As outlined in a prior post (Want Hypergrowh? Grab a hockey stick!) Cindy and I left Maine, back in 1989, for a lucrative career opportunity. What I didn’t mention was that we (or at least I) said: We are NEVER coming back.
So emphatic was I on this point that we gave away, threw away or otherwise disposed of ALL our winter gear (clothes, shovels and the like) in advance of our trip to Atlanta.
I actually liked the Atlanta area quite well. We lived in the outskirts, not far from Lake Lanier which offers some great camping. Although, the sheriff’s department seriously frowns upon campers who set off fireworks, resulting in our having the opportunity to visit a Gwinnett County court room (right Glen?).
And, I worked just outside of Route 285 which encircles the big city.
Cindy, on the other hand, was homesick not long after we arrived. I did manage to convince her to stay for a few years so that my resume showed stability (vs. bouncing around).
Then, came the snow…In November of 1991, we were watching a Christmas show. The snow was gently falling (on TV). Oh, how peaceful the scene, with family gathered together. I finally said: Enough! We need to get back up North where there is snow and we can be closer to family.
I again engaged the recruiter that placed me in Atlanta, to get his assistance on locating job opportunities in the greater Boston area. Unfortunately, he shared that a large employer (Digital Equipment) had recently executed a bunch of sizable layoffs. As such, there was stiff competition for any job openings. But, he’d see what he could do.
He quickly identified an opportunity that he felt was perfect for me. However, the hiring company was not willing to pay travel expenses for remote candidates, since the local market was flooded with so many prospects to choose from. I basically said: Well then, they can go pound sand…
After a few months of constantly checking in with my recruiter he reinforced that the company he had previously mentioned was STILL looking for a senior project manager – a perfect fit for me.
By this time we were so ready to be back up north that I decided it was time to get that job – at a specifically desired salary. So, I paid for my travel expenses and within days made the trip to Burlington, MA. The interview process went so well that they offered me the specifically desired salary before I left the building. I let them know I’d have to sleep on it 🙂
Little did I know, we were about to be hit by a major snowstorm. I realized this upon leaving the would-be employer’s building for my return trip to the airport. And, shortly thereafter, I learned that my flight home had been cancelled. Oh, the joys of snow. I ended up spending an extra night at a Logan Airport hotel.
Fast forward to present date…We are not only back in New England, but we are back in Maine.
When we first moved into our new home and began meeting neighbors (many of whom stay away for the winter, opting for warmer climates) sharing how we had moved from New Hampshire, they’d comment on how much snow we get here. We’d invariable respond with: We love the snow. They looked at us as if to say: Flatlanders – Obviously inexperienced in “harsh winters.” To that, I’d casually let them know that Cindy grew up in Portland and I in Millinocket (that’s in northern Maine, for any flatlanders), which immediately earned their respect 🙂
I’ve never felt so cool, being from Millinocket!
In the past week alone we’ve experienced a couple of minor dustings (a mere 4-6″ of the white stuff). After I finish my daily client con-calls, Cindy and I team-up for snow removal. And, to be clear, we don’t consider this a chore. It is exercise! The only difference vs. our prior home is that since we now live on a dirt road the plow guy manages to kick-up rocks and other debris that causes my snowblower to gag – violently. I thought I’d lost her a few days ago, but it eventually became unclogged, coughing up a sizable rock. We’ve since decided that it makes more sense to shovel the edge of our driveway, saving the machine for the digestible snow.
During the snow cleanup process, we try not to cover up all the deer tracks scattered across our property. We still haven’t had any repeat sightings as the deer seem only to visit during the wee hours of the night when we are snoozing. To improve the odds, however, we have baited them 🙂 If you look closely at the picture below, you can see where a deer was digging in the ground near the shore, for the food we planted there.
And, while not clear in the picture above, there is a sole loon out there, diving for fish, just beyond the layer of ice covering our cove.
In closing, it is great (even important) to make emphatic statements and decisions. However, we must remain flexible as things (and attitudes) can change over time.
I cannot fathom what it would be like to have NOT come back to this beautiful environ and proximity to family.
Ah, Maine: The Way Life Should Be!