Ever since I was a young kid in the '70s visiting my grandparents' cabin in Atlanta, which was unfortunately sold off outside the family before I reached my teenage years, I've always wanted to be up north. However, I didn't always realize this. Growing up Downriver, going off to college, a stint in the Marine Corps, various factory jobs, marriage and modern life had thoughts of up north forgotten for much of my adult life. Then I had a stroke a couple years ago which temporarily blinded me. In my mid-40s. High blood pressure I wasn't aware of struck. A thing like this, very scary, makes you reexamine your life. What you're doing, where you're at, what's stressing you and perhaps most importantly, what you may be missing. Upon regaining my sight after a few weeks, I told the wife we needed to take a vacation somewhere, something we'd never done. She's originally from Out West so we decided it was time for her to see northern Michigan, which I myself hadn't seen since I was a kid. The Atlanta area, Montmorency County, will always be the up north ideal I remember from back then, so a visit there was obvious. The old family cabin was not an option so I'd like to thank the Atlanta River Cabins for an affordable last-minute place to stay that first trip back. Went by the old family place that no longer looks like how I remembered it, but Crooked Creek where it crosses S. Airport Road, down the street from the cabin and where I spent a lot of time fishing and goofing off as young boys do, looked exactly the same. I got out of the car, looked at it and wept. I was home. Did a lot of traveling around the entire northeastern lower that trip and both the wife and I decided we really like Presque Isle County, too. For subsequent trips over the past couple years we stayed at NettieBay Lodge, near Hawks, another great place. We also realized we liked the Alpena area, too, after a lot more miles everywhere around the region. Now, one of the first things we noticed on the first trip and each trip after, my blood pressure dropped greatly while up there. Then it hit me last year, I need to be up north. Like right now. Permanently. For my health (and sanity!). Unfortunately, wife's work, one of the big health insurance companies, had nowhere up north for her to transfer. Traverse City was the only option and we aren't interested in the sunset side at all. And then the China virus happened. After her being put on work from home for the first couple months, with no end in sight, I began seeing opportunity where most others were seeing doom and gloom. I told her to inquire as to how permament the working from home situation was looking and if it was possible they'd consider letting her move to northern Michigan, assuming a hi-speed internet connection. We didn't get a straight answer for awhile but were told permanent work from home status for some employees was definitely something the company was looking at and they'd let us know. Well, we got the green light in late summer and began the search for a new home. After being outbid on homes in/near Hillman and Alpena (the market is crazy right now), we found the perfect place in Ossineke and got it. Doing closing and getting the keys next week. The plan is to move up permanently next Spring, while visiting often over the winter. And then I'm up north. For good. Where I belong.