Living in a small Maine town.
Every single one of the population is needed, has a vital role. Most Maine communities are not sprawling and the population is sparse in a state that is vast in size. When there are less people, each of the individuals have a greater role and deeper involvement in what goes on around the small Maine town. You are needed more and there is always much to do to keep the inner workings of small Maine town life alive and well.
The transition from a big city to a small town has been discussed in an earlier Me In Maine blog post.
You could serve on boards, be involved in civic, church, school, non profits in both sized venues. But one major distinction between a city or a town is the more you volunteer, the deeper the rich relationships develop in small towns. Because everyone in that small Maine town pitches in. Not just a few that rise to the occasion. Not much is hired out and it is all about home grown roll up your sleeves and dig in. We’re all in this together through thick and thin in a small Maine town. Paying out of your own pocket to fund what has no other way to do it.
The role the individual banding together to serve the snow sled club breakfast or help grooming the trails. Or reading to youngsters as a literacy volunteer at local schools. Or coaching a little league team, coordinating this year’s spring canoe race or haunted hayride in the fall. In whatever capacity, there is lots of over lap in small town living. Because like the Spartan force of 300 trained to perform like more zeroes were added to the troop size number, small Maine town volunteers get to know each other more deeply.
Many give more and go above and beyond in small Maine towns.
The same people are part of the community band or chorus and show up yearly for children’s or the local theater productions. The walk for cancer or local suppers to help a family going through a tough time shows how much the individuals in a small Maine town or cluster of villages all band together to help out when the need for assistance could not be greater. Watch this simple video for a night out at a local event hosted at Hidden Spring Winery. Everyone knows each other in the crowd. The musicians were our teachers, our kid’s instructors. The connection goes deep. No one is a stranger in the room because our paths cross back and forth like a spider web. Small towns in Maine offer honest, real, hardworking rewarding living.
Just try to break down on a small Maine town road and you will see what I mean.
Run out of gas, have a flat tire, just see whatever your ride go dead. In a city, no one would stop or it’s up to you to hire the wrecker and wait. In a side road or in the middle of a small Maine downtown, put up the hood and look at your watch. Snap. You will have a number of motorists or pedestrians come to the rescue instantly. To ask how they can help and to see what’s the problem. Battery jumper chambers are whipped out. Hailing frequency time! Cell phone calls are made to their brother who can help. Your kids who have to get to ball or hockey practice or the church musical, their job, whatever are delivered and you feel safe because you know the people trying to help. You have worked and served alongside them year after year. You may even be related somehow by blood or marriage or past untied knot.
You are at the same wedding and funeral and holiday receptions. When the life flight helicopter is heard flying over or an ambulance siren sounds on its race by you wonder. Who needs a prayer and chances are you do know the person or their family in the small Maine town that has the medical emergency.
All of us have broken down on a local Maine trail and had help so you return the favor when you come up on the same situation. You don’t have to know the person on the receiving end of the assistance. Hear that a lot from outside tourists who are blown away because of how helpful the local Mainers is to someone they have never met up until the first contact. Many decide to move here because of the random act of kindness. Figuring if you local Mainers treat strangers that well, it must be a joy to be a native living in these parts as a community member.
Small town Maine business works more efficiently too.
At a small town Rotary meeting so much beyond the great meal and the speaker of the day knowledge exchange happens. Getting your desert you ask the attorney or banker or insurance agent about a work task. Lots is done in that one hour gathering because you are work, serve, live in the same neat small Maine town.
Everything goes smoother and happens easier because of less obstacles in part to maneuver around to cause delays. Too many people in a population center just slows down the process even with technology to make the connection relay. There is nothing like face to face and knowing the people well that you interact with day in and out in the circles you run in a small community.
All the extra people in a city just add more layers of rules herding them. Traffic is greater, progress is diminished just getting around and working the logistics that can cause isolation. More people that you don’t know or trust causes the individuals to be less open and more reserved.
Less involved. It is not apathy but self protection.
When much of your energy and resources are put into self protection of personal safety and to hang onto your possessions it drains some of the vim and vigor to charge in. It becomes more of a survival for me rather than concern about the greater good for the population around you.
Small Maine towns are treated more like families than just garden variety citizenry.
We all watch and help shape the youngsters that grow up here. The individuals all stand out and are not lost in a sea of impersonal faces. You don’t worry about crime or gangs or drive by shootings. You watch in horror what happens in cities everyday on the hour and see the numbing effect it has to those who learn to avoid certain city neighborhoods and that are dead bolt and security camera holed up at night to feel safe and sound. That’s is not how small Maine town living operates. Ever thought of relocating, moving to a small Maine town?
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