Big Sable Lighthouse…and Michigan’s 128 other Lighthouses!

Did you know that there are 129 lighthouses in Michigan?  There are 42 on Lake Superior, 43 on Lake Huron, and 44 on Lake Michigan. We’ve seen dozens of them.  (I would have said “most” until I realized just how many there really are).  No two are alike; each is unique, and all of them are picturesque.  Our local favorite is the Grand Haven Lighthouse, which is being totally refurbished and will include a museum when it’s completed.  Did you know that the Big Bay Point Lighthouse on Lake Superior
just north of Marquette also runs a bed and breakfast?* Wouldn’t it be fun to stay at a lighthouse?  Actually, quite a few of the lighthouses have conservancies to help care for them where you can volunteer for a two-week stint in the summer
serving as a host and giving tours.  While we were at Ludington State Park recently,   we visited the Big Sable Lighthouse.  We climbed the stairs to the top   for spectacular views of the Lake Michigan Coastline,  visited their museum and gift shop, watched a video,
and heard tales about rescues and shipwrecks.   Seeing a list of all the ships that have sunk in Lake Michigan
made me appreciate lighthouses even more!  Thousands have shipwrecked and lost their lives because they had no light
to guide them safely through the storms.  Spiritually, God calls us to be like lighthouses to draw others toward Him. 

God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (1 John 1:5-7).   Are you walking in the light? Can others see the light of God’s presence in you?

“Rescue the Perishing”
Refrain: “Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save.” (~from Fanny Crosby’s hymn, “Rescue the Perishing,” 1869…in the era when hundreds of lighthouses were being built!)

  1. Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
    Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave;
    Weep o’er the erring one, lift up the fallen,
    Tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save.
  2. Though they are slighting Him, still He is waiting,
    Waiting the penitent child to receive;
    Plead with them earnestly, plead with them gently;
    He will forgive if they only believe.
  3. Down in the human heart, crushed by the tempter,
    Feelings lie buried that grace can restore;
    Touched by a loving heart, wakened by kindness,
    Chords that were broken will vibrate once more.
  4. Rescue the perishing, duty demands it;
    Strength for thy labor the Lord will provide;
    Back to the narrow way patiently win them;
    Tell the poor wand’rer a Savior has died.

(* Photo of Big Bay Point Lighthouse from their website; I took the rest.)

Preserving the Past: Tomorrow, Yesterday, and Today,

Baby at gravestoneHave you given any thought about what will become of your body after you die?  Visiting the cemeteryBy nature, I favor the idea of giving mine up for scientific study, Scrutinizing King Tut's Body feeling particularly beholden to the man whose cadaver provided Alan’s first insight into how things look within the human body. Body Worlds Chesseplayer (*This was before Body Worlds and similarly incredible Human Body Museums existed; if you ever get a chance to visit one, I highly recommend it!) Scattering Ashes in the Rocky Mountains My parents were cremated and requested that their ashes be mingled and scattered to the winds where they courted and wed: The very Rocky Mountains.Watching my parents ashes being scatteredSad, but very romantic. As a family, we fulfilled that behest, Rocky Mountains and it seemed perfectly in character to watch them floating away
as free as larks on the mountain breezes! Cremation Alan and I have definitely considered having our ashes mingled and scattered Kissing by Lake Superioron Lake Superior somewhere, but we’re still thinking, Mother because many people favor a burial site where loved ones can come to mourn. Uncle Alvin. Aunt LolaMy relatives are from Colorado, and my siblings scattered to the four corners of America, so visiting cemeteries was never on my Memorial Day “to do” wishlist, Family at a cemetery but Jonathan really wanted to see where his progenitors were buried, Reid and Almaand so one of the last things we did on our Roots Tour was stop at the family burial plots for Alan’s parents, who both lived and died in the U.P. Visitng with Phyllis and Oren We also visited with two of Alan’s cousins to gather information
and hear some of the stories again. Looking at the Cemetery There is definitely something very stirring and therapeutic/provocative
in learning about our roots. Clyde In every family, there’s a mix of noble and ignoble, Little Girl with Grasshopper but I think most of us feel a deep need to connect with our past at some point.  CousinsOne particularly heartening idea for keeping connections with the past “present” resulted from visiting Phyl and Oren, who have been living fountains of blessing. Little boy with Birthday CakeFor some years, Phyl has had a ministry of making fabulous holiday greeting cards using pictures from Facebook. Personalized Greeting Card We have been the blessed recipient of some of those cards,
and I consider them a family treasure! Older couple Phyllis also made dozens of cards for her sweet husband, Birthday party which they kept in a box. Now, here’s the exciting part! Ordination  Recently, Oren’s memory has been slipping badly, Handmade greeting cards but Phyllis keeps the box of cards right beside Oren’s favorite chair, Older family and every day he looks through those cherished cards, remembering happy times Little girlwith his family, which helps to keep his memories fresher. Drawer of greeting cards Do you have old greeting cards that you haven’t known what to do with?
I did, but now I’m gathering them up in a drawer for “future reference,” Home made Greeting cardand when Alan and I are old and (even) grayer, we’ll be able to take them out
and remember the happy days of yesteryear. Sound like a plan?

And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High. I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.” (Psalm 77:10-12)

(*Picture of Body Worlds from Chicago’s exhibition information,
and all the pictures of Phyl and Oren’s family are from her Facebook page!   🙂 )

Blue Brimley Bay

Rocking Chairs at Tahquamenon FallsBrimley is less than an hour east of Eden. Lower Tahquamenon Falls 10 (Well, would you believe “east of Paradise,”
since Paradise truly is the name of the little village near Tahquamenon Falls.) Whitefish Bay, Google Maps Brimley is at the southern tip of Whitefish’s blue bay (Google Maps has it all!), 🙂Running on beach at Brimley State Parkand it’s one of the Upper Peninsula’s oldest (and best) state parks! Camping in the U.P. It’s a great place to camp  Brushing off the sand at Brimley State Park because its sugar sand beach is so clean it squeaks when you walk, and feet are never squeamish about finding their way into the lake for a romp since they can see through the crystal clear waters and feel the firm foundation underneath. Walking down the beach at Brimley State Park Playing in the water, hiking, picnicking, and swimming at Brimley State Park
are major sources of refreshment on hot summer days Playing near the water at Brimley State Park …at least for those who can withstand the cold water
(or are too big to let frigid Lake Superior temperatures stop them). Swinging at Brimley State Park Granted, hot days are a bit of a rarity in da Yoop, but there are swings & things, and it’s a great place for fishing in the Waiska River for delicacies
like walleye, bass, pike, perch, and whitefish.
(Don’t ask me why, but it sounds like “the Whiskey River” when they say it.)
Whitefish Basket at Cozy Inn, Michigan Our family isn’t big on fishing, but we love flash-fried and basketed fish dinners at the Cozy Inn. Their fish are so fresh I sometimes think they’re still flipping. Cozy Inn. Brimley MIReally—can’t you just see them flipping about? Their food is amazing! Alan and Kathi at Brimley State Park Anyway, across the bay is Gros Cap, where Alan and I used to hike and share picnic lunches on occasion. In fact, on one occasion (but in the middle of the winter…so read that as one enchanted, freezing evening), he proposed to me. Jon at Presque Isle42 years later, we had the pleasure of returning with not only Jon and his wife, Family Swing time at Brimley State Parkbut with their kids! What a joy! Checking out mom's camera In fact, we had so much fun on our trip,  Mother and Baby with camera that I’m already day-dreaming about trying to do a “Roots” tour
with some of our other grandchildren…if we can ever catch them!Mother and Baby taking picture  It took me years to figure out why older folks are so crazy about their grandchildren, but I think I’ve finally got the picture! Jon and Linda at Brimley State ParkThey make you feel young again.Beautiful day at Brimley State ParkThey makes things new and fun again!Blue water at Brimley State Park They challenge you to run again. Sugar sand beach at Brimley State ParkIt’s a great privilege to share life and love with kids and grand kids,
don’t you think?Three are better than one at Brimley State Park“A threefold cord is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12)
(Nor is a 3-generational cord quickly broken!)

Tahquamenon’s Amber Falls

Upper Falls Tahquamenon RiverWhile the meaning of the Indian name “Tahquamenon” has long been lost, Lower Tahquamenon Falls 12 the beauty of these rushing waters never disappears. Path Across a Stream This is the remote woodland where Longfellow’s Hiawatha crafted his canoeFishing on Tahquamenon Riverand Ojibway Indians fished.Lower Tahquamenon Falls 11 Today, its pristine heritage has been preserved in Tahquamenon State Park Woods around Upper Falls Tahquamenon River amidst 46,000 acres of murmuring pines and hemlocks. Lower_Falls. DNR Picturejpg* The Tahquamenon River drains a 790-mile watershed, Foamy water at Lower Tahquamenon Falls and the water is full of amber-colored tannic acid
from decaying cedar, spruce, and hemlock swamps.  Lower Tahquamenon Falls 9 As the water churns over the rocks,
the surface becomes as foamy as a root beer float! Lower Tahquamenon Falls 5 There are really a half a dozen falls that cascade down the Tahquamenon River Upper Falls Tahquamenon River 3on its 94-mile meander to Lake Superior’s Whitefish Bay. Upper Falls Tahquamenon River 4 The “Upper Falls” is one of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi. Upper Falls Tahquamenon River 2 They are 200 feet wide and drop over 50 feet, roaring under the weight
of as much as 50,000 gallons of water per second in spring. Maple leaves turning at Tahquamenon Falls Four miles downstream Happy comrades! (there’s a rugged, root-filled path you can follow for some spectacular views),  Lower Tahquamenon Falls 2 are the “Lower Falls.” (They can also be reached by a short car ride.) Lower Tahquamenon Falls 3 The Lower Falls are a series of five smaller falls that flow around a tiny island. Lower Tahquamenon Falls You can either take a hike along a lovely boardwalk to view some of the falls, Stephen was also a hero! He rowed us to the island and back! or for a minimal charge you can rent a rowboat from the park concession I think there are literally hundreds of water falls in the U.P. and experience striking views of all five falls Boardwalk at Lower Tahquamenon Falls via a circular boardwalk ’round the island. Tahquamenon Falls in Winter Tahquamenon Falls is beautiful year around
and has been a favorite retreat for Alan and me since we were kids. Tahquamenon Falls in Winter (Fifty years ago you could walk behind the falls, and I was dreadfully disappointed when they no longer allowed this exciting adventure!)Tahquemenon Falls Our oldest, Aaron, scuffed along holding his grandma’s hand when he was learning to walk, and now it’s our turn to pass along the joy. Lower Tahquamenon Falls 6 So, on our “Roots Tour” with Jon and Linda,
we made a stop at Tahquamenon with their two little girls. Lower Tahquamenon Falls 4 Although most of the sights and sounds were  blissfully familiar, Cougar at Tahquamenon Falls I had forgotten just how differently one looks at thingsDanger when there are little ones to protect. Danger Sign at Tahquamenon FallsThis trip, I was glad for the protective barriers, not sorry for the restrictions. PuffballsIt made me remember that God is our Father, and He knows that throughout our lives, we’ll need restrictions to protect us from tantalizing dangers. Joel took good care of me to the bitter (sweet) end!Things have changed a lot in the 200 years since Hiawatha roamed free
(—we used to swim here on hot summer days—),
but I need to learn to appreciate boundaries and borders, not buck them!

“The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage. I will bless the Lord, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons. I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.” (Psalm 16:5-9)

(*The aerial view was taken by the DNR:


Rainy Day Walk at Munising Falls

Munising FallsDid you know that Michigan has over 64,000 inland lakes and ponds, Golden Rod near Munising Falls and according to Huffington Post Travel4-munising-falls“some of the most enchanting waterfalls east of the Mississippi!”? statemichigan If you ever have a spare week and love waterfalls, I’d like to invite you to explore Miners Fall some of the 200 named waterfalls in Michigan’s beautiful upper peninsula… Rainy Day walk at Munising Falls 6land of Hiawatha’s legendary wilderness beauty. Fruit at Munising Falls  I think the very best time to visit is in autumn Autumn Leaves in the U.P. when the maples and birches start to flame with color and mosquitoes are passe. Munising Falls Close Up You can google for pictures and directions, and some possibilities for a short list might include Mosquito Falls, Bond Falls, Miners Falls, Sable Falls, Agate Falls, Munising Falls 2Gorge Falls, Superior Falls, Potawatomi Falls, Laughing Whitefish Falls,
and Wagner Falls (10 of the best which are named, but many aren’t). Mother and baby at Munising FallsIn addition, I want to share pictures from two “best of the best” that we visited with Jonathan and Linda this summer: Munising and Tahquamenon. Rainy Day walk at Munising Falls 2 Munising Falls is easily accessible from the road and nicely paved and planked.Rainy Day walk at Munising Falls 3 It makes for a short, delightful expedition, even for tykes Little girl with umbrella at Munising Falls 5…even in the rain! Flower-lined brook at Munising Falls We visited on a misty, moisty morning
while the brook was really babbling and the flowers full and glossy! Grandpa and grand daughter at Munising Falls Rain is such a gift. Rainy Day walk at Munising Falls In a nation where the West suffered terrible droughts and Washington State
(Jon and Linda’s home) fought the worst wildfires in 100 years, Rainy Day walk at Munising Falls 4 I thanked the Lord every day for a wet summer
and counted it a privilege to go exploring in the rain!Munising Falls 4“Who hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder; to cause it to rain on the earth, where no man is; on the wilderness, wherein there is no man; to satisfy the desolate and waste ground; and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth?”
(Job 38:25-27)



Where to Go for Great Food (Up North)

Baby sleepingTruly, the list is too long for one post. Big Hotdog! I will say that our personal favorite for burgers since childhood has been Clyde’s in the Soo and St. Ignace. Our favorite pasties are from Jean Kay’s in Marquette, Fish dinner at Tahquamenon Falls Camp 33 although (also in Marquette) Vierling’s white fish luncheon is regal, Spaghetti dinner at Tahquamenon Falls Camp 33 and the Casa Capri has pretty much divine (or should I say heart-stopping?) pastas (my fav is “lasagna on a cloud”) and garlic bread fried in butter. Sunrise in the U.P. However, on our roots tour of da Yoop last summer, Toddler coloring  we had two wee ones along Snack time at the Mackinaw Bakerywho preferred the hit-and-run method of ingestion (Where did Amé go?), Shopping for Groceries so we hit a lot of grocery stores Breakfast in the RVand ran right out to the camper to eat much of the time. (Where did Amé go??)With Papa at the Big Boy Still, we did corral the girls a few times, Important deliberations at the Mackinaw Bakery and they were particularly cheerful about Pooh-bearish Elevenses Baby Cakes Bakery when they included Mackinaw Bakery…shall we say… Panera Bread has good sweet rollsa smackeral of something sweet from a bakery.   🙂 Baby Cakes in Marquette Speaking of bakeries, our favorites are Babycakes in Marquette Mackinaw City Bakery and Tea Company and Mackinaw Bakery and Tea Company in Mackinaw City. Restroom SignAlthough all of our restaurant experiences were memorable and fun, Tahquamenon Falls Camp 33 one of my favorites this time was our dinner at Tahquamenon Falls’ “Camp 33,” where every last one of us thought our food was exceptionally good. Keeping busy before dinner Of course, it took a while to prepare everything, Playing games and so there was a lot of “rock, paper, scissors” going on (and other games)Playing paper, scissors, rock to keep the girls occupied, Eating dinner at. Camp 33 JPGbut once the food arrived, Spaghettiboth the girls chowed down like there was no tomorrow! Father knows best (what to eat)On course, Daddy’s food tasted the very best, which makes sense,
since we all know that Father Knows Best…right? Coloring with DaddyI think our heavenly Father knows bests too. Panera Bread is yummy! He not only knows where to go for great food, Panera has good coffeeHe knows just what we need all the time  Walking around Mackinaw Cityand promises to walk with us throughout our lives, if we’ll just hang on! Peek-a-BooHow about it? Shall we let God drive and trust him to provide great food
…and everything else we need?

“Even to your old age and gray hairs
    I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
    I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”
Isaiah 46:4, NIV)

“There shall no strange god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god. I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt:
open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it” (Psalm 81:9-10).


U.P. Roots Tour: Crystal Cold McCarty’s Cove

Child playing at McCarty's CoveYou probably don’t think there would be much good swimming
in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and I think you’re right! Getting Sandy Rocks at McCarty's Cove However, there are a few spots that are decidedly fun on a hot afternoon, McCarty's Cove and one of our family favorites is McCarty’s CoveSandy beach at McCarty's Covealong the shoreline of Lake Superior near the heart of Marquette. Marquette Harbor Lighthouse For ambiance, the Marquette Harbor Lighthouse stands like an intriguing sentinel at the far end, beckoning seagulls, lovers,Running down the beach at McCarty's Cove  and small escapee toddlers to come just a little bit closer to explore!Playing on toy at McCarty's Cove There are a number of playground toys for children Volleyball at McCarty's Cove and enough space for volleyball,  but the real highlights are the warm sand and Rocks at McCarty's Cove  the lure of fascinating rock formations just off shore through the shallow water. Not too crowded at McCarty's CoveMcCarty Cove is the perfect place to play or picnic on a hot day,
and most of the time it’s not overcrowded. Digging in the sand at McCarty's Cove When Jon was young, he loved spending time here with his brothers and sister. Family Dig at McCarty's Cove On our recent roots tour, it was great fun watching him as an adult, Covered with sand at McCarty's Coveplaying with his wife and their kids! Getting Sandy Rocks at McCarty's Cove 2 The girls just loved digging in the sand, Getting Sandy Rocks at McCarty's Cove 3 and they both insisted on being the center of digging attention Getting Sandy Rocks at McCarty's Cove 4…at least for a little bit! Pretty Cold Covered with sand at McCarty's Cove The temptation to explore the black rocks helped them overcome their squeamishness about the bracing water temperature, Out to check out the rocks at McCarty's Cove and before long they set off on a Pooh-bearish expotition to the North Pole (armed with their parents for safe passage). Playing on the rocks at McCarty's Cove There were a few breathless moments, but all in all, the afternoon was a huge success, as are most afternoons when you’re sharing life and love Coming Back at McCarty's Cove…reliving happy memories and introducing your kids (and their kids) to the best you have to offer from your own storehouse of experiences. Checking out Presque Isle Sort of an each-one-teach-one moment or a pass-it-forward sharing of joy. Watching the kids play at McCarty's CoveSitting in the warm sand watching the kids play, it occurred to me that
God must long to share life with us in much the same way. Playing with digger at McCarty's CoveHe is our Father, who loves us more than we can ever imagine, and wants
“all the best” for us even more than we want all the best for our children.

Mother and child on beach Watching the kids play at McCarty's CoveAnd I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:9-13)