Life in a small Maine town.
Too slow for some, just a dream never realized to others. What’s important in your life has constants. No matter where you live. But there is a shift in how much of this, how little of that we desire. To improve the life experience.
Maine is outdoor living all four seasons. It’s all the missing things too. Like rush hour traffic, over the top crime, high cost of living that don’t roost here. Maine is the 46th lowest state for crime.
Raising kids outside of Maine was not something I wanted to do.
Known far back into time as a young grass hopper. I believed a small Maine town would work best. Shaping the shoots or is it chutes? No matter, you get the drift.
But travel to show the kids there is life beyond the village is important. To know you can not see the World from your kitchen window. To spread those wings. And for perspective to know how lucky you really are when you are lucky enough to be involved in the day to day of small town living.
The small things are the big things.
People are less in number but way friendlier. Hands go up instinctively when driving or walking a small town side walk. Eye contact made, hello is uttered. People smile in small Maine towns. Well unless instead of talking about the local sports team or family, the topic swings to politics or pushing a certain brand of religion.
When a car battery goes dead, look at your watch. With an engine compartment hood raised, it won’t be long for a jump start to arrive quickly.
Using your set or the good Samaritan’s red and black jumper cables to connect the battery terminals. And if that is not the problem, sticking around to try other roadside remedies. Or make sure help arrives to take the problem to the next step of resolution.
Does everyone in a small Maine town know each other?
They would like to. Give it enough time and yes, they pretty much do. There is a connection and the strong sense of we need to row the boat together. To survive, prosper and knowing all of us get out more than we put in when volunteerism becomes automatic. Whether helping set up or tear down for a benefit church supper, a school dance, coaching a little league baseball or whatever sport’s team.
Smaller circles cause the people who live in a small Maine town to come into contact too.
There is overlap because you and I are not on one board, or in just one group.
Everyone has a big or small part, but some role in a slew of things.
Kinda like needing a certain number of credits in a variety of educational disciplines to get the life diploma. To graduate to the next level.
Home grown and closer to the action is part of it living in a small Maine town. Not so much store bought or hired out happens. When the pockets are not bottomless deep but the heart’s are full to bursting with pride.
Wanting to help in whatever way possible drives the machinery. That’s the way life should be. Hey, that would be a great slogan for Maine huh?
Rich history in our families, over lap in who’s related to who and how closely or distantly.
And once a person steps up in a small Maine town to fit a role that does not usually have a long line of replacements for the task, you’re in. For life. Or as long as you can ride shot gun and oversee the event.
The people are the small town. Not the wood and brick structures, town hall or other municipal buildings all arranged just so within the grid work. Of old streets designed before the horseless carriages or tin lizzies plied them. And horses were king.
It’s the little things that all of them have but that just does not always get the four color glossy treatment or catchy sound bite coverage. Downeast Magazine has their opinion of which of the 450 small
Maine town’s stand out brightest. Depending on the benchmarks used. It just seems many of them are the tourist traps we don’t mind falling into when you have a license plate stamped with “Vacationland” above the bottom rim.
I think it is the unsung heroes in a small Maine town. The Pansy Burton’s, Win Dow’s who step up year after year. To make home made fudge or chocolate creme filled “logs”, whatever is their signature to die for dish.
Or Ken Wetmore working hours to create a lap strap cedar canoe. Or pegs by Porter, cribbage boards by Sylvester. For the local rotary auction fund raiser that pipelines money into the long list of much needed projects in a small Maine town.
This past weekend was tackling the job at a Maine farmstead with vim, vigor, gusto.
I picked up some gutter pipe, the securing elbows from SW Collins hardware store. A tool from Tractor Supply. Then tooled into store #1974, our local Walmart this past weekend to buy a can of red paint.
The last item for the cedar shingled dog house roof dying, longing, way over due for a drink of the oil based elixir. And in line at the check out, talking to the one in front, behind me and the cashier part of the conversation too. And then proceeded to walk out missing the can of barn red protective covering.
To hit Dunkin’ Donuts for muffins only to find as I headed for the Jeep in the parking lot that there’s Leo Hogan. In line behind me all Wally World, that retrieved the paint, ready to deliver with a smile.
Waiting beside my unlocked SUV, with unrolled window and passing me the forgotten loot. Thanks Leo.
You appreciate the small things in Maine towns.
The behind the scenes, other side of the curtain little gestures that go a long way. The helping hand not done for attention but because it’s the right thing to do. And the reward of joy inside because you didn’t have to but you did anyway.
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