You climbed the corporate ladder and are coming back to the state where you were raised, Maine.
This blog post is not so much for the local that left and returned. More geared for the never been here for a long stint of time. Just maybe liked the place because of a few vacation stop experiences.
Well, for starters there is the actual making the move itself and here are a few tips for how to reduce the stress. And to have it down pat on what to do, when and why for a time table check list.
But now that you are here, adjusting the goggles to see life in a small Maine town is different than the way folks move and groove, shimmy and shake in a large city.
For starters, the locals have the home court advantage. Are established, involved, work pretty hard to make the small Maine town what it is.
But lots of room for more talent to add to the small town community flavor. Whatever you enjoyed in your life giving back to the wherever you lived before are areas to apply locally in Maine too. But holes, spaces where someone passed on that used to hold down a certain event is a place to step in and help out.
The experiences outside Maine are valuable to add to the local mix of what we offer to make the town stand out brightly. What distinguishes it from the other over 400 that dot the landscape in Maine. Small Maine towns are big on youth activities.
Whether it is sports, children’s theater, a haunted hayride, play ground improvement, nature trail development, church event, or anything youth oriented, it gets lots of volunteer and financial support. Job shadowing, career days, passing on the traditions of farming, lumbering, fishing are a big part of the Maine culture.
Also, winter is one of the season, not the only one.
We don’t hibernate. It is not the land of igloos. That is further up the globe. We live outdoors all four seasons in Maine. Do dress a little different to match the hanging, displayed month on the calendar.
Forget what you heard about winter from your out of state hair dresser or guys down at the club who have never set foot in Maine.
We watch the national news. And when we see life come to a halt in a city because of a couple inches of snow and drivers and maintenance crews can not keep up, we mutter “amateurs”.
Less people, a lower population makes winter driving easier. Not so many people to watch out for on the roads in Maine. Lots of wildlife though. And in Maine we have the equipment, the experience with snow and a work ethic to get the job done the most efficient, professional way possible. More on Maine weather, the climate.
The move to Maine is motivated because of all we have here that was missing or came at a high price in the city right?
Or lower cost real estate, living debt free and stretching the fixed income monthly checks part of the sizzle. A better place to raise your kids where the village helps in the process of getting them reared right. And the outdoor natural beauty that is respected, protected and all pure, unspoiled.
But get involved, don’t expect folks beating down your door to be dying to meet you. They are busy, industrious and just waiting for you to step up and pitch in. They are connected and related to lots of the neighbors. And in border towns to folks on both sides of the International boundary. Remember, Maine borders Quebec, New Brunswick Canada too.
“The way we did it back where I lived before … “
Go easy on that one. The tone better not be one that is “you guys here are idiots”. If it is heard enough times how stupid the locals are for doing this, this and this coupled with lots of “back in Jersey, Mass, NY..” wherever it was you remind the locals you came from in your past.
Harsh criticism never gets good results. Just like the Pirate logic of the beatings will continue until the attitudes, comradery improves. Resentment, and pulling back happens. For that first year at least, the locals can complain, but you new to these parts can not. Listen, learn, fit in and find a way to work hard to make everyone glad you are in the small Maine town.
Also, what worked well in a populated area to support the event might not in small town Maine.
Simple economics, not enough heads to pay to have what a city supported. Maine is home grown not store bought anyway. Do it on a everyone pitch in and make it like the pot luck supper simple, easy, rich and pleasing.
Don’t let your feelings get hurt or be bent out of shape if your idea is not taken and run with and consider you are in a small Maine town which operates a little differently than the urban center you are used to for the day to day.
Be kind, a good listener, watch and learn. Pretty much the same advice anywhere you travel and are dropped into an area finding yourself new to these parts.
And hardware store, where is the place to buy no trespassing signs?
On no, don’t put those up. And snow sled trail markets, the ones for ATV across land, think before just pulling up all those stakes. You are going to want to explore and discover the local treasures.
Where you can not get by car or truck, only by foot. In small rural Maine the traffic on these trails is pretty limited. Just some friendly advice from a local, me in Maine. You could have the sign about I have a gun, own a back hoe to keep them guessing. But more for conversation, showing a different way of doing pretty much the same thing. Respect my Maine land, I will yours neighbor.
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