The secret to life is to make the most of the circumstances you are dealt, to remember that family is everything, to think of others and be a good neighbor, to work hard and be passionate about your job. To make your community a better place to live, work and play. Local Houlton Maine and Aroostook County youth work growing up for their spending money. They are taught respect for others, for property and to appreciate all they do have not what they have for a list of galloping gimmees. The Northern Maine potato harvest will start in about three weeks and that is a time enjoyed by young and old alike as a tradition special to the "County". Already, youth have jobs lined up in the potato fields and spud houses to make money for those expensive A&F pants, or a new downhill ski coat, or to save for college or that "pre owned" car. Because Maine youth contribute to the cost of everyday life, they are more productive parts of a family which in turn translates into their role in the community they find themselves raising a familyand working in down the road. In Northern Maine there is less money to manage, so they like their parents are taught to be better money managers. Shut off those lights, don't leave that door open, don't waste food by taking more than you can eat. They split and store firewood as a family annual exercise. My kids remember trips to the Ludlow woodlot to load the farm truck with this year's heat supply of wood. The weather in the fall in Maine is gorgeous...little chill or crispness to air in morning or early evenings but a picnic in the woods as we take a break from loading and stacking wood is a time to talk, share laugh and spend time together. The kids feel part of the family because they contribute. They are needed and a special part of household. This experience and closeness translates into adults who don't look for a hand out or a country expected to take care of them...but rather what can I do to help, what work needs tackling that I can help with.
Northern Mainers are not lazy...and they are survivors. This year's oil price hike, quickly get on board with energy saving operations around the household. Many local neighbors though already had the two feet of attic insulation, box sills stuffed with pink stuff and weather stripping added to the new insulated doors and windows added years ago. Mainers don't wait until a crisis situation and are not just looking at a windows of the next twenty minutes..they plan for all the things that could happen and are prepared. Again it comes back to how they were raised, having to be more cautious spenders because money did not flow like water thru the household budget. I would rather make less but get more from my everyday dollar in rural Maine. With mortgages of $30, $40 and $50 thousand dollars, we don't need to have giant salaries to pay the lower insurance costs and for our free entertainment. In Maine, recreational opportunities are endless and all you have to do is get here or live here. Our backyard is "Vacationland". Hiking, moose spotting, skiing, fishing, boating, snowsledding and outdoor farming based lifestyle choices make Maine the place to live, work and play. We don't have or need full time police officers in our schools, we don't need to lock our doors, people wave, smile and are nice to each other. No need to carry a taser, no gangs, no smog, no traffic...just four season beauty and a pace of life that is sane, family oriented. Maine...the way life should be.