Returning recently from a trip out of state, I am once again reminded of how great life is here on the North Shore. Those of us who work here trying to make a living can get rather focused on deadlines, appointments and racing around trying to keep the business going. For sure at times we do forget to “smell the roses” and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us. But, I’m certain every resident in Cook County appreciates the views, lake moods, wildlife and general scenery here. That’s how most of us came to live here. Yet, when I see a visitor sitting on the beach for an hour pondering the vast blue sea spread out to the horizon, I sometimes wonder how that scene can command such attention for so long. Then, I remember my feelings as a kid when we’d crest the hill on I-35 in Duluth and get that first glimpse of the St. Louis River, the Duluth/Superior cityscape and the huge expanse of Lake Superior. What huge excitement to see such a foreign vista for Midwesterners on a vacation, and only a short driving distance from the Great Prairie. Even more awe surfaced when cresting the hill entering Grand Marais from the west and seeing the highway run down to Wisconsin Street and on into the endless blue at street’s end. Wow, you could easily sit and take it all in for an hour. Maybe I’ll have to schedule an appointment…just me and the big lake.