Spring in Maine, a time of yard work to repair the truck plowing lawn scars, to remove rocks air lifted in from the snow blower.
Sides of houses pressure washed to release the sand and salt residue that clings to the exterior. And garage doors thrown open high and the interiors swamped out and organized. Just like the cars and trucks we hunker down in when the white blanket covers the landscape in Maine.
Spring is a time when not just your Maine house cats, dogs, whatever pet that samples the two dishes through out the day acts a little funny. Like they are on too catnip.
Cabin fever from the being stuck inside a little more than you would like over winter intensifies as the snow banks surrender and the temperature rises in the tube sampling the air outside your kitchen window.
Free at last. Especially if you are in the elderly demographic of Mainers and worried sick for too long. About that hidden layer of glare ice that might be lurking under the new fallen snow. That snow adds lubrication to the polished ice formation like a moat causing house arrest. That makes conditions ideal for a broken hip or dislocated shoulder if the house dweller inside gets any ideas of a quick escape to Wally World, Piggly Wiggly or Mardens. No one wants the siren ride to the ER and the OR pin applied to the hip right?
Throwing open windows and house doors to exchange the air inside for the fresh stuff the other side of the insulated barriers.
Study intently of the online and newsprint canoe and kayak racing circuit schedule news. For trophies to add to the collection gathering dust in the bookcase or on the fireplace mantel. Or the row row or paddle your boat for just the sheer pleasure of floating, coasting with the current at your own pace. Down a winter run off engorged river or stream in Maine with fellow friends, family and neighbors that is a spring tradition for many in Maine. You see the green and red water craft leaning against garages, getting ready for the heave ho hoist to the rack on the back of pickups around Maine. As the angled yellow or red or stainless steel angled plow and frame come off the other end.
The vegetable seed catalogs have long ago been delivered and peat pots on old newspapers cover card tables and porch room window sills.
Both areas littered with jump started, sprouting vegetables to transplant because of they are the best areas to capture the all important sunshine.
That is invited into Maine homes lucky enough to have an eastern, better yet southerly exposure location. The pools of warm sunshine same areas cats like to lounge as they follow the yellow and red ball radiation of heat and light from room to room in houses around Maine.
Plans for a bigger garden this year with new editions that were not on the menu for family dining when harvested after the regiment of planting, weeding, watering, feeding in the labor of love. To serve your family, yourself and all the folks you share the excess bounty from the good old Earth that creates the all natural foodstuffs. In the piece of dirt that can be measured in feet, yards or acres depending on the size of the metes and bounds legal description in the deed to the house you call home in Maine.
Funneling the income tax return to needed repairs or to erase debt for the free and clear. That is part of spring’s ritual involving whether you owe or get a refund. Filling in driveway pot holes, pushing dirt back in to smooth out the runway stop and go. Spring means lots of exercising that involves ladders, holes, window washing and tightening, straightening what is loose.
New Year’s a regular time of resolutions for a better disciplined life as the ball drops and you kiss the one you love and rip off the month of December from the kitchen calendar.
But spring is a time of action to get results from the pledge IOU’s written under the influence of bubbly grape juice or barley pop or whatever firewater tickles the taste buds to fresh you in life celebrations and mile stones. Gratitude is riches and that blessing increases inside especially in spring. A time of renewed hope, faith and relief that robins and song birds return from the south along with lake loons who serenade us nightly as we circle our chairs around open fire pits for some outdoor gap fests and heart to heart therapy sessions.
Opening up the lake, woods, river camps in Maine.
Chasing out the mice who hung out while you were gone. Making a mental list transferred to the scribble on the job jar items that may be a little too ambitious for your back and wallet. But nonetheless created in gusto with prioritizing like the triage exercise in an emergency room. To determine whether the machine shed roof on a set of Maine farm property buildings trumps the replacement of the two windows or sliding doors that have lost their seal and fog over. Interfering with the view of the bird feeder that attracts winged delights of all kinds and a fair share of the cats and squirrels, chipmunks from around the neighborhood to shoo away with the daisy red rider broadcasting copper pellets.
Screwing back on or replacing hanging by one screw mud flaps. Getting a new windshield pinged by a sand truck rock on the way to the local sport’s team and their quest for a gold basketball or coveted hockey trophy. The new sheet of glass so the new vehicle inspection sticker can be applied to avoid the blue lights from Smokey Bear asking for license and your registration please.
Tending the wood home fires stops. Feeding the stoves and furnaces winds down. Next year’s tree length is delivered to prepared early for the next round of winter weather. Staying ahead of the heating curve.
Trips around Maine because you are lucky enough to live here and sample easily the delights of the many regions of Vacationland. Those are mulled over in the shower, humming while shaving with the guy you meet and greet each day in the bathroom mirror. Or while performing the thorough, deep spring cleaning where interior walls get scrubbed, curtains washed or dry cleaned and wardrobes exchanged. To slip into something more comfortable to match the weather in Maine now playing outside your home or camp or cottage.
Treks with picnic baskets to Baxter Park, down to the rugged rock bound coast line in Maine.
Hiking up the hills, biking around the islands that deliver whatever you peddle by ferry boats running on tight schedules when the Maine weather allows them to without peril. Collecting another light house in Maine for the collection.
Trips to visit, pay respects to family plots on the spots in a cemetery where departed loved ones are buried. The plastic flowers replaced with rear ones in some cases. Trimming bushes, shaping landscaping trees to keep them low to the ground and respectful. Silent and audible conversations had with the ones you miss but know are in a better place with no suffering and saving you a seat.
Maine home shows around the state give you ideas for renovations to your castle this spring and beyond.
New toys for the water front or all the trails that dot and dash the Gazetteer map to explore get attention too if sales too hard to pass up are marketed correctly. The seed is already planted in Mainers who study the Uncle Henry’s and Craiglist for a true bargain. Snow sled trail markers and directional signs are collected, uprooted in muddy fields. To make way for the farmers to drop the chisel plow to get ready for another spring planting when the soil warms up and drys out.
Awareness sharpens in spring because of the lull caused by spending more time than you would like indoors over a Maine winter. The exercise regiment increases and the pounds added on during the holidays melt away like the snow flakes free loading in receding bank on properties around Maine. Green grass awaits, golf courses too and hardware trips to perform a few of the requests at a time on the honey do list.
Spring time in Maine, folks of all ages smile more, dream louder.
Kids sense it first as bikes are hauled out of storage way too early. And forgetting to wear a coat as they race for the trampoline under chilly conditions remind you what it is like to be young and not carry the weight of mortgage payments, poor medical reports and juggling the check book.
If you only spend time in Maine around July 4th, add some new dance steps to your vacation fox trot or jitter bug up the pike numbered “95” into the Pine Tree state. Maine, she does a body good and once those heart strings are found, she never lets go and you don’t mind one bit.
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MOOERS REALTY 69 North Street Houlton Maine 04730 USA