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You have to forgive my prolonged absence (just 4 days!) from the blogosphere recently, I haven’t been feeling so well and was not making much sense in writing (or in any other medium either). As a favor to you, dear loyal readers, I decided not to subject you to my crazier than usual rantings – which is a nice way of saying, GET OFF MY BACK ALREADY! But, as long as I’m here……….

When I first moved to Maine, I was regaled with all sorts of useless advice from a whole cross-section of people “from away,” as if they had anything worthwhile to contribute on coping with life in this remote northern corner of these United States.

The one piece of useful advice I did get was from an older brother who lives in upstate New York. He told me that I absolutely without fail had to buy myself a Subaru Forester if I were going to survive Maine roads in the winter. Not that he’s an expert on Maine, far from it, but he does live and drive in the snow in winter and he happens to have lots of experience with just about every car there is.

In his opinion the Forester, which is All Wheel Drive (as are all Subarus), is the best possible snow car, better than any vehicle for any amount of money, domestic or imported (not that “any amount of money” was in my budget, but you get the idea).

I did some checking upon arrival in Maine, having donated my barely functioning California vehicle into the open arms of Father Joe’s Villages,* and found I could not get a four wheel drive hybrid – so with “green running” off the table, safety and survival became key. Off to the Subaru dealer I went.

I found and bought a barely used (300 mi) silver Subaru Forester, LL Bean model – what else? VW has Karmann, Lincoln has Bill Blass, Subaru has Bean. Price couldn’t be beat, all was well, and I bought the car.

First trip to a rather large Hannaford’s supermarket with the new car, I go inside with my list, do my shopping for the week, come out with a cart full of groceries, and…….Uh oh!

You see, it appears that my dear brother is not the only one who knows that the Forester is the best snow car.

All I can say is thank goodness for remote door locking/unlocking with attendant beeps and light flashes or I’d still be wandering around that parking lot looking for my car, and my groceries and I would all be frozen solid by now!

Who knew that Maine had a state car?


*Father Joe’s Villages (St. Vincent de Paul) will take your unwanted vehicle as a donation. Go to for more information


In Maine, if you weren’t born here, you are not from here. Period. No exceptions. And if you aren’t from here, you are “from away.” Which is about the worst thing you can say about anyone. “Oh, her? She’s from away!!!” And them’s fightin’ words! Luckily, if you are from away, you don’t know that them’s fightin’ words. And you can go blithely about your business completely unaware that you are cursed with this terrible affliction.

While being “from away” can work in your favor to excuse a whole bunch of faux pas and other mistakes you might make in trying to survive the environment and carve a niche for yourself in this incredible place, you need to know, up front, that you will never, ever, “fit in.”

I first learned of this “from away” phenomenon the summer I moved here, at a funky homemade ice-cream shop on a quaint cobbled street in town. I had ordered some orgasmic concoction that was one of the house specialties, and after eyeing the unending selection of toppings, asked for sprinkles. At which point the lady who had just been served ahead of me turned away from eating her cone, drew herself up, looked all the way down her nose at me (again with the nose!) and said “You’re from away!” with some indignance*. As it turns out, in Maine, “sprinkles” are called “jimmies” and THAT’S what had given me away. Not my New York accent. Not the lack of LL Bean labels on my city clothes, or the fact that I was carrying an umbrella (because in Maine, umbrellas are for sissies and California. In Maine when it rains, you need GEAR).


Outed by sprinkles!!

*In case you think I am completely off my rocker (and you may not be too far from the truth), I am fully aware that “indignance” is not a so-called “real” word. But I defy you to argue credibly that it doesn’t fit here. Plus, this blog is my own little fiefdom and “indignance” is a word in Onlyinmaineland if I say it is. Don’t say that you weren’t warned!

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