You start your journey in Kittery, hoping to end up in Portland. Somewhere along the way you take a wrong turn and end up on the northern border of Canada.
The local radio station starts to play Christmas music before thanksgiving this year. The year after that they play it before Halloween. The next year, there is no beginning of the Christmas music. You struggle to remember a time when they didn’t play Christmas music.
You decide to go to Old Orchard Beach for the day. When you arrive, all you see, hear, touch, taste, and smell is French Canadian.
Driving on the turnpike, you come across a deer. He stands frozen in front of your car, staring into your soul. You cannot help but stare back at him. Next thing you know, he’s in the passenger seat of you car and you are taking him to the best Italian sandwich shop in Maine.
You start to drink a can of Moxie. The taste of 1000 year old tree bark and sulfur attacks your taste buds, but you cannot stop drinking. You finish your first can and open another.
Someone asks “where do you live?”. You reply, “Vacationland”. Your reply to the question startles you, and you cannot remember a time when you weren’t on vacation.
Everyone owns a UMaine article of clothing. In fact, everyone you know goes to UMaine. Even your Grandmother still goes to UMaine.
Appledore Island, Maine, (formerly known as Hog Island) is the largest of the Isles of Shoals located about seven miles off the Maine/New Hampshire coast. It is part of the Town of Kittery, in York County.
It was originally settled by Europeans in the colonial era, when the ease of transport by water made farming on island economically efficient. A church was established in 1640. Near 1700, the entire settlement on this island moved to Star Island in New Hampshire to escape taxes imposed by Massachusetts (of which Maine was then a province).
The heyday of the island was the artists salon that thrived there in the late 19th century, before the advent of artists’ colonies as we know them today. Celia Thaxter reigned over an impressive group of friends who were also the leading artists, musicians, and writers of the day. These included Edward MacDowell and his wife; American pianist William Mason, son of Lowell Mason, who played the grand piano in her salon daily; and John Knowles Paine, America’s first serious composer of note. Childe Hassam painted Celia’s magnificent garden in a style similar to Monet’s Giverny paintings. This rarefied atmosphere ended with Thaxter’s death in 1894.
The hotel burned in 1914, bringing down the final curtain on this heyday in American arts. A charming small original daybook from this time period was re-published in part, in 1992, titled The Isles of Shoals Remembered, by Caleb Mason.
They die when he’s nine, a car crash that should’ve killed them all, and he’s left sitting in the waiting room of a hospital with a three month old baby sister in his arms and nowhere to go.
They die when he’s nine and there’s no other family, no relatives, no godparents, no close family friends. There’s no one. William and Jessica Poindexter are completely alone.
They die when he’s nine and his sister is three months old and that’s all he has left. A crying baby in a cold, white waiting room, with a social worker smiling sadly at him and telling him about foster families.
Will and Jess are put into the care of an older couple in Augusta, Maine, and left to fend for themselves. The couple is nice, but they’re not family, and Jess won’t stop crying, and Will is angry, so angry that his parents left him, and it’s just too much.
Will is ten and Jess is a year old and they go to a family in Augusta, a family with two biological kids of their own, looking to help out how they can. Will doesn’t get along with their fourteen year old son, they do nothing but argue, the other boy rude and spoiled. Their seventeen year old daughter turns her nose up in disgust at both Will and Jess.
Will is eleven and Jess is almost two and they’re moved again. The woman they go to next isn’t as kind. She’s strict with rules and schedules and Will hates her. She has two other foster kids, who she says need her attention, but they’re older. They can care for themselves a little better than his little sister. And yet, all of them get ignored. The two other kids, two older girls, try their best to help care for Jess, but there’s only so much they can do. Will stops listening. He hates this woman. Despises her. His sister deserves better.