Happy New Year

It hardly seems possible that an entire year has passed. Not many of us managed to keep our New Years' resolutions beyond a few weeks. We always seem to make the same ones and then due to circumstances (another word for weakness) fail to keep them so this year I'm making some new ones... easier ones... I hope.

  1. I'm not going to worry about the 5, 10, 20, etc. pounds I gain over the holidays - I'm going to see them as insulation against the cold.
  2. I'm going to try to figure out why I need more than one email address.
  3. I'll try not to tell my husband, "I told you so" for at least the first week of 2006.
  4. I resolve to throttle my husband and daughter if they "rescue" one more kitten - five is more than enough!
  5. I'm going to learn to open my eyes and stop gripping the seat with both hands while riding in the car when my youngest is driving.
  6. I'm going to start a dust bunny petting farm since I already have some reproducing.
  7. I'm going to work hard at finding my sense of humor.

That ought to cover it for 2006.

On the serious side, 2005 was a year that we had to say a final farewell to many friends that will be sorely missed: Nora Gallagher, Bucky Vreeland, Alex Cornstalk, David Wyman, Emerald Gallagher, Mary Margaret Hill, Marguerite Teter, Rita Elms, Ernie Martin, "Jug" Gatliff Flynn, Louis Gillespie, Father Leonard Jocys, Lyle Latoff, Clyde Fogg, Matthew Taylor, Lex Marcinak, "Alex" Siudara, Bill Potts, Sister Mary Sullivan, Grace Matela, Adrian VanderLinde, Darrell Anthony, Catherine Jouzapaitis, Pat Burris, Grace Niedbala, Lester Connaghan, and Kay Kakac.

We also gained new friends as little ones were added: Kelton Brody Hunter, Sage Olivia Speck, Brock Thomas Martin, Avery Kay Gerace, Aiden MacKenzie, Olga Lydia Burton, and Leasel May Oskinski.

We celebrated marriages and engagements and birthdays along with many "official" holidays and some not so "official". We shared both the happy and the sad times. We viewed nature in all seasons and reveled in the sunsets and sunrises. We loved living on an island where "everyone knows your name".

Recipe for a New Year

Take twelve whole months.
Clean them thoroughly of all bitterness,
hate, and jealousy.
Make them just as fresh and clean as possible.

Now cut each month into twenty-eight, thirty, or
thirty-one different parts,
but don't make up the whole batch at once.
Prepare it one day at a time out of these ingredients.

Mix well into each day one part of faith,
one part of patience, one part of courage,
and one part of work.
Add to each day one part of hope,
faithfulness, generosity, and kindness.
Blend with one part prayer, one part meditation,
and one good deed.
Season the whole with a dash of good spirits,
a sprinkle of fun, a pinch of play,
and a cupfull of good humor.

Pour all of this into a vessel of love.
Cook thouroughly over radient joy,
garnish with a smile,
and serve with quietness, unselfishness,
and cheerfulness.
You're bound to have a happy new year.

~Author Unknown~

Nora J. McDonough 1915 - 2005

Nora J. McDonough, 90, of 711 Manistique Ave., Manistique, died unexpectedly on Dec. 25, 2005, at the St. Margaret Mercy Hospital in Dyer, Ind.

She was born May 21, 1915, at St. James, Beaver Island, Mich., the daughter of the late John and Emma (McCauley) McDonough. She attended Beaver Island School until the seventh grade when her family moved to Manistique.
She graduated from St. Francis de Sales School in Manistique and was a graduate of Manistique High School with the Class of 1933.

Nonie was employed as the Schoolcraft County deputy treasurer for 40 years, retiring in January of 1978.

She was a member of St. Francis de Sales Church of Manistique, St. Anne's Altar Society and St. Martin's Circle. She was also a member of the Schoolcraft County V.F.W. Post 4420 Auxiliary, Schoolcraft Medical Care Facility Auxiliary and served on the policy board for the Foster Grandparent Program. She enjoyed spending time with her extended family, baking and playing cards.

She is survived by her brother, Allie McDonough of Chicago; along with several nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her brothers, Edward, Thomas and Clyde McDonough; and her sisters, Mary Sendenburgh, Helen Lachance and Katherine Belleville.

Visitation will be held from 4 to 8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 30, at the Messier-Broullire Funeral Home in Manistique. Parish prayers will be recited at 7 p.m.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 31, 2005, at St. Francis de Sales Church in Manistique with Monsignor Timothy Desrochers officiating.

Burial will be held in the Fairview Cemetery at Manistique.

Memorial donations may be directed to the St. Francis Education Foundation

Forum Facelift

The Forum has been given a "facelift" so perhaps it will be easier to use. Let me know if you still have problems with it.

Winter Regulations

Photo and comment by Frank Solle

For all you Font Lake lovers rest assured that during the winter season the St. James Township wake restriction is being quite effectively enforced.

Warner - Kurtz

Ed Warner and Mary Warner of Harbor Springs and John and Elaine Kurtz of Charlevoix and Kay and Bruce Cartford of Harbor Springs are announcing the engagement of their children, Alison Warner and Luther Kurtz.

The bride-elect is a graduate of Harbor Springs High School and attended Trinity International University, where she played soccer. Alison is pursuing a degree in management and international trades at Baker College, and is employed by Patricia Woods and Co., in Harbor Springs.

Her finacé is a graduate of Charlevoix High School and Michigan State University, where he skied for the university. He attained his electrician journeyman status and is currently attending the University of California-San Diego pursuing a degree in aerospace engineering. Luther is the owner of Skydive Harbor Springs and other skydiving franchises. He will graduate in June 2006.

Alison and Luther are planning an August 5, 2006 wedding at Castle Farms in Charlevoix.

Congratulations to Alison and Luther. I knew I had saved that photo of you two for a special reason ;)

Island Christmas Saved by Beaver Island Boat Company and Island Airways

We've all read or heard of the old story, "When Santa Missed the Boat to Beaver Island" by James Pooler. The Christmas of 2005 will probably have its very own story in a few years. The generosity of the Islanders is legendary.

After two days of pea-soup fog and a combination of freezing rain and drizzle, Christmas for Beaver Island was looking mighty bleak for some families as folks were stranded both in Charlevoix and some on the island who had intended to travel across to spend the holiday with mainland families. There was no mail, no last minute holiday packages, no newspapers, no fresh produce, nothing, zip, zero, nada. By Christmas Eve there were many upside down smiles on faces. It's mighty hard to keep up spirits when mothers, dads, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters and/or grandchildren are on one shore and you're on the other. The day before 'the big day' was another of the same - gray, foggy and rainy. Islanders mumbled among themselves about how they wouldn't be able to be together since the ferry had stopped running and the planes couldn't fly.

Senior Beaver Island Boat Company Captain Kevin McDonough, General Manager for BIBCO, Margo Marks and Assistant Manager Tim McQueer got together and after checking with Barb Swartzfisher of the Transportation Authority, and being guaranteed that the planes wouldn't be flying decided to make a very special run with the Emerald Isle.

Island Airways called all those who were on stand-by (and hoping for clear weather) and told them to head to the boat docks both on the island and in Charlevoix. Margo and Kevin, in the meantime, gathered up employees to man the docks and crew to operate the ferry. All these folks gave up spending Christmas Eve with their loved ones so that everyone would have a Merry Christmas.

The Emerald Isle left the island with 22 aboard bound for Charlevoix about noon on Christmas Eve. Those twenty-two would not have been able to spend the holiday with their families without the special trip. Once in Charlevoix, folks lined up for the return trip with 47 as the final number as she set off for the island arriving about 6 p.m. to cheers and holiday music blasting from a boom-box set outside the office on a bench. Car and truck lights lit up Whiskey Point and then the dock as the Emerald Isle glided into her berth. According to several passengers, Christmas carols were sung a good share of the way and probably with more feeling then ever before. For an account of one of the passengers check out the Beaver Island Forum under "The Real Meaning of CHRISTMAS".

There is no doubt there have never been happier faces than those who stepped off the boat or happier tears than those shed by the greeters. Hugs and kisses abounded as families were reunited thanks to the selflessness of both the Beaver Island Boat Company and Island Airways. As passengers departed the many stopped to give the crew members hugs and kisses along with heart-felt thanks for saving Christmas. From having a ship winterized to suddenly making it a Christmas Ship, these people are fantastic.

Add to all this the fact that Postmaster Michelle Dreffs came into the Post Office on Christmas Eve (after six o'clock). Michelle opened just the bags that contained packages and then notified the recipients so that any last minute gifts could be placed under the tree in time for Christmas morning. Not many mainland Postmasters would do that.

The following deserve holiday kudos: Captains' Kevin McDonough and Mike Green, Engineer Joe McDonough, Steve Drost, Sheri Timsak, Margo Marks, Tim McQueer, Kurt Smith, Michelle Dreffs, along with Paul Baron, Paul and Angel Welke. All these people deserve the Citizen of the Year award, for without them this wouldn't have been a Merry Christmas.