09-25-2013   Leave a comment

There are a number of people both in my family and not who wonder why I live in Maine.  Coming from the Pittsburgh area is a long, long way from Maine not just in distance but in the style of life. Pittsburgh was and remains a sort of blue collar community proud of it’s roots in the mines and mills that surrounded and supported the area.  Second and third generations continue to be those hardworking, nose-to-the-grindstone individuals who made the area what it is.  They play hard as well and raise their families with their good solid family values.  It sounds great so why leave?

Even as a child I was drawn to places near water.  I spent a lot of my childhood with friends hanging around the Allegheny River.  We swam in it, we rode on things that floated on it, we jumped from bridges that crossed over it and it was all good.  I just loved the three rivers but felt drawn to the ocean for some unknown reason.

Over the years we made quite a few family trips to Erie, Pennsylvania.  I was fascinated by Lake Erie.  It looked like an ocean to me but later after checking a world map I discovered it was only a mud puddle compared to the oceans.  I attended college very near to Lake Erie and made dozens of trips to the lake to party and relax.  It was about then I decided that being landlocked in Pittsburgh held no future for me.

Jump ahead six years and I’m still working in Pittsburgh at a job with a national company.  I was offered a promotion which required a move to Boston and I jumped at it.  The mere thought of living in Massachusetts and being near Cape Cod and the ocean made the decision for me.

Jump ahead ten more years and I found myself newly divorced and looking for a new place to live.  I purchased a small cottage no more than fifty yards from the ocean in Kingston, Massachusetts and I was in heaven.  For three years I was in the water every day except for winter of course and life was good.  I’d swim far out into the ocean at night, float on my back for an hour, staring up at the stars.  It was unbelievable.

Jump ahead three more years, my company declares bankruptcy and I’m again forced to move to find work.  Looking at my choices Maine was my only answer.  I loved the style of life there, the lower population, and the anticipation of no traffic jams.  I also would be within minutes of the ocean.  I made the move, bought a new home and settled in.  I was twenty minutes from the ocean but still was able to go there as often as I needed.  Standing on the shore, listening to the water, had a calming effect on me like nothing else.

Jump ahead nine more years, I’ve met the love of my life, I sold my house, and we settled in to make a life together.  Also, we now lived directly adjacent to the Nonesuch River, ten minutes from the Atlantic Ocean, and fifteen minutes from Sebago Lake and a number of local beaches.  These days I’m able to walk the beach in the summer and winter to relax and take photographs.  I can visit a nearby cove and watch the lobsterman loading up and going to work.  I can then return later to watch them bringing in their catch and mooring their boats.

I think I was meant to be here.  Many years ago my late grandmother suffering from dementia sent me many letters when I lived in Massachusetts that were always addressed to ME instead of MA. I kept telling her I lived in Massachusetts but she continued to send me letters until she passed away addressed to Maine with a Massachusetts Zip code. Maybe she knew something I didn’t.

You hear the term used here often and it still remains true.  Maine is "the way life ought to be."

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