I was with the Senior Companion Program & Foster Grandparents Program. I am a Volunteer with the Senior Companion Program. These are people who Volunteer to visit with older people in the Nursing Homes, Assisted Living Homes, and Private Homes (their own homes). The Foster Grandparents sit with Classrooms and help out with the kids there. During COVID-19, for 3 years I took time away and stayed at home writing letters. But for about a month now, I have been back out there again.
Both programs are through AmeriCorps, so they can work together. They are given grants and can spend a certain amount to pay their Volunteers. That money has to be used before a certain time period. When they have a deadline, they use it for the benefit of the Volunteers, and so an event such as a trip comes out of it.
Here is a pictorial description of one such excursion.
Mackinac Island, Segment #1: On The Way The Senior Companions and Foster Grandparents went on a trip to Mackinac Island. Everyone boarded the bus at Menominee, Escanaba, Rapid River, and Manistique. It was a three-hour ride to St. Ignace, but we visited with those nearby and sort of relaxed. It wasn't a sunny day, but then again we knew what the weather was going to be like. Many of us were thinking of the things we would do, once we got there and were on our own. I had a Mackinac Island Bucket List and was hoping everything would work out for that. We arrived at St. Ignace and not long after that, we boarded the Sheplers Ferry to Mackinac Island. It was a bit foggy and hard to see in the distance, but the trip went well. (For larger pic view, click Blue Captions.)
Mackinac Island, Segment #2: The Arrival After arriving on the Island and getting our luggage, we split up, and those staying at the Lilac Tree Inn, went there to bring their luggage. Those staying at the Chippewa, went there to bring their luggage. Then we all met up at Mary's Bistro Draught House for lunch. I had the Whitefish And Chips and they sure give you a lot of Fish. It came with fries and coleslaw, but I passed on the coleslaw.
Mackinac Island, Segment #4: The Bicycle Rental Due to my bladder problem, I decided a two hour carriage ride would be too long for me. So I decided to rent a bike and ride around the island to see the places I wanted to. I've never rented a bike before and the first place I went to, you had to use a Credit Card, and it was more complicated than that. I decided to check out another Bicycle Rental place, as they were lined along main street. I went to The Mackinac Island Bike Shop located at 7421 Main Street. They had a bike, a basket on the bike, and a lock (the other place didn't give you a lock). But with this shop, they asked for your Credit Card or Drivers License. I asked the other shop, why they don't give out locks, and what if the bike was stolen.
Okay, I know it wouldn't be taken off the Island, but I prefer a lock. Now this Bike Shop keeps your license/credit card until you return with the bike, and give it back to you. I was a bit leery about them keeping my Drivers License. Then again, I thought, okay, I know where they are and can come back and give them a hard time.
It was Mackinac Island, and I was new to how they do things there. I got an orange bike, and the seat was lowered to fit me. I found out it didn't ride as good as my own bike back home, but it got me around. I kept shifting gears.
Author: Bud Lemire - Sr Companion
To Be Continued with Mackinac Island sights in October.
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