Tag Archives: Donegal Bay

Taking the Chances

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I’ve always been kind of a stickler for rulesĀ  and obligations. To the point of being a pain in the ass. I even annoy myself with it, but can’t seem to let it go. There is one right way to do things, one order for getting things done. Just as I would never throw a game to let my children win, I would never say “great job,” if I didn’t mean it.

I cringe remembering times that I was presented with a well-meant offering, only to say, “well, that’s nice, but next time remember to butter the pan first…” only to see their little faces fall just a little. I shudder at the times I placed work or school or other obligations ahead of time with my children. They aren’t children anymore. Now, whatever I placed in front of them pales in comparison to the times I let pass by. Times that I can’t get back.

I have a lot to do. The writing for the upcoming issue of the Beacon has fallen largely to me, because everyone is busy this time of year. I’m busy, too, but it’s mine, so responsibility falls to me. I’m trying to work it in around all other obligations. I explained that, last evening, to my grandson, Tommy, who arrived day before yesterday. “I have to take this evening to write,” I told him.

He didn’t complain. Wanting to earn money while he’s here, he helped out for a couple hours at the hardware store yesterday, then worked at mowing my lawn for a half hour while I put dinner together. The desk was going to be my next stop. Until bedtime.

Then, I stopped. Stepped out of my rigid rule book about what needs to be done and when. Said, “Let’s make ice cream cones, load up the dogs and go to Donegal Bay for the sunset.”

“All right!”

And that’s exactly what we did.

I’ve let enough opportunities go by in my life; this was one that I captured.

 

 

One Week in July

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I’ve been entertaining company this last week.

Or, rather, they’ve been entertaining me.

Madeline, Tommy and Patrick arrived on the 15th of July along with my daughter, Jen, who is also Patrick’s Mom.

It was “Museum Week” here on Beaver Island, with special events every day. We went to “Music on the Porch” at the Mormon Print Shop Museum on Monday night to listen to talented islanders sing and play instruments for a “pass the hat” donation. I submitted several paintings to the Museum Week Art Show at the Gregg Fellowship Hall. No sales for me this year, but I had good response from viewers. We planned, all week, on dressing up little Rosa Parks (as a Ladybug, according to the final vote!) and entering her in the Museum Week Pet Show on Saturday, but time constraints and impending weather foiled our plans. Next year, though!

This was also the week for “M.A.D. Camp” on Beaver Island. That is Music, Art and Drama Camp, for lucky children aged seven through seventeen. In five days of day-camp, 9AM to 4PM, the participants create costumes and stage sets, learn songs and dances, rehearse lines and choreography and finish with a wonderful performance on Friday evening. That is all in addition to arts and crafts, creative writing, games and trips to the beach! All three of my grandchildren attended.

The week ended with – Thursday through Sunday – the Beaver Island Music Fest. Jen camped there, with friends she’d known since childhood, and listened to the music all weekend. I attended Thursday evening, with my grand-children, for some early entertainment and to visit with friends. We were home and in bed by 10:30, though. On Saturday, Jen took them again, for special activities planned for the children and burgers cooked on the grill at their camp-site. I took that opportunity for a long bath, a short nap and a frozen dinner all by myself.

Evenings, all week, we tried to fit as much in as possible…and we did pretty good! We went swimming at Donegal Bay, let the dogs swim at Fox Lake, walked the foot bridge down to Lake Michigan for an evening swim, dipped our toes in at Lake Genasereth, collected pretty stones from the beach at the Bill Wagner Memorial Campground and fought the big waves for hours at Iron Ore Bay. We climbed the historic lighthouse at the south end of the island. We visited my Aunt Katie, checked out her dogs, the gardens, pond, gravel pit and sheep on her property. All of the kids climbed the Giant Birch Tree, and all of them climbed the Big Rock. We climbed Mount Pisgah! Not really a mountain, but a sand dune with an elevation of 733 feet, it’s still quite a trek. We had a nice bonfire on Friday night, toasted marshmallows and made “s’more”s. We visited the Beaver Island Toy Museum on Saturday, where one dollar can still purchase dozens of items. The five dollar bill each of my grandchildren carried made choosing what to buy an almost insurmountable task!

Every day we walked the dogs. Sometimes with only one grandchild, sometimes with two or three. One special day, Jen and I walked. Every night, Rosa went bed-to-bed, visiting each child. Whichever one woke up with her would say, “Rosa slept with me all night!”. I’d reply, “Rosa loves you”. Clover usually crowded in with me, but both dogs loved having the children around. More games, more hugs, more attention…I woke up each morning to the sound of their wagging tails as they woke and remembered that “kids are here!”

I worked two jobs each day on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, then had the rest of the week off. Sunday was a sad good-bye, and back to work for me. The house seems empty, and the dogs are hanging their heads. I slept twelve solid hours last night. It was a wonderful week!