Back in 2001, a Maine farm property we had listed was not selling.
So because the rear portion of this rectangular parcel of Maine land bordered another year round roadway, the back 20 acres was sold off. The couple who bought it were not flush with cash. Did not have highly lucrative weekly income streaming into a bank savings account.
Eleven years later, I get a call about listing the land in Maine.
When I turn signal into the 550′ long driveway I am impressed with what I see. The drive in shows flowers beds, landscaped grounds. Neat as a pin. As my jeep arrives in the main dooryard, an antique barn appears to the south of the Maine land. The couple had bought an old barn in Amity Maine for $500. Carefully dismantled it, reassembled the hand hewn beams with considerable patience, pride, love and respect.
The barn had been used for horses with two box stalls years before my visit to list the property. But now the second floor hay loft instead of housing tidy rows of square bales, was a place to make music. To relax in the loft with friends who also played, were musicians of sorts too. Warm, comfortable colored lighting, the upper level of the gable roof line making this “space” inviting. I could mentally hear the jam sessions, laughter, time spent on a Saturday night socializing in the barn loft.
Outside the wife had been very industrious, on her knees creating perennial flower gardens of all sorts.
Placed in just the right spots. The perfect size for balance and placement to add to the setting. The couple had started with just Maine land. And cleared sections with a chainsaw together and not modern expensive woods machinery. You get an idea of what this couple is capable of together with creativity, patience but not flush with cash. And grateful, rich in gratitude, joy, a sense of inner peace radiating from both.
Demonstrating living in “Maine gentile poverty” and smiling ear to ear in their day to day life. Not in a hurry or seemingly ham stringed by lack of funds, resources. Creating their own pathway of building a neat, hidden farmette country setting in the Northern Maine, Aroostook County outside Houlton Maine.
The garage was moved in from another location a few towns away.
Like the Maine barn, it came with next to nothing for cost in dead Presidents, sawbucks. But sweat equity, putting their back in to making the relocation move from where it was to the new spot on the Maine land the “expense”. I toured the inside and everything had a place. A a once basket case 18 year old Harley black motorcyle parked gleaming. A source of deep pride with the Maine bike owner. An addition for winter heating wood stacked, filled and awaiting snow flakes in the weather forecast attached to this garage / heated workshop.
The cost for the modern septic system, drilled well, bringing power in 550′ feet, adding the multiple loads of gravel for a driveway, parking lot, base for the Maine house all done for $8000. Selecting a low low budget local earth contractor. Who lived down the road, a neighbor with zero overhead picked for the frugal operation. Everything for contracting machinery around him long long paid for and who still charged contracting prices based on a twenty years ago payment schedule.
Because money was not readily available, highly resourceful methods and thinking came into play to create the Maine country home and land development.
I am impressed with this couple and their quiet yet successful approach to create a loving Maine farm property from scratch. Using what they had to work with “reallocated” around them. Items some would classify basket case, trash not treasure.
The Maine home is a classic. Two identical 1969 New Yorker mobile home trailers lived in by a mother and an Aunt that never had wild parties. Where lights were out by nine pm. Scripture verses quoted, hung through out the cared for homes as reminders on how to live life cleanly, simply, Godly.
The Pennsylvania made homes were bought singularly and spent most of their life alone.
But now joined together in marriage as one with the help of a bulldozer. That hooked a cable to one frame. To snug it tightly, get it up close and personal to the other. While down below the owner added ready rod to the two frames. Then tightening the bolts to complete the cinching together operation on the lower end of things. The cherry on top? The new metal roof added to shed snow over both now Siamese twin units. To prohibit leaking that flat roof mobile homes of that vintage are famous for in Maine snow country.
Inside the Noah’s ark of “two of everything” inventory of rooms meant deciding which kitchen is best. How to reconfigure two Maine homes into one and all the renovations, removal, put back in construction. Again with the materials they can afford, have on hand and lots of time to think the new floor plan out. Planning together. Sharing a common vision the husband and wife craft, create and dream about together.
Maine, money is not the end all and hard work, challenging yourself and enjoying the four season outdoor natural beauty is.