Enough Already! 11/8/15

I love both of my volunteer jobs – each for different reasons.  At the Flagler Humane Society I snuggle with, pet, and photograph kitties to my heart’s content.  At Florida Hospital Flagler my ER buddy and I keep 31 ER rooms stocked with gowns, sheets, pads, washcloths, hand towels, blood pressure cuffs, heart monitor “stickies”, specimen cups, socks, Kleenex, gloves, etc.  Occasionally we’ll wheel patients to their rooms or deliver them to their cars when they’re discharged.  We provide chilly folks blankets straight from the warmer and do any other chores we’re asked to do by the nurses or administration.

While I’m mostly working alone at the Humane Society, at the hospital I work with a great group of displaced Northerners from New York, Massachusetts, and New Jersey.  Mike, who is my volunteer buddy in the ER, is the only true Floridian in the bunch.  The rest moved down here years ago to get away from the harsh Northern winters.  They LOVE Florida’s weather and are quite vocal during our breaks when I start talking about going to Mackinac in December.  They usually look at me aghast and shake their heads, wondering – I’m sure – why anyone in her right mind would voluntarily go north in the wintertime.

But – when we settled into our chairs around the break table in the cafeteria last Thursday (each of us bringing coffee or soft drinks and one of the fabulous muffins left over at breakfast and offered free on the food line to us volunteers), I distinctly heard one of my Northern friends say – quite loudly – “Enough already!”

“Enough of what, Mary,?” I asked.

“This hot weather!” she said adamantly.  “I moved down here for the warm weather, but almost 90 in November is ridiculous!”

I soooo agree!

By this time last year, we were in the 60’s during the day and having some 50’s at night.  We’re still in the 70’s at night, and I don’t even want to talk about the daytime (ok, I will talk about it – it reached 90 here one day last week).  It might as well be July!  The nor’easter that was supposed to blow in this weekend, lowering temps and bringing rain, must have made a U-turn somewhere and become a sou’wester.  No rain.  No lower temps.  Just hot, with tons of humidity mixed in.

Enough already!

It's hard to believe that a year ago this week Ted and I closed on our house and moved in with just a blow-up bed and two beach chairs. We made do for almost a week until our furniture arrived from Georgia.

It’s hard to believe that a year ago this week Ted and I closed on our house and moved in with just a blow-up bed, two beach chairs and a coffeemaker.

We made do for almost a week until our furniture arrived from Georgia.

We made do for almost a week until our furniture arrived from Georgia.  It was quite the adventure, and we loved every minute of it.  Well, except that first morning when we discovered we’d brought the coffeemaker but no coffee.

Over the last year we've sometimes wondered if we'd ever feel we weren't living in a construction zone. But one night this week, as I was turning down our street from a dog walk, I noticed that - for the last few houses on our block at least - we were almost looking

Over the last year we’ve sometimes wondered if we’d ever feel we weren’t living in a construction zone. But one night this week, as I turned down our street from a dog walk, I noticed that – for the last few houses on our block at least – we are almost looking “finished”.

Our little house looks all snuggled in and protected by those big guys on either size.

Our little house looks all snuggled in and protected by those big guys on either side..

Weather on Mackinac Island has been unnaturally warm also for November.  They’ve had some pretty gusty November winds a few times, but so far the really cold stuff hasn’t shown up – and snow hasn’t even been mentioned in a forecast.  I’m beginning to think my Christmas Bazaar visit the first weekend in December may be snowless.

A scene from Market Street by the folks at Metivier Inn. November is probably the slowest month of the year on Mackinac. A lot of the men are off-island at hunting camps, and many women are off the island visiting friends and family. It's a relaxed month after the super busy summer season.

A scene from Market Street by the folks at Metivier Inn. November is probably the slowest month of the year on Mackinac. A lot of the men are off-island at hunting camps, and many women are off the island visiting friends and family. It’s truly a time for relaxation – after the super busy summer season.

While Mackinac remains snowless for now, the island has hosted some rainy days and nights . . .

While Mackinac remains snowless for now, the island has hosted some rainy days and nights (Photo: Greg Main) . . .

. . . mornings when fog rolled up from Lake Huron to tickle Fort Mackinac's ramparts (Photo: Clark Bloswick) . . .

. . . mornings when fog rolled up from Lake Huron to tickle Fort Mackinac’s ramparts (Photo: Clark Bloswick) . . .

. . . blustery days when a ferry ride should have included sea sick pills (Photo: Clark Bloswick) . . .

. . . blustery days when a ferry ride might have included some sea sick pills (Photo: Clark Bloswick) . . .

. . . and one morning when there was just a hint of frost on the rooftops at Mission Point. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

. . . and one morning when there was just a hint of frost on the rooftops at Mission Point. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

For the most part though, November has been a beautiful continuation of October. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

For the most part though, November has been a beautiful continuation of October. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

And the sunsets continue to dazzle. (Photo: Greg Main)

And the sunsets continue to dazzle. (Photo: Greg Main)

It’s strange to me how slowly October passed this year and how rapidly November seems to be flying by.  Thanksgiving will be here before we know it, and the week after that I’ll be heading north.  I sometimes wonder if the love and passion I feel for my time on Mackinac will ever change, but I can’t really imagine that happening.  In Joan Chittister’s wonderful book, The Gift of Years, she writes that “the beauty of the later years is that if we have learned through life to trust our own insights at least as much as we trust the insights we have been taught, we find ourselves at the end of a very long life with a very young soul.”  For me, returning to Mackinac turns on my “young soul” so quickly I’m almost dizzy with it when my foot touches down on the ferry dock.  I know many of you feel exactly the same way.

Thanks to everyone last week who added a comment about what you were up to in October.  I so enjoyed reading every one, and I know everyone else did too.

See you back here soon!

God bless.

11 thoughts on “Enough Already! 11/8/15

  1. I share your feelings about October and November. It must all be downhill, because it’s gaining speed! I am in awe of the fog picture Clark Bloswick took. The fog makes me long for Mackinac the most, I think. And I am excited for you to go back up in December. I hope you get snow!

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  2. Love all the pictures. November has been warm here in southern Wisconsin too. We did have a freeze last night but today is sunny and 60ish. For some reason my post from last month didn’t come up. So just to let you know my news is that I am retiring at the end if the year!! Am excited and nervous all at the same time. We did get to Mackinac the very end of September and once again, we lucked out and had beautiful weather. Hated to leave, as always. I feel your pain….I hate the heat and humidity too! Hopefully things will change. Have a truly blessed Thanksgiving!

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    • Congratulations, Jeani! Retirement is a glorious time, but I understand your mixed feelings – I had them too. My suggestion is to find something you love to do and immerse yourself in it. For me it is writing. But – before you do that – take some time and just enjoy your new life with no deadlines, no alarm clocks, and no work stress. Oh, and read The Gift of Years!

      >

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  3. The upper 60’s and lower to mid 70’s is my kind of weather. As far as I’m concerned, it could stay like that all year. I’ll be happy to move to wherever those temps. exist. That’s what I call moderation.
    Great photos as usual. Especially the super rough surf up north.
    Hope your weather cools off to your liking. 😉

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  4. Hi Bree, my husband and I and 2 friends attended the Murder Mystery weekend at the Grand Hotel this year and were given the Williams Suite named after Gov. Williams. We knew going would be a dream come true to stay there but never could we imagine the grandness of the Grand Hotel. We have visited the island for 22 years often 2 – 3 times a year so we are no stranger to the many places we’ve stayed in and the summer island life. So for seasoned visitors to the island who have waked the grounds of the GH, had ice cream at Sadie’s, and luncheoned at the GH buffet, so we were not to be easily overwhelmed by our visit. And yet that is what happened! The Grand and all it’s grandeur was beyond any of our dreams. It was a fantasy we couldn’t believe was truly happening to us. Highly Highly recommend a stay. And by the way we stopped by the Island Bookstore and said hi to Jill. We always love visiting there each visit!

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  5. Hi Brenda – I returned to Venice (FL) late September and it continues to amaze me that in retirement there is so much to DO! A plethora of volunteer opportunities, as you have discovered – classes of every sort – interesting groups and book clubs – and lots of euchre, dominoes and Mah Jong to keep the mind sharp. And people like me work part-time during high season (I’ve been in a lovely locally owned shop on Venice Island during the four years since my move). So, you asked what have I been up to? Any and all of the above – and a new love – loom weaving!!!! Of course a constant in my heart is Mackinac and I am trying to visit each year now to incorporate it back into my life. Cannot wait to take my grandchildren there in about five years when they will be old enough to ride bikes well (they’re 4,5,6). Take care – So happy you have the chance to return – I look forward to your photos of the island in December. Beverly

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  6. Thanks for all the pictures. I just love the ones with the fog. I feel like I’ve been out of touch for a while. I just got back from Atlanta, GA. Was at a trade show and it was drizzly and humid. I think the weather back in Michigan was better last week than GA. We are enjoying our mild Nov. weather so far. A huge difference from last November for sure. I’m so jealous of you getting to come up again in Dec. I wish I could go with you. Maybe one year I’ll be there for the lighting of the tree!

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