Remember when snow was fun? Yeah, me either. When it’s -10 and howling winds, it’s not like I can send the kids outside to play and it’s. getting. old.
I lived “away” for lots of years. I lived where it was hot and snow was something that people sprayed on their windows out of a can at Christmas time. Did I like it? Yes. It was beautiful. Sandy beaches, palm trees, an ocean that didn’t make your bones ache when you dipped your feet in it. Could I have stayed there forever? No, not then. I was just barely 30, had an autistic baby and was getting my head around my marriage ending. I needed to come home and put my roots back down in the dark, rocky Maine soil.
But now? Could I make a break for the border 15+ years later? You bet your bippy I could. I’m a Mainer who loves Maine, make no mistake about it. I love our land, our people, our history and our quiet strength. I’ve stayed here through good and bad times, raised my kids here, paid my taxes, my dues and made a life for us. I’ve proudly taught my daughters our family’s Maine history, showed them black and white pictures with curling edges of stern-faced relatives from days gone by.
But with the good comes the bad. There’s the the lack of services for young adults like Hallee, my autistic 17 year old. Having a special needs young adult who is stuck indoors for months at a time due to the cold weather is not cool. The taxes that make it so hard to build a business or own a home here. Forbes continually ranks Maine as one of (if not the worst) state to do business in. The majority of our kids feel like they have to leave the state in order to get any kind of a career oriented job after college..if they can afford college. Many of our elderly have to choose between heating oil, food or prescriptions each month.
Let’s face it, unless you’ve got pretty deep pockets, life up here can be hard. Basic costs of living are high, winters can be brutal and as I get older, less and less appealing. I feel the cold more and enjoy winter activities less. Winters feel longer and the warmer weather goes by in a flash and is mostly spent preparing for you guessed it….winter.
What about you guys? Do you plan on staying in Maine until the bitter (cold) end, or do you dream of warmer climes? It’s not going to happen for us any time soon…we have kids in school, jobs and responsibilities that will keep us here for several years yet. For right now it’s just good fantasy material. I will daydream about giving away my snow shovels, burning every piece of wool clothing I own and buying a different pair of flip flops for each day of the week.
Hey, look what’s coming tomorrow!