What is Maine

Here’s the weather summary from Down East Maine this summer: it was abysmal.  Alternately clammy and boiling, with plenty of precipitation thrown in for good measure.  Somehow I got healthy doses of tennis and pond-swimming in, plus I got to conduct Randall Thompson’s 2nd symphony and premiere a new kids’ piece (recording coming soon!) so all-in-all, it was a good summer.

I get so nostalgic when these summers in Maine come to their inevitable conclusion, but my drive back to Ohio had some nice distractions to cheer me up: I stopped in to see a student perform at the Bowdoin International Music Festival in Brunswick, which, I’m sorry, simply isn’t part of Maine.  I’ve now lived a cumulative total of a year in Maine which legally qualifies me to distinguish which regions are and are not Maine.  Brunswick is not.

Rural Quebec certainly is though, and driving through there to get to Hancock this year was a trip in more way than one.  I’ve always thought about taking the Northern Route from the American Midwest to Hancock Point, but I’ve never done it until this year.  My apologies to the Rust-belt, but Toronto and Montréal are much better stops along the way than Buffalo and Worcester.

Approaching the U.S. border, Quebec takes on a strangely disconcerting aspect – the landscape is so familiar, but everything is in a foreign tongue.  Speaking of which, Point of Information: people on the other side of the Maine border still speak French!  In fact, 5% of Maine households are French-speaking, according to the Sacred Wikipedia!  Learning!

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