Farewell to Alpena

It is early Sunday morning as I am typing this. I can see pickups driving down the road with big hauls of wood. Looking over the lake, I see the smoke from chimneys dancing angrily in the wind. I drive around the corner near the gas station on Hubbard Lake to spot the Stone Bar Grill and the hunters building, getting prepared for hunters this season. All of this has become familiar to me. So much so, to where I can see it in my dreams.

Now I see a fresh blanket of snow on the ground to remind me of the green grass still over in Wisconsin. Which raises a few questions such as why do I live where the air hurts my face? How many times do I have to fall on ice before my tailbone breaks? How much snow and rain can we get before the land we live on becomes yet another lake?

After a very interesting and quite terrifying adventure across the Mackinac Bridge last week, my husband and I travelled through the early winter storm to get to the green acres that is Wisconsin. Although it was not as warm as we would have hoped, it was still wonderful to see concrete roads and actual grass before a small flurry hit. Not to mention here the words you’re hired, before we even finished the tour through the building of my husbands new job.

As you may have guessed it, this is a huge hint that we are moving.

Everything happened so fast over the next few days. One minute we are sitting at our little cabin and the next we are on the road wondering if we will be blown into Lake Michigan or Lake Huron. With one blink, we were in our living room again with boxes stacked in all corners. Our interesting feline friend, Oliver, climbing each one as a way to tell us he approves of the move as long as we keep building him a giant game of Tetris. These next few weeks are expected to be chaotic, but manageable, as I finish up my last few weeks at ACC. Yet what was not expected was the rush of conflicting emotions we have been hit with.

Michigan has and always will be our home. Our family and friends live here, our hobbies are influenced by the environment here, and we were born and raised only a sand dune away from the lake. Everything that we are or have come to be is because of what has happened in the good ol’ mitten and now we are taking a piece of it with us. It is both exciting yet bittersweet at the same time. When we moved up to Northern Michigan, we could have sworn this would have been where we called home. Alpena is a beautiful place and we have made so many great friends in such a short amount of time. Sadly, we are finding that our path does not end here and our thirst for adventuring somewhere else has taken over. Even though we will keep in touch with everyone, we understand now that this was another stop on the way to us finding where our home really is.

As the old saying goes, All good things must come to an end, is quite true in this sense. All good things do come to an end yes, but sometimes it is to make room for something greater.

As I watch my cat climb to where his ears brush the ceiling, I will continue to type this column as my farewell to all of those who are reading this and to Alpena, before I hear the boxes fall.

Hannah Hobbs is a millenial, a wife and a college student living in Hubbard Lake.