Why I Love Maine

Effective July 1, I am retired (from full time work, at least), which allowed me to spend two wonderful weeks in Maine — my favorite of all places.

As my friends know, I love Maine. From the first time I visited, it beckoned, and it’s difficult for me to express in words why, precisely.  How do I love Maine?  Let me count the ways.

Clearly, Maine is beautiful, but it’s also full of surprises.  Every time you turn a corner, the vista takes on a totally different feel.  Turn this corner and you see the lobster boats on a charming bay, turn another corner and you’re seeing crashing surf, then go a bit farther and you’re suddenly on a rural road with no water visible — and how did that happen?  Maine has one of the longest coastlines in America, and its craggy shoreline has countless ins and outs — bays within coves within bays, separated by peninsulas and points and inlets.  Any walk or drive is likely to be one of discovery of a new favorite place.

I also love Maine for its “off the beaten path” feel.  Tourists come here, sure, but  I could count on one hand the times I’ve experienced tourist-claustrophia.  And, once you get back to your carefully selected cottage (having spent days on vrbo.com finding just the right place), the world seems far away.

I love Maine’s apparent lack of pretension.  Even the largest homes often have a certain ramshackle feel.  In fact, you really can’t even see many coastal homes in Maine.  They are down some dusty or gravelly winding path off the main rural road (usually with a name denoted by some handmade sign — another thing I love), and you can just imagine the places filled with Grandma’s castoffs and treasured family heirlooms.

I love the “unself-consciousness” of Maine.  Very few women wear makeup, which is liberating.  I love the authentically beautiful look of many Maine women — that patrician look, with naturally gray hair wrapped in a bun and the unadorned weathered face that tells the story of a life well-lived.   When I come to Maine, I feel freed from cosmetics, hair curlers, and “beauty” accessories.   (A friend calls this her “lake look.”)  It takes me about 10 minutes to pack for a trip to Maine –and that’s a good thing.

I love Maine because it’s cool.  I spent the two hottest weeks of the summer there without one day of air conditioning, and I was supremely comfortable every moment.  In Ohio, I would have been cranky beyond words.

I recently read a novel set in Maine, and the author wrote that “Maine is meant for quiet contemplation.”  How true.  When I come to Maine I don’t feel compelled to visit a list of places and museums.  I hang out, read, and enjoy the simplicity of spending time in a place with great views with none of the household or mental clutter of home and ‘to do’ lists. Maybe I’m a slug — but that’s the vacation I like best.

I’m not naive.  I’m sure many will think I’m glamorizing a location that has a robust season of three months tops (some say two) and rugged winters that likely would send me fleeing.  But for whatever reason, if you give me two weeks to spend anywhere in the United States, I’ll take Maine, hands down.

After all is said and done, we all are looking for a place that touches a chord within us, and when we find that place its imperfections become charming asides.  Places speak to people, and Maine speaks to me.

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7 thoughts on “Why I Love Maine

  1. I tried to interest Bob in coming to look at our property in Brooklin, ME while you were in Blue Hill on vacation but I am afraid there were too many distractions. After reading your blog about ME I urge you to consider our property as a vacation home investment. The MLS #978635 can be accessed online so you can see what the property entails. If we’re still here next year we welcome you to visit. Cheers! Linda Hansen

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  2. Oh Kish! I love this post and I love the reasons you love Maine. The next time you come I hope you can fit some of the islands into your schedule. Peaks Island is one of my favorite places on earth with the other Calendar Island following not far behind. The next time you are planning a visit let me know and I’ll send some suggestions. I am so happy you had a relaxing time.
    Now that have “retired” (a deceptive term when you have a family) I hope we’ll hear more from you. Your writing made me feel like I was on a relaxing vacation with all the time in the world!

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    • Thank you! Your very kind note, full of great suggestions, was so helpful during our trip. I carried it with me always and we enjoyed some of the venues you suggested, including Arborvine! I look forward to returning next year (hopefully every year, actually!) and will look forward to getting more suggestions from you….

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    • Hello! I tried earlier today to subscribe to your post but apparently am not doing something correctly. I will ask Bob for assistance when he gets home. I can’t wait for my next visit to Maine next year. I would love some suggestions from you as to islands to visit — might even do a weekly rental on one of their more unspoiled ones. (Of course, all of Maine seems unspoiled to me!) I have an eye on another rental property in Blue Hill as well. I enjoy reading your blog and your responses to our own entries.
      — Kish

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      • Kish, you subscribed successfully. Of my readers, I worry most about how WebnerHouse will perceive my posts. I will spend some time thinking about islands for you to visit and get back to you. I love the Calendar Islands of Casco Bay but there are several others in the midcoast region I would recommend too. You are sweet to subscribe. Many thanks. EJ

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  3. Hi EJ:
    I am not nearly as technologically proficient as my fellow family members but I am glad that I successfully subscribed. Was it to my direct e-mail address of kwebner@gmail.com? I just looked at vrbo for Peak’s Island places — the island does indeed look beautiful. I will now look at Calendar Island (already daydreaming of my next visit to Maine, clearly!)

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    • Kish,
      I don’t see an address but I think that it will likely go to WB’s address because you subscribed using his Gravatar/identity. We’ll figure this out. Peaks is part of the Calendar Islands group.

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