

I am Journey Girl and I open to the blessings in my life.



And I do see it, more and more.

So blessed to be with my friend on this trip in the Alps in 2013.

So blessed by my path, even when I don’t know where it leads.


Praying in gratitude for my good friend, Lois. Seeing her in comfort as many ways as she can, and even rooting for Notre Dame, her favorite team.


We are indeed, encouraged.

I see God’s glory all around us, and


My taste buds are enhanced in the goodness of life.

My heart gives thanks.

and He knows my name.


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We arrived on the day of the Lilac Parade. Our three-car caravan traveling North on I-75 into Gaylord, where we stopped for lunch and a Father’s Day Celebration.


Then we were ferry-bound, bicycles and all for Mackinac and Dufina Cottage.


and, of course, the Horse Taxi ride up to the cottage.



Passing the Grand.



Up the hill…


Good times and ambiance in Dufina.





Puzzle solving.






Music, music, music.


Early morning view from our bedroom window.



Porch sitting and conversations.



Breakfast nook.




Games of Go Fish!



Outings on the Island. Bicycles!


Outings on the Island.






Ice Cream!


Mission Point Date with Tom



Last Night Movie Night watching The Notebook.



Once more, time to leave again.  Wonderful time.

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The larger plan for this blog is to “one day” collect selected stories from my soon to be fourth year of faithful posts and put them into a bound edition for my children and grandchildren….a legacy to leave behind of my thoughts, dreams, family heritage, spiritual life, fun and games, things I cherish, and “what you didn’t know” tales.

If publishing holds no larger plan for me, that will be enough.

So I must include this June  vacation time with Kathleen and Greg’s family at Dufina Cottage.  Laura was unable to come because of her work schedule, but Carl and Amy joined Tom and me for three days of adventure and fun.

Just like Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robbin, we got up each day for our adventure on Mackinac Island (they were in the Hundred Acre Woods) and we found fun and beauty everywhere and lots of good eats on our island adventures.




We found playgrounds and board walks and the butterfly house.



Swinging by the bridge


Butterfly house

My butterfly


Butterfly House gorgeous lilies

Walking trails and scenic views.






No matter the weather, we stick together!


No Matter the weather

Flowers and gardens abound.

Walking buddy in the Grand Hotel Gardens


Behind the flowers

Petal Beauty



At the Secret Garden

Pilgrims among the lilacs.


Morning time on the labyrinth in the Grand Hotel gardens.

Another Labyrinth, Grama


Good eats and family fun at Dufina Cottage.

Dufina and Amy


Piano and OnLine Time

Kathleen and Greg and Devon and Andrew and their friends were on their bikes — A LOT, thus a lack of photos of them.   They braved the windiest day EVER on Mackinac Island.

Greg  Bike Trails

Kathleen skydiving


Devon called us to ask when we were arriving:


telephone callls

And then, watched for our boat to arrive.

Family Looking for Us to Arrive

The three days went by quickly. Tom and I celebrated our 49th Wedding Anniversary on Thursday night and were treated to a delicious ribs dinner by Susan and Kathleen.  Joe also ventured on very early morning bike rides and captured this beautiful sunrise over Lake Huron.

Early Morning Sky on Mackinac - Joe


And this photo of beautiful wife, Susan at beautiful Arch Rock!

Beautiful Susan at Beautiful Arch Rock

Yet there were times techy communication won out over the outdoors.


But there was always…..ice cream!



Not to forget the horses and fairy tale weddings.


And then….it was over like the clock striking midnight….

Walking Together

But here is Amy’s “Going Back to Mommy” smile on the ferry boat!

Ferry smile



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Lilacs - Brenda HortonPhoto by Brenda Horton

View toward St Ann's - Brenda HortonPhoto by Brenda Horton

In just a few days, Tom and I will return to Mackinac Island for a few days stay with our family at Dufina Cottage, a long-standing June vacation tradition. We, however, have not been up there for a few years and are looking forward to the beauty, sounds and activities of the island.

Our daughter, Kathleen and her family are into their week on the island and awaiting our arrival on Wednesday.  Well, not exactly awaiting…..

Andrew is flying kites….


Devon is getting sunburned….


and making “collect calls”….ha ha, get it?

telephone callls

Kathleen is skydiving….

Kathleen skydiving

and Greg has taken to the midnight bike trails, as is tradition….

Greg  Bike Trails

So all of that is a lot of fun, but they just can hardly wait for us to get there!  See, they are looking for us now.

Family Looking for Us to Arrive

We’ll be right there!

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fallI’m blessed to call Brenda Horton a friend of mine and an inspiring writer and photographer. She and her husband Ted, of Georgia Bulldog heritage, live part of their lives on Mackinac Island each summer into the fall.

You can read and see all about the beauty of this way of life on-line at:


But for today, we are just going to take a little autumn walk with my very favorite adopted dog, Bear, who lives his gifted life with mom and dad, Brenda and Ted.

All photographs are from Bree and I’ve left out many scenic ones on the walk so you will want to check out her website directly.   From there you can open to a full novel’s length choice of stories back through the years in Bree’s Mackinac Island Blog.

That is actually how we met and pretty instantly became friends. Bree was riding in the horse taxi on an early, cold morning departure date for my family from a week on the island. Well, I’m pretty apt to strike up a conversation with any writer, and sure enough I did. And I count that my lucky day. Since then, the striking stories, celebrations and history of Mackinac Island that have flowed from Bree’s keyboard have been matched only in quality by the amazing photography with which she gifts us . And both of those are topped by the personal friendship and communications we have enjoyed over the last several years.

Now for that walk with Bear, her incredible, honorable, handsome Golden, who stole my heart many years ago.

Bree’s descriptive line of her blog states…summers on beautiful, magical Mackinac Island….and I suspect autumn is “the cherry on top of it all.”  Just take a look.


“Fitness in the fall. Just take a fun little walk. I’ll lead the way.”


One must never lose their scent of curiosity! Humans need to know this.


“WHO needs a Stairstepper?  Save the money!”


Royalty, for sure.


“Just one more trail dad before we go home, huh, please?”

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photo by Brenda Horton – Bree’s Mackinac Island

The HMS Bounty on Mackinac Island in August, 2010.

I pay tribute to the great loss that this international treasure of a ship is to the world and to the heartbreak of a dedicated crew and the loss and death of one sailing soul. I offer prayers for  the missing captain, who is still being searched for with hopes of his survival in the seas.

I believe I saw this ship as the Tall Ships sailed into South Haven, Michigan sometime before the year 2000.

You truly sail on………….in our hearts.

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Photo by Brenda Horton – Bree’s Mackinac Island Blog



Bree is getting ready for hers and Ted’s and (Bear’s and Maddie’s ) trek back to their Georgia home down on the”rivah”. But she gives us some beautiful glimpses of how the Island, too, prepares for its winter season.

This is too beautiful not to share. Horses, lake waters, foggy mists, and businesses that ran full steam ahead in the summer, and witnessed many grand vacation times, now begin to settle into a different rhythm.

It keeps you forever in love with Mackinac Island.

While I have followed Bree’s Mackinac Island Blog for at least four years now, I see myself in the near future walking into the Island Book Store, obtaining a copy of a book written and photographed by Bree, and then scouting out her condo, so I can get an autographed copy.

It will have a distinguished place on my bookshelf.

Thanks, Bree, for this wonderful conversation.

Last Sail of the Season 10/7/2012

Brrrr . . . .

With highs in the 40′s and wind chills in the 30′s this weekend, we’re wondering if this could be a little teaser about what kind of winter the Islanders can expect!  I’m sure hoping  for them (cause they love lots of snow and deep ice on the Straits) that they have a true Mackinac winter this year.  Also – and selfishly – I’m hoping for that because I want to come back to the Island this winter for a few days, but only if there’s  lots of snow!  I’m talking piles and piles of the white stuff!

With all the blustery winds in the last few days, our beautiful trees are beginning to shed a few  leaves, but there is a lot of color left for visitors to ahhhhhhhh over – so come on!   Make sure you check those ferry schedules before heading out though – there have been changes in the last few days!

So much to talk about today – so I’ll just start writing and see how far we get in this post . . .

The big story from last week is Ted’s awesome sailing adventure on Thursday.  Steve and Orietta are year-round Island residents, and Steve asked Ted to sail with him to Cedarville (in the U.P.) to put his boat in storage for the winter.  He keeps the boat moored during the summer in Haldimand Bay, just beyond the Mackinac Island Marina.  Now Ted doesn’t know a lot about sailing, but Steve needed an extra pair of hands on board, and Orietta needed to get their car to Cedarville so Steve would have a ride home.  Consequently, Ted got a great day on Lake Huron, and Orietta and I drove, shopped a little, met the guys in Hessel for lunch, drove on to Cedarville and overall just had a fun day!

But, before we get to the sailing . . .

I was meeting Orietta at the ferry at 11 a.m., and the fog, really dense earlier in the morning, was beginning to burn off. I passed the entrance to the Grand Hotel shade garden just as this worker finished pulling up the perennials along the steps.

Fort Mackinac was still cloaked in the foggy mist . . .

. . . and from Market Street the fort looked even more ghostly.

Jill was up a lot earlier than I was that morning and had already been out and about – as had Mary McGuire, head of the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau.

The docks and marina were socked in with heavy fog . . . (Photo: Jill)

. . . and the Chippewa Hotel was barely visible from the Marina. (Photo: Mary)

It would be a little later in the morning before these private carriages began to fill with passengers. (Photo: Mary)

Jill, who was spending part of her day off dog-sitting for us, told me on Wednesday that another load of horses would be leaving the Island on Thursday at 11:00.  As I was going down the hill, I met her coming up to get some shots of the horses on Cadotte.

Here they come!  Each worker is in charge of leading groups od two, three, or four horses down from the big barns to the ferry.  The horses are excited!  I think they know when their horseshoes are taken off, and no new ones are put on, that they are leaving the Island soon for the rolling pastures of a farm in the U.P. (Photo: Jill)

As many times now as I’ve witnessed this ritual, it never fails to make my heart beat a little faster. There’s just something about 20 one-and-a-half to two-ton horses moseying down Market Street that makes me grin like a little kid.  It affects everyone the same way – walkers and bikers stop and dive into backpacks and purses for cameras, or just stand and gape.  Only on Mackinac!  (Photo: Jill)

The horses were leaving from the Arnold dock, and Orietta and I scurried to take photos of our own! (Photo: Jill)

It’s always a bittersweet moment when the men and women who take care of the horses all summer say goodbye to them for the winter.

One of the first things I learned after being here for a while is that this is more than a “job” for these workers. They all LOVE horses . . .

. . . and they take care of each and every horse as if it was their own personal companion.

The horses take it all in stride – most of them have done this for at least several years. (Photo: Jill)

They watch the people, watch as other horses arrive, and . . . . make plans.

“You know that second fence post by the road in the pasture in the U.P.? Once we’re out of the trailer, meet me there, and we’ll plan the party for this weekend. Spread the word!”

Ok – back to the sailing!  Orietta and I went over to St. Ignace on the 11:00 Arnold boat, but Ted and Steve’s morning began at 9 a.m.

Jill was at the dock to watch them pull away from the mooring.

Ted had his camera with him and captured the Island slowly receding in the background, as Steve piloted the boat out of Haldimand Bay.

The fog was still thick at nine, and this Star Line ferry, passing the Round Island Light, blended in with all the gray.

The sky didn’t look too promising for a good day on the water. There was not even a whisper of wind, and the 16-mile trip would be made using the sailboat’s diesel engine.

While they were motoring to Hessel, the first leg of the trip and where we would meet them for lunch, Orietta and I crossed to St. Ignace.

From the ferry window I captured this really eerie photo of the Mackinac Bridge. Only the top of one tower was visible above the fog.

We walked past these Burning Bushes along the boardwalk in St. Ignace to pick up Orietta and Steve’s car. So beautiful!

As we left St. Ignace, we called the guys and discovered they were just pulling into the Hessel Marina – ahead of schedule!  It took them about an hour-and-a-half to go by water, and it would take us only 20 minutes by road.

We met them at a great little restaurant in Hessel, enjoyed a very good lunch, then walked over to another little store for a Jersey Mud – Ted’s favorite dessert!

Orietta and I walked down to the boat to watch them ready the boat for the final hop to Cedarville – only a few miles.  By then the sun was shining, and the weather was perfect!

As I photographed them motoring away from Hessel . . . .

. . . Ted photographed Orietta and I waving goodbye to our “sailor boys”.

It only took about 10 minutes to make the trip by road from Hessel to the boat yard where the boat is stored for the winter. We walked out on their dock and just enjoyed the beautiful weather and the wonderful fall scenery.

What a wonderful old boathouse! I bet it has some great stories to tell . . . if it could only talk.

Nice spot for a home!

While we were enjoying the scenery, Ted was steering the boat (and taking photos), Steve was removing the sails . . .

. . . and they were soon coming into the Cedarville harbor.

We watched as they carefully tried to maneuver through the grass in the very shallow bay. The water levels in all the Great Lakes are at very low levels.

Steve piloted the boat the last few yards . . .

. . . into the spot where eventually it would be lifted out of the water.

The final task was to get the sails on dry land . . .

. . . then fold them and place them in bags. Steve will take them to a place over the winter where they’ll be checked for nicks or tiny holes and, if necessary, be repaired.

We arrived back in St. Ignace in time for the last boat of the day at 4:30.

What a great day we had with Steve and Orietta.  Thanks so much for including us, and have a wonderful winter on the Island!


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We are all familiar with Meals on Wheels that runs throughout the United States, helping the homebound with meals delivered to their door. Now, thanks to Brenda Horton, summer (actually part of spring and fall too) resident with her husband Ted, on Michigan’s beautiful vacation Mackinac Island, she keeps us up to date on what’s happening in the North even when she is comfortably living her second parallel universe life in her beloved Southern Georgia lake home.

Below, she reports there is a Food program that actually runs on the Island via snowmobile. I find that fascinating and energetic.

“I absolutely love that there is a Meals on Snowmobiles program during the winter on the Island.  Every Tuesday and Thursday over 40 hot meals are delivered to senior citizens who are year-round Island residents.  If snow covers the ground, the meals are delivered  by snowmobile.  This winter, however, with snow not being very plentiful, the meals have been delivered at times by a fire department truck.  The meals are prepared by John Cadotte, who has been a chef on the Island,  and Tom Boburka, who is an artist and cooks at Sinclair’s Irish Pub and other restaurants. Island volunteers help with the delivery of the meals, and at least once a week children from the island school make deliveries, helping them stay connected to the older members of the community.  The program is funded by Ste. Anne’s Church, with support from the Mackinac Island Community Foundation. ” (Story source:  The Mackinac Island Town Crier) via Bree’s blog.

Second to note is an early start of the Arnold ferry system to the island because of our less than usual cold winter. However, we are not yet ready to start packing our bags! We will not be running to catch a ferry anytime soon.

Thanks, Brenda.

Starry Night over Mackinac Island, Michigan
from Bree’s Mackinac Island Winter Update Blog

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Bree, Sue, Devon

It is time to let my readers know about the marvelous Mackinac Island Muse. Memorial Day will be here within a few more days, school spring concerts are being performed, high school seniors have been released awaiting graduation and we, in Michigan, ………love to play!

The State of Michigan has a very high quality and popular tourist ad campaign running named, “Pure Michigan.” This year’s campaign has started out with glimpses of  our favorite island, visited by people from around the world, Mackinac Island.

Mackinac Island has the blessing and good fortune — their own pot of gold at the end of an evening rainbow — of having Brenda and Ted Horton, from Georgia, own a condo on the island, fulfilling one of their own retirement dreams. At retirement, they did things “a little differently” from most people.

Their “downsize” included obtaining a condo, high on the island to benefit from the cool breezes, warm days, and “cooled-down” timeclock from their previous professional lives. Include lots of island land and landmarks, though not owned, they could call their own in their daily hikes and dog walks across the land and on the trails.

When they became “empty-nesters”, the island population fell in love with them, and became their own extended family, (with distant cousins checking in from far and wide who have been on Mackinac Island and miss it, and ones who just enjoy the way Bree helps them experience it)  through Brenda’s blog: Bree’s Mackinac Island Blog.  She posts frequently her experiences of the day and her posts carry the exciting energy of “new day – new opportunity”.

Bree has an enchanting blog with her words and her magic camera puts the wow factor up front. Many readers, on and off the island, start the day with her blog and a hot cup of coffee, or finish the day by viewing it and enjoying a cold iced-tea. I’ve not yet seen a blog that has so many responses as she regularly gets to any one of her posts. She is very well read and enjoyed.

You will be able to mark her blog a favorite and have your own virtual vacation on Mackinac Island all summer long.  You will find it a charming break in your day which may seem ordinary. But after a blog or two, you will feel refreshed and I guarantee that you will be more apt to recognize the blessings around you this very day.

Our family, kids and grandkids have had wonderful week-long vacations in June at Dufina Cottage, just up the hill and behind the Grand Hotel. We met Bree on the horse carriage taxi that came to take us to the Arnold Ferry Dock when we were leaving two years ago.

That day, Bree was riding with the taxi-driver and blogging with guests who were being taken around the (car-less) island. She blogged about us. I started following her writing and photography right after that. After you have visited the island, had your fun there, you kind of wonder what you’re missing after you’ve left. So you can easily check in and there will always be a topic of interest and photos to almost meditate to.

The following year, our granddaughter Devon Warriner , at age 15, had just published her first book, “Get Over It”, a teen story set on Mackinac Island with fictional characters but realistic island terrain, business places and tourist activities.  Jill, at The Island Book Store, arranged an author signing event for Devon and Bree came over to Dufina and interviewed Devon on the writing of her book.  We will be leaving for Mackinac Island in just about four weeks, and this year, the family gets to celebrate the wedding of Tom’s sister and her groom, at the Gazebo that was filmed in “Lost in Time” with Christopher Reeves.

In the meantime, Ted will probably be either enjoying his coffee on the front porch of their condo or be at the Museum, proudly conversing and offering historical facts of the island’s majestic background, layout of the land, and whatever else he can help with. Occasionally, he will be interrupted by someone who comes up to him and says, “You don’t know me, but I’m a friend of Bree’s…….” and he nods and says, “Yes, she has an awful lot of those around here.”


This is the blog about our taxi – ride and meeting Bree for the first time.

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