Alan and I took our first tandem ride around Mackinac Island when we were 16, and I’m guessing we’ve been there close to 50 times since. It’s his favorite birthday holiday outing, so I was shocked when he told me to cancel our reservations last Friday because he’d be too tired and late getting home from a work “retreat” he couldn’t miss. “You’re a sick man, Ernest!” I teased him (a favored line from a Disney movie), “but okay.” However, he recanted when he found out we’d lose our entire deposit because the inn had a 72-hour cancellation policy.
However, when we got up to Mackinaw City, I almost recanted! The sky looked stormy and darkened by millions of “Midges,” little non-biting insects that were swarming everywhere. It was worse than we’d ever since in our lives, and we suddenly had a little appreciation for how the Egyptians felt during the plagues of insects.
We wondered if we should even try to go over to the island after observing what the front of our boat looked like. What to do? But, I reminded him that we’d walked around the island in the rain (bicycling leaves you with a skunk-strip of horse pies on such occasions), seen a cyclone off in the distance once, etc. etc. Weren’t we like the U.S. postal service: not to be deterred by hail or snow or ice or wind or storms? Didn’t we have the sons who sat through an outdoor Disney-under-the-stars production in a rainstorm after everyone else had left? I mean, are you ever too old to be crazy? I hope not!
So, we went over. I am totally sincere when I say that Mackinac Island was like another world, even though it’s only a few miles from the mainland. Birds were singing… (notice: no insects buzzing about)
Thank you, Lord, for the courage to keep trying even when things seem pretty awful, for such a miraculous demonstration of how different life can be for people living so close together, and for yet another grand trip to Mackinac Island. It was just what the doctor (and his wife) needed!