The February Frost

February never seems to disappoint as a month for winter weather.

You never know when the lake will decide to cut you off from the mainland. Well, I suppose you can have a good guess about it if you checked the weather and followed up on ice conditions enough… but for the average person like myself who sticks with a weather app and a peek out the window every morning for what’s going on outside, it’s hard to tell. One day the boats are running all day, the next they’ve cancelled one and the rest are running, the next they’re back to the normal schedule, the next they aren’t running at all… then we get high winds and the ice breaks up enough to run again. That’s the scenario I’m hoping for at the moment, enough winds to blow all the ice out of all the bays and let the Mighty Huron right through. For the time being this though, we’re limited to plane service.

I’m not one to leave the island very often, so when the winter season starts, I’m happily content on staying put for as long as possible. Last year I didn’t leave the island until the end of March. This year, I left the island for a weekend in February to pick up groceries and help organize my mom’s house, then headed back home the following Monday… three days later, the boats stopped running.

Looking Over the Edge
Looking Over the Edge

Even with the more frigid temps, I’m enjoying more time outdoors. The views are especially more beautiful when there’s a light layer of snow on the trees, and I’m reminded of the snowglobe-like quality of the island. It’s as though someone just shook us and after a few minutes of swirling inside the globe, the snow has finally settled.

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Schoolyard Sunset
School yard Sunset

If there’s any time of year I find ideal for self reflection, it’s now. I’ve been trying to figure out what it is that I want to accomplish for this year and I’ve realized that most of what I’m doing doesn’t fit what I want. So I’m making a conscious effort to stand up for myself, choose projects I believe in and be unapologetic for my decisions. I’m making small adjustments towards happiness. 

If any of you might recall, over a year and a half ago I had asked for your help with a deeply personal project. I’d like to share some progress with you on how it’s going, and although it is far from finished, I’m still proud of what I’ve done so far. I’ve grown rather fond of painting on wood panels in the process, and now plan to paint on more of the same in the very near future.

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Let me leave you with a few final pictures of the ice buildup near the boardwalk:

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Until next time,

Heather

A Mackinac Winter

Out of all the wintery days that we’ve had in this new year, none have seemed more like winter than last Friday. Just a brushing of light snowfall, so constant and unwavering that it gently coats the tree branches and winter foliage just enough to cause a whiteout all around you. When it snows, air is trapped between the snowflakes, attenuating vibration, and absorbing sound. That’s why it seems so much more quiet when it snows. 

I always think of this when I’m walking to work in a light snowfall; just a calm moment before the everyday noise and jumbling of work begins is what I consider an ideal way to start the day. Better than a hot cup of coffee. And then on other days, when work is over, that is, a little noise is a welcome addition to the day. That’s when the revving of snowmobiles around town seem more exciting than normal. 

I haven’t had the opportunity to find myself on a snowmobile ride in recent years, but when you’ve got an adventurous driver, you know you’re in for a good drive. Most drivers are friendly as well… I will often times find myself walking up the big hill past the Grand Hotel and someone will stop to offer me a ride. Now that the island’s roads are full of snow (compared to the first week of the New Year when the snow had disappeared), snowmobiles are much more frequent around town. There’s also plenty of opportunities to travel by fat tire bike, cross country skis, or snowshoes, but at the end of the day, I will always be in favor of a walk. Anyway, if anyone reading out there happens to be located in a place with snow right now, and you have the good fortune of walking (or driving) on snow-covered trails, I highly recommend it. It’s a delightful way to start out the new year.

-Heather

In Thought

I have had an awful lot on my mind lately and I’m sure many of you know what I’m talking about… the recent passing of my father has left me and my family in a state of grief over the past three weeks and for the unforeseeable future, and is something I do not wish to discuss in great detail at this moment.

But what I will say is that I’m learning something about grief ~ it is something a few have told me so far which I’ve now found true, which is that it comes and goes in waves… sometimes I feel completely normal, and sometimes I feel completely depressed. Sometimes I’ll go a full day feeling like my regular self going about a regular day, and some days I struggle to make it through. What I’m not going to do is force my grief to stay in because, as I’ve quickly found out from my friends, that everyone understands what I’m going through and not one person has made me feel bad for showing my feelings, and for that I’m grateful.

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The priest at the funeral – a longtime family friend I’ve known since high school – had mentioned something during his eulogy as well as to me personally. That no matter what happens in life, you are the one to make the best out of your life. My father survived polio and his life could have gone a different way, but it didn’t. He fought through it and made a successful life for himself. He may be gone, and I may be struggling through his absence right now, but I’m going to keep going, keep struggling through it, and continue pushing forward. I’m going to continue to be me, and continue working on making a life for myself, and live my best life.

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I’d like to end this post with a request… I’ve numbered all the pictures in this post for a reason. I’ve been wanting to start a painting project and finally have the canvas for it, and with my recent interest in waves, I’m trying to take pictures that may inspire me to paint. Anyway, I’m picking from this group of photographs, and would love your input. If you would like to share your thoughts, please leave a comment with the number picture you like best, and I’ll paint that one.

Until next time,

Heather