|Sign encountered in our travels to the Other Side|
Much of the work was done by hand with the aid of a huge scaffold, a homemade elevator, shovels and wheelbarrows. It is estimated that 25,000 tons of native Onaway stone and an equal amount of cement were used to construct the shrine. The Shrine rests on footings that are 8 feet deep and 4 feet wide. The finished product is filled with spiritual and natural symbolism of Michigan.
In the 14th century, the painting was sent to Poland in response to a dream had by Prince Ladislaus of Opola. An attack by the Tartars prompted the Prince to flee with the painting. He stopped in the town of Czestochowa. The painting was installed in a monastery and church there that the prince built for its protection. The monastery was overrun by the Hussites in 1430, but they were unable to remove the painting.
In 1655, Poland was overrun, leaving only the area around the monastery remained unconquered [sic]. After those remarkable events, Our Lady of Czestochowa became the symbol of the Polish National Unity and was crowned the Queen of Poland.
I did not realize until morning that our road had curved around the shore as far as it had to reach East Tawas, and so the sun rose up the shoreline, rather than straight out across Lake Huron where I had expected it.
|Lovely lakeside park and marina (out of camera range) in Harrisville|
|Old historic train depot, Harrisville|
We used to travel over to Alpena every spring when end-of-winter cabin fever got too fierce, and in those old days our destination was a marvelous old used bookstore and antique shop that reliably yielded up treasures. The bookseller has been up in Calumet for years now, but Alpena’s lovely old buildings are still there, and the town has a more prosperous atmosphere than we remembered from years ago. For instance, we had lunch in a hip little bar/restaurant that would have been unimaginable in Alpena’s old days. The front opened to the street, and there were tables out on the sidewalk. How Parisian!
All in all, we felt we had been away from home much longer than two days. We had seen so much! We saw old sights and new sights ... old places we’d seen before but didn’t remember ... things we thought were new that probably weren’t ... new places that will be new to us again the next time. All that was and will be fine. What I do hope is that the modest, unpretentious, friendly and welcoming atmosphere of the Sunrise Coast won’t change too, too much by the time we see it again. Maybe we shouldn’t wait too long? We definitely need to plan for a longer stay the next time.