Posted by: bree1972 | May 13, 2011

Load the car and write the note . . . . 5/14/2011

NOTE:  This will be the last Lake Blackshear blog post for a few months.  We are leaving on Saturday, May 14, and should arrive on the island, good Lord willing, on Monday, May 16.  We’re changing our internet provider this year on the island, so I can’t tell you when the first Mackinac Island post will be online – except to say it will be as soon as possible.  Just remember – island time and “real world” time are two entirely different entities!  If we spend our two nights on the road where there are wireless connections, I’ll try to post at least once on our trip north.  Safe travel prayers will be appreciated.

See you soon from Mackinac Island – you can visit us there, starting this weekend, at  It’s going to be a great summer! 

God bless.


I bought a CD the other day by the Avett Brothers, a folk-rock band out of Concord, North Carolina.  The first time I heard them they were performing on some music award show, and I really, really liked their sound.  The first words on the first song  of this particular CD are these:

Load the car and write the note.
Grab your bag and grab your coat.
Tell the ones that need to know.
We are headed north.

I knew immediately I’d use those lines in this final post from the ri’vah.

Animal Assisted Therapy . . . Halloween at Booger Bottom . . . memories of the ’94 flood . . . a beach trip . . . the Delta Society . . . Maddie . . . Bear . . . visits from Mackinac Island friends . . . spring flowers . . . Dawn & Stevie . . . cypress trees . . . Girls Nights Out . . . house renovations . . . Becky & Larry . . . lake sunrises and misty mornings . . . Deb & Mark . . . visits from Jason & Blair and Blake . . . Thanksgiving with the Sumner clan in Sylvester . . . Karen & Gary . . . Christmas at the lake and in Arkansas and in Atlanta . . . Paula Deen’s party . . . touring Savannah . . . Lisa . . . country roads . . . the Georgia Aquarium . . . sleep apnea and CPAP machines . . . Marianne & Cecil . . . the Flint Riverquarium . . . Polly & Les . . . painting pottery . . . Renae & Joe . . . a move to Colorado for Blake . . . Sally & Ed . . . snow in Atlanta and at the lake . . . Samille & Ralph . . . birds and squirrels . . . Sue & Charlie . . . moon over Lake Blackshear . . . golfing with Ted – and a friendly alligator . . . Terry & Tommy . . . a play in Perry . . . . and so much more.

There were so many memories as I was pulling together this last Lake Blackshear post.  The collage of photos at the end of this blog sums up our winter in Georgia, and I hope you’ll take the time to shift through the photos.  You might even find yourself  in there somewhere!

For some reason, I’m finding it a little harder to leave our Georgia home this year, and I’ve tried to reason out why that is.  For one thing, the weather stayed cooler than normal for a longer time this spring.  Until the last week, we’ve had delightful weather through April and May – sunny days and highs in the 70’s and low 80’s.  Perfect!

Another thing I’m finding hard to leave is the work Bear and I began here this year.  When I received the May schedule from Marty the other day and saw our names listed only once, I got this sad lump in my throat.  Our visits together as Delta Pet Partners have been so special, and they’ve given me a sense of maybe making a tiny difference in a few of the lives we’ve touched.  I’m hoping we can find a facility close to the island to visit this summer.  We’ll work on that after we’ve settled in.

But, more than the weather and the Delta work, as we grow older I think we probably cleave more tightly to our “core” – those friends and family members who have known and loved us the longest and who, even though they know all our secrets – good and bad –  love us anyway.  Perhaps, for that reason alone, I’ll feel this tug at my heart a little more with each passing year.  We’ll see . . .

For now though, Mackinac Island – and all it has come to mean to me – beckons brightly, and my mind is speeding ahead to the season there.  I’m so excited to see island friends again, attend Little Stone Church each Sunday, walk the trails with Ted and Maddie and Bear, eat fabulous food at all the restaurants, ride our bikes around the island, and watch the carriages filled with tourists come up the hill.  I know from comments and emails that Mackinac Island blog readers are all set to read about what’s happening on the most beautiful rock on earth, and I’m anxious to again open our windows and doors and invite them into our lives there.  I’ve missed writing about Mackinac – her beauty, her serenity, her history, and especially, her people.

So . . . grab your bag and grab your coat . . . we are headed north!  

(Click on the collage below, and it will open in another window.  Clicking again will enlarge the collage, and you’ll be able to scroll back and forth and up and down through the photos.)  And don’t forget – you can visit the Hortons on Mackinac Island anytime at!




  1. Tears are flowing, I will miss you bunches…..enjoy Mackinaw…see you soon. Love ya, Dawn

    • Don’t even get me started. Love you girlfriend!

  2. “We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” – Jawaharial Nehru

    Thanks for being our eyes and ears, Brenda. Godspeed to you, Ted, Maddie and Bear! Can’t wait to get your firt report from the rock. 🙂

    • Thank you, Barb . . . and I love that quote! You’ll be seeing it again soon!

      • I don’t exactly know what Nehru had in mind when he used those words, but the thought reminded me of when we lived on the flat, treeless plains of northern Oklahoma. Gorgeous sunsets, specular lightning storms, wheat fields swaying and waving in the wind, friendly people. Absolutely beautiful if the eyes are open.

  3. Brenda,
    Looking forward to all of you arriving safely. Have said a prayer for your safe travels. Do you think Bear could do some visits to some of our elderly shut-ins on the island this summer? Also, I wondered if it is time for “the rival gals” to meet “the island girls”?? I mentioned it to Jill and we know how it will work!!!!! Will chat with you about it when you get here. Safe travels, God Bless you and see you in a couple of days!! xo

    • Wonderful ideas all the way around, Loretta. Bear and I would love to visit on the island, AND YES to a meeting of two of the best groups of friends any girl could ask for . . . however it works! I’m already tasting those cinnamon rolls! See you soon, good Lord willing, and thank you for the safe travel prayers.

  4. Safe travels northbound today, tomorrow & Your arrival in Mackinac on Monday. Its a blustery day here in Michigan. Looking forward to your blog this summer.

  5. Brenda & Ted,

    Watch out for all those crazy drivers and safe travel on your way to the most beautiful Island I know of. I’m looking forward to your blogs from there. And remember, Spring 2011 number 2 coming up.

    By the way, look for me waving as you go by. I’ll only be about 60 miles west of Ann Arbor.

  6. Safe travels to Mackinac Brenda, Ted and the furballs. I’ve counted down the week with you and it’s finally here. I’ll be thinking of you all as you travel North. Looking forward to hearing all the news from the island. By the way, LOVE the collage! Oh and I hope one of those coats you grabbed was a RAINcoat. 😉

  7. Prayers for a safe trip north. I can’t wait for my trip north in July. A meeting of the girls from north and south sounds like a fun time. Looking forward to that first report from the island.

  8. Ditto all of the above!! Have a safe trip, looking forward to your next post. Loved the collage. It was nice to ck out those photos again. You’ve been busy all winter!! I know you will be busy this summer. God Bless you all.

  9. It IS sad this morning….leaving ALL “our” friends at the ri’vah for the summer. WAITING here with smiling faces for you to arrive. We’ll take good care of Brenda, Ted, Bear & Maddie…but would LOVE for y’all to come up for a visit.

    Report from Mile Marker 235 at 11:30 am just S. of Atlanta Airport. Bear was the only one NOT settled & he is the one with the MOST space in the truck!

  10. You have prayer warriors smoothing your journey all the way north, and I’m happy to contribute. I do hope you tossed a jacket (fleece!) into your travel bag. It’s gotten quite chilly in the last 12 hours. The tulips and the lilacs will make up for it in a few weeks. Happy travels for all 4 of you!

  11. God be with you as you travel. Safe miles and happy smiles.

  12. Can’t wait until the first post!

    • Glad you and the family are coming with us, Bob!

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