Living in Michigan

Ah yes, living in Michigan can be a challenge at times. You may try to stay off the news (politics, man’s inhumanity to man, COVID, etc.) except to catch the headlines. But life itself occasionally throws a blow that you just weren’t expecting.

Maxy-cat is 18.5 years old. He’s been deaf for awhile. He’s on thyroid medication. His vision has been deteriorating. And this weekend, the deterioration is complete. Maxy is blind. We’ve adjusted his living arrangement to the main floor for safety. We are taking him to the litterbox and to his food and water regularly, and he seems to be able to go from there back to his heated bed. We are hoping that over time, he is able to get around the house himself, and will be able to play with catnip toys and have a good quality of life. There are a few feline ophthalmologists in Michigan, but none are taking patients until January at the earliest and they won’t schedule that far out. He spends a good deal of time sleeping, and as long as he is asleep he doesn’t notice his lack of vision or hearing. I hope his little cat dreams are full of outdoor adventures, chasing squirrels and running. It’s taking all of my focus to not dissolve into hysteria, and that focus is giving me the headache of a lifetime for the third day in a row.

This autumn has been a fantastic time for mushrooms everywhere. There are so many different kinds in the woods behind our home and on the Bark Park trails. I’ve taken a few photos to share. Isn’t nature amazing?

These last two are a form of puffball known as the brain puffball, or Calvatia craniiformis. They are giant…take a look at the size of the leaves around them. We have not had a frost yet, and it has been a lovely mild autumn so far. I wish it could stay like this forever.

In other news, Bob attended in person and I attended virtually the SYRCL’s Wild & Scenic Film Festival. It featured 13 short environmental films and was quite enjoyable. I love short films. You can still catch some showings by going to the website, linked above. I’m working on a crochet blanket for a dear friend who needs a hug, and I’m obsessed with tiny notebooks. I’m staying busy with journaling as well. Anything to keep the hysteria from becoming consuming. It won’t be long before I’m starting my next bullet journal for the new year. Hard to believe we are nearing the end of October.

Pines Motel – Mackinaw City

Thursday, January 14, 2021 0 No tags Permalink
Pines Motel Mackinaw City

When in our Bridge Country,
stop at
Located on the Straits of Mackinac,
Mackinaw City, Michigan
A Fine Modern Motel with wall-to-wall carpeting, ceramic tiled showers, electric heat and free Television. Ferry Service to Mackinac Island from the premises. Restaurants nearby. A Deposit will hold your reservation.
Bill & Donna Battige
Box 736 Ph. 1-616-436-8251
811 So. Huron Ave.
Mackinaw City, Mich. 49701

Made by Dexter Press Inc
Pub. for L.H. Tuttle, Cheboygan, Michigan 49721

This beautiful card, featuring the AAA logo, is unsent. The motel is gone, having long been replaced by a parking lot. Wilbur “Bill” Battige passed away in 1997 and Donna in 1999. The Pines, with its 15 units, was listed for sale the summer of 1974. I would guess this postcard predates that time.

Travelers Motel Mackinaw

Thursday, March 2, 2017 0 No tags Permalink

Vintage Postcard – Travelers Motel Mackinaw

travelers motel mackinaw

Located on U.S. 23, 1 block east of intersection of U.S. 31, U.S. 23 and I-75 at approach to Mackinac Bridge along Lake Huron.
30 fully carpeted units with T.V., showers and tubs. Private sandy beach. Shuffleboard. Near shops and restaurants and Mackinac Island Ferry.
The Place to Stay when in Mackinaw City 49701
P.O. Box 496 — Phone: Area 616 HEmlock 6-5539
Your Host – Alfonso Lieghio

Pub. by Leon Foster, 221 No. Fifth St., Blanchard, Mich. 49310
Made by Dexter Press, Inc.
West Nyack, New York

This lovely vintage postcard is unsent.

Last week had us feeling like summer here in Michigan. With a few days in the 60s, you could almost imagine that we were past spring break and getting ready to think about our summer plans. Of course, reality returned and it is after all just the very start of March. We still have 18 days left until winter is officially over.

Are you already making your summer plans to head up north? Of course you are. And what better place to stay than the Traveler’s Motel (much better than traveler’s diarrhea). Sit yourself in a lawn chair out by the sign (and the road) and watch the world pass you buy. It’s, as the card says, The Place to Stay when in Mackinaw City. And it has a lovely sign…bet that arrow lights up with neon.

The Travelers Motel was purchased by the Lieghio family (mother Isabella “Lisa”, father Giuseppe “Joe” and son Alfonso “Tony”) in 1964. Lisa passed away in 2013 (obituary here). There have been a few lawsuits regarding the property over the years. It exists now as Tony’s Travelers Motel, aka the Clarion Hotel Beachfront at 905 S Huron Ave. However it looks nothing like it and I’m not entirely sure the original building still stands.

Like Mackinaw? Check these out:

Surf Motel

Fountain Motel

North Star Motel

Jan’s House of Gifts

Tuesday, December 20, 2016 0 No tags Permalink

Vintage Postcard – Jan’s House of Gifts – Mackinaw City

Jan's House of Gifts

Jan’s House of Gifts
combined with Mackinaw City’s finest Restaurant is one of Michigan’s most modern and unique Gift Stores. Located near State Ferry Dock.

Plastichrome by Colourpicture, Boston 15, Mass., U.S.A.
Color by Lucy Gridley

This lovely vintage postcard is unused. Given the cars, I’d think it’s from the 1950s. There are later postcards available online from the 1960s as well.

Been a few weeks since I’ve posted a card, so I thought it was high time I got one up. December has been brutal weather-wise. I am starting to struggle with it. Hoping that we settle in for an early spring.

Like Mackinaw? Check these out:

Surf Motel

Mackinac Bridge

Vagabond Motel

Dearborn Towne House Motel

Wednesday, October 5, 2016 0 No tags Permalink

Vintage Postcard – Dearborn Towne House Motel – Dearborn, Michigan

dearborn towne house motel

2101 So. Telegraph (US 24) Dearborn, Michigan
at Michigan Ave. (US 12) Phone 274-5700
101 Luxury Air-Conditioned Rooms — Closest to Both Airports — Cocktail Lounge — Dining Room — Heated Pool — 1 1/2 Miles to World Famous Greenfield Village and Henry Ford Museum.

Plastichrome by Colourpicture, Boston, Mass. 02130

This lovely vintage postcard was mailed August 7, 1972 using a six-cent ‘Flag Over White House’ stamp. It was mailed to Mrs. John H. St. John, 7 N.E. 91st Street, Miami Shores, Florida – 33138. It reads:

Sat. Jan 5 – 1972
Dear Ploomie:
Tho it has its points we are not smitten on this place & won’t stop again. In fact doubt I’d ever stop in Dearborn. Our incentive will be gone. Went  [unintelligible] & shopping today. I got a jersey dress to wear as a uniform. Is red white & blue & [unintelligible] small apples. Carleen came & indulged in the pool when we got back. Love – R.SH.

I wonder what the original incentive was that kept R.SH. going to Dearborn? This old motel has glorious mid-century styling and you have to love that sign!

It seems that for a time, this was a Super 8 before being torn down. Detroit’s Historic Hotels and Restaurants by Patricia Ibbotson notes the Towne House was owned by Harry Chrysan, who also owned a Dearborn car wash and was president of Avonster Corporation. The 1955 city directory also shows him owning a gas station. It seems that during original construction of the Towne House, there was an issue with the pre-formed concrete blocks and building collapse during construction resulting in death. According to case notes (see here) “the blueprints called for 100 units separated into sections A, B, and C. The building permit was issued to Lester H. Davies, Inc., on January 29, 1962.” Avonster Corporation was incorporated in 1953 and dissolved in 1988. Mr. Chrysan passed away in 1987.

Beltline Motel

Wednesday, September 28, 2016 0 No tags Permalink

Vintage Postcard – Beltline Motel – Grand Rapids

Beltline Motel

171 28th Street S.E., Grand Rapids 8, Mich.
85 Modern Units on the South Beltline
Electric Heated – Ceramic Tile Baths – Indoor Pool – Finnish Sauna.
Next to the Comet Restaurant
Close to Downtown. Telephone Area 616-241-0151
Roy and Dorothy Gackler

Pub. by Leon Foster, 221 M. Fifth St., Blanchard, Mich.
Made by Dexter Press, Inc. West Nyack, New York

This lovely vintage postcard is unused.

Roy Gackler and Dorothy Geib did not start out in the hotel business:


Roy died in 1991 and Dorothy in 1995. They are buried at Lakeside Cemetery in Caledonia, MI.

For a little bit of recent history starting in the summer of 2012, follow this train on mlive. Reporter Matt Vande Bunte wrote “A 28th Street inn described as a hub of drug dealing and prostitution when it was shut down three years ago now might get torn down. Grand Rapids City Commission on Tuesday will be asked to contract for demolition of four buildings that make up the former Landmark Motel, 171 28th St. SE.” The motel was shut down in 2009 (mlive article here notes “the motel was responsible for more than 409 police reports between July 1, 2007, and Sept. 16, 2008 […] the 409 incidents included 33 aggravated assaults, four robberies, four sexual assaults, 21 simple assaults, 30 drug violations, 14 thefts from automobiles and 67 arrests for outstanding warrants, parole, probation and bond violations.” It appears they did add a second story on one of the buildings and the Google Street View image is now as such:


The other buildings appear to have been torn down. A little digging shows the Beltline Motel – turned Landmark Motel – turned Pleasant Motel was built in 1966 and at one point included 109 rooms in “five buildings – One building is a three story interior corridor building, one building has two stories with outside corridors, the remaining buildings are single story buildings. There is a basement that runs throughout the property including from the main building.”

Like Michigan postcards? Check these out:

Lou Coomes

Sandstone Motel

Lone Pine Motel

Mackinac Bridge

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 0 No tags Permalink

Vintage Postcards – Mackinac Bridge

mackinac bridge33 — Mackinac Bridge as seen from shores of Lake Michigan
Mackinaw City, Michigan

Mrs. C.C. Graham, Petoskey, Mich.
Curteichcolor 3-D Natural Color Productions, (REG. U.S.A. Pat. Off)

This lovely vintage postcard was mailed from Petoskey June 25, 1958 using two one-cent green Washington stamps. It was mailed to Mrs. Frank Mullins, 10 Louise Ave, Highland Park 3, Mich. It reads:

Left [unintelligible] after I saw you in lobby. We are having a nice trip crossed Bridge this A.M. Staying in Munising tonight. Sincerely, Vera.

And here is a bonus card for you!

mbridge2The Mackinac Bridge
“World’s Longest Suspension Bridge”
Connecting Michigan’s two great peninsulas at the Straits of Mackinac. Here seen from a cruise boat, from which viewpoint one can see construction details and the terrific size of the structure. Note the foreign freighter under the center span, and the two regular lakes freighters. Designed by Dr. D. B. Steinman, the Bridge was opened to traffic on November 1, 1957.

Plastichrome by Colourpicture Publishers, Inc, Boston 15, Mass., U.S.A.
Pub by the Hiawatha Card Co., P.O. Box 56, Ypsilanti, Mich.
Colorslides: Free Catalog
Hiawatha Co., Box 56, Ypsilanti, Mich.
Photo by Lucy Gridley

This lovely vintage postcard was mailed July 28, 1958 to Mrs. Mullins, 10 Louise Apt 40, Highland Park, Mich. It reads:

Having a vacation up here staying at St. Ignace good weather was over to the Island on Saturday thanks for your note hope to see you soon Clara Aall

My Mom recalls going with my grandparents up to visit the construction of the bridge, which somehow seems like it took place an impossibly long time ago. To my thoughts, the bridge has always been there. But that of course is not the case. The Mighty Mac is the 5th longest suspension bridge in the world. I am personally not a fan of the bridge. If you choose the inner lanes because you don’t want to be blown off, you’re on grating and can see the water. Choose the cement outer lanes, and possibly wind up in the water. No, thanks. The last time I went across, I was lying down in the back seat of the car waiting to cross onto firm ground.

The bridge opened, as the card says, in 1957. If you want to learn some history of the Mac, here’s the wiki.

Like Mackinaw? Check these out:

Surf Motel


Vagabond #2



Lone Pine Motel

Wednesday, October 28, 2015 0 No tags Permalink

Vintage Postcard – Lone Pine Motel and Restaurant

Lone Pine Motel

Lone Pine Motel and Restaurant
“Clare’s Newest and Finest”
Air conditioned cafe
Central heating
Fine food
Tub – showers
Phone 9087 for reservations

Plastichrome by Colourpicture Publishers Inc., Boston 15, Mass., U.S.A.
Pub. by the Hiawatha Card Co., P.O. Box 56, Ypsilanti, Mich.

This lovely vintage postcard was mailed using a three cent purple liberty stamp from Glen Arbor Michigan July 9, 1959. It reads:

We are here with the kids they certainly have a very nice place, we were so surprised. The trip was grand coming. We stayed here last night. Mike is taking me all over at present he is taking his nap, then he is going to have fun with me in the water. I have bought my bathing suit but he doesn’t know it. Ha Ha. The Koeppers.

I chatted with my coworker about this card, as she grew up in Clare. She remembers that they added an arcade at some point. Their family had coffee and breakfast there regularly. The place still stands, though it looks like (Google Street View) the restaurant is gone:


Like northern Michigan? More here:

Fountain Motel

Queen’s Motel

North Star Motel

Misc. Monday


Wooooo dog, this post has it all. It’s been months since I’ve done a general, non-postcard update. So here it is, the fruits of the summer.


Our veggie garden did great this year. I made two batches of salsa verde (tomatillos, onion, garlic, jalapeno).


In addition to tomatoes for eating, I made a batch of sauce and cooked down two batches of tomato paste (boil and peel tomatoes, puree, cook down, put in pan in 350 degree oven and bake until paste).


And I made a batch of sauerkraut. We got a fair amount of radishes. Three heads of cabbage. Lots of tomatoes. A few carrots. Good lettuce and arugula. Next year we’re planting more green beans and more peppers. This year we also got a compost barrel (and inside bucket) and we’re composting our kitchen waste. Right now I also have a batch of hard cider cooking. It’s exciting!


I’ve been crocheting up a storm. I made a mint lap blanket for a friend. Then I made this lap blanket with a ruffled edge. LOVE the ruffled edge. The yarn is Simply Soft Paints Yarn in Rose Garden.


I loved the yarn so much (and overbought), so I made a scarf and sent it to a friend who needed a scarf. Now I’m working on another scarf for another friend.

I’ve been reading, too. Just finished Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri (very good) and Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (excellent). Here’s how I turned out with the Summer Reads 2015:


What Comes Next and How to Like It: A Memoir by Abigail Thomas

The Bone Clocks: A Novel by David Mitchell

American Ghost: A Family’s Haunted Past in the Desert Southwest by Hannah Nordhaus

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel by Anthony Doerr

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

The Wishing Thread: A Novel by Lisa Van Allen

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

Beach Town by Mary Kay Andrews

All but two done, but I made up with two others. Not bad.

I’m getting ready to start sewing again. I have to make my Halloween costume for Howl-O-Ween at the shelter. And I have a new pattern to make a dress. Just need to pick up the fabric and I’m ready to go.

How about you? Can you believe summer is over and we’re well into autumn already?

Fountain Motel

Wednesday, September 16, 2015 0 No tags Permalink


U.S. 23 and 27 at Junction U.S. 31 — At the Approach of the New Straits of Mackinac Bridge. The World’s Longest Suspension Bridge. Mackinaw City, Mich. Relax and Enjoy your vacation with us. Over Looking the Straights and Lake Huron — View of Famous Mackinac Island. Completely Modern — New — Spacious Units — Tile Bathrooms and Showers. Central Steam Heat. Privileges of Safe, Sandy Beach. Open Year ‘Round. Phone 5557 — Paul and Mary Csondor.

Pub. by R. C. O’Neil, Box 4423 Joyfield P. O., Detroit, Mich.

This lovely vintage postcard is unused.

Mary died in May of 2014 at age 90. Her obituary is here. Paul died in 2001. They had a son, Dennis, who died in 2007. Paul and Mary built the Fountain and operated it until 1966.

Unfortunately, this motel is long gone.

Like Northern Michigan? More here:

Queen’s Motel

North Star Motel

Bell’s Melody Motel