I can remember moving from in town Franklin Avenue to the country and a Maine farm setting when three years old.
That is not my earliest memory. Another in the video slide show as a little shaver was clear as a bell too. Coming down the stairs of the home in town as the sun rises. Sliding in sideways. Riding on long late summer bright hot beams from the east facing windows.
Wearing the one piece PJ’s with the front long zipper, the built in, attached slippers. Everyone was still asleep in the roost. It was an early Sunday morning. As I played I spy with my little brown eyes.
On the living room coffee table I saw a big glass bowl of potato chips. Parked on the rim with a metal holder perched a smaller glass condiment bowl. With a little french onion dip left in the bottom. Not all destroyed. I dipped a chip.
My parents had had some party, social gathering after I was tucked away on Saturday night.
To get ready for the Sandman’s visit, the sleepy seed planting.
But back to the other mental video loop in the head. Of the ride, the move from the first home to the country one. A neat Maine farm. An early 1950’s International pickup, dark green with the house cat, a total black one answering to the name Satan on board.
Held in Mom’s lap along with me. That got a little squirrelly. Darting out of her reach, squeezing out of her hold of only one arm. While the other held me in place. The not so social Tom cat was nervous, not a traveller. Hid in the floor under the pick up’s heater vent. I was not worried. I trusted my parents to keep me from harm’s way. They always made it better when things got dark or unknown entered the room.
Rounding the last turn on US Rt 2, The County Road outside Houlton Maine in Aroostook County the white set of farm buildings came into view.
And me glancing back at the oval glass window of the pickup truck. Taking in the sea of floor lamps, living room and bedroom furniture on the back stacked just so. For the short 1.5 mile jaunt to move the household belongings. From A to B. And help my Aunt Hettie on the return trip loaded with her things in the swap places.
Why move to a Maine farm, to embrace country living?
Best move my parents ever made. My three older brothers and I turned out happy, grateful, positive spirited due to it. We were not lazy, could not be. Everyone works hard on a Maine farm, any agricultural enterprise on the planet. Happy, grateful, industrious. Simple living in Maine not like other places.
Because if you are stuck in a city, you know all too well about the high cost, no space of urban living. The price of crime, lack of trust your neighbor, high insurance and property taxes. If you can afford the sticks and bricks. That sit on zero lot lines, with dead bolts, window bars. No back, side, front lawns. But only a couple strips of what a lawnmower could crew cut in fifteen minutes tops.
The all the way around the expensive home sweet home.
Or apartment, cooperative unit in a high rise with no lawn. No garden, garage, back yard to play, unwind, kick back and relax. 10 reasons kids should spend time on a farm.
Lots of folks enjoy the out of Maine home, area they started out in. Until the population explodes. And the “where the frig did all these people come from” occurs. How do you turn off the tap, or kink the hose?
Feeling like when you’re lost in thee woods.
. Stumbling around in the dark. And you don’t know you are lost at first. It takes a while for that reality to sink in. And years go by, but the lost feeling grows. Becomes the unhealthy normal. And you fool yourself into believing everything will return to the small town friendly fuzzy that it was. (Loud buzzer sound) Wrong.
Run away. How about a Maine farm, something on the water, an in town Victorian in a small Maine town? To own a mom and pop grocery, small business to put your family to work? Want to?
Are you bewildered, feeling like you have lost your way along the life path you thought you were on?
Wishing the good old days, where you were being raised would return? Consider Maine. And realize maybe you are a tad battle weary, shell shocked, depressed. And like being disoriented out in the woods, you don’t even know which direction the sun shows up, goes to bed anymore. Have a seat.
“The lotus is the most beautiful flower, whose petals open one by one. But it will only grow in the mud. In order to grow and gain wisdom, first you must have the mud — the obstacles of life and its suffering. … The mud speaks of the common ground that humans share, no matter what our stations in life. …
Whether we have it all or we have nothing, we are all faced with the same obstacles: sadness, loss, illness, dying and death. If we are to strive as human beings to gain more wisdom, more kindness and more compassion, we must have the intention to grow as a lotus and open each petal one by one.”
― Goldie Hawn
But space helps, less people too make the ones around you more special. The connection strong and the urge to pitch in, be a regular volunteer in a small Maine town. People grieve together in small Maine towns. They celebrate together and everything is richer, stronger.
Hunger improves the taste.
Everything earned, waited for, not a hand out and quick or easy. But the best things in life are appreciated more right?
The Pine Tree State, want a patch of dirt to raise good wholesome organic farmed Maine food. That you know where it all came from, how it was raised. That you peddle at a local Maine farmers market to generate some cash.
To heat with wood from your own back forty acres.
Not have to pay dearly for it from some mostly sand, far away country.
Bartering for goods and services. Fixing most of the vehicles, equipment in your yard, the buildings on your Maine land yourself. Slow but sure and feeling more empowered, self satisfied. In control of your destiny.
Which comes first, happiness or gratitude? Simple living, feeling normal, in balance, in synch with your surroundings in all natural Maine. Looking for some of that?
Create it on your own Maine farm. Not pushing and shoving to get around or away from the wall to wall, not so happy people. That become that way when life is moving too fast, costing too much in all ways. And the littlest pleasures are missed. That usually happen outdoors, any of the four seasons on Maine farm land you own, tend, improve, pass on.