testing, testing. is this thing on?
4,008 miles, one unabridged listening-through of the fellowship of the ring, a couple of albanys and a smattering of oaklands and maybe some springfields, one portland to another, about a bazillion stalks of corn, and it would appear that i have relocated to maine.
from all my debates about itchy feet versus staying put and facing a past and making the best of where you are and all that…well, i guess itchy feet won. either that, or someone in one of my two adopted other favorite states offered me my dream job. and so…
here i am. back in maine.
i lived here 14 years ago. when my older lad was just a pre-schooler. we tooled around in our VW bus, got stuck in the snow, admired the leaves, and just generally were bewildered by all the maine-ness where we lived - in a very small town (3,000 people) right in central maine. right where the 'rural forest' gives way to the 'industrial forest', as a publication i was perusing today informed me. where he gleefully sang for me one afternoon after preschool that he was "being swallowed by a bo-er constrictah…"
it was something to roll back into the state, young lad in the backseat, exhausted and so excited to be in maine, finally, after days and days driving across the country. at least three days, i think, were just in nebraska alone! there are so many things i had forgotten about maine that started coming back to me that day, and in the first days here…
there are no billboards. none. and the freeway basically goes through the woods the entire time. it's just miles and miles of beautiful trees and no billboards. it' surprisingly lovely.
i'm struck by how few fences there are. the houses are old and gorgeous and ramshackle and peeling and falling apart and majestic and quaint in that new england way and surprisingly unmarred by fence lines. it's quite striking once you start looking…so few fences. i can't help but wonder - does no one have dogs here?
don't be in a hurry, that's for sure. mainers can give oregonians a run for their money on leisurely driving. actually, in maine its more like perverse-ily driving. i mean, you have to be somewhat incredibly perversely stubborn to cruise 15 miles below the speed limit. this routinely happens here.
maine has a bottle bill too, just like oregon - a more comprehensive one than oregon's, in fact. every single drink bottle has a return - a redemption value. what's different is that you don't take them back to the grocery store - you take them to a redemption center. when i first moved to maine the first time, in 1998, i really thought these were places to become a born-again christian.
and so here i am. brand new job. new, yet familiar. a place i really liked living in, 15 years ago. those of you who know me know the past few years haven't always been easy - and there's a lot about being out here that isn't easy either. yet i don't think i'm just repeating an itchy-feet-running pattern - i really don't. this feels very different. but i have to say…i'm curious to see what redemption, if any, might await.