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Spring Finally Arrives


We’ve been living in Maine for three years now. Our house search culminated around this time three years ago when we found our Winterport acreage and perhaps one of the most unique A-frame layouts imaginable (that’s three stories, with second and third story lofts). We put Pennsylvania Amish country, which is itself a unique place to be Jewish, in the rear view mirror, and found a place where it’s even more unique to be Jewish.

It’s been amazing, and now, we’re in the position where we’re helping other Jews acclimate to Maine living on the Midcoast. With a Lag B’Omer bonfire and another fire party last night, we’ve made new friends, people we can give advice to about how we’ve related to Maine living.

I never realized what a city kid I am, for instance, until we bought a house with a quarter mile driveway and a septic system. Our recent experience with a float failure on our otherwise robust septic pump was the first time I dug out our septic tank since moving in. I didn’t know where it was, even though I knew where the pump hatch was. And thank heavens for needing to replace the float…the offal in our septic tank was right up to the top. We took care of that concurrently with our pump repair.

It’s those experiences that allow our neighbors to chuckle and shake their heads at the strange folks next door. And I laugh in spite of myself. Living in the woods is a lot of work, especially since I insist on cutting and seasoning our winter’s supply of wood personally. Landscaping to keep the woods from encroaching on our yard is a significant endeavor.

And the gardens bloom on their own. Azaleas, rhododendron, and daffodils, along with a crop of wildflowers, just come back on their own.

All is not awesome this time of year. In our Jewish community, we’re all living with the angst associated with each new instance of murder, violence, and vandalism nationwide. We’re having debates about how to keep communities alive already. The fear of being a target by being a part of a community, we worry, will keep people from affiliating. It’s certainly expensive, and for smaller communities, downright untenable.

But as a people, we’ve been here before. And we have a technological assist and cooperation with modern law enforcement that is unparalleled in our history.

But back to spring…this being the third year that I gird my loins and grit my teeth before undertaking a trip down our pothole-laden driveway, I can say I finally feel like our family is deeply woven into Maine and especially the Maine Jewish tapestry. I joked around recently that we’re buying cemetery plots as a sign of our commitment to Maine. I’m not kidding.

Living here is fantastic. I wasn’t feeling it in “extended wintah” as I removed almost a foot of snow from the driveway in mid-April, but now that spring is finally here, we’re cool again.

Brian

Writer, soldier, programmer, father, musician, Heeb, living in the woods of Maine with three ladies and a dog.

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About Brian

Brian Kresge

Brian Kresge

Writer, soldier, programmer, father, musician, Heeb, living in the woods of Maine with three ladies and a dog.

About Leah

Leah Kresge

Leah Kresge

Director of Education for Congregation Beth Israel in Bangor, Maine, special educator and former school board member, mother to Amelia and Nezzie.

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