Maine is a state where folks are pretty cross trained.
Not narrow and super duper at one or two things only. Jack of all trades and pretty masterful in many. Or they have a family member that is skilled. A country neighbor down the road who knows how to braze, weld, fix and repair. Lots of the local community has talents in the DIY department. It is learn how to or go without for take your pick choices.
In a state where you don’t need to be flush with cash. Just be a true friend to others and tit for tat , back and forth starts up, never stops.
Was buying a new camera lens at the local Maine Wally World over the weekend.
And the store clerk I knew was talking about fiddle heads. She had hit the mother lode, a diamond mine of the Maine delicacy. And like we do with vegetable gardens, fruit patches, when we bake stuff. Mainers always grow, have more than we need. And half the fun is giving it away. Delivering it in person or with a heart felt handwritten note but no name. To someone that is so appreciative.
But those on the receiving end want to pay you back, do you a favor in Maine.
. Everyone more givers, than just takers. And they do the return scratch your back in very creative ways. Asking around for just the right gift if they don’t have a strong inkling from past conversations. Just knowing the person and what they enjoy or are struggling with and could really use. Hey, where did that cord of cut, split, delivered, just the right stove length wood come from that suddenly showed up one day?
No one knows, everyone but you knows. Get used to it if you are moving, relocating to Maine.
Usually home made something. Hand made and one of a kind. Everyone has their specialty whether it is my Mom’s Olympic medal winning cinnamon rolls if they gave out the gold, silver, bronze.
Or a handicraft, photo, fresh cut flowers arranged just so. A decoration with your family name on it. Maybe providing a service you need. Like snow blowing or plowing out your driveway, mowing a lawn. Help buttoning up the house with banking for a Maine winter.
Delivering a mince meat, or some other Maine flavor of heirloom pie.
This lady who provided the fresh feeds of early fiddle heads. All picked, cleaned, fresh and ready to steam, sprinkle on vinegar. She got her just desserts.
She had mentioned wallpapering her bedroom but short on cash in a conversation a few weeks back. Voila. Seven rolls of pretty wallpaper picked up for a song at Marden’s were dropped off with a smile. Along with the hind quarter of a Maine moose hit last fall on the highway. That was ready to portion out for the family size of the new holder. Open up that chest freezer and say AHHHhhhhh. Tasty about to happen.
But wait there’s more. A random act of kindness plays forward. Comes back ten fold. No good deed goes unrewarded. Help putting up the wallpaper part of the gift. The giver had purchased the wallpaper for her home but decided she liked her bedroom just the way it was after all. Her friend needed it more.
The sweetest gifts to give are the ones you cherish the most, old family items.
And the recipient knows they are near and dear. But you parted with them anyway. To see the joy you could cause. Letting it go. Sharing it.
The hand quilted or stitched Maine needle work. The farmer down the road who slam bam lowers the plow, harrow, then disc to make a smooth seed bed for your precious garden.
With his red, green, blue, whatever color field tractor. To help you get on your knees. Grateful, you’re already a prayer. But also for planting those garden seedlings.
Those young plants started, babysat indoors before it’s warm enough to go outside to play, stay. Until fall harvest or earlier pick and place along spring and summer. For the family supper table eat and greet. Of green peppers, tomato and other vegetables perched on the glass sun porch window ledge first.
Or with old newspapers reused, laid out on unfolded card tables. For cucumbers, the rest of the veggie tales line up. And populating the high test soil, the perlite filled peat containers. All those skyward pointed green chutes. Reaching hard on their tip toe roots for that grow light. Or to drink up, thirsty for the Sun’s rays when he shows up. Comes out to play.
In small Maine towns, payback for favors could be a beach.
Letting someone use your camp on a Maine lake or in the woods on a river for a week. When you know they have company coming and not enough room. Will be splitting at the house seams.
Or for a second honeymoon, to re-new your sacred vows as a couple, alone. With only furry four legged wildlife, song birds, jumping fish as witnesses next to the running water setting.
During amazing sunsets, an outdoor cooked over a fire meal for two. With the best seat in Maine for dining. For the re-taking of the sacred pledge. Grateful for each other, your partner. For the generous folks rooting, supporting the knot tying long ago, along the way. For you, the pair, the entire family in a small Maine home town. Come to Maine, feel the strong connection.