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Is this thing even on?

August 7, 2019

Lake Huron Sunrise

Yeesh, three weeks since my last post. What happened?

I spent five weeks parked in my brother-in-law’s driveway. I didn’t mean to, but apparently I was tired and being around someone you love dearly is a great balm for that.


Off to Mackinac

Our first order of business was to travel about 54 hours (well, ok, 7 hours) north to the incredibly charming Mackinac Island out in Lake Huron. If you want a good look at the island, go see the move “Somewhere In Time” with Jane Alexander and Christopher Reeve.

The Island is all Victorian homes and lush gardens. There are no cars allowed, so horse-drawn carriages and carts ferry people, luggage and merchandise around the narrow streets. People rent and ride colorful bicycles up and down. The ferries leave back to the mainland every half hour, spraying giant rooster tails of water behind them.

The highlight for me was a butterfly greenhouse full of bright, gem-like butterflies gently drifting about and feeding on fruit slices. It was quiet and peaceful, a perfect little meditation spot.

Get Skipping

Michael (my BIL) went to compete in the 51st Annual Mackinac Island International Stoneskipping and Gerplunking Contest, of which he is a former winner in the Professional Division and an always-beloved competitor.

He tied for third this year with 25 skips. It was kind of a bad year for everyone. The water was choppy and the winner only managed a puny 29, but a good time was had by all. ESPN 3 showed up and televised it, so I imagine next year’s crowd will be bigger than the usual 200 or so who have watched in the past.


Judging stoneskipping is serious business

Summer Swim Passes

When we returned home, we mostly hung out. We bought passes to Cheney Pool, a public swimming pool, and spent many happy afternoons bobbing and getting splashed by overenthusiastic children. The cannonball will never go out of style, apparently, and boys will never stop trying to impress girls by annoying them.

The Simple Pleasures

We also sat on the patio under the light of a dozen strings of Christmas lights with Michael’s semi-feral cat, George, and watched a lot of Press Your Luck and Jeopardy.



We made excursions to his town’s growing number of really decent (thank you GOD) Mexican restaurants and ate a lot of guacamole.

As Usual, Church

I found a nearby church, Unity of Naperville, and went every Sunday to sing and listen and be among my people. I’d like to thank them for welcoming me, even the lesbian lady who butted in a little abruptly because she assumed I was coming on to her wife (we were just TALKING, honest, I’m not trying to pick anyone up).

We drove around in the summer evening and made blender drinks featuring large amounts of ripe watermelon. All in good fun.

When I met people, they would ask me “Why the heck did you come to Illinois?” but being with someone you love is better than a room at the Ritz Carlton, in my humble opinion (and I know from a Ritz Carlton).


Unity of Naperville is a groovy church.



The kid’s contest is Gerplunking – who can make the biggest splash. This is one of the winners, who is very happy with his “medal” (a rock on a lanyard}.


The boat to Mackinac and the Mighty Mac bridge







  1. August 7, 2019 18:52

    Stone skipping…wow! back to my younger days, mostly in the river though.
    You have had a great time, if may have a say.

    • August 8, 2019 04:02

      Yes, I have! Thanks for following along.

  2. August 7, 2019 20:05

    Sounds like a good time. A friend was just talking of visiting Mackinac Island. She’ll be sorry to have missed the stone skipping even at 29 skips. And I took that detour to the Ritz with you. Sounds like a heaven I’ll probably never get to. Oh well. Traveling vicariously for awhile anyway.

    • August 8, 2019 04:03

      You should go to Mackinac with her! It is just charming and relaxing. It is, however, a zillion miles from anywhere.

      And the Ritz? I think that was a once-in-a-lifetime indulgence!

  3. August 7, 2019 21:22

    While-heartedly agree with you entire last line. Happy you took some extended downtime from the road.

    • August 8, 2019 04:03

      Me, too. I have visited back there a lot, too, so the town is very familiar and I know my way around. It was super relaxing.

  4. August 8, 2019 06:36

    I might now have a crush on who ever won the stone skipping contest. Or at the very least would like to have them over for dinner.

    • September 9, 2019 16:08

      They were all so good that you would have your choice.

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