I've lived about four years in the Petoskey/Harbor Springs area, and every time I'd drive along 131, I'd crest that hill in front of the hospital, the harbor would come suddenly into view - gorgeous blue, sparkling, flanked by rolling hills. It never failed to touch me; I was always struck by the thought of how lucky I was to live there.
I moved back to Alpena two years ago, and have certainly not regretted the move. While walking near downtown Alpena last evening, I turned onto Second Avenue and was blown away: just enough snow to dust the sidewalks lit up under illuminated trees and streetlights with Christmas wreaths. It's a sight as lovely as anything I've seen - if you haven't strolled downtown after dusk, I encourage you to do it now. Just see if you don't find yourself sighing in relief and thinking the same thoughts: We are lucky to live here.