Maine has some unique neighbors… Quebec on the west, New Brunswick Canada on the east.
Oh sure, New Hampshire to the south and bordering the “Down East” rock bound 228 miles of Atlantic ocean aren’t too shabby border partners either.
But Canada, a whole different country for border towns to experience up close and personal is a beautiful thing. Leaving the country without involving hundreds, thousands of miles or emptying your wallet. Becoming more aware of how things go, operate in other places outside your little corner of the world. Meeting new people and hopefully part of you rubs off on them while you learn from them is a healthy experience.
And it works both ways. Canadians from New Brunswick cross in to Maine to fill their car, truck, SUV gas tanks. To pick up some milk and load up on turkeys when they are sale. At least that’s my observation living in Houlton Maine, a Canadian border town.
When the US dollar and Canadian loonie are not close to the same value, the traffic one way or the other increases.
With free trade in North America alive and well, and when a local vendor does not exist for me to be Mr Chamber of Commerce, keep the money local, hopping across the US – Canadian border is a real easy option.
Sometimes the border hopping shopping is not for big savings on purchases either. It’s because you can get a brand of bread and butter pickles or pastry dough or some food item over there, that is not available this side of the International boundary line. The local Houlton Farms Dairy butter is almost as valuable as gold block equivalent sized bars and rationed. I’ve been told Canadian prefer our turkeys and their lower prices too. The Canadian beer, barley pop, is pretty popular this side of red, white and blue. Canadians like our gallons of gas better than their higher priced liters of petrol.
And when you consider few people in Maine border towns can pass the test of at least 25% Canadian blood, DNA in their system, we’re all one big happy International family.
Back and forth, more connected than someone “from away” would think, realize. Add to it a sport like hockey that Canadians are pretty skilled at, that is a major part of their heritage and history and the any International, cultural barriers existing get eroded, removed further.
Have two boys that played hockey from Mite level all the way up to varsity high school. Their hockey skills, progression with stick and skates are thanks in big part to many treks in to the New Brunswick Atlantic Canadian province. To chase the black circle around the sheet of ice striped with red and blue lines and nets of twine on each end of the arena rink.
Passion for hockey is a shared deep love no matter if you are waving a red maple leaf or stars and stripes flag.
I’m glad I live in Maine. But proud of family connections to Canada. And living so close to be able to head in to New Brunswick, Quebec Canada easily, often. Discover Northern Maine.