From time to time I like to show the fans of the Inspiring A-Town Facebook page that I appreciate their efforts to share their love of Northeast Michigan. I recently asked fans to post thoughts on what they value most about living in Northeast Michigan and from them I would randomly draw two winners for a downtown Alpena gift certificate. The comments posted were too incredible not to share. I don't have enough room to post them all but here are a few for your reading pleasure:
"The beauty here is priceless in all seasons ... the water is a luxury most don't get to indulge in ... and the tight-knit community of folks here truly rally and support others when in need. I couldn't think of a better place to raise my children."
"Hands down ... raising our kids here ..."
"What isn't there to love about living in Northeast Michigan? First, we are so blessed being surrounded by water. My family has spent countless hours on the lakes and river. Fish fill our freezer and tummies. Downtown Alpena has some of the best shopping in the area. It is definitely the "go to " place for gift giving. It is so easy to find a place in the country for hiking, snowmobiling, running, or hunting. The list goes on and on. Northeast Michigan cares so deeply for our residents, but opens their arms to visitors. Art is everywhere and is becoming more abundant everyday. I have been at live theaters throughout the area and have always been wowed! I could go on forever, but I think it is clear to see that my family has embraced northeast Michigan. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. There is always something to do, something to learn, and something to see."
"Whenever we have visitors, we take them to the lake the break wall especially ... it's just such a beautiful place ... love the vastness of it ... so, living on a Great Lake is something I value more and more as I get older and contemplate the fragility of our natural resources."
"I value the way I was able to raise my children in a small and caring community like Alpena. When I moved here almost 25 years ago from San Diego I couldn't get over the fact that neighbors knew each other so well and looked out for each other. I have no regrets on the decision to move to my husband's hometown to raise our family!"
"As a recent transplant to the Alpena area from Metro Detroit the things my family enjoys most about living here are the fresh air, water everywhere you look, skies omit of endless telephone lines, strip malls and light pollution - you can see an endless amount of stars! But our favorite thing about Alpena and Northeast Michigan is the emphasis on family, outdoors and community over materialism and greed. We feel truly blessed to be part of our new community!"
"I would say the best way for me to put it, would be that one couldn't put a "value" on what I value the most about this place we call home. The relationships in my life with my family and friends that have flourished over the years of growing up a "small town" girl are priceless to me. It's not just any "small" community though, its half way between the Equator and the North Pole, we have a Great Lake that I have spent life looking at, swimming in, boating on and all around just feeling like these shorelines of Lake Huron is ours, those of us who live here I am sure would agree. You can go 20 miles one way and find more sparkling Lakes, or 20 miles another way and get intentionally "lost" in some of the most beautiful woods. This place and its people always come together good times and bad, this was proven to me once again last night at Starlight beach, where some light was sent up to the stars. Thank you for giving myself and others a little gently nudge to inspire and be inspired!"
"What I value most about living in A-Town is the sense of community that still exists and is so desperately needed all across our nation. People, neighbors and friends who have a genuine interest in the well-being of their friends and neighbors, that celebrate births, graduations, new businesses and the successes of each other, but also share in the heart ache and pain and grief that are also part of a community. We are unique and blessed to still understand what community is really all about in A-Town."
Now it's your turn. What do you value most?
Mary Beth Stutzman's Inspiring A-Town appears bi-weekly on Tuesdays.