Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Where We Come From

So I was walking along today when I got the idea to craft a series of posts on where Rob and I come from.  Most of the bloggers whose blogs I read come from urban areas or at least suburban areas, so I thought that it might be interesting to show how the rural half lives.

Rob and I are both from a sparsely-populated county in Maine that abuts New Brunswick.  So you can see where this sits geographically, here's a map I found on Google images with our general area highlighted:

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Our county has a population of around 30,000 and covers about 3200 square miles. There are a lot of issues primarily relating to poverty in Washington County (specifically prescription drug abuse and low life expectancies), but it's a beautiful place with kind people, and I'm proud to have grown up there.

The town I grew up in has a population of 140.* My house sits at the end of a four-mile dirt road and was originally a hunting camp.  It also sat right in front of a small lake, one of the cleanest lakes in the state.  We were 40 minutes away from school, 30 minutes from the nearest grocery store, and 25 from the nearest gas station.  The only chain store we have is a Walmart. The nearest mall was a 90-mile drive one-way, in a town with a population of around 30,000.  Our town had an unfinished grange hall, like most New England towns, but most of the town business (car registrations and the like) is conducted in the homes of the town clerks.  Below are pictures of a view of the lake, the road my house is on, and the house I grew up in.

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Rob grew up in a larger town (population around 600) that sits on a harbor.  Most towns in Maine are widely dispersed, so despite being in a larger town, Rob was still 20 minutes from school and 30 minutes from the nearest grocery store.  And though we went to the same high school, it took us about an hour to drive to each other's home.  Here is the view from Robbie's parents' house:

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When Rob got out of the Army, he decided to go to a school in Western Maine.  We live in a town now of 3000 people with real restaurants, a grocery store within a 10 minute drive, and access to Maine's biggest city (a booming metropolis of 64,000 people). 


Neither Rob nor I are particularly fond of  highly urban areas; despite the proximity to events, shopping, and tons of people, we both feel even more isolated in cities than when we are at home.  When I studied abroad in Moscow in my junior year of college, I was amazed at how isolated and lonely I could feel in a city of 12 million people.  I love that our town office is a tiny house that is closed on Wednesdays.  I love that I run into people I know in the grocery store or gym on a regular basis.  I love that we can take our dog on the trail behind the house and not have to keep her on a leash or clean up after her (yay for pooping in bushes!).  I love that we can fall asleep to the sound of the river next to our house.

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So, you guys can all come get away from the city and stay with us if I can come visit you, deal?


*Funny story: when I was in Russia someone was asking me about my hometown.  I said, "My town has 140 people." The person responded, "...thousand?"  Still makes me laugh.

18 comments:

  1. Wow! I've moved around a lot during my life but I have never lived in a place so rural. 140 people. That seems crazy to me! My graduating class in high school was a little over 900. The part of me that hates crowds would love it but I think overall it would be too isolated. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. I really, really like this post. I grew up in New Brunswick and can attest to the perks of living in a small town, even though my town now has 1,949 people. We got a Tim Hortons about 10 years ago and it was the talk of the town. Haha. Ideally I'd love to live in a more rural area that is a very short drive to a city so I can have the best of both worlds. And, I get what you mean about being lonely in the city. I find nature soothes the loneliness.... Thanks for the great post.

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  3. What a beautiful place to grown up! And that's so wonderful that you live next to a river-I would love to hear that outside my window :) I grew up and live in a very tiny place as well. The population here is around 70, but we are surrounded by larger (but still quite small) towns with grocery stores and schools and all within 10 to 30 minutes. The sounds of nature and the wildlife are definitely my favorite parts of living away from town. I go for walks a lot in the morning and there is a group of dear I see almost everytime in the same place down our road.

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  4. This post spoke to me in so many ways!! Such a beautiful place you live in!! These photos are amazing! We love living in the country, too. There's nothing I love more than sitting in my back yard and listening to the silence, knowing the girls can roam free, saying hello to my friends and neighbors when I run errands. It's a beautiful thing.
    P.S. Please take lots of photos of all your fall colors, we don't get that here in Louisiana where everything stays green all year long. I will have to live vicariously through you!

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  5. Beautiful! I would love to live in a small town some day. Thank you for this glimpse into your life!

    xo,

    Sarah

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  6. this makes me so homesick for maine. i loved spending summers there growing up. your photos are beautiful and i truly hope to go back someday.

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  7. Aw I love it! Our hometown is quite a bit bigger than 140 or even 600, but it is still "small" by a lot of peoples' standards and we feel the same was in big cities.

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  8. I can't even begin to imagine what that's like. The closest to "rural" life I've even gotten was when I lived on Folly Beach, SC. There were about 2000 people living in that town. For me, that was TINY!

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  9. IT looks beautiful and a world away from where I come from (south florida)

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  10. i <3 rural areas! :) my town was bigger than yours, but i grew up on a farm out in the country, so i know what it's like!

    and those are some gorgeous pictures, caitlin! i'd love to take you up on the visiting deal sometime! :D

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  11. I have to admit I do love living in the city (I am a city girl at heart!) but I can 100% see the appeal in country life. Early mornings and afternoons stuck in rush hour traffic EVERY. DAY. gets so frustrating, and I need to take a very very very long walk to get pictures of beautiful landscapes like the ones in your post! I could definitely see myself settling down one day in a more rural town, but part of me feels like even though I'm annoyed with the hustle & bustle, I'd just miss it too much!

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  12. Caitlin, this is such a great idea! Love it!

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  13. That's funny, I am the exact opposite of you. I HATE running into people I know, and love the huge anonymity of cities. Maybe I'm just really bad at small talk or something.

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  14. Thanks for posting this. It was great to find out where you come from.

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  15. Caitlin, it's beautiful!! It makes me kind of miss the tiny town I grew up in..

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  16. And did I just get to comment without a captcha (sp?) thing?! Double, triple awesome.

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  17. Aw, I loved this post. =] My city has a little over 100,000 people and it's pretty perfect for me. Not too big, not too small. I do want to move away and live in a big city for a while (like Portland) while I'm still young just so I can experience it. =]

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  18. Ah I love this!! I love reading about where people live and seeing pictures to go along with it. You are great.

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