… on faith, or fate, or what the fuh


Winter Sky; Southport Island, Maine.

I am big on faith.

Not so much the religious kind, and most of my religious friends bear with me on this. Which is good because they are the ones I’m going to lean on if I’m wrong and St. Peter really does have that iPad in his hands at the Holy Gates and pulls up my life and makes me watch.


I’m talking the faith in the ‘what’s comings’ in life.

Sure, there is the occasional boogeyman who shows up and scares the frack out of me or tosses a lovely setback grenade – or worse – here or there.

But for the most part, I have faith that the stuff laying and playing out before me, waiting for me to catch up to it, holds good things. And sometimes great things.

Case in point.

In 1995, Mac was 2 (“And a half!”. she would insist) and Sam was just turning 1 and I came home from work one day.  JoHn, Granny and Grampa were in the kitchen and I looked at them all, wide-eyed and said “Uh.. I just got a job offer.  In Australia.”


And let me add the context that neither JoHn nor I actually came from families where you would go off to find your self or your fortune in a far away place. And ‘far away’ meant no more than five towns or 50 miles in any direction, whichever came first.  So another country or other continent was kind of … out of acceptable range.

Here were our reasons for not going:

We had just finished building our first house, and moving in all together with Granny and Grampa six months earlier. We didn’t even have, like, a lawn.

Also, we were a two income household (see new house above and think mortgage).

Kids. Who would someday have to go to, you know, school. Which we kind of thought would be in the town we owned a house in.

Week-old car. Literally. Week. Old.

Two dogs.

Six Cats.

And Granny and Grampa.

They weren’t old or feeble or needy or anything. We just kinda liked them.

And, remember, this was way before the age of Skyping and Facetiming.  We barely even e-mailed very much at home at that point.

It was nuts.


So we said no.

Thank you, but no.

And it wasn’t easy either, because this was a tempting adventure. Totally uncomfortable.  But tempting. It was hard to squash the idea, but we were in agreement. It was done.

But something kept niggling at me. Something about trusting that this was all going to work out.

It was the Faith Thing.

So I waited.

And then the call back came.

What were my reasons, and could we talk about them?

And over the next week or so, we had several conversations on several different points, and one at a time here is what happened (like, paraphrased).

Me: “We bought a house, and there is this thing called a mortgage.”

Australia: “No worries mite! We cov-ah all housing costs in Australia! We’ll even toss in the furni-cha, pots, pans and a kookaburra for the yah-d!”


Me: “Oh well, we can’t still because Granny and Grampa and dogs and cats.”

Granny and Grampa: “We will take over care of all cats and dogs and this brand new house!”

Note: This was before we knew that, even in a brand new house, Grampa tended to fix things (that didn’t need fixing) and paint (what didn’t need painting), usually with creosote or roofing tar or a color that he deemed “close enough”. What I didn’t know caught up to me later.

Okay back to he conversations:

Me: “Kids, school and stuff.”

Australia: “No worries, mite!” Instead of asking fuh three to five years of your lives, let’s staht off with one ye-ah and go from the-ah!”

Yes, Australian accents are just one standard deviation from Maine accents, it turns out.


Me: “Car.”

Australia: “No worries, mite!  We’ll cov-ah the lease on a cah and petrol!” (hehehe… ‘petrol’)


Me: “JoHn has to work.”

Australia: “What does he do?”

Me: “Something to do with energy I think.”

Australia: “No worries mite! We-ah just stah-ting up an energy practice he-ah. We’ll hi-yeh the bloke!”

I am not kidding you.

And then they tossed in (I think because I was stunned silent, but they thought I was holding out for a better deal) that they would fly Granny and Grampa down, Business Class, for a visit once each year while we were there (or fly us home, whichever we wanted).


This is what I mean about not ever knowing what’s coming… like now… or now… or now! You don’t know what will be next, and it could be pretty amazing (and involve wombats and stuff).

So now, we have turned into the year 2016.  The year where we are really getting ready to move to Maine. And I have to tell you, I’ve been a bit nervous about it, as it approached and started to get real.

What if it is too far away?

What if there is nothing to do in the winter time, and me being happily ensconsed in my house with a fire crackling in the fireplace, writing (and clicking away with my camera on occasional jaunts out) is not enough and I get cabin fever?

*note: JoHn laughs his extroverted arse off when I say this. He is sure I would happily hermit myself into a cave if it was possible for me to still have access to fritos and diet coke…

and maybe Christmas decorations.

But what if and also what if… and, oh, what if?

But here is the funny thing, as I look over this past year.

It’s already happening.

Strange stuff to get us ready to go…

Like, climate change. Who knew? It showed up perfectly timed and made sure that it is really no colder nor any more snowy at our house in Maine than it is in Dunstable.


Also, more stuff is staying open year ’round on our little peninsula, which has always been a very summery community.

This year I found out my favorite shop for bread and cheese (and these incredible oils and vinegars – and ya, wine) is staying open all year long. This is good news for my bread and cheese and oil and vinegar and wine habit. Which they started.

So, come to think of it, people at Eventide, you totally owe me to stay open.

And the YMCA expansion that was started by the community a few years ago is complete and the Y is beautiful and has a pool and a gym and lots of classes and people are pretty proud of it.

The movie theatre was just revamped with a fundraiser (oh ya, it’s totally digital now, and even has new seats (word is the popcorn is pretty good too)).

The Hannaford (the local grocery story) just finished its total redoing and expansion and is looking spiffy and organized.

And we even have neighbors who are thinking of spending more time on our street in the off season (wHierd names though:  ChrisChrisChris and JustOneJim).

And as if that isn’t enough of a series of signs that we need to really give our plan to move to Maine a go…

This year, the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens – which are awesome, seriously incredible – decided to extend their season by lighting the gardens with 200,000 lights for the holidays.


And so many people came that the selectmen in Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor are talking about lighting the commons next year! And then the Harbor Lights and Polar Express at the  Railway Village and all sorts of other stuff will have more people and stores will stay open and amazing things will happen because I cannot believe it but my region in Maine is trying to become…

a Christmas destination!

Why did I ever doubt it?!

Faith baby!

What was I ever afraid of?

Thanks for readin’.


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