(Mackinac Island lighthouse, via Flickr)
First of all, let me preface this post by saying that the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island more than lived up to its name. It was gracious and elegant and The Little Prince and all his cousins were agog by its magical splendor.
Unfortunately, a full rundown of the trip will have to wait because I dropped my Nikon in front of a fudge shop and it's gone catatonic on me. Hopefully it can be fixed.
That wasn't the only calamity during the trip -- two acts of kindness on my part went horribly awry!
Calamity The First:
The day after Luca and I arrived in Michigan, there was a glorious midday thunderstorm. The sky went black and the forces of Nature unleashed a magical sound and light show.
Driving with my father afterwards, we came upon a downed tree in the road, just around the corner from here.
(Cranbrook Art Museum)
Another motorist was trying to lug it off the road, so I suggested we help him. We were making excellent progress when suddenly my father fell to the ground clutching his knee in pain. We rushed to the ER only to be told he had somehow snapped his quadriceps muscle. Twenty four hours later, he was having surgery to re-attach the tendons to his kneecap. He's now on crutches and out of commission for the next 10-12 weeks. Despite being 81, he's still freakishly athletic and had a busy summer planned -- a 5 day, 400-mile bike tour next month, followed by a trip to Norway to hike, fish and visit his siblings. Now those plans are out and he won't know until ski season whether his leg will be the same.
I can't help but feel horribly responsible for his accident because I'm the one who suggested we get out and try to move the tree. It just seemed like the right thing to do -- a lark, an escapade, a little deed to feel good about later. I keep thinking if I hadn't said anything, maybe we would have turned around and gone a different way...and his knee would be fine.
Calamity The Second:
(Mackinac Island in rain, via Flickr)
The rain made intermittent appearances on Mackinac Island as well, and one afternoon my mother rented a bike to ride around the island. It looked gloomy, so I offered her a plastic bag to protect her hair in case the skies suddenly opened up. (Coif-ically speaking, my mother is a traditionalist. She has her hair professionally set every week and heroic efforts are made to maintain the sanctity of the 'do between appointments.) Well, apparently she was having a grand time until a terrific gust of wind blew the plastic bag up and out of the bicycle basket. In her attempt to grab it, she let go of the handlebars, lost control of the bicycle and crashed onto the pavement, severely spraining a finger and winding up with a continent-sized bruise on her knee (the right one, same as my father's.) On the bright side, her hair was fine.
Again, it's impossible to deny that if I hadn't given her that plastic bag, she wouldn't have crashed.
Fortunately, both of my parents have remarkable senses of humor and have instituted a running joke that all helpful suggestions I make from now on are to be ducked, dodged, sidestepped and thoroughly avoided. In fact, they have suggested that whatever I say, one should immediately do the opposite.
The Divine Italian has decided a therapeutic healing trip is in order, so I'm repacking suitcases for a short trip up the California coast. We're going to Ojai, Santa Barbara, Big Sur, San Francisco and wherever else hits our fancy.
Happy Fourth of July to everyone. I wish you all blue skies and a safe, accident-free weekend.