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

Snowstorm

Did your town get a snowstorm last night? Mine did! Here’s what happened on Mackinac Island…

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There had been a lot of talk about the boats making this weekend their last time running to the island, since the ice in the lake is starting to accumulate. So, my roommate, Chelsea, and I, decided to make one last run out to ‘civilization’ before that happens. We hopped on to the first boat Saturday morning and headed out to Gaylord. As the boat left Mackinac Island, I couldn’t help but pop out for a second to take pictures, as did many others traveling back to St. Ignace…

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Ice floating around the water
Ice floating around the water

Over in Gaylord, Chelsea showed me the best way to shop like an islander. I mean, I’ve been living here my whole life, but this is my first time living in Harrisonville. I’m so used to living downtown, that I don’t think about what has to change now that I’m “up the hill.” First thing? Make sure you have lots of plastic totes to fill with your stuff, and on the way back, the Dray Service can deliver it up the hill to your home. Surprisingly, that’s something I’ve never done before! So I bought a bright blue 18 gallon plastic tote (apparently just the right size to fit inside a large bike basket too), and proceeded to buy groceries and other things that would eventually fill it up. We then made our way to Hobby Lobby, Bath and Body Works, and had just enough time to grab a donut at Tim Horton’s before getting back on I-75 to get back to St. Ignace… just in time, too, because the snow was starting to get slushy and heavy out on the roads.

Just reached the Mackinac Bridge. Can you see? Yeah, neither can I...
Just reached the Mackinac Bridge. Can you see? Yeah, neither can I…
Here we are almost at the bridge's halfway point... can you see the tower? Yeah, neither can I...
Here we are almost at the bridge’s halfway point… can you see the tower? Yeah, neither can I…
The carts are full of items needing to be taken to homes, including my brand new blue plastic tote
The carts are full of items needing to be taken to homes, including my brand new blue plastic tote

That night, we stayed in and organized all our new goodies in the apartment, trying not to eat all the new food that we had just purchased because, well, we had it… and I decided to take a nap. Unfortunately for me (or maybe fortunately?), I had slept through about an hour’s worth of rain that pummeled the island! Now that I knew there’d be ice for me to walk in tomorrow, I wondered how the snow would look on top of it.

The next morning, I woke up at around 2:45-3:00am, in complete darkness. I’m usually used to seeing just a hint of light from the lamppost outside my apartment, but that light was no longer there. My computer was off. The power was out. I didn’t think too much of it, and, being the middle of the night, figured it would be solved by the time I woke up.

Skip ahead to 7:00am, and I’ve woken up again… in complete darkness. I quickly checked to see if my phone had power and, upon finding that it did, checked facebook for some kind of update from a freaked out islander (and if not, I’d be posting my own freaked-out message!). Instead I saw an update from Jason St. Onge to the Mackinac Island News and Views page, letting everyone know that a substation in St. Ignace had had some issues and therefore all of Mackinac Island was out of power. I was sitting up in bed, freezing and hungry, realizing that I couldn’t make toast or drink a hot cup of coffee just yet. So, I just stayed in bed. I had an hour before I needed to leave anyway, so I figured I’d jump out of my room at the last minute and charge away outside. But the good news was that the power went back on at 7:30am, and all was well once again.

Since I’m getting some things fixed on my snowmobile this week, I’ve been walking around a bit more. There’s a little trail that takes you past Turtle Park and towards the cemeteries, which I decided to walk today.

On 7th Street
On 7th Street
Heading onto the trail
Heading onto the trail

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mackinac island gal blog east bluff corner

View down East Bluff
View down East Bluff
Hmm, what does that sign say? Well, the hill looks safe enough to me so...
Hmm, what does that sign say? Well, the hill looks safe enough to me so…

I made it downtown in one piece, although at one point I did slip so hard that both my ice grippers flew off the bottoms of my boots! Thankfully, I was able to catch myself and didn’t hit the ground. I’m sure that the roads everywhere are just as bad as ours, so be safe driving, everyone!

Island Sounds & Sights


Because sometimes we need more than just a visual:

Did anybody get any snow on Friday? We got a little bit. I think the bridge got even more than us, as it closed down for a couple hours in the morning due to falling ice.

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But it’s always fun to see snow on the island during a time when you think we’re all done with it.

I was once told by a friend that the island would not be the same in the summer after I’ve lived here in the winter. The businesses open up, the tourists come back, every plant and tree starts to bloom, and the island comes back to life again. Maybe I haven’t lived here long enough to know what he’s talking about, as I still welcome all of those things. After all, I’ve spent all of 28 summers here, and that’s what I know, what I’m used to. But I can tell you what I’m going to miss from this winter…

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I’ll miss being able to run for an hour and be alone the entire time, not running by anyone, and being alone with my thoughts. I’ll miss knowing that every time I do pass someone on the street, it’s always someone I know. I’ll miss the idea that I can stop at any moment, and hear complete silence. I’ll miss being able to count the hours in my day that are empty, and finding out that I have a full day all to myself.

I’ll miss the solitude.

But you know what I’ll be looking forward to this summer?

…. lilacs! 

I can’t wait. Lilac, lilacs, lilacs. It’s all I can think about! I just can’t wait to see them. The new greenery that’s popping up is a nice change at this time of year, but nothing beats that extra pop of color that the lilacs bring. I am even going to try some planting myself… well, maybe not with lilacs. But with snap peas, cucumber, tomatoes, maybe plant some flowers around the yard. I’ll be doing my best to use my green thumb this summer. Hopefully they all turn out okay.

One last thing… I guess there IS something that I’m not really looking forward to in the summer… maintenance! My bike is in dire shape, and needs some fixing. I still haven’t fixed my kickstand, or replaced my missing pedal with a new one. Looks like I’ll have something to do this weekend!

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