Saturday, May 22, 2010

Castaway and other thoughts

Hello! Wow has this been a busy week! The store has been busy busy with people which is a good thing, but can get a tad overwhelming. And it will only get busier come summer time!

Thank goodness for my trail map. For my latest excursions, I decided one evening to go visit "Crack in the Island" and "Cave of the Woods". This has been one of my favorite little trips because it took me deep into the center of the island that I hadn't really explored yet. I've more been on the outside near the edges. The last picture you see up there is the cave. There were no Indian bones that I could see in this one, and this one wasn't fenced off. I thought about maybe going up to it and sticking my head in, but then I heard noises. At first, it sounded like water trickling in there and I imagined crawling in there to find a massive waterfall in the back (Goonies anyone?). But when I really listened, I realized the sound I was hearing were bats! No thank you! So I snapped a picture and moved on.

I had a little bit harder time finding Crack in the Island. Until I realized it was right up a little hill behind the cave, haha. At first I wasn't that impressed, but then I really saw the big crack and it was pretty neat. The picture doesn't do it justice, which is true of most pictures of cool things, so when you all come out to visit me this summer (hint hint) I'll take you out and show you.

On my way to these two landmarks, I rode my bike by the airport. That's the picture above with the brown fence and the 2 strips of road that you see. It was really neat coming up to it, because I was biking through the woods and all of the sudden, I came to this clearing with the airport on one side and a big open prairie on the other and the sun just broke through since there were no large trees covering it. It was so amazing and being the only one out there it was so peaceful! Another God experience right there.

Oh and when the trail map says footpath, IT MEANS FOOTPATH! Not wanting to leave my bike unattended (on a road with absolutely zero people on it) I decided how bad could it be to take it along? Well I didn't ride my bike on this footpath back to the cave, but man, talk about roots and rocks and rugged terrain through those woods. I was so afraid to pop a tire or something. It's amazing my bike made it all the way through.

Okay last comment. I can now see why Tom Hanks made friends with a volleyball in the movie "Castaway". As I was taking this super long bike ride and dragging my bike with me through the woods on this trip, I realized how much I've bonded with my bike since being here on the island! I know it sounds absolutely crazy but as I was riding I started to think about Tom talking to Wilson (the volleyball) while he was alone on his island and how he began to treat it as a real person and have conversations with it just so he could feel like he was having some social interaction with something. No, I haven't begun having conversations with my bike, for all of you who are worried about me, haha. But I have thought about all the places we've gone together and the things we've seen. I used to hate bike riding, but now it's like I can't get enough of it! My bike is so darn cool and has been so good to me. As I was walking it along with me through the woods, I realized how much I was trying to protect it from getting hurt or damaged. And just having my bike there with me, surrounded by trees and unknown woods, I felt protected. Like my bike could somehow protect me if something decided to attack me, haha. My bike just makes me feel like I'm not alone, I guess is what I'm trying to say. Okay, so you can all think I'm going crazy now, but I'm not that bad, trust me.

I guess that is all for now. Other than telling you about a few of the pictures up top and why I selected them for this blog, I guess I will say, "Goodnight and Goodluck!"

Picture 1: I took this picture on the boat coming back to the island today so it's not the best. But if you click on it to enlarge it maybe you can see what I'm talking about. It was super foggy today when I got up to go off the island. On the way back, most of the fog had burned off, except at one half of the bridge and on up towards St. Ignace. It was so cool to see, it was like a huge puffy white cloud had floated down to the water and swallowed half the bridge and the bridge was coming out of the cloud. It was a little of what I picture heaven to be like :)

Picture 2: This one is just for my sisters and cousins, Colin and Devin. I just threw in this picture of the cabin because I found it on my way to the cave. It was a real life Lincoln Log Cabin! You can't see it well in the pic, unless you look closely at the right side where the logs intersect. Many a day were spent down at Grandma and Grandpa's building those Lincoln Log towns.

Picture 3: The picture with the flowers are the tulips in front of the Grand Hotel. I've been promising my mom and Shira that I'd go up there and take a picture of the tulips for a month now and I finally got it when they were blooming. Check that one off the list.

Picture 4: The airport. You read about that above. For those of you that don't want to here.

Picture 5: Crack in the Island. It was deeper than it looks. But not so deep I'd get stuck down there forever.

Picture 6: Cave of the Woods. Bats live here.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Only Place That I Call Home

I've officially been on the island for one month and one day. In some ways I can't believe it's already been a month, and in other ways I can't believe it's only been a month. Today, I became painfully aware of where I now live. I walk to work and back everyday and until today, I certainly didn't mind. However, today, it rained. And it was cold. Walking home wasn't as much of a pleasant experience as it is the other days. Guess I need to invest in some rain pants for future.

Last weekend, I got to go home for my best friend from high school, Kristin's, wedding. First of all, congratulations to Kristin and Brandon. I couldn't imagine two more perfect people for each other. Kristin was such a beautiful bride and it was such a great day of wedding festivities! We even had some hail during the outdoor photo shoot! Exciting :) Well after some great dancing and dining, it was time for the bouquet toss. Now, as my dear friend Laura Olson, knows, this is my least favorite part of the wedding ceremony. But this time, I actually got to catch the bouquet! And while I say this means I should be the next to get uncle tells me this just means I'm taller than everyone else out there. Haha :) Always the funny man, that Uncle Mark is. What's even funnier is that a few years ago, Kristin, our friend Jenny, and I had a good talk about marriage and Kristin made it known to Jenny and I that she wanted to be the last of the 3 of us to get married so she could be single and have fun at our weddings. Look how well that plan worked out ;) Jenny and I had a great amount of fun at your wedding though, Kristin! So after partying into the night (well as far as I could go knowing that I had to get up at 5am the next morning to leave for my 7 hr. drive back to the island), I had a very emotional drive home.

I called my mom and told her I was glad I wouldn't be coming home again for the next 6 months. It's too hard. As much as I love being up here on the island, going home makes me miss home. And having a good time with my friends makes me miss having good times with my friends! On Tuesday I got to thinking about what I'm doing with my life. I love having my little adventures and crossing things off of my life's list of things to do like living on Mackinac Island. I still have places I want to go and things I want to see and I fully intend on doing everything! (Like learning to surf can be crossed off when I go visit Kelsey and David in Hawaii!) But as far as finding out what I want to do with my life, I've always kept in mind something my mom said to me when I started college. She told me that she knew I would always be in school. I love to learn. I really do. And I love researching. I really want to share that love of learning with other students! Especially a love of learning more about Christ! And going back to school to get my Master's has never scared me. I just don't know what exactly to get it in. But for the last several months, I've been thinking about the possibility of becoming a college professor. I don't know what I'd teach, whether it would be Youth Ministry, Bible courses, or Psychology. I love it all. And I certainly don't know if I'd even be qualified for any of it or how I would get qualified for it. But when I talked to my mom about my new plan, she was so supportive! Not that I expected anything less, she's always been encouraging of me. So while I still have a lot of things to figure out, I'm glad I have a new direction. I need to talk to some of my professors back at school to see what direction and guidance they can give me, but I'm excited to talk it over with them. And I do still have my love of Counseling that I would like to somehow incorporate as well. God's going to lead me just as he leads each and every one of us, and I hope you will pray for me for guidance in this area of my life.

Okay, I've rambled on and on and it probably doesn't make any sense. This whole post doesn't make sense, I'm sure. My next one will be more focused I promise :)

So I'll leave you with an awesome Bible verse I read this morning. Again, it doesn't really tie into anything that I've talked about in my post, but I just wanted to share a little bit of God with you today!

God chooses to forget our sins and lawless acts. Hebrews 10:18 says "And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin." Jesus paid it all. His death and resurrection have paid the price for our wrong-doings once and for all. What a wonderful God we serve.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The island is officially open for business!

So today was officially our first day open at Nephews. Yesterday, Kate decided we'd open up 2 days early, since we were supposed to open on Friday. What a surprise that was trying to get everything ready and looking presentable in a matter of a few hours. Needless to say, we put in a long night last night putting up the final displays and organizing things. We opened today just for a few hours from 2:30pm to 6pm and we had quite a few customers! Kate showed me how to work the register, which I think will be my favorite job. I can only imagine how busy the store is going to be in the summer as it already seemed crowded at times today. Tomorrow we will be open the whole day, so that will be quite interesting.

After that, it's home for Kristin's wedding weekend. This will be my only time home for the next 6 months and it's certainly going to be a whirlwind trip, but I'm looking forward to it. Getting to sleep in my own bed and see my family and puppies will be such a treat!

Monday, May 3, 2010

And the adventures continue...

So I had a really cool idea like a week ago to tell you about my new adventures. I am a week later than that and I still haven't told you about those little excursions. Sorry 'bout that. :/

Well for starters, I finally found Sugar Loaf Rock. Wasn't really sure that's actually what it was since it didn't have a sign near it like every other site to see out here does. But I'm assuming it was Sugar Loaf since I found it about where the map (that I didn't have with me at the time) told me I would. The picture up on the right is Sugar Loaf. Exciting isn't it?

I've been told Fort Holmes is the place to be. So the next day I went out in search of that. It's a lot of steps but man is it worth it! Fort Holmes and Point Lookout are the highest points on the island. It was so beautiful and peaceful. I took my Bible up there and read for a little while. There was absolutely no sound except the wind blowing in the trees. A little piece of heaven. And with it being the highest point on the island, you can see forever. In the picture above looking at the Mackinac Bridge, you can see how I was wayyy above the treeline at that point. Fort Holmes was a neat place because it was just a little fort surrounded by walls of grass. You could definitely see any activity going on around the water from up there.

I thought I was running out of places to explore, but have no fear, I whipped out the map and found a place called Crack in the Island that will be my next venture. Also, Cave of the Woods. They appear to be right by each other so I'm excited to go find them. I'm going to take the map with me for that trip, though.

My first roommate, Kadeen, arrived yesterday. She's from Jamaica and has worked here 2 summers before. She will be working at the store with me. Such a sweet girl.

The island is abuzz with people now. Tourists are starting to arrive and we even had 2 schools have their prom up at Mission Point on Saturday night. I was in the fudge shop with Mandy and saw all the kids go by riding in the carriages in their beautiful dresses and suits. So cute!

Tonight I'm going over to my friend Mandy's apartment to watch Dancing with the Stars. So nice to finally be making some good friends here on the island. I'll have to be back home to catch the 2nd period of the Blackhawks game, though. They better do a better job than Saturday night, that's all I'm gonna say about that. Go Hawks!

I went back to Mackinac Island Bible Church yesterday. We met at Mission Point now since the group is growing with summer residents and visitors returning. Again, I really enjoyed the service and am enjoying meeting other Christians on the island. I'm finding they can be few and far between. Pastor Ken did say something about how the island is a little piece of heaven, but it is a little piece of hell also. I've found this is a little bit true, more true than I originally thought. But I'm just trying to enjoy every minute that God has blessed me with being here and hopefully I can be a positive, faithful, Godly influence on others here. It's such a comfort knowing there is a Christian fellowship here who wants to support me in this and is working towards the same goal. And just another little thing that I really appreciated was that the Pastor and his wife remembered my name even though I wasn't there last week and had only attended once before. So comforting and makes me feel even more at home.

Well I guess that's all for now. It's almost time for Dancing with the Stars!