When you put the city life in the rear view mirror, the transition to small town Maine presents many twists and turns.
The lower cost of living is one of the primary perks. And easy adjustment like no crime, no traffic and being able to see the stars at night because no light pollution. There is a shift from impersonal to live and local connection. An enhanced sense of being pulled in. Feeling more involved, part of the small town life where in the urban setting, you can get lost in the sea of sidewalk blank faces. But the strain on the wallet lightens up in rural Vacationland. Even in Maine, the difference from a house for sale in say Portland or up yonder in Aroostook County weighs in over 62% of the cost of the roof over your head. So markets within the market distinctions creep up to help you figure out where you are best off to land in the resettlement.
What else is there to prepare for when your new home address is one zip code that covers many townships?
Where one lonely area code for phone calls serves the entire big state of Maine sparse population. Well, you examine your priorities. You have less choices in some of the retail areas, but way way more options for the no or low cost recreational what you do for fun.
When you need an electrician, a plumber, someone to fix your car or furnace, get ready to be patient. You can not let your fingers do the walking in the yellow pages to locate a never ending supply of technicians. The best ones are busy. You plan to hit many projects as the first one out of the gate in the spring. This applies to the hired out building a home. Or you postpone some expensive projects until mid winter. When folks are caught up and looking for work. Especially inside labor to carry the cost of living in small town Maine.
You also become more adept at tackling a greater share of what needs to be done in your life.
Because getting started is better than waiting and although it takes you longer on new experiences testing your DIY skills, you end up finishing about the same time who you wanted to have do the job is freed up to show up and perform their magic.
There is not an slew of options for the pick of the pack, best of the bunch in anything in small town Maine circles. You appreciate what you have and are grateful, content, developing lasting joy. Happy happens summer or winter or spring or fall. The season matters not. And with medical, often, there is room for 1.5 of the specially trained doctors and not quite two professionals. There is strength hidden in population numbers as they grow and allow more to sign on in the employment ranks.
What you do for fun in small towns is usually out in the country. Nature captures the heart, pulls on its strings in our traditions. You protect, become a good steward that is respectful of Mother Nature and all the wildlife too. Often what is entertaining involves the fresh air and clean water, lush smells of the woods in the great outdoors. The four seasons make each visit to the outdoor venue that refreshes best to have a slightly different take away.
Visit a lighthouse in Maine in the winter, when no tourists are toting cameras or talking or sharing the setting.
You will see what a difference the experience is when it is just you to hog it all to yourself. Try that in a city setting. You can not get away from the people. There just is so little space and often a park or two is all you get to share. And don’t forget Canada, our neighbor where many in the crowd over home are related. No, it is not dangerous being this close to Canada here in Maine. People actually ask that.
And many of the festivals or seasonal celebrations are bigger but fewer. Not offered year round but everything banked on one big memorable day or portion of a calendar week to showcase it. Maybe we have more choices but in from a revolving conveyor belt delivery as the seasons change. You see a lot more home grown and one of a kind mom and pop places as opposed to franchise sameness too in small town Maine living. You witness more use of bikes, horses, and using your imagination in backyards in small towns than behind locked security doors inside, many stories up in a city landscape.
You feel the sunshine, are more aware of weather in small rural towns. Because you plan to be out in it, not under a roof or between four walls.
Meeting places, they are the corner gas and grab to go pizza joints. Or in the aisles of the local IGA, Surefine or Shop N Save, Shaws or County Yankee groceries. At school gym or playing field sporting functions, in the back of the church or near the snacks after the service. Or sitting on an open porch as folks do more walking than driving when in a small Maine town. And stop to talk as they climb up the porch steps to ask about each other’s family members. And how things are down at work.
Whatever is new in town or what is playing at the small movie theatre or maybe a drive in flick gets discussed at this week’s friendly meeting . Or re-visiting something in the newsprint from a few weeks back for a local topic that is a concern to all taxpayers in the small Maine town. Comparing notes in an ongoing conversation only folks in the small town or region of the county would feel strongly about that would not interest the city mouse. Discover Northern Maine. Sample Downeast Maine. You get to witness something rare, special, not commercial spun or for profit. The list of places we try to highlight in this home grown Me In Maine blog post series.
Sitting in the center of town, or in a common parking lot for those new and old that can drive.
Waving to other motorists. Holding doors open to businesses. Smiling comes easy. As the sun sits, the weekend arrives. Sliding into the angled parking spaces and removing the glass in the window to say hello. To begin where they left off the last meeting talking back and forth from inside a car or SUV or pick up truck. Maybe one pair of car occupants get out, get in the back seat of the neighboring one. Snow sled, ATV four wheeler trails cause groups to gather at club houses along the route too. Where pot luck suppers and fund raisers with incredible spreads happen. Those fill the belly and take care of the need to be social, to feel apart of the local community in small town rural Maine towns.
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