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Sunday, October 17, 2010

It Was a Good Day From Mornin' 'til Night

These pictures may give some weak notion of how beautiful Saturday, October 16, was in Northport, Michigan, but you really had to be there to feel it all over your skin and clear through to your bones. Lately every day has seemed like the most beautiful day I've ever seen. My enthusiasm runneth over. There's been a little anxiety, too, though, I must admit, with one big day after another this month.

So as I hurried down Nagonaba with the check for the driver, not having talked to her for several weeks and worrying that she might have forgotten our date (Bertie, forgive me! How could I have doubted you?) the sight of the Abraham's Carriage Service horse trailer made my heart jump with gladness. And there, behind the trailer, were the horses! Big, black, beautiful Percherons! And there was the wagonette, all decorated for fall! And it was a perfect fall Saturday!

What is a festival without horses? Some people may be able to imagine it, but it's hard for me. This is the second year I've been responsible for bringing the horses to town--I guess since it was my idea to begin with--and while last year I was relieved that it didn't rain, this year the driver and I were thrilled that the weather was absolutely perfect. Of the many pictures I took of the horses, here are probably enough to satisfy most blog readers. If you want more, say so. I have more. They do tend to be repetitious, however, as almost all were snapped as the horses were coming down Waukazoo Street past Dog Ears Books.

Here is a happy crowd of people, Northporters and their houseguests, enjoying the ride through town.

What is a festival without music? Again, unthinkable! I can't believe we didn't have the band last year!

Band member Steve Gilbreath gives most of the credit for the little Oompah Band to Karen Schulte, the new minister at Trinity Congregational Church. Here are Karen, Steve and other members of this fine little ensemble. Weather was warm enough that a fire wasn't really necessary under the shelter, but it added greatly to the ambience. Some of the band members are already talking about next year, and I don't see how we can even think of having a Fall Festival without them. In fact, adding one major theme element a year seems like a good way to have the festival grow naturally.

After running up the street to snap a few shots of the band, I was inspired to pull a rocking chair out onto the sidewalk, where I only had a chance to sit for maybe five minutes, but doesn't it look lazy and inviting? The music carried very well down Waukazoo, so by leaving the front door open I could hear it inside the bookstore. Sarah was a little sad that we had to go back in. She liked the sidewalk position better for watching the world go by and greeting everyone as they approached the bookstore.

After the band concert, the horses were still clip-clopping through the village for another hour, and after the horses left there were still a few strollers and shoppers not yet ready to call it a day. We had company waiting for us back at home, so Sarah and I couldn't stay too much past five o'clock, but what a beautiful day it was, all day. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, perfect day! I was so happy to be in Northport! I wish we had horses and bands every weekend!

I need to get a report from someone else on Haunted Lighthouse. I'm sure it was a huge success this weekend, also. We and our company did get to the Northport Promise Chicken Dinner this afternoon--too late for the music (we couldn't resist a fall color tour down to Sleeping Bear, photos of which will be up in a day or two) but not too late for a delicious dinner. Satisfied. That's how we all felt about this perfect fall weekend. Satisfied.


Anonymous said...

I think there's a perfect pressure system lingering over the Bay region. One golden day melts into the next, bringing lovely foliage and everbearing raspberries and horses and community bands and the bluest of skies. Perhaps we are dreaming.

P. J. Grath said...

Dreams of horses are fine with me any day or night.

P. J. Grath said...

This message came to me via e-mail:

"Drat, I can't leave a comment on your blog (word verification won't come up, because I'm on cabin dial-up). Just want to say the pictures of the Percherons are wonderful! Have I told you before that Northport seems like Brigadoon to me?"

I've heard people say things like this before. It is a lovely place, full of wonderful people, and it's also a very real place, with its own share of issues and challenges, but I think most of us here are cognizant of our good fortune in facing challenges in a beautiful, mostly supportive environment.