Looking back at challenges of first year in the area

As the first wave of heat makes its way toward the Hubbard Lake area, I cannot help but have two things come to mind. One, I really should invest in getting an air conditioner, and two, this summer more than likely will be one of the busiest summers I have had in a while.

Two weeks from now, will mark a full year since I moved to the Alcona County area. I was beginning to get use to the loud cars, steaming sewers, and hot sidewalks in the heart of Lansing before I packed my things to live here. The majority of my first summer in the city was spent with friends at the nearest Mediterranean restaurant or the local Barnes & Noble. Both of which were well known to have the same temperatures as an iceberg the entire summer. Fast forward to last summer, the only thing to keep me company was a raccoon holding a conversation with a local bird building a nest above my living room window.

Looking at it now, I spent the majority of last summer either packing, unpacking, swimming, or talking to the birds. Since I moved roughly at the end of June, it was quite difficult to find a job. Especially when we only had one car shared between us for a month or two, and had to use a GPS to navigate us to the local supermarket. I can only imagine my attempts to make it to an interview if I had the chance. Amongst trying to figure out the basic layout of Alpena, I was also a week shy from scheduling classes that I needed to attend to at the end of August. I was a newlywed, not from here, and completely lost. I kissed my summers at my favorite restaurant goodbye and welcomed those long three months up north instead.

Time has changed along with the seasons. I look out my window and the bird nest is placed in a tree this time. I can enjoy Hubbard Lake a bit more now that my husband and I have kayaks. I visit with a friend or two roughly once or twice a week as an excuse to come up to Alpena before weekly grocery shopping takes place on the weekends. I keep active by taking my kayak out to watch the sunrise and then fall when my husband gets home from work. We even go on long walks in the evenings to continue the constant activity.

It seems as though I now have a basic routine established to keep me busy on days that continue to pass by in the summer heat. Yet I highly doubt I will have many days like these for the next two months.

This coming Sunday will not only be a time for a phone call to wish my father-in-law a Happy Father’s Day, but it also will be shared with my husband as we celebrate making it through our first year as a married couple. It has been quite interesting to say the least.

Everyone says the first year is always the hardest. Personally I feel that they over estimated us when we said our vows. I will agree it was quite difficult, but not in the ways they may have expected. We have been strangely content with one another and rarely fight.

It was the challenges that we faced instead. For instance, three days after my last exam from my first fall semester, my car decided it was time to take its last stop five feet before I had to turn into my driveway. I managed to get the old 1999 Mercury Sable a ride for what it was worth. It decided to pass on at 280,000 miles with a quarter of a tank of gas. It was difficult for us to find a replacement within a month before spring semester would begin in the middle of January. Especially when there weren’t many cars on the market within our budget. Compromising on something so stressful was what made us realize that it was things like shopping for a new car that made the first year the hardest.

Ironically enough, Sunday we will celebrate what we have overcome as it is the first event that is taking place this summer. The irony is we will be spending the majority of it replacing the timing belt in my husband’s car. The following week we will be heading up to Tahquamenon Falls as our first camping trip with friends and will have many more to follow afterward. I had the idea that sharing my activities would make an interesting series and provide yet another source of entertainment for the public. I will confess that I am preparing myself for the pranks my friends are promising will take place during these trips.

Here’s to the last couple of weeks of spring and to the beginnings of the summer season!

Hannah Hobbs is a millenial, a wife and a college student living in Hubbard Lake. Her column will appear bi-weekly on Saturday.


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