Friday, November 1, 2019

Return to Maine (Part Two)

When we crossed from New Hampshire to Maine, my husband and I were so excited, we pulled over on the side of the road and took a selfie at the sign: Welcome to Maine, The way life should be.


On the third day of the trip, we were entering Limestone, home of the Limestone Eagles, and Loring AFB, home to B52 bombers. Interesting fact: Loring was the closest base we had to Russia during the Cold War, and a single B52 bomber would circle North America everyday from there.  They were on constant standby / alert. 

Limestone was the little town a few miles away from the base, and it's where they bused the junior high and high school kids.  The government built a big, beautiful school with an Olympic size indoor pool and state of the art everything.  One wing was for the junior high, and the other wing, the high school.

Nothing had really changed, physically...


The cafeteria.. 


Entry...


Band room...


Hallways...


Trophy case...


Library...


but, in fact, when the base closed, it gutted the school's population and they had to send the high school kids to the neighboring town.  They closed the elementary and brought it here to this building-combining one wing with it and the junior high school.  The other wing, formerly the high school, became a magnet school for math, science and engineering geniuses.  It is now the #2 high school in the country.  Quite amazing.  

Yet, sad for the community.

The town hadn't changed much, and still had my favorite pastry EVER--the cream rolls from Labadie's Bakery in Lewiston, Maine.  In between school and sport practices, we'd walk to town and buy one of these yummies.

My husband and I bought a few to take home.


Northern Maine (minus the base, which was a ghost town) was just like I remembered, except better. So beautiful. The view from the soccer field, overlooked all of Aroostook County. As I stood up there, I was so happy, and I realized what a gift it had been to have lived there.

We continued our drive along the St. John River through Van Buren, Maine, and up to Madawaska, Maine.  Each town seemed perfectly preserved.  The further you drove north from Limestone, the less the communities were affected by the loss of the base.

As I drove through all those areas, though, I knew I would never have stayed there.  The whole experience was a closing of a chapter.  I had always pined after Northern Maine, but when faced with the reality, an average of 117" of snow annually, few jobs, few horses, ...it was clear I am exactly where I want to be in life and would not change a thing.  Every step, good, bad, or otherwise, brought me to this life I love so dearly.

Oh, my favorite pizza place was still open.  We'd ride our bikes there and splurge for a hamburger and onion pizza.  It had the same owner and my husband and I had a nice talk with him.  Rendevous pizza.


One last thing.  I spent much of last winter reading all of Phillis Wheatley's poems and correspondence so, when in Boston, I was eager to walk from the North Church to the South Church (where she attended) and then to the Women's Memorial, where there is a statue in her honor.



It did not disappoint.



It's great to be home, and today I'm heading out for a bareback ride on Cowboy--two days into his Equioxx treatment.  I have a new Best Friends bareback pad I'm trying out.  More on that soon...

3 comments:

  1. It was nice to revisit old places.

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    Replies
    1. It was cathartic for me. I doubt I’ll ever have reason to go again, but I can cross it off my bucket list and New Years resolutions.

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  2. Glad you got to go back to your old haunts. But it's nicer to come home to the place you live and love. Great trip!

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