It’s Tuesday morning mid-September, and the air is finally crisp the way it’s supposed to be here, all summer.”Maine, the way life should be”; the slogan you see welcoming you on the Maine Turnpike northbound, and the mantra I now have slapped on the back of my car in the form of a nifty, oval bumpersticker. I giddily took ownership of the idea this past July, and I am now an official MAINIAC. It feels goooood to finally come out of that closet. According to the Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary, the word “maniac” is not very popular: You’ll find it among the bottom 50% of words based on “popularity.” I lived my entire childhood and adolescence not being among the popular ones, so bite me.
noun ma·ni·ac \ˈmā-nē-ˌak\
Simple Definition of maniac
: someone who is violent and mentally ill
: a person who behaves in a very wild way
: a person who is extremely enthusiastic about something
Ok, let’s just throw the first definition to the wind (it’s too simple of a definition to explain it all; a cop-out, if you ask me) but let’s keep the two next ones. Wild. Enthusiastic. Yes, that works.
So, why is this summer different from all other summers? Well, for one, this summer saw many days of temps in the 80s and 90s – IN MAINE! – something I frankly had not signed up for. The Viking that I am, degrees above mid 70s make me feel ferklemt. I’m talking inability to think clearly, sudden onset dyslexia and temper issues. Maybe the first definition can stay, come to think of it. On a particularly balmy afternoon I yelled out to my new neighbors, “Hey, what’s with the heat?? I want a refund!!” They served me a vodka tonic, G-d bless them.
But about Tuesday mornings. Here in my new hometown, a small, quintessential, New England college town, about two hours north of Boston, there is the farmer’s market on the town green, EVERY Tuesday and Friday morning. This delight takes place all of 1.5 half blocks from my new abode; a yellow painted barn from the 1860s, just converted into a pretty fab little apartment. I simply take my well worn canvas shopping bags and mosey on down, nodding and smiling to all, because it’s impossible not to.The local produce, cheeses and baked goods abound, while buying a bouquet of flowers means they last for two weeks. It’s all that fresh.
Here in Maine, we take our time and say things like “Ayuh” (real slow) for “yes,” and if you ask someone how they’re doing, be prepared to listen to a story or two.
Onto my new town library, where a gloriously large and bright “quiet room” awaits, with signs scattered about that read “Just Write!” and Hemingway’s quote, “There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” is plastered on the walls. My kinda place. I realize I might bleed some here in the years to come, perhaps on the plush, colorful Persian rug underfoot, but it can’t be all fun and games, now, can it?