Living in the OC: Why your editor loves this county.

January 12, 2016
Cross country skiing is one of many outdoor activities OCP Editor Allison Scarbrough enjoys in Oceana County. Pictured here, she is wearing a hunting coat that belonged to her late father, William Scarbrough. Her dad taught her an appreciation for the simple things in life that Oceana County offers.

Cross country skiing is one of many outdoor activities OCP Editor Allison Scarbrough enjoys in Oceana County. Pictured here, she is wearing a hunting coat that belonged to her late father, William Scarbrough, who taught her an appreciation for the simple things in life that Oceana County offers.

‘Living in the OC’ is sponsored by Springstead Law Offices, with locations in Hart and Fremont, 231-873-4022 (Hart), www.springsteadlaw.com.

By Allison Scarbrough. OCP Editor.

SpringsteadVertical_091015As I sit at my desk in my home office today, gazing out the window at the blowing and drifting snow, I am amazed by the beauty and power of nature here in Oceana County.

It is the gorgeous natural scenery, year-round, that keeps me in this area.

I grew up just across the county line in Montague, where I graduated from high school in 1987. After high school, I attended Central Michigan University for two years; followed by one year at Michigan State University; and ultimately obtaining my bachelor’s degree in liberal studies with a journalism concentration from Western Michigan University. Even though I transferred several times due to “trying to find myself” and figuring out what I wanted to “do for the rest of my life,” I still managed to graduate in four and a half years.

I have worked for several West Michigan newspapers over the years and have been published in the national magazine, “Grit.” Writing is something I have always enjoyed, and the profession has been extremely rewarding. There are times when my job can be frustrating, too, but the rewards far outweigh the frustrations.

In 2005, I obtained a one-year post-baccalaureate degree in paralegal studies from Davenport University. That allowed for the opportunity to work at a couple of law firms. The work was interesting, but not nearly as exciting as the world of journalism. Hence, I am back doing what I enjoy the most.

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Allison enjoying some outdoor time in Oceana County with her dad approximately 35 years ago.

I am a single mother to an 18-year-old daughter, who is now attending CMU as a freshman. We have lived in Oceana County since 2007, when we moved to Hart. But very recently, we moved to Grant Township near Rothbury, where we live with my boyfriend.

Life is good here in Oceana County. This time of year, I enjoy cross country skiing and snowshoeing in the lovely wooded terrain. I also enjoy downhill skiing, but usually travel north for that pursuit. Ice skating is another winter activity I enjoy.

I always look forward to spring time when I can hunt for morel mushrooms. My late father William Scarbrough, who passed away just this past August, always loved to hunt for mushrooms. So, this spring I have an added incentive to find some large “messes,” as they are called, of the elusive fungus.

Summer, of course, is the big season around here. Hitting the beach is one of my favorite things to do. I also enjoy kayaking, biking and hiking in Oceana’s gorgeous landscape.

In the fall, the brilliant colors are breathtaking. I consider early fall as Oceana County’s prettiest season. Long hikes through the woods and cozy campfires are just a few of the fun things I enjoy that time of year.

My dad owned property in Ferry when I was a kid, and we spent many sunny afternoons fishing for trout in Cobmoosa Creek. It was also a great spot for catching frogs. He built a treehouse in a magnificent maple tree in the center of the large field that he owned, and we would sit up there and take in the beauty of the countryside.

My dad, his brothers and his buddies spent a lot of time at “The Farm” as we called it, deer hunting, fishing and even a little actual farming. My dad raised cows there for a while, and then later Christmas trees. He also grew alfalfa, and I witnessed the difficult task of baling hay.

A young Allison Scarbrough, at left, with a friend enjoying the view of Cobmoosa Creek in Ferry Township.

A young Allison Scarbrough, at left, with a friend enjoying the view of Cobmoosa Creek in Ferry Township.

When I think back on those days, tears start to flow. But, I know my dad is smiling down on me as I am hard at work and and living in the safe environment of Oceana County.

Oceana County may not exactly be the mecca for nightlife or major retail shopping, but it offers nice restaurants and stores equipped with helpful, outgoing staff. The residents of Oceana are extremely friendly and nice people.

I have had some friends who live in more cosmopolitan settings ask me, “How can you stand to live so far away from everything?” Well, the answer is pretty clear — Oceana County has everything I need, plus more. OC is the place to be!

 

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