Earlier this summer, my family traveled to New Mexico and Colorado to visit family and friends. Having grown up out west, I like to go back every few years to once again see the wide open spaces, feel the dry air, and enjoy the abundant sunshine.
When we first moved to Maine, many years ago, I wasn't sure I'd like it. I felt a bit claustrophobic by all the trees and the change in seasons was more drastic than anything I was used to. Yet as the years have passed, Maine hasn't just grown on me; it has gotten into my blood. I used to make my husband promise that when we retire in 20 years or so, we will move back to the west; yet now I find myself questioning that idea more and more.
This last time I went west, it was as wonderful as ever. Every day in the mountains was 75 degrees and dry, and the sky was eternally blue. There were no black flies, hardly any mosquitoes, and few trees to block the views. But when I came back to Maine, I knew I was coming home. No longer do I say I'm going to visit out west because it's home - it's simply where I grew up.
The west is always beautiful, but it is always changing. People are moving there in droves because of all the aforementioned reasons. People visit Maine, but few move here because the winters frighten them - and we like it that way!
I would still like to visit the west every year, because part of my heart will always be there; but only part. The rest of my heart is now in Maine, in our cozy little house in the woods, surrounded by trees that block the view, blue skies only about half the time, and humid air in summer and frigid temps in winter. I love our small town, our clean environment, and our practical people. I love that we can personally know those running for state government, because they are our neighbors and they go to our church.
Yes, I think I'd like to stay in Maine forever - just don't tell my husband, because he'll only say, "I told you so."
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