To Manistee I go…

On Thursday, after the quilt meeting was over I went to Manistee.  I took a stroll down the boardwalk down by the Manistee River to enjoy the fall colors before they disappeared.  The sky couldn’t have been bluer and the colors any more instense.  I was so glad I had my camera.

Manistee is a Victorian town and many of the buildings in town are on the national register for historical places.  You can see the Vogue Theater down in the next block. The theater was recently restored and saved from the wrecking ball.

leaves on stepsI ventured down to the boardwalk by the river to drink in the sunshine and the sights.  I paused along the steps on the way to appreciate the fall leaves all nestled in the corner of the steps before they blew away in the wind.  Nature’s colors often inspire me in designing my next project.  I often think of my pictures in my blog as my sketchbook of sorts.

Feel free to let my photographs inspire you, but please don’t copy my photos without the proper credit and links to my blog.  I wouldn’t dream of copying your creative work, so please don’t do that to me.  Thank you for your understanding.

I’ve been visiting Manistee, Michigan for as long as we’ve been married and that will be 34 years this December.  The town has changed over the years but it still has a certain charm that has made it the unique Victorian village for all to enjoy.

sunrise fabric riversideThe boardwalk was built before we moved to the area in 2003, but after we were married in 1981.  How’s that for accuracy?  If you want to learn more about the Riverwalk, check out their website, “Get Off the Couch“.  The Riverwalk stretches behind the shops on River Street and at least half the shops on River Street have river views.  There are several places to access the boardwalk via stairs between the buildings.  The one I used was by the fabric store owned by one of our quilt members, Cheri.  Sunrise Fabrics can be seen from the riverside here.

I’ll take you for a visit to her shop again later so stay tuned.  Today is to beautiful not to be outside and doing what I’m doing….enjoying nature, soaking in the sunshine and being grateful for the moment.  The fresh air, the sites to see, all of these things are a blessing that I don’t want to miss.  I find joy now in the littlest things, and capturing this fleeting thing called time on camera.  Come on, you won’t want to miss the adventure.

across the river bank by farmers marketThe view today is so breathtaking…the sky really was THAT blue.  Up on the hill behind this scene is where the Manistee Farmer’s Market takes place every Saturday throughout the growing season.

gazebo and olesonsThe market is over for this year, but you can shop at Oleson’s grocery store that is also up there somewhere….oh there it is…behind the gazebo.  See it now?  Look for the green sign to the right of the big bush…now do you see it?  Good…my husband works as a meat cutter at Oleson’s.  Often he’s working in one of the Oleson stores in Traverse City but his “home” store is this one in Manistee.  Did you know Oleson’s raises and sells buffalo?

The Manistee River was dredged for the passage of large ships that carried the lumber down river and out to Lake Michigan.  The area was first established in 1841, as a lumbertown when the John Stronach family constructed a sawmill on Manistee Lake and later another on the Manistee River.  According to the official website for Manistee, the name “Manistee” is from an Ojibwa word first applied to the principal river of the county. The derivation is not certain, but it may be from ministigweyaa, “river with islands at its mouth.” Other sources claim that it was an Ojibwe term meaning “spirit of the woods.”  If you would like to learn more about the history of Manistee, please visit the official website here.

River view looking towards US 31This picture (left) is of the Manistee River looking up river towards US 31 where the draw bridge opens to allow the big ships to pass.  This is the view right outside Sunrise Fabrics so when you visit Cheri you can see this from her back porch or down below where I am standing.  She teaches classes in the back workroom that overlooks the river.  Visitors would have a hard time concentrating on sewing, especially in summer when the fresh breeze blows in and the sailboats honk for their right of passage down the river.

Did you know that Sunrise Fabric is for sale?  The shop also has a vacation apartment that you can rent.  Call Cheri if you’re interested.

River view looking towards Orchard BeachIf I turn and look the other way down the boardwalk I’m looking towards Lake Michigan and Orchard Beach.  Isn’t this tree bursting with color?  The complementary colors of orange and blue make for a very dramatic color combination.  Next time you design a project think of possible complimentary colors to “spice up” your combination to make the colors sing.

Even the boardwalk is winterized I noticed.  The water fountains where covered with plastic trash bags and duct taped tight to keep them over the winter.  I guess it’s that time of year to prepare for the “s” word. I don’t want to jinx myself and say it just yet.  I’m hoping the weather stays like this for awhile longer and I can enjoy the color season a little longer.

bookstore with fall displayDoesn’t the bookstore have a lovely fall display out front?  I love bookstores…I used to own one on River Street in Manistee.  It was a Christian bookstore named Beatitudes Bookstore. It became very difficult to stay in business after Amazon developed their online options.  I closed my store in 2005 and moved from Manistee to Bear Lake in 2006.  I enjoyed having the store and getting to know the local shoppers and the storekeepers in Manistee.  However, I wouldn’t trade buying the farm for anything in the world.  It’s like we are in our own little world in the woods.  Stay tuned and I’ll take you for a walk in “my neck of the woods” in my next post.

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