Mackinac Winter Update

Hi friends,

Here’s an update of what’s been going on here on Mackinac Island as of late:

For the past 2 months I’ve been learning the ropes at my new job at Ste. Anne’s Church as their secretary. And I’ve been told that it takes 3 years to know everything there is to do as a church secretary, so I’ve got a lot to learn! But so far, so good… because of the unique situation that we are in on Mackinac Island, our church closes up and we have mass downstairs in our parish hall

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Then, once Christmas nears we decorate the church and have Christmas Eve and Christmas Day mass upstairs. On a side note, it’s fun being in charge of all the new materials that come in, ie advent books, calendars, etc… and it’s also fun getting to update the Ste. Anne’s Facebook page with photos throughout the winter season!

After I’ve worked at the church in the mornings, I hop back on my bike (a word about my snowmobile later in this post) and head over to the school, where I teach art and music classes. We are in the midst of learning music for our Winter Concert on Dec. 20, and this year’s concert will involve more instruments than in past performances. I’m very excited to see how well the 4-5 students do in their Bells Choir, and the 6-8 students on their piano solos. Plus, there will be some fun songs for preschool-3rd grade to sing! And as usual, the high school music class will be finishing the concert with instrumental songs of their own, featuring a variety of group ensemble and solo/duet music.

When school gets out and I’ve organized my lessons for the following week, I head back out to either finish up work at the church, or go home. Now here’s where my life has been getting a little tricky… my parents decided to stay a month longer than they normally do (as seasonal residents, they move to Petoskey in the winter), so with the extra hands (and the extra place to spend the night) around, I decided to take my sweet time moving up to my new home in Harrisonville. Although it’s nice not having to worry about finding the time to lug a bunch of stuff up the hill on a dray, unload it, and bring it all indoors all in one shot, I still haven’t quite gotten everything up there yet. But now that they’ve finally made the move off the island for the winter, it’s time to start moving. EVERYTHING. Actually, there’s not much left to move, it’s just a matter of putting them all in boxes and bags first. How fun!

Oh, and about my snowmobile… well, we did have a couple of days of snowfall, allowing me and everyone here to comfortably snowmobile around for a bit. I have this nice little Polaris Indy 440 that works just fine, although every now and then I need some help pull starting it what with my weak arm muscles and all. Thank goodness I live on an island where everyone is helpful and friendly and there’s always someone around to help with that! Unfortunately, with the warmer temps and rainfall this weekend, most of the snow has disappeared, and we’ll all have to wait until the next snowfall to get back on our sleds.

Anyway… I’ve got most of my big ticket items at the new place, and being that this weekend is our Christmas Bazaar, I couldn’t help but take a few pictures of what’s being going on around town:

I was just able to catch the lighting of the Christmas tree:

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The rummage sale at the fire department had a great amount of stuff from which to choose. People really stepped up and donated this year!

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There were also a lot of wonderful items for sale over at Community Hall, many of which were home made:

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And who couldn’t resist Santa!? He was a big hit coming in on the fire truck:

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I hope you’re all having a wonderful winter so far out there!

A (windy) Day in the Life

Don’t you just love crazy weather!?

I love it. It makes bicycle commutes much more challenging and adventurous. All I want to do is make a quick run to the post office I think, and yet this one small task becomes an exciting battle between woman and wind. Since it’s Mackinac Island, pretty much everyone gets to have that challenge as well.

At the end of Shepler’s dock is a place where commuters can park their bikes when they leave the island. I hate when spiders get into my bike, especially around the basket, so I opt for a removable rear basket that is still roomy enough for all the big bags I might carry around town:

The last week of having my lilac ribbon for the season, just recently replaced with Halloween inspired skeletons and burlap

September and October is also a great time for some crazily windy weather. My parents’ home has a very large front yard filled with several very old trees. Earlier this summer, one of our trees lost a huge branch and hit the house! Fortunately, nothing and no one was hurt. But the fallen branch did fill up our entire front yard! In this picture (taken a couple weeks ago), another smaller branch on the same tree, fell to the ground from high winds. This one was a little easier to clean up:

And even though we’ve had plenty of windy and rainy days, a lot of those moments were followed by some intense rainbow cover!

Here’s a beautiful susnet photo taken from the boardwalk near my house. Believe it or not, I added no filters to this picture:

Here’s another sunset photo, with an added filter:

If you’re like me, you enjoy the calm after the storm. Always remember that peace is just a rainstorm away…