Our First Six Months in Maine

We arrived in the dark at the end of Memorial Day, just at the beginning of the summer. As soon as we unloaded our belongings into storage and settled into our temporary home with our relatives, we went to the ocean. I remember standing at the edge of the beach, letting the waves wash over my feet, and trying to grasp the fact that we actually lived here now. We can come to the beach any time we want. It felt so unreal…and yet so perfect.

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The summer felt, as we remembered from the Maine summers of our childhoods, magical. There’s just something about the warm sunny days combined with the cool coastal breezes that draws you outside, and we happily gave in to that pull as often as possible. We explored parks and beaches with family and friends, and sometimes just by ourselves. We made it our mission to try as many ice cream shops as we could—and only made it through a handful before discovering Sweetcream Dairy in Biddeford and falling in love with their locally sourced, unique flavors. We took hikes and played at playgrounds and went “upta camp” with friends. We experienced a Portland Sea Dogs baseball game. We went to house showings and found the library and had picnics. We spent Fourth of July watching the breathtaking sunset on the beach at Biddeford Pool.

Before we moved, we started a list of places we wanted to check out in the area, prompted by friends’ recommendations and things we saw online. Our list only expanded even as we checked things off. But we’ve already found a few favorites. Otto Pizza. The Holy Donut. Elements Coffee, Books, and Beer. The aforementioned Sweet Cream. Portland Pie Company (can you tell we love pizza?).

We now frequent Trader Joe’s and have made the obligatory trip to the giant boot at LL Bean. We’ve tried out Marden’s to see what everyone was talking about. (Hidden treasures are to be found if willing to search, and search frequently!).

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But we’ve fallen in love with much more than just the delicious food and beautiful nature here in Maine. We’ve already found community with friends and family even in just the short time we’ve been here. Dinners, game nights, life group, impromptu campfires…we’ve been so grateful for the people who have welcomed us with open arms and offered their friendship, love, and support. When we had a get together to celebrate our son’s birthday, over twenty-five people filled the dining room to sing to him and watch him blow out the candle on his cupcake, and we were overwhelmed with gratitude to watch him be loved by so many people, even though they are a different group from those who gathered around him for his birthday a year ago.

The fall has been a time of settling, of being able to go more places without constant use of the GPS, of finding our way around the grocery store more easily and setting up our network of doctors and hairdresser and insurance. We found a house and will be moving into it as soon as we finish renovations. I plan to set up our Christmas tree as soon as we do, even if it ends up being in January.

Maine…It feels like home. We know we’re meant to be here. And we’re excited to see the possibilities ahead of us, of a growing community, of satisfying work, of delving deeper into what we feel led to do here.

What is it they say? “Worth a visit…worth a lifetime.” I hope that’s true for us.

Kristi Clark