My buddy, Ollie, the groundhog.

My buddy, Ollie, the groundhog.

Why is it always so hard to write about the one thing in life you know the most about….yourself?

I was born and raised in Maine. My father was a lobsterman out of Boothbay Harbor and my Mom was a housewife. We moved to Portland when I was five so my father could attend the University of Maine. As soon as he got his degree, he divorced my Mom and moved to Augusta to be with his mistress.

From then on, it was just my Mom and me. We stayed in Maine through the oil crisis of the 70’s, but Mom was afraid that the cost of Maine winters would leave us destitute so she put me, the two cats and the dog in the car and headed South. She had no particular destination in mind except to go where it was warmer. We ended up in Culpeper, Virginia. Ironically, they had the worst winter they had ever experienced the year we arrived. It was in the single digits for days. School was closed for two weeks because they ran out of heating oil.

My teenage years in Virginia were, quite frankly, a living hell. I dressed differently, I had a different accent and I preferred “boy’s” clothes and activities. To say that I didn’t fit in was an understatement. The first time I walked into the girl’s locker room for gym, they screamed and hit the deck. I survived, but I spent all of 7th grade having diarrhea every morning before I went to school. If I had a dollar for every time someone yelled out “Hey, are you a boy or a girl?”, I would be a wealthy woman. I faced insults daily and physical attacks frequently. Amazingly, I did very well in school, but once I graduated, I never looked back. Never been to a reunion, never want to see anyone there ever again.

The day after I graduated high school, I headed off to Alaska for the summer. I took a year off from school and worked. Went to Mary Washington College (now Mary Washington University) and graduated with a BA in Political Science. Shortly after I graduated, my Mom contracted lung cancer and died six weeks later. My only family was gone.

I went back to school and got an AAS in Veterinary Technology and have worked with animals for a majority of my adult life.

When I was 35 years old, I finally figured out I was a lesbian. Kind of explains why I never went out with any guys my whole life. Coming to that realization, I was able to put those pieces about my life that never fit into place.

I’ve lived lots of places over the years (Michigan, New York, Virginia), but I always come back to Maine. It’s my home and I truly feel like I belong here. I left as an adult for the wrong reasons and hopefully, I won’t make that mistake again. After the end of an eight year relationship with my partner and her son, I moved back here to heal, learn and reflect. After a frantic week of commando house hunting, my realtor and I stumbled across a small house in Southern Aroostook County along the Mattawamkeag River. The universe decided this was where I was supposed to be and everything fell into place. I love it here. Lots of nature and very few people…my town actually deorganized this year. I’m probably the only lesbian in 50 square miles, but that’s ok. I love to drive and Bangor is only 1 ½ hours away. I occasionally see one or two in Home Depot or Best Buy.

You live life differently here. The store is 50 minutes away so you can’t just pop out if you’ve forgotten an item. You make do or do without. Life is more deliberate. The winter’s here are long and hard, but there is nothing better than being in your cabin with the woodstove cranking, a storm raging outside and you, and your pets, are warm and safe. The beauty after a storm cannot be fully appreciated except in person…the blinding sunlight and azure skies, all the ordinary objects outside transformed into works of art by the snow, the snap in the air that makes your eyes water and your nose run. The satisfaction of watching your dog bound through the snow in pure joy. The exercise you get shoveling your way to the bird feeders and the garage. It’s not easy and certainly not for the dainty or faint of heart, but for me it’s heaven. Now the bugs in the summer…they’re a pain in the ass. Black flies, mosquitoes, horse flies and my personal favorite, the deer flies, will drive you crazy unless you are prepared, but one does have to take the good with the bad.

I got interested in blogging by reading other’s blogs and I wanted to find a way to express what I’m thinking to someone besides the dog. This is a very conservative and not well educated area of the state so conversationalists and liberals are hard to come by. I’m going to highlight life in this off the beaten path area and discuss topics that interest me and we’ll see how it goes.  I’m new to WordPress, so I’ll be tweaking the site as I learn more about the program.


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