|When I first lived in the County in Maine things were quite a bit different from the way they are today. True, I lived in the southern end, but nonetheless, in many ways it was a different world.
I-95 ended as a four lane divided highway at Millinockett. From that point, northward it was a nightmarish two laner. dominated by flying overloaded pulp trucks, many of them driven by the teenage sons of the truck owner. Let me tell you, it could get pretty scary especially at night. Nothing I had ever experienced while driving, not even 8 lanes at high speeds in California could shake me up as much as those 18 miles I had to travel between Millinockett and the Patten exit where I could get off the highway.
Another big change was the way in which business was conducted. Having been involved in three house and property sales before moving into the County I was aware that selling and buying property involved a lot of legal work. When I asked about property lines I was blithely assured "Oh, we don't bother with stuff like that up here."
Making sure I wasn't being set up for a future transaction, I insisted. I was delighted to find that the property line extended into the natural peat bog surrounding the place. I learned they had all thought it pretty funny that I had purchased so many acres of bog.
As it turned out I had the last laugh because I knew more about the bog than they did. I had read about it in the New Yorker and on the Today show where Tom Brocaw did a special broadcast on both Baxter State Park and the Bog which, it turned out, is the last remaining natural peat bog in the country and home to fantastic and rare wild flowers including beautiful orchids. Heaven help you if you pick one.
There was enough space between us and the bog for us to have plenty of grass, a swimming pool and a garden. Great place.
The only drawback, if you saw it as one, which we didn't, was the absence of American TV. We had good reception with our outside antennas but couldn't get anything but the two Canadian channels. There was one American newscast at midnight but that was all.
It didn't take long for us to adjust. We did get to see MASH, Gunsmoke and a few other really good American shows. There was no American pro football. We had been avid San Francisco Forty Niner fans but soon picked up on the slight rule differences and were enjoying Canadian ball, plus a new enjoyment of soccer and hockey.
We certainly learned a lot more about Canada than we had ever known, particularly its political scene. There seem to be a great deal more insightful documentaries than we have on our TV. We always checked the one American newscast, the national ABC news and found that quite often many stories had been left out from the newscasts we had seen on Canadian TV.
When we moved back into American cable we missed the Canadian programming. Just a few weeks ago my son commented on a show, The Tudors, which I was bemoaning missing because I didn't have HBO. He told me he was getting it on Canadian CBC. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that I get CBC. He also said that he watches the newcasts from Canadan Broadcasting Company for the same reason we once did - he gets a lot more news.
I have been happily reunited with CBC, I watched a Canadian American style pro football game. I don't know if I'll return to curling, although once I learned what they were actually doing it did become more interesting. I can't imagine trying to move fast on ice in sneakers, much less sweeping like mad while chasing what looks like an iron teakettle.