The pros and cons to being a country or city mouse creates a long list to ponder.
Maine is a collection of spread out smaller towns. Over a vast area of land in a pretty big state. That by all rights should be in Canada. Due to its tucked away, up here all by herself. In the right hand corner of the country, end of the line, last outpost like location.
The major lifestyle distinction that hits you with small Maine rural communities is you don’t just live there.
Or simply attend events. You are knee deep in the activities that happen around you. Working behind the scenes and often out in the open so the activity can happen. Because without the home grown involvement from the grassroots up, it would not occur. Not the financial resources to stage, hire it all done. So the local community happenings are richer. Extra special because of the locals putting their back into it in tons of creative ways. To be better than last year’s due to every individual having an integral part. Stepping up, depended on as we all divide up what needs doing.
Besides relying, needing each other to step up and participate in a small Maine town community event, you know all your neighbor on a first name basis. Fewer of them because no sprawling subdivision of Maine homes happens. No neck straining Jack and the Beanstalk high sky scrapper housing projects happen. Large doses of land surround the majority of Maine homes. Many towns with country happening in less than a half mile in any direction surrounding the burg, borough, plantation. We eat better locally grown Maine food too.
No stop light waiting happens in a little traffic, smaller Maine town.
Because of working events from your kids sports, church, school functions to serving on local municipal and civic club boards, you begin to know most people in your community. When you wander into a hardware store on a break from a household project, the clerk and you coached little league. You ask how his mom is doing from her surgery. You know from conversations and local news she took a bad spill a few weeks back. Awareness of others, even worry, a prayer happens in small Maine towns.
You never feel alone, the doors are unlocked, there is just not the daily major crime happening in a small Maine town.
Small Maine towns are filled with a friendly atmosphere. Each smiling member knows they have a distinct part, role in being there. And would be missed, it would be noticed if they were missing. As the void created when a member does pass on and an opening for all the many roles they filled are one by one filled. As other town residents step forward to help out. Continue the tradition in the memory of the beloved volunteer who contributed so much over the years. And set the example for all to follow.
Walk in to a small Maine restaurant, stop for a coffee and pastry, donut at a local convenience store and plan for a conversation.
To be updated on how this or that project is going. To learn who just got back from vacation and pretty much get up to date on how it went this year. Hear how glad they are to be back, how much they missed home. After being in the bright lights, big city entertainment vacation location. Where you attend events, not plan and work them.
Or anything pertaining to our Maine youth, hear the beaming pride for the up and coming basketball, hockey, soccer or whatever team. Doing their part hustling to put the small Maine town on the map. Getting countywide, state level or bigger recognition for the small Maine community to buzz about.
Try to walk a town street, a country road in Maine and not have plenty of motorists roll down the window. Slow to a stop as they ask if you need a lift. Look at your watch and smile as how fast more than one pair of jumper cables shows up as you raise the hood of the station wagon, pickup, jeep when the battery goes click click click dead. For a boost showing you are not alone, that someone cares. And knows you have returned the same favor many times during your stint in a short life in a small Maine town.
Teachers know the kids, watch them grow up in a small Maine village. Had their brother or sister a few years back.
Sat with the same set of parents at private school conferences on how Jane or Jimmy is doing in his or her class this year. In the partnership of what to help with at home discussed together. To provide the 3 “R’s” to gain as much as possible from the valued, respected educator, parents, and student team.
Being more resourceful with what you have, not what you whine about wishing you had. Kids learn early on to make the most of it, be grateful for the silver lining in everything that happens to you. To turn any event good or bad into something useful for a take away. So red flags, missed cues are collected, remember the next time to obtain different results.
Small town Maine living means outdoor fun hiking, biking, fishing, swimming and more.
Being lucky to live in Vacationland with no or very low cost four season entertainment all around you. Year round, not just one vacation week a year and that’s all she wrote until the calendar traded in for a new one. Awareness of the natural beauty that is respected around you taught to kids. Where grandparents on open porches or picnic outings make sure the wisdom of what their longer years has taught them is shared with the rest of the family to benefit, learn from to make life richer. And simpler.
Yeah, I am high about living in a small Maine town. Fun to hit a city for a sporting, entertainment, dining experience but always glad to be back in Aroostook County. The place I am so glad to call home.