When you own a Maine lake or river camp with power but not a public plowed road, the electrical provider if you have juice stratches its head.
The minimum monthly electrical charge where I live and am served by Houlton Water Company that supplies the electricity to a summer home is $3.67.
Here is who else covers the string of electrical line transmission door to door delivery of power in Northern Maine.
Yesterday I got a bill for out at the lake cottage of a little over $90. Hmmm … I think. Did I leave something on? What’s plugged in or do I have company?
But at the same time I know the routine for the meter reader with the notebook or wireless device for reporting back into the power beehive HQ.
I knew but forgot.
Rather than trudge into read the power meter to see if any extra electricity was tapped, the local utility estimates. Sends an average of last year’s total use of power. Divided by twelve.
So no one gets a big whopping hard to handle utility bill. That they struggle with to catch up, to be running in the black in the check book expenses at the end of the month.
Monday night, had community play practice in Smyrna at the Merrill Historical Museum. New play about Mother Goose nursery rhymes getting underway.
After practice reading lines, on the way back home, took the exit for US Rt 2 to hang a right on the Campbell Road. Had to check. To head to the north shore of Drews Lake and see if anything was left on to draw power that would cause a bill.
Nope. With snow sled boots under a full moon I wandered into take a looksie around the joint. But nothing left on, the main circuit breaker down and out cold.
But going in and coming out after locking up, the brilliance of a Maine night sky hit me. Maine. It is not like this many other places.
When you are in town or a city, light pollution cancels the night time star show overhead.
And you are busy watching where you go. Rather than gawking skyward to see if anything is falling.
Or up there flying over. In Northern Maine, you may see a life flight helicopter or a plane or two buzzing into KHUL in Houlton or PQI in Presque Isle’s airport landing strip.
That blinks here I am, please don’t hit me and thank you very much for keeping your distance overhead on the way by.
But in the country, in rural Maine the stars twinkling on a rich black bed of velvet sky steal the thunder. Up in the heavens with just the sound of your snow compacting sole crunching.
And then perfectly still happens. Look up, way up.
Not just a few but everywhere you look. Wall to wall stars of all colors, shapes, clusters, light radiating patterns on display.
It almost startles someone that has no experience with night star shows in a Maine winter clear sky. We all need to spend more time looking up. Do you own a telescope? Check out the Malcolm Francis Science Institute.
I remember a local science teacher in 8th grade taking all the students in one big flock out to check out the night sky of stars. Margaret Churchill RIP. You are missed in so many ways.
No tickets needed. Be glad to take in the light show free of charge, provided nightly in Maine.
Can you see the stars, have you forgotten they are out there somewhere overhead of where you live now? Get to Maine.
One of the darkest places on the planet. Not typed with Stephen King eerie forbidding tones. But dark in a good not sinister way. More on star gazing.
To see the best star light show, it is just like the movie theater. To see best, the lights have to be off.
Darkness opens up the sky if you take the time to head to Maine. Especially in winter but pick the season you can spare, like best. It’s all good as the kids say.
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MOOERS REALTY 69 North Street Houlton Maine 04730