We chose Maine because we were looking for a safe, healthy place to raise our children. I spent my childhood playing outside: catching frogs, hanging out with neighborhood friends, bicycling to the beach. I wanted a similar experience for my children. You know the slogan “The way life should be.” Is it like that in Maine? I think so.

We live in Brooklin, on the Blue Hill Peninsula. The K-8 school has 60 to 70 students, so grades are small, even though many are combined (K-1, 2-3, and so on). George Stevens Academy is the high school in Blue Hill where two of our children attend. A fair share of GSA students continue on to competitive and highly competitive colleges.

Small towns tend to have tight communities, and ours does. Neighbors are friendly. People are very generous with a helping hand. All guys with trucks wave to each other when they pass. Pot luck dinners are big. Tag sale fund-raisers are big. The PTF is an important facet of life.

We garden quite a bit, and in recent years have raised our own meat: beef or lamb. Watching one’s children pull carrots out of the ground is tremendously satisfying.

Rural economies tend to be dominated by resource extraction or agriculture. Coastal Maine’s is dominated by fishing/boat building and the tourist/second home industries. The small cities, such as Bangor, Bucksport and Ellsworth, are growing as service and retail centers. A unique part of the Downeast economy is the Jackson Laboratory, which draws research money to the area.

Every lifestyle choice has benefits and drawbacks. The mix that works for one person does not work for everyone. This one here is a good mix.

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