This is our second year, East of the Equator. First and foremost, we love it here. WE LOVE IT HERE. You may get that if you follow my blog, my fb page and my twitter stream. It's all about the hashtag love #Oscoda. There is a curious part about being up here that I hadn't anticipated ... and I should have, knowing that it is the story behind many movies - local townies and summer folks. Think Dirty Dancing. Or Mystic Pizza. I will say that the times when I have been in and around town have, for the most part, been delightful, sometimes dangerous (those drivers...) and always an adventure. For all 10 or so blocks of "downtown."
I will go on with a little more of my perspective of small town living. And here is where it gets personal. I was standing in line at Glen's, a local grocery store, and I heard one woman say to another, "you can tell it's tourist season. Everything is packed. They are such a pain in the ass." The other woman nodded in agreement.
I felt myself nodding too - the traffic, (okay friends in LA, don't mock me here) the lines, the waits in stores ... until I realized, hey she is talking about me.
They were talking about me. I was the pain in the ass standing right behind them. I thought about saying something, like, "ladies, I am the pain in the ass here" but then thought better of it, not wanting (staying with the word) to get my ass kicked.
That remark stayed with me. Though I get it. This small city swells in the summer. The roads are full of SUVs pulling jet skis, carrying kayaks, hauling campers. They slow traffic down on the only major thoroughfare north and south. Frankly, they annoy me. I wanted to respond and didn't know how. I guess this will have to suffice.
Yes, it's me. I am the pain in the ass. But I would hope that you could see me as something more, especially when:
...I shop at the local grocery store. Spending money on groceries that helps keep jobs in this community;
...I eat at Taits, Wiltses, G Pizzeria, Bavarian Inn, all local places that need (and deserve) our investments to help tide them over during the off seasons;
...I pop into Branham's and buy a small bauble, knowing I could find it for less online but wanting to see small local places thrive;
...I used an Oscoda realtor (a fabulous realtor) to help us find our piece of heaven on earth that paid her a commission;
...we employed a local general contractor (who does amazing work) to do the upgrades on our cottage. And referred him to several other friends for jobs;
...we happily pay our non-homestead taxes.
I am not looking for gratitude. What I would appreciate and encourage is different perspective. We are part of the larger revenue stream that helps keep this community going. I would hope that you could see us as partners. Despite the fact that GMA viewers said Sleeping Bear Dunes is the most beautiful place in the country, I think it's here. There isn't a more gorgeous place to me on this earth than Oscoda and AuSable.
Let's make it work together.