About nine years ago when I was nineteen I moved up to Northern Maine across from the border of Canada with the encouragement of Kris Seymour my childhood coach and neighbor. I really didn’t know what I was getting into and it ended up being a really interesting part of my life. There were some things that were hard about being up in Northern Maine- mostly that it was so far away from home- and many things that were absolutely wonderful. At the time, the Maine Winter Sports Center was a fairly new organization and there was incredible enthusiasm within the community. Pretty much all of the athletes that moved up there were more or less adopted by various families that either had a passion for skiing or discovered it through MWSC. This is what made living in the “county” the most amazing thing. Every weekend, all of the athletes who lived there would invariably be invited to BBQ’s on the lake and spend time hanging out, tubing, and eating good food with the families. It was special. The family that adopted me were the Collin’s. They had four girls from the ages of 8 to 16 and whenever I got lonely, I would decide to go practice piano at their house and then stay for a week. They took me right in. I will never forget their kindness and love.
After three years of living in Fort Kent and Caribou, it was time for me to move on and pursue my education. But now I am back. This spring I decided that I missed having a club team to belong to and I approached the coaches at MWSC to discuss training with them part time. They agreed. And now I have just driven home from two weeks living in “the county” again.
It was really nice to be back. Within five minutes of crossing the border I ran into someone I knew and was invited to come for a visit. But first I needed some time to myself. I had a very hectic spring and I was bone tired. I was lucky enough to stay in this awesome house mostly by myself that was renovated and then decorated by a professional. Probably the nicest house I will ever live in. My dad told me that I was living in luxurious poverty and he was totally right.
I settled myself in and took advantage of all the space to work on some sewing projects. As luck would have it, I developed a pretty nasty sore throat just about when I was passing Montreal on the drive so I really didn’t train for a week. The cold was just my body telling me that enough was enough and I needed to sit on my butt and chill the heck out. The sewing came in handy… There is store called Mardens which is about the size of Walmart and it has everything. It’s totally nuts. Unbelievable. Awesome. And everything is super super cheap because it is extra or salvage. Their fabric section is huge and I totally freaked out and bought a ridiculous amount. I shouldn’t have but I just couldn’t contain myself. All those colors!!!!
So I sewed and sewed.
Once I felt healthy I just got into my normal training routine and then started to catch up with all the people that used to take care of me. I used to be able to go for a week without cooking dinner for myself so I set out to do that once again…!. The little girls who were 8 are now in college and driving cars and are way taller than me. We went tubing and recreated some funny photos that we took a long time ago and it was the most fun I have had in a long time. I also got some quilting lessons from an expert and visited some farming friends of mine. I learned some really interesting things.
So the best part about being in the county are still the awesome people who are so happy to see you and always ready to have you come over for dinner and spend the night if you want. I jumped right back into old routines and it felt so good. Thank you to everyone who welcomed me back.
I also got some fun training in. Most notably an awesome muddy bike ride, a hill bounding workout and racing thunderstorms on my rollerskis. And now I am home drinking a glass of wine on my parents porch with my dog and watching thunder and lightening. Not too bad.