01 November 2005

Rural Living

In Maine, even the cities feel a bit rural.

We live in a town with a population of about 8000, and we have a neighboring town with a population more than doubling that. Yet in Maine, these are some of the larger towns.

Portland, the largest city in Maine, weighs in with a whopping 230,000 people. It is just large enough to give us (among other things) an international airport (called a jetport here in Maine), an urban shopping mall, a wonderful symphony, and an art museum.

The capital city of Augusta has a population of just over 20,000. The cozy city on the Kennebec gives visitors a feeling of going back to simpler times where the capitol building was the center of town, not just a tourist attraction.

Most of the towns in Maine are small, quaint villages right out of a Norman Rockwell painting or Stephen King novel (without all the horror, of course). Most towns have an adorable white church with a pointed steeple, a town green with a gazebo, and some water source, whether a lake, a river, or a pond in the center of town.

Maine's rural living often gives us glimpses of wildlife right in town. Just a couple of weeks ago, a large bull moose sauntered right through our suburban neighborhood and walked past our home. The local school bus had to stop and let it pass. A few weeks before, a young moose walked down Main Street and crossed at the only streetlight. Motorists watched delightfully as the moose trotted off into the woods.

This time of the year, the wildlife is more active as many animals are getting ready for winter. As you drive through the countryside, the small towns, or the big city of Portland, keep a lookout for busy foxes, squirrels, and even the occasional moose. Enjoy the taste of rural living and remember, this is the way life should be.

Copyright © 2005 - Paulla Estes

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