Thursday, July 22, 2010

Summer on Mackinac Island

Each summer I am blessed to spend time on Mackinac Island visiting my family at their summer cottage. This year was no exception. I love being there and due to the family and home-style experience may view the Island a bit differently than casual visitors. With time, the Island offers so much more than hasty bicycle rides and touristy shops. For me the family situation is the best.

Some say my sister, Barb, and I look alike. Actually, in looks, I take after our Mom and she takes after our Dad. But, I guess there is a family resemblance. I often remind her though that I'm the better 1/2 of the two of us. She claims I'm the spoiled one and she's the favorite. We have a good time razzing each other and know it's all in good fun. I'm shown here relaxing one afternoon at the Grand Hotel.

Family is what makes Mackinac Island special to me and sharing time with my sister, Barb, IS the best fun I know as we are usually only able to see each other once or twice a year. We always have a lot of catching up to do. I took this picture of her and she took the one of me above. Not too bad for a couple of amatures.

"Sophie" was a new addition to the Island this year and she decided that "Aunt Sharon" was OK! We became great pals. Sophie has a great and gentle personality with just a tad bit of "naughty" to make life interesting for her humans. She is not allowed to be in the chairs....get my drift on naughty? How could anyone possibly get upset though with a face like that to discipline?

Painting with friends is always a joy for a plein air painter. This summer I met several new artist friends and had a great time sharing this beautiful garden with them. Other times, I sketched local scenes with my watercolor sketching set-up or painted with oils in the side yard of the cottage.

Early morning adventurer's find all kinds of fun things to photograph and paint. I fully believe that getting up early to experience the awakening of the Island is the best part of each day. For instance, it's always a treat to stop by the horse barns just up the hill from the Grand Hotel and watch the hustle and bustle of horses being fed, washed, hitched to surreys and wagons for their work day. Animal lovers can be assured, the horses are well taken care of as they are "king" on the Island where no motor vehicles other than emergency services are allowed. A stroll down Main Street at dawn when the street lights are still on is lovely. Crews in bright yellow slickers and boots hose down the streets and they and the lights flicker their reflections on the wet pavement. The island is still, hushed like, and yet pockets of "busy" of a different nature from the daytime crowds make it intriguing. And...finally at 8 a.m. the first boats of the day bring dock workers and others from Mackinac City and St. Ignace, along with early visitors, to begin the tourist day.

Boats from the annual Bayview Yacht Club's Port Huron to Mackinac race arrived at the harbor a couple of days before I left for home. I missed the Chicago to Mackinac race this year. The Island virtually hops with excitement when the crews arrive and there is plenty of partying and fun for all....

...and, sometimes if we're lucky, even fireworks to end the day.

Be sure to visit Marcia's new extensive Mackinac Island website: to see all there is to do and enjoy.


Christine said...

love the photos of you and your sister ~ i find that as we get older my sister and i get more and more comments of looking alike. i see many family member resemblances come out stronger as our face seems to settle into themselves :-)

even though i rarely draw portraits, the older someone is the more inclined i am to enjoy the process of drawing or painting them and even my self portraits become more revealing, i love seeing and attempting to express the life we have lived... wow, i'm off on some tangent!

i better get back to creating rather than rambling about creating ~ yet writing is creating too :-)

Beth Niquette said...

You look exactly like I imagined.

How lovely you are!