A Dispatch From Maine

We made it to Maine. On one hand it feels like we just got here and on the other, it feels like we’ve lived here for quite some time. We met the neighbors on our lane (and have exchanged baked goods), live a few blocks from the ocean, and the market down the street sets up accounts so you can just walk on over and buy a chocolate bar and say, “add it to my tab.” Is this real life?!

I think the biggest surprise so far is the amount of sun here in the winter – it’s perhaps Maine’s best kept secret. Of course, it’s much, much colder than the PNW but the sunny days make it feel much lighter and less oppressive. Also surprising: bountiful and very good bagels. Sam’s been loving the East coast sub sandwiches (he’s from New Jersey, after all) and the kids spend a lot of free time in the yard on the swing and slide, Ollie with his binoculars aiming to identify birds and Frankie pointing at all of the “baby squirrels” (all squirrels are baby squirrels to Frances). I can’t wait to see it all blooming and transforming in the spring.

Sam and the kids spend the days adventuring while I’m at work; in fact, I think they’re setting local records for number of places seen in such a short period of time. Then everyone picks a spot to show me on the weekends, and we set off. They have a whole routine on these weekdays: Sam packs a lunch and because Frankie refuses to walk, she typically gets pulled in the sled. They have two stops: first they find a “listening bench” and stop to observe and listen to their surroundings. Second they stop for sandwiches.

When they took me to the Audubon last weekend and told me about the listening bench, I felt deeply moved by it. I asked Sam if he made this concept up, and he looked at me strangely, as if it were no big deal. But the kids, as typically restless and crazy as they can be just … sit quietly. Staring at nature. It’s remarkable. And as I sat there following their lead, I felt my heart rate slow and everything settle into focus.

I’m trying to get outside once a day this month – more for fresh air and mental health than physical exercise, I think. But as I do so, I keep the listening bench in the back of my mind. While I don’t always physically stop and sit (I’m usually trying to fit it in right before the dinner hour), I keep the spirit of it close. Maybe you’d like to do the same?

See you soon (with baked goods).

Comments

  1. Julie clipner

    This is where you and your family belong . Im so happy for you !!!

    1. megang

      Thank you, Jules!

  2. Ann Clark

    Love this Meg!

  3. Melissa

    I love seeing glimpses of life for you guys in Maine! And the listening bench. Holding on to that one. Sending love from Minnesota!

    1. megang

      Thank you so much, friend! Our door is open anytime for a visit!

  4. Caroline

    Although it certainly was not easy for you to leave Seattle and your beautiful home there, you seem to have taken the move in good stride. The photos are so beautiful and it sounds as if you make it quite easy for the children to be open to new adventures and to enjoy what life offers them. That is a huge gift. As someone who tends to be rather daunted by changes, I am impressed and encouraged. The listening bench is a gorgeous idea🥰

    1. megang

      Yes I'm not great with change either, actually. I think something about the pandemic kicked everything to the curb in that regard - the feeling of ... why not?! Thank you so much for the kind words.

  5. Andrea

    Ohhhh I am 100% trying the listening bench with the girls (and also with me)! I am with you on getting outside once a day. The girls are my motivation as without me, they likely wouldn't get outside as much. Peter gets them outside when he can but he's the one working right now. In any event, the longer days and slightly warmer weather are certainly helping as well! I read something about getting kids outside 1000 hours a year which sounded completely not possible for me but I thought well, I can try to at least GO outside once a day. That's my only goal so far!

    1. megang

      1000 hours?! Maybe in ... Florida? I agree that spring / summer are going to be a gamechanger. I might have a countdown on my phone to daylight savings time right now :)

  6. Lynne Davies

    I’ve been to that spot! Love mid-coast Maine! So happy for you all!

    1. megang

      Thank you, Lynne!

  7. Janet

    I love this! Scarlet and I often stop at a nearby park on our longer walks, choose one of its many benches, and sit for a little while. Usually I use the time to online shop for anything I've remembered I need while walking (a not-great habit!). I like this idea so much more!

    1. megang

      Ha yes! It's great to just try and sit and do nothing. We are so not wired for that anymore, right? And hooray for Scarlet. Love that as an excuse to get out everyday!

  8. Maura Kenney

    Welcome to Maine! I’m in Cumberland - blue skies in winter are a wonder. Just wait until summer, best time of the year!

    1. megang

      Lovely! We're close (in Falmouth) and my sis is in Cumberland. I can't wait until summer!

  9. Pat

    There art days, seemingly ordinary, common, eventless days, that you always remember. Sounds like you are making those memories. Welcome to Maine

    1. megang

      Thank you so much, Pat.

  10. Susan

    oh, I was so happy for you I have tears in my eyes!!! I'm from northern NH and am sooooooo jealous. Keep enjoying and awaiting you next baked goods!~! Love, me

  11. Tara

    We just moved to Maine in September and while the weather isn’t so different from where we lived in CT, we feel so much more inspired here in ME to get outside even in the depths of winter. Thanks for the Audubon rec - it sounds like a fun and beautiful spot! We’re a quick jump over from you in New Gloucester (on the Gray line). Welcome to Maine!

    1. megang

      Oh wonderful. We haven't checked out New Gloucester yet but my sister was just talking about the General Store there yesterday. So looking forward to getting out more with this gorgeous weather!

  12. Lisa

    I also live in Maine! Welcome! I live in the mid coast. Where are these great bagels you speak of? I’m from Philadelphia originally and I miss the great bagels of my childhood. Would definitely drive a couple hours to stock up on some good ones.

    1. megang

      Hi, Lisa! Rose Foods in Portland has wonderful bagels. And we've been wanting to Biddeford to check out Rover Bagels.

  13. sam-c

    Sounds wonderful and magical! I love that listening bench concept. Best wishes to you and your family as you settle into your new home and wonderful routines.

  14. denise

    I am so happy that you are settling in nicely in Maine. It looks lovely - if there is one thing we have learned this past year is that we crave outdoor space as in a big yard and a garden. Thoughts of moving to a slower pace are definitely in the back of our minds as well.

    1. megang

      Yesss it's a lifesaver - the outdoor space. I truly can't wait to start gardening and eating dinner outside (soon! Soon!)

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