Sunday, January 30, 2022

Just Passing Through

Saturday afternoon the Coast Guard passed by the Island on their way through the Straits. Had I been thinking, I would have opened my Marine Traffic app which would have told me which vessel I was looking at. But, of course, I was too busy enjoying the view.

Saturday, January 29, 2022

All Set

Some of Island guys spent today planting our used Christmas trees into the ice to mark the trail across the ice bridge. Lots of tourists assume a tree line means the trail is safe - it isn't. Any time anyone decides to cross the ice, they are risking their life. Many of us choose to take that risk, but if you are thinking about crossing the ice, never just assume it's safe. Ice conditions can change quickly.

Photo courtesy of Sam Barnwell

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

In an Emergency

People often ask me about medical care on Mackinac. We have a two-bed emergency room at the Medical Center which has staff on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Often it's all people need, but not always. (For example we had to deal with this, thisthis,  this and this on the mainland.) Patients who need a higher level of care are regularly taken to the mainland on the ferry boat during the summer or on the airplane during the winter. Sometimes when a crisis happens, and an hour can mean the difference between life and death, patients are shipped to specialized care via an air ambulance service such as North Flight. When private services like that are unavailable (and it is life and death) the US Coast Guard will step in and airlift patients to care on the mainland. In January 2019 they brought the Katmai Bay to the Island when the weather made the helicopter impossible to use. 

A Coast Guard transfer is free, but the air ambulances are quite expensive. (And the Coast Guard will only come if all commercial options are unavailable.)  The husband of a friend of mine was flown to Petoskey by an air ambulance service after suffering a serious stroke. The bill? About $65,000; thankfully his health insurance covered 100% of the cost. Luckily, I have never needed one of these services and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I never will.


Sunday, January 23, 2022


Mackinac is always beautiful, but in the winter, following a heavy snow, the Island is gorgeous. Even though the landscape lacks color, it's got to be one of the prettiest trips to the grocery store around.


Saturday, January 22, 2022


No flights on or off the Island today due to the weather.  Luckily things are supposed to clear tomorrow and I don't need to be anywhere today....

Monday, January 10, 2022

You've Got to Be Kidding Me

Apparently 2022 didn't get the memo that things were supposed to improve. Sigh.... Right now our dryer is on the fritz, one of our snowmobiles isn't running, and since

Covid is going around on Mackinac, I have students in quarantine who have to zoom into class. I know by themselves none of those are big things, but lumped on top of everything else that is going on... it's just... a lot. 

I'm trying to be a trooper. I'm trying to see the silver linings. Logically, I know these are first world problems; we have enough clothes to get through a week or two without doing laundry; all my students have chrome books and an internet connection; we have a second snowmobile. I should just shut up and smile because I've got it pretty darn easy. But it just keeps getting harder to be upbeat and positive... 

Friday, January 7, 2022


I had to run down to town tonight. This glorious sunset made having to get all bundled up again well worth the effort.

Monday, January 3, 2022


Just after I left for school at 6:00 this morning my youngest was awakened by police lights shining in their bedroom window; the police were searching our street. Just a few minutes later the above was posted on Facebook. At 7:00 am, the superintendent put us on a delay and since Mr. Emotionally Agitated and Possibly Armed was still at large at 10:10, school was cancelled for the day. Thankfully the police located him later on in the afternoon without incident.

I'm looking at the silver lining of today; despite being armed he's OK and he didn't hurt anyone else. I'm incredibly thankful things worked out and everyone was safe. And since I was already at school when I was asked to remain indoors, I had almost six uninterrupted hours to work in my classroom. 

Please keep him and his family in your thoughts. I'm sure the next few days are going to be tough.

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Happy New Year

I must admit, I am happy to say good-bye to 2021. It was not a good year for me. In actuality, it was probably one of the hardest years I've ever had, so watching it fade away last night was a good thing. 

I am trying to look at 2022 with a hope-filled heart. I want 2022 to be better; I need 2022 to be better. I hope your 2022 is filled with only good things - including kind people, good health, enough sleep and peace. Happy New Year.