When you live in Maine, so much of our recreation somehow revolves around kids, our area youth.
Our own or the communities. Or maybe the state’s when it is a festival like the Maine State Instrumental and Vocal Jazz event being hosted in Houlton Maine this weekend.
Even when your kids are grown, flown and left the nest and not around to say good night Elizabeth, Jim Bob and John Boy, you pitch in.
Small town volunteers, like migrant workers labor around the community. Because of the habit established with your own quiver of issue being involved in the events. And the tradition continues. It is way more fun working an event, being on the front lines than just attending them. Like small town Maine life, there is a deeper connection to the local community. The place would not be the same if any single person was missing. All play a part. Your purpose and enjoyment in just being lucky to live in a small Maine town. Which is the paid in full reward.
Talked to a fellow who’s drove the bus for Bonny Eagle High Schools who had worked as a lobsterman. Married an Aroostook County girl from the Fort Fairfield area. Who was staying in Millinocket, over and hour away. To return Saturday, today with the yellow bus of high school jazz musicians. Motels in the area were that full with 2300 “suddenly students” happening in the Shiretown.
Eating the home made chili and scoffing down a chef salad, topping it off with a pair of chocolate chip cookies the Houlton Music Boosters supplied, we talked about how special living in Maine is.
He has two kids, youngest a boy of twenty three, an older daughter involved in the special Olympics of Maine as a child.
He agreed that when you live in Maine, experience her full time we are spoiled. Not one week a year if we are lucky to tramp and explore Vacationland. No no, every day a chance to be in awe, to learn from her beauty, peace, seclusion. Coming up Interstate 95 when he passed the spot north of Medway where Mt Katahdin topped with whipped new snow, he glanced over and it hit him that he is lucky to live in Maine. Mainers are filled with a sense of gratitude, wonderment everyday. It sustains and makes the economic uncertainties of living in a rural sparsely populated state not flush with cash rich, more rewarding.
He said he and his wife love to camp and when the kids got older their children’s love for it waned.
So mom and dad continued to use their LL Bean tent. Everything stowed in plastic tubs and ready to go when the mood hit, the schedule allowed. Collecting state parks around Maine one by one. He said their favorite around West Quoddy Head area Downeast and Cobscook Bay State Park. I told him I am on a kick collecting lighthouses in Maine. And the one that’s red and white striped I think is the prettiest of the group of sixty eight. Although there are some close rivals, contender lighthouses in Maine for the blue ribbon. A chartered boat to get to the lighthouses not so land lubber friendly is on the calendar for this summer. He gave me a couple names from his lobsterman travels on where to hitch a ride toting a telephoto lens and camera gear to add to my collection.
The bus ride took 35 gallons of diesel he learned while fueling up at the Irving Big Stop in Houlton Maine. It will chew up more on the down to Millinocket, return north to Houlton round trip before heading back to Southern Maine. The local economy swells with a musical event in more than currency. Exchange of students from other schools, and the support team they are hitched to, dragged to the current event venue all benefit big time. Maine is one big vast state and the people are the jewels too, not just the Gulf Hagas and other pretty settings.
Busy day of real estate showings in Maine but back to the musical jazz festival to pitch in late this afternoon. And to sample more good food, listen to the talent from around the state. And enjoy the energy youth provide small town living in Maine. This weekend it’s music, other ones tied to sports, theatre, or other competitions designed to prepare kids for the world out there in the wild blue yonder. Houlton Maine again the host festival community for 2014 state Jazz festival competition too!