Back to a Happy Normal and . . . the Weeks Ahead! 7/12/15

Don’t you just hate it when your “normal” life gets interrupted by something different?  Oh, don’t get me wrong.  I’m not talking about disrupting normalcy with a cruise to Bermuda or winning the Publisher’s Clearing House Giveaway.  I mean a disruption that throws your whole mind and body into turmoil . . . like a fire extinguisher head being set off (when there’s no fire) and flooding your house!

But – as much as I hate to give it up and say this – even those “bad” interruptions can bring good things.  You just have to get over the turmoil, say “thank you, Lord”, and go looking for them.

Our “good things” are these:

The house is back to normal - rooms have been cleared and things put back in their place.

Our house is back to normal – rooms have been cleared and things put back in their proper place.

The downstairs bedroom and closet now has brand new carpet instead of carpet that is nine months old . . .

The downstairs bedroom and closet now have brand new carpet instead of carpet that is nine months old . . .

. . . so does the stairs.

. . . so does the stairs.

In addition, the downstairs bedroom closet (where they had to cut a hole in the wall to mop up water) now has a great big storage place under the stairwell, with a very nice custom door leading from the closet into the storage area.  I can't show you that because the stuff we put back in the closet hides the door.

In addition, the downstairs bedroom closet (where they had to cut a hole in the wall to mop up water) now has a great big storage space under the stairwell, with a very nice custom door leading from the closet into that area (I can’t show you that because the stuff we put back in the closet hides the door).

What’s even more amazing is, with the help of the warranty people, our builder, and the restoration company, all this was accomplished in less than a week!  To go from a sit-down-in-the-middle-of-the-floor-crying-over-it mess to normalcy – with benefits – in six days is an amazing feat in my book!  So a huge thank you to all involved – especially the warranty folks who set off the sprinkler by accident.  Those two guys worked harder than anyone to make sure our house was put back to rights.  Mission accomplished!

A WALK ON THE BEACH WITH BEAR AND MADDIE

I don’t normally get up for the early morning walk with Ted, Maddie and Bear.  To me, if the sun isn’t up, the good Lord meant for us to keep on sleeping.  But the other morning I woke up early – just as Ted was leashing up the dogs – and decided to take the 2 1/2 mile stroll with them (their walk has to be early these days, or they’d all melt before they made it back home).

The benefits of rising early and hitting the beach!

The benefits of rising early and hitting the beach!

For Bear, the walk on the beach means a time he can be off-leash (yes, the city frowns on this, but who’s around at that time of the day to report us).  He LOVES running the beach, even though he’s not once gone into the water more than ankle deep.  On this morning, when he was doing his normal “scare-the-crabs-out-of-their-holes-and-chase-them-into-the-ocean routine, the sea offered up a very different gift!

“What the heck? It looks like a tennis ball!”

“It tastes like a tennis ball – except a little salty.”

“But before I get too excited and take it home, I’m going to watch it a while to make sure there are no claws with pinchers attached.”

Maddie has no desire to chase tennis balls or crabs.  All she wants to do is dig them up!

Every single hole is sniffed and dug into.

Every single hole is sniffed and dug into.

“I know I just saw his beady little eyes!”

“So many crab holes, so little time.”

Walking back home - from the sidewalk.

Walking back home – from the sidewalk.

OTHER BEACHY STUFF

Breakfast this morning at the Funky Pelican. The fishing at the end of the pier is already in full swing, but these days folks bring a sun umbrella along with their fishing gear.

Breakfast this morning at the Funky Pelican. The fishing at the end of the pier is already in full swing, but these days folks bring a sun umbrella along with their fishing gear.

Breakfast - a full of cholesterol seafood omelet for Ted.  I chose a very healthy yogurt/granola/fruit dish - with four strips of bacon on the side.  Kinda like when I order a big Mac with a diet coke.

Breakfast – a full of cholesterol seafood omelet for Ted, with toast and home fries. I chose a very healthy yogurt/granola/fruit dish – with four strips of bacon on the side. Kinda like when I order a big Mac with a diet coke.

Each neighbor in Sunset Inlet gets a little different angle on our little group of houses.  Jennifer shot this across the canal at sunset.  Our house is

Each neighbor in Sunset Inlet has a little different angle on our group of houses. Jennifer shot this across the canal at sunset one day this week. Our house is to the right of the 3-story.

One of those awesome photographs that you might get once in a lifetime. Neighbor Missy captured this ominous shelf cloud coming in a few days ago.  Looks like a UFO, doesn't it.  Amazingly, we didn't even get a sprinkle of rain out of all this drama!

One of those awesome photographs that you might get once in a lifetime. Neighbor Missy captured this ominous shelf cloud coming in a few days ago. Looks like a UFO, doesn’t it! Amazingly, we didn’t even get a sprinkle of rain out of all this drama!

THE ISLAND!  THE ISLAND!

A great shot of kayakers and a freighter from Clark Bloswick.

A great shot of kayakers and a freighter from Clark Bloswick.

Also from Clark:  Sunrise from the east side of the island . . .

Also from Clark: Sunrise from the east side of the island . . .

. . . and sunset from near Devil's Kitchen.

. . . and sunset from near Devil’s Kitchen.

I'm jealous of Jill all the time now because she gets to live on the island all summer.  But this week I'm doubly jealous because she got to go over to Round Island and spend the day.  You can only do that once a year, you know.  Jealous, jealous, jealous . . . but so excited and happy that she got to do it!

I’m jealous of Jill all the time now because she gets to live on the island all summer. But this week I’m doubly jealous because she got to go over to Round Island and spend the day. You can only do that once a year, you know. Jealous, jealous, jealous . . . but so excited and happy that she got to go!

Also from Jill - a view of the harbor from the back of the Peace Garden.

Also from Jill – a view of the harbor from the back of the Peace Garden . . .

. . . and an up-close look at the new Peace Garden sculpture.

. . . and an up-close look at the new Peace Garden sculpture, “Be Still”.  Love this!

An awesome photo by Valerie Porter of the

An awesome photo by Valerie Porter of the “new” Fort Holmes!

From blog reader Becky Jacobs.

From blog reader Becky Jacobs.

Becky and her husband recently got the thrill of a lifetime when they won a Facebook contest sponsored by the St. Ignace Chamber of Commerce. The prize was a trip to the top of the Mackinac Bridge!

Becky and her husband recently got the thrill of a lifetime when they won a Facebook contest sponsored by the St. Ignace Chamber of Commerce. The prize was a trip to the top of the Mackinac Bridge!

A GOOD CAUSE

Ted and I met Max Jones and his family a couple of summers ago. At that time Max was 13 and had already been in business for himself for two years as the owner/operator of Max’s Errand Service on Mackinac Island.

Max is planning to ride across the State of Iowa to raise money for the Mackinac Island Fire Department.

From an interview of Max by Jason St. Onge at the Mackinac Island Fire Department:

Max, the son of John and Karrie, spends his winters in Kalamazoo but summers on the Island. Max stopped by the Market Street Firehouse to talk about his plan with the MIFD.

Max said, “You guys do a lot for the community and I just want to assist in any way I can. I think I can raise some money to help with equipment.”

Max will spend the next couple weeks securing pledges and training for the ride. He will be asking for pledges from businesses and citizens and promises to collect “Only if I finish the nearly 500 mile trek.”

Max runs a bicycle errand/delivery service on the Island that he started several years ago.

Max will set out on his journey on July 18. Thank you Max, and good luck!!

Personal Note:

To donate to Max’s ride across Iowa, which is July 18-25, you can email Max directly at mjj5366@yahoo.com, subject “Max’s MIFD Ride”, to pledge. Max will email you back with all the details. You can also donate at the micf.org (Mackinac Island Community Foundation) website. Once there, just click “donate”, then put as the fund name, “Max’s Ride for the MIFD”. The money won’t be collected until Max finishes the ride. All donations will be through the Mackinac Island Community Foundation for a tax deduction.

This is a great cause, and we applaud Max for wanting to give back to the Mackinac community.

Max - on one of his many daily delivery rides up and down the hills of Mackinac Island.

Max – on one of his many daily delivery rides up and down the hills of Mackinac Island.

THE WEEKS AHEAD

Ted and I will be heading to Islamorada in the Florida Keys on Thursday to spend three nights with Julie, Matt and the grandkids.  We get back on Sunday, and the following Saturday we head north to Michigan for nine weeks.  There is no way I can even begin to tell you how excited I am to be heading to cooler weather!

For the first three weeks we’ll be with friends Sue and Terry Conlon at Black Lake near Cheboygan, then on August 18 we arrive on Mackinac for six weeks in a condo downtown in the Mission District.

A really fun surprise . . . I’ve been asked to stay two nights at the Grand Hotel (this will be while we’re at Black Lake) and to write about the Woods Restaurant (owned by the Grand).  Ted and I have never actually stayed at the Grand, and we are so excited to have this opportunity!

So, we’ll be on and off the island even during the three weeks we’re at Black Lake.

I’ll be blogging the entire time, but I’ve decided to not have any kind of schedule for the rest of the summer.  From now until the end of September, posts might pop up at any time.  It may be a story or just a photograph, but – starting now – expect something more than twice a week – just on no certain day.  And I’ll post the same blog to both Bree’s Mackinac Island Blog (http://bree1972.wordpress.com) and To Be Clay (https://bree2015.wordpress.com).

We’re going to miss Sunset Inlet.  We’re leaving just as we’re all beginning to get to know each other, but we’ll be back at the end of September to rejoin the gang and enjoy Florida when I love it most . . . . fall, winter, and spring!

Please say a safe travel prayer for us.  Bear and Maddie will be staying with our pet sitter for our Islamorada trip, but they’ll be with us – of course – when we head for Michigan!

Love you all!

God bless.

17 thoughts on “Back to a Happy Normal and . . . the Weeks Ahead! 7/12/15

  1. The pictures of the clouds you post are really awesome! Also a bit scary. I love the picture of Maddie on the stairs! You have to make use of that new carpet whole it is fluffy. We will be on the island the very end of September. Can’t wait!

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  2. I love how the step is Maddie size!
    Your breakfast looks yummy to me! A few years ago, a coworker and I went to to Disney World for auditor training. The 25 year old boy grabbed every piece of meat and pancake he could off the breakfast buffet. I was just into all the fresh fruit. We can splurge on that, right?
    I would so love to stay at the Grand Hotel – something out of my price range now, but maybe one day. Take pictures of everything for those of us living vicariously!

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  3. Oh how I so enjoy your posts – a highlight of any day! I’ve said it before – isn’t it a wonder, this Internet? Created friendships and kinships between many of us who would never have “met” otherwise. Great way the universe worked it out so we could all stay connected! I stayed at Grand Hotel a few years ago; my mom, my two sisters and I went up for Mothers’ Day It was……well – grand! You will feel like you stepped back into time. A truly magical experience. Godspeed on all your travels.

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    • Thank you, Deborah! We are excited about staying at the Grand. And yes, loving all the friends who have been introduced via the Internet!

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  4. What a beautiful summer itinery ..
    First the Grandkids, then Black Lake
    With the Conlon’s then onto The Grand..
    My oh my, how much more wonderful
    could life possibly be?
    Prayers always prayers for safe travel..
    Watch for our sweet girl once you all
    make it north…..
    blessings dear friend!

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  5. We stayed at the Grand for the first time in June, as a gift from our children for our anniversary. You will love it, it is very”grand”. now I want to do it every year. I think everyone should do it once. They treat you very well there, and the food is delicious.

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  6. Your going to love your stay at the Grand Brenda. It is a whole new and different experience. I wish we could afford to do it again, maybe some day. We did it in 2008 at which time it was a little more affordable. 😉 Always love Clark’s sunrise and sunset pictures. They are amazing! It won’t be long now….

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  7. Those pictures from the bridge…eeekk!!! Made my heart skip a beat! And you leaving behind the “air you can wear” for some wonderful Michigan weather. Yay! I leave Wednesday for Boston, MA to be with my sister while she recovers from her surgery. I’m looking forward to escaping this heat, too! Safe travels and prayers for you two.

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  8. I had to wait a whole week for my Brenda Horton “fix,” and then WOW! What a blog. Enjoyed the whole thing. I’m so glad you’ve been able to have all the repairs and restoration done to the house so quickly. I didn’t know workers could move so fast, but thankful they did. Speaking of disrupted normalcy (Oh wait a minute. That was you that spoke of that). But I want too do it too, if that’s okay. I fully plan to have my life disrupted by winning the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes. Of course, I’ve been thinking that for a few years. I guess sometimes my thoughts don’t amount to diddly.

    It looks to me like Bear and Maddie have been really enjoying their early morning walks on the beach, especially Maddie. Obviously, she takes her responsibilities very seriously.

    Tell Ted that’s my kind of breakfast. However, I think my two favorites are 1. sausage and/or bacon, fried potatoes, scrambled eggs and biscuits drowned in sausage gravy, 2. chocolate and biscuits. For those of you who have never heard of chocolate and biscuits, its biscuits with hot chocolate gravy over them and topped with plenty of butter dripping off the sides. Healthy? Of course not!, but what did you expect?

    Now, where was I before all that breakfast? Oh yes, back to the blog and Mackinac Island. Jill’s trip to the Round Island Lighthouse reminded of my trip there in the little row boat with a little outboard motor. That was way back in about 1955 and we were able to go through the unlocked lighthouse. One of my wonderful memories from so long ago. The kayakers and the huge freighter in the Straits look like something from a beautiful dream. The peace garden and the statue are certainly a fitting addition to the Island. The restoration of Fort Holmes is the way I remember it back 60+ years ago. Of course, the wood was weathered then because it had been there from a previous restoration in the 1930’s. I’m glad it’s been restored again. I was so hoping it would be. The sunrise, the sunset, the Bridge, Max for his thoughtfulness and concern and the news of your imminent trip to the Keys and then north to cooler weather.

    WOW, what a blog! It was well worth waiting for a whole week.

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    • And I loved every word of your comment, Lowell!! Love hearing your memories of the island also. Sure wish we were going to see y’all this summer.

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  9. Ditto what everyone else has said, especially Lowell! And a big thank you to Jill for showing us how the peace garden relates to the rest of the island! All the other photos I’ve seen show the statue or the flowers – none of them show what you see looking out from the garden. What a beautiful view! Now I know where it is, even though I’ve read it’s location plenty of times before. Sometimes you just have to be there. Oh, what a grand summer you’re having! (the ‘incident of the sprinkler head’ can be shelved in memory now that it has been so beautifully and quickly resolved)

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