Mr. Nina is in the middle of looking for a sparkling new job. His job search is taking us all across New England which means there’s a very real probability that I will be moving. I wasn’t born in Maine, but I moved here when I was 3 or 4, which means it’s my home state. So this week I thought I’d re-post (from Jan 2009) 13 very special facts about Maine.
1. Living in a town for several decades doesn’t necessarily mean you can call it home. It’s understood that your parents and probably your grandparents should call the same town home before you can be considered “coming from there”.
2. We don’t drop our r’s … we just move ’em to a better word.
You have a yard … I have a yahd
You have lobster … We sell lobstah
You wear a toga … I wrap up in a toger
You live in an area … but here we have ari-ars
There are plenty more examples, but you git the idear.
(No, this lobstah is not diseased … it’s alive. The-ah only red when the-ah cooked. Ah yuh.)
3. Moose are the largest member of the deer family and hitting one with a car is not recommended. Statistically some 700 vehicles collide with moose (only taking out the legs and sending the body of the animal through the windshield) Out of that approximately 160 people are injured each year and 3 crashes result in fatalities.
(This is a full-sized chocolate moose found at a candy shop in southern Maine.)
4. It is the least racially diverse state in the country. (Mostly because it lacked the jobs to attract immigrants in the late 19th century.)
5. The oldest European settlements in New England are in Maine. But of course the French colony in Calais (1604) and England’s Popham Colony in Phippsburg (1607) both failed after the first winter. Go figure.
6. Maine has the second lowest violent crime rate. (What hardened criminal would suffer through a Maine winter …see above.)
7. Quaint fishing towns were actually built by the fishermen to do work like lobstering and shrimping. Not by the chamber of commerce to make pretty postcards.
8. Lubec’s West Quoddy Head Light is the easternmost point in the continental US but during the fall and winter sunlight actually touches Mars Hill mountain first. (And that’s just down the rud from he-ah). Of course Guam has them all beat by 14 hours … but that’s just a territory.
9. The first successful trans-Atlantic balloon flight took off from Presque Isle, Maine. (I think they were trying to go home.)
10. Up until the early 80’s, Maine frequently finished last or nearly last in the country per capita income. (The Governor’s mansion…)
11. Mainers suffer through long winters and hours of boredom can make us a little stir-crazy. Mainers have used the quiet hours of winters to invent ear muffs, Moxie (a soda … sorta like Dr. Pepper mixed with gasoline), the combine harvester, and the common mouse trap. Really … it gets dark early in Maine in the winter. (Oh, and there is that entertainment.)
12. We have the towns of Bangor (pronounced Bang-gore not Bang-grrr) and Calais (which, despite being settled by a frenchman is pronounced Ca-liss, not Cal-lay), and Saco (pronounced Sah-co not Say-co) and of course the town where I live Presque Isle (which means nearly an island and is pronounced Pres-Kyle not preskee iz-el … which is what I get most of the time when I order something over the phone).
13. When someone says they’re going “down east” it actually means they’re traveling north along the coast. This term refers to the tack ships had to take to navigate north along the Maine coast. They had to tack down and east to travel to the more northern ports.
Oh, and I don’t want you to think I forgot to add just a little heat
I wouldn’t do that to you …
it’s been a long time since I shared …
So how about a nice bed warmer for those loooong Maine autumn nights?