We went on vacation twice this year. Twice to Maine. Once at the end of July and then again in October. It made me be immensely grateful for the homestead Rich’s family has owned there since 1795 – an old inn that is now used as a summerhouse. That house might not have seen as many people staying in it as this year for decades. When I first asked Rich in August if we could spend our one week of fall break in the homestead, he told me that it most likely would be much too cold. Well, it turned out that he was wrong. We had great weather with mostly warm and sunny days. That gave us the opportunity to go on plenty of walks and explore the fields and forests around the house.
For us it is always a long drive from New York City to southern Maine, about 700 km. But once we have arrived, we immediately get that vacation feeling. Suddenly we are in the middle of nowhere (the homestead is about 2 km from the village center – I call it village, Americans still call it town – away). Everything there just seems a little slower. Although that might mostly be because it is our vacation. We sleep and nap more. We take more time to enjoy each meal. We have time for walks and reading and so many other things.
Rich regularly goes running. Usually his route leads him to the lovely covered Lovejoy Bridge. I rather drive there and then enjoy the little beach under the bridge.
We also took several walks through the woods because what place could be greater in fall?! This year’s foliage wasn’t the best (since there was too little rain over the last months, most trees went from green to leafless), but we still got to see and love the many colorful leaves everywhere.
This part of southern Maine reminds me a lot of Mecklenburg, the state that I am from in Germany. Well, minus the mountains. But in Mecklenburg we also have acres and acres of fields and woods. Few houses and people.
I remember that as a kid I would go on a lot of longer walks with my grandfathers through the fields and woods. It always seemed extra special when one grandfather would take the time to spend it with his grandchildren. We used to watch deer through binoculars or make a bow and arrows and shoot them high in the air.
One day in Maine Rich and I walked through the fields to the village. We took one wrong turn though and accidentally trespassed on a neighboring property. Luckily, that way led us straight into the village, too.
Maine makes me appreciate the little details – maybe because I have more time to look and notice, maybe because people in the countryside make a bigger effort to decorate their houses and yards.
While I can’t imagine to live in the countryside again forever (after all I spent the first 19 years of my life in the middle of nowhere), I sometimes wish we could just spend one whole year up there in Maine – because to me it is such a beautiful and calm place.
I am definitely sad that we closed the homestead for the winter, although I understand that it is not feasible to heat up the giant house in winter for only a few people. But I am already looking forward to going back next year.