Moving to the Maine coast ‘from away’? Some things to consider | Forewarned is forearmed

Considering a move to coastal Maine?

Here are some things to consider:

Understandably, you’re hesitant. It is Maine after all, the state that’s practically Canada. I know we call ourselves VACATIONLAND, but who are we kidding. That misnomer only applies to the bottom half of the state and that part of the pie chart that isn’t orange.

Our Five Seasons:

Summer

THERE’S NOWHERE TO PARK IN THIS TOWN.

Hike. Hike. Hike.
Glory in the beauty that is Maine in summer. Soak. It. Up.
Beach. Canoe. Kayak. Swim. Boat.
Fourth of July
Band concerts at the Village Green.
Eat expensive and delicious ice cream.
Farmer’s market. CSA. Craft fair. Art in the park.
Dodge tourists on the sidewalk/streets/beach/park.

Summer Notes: Remind yourself to eat lobster, cheaply and at home. Simply because the rest of the world is forking over $24/lb for it.

Fall

I found a parking spot!

September = Gorgeous days and chilly nights.
The leaves turn incredible shades of yellow, red, orange and purple. Every year. It’s always breathtaking.
Pick apples!
Hike. Hike. Hike.
Can. Jar. Freeze. Preserve all the bounty!
October is just as lovely, a little more crisp than September.
Take part in the inevitable contest that arises this time of year: Who can keep their heat off the longest. The winner gets to keep their unspent $50 in fuel and bragging rights for next year.
Quite nice, really, until that one godforsaken Saturday night/Sunday morning arrives. Daylight Savings. Then it’s pretty much no daylight after 4pm. *sigh*

Fall Notes: 1. Your Halloween costume should involve a coat and reflective tape. It will be inevitably be cold and dark. 2. Shops in town button up (Don’t worry they’ll be back. With new 50% off tacky tshirts.) 3. Take it easy in the first snow. We all have to get used to driving in it again, every year. (Snow legs?) 4. Your neighbors (who have often been working 50-60 plus hour weeks with no days off for weeks on end) will suddenly appear, with time on their hands.

Winter

WHY AM I NEVER ON THE PLOWED SIDE OF THE ROAD?

Boots. Boots. Boots.
Take pleasure in the silence left behind when the tourists leave, the crisp sound your boots make on the snow’s crust and the lazy drift of snowflakes at your windowpane.
Cross country ski. Ice skate. Showshoe.

Winter Notes: Find a hobby; write, read, learn to knit, get passionate about prime time television. Something.

Winter Terminology:
snowed in: Too snowy. You’ll have to stay home. I hope you bought that milk/beer yesterday when you heard the high-drama/dire forecast.
ice shack: Don’t be alarmed, no one’s living in an igloo. They’re just trying to catch fish. On ice. In a shack. Don’t ask me why.
cabin fever: This is one of those terms you might want to pay special attention to. People {most of us} get a little weird when we’ve been trapped-inside-so-many-mostly-dark-days-in-a-row. Feeling squirrely? Don’t hunker down and tough it out, just schedule a trip off the island. It’ll be just the thing.
Seasonal Affective Disorder: Since stripping down and exposing tender flesh to the sun is generally risking pneumonia and frostbite, most of us deal with SAD by either traveling someplace warm and sunny, waiting it out or getting a lightbox.

Mud Season

Ugh.

The snow is grey and ugly and it needs to just. go. away.
Freeze. Thaw. Freeze. Thaw. Freeze. Thaw.
Right around here there will be that day in March where it is bizarrely warm (I’m talking mid 70’s low 80’s) enjoy it, but don’t let it fool you. Please refer to the pie chart above.
The colorless sky matches the snow and ugh, is that more snow? In April?
Bleck.
Eew, it’s muddy. Also read: Hey, it’s warming up and the snow is going!
Tiny hints of green emerge and are rapturously exclaimed over.

Mud Season Notes: Time to take off your boots and put on your shorts. (Well, maybe not that first year here, but definitely the second.)

Spring

It’s so short, I don’t even know what to write about here.

The trees leaf out in a heartbeat. You’ll get sweaty just trying to dig out your tank tops. And when summer bum-rushes you in all it’s glory, hang on and try to enjoy every balmy day.

For (possibly better and much more appropriate) advice from someone who’s actually moved here ‘from away’ please read  Sarah Smiley’s lovely blog post about adapting to Maine’s winter.

Updated to say that I can’t seem to find the original artist to link the pie chart to. If anyone can point me in the right direction, I’d be happy to put proper attribution up. Thanks!
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8 thoughts on “Moving to the Maine coast ‘from away’? Some things to consider | Forewarned is forearmed

  1. Really nice blog, makes mine look clunky, is there a place/way to follow? I don’t get ice fishing either, I think you really have to be French to get it…

  2. Hey, thanks, Terry. You should be able to follow along with that widget on the right there below my pic. Sad part is, I’m part French… Not that I’m sad that I’m French, but that I’m a little French and I still don’t get the whole freezing your tail off over 12″ of lake ice.

  3. Pingback: Just in: Fabric Scrap Bundles | Scrap buster projects | worthygoods textile

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