Without fail, each time we spend more than a day in another place, I have the desire to move there. The highlight reel: I’ve opined about living in Pacifica and Monterey; Ipswich, Chatham, and Gloucester; Boulder and Nederland; Philadelphia, New York City, and Seattle.
But Maine. That’s where I really sink my teeth in. Trulia and Zillow get involved. As does Ancestry dot com. I look at any semi-coastal property beginning at the state’s mid-section and working my way up. What catches my eye? Something that predates 1880 and is under $300,000, preferably attached to an overgrown field and some decaying outbuildings. And while I don’t have either the money or the carpentry skills, the list of options is satisfyingly long.
After my dad died a few years back, I spent hundreds of hours obsessively tracing his biological lineage using his birth and adoption records, discovering a family I never knew and he never wanted to know. After several generations of Massachusetts ancestors, it brought me back to Maine where they had lived since the mid 1600s. It was there that I found my most satisfying fantasy property: a home that sat on nearly 40 acres at the St. George River and was once owned by a great of some degree.
We took our most recent trip at the beginning of August — our annual pilgrimage to Mt. Dessert Island — and I’m already back at it. I don’t know what it is about Maine — and I don’t put much stock in family lore calling me back — but year after year, something makes me want to go and fix up an old house, write a book, homeschool my kids, and open a little shop.