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Old 01-01-2010, 07:07 AM
 
Location: Waldo County
1,220 posts, read 3,443,266 times
Reputation: 1393

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I[color="blue"] really want to encourage you, but like so many others who post here, the view of Maine is in direct conflict to the facts of life in Maine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steel*Faith View Post
What I meant ask was, do most Mainers try to live off the land; or have most become like the rest of America and can't live away from a Wal-Mart?

Maine people live in the United States. Maine people shop at big boxes just like everyone else in the United States. Big Box shopping is the way that American merchandises, and it isn't going to change in your lifetime. People can chose to shop elsewhere, and most often many of the itmes will be more expensive. Spending is a personal choice, but availability and volume is the way that American delivers merchandise, and Maine is no different than California, Minnesota or South Carolina.

Where i'm from in RI, many of my family members heat their homes with oil, and it's ridiculously expensive. yes, and likely to become more so. But the majority of central heating systems in the northeastern part of the United States are fueled with heating oil.While the more able ones have a woodstove. They get their own firewood from leftover landscaping jobs, friends & realtives, or from their property. Either way they split their own firewood, and i've learned to do so since I was young. The people I know that do this, save hundreds, to thousands, of dollars on heating costs each year. Doubtful. While a great many Mainers do burn wood to either supplement or to supplant fuel oils and propane for heat, burning wood isn't necessarily cheaper. The direct cost of wood will depend on whether or not you own the land that the wood comes from, and can afford the time and equipment and fuel necessary to cut and store it for winter. I don't know now what a cord of firewood in tree length is delivered, but I'll bet that it isn't less than $200. If there is NO furnace in the house, heating with a wood stove will be marginally cheaper in the short term, so long as one is able and willing to devote the time and effort to cutting and splitting. If one had ten acres of woods, then going out into the woods, cutting the tree or pulling out the blow-downs is another task that is hard to do in large scale unless you have a tractor or decent access for a truck. Doing it all with a wheel barrow is tough duty, and very time consuming.

Then there's hunting. My grandfather use to hunt deer, duck, peasant, geese ect. He had enough meat to last him all year round, and had plenty to give to the family. He also has a large garden in the back, and he has plenty of veggies that last through the warmer seasons. Since they're Italian, they cook a lot of it (like tomatoe sauce), freeze it, then have it for the winter. Then there's fishing, and we've always been able to catch freshwater, or salt water fish and have lots of meat for meals, and freeze for the future.Yes, and there are quite a few Mainers who do hunt at least some for food. But if one hasn't done this over some period of time or otherwise have some training in hunting and handling of firearms, getting food by hunting and fishing is no slam-dunk. Bear in mind that you can't just go hunting everywhere in Maine. Maine has many regulations and does patrol the woods, so this isn't a "free" enterprise. Having said that, if you are hell bent to have a freezer full of venison, it is possible to do. Having a garden in the back yard is a way of life for a great many Mainers.

That doesn't mean you don't stop by the market and pick up some extra things here and there throughout the month. Although your food expenses are greatly reduced, and not to mention you're eating fresher, better quality, and healthier foods. Most Mainers do this, too, regardless of whatever food source they have.

About the RI D.E.M, they're much worse than anything i've experienced in the Maine D.E.M. You have not yet begun to enjoy your dealings with MDEP. Every time i've been to Maine with my friends, I've been able to freely enjoy the outdoors without hardly seeing anyone, nevermind a goverment ranger getting on your case. There's massive amounts of land in Maine that's open to the population to roam about and enjoy, that's not the case in RI as the government restricts a lot of areas, or makes you pay to enjoy it. Rhode Island is tiny compared to Maine, and with it comparatively large population density, regulation is to be expected. But Maine has many different kinds of land use regulations also.






I got medically discharged from the US Navy, and we kinda got stuck living in RI, which wasn't part of our plans. Problem is RI is such a difficult place to start off in as a young married couple. I was also unemployed for awhile, and couldn't find stable work there; as it's in the top 3 for unemployment in the country. I preferred to move to another part of the US, or come back to Australia. We both agreed on coming to Australia, due to the current economic situation in the US. There's a lot of nice benefits to live in Australia though, and we wanted to be with her side of the family. Although I didn't necessarily plan on staying here permanantly, but wanted to get my college done, and save more money for the future. If you can do this before seriously contemplating a move to Maine, you will find it much easier to survive here when you do make the move.

I know my wife really well, and she will definitely like Maine if she can experience it herself. She just has an ignorant view of Maine that's it's pretty barren. As long as she's a reasonable distance to Portland or Boston, I can see her doing just fine.A reasonable distance? That will depend on how long one is willing to spend in a car to be in the city, and how well you can afford to full the tank of the car and pay the tolls required to make the trip. Some of Maine is a "reasonable" distance from Boston. The vast majority of Maine is more than a day's drive for most people.

I'm not 100% certain, but i'm sure Portland is much nicer and larger than Providence, RI.Well, here I think you are 100% wrong. Providence Rhode Island has THREE times the population of the Portland, Maine, and one half the area of land. BUT Providence actually is the center of a population that totals more than 1.6 million people or so, including part of southern Massachusetts. That number is larger than the entire population of Maine. As far as Portland being "nicer" than Providence, I guess it would depend on what you are using to define "nicer". I spend two years teaching in South Providence a long time ago, and it was a really depressed, ghetto area. There is nothing like that in Portland, nor in Maine in general. But there are nice areas and nice people in both places, and the center of the city has undergone considerable renovation and restoration since I left. Besides, when one mentions Providence, it is pretty hard to consider JUST Providence since Rhode Island is so small, it is much easier to live outside of the city while still taking advantage of the things that a large population center can offer.


This isn't just a selfish dream of mine. I know it would be a great way to raise a family, and live in a peaceful setting. Every single family, or person i've known that has moved to Maine has never regretted it.
There is nothing selfish about your dreams of living in Maine. More than thirty years ago, I made the decision to move to this "wilderness" and forego many of the advantages that I had at my finger tips on Cape Cod, which afterall, is just another suburb of Boston. But I was single and had only myself to be concerned with. Your wife many well fall in love with Maine and her people, but I am not going to bet on it. And for sure, if she ends up here and has to struggle to make ends meet because of the smallness of the economy and the seeming deprivations of the lack of population density, without a lot of preparation, education and saving, you may have a far tougher time than you can imagine. In the time that I have been in Maine as a full time resident, I have known many people who have come, stayed awhile, and moved on. In fact, many more of those, than of those who have come to stay. Look at Maine's population over the past fifty years in comparison to other states in the northeast. There is a reason for the numbers to look as they do.

 
Old 01-01-2010, 08:18 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,722 posts, read 47,483,706 times
Reputation: 17565
Steel*Faith -
As NMLM pointed out owning a home in the forest with a jeep, an ATV, a sled, and being all setup to produce most of your own food; may well be a lifetime end accomplishment.

Not something that a young couple starting out is going to be able to afford quickly.

We saved and invested for a long time before coming to Maine; and even now after 4 years here the 'toys' are on a back burner. Our gardens, greenhouses and completing our house must take higher priority.

We have friends who live in Portland. When I visit them, I see that while we may both live in Maine; their Maine is entirely different from mine. Their taxes are higher, their cost-of-living is higher and their freedoms are a great deal less. They live in a city, with lots of municipal services and they experience crime.

I do not picture the lifestyle that you propose as being possible in the Portland area.

Most of Maine is rural, lower taxes, lower cost-of-living and with greater freedoms; however jobs are scarce.

'Box stores' are the bane of our society. Modern marketing is what it is. Even I must go into a Home Depot or Lowes at least once a month for some project. There is no complete escaping it. Though those are the only box stores that we use on anything more than an annual basis.

'Home heating' well ours is homemade, and needs to be tended constantly. Or else our house may get cool. We have gone through a period of heating our home with propane, and cut/split firewood, and peat, and now we are on a period of using woodchips that we got for free along with coal. There are ways to beat the 'system', but it is dirty and it takes manual effort.

If I had to work a f/t career, this would not be happening. I simply would not have the time to mess with all of this.

When I was working, I was always at work. Either I was gone for months at a time, or else I was in rotating shift-work and gone 12 to 14 hours a day. Either way I was gone away from my family the majority of the time. I felt as life was passing by me. I was not able to enjoy the places where we lived, and I was not able to enjoy my family. Now that I am on pension, my Dw has her opportunity to make a career for herself. Guess what her complaint is? She leaves for work when it is dark, she gets home after dark; so her life now revolves around her career. All of her projects; making soap, rendering lard, spinning wool, dehydrating or freeze-drying foods, canning, sewing, moderating a forum, all of these things are left undone. Because she has no time to do them.

This is life.

In our experience, there have been times when we have had the cash to do things, but we have not had the time. And there have been times when we have had lots of time to do things, but we have been flat broke.



I understand your desire to get away from the high crime, the high cost-of-living, and the controlling regulations of urban living.

I really do.



Acadianlion I may not agree with completely, but he has a point. My lifestyle is often the exception to his rules. He is right that life in Maine may be a struggle for you.



Come to Maine, for a visit. Do not stop in Portland, don't even slow your car down, just get past it and go North. Avoid the coast, there is nothing on the coast for you. Spend a week touring some of the inland rural communities that Maine has to offer. Your Dw may find that something here appeals to her. The only way to find out is for you both to come and see.

She will need to be fully engaged and supportive of it, if you do move to Maine.

You may both need to hold fulltime jobs for a while.

Good luck to both of you.
 
Old 01-01-2010, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Cashtown, PA
240 posts, read 331,219 times
Reputation: 211
Please listen to Acadalion and Forest. Have been on the boards for a few months and they give some of the most sage advice I know. They are trying to save you a world of heart ache.

Don't give up on your dream of Maine...but perhaps wait to move permanently when you and your wife have spent some time there and got a good sense of the lay of the land there.

You also need to weigh what you want for your children when you have them and see if Maine will meet that need.

I am very much looking forward to visiting Maine in the spring before we get the crops in and the hard work begins down here is Mass.!
 
Old 01-01-2010, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Limestone, Maine
36 posts, read 66,506 times
Reputation: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steel*Faith View Post
Ever since I visited Maine in 2000, i've been in love with it. The beauty of it alone, makes me want to do anything I can to live there for the rest of my life. Everyone I know who has been there, ended up moving there permanantly. Every one of them felt the same way I did, and once they moved there they were content.

I'm originally from Rhode Island. When I got married, I ended bouncing between Australia and RI. Long story short, my wife and I are splitting up unfortunately. So i'm now considering moving to Maine permanantly - instead of putting off for later. Just for reference, im currently living in Australia, and i'm in my mid 20's.

My greatest dream is to live there, and have a simple life. I want to make enough money to live comfortably, and have time to enjoy the the outdoors and the people around me. I know how to stretch a dollar, and I live within my means, so i'm not too worried. Although, I want to make sure I can find work before I move there.

Thus far my primary line of work has been in healthcare, and residental landscaping on the side. I've worked with developmentally disabled people of all ages; although i'd like to get my CNA license to work in a hospital or nursing home. Would anyone be able to tell me if this is a good/stable job for Maine, and if I could easily get my CNA license there?

Another important question i'd like to ask, is about the community in Maine. I love to be alone at times, and I keep to myself - but being apart of a friendly community of people who look out for each other is important to me.

I'd greatly appreciate it if anyone could help me with my questions, and give me some honest information. Cheers!
I live in Aroostook County (Northern Maine) and have enjoyed living here during the last nine years. I'm moving to Titusville, Florida to join my wife after I find a job or sell my house in Limestone. You will have very little difficulty finding work as a CNA in many Maine cities and towns. You need to decide if you wnat to live in the North, Central or South Maine. The further north you travel, the less expensive the homes and the more difficult to find work (for some).
 
Old 01-02-2010, 06:36 AM
 
56 posts, read 105,326 times
Reputation: 54
Just to clarify. I'm not talking about living secluded, and totally detached from society. Things like gardening, hunting, cutting my own timber and using a woodstove would be supplemental to the common way of living. I'm not talking about being totally self-reliant, and cut off from the rest of society. I'm definitely taking all the advice and knowledge into consideration that's been given to me.

Someone mentioned Eastport to me, and that it has good hospitals and medical centers to work for. I was also told it's inexpensive to live in that area. I don't know if i'd want to live on Eastport itself, but I was checking out areas around Boyden Lake, Pennamaquan Lake ect and it looked interesting. I could commute to Eastport for work everday from those areas. Could anyone tell me how living is in those areas?
 
Old 01-02-2010, 07:19 AM
 
Location: Maine's garden spot
3,093 posts, read 5,422,768 times
Reputation: 3136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steel*Faith View Post
Just to clarify. I'm not talking about living secluded, and totally detached from society. Things like gardening, hunting, cutting my own timber and using a woodstove would be supplemental to the common way of living. I'm not talking about being totally self-reliant, and cut off from the rest of society. I'm definitely taking all the advice and knowledge into consideration that's been given to me.

Someone mentioned Eastport to me, and that it has good hospitals and medical centers to work for. I was also told it's inexpensive to live in that area. I don't know if i'd want to live on Eastport itself, but I was checking out areas around Boyden Lake, Pennamaquan Lake ect and it looked interesting. I could commute to Eastport for work everday from those areas. Could anyone tell me how living is in those areas?


We have a camp on Pennamaquan Lake. It is a quiet area. Most people work some where else, because there are no businesses in Charlotte. It would be possible to commute to Eastport or to Calais. It is a central area and would be a good choice for getting work in either area.

If you live in Eastport, you would have a half hour commute to get to work anywhere else, if you didn't have a local job.

Property seems to be inexpensive in the Charlotte area, except on the water. The prices are high and aren't coming down.

Last edited by AustinB; 01-02-2010 at 08:28 AM.. Reason: added
 
Old 01-02-2010, 08:32 AM
 
Location: Sunrise County ~Maine
1,698 posts, read 2,903,045 times
Reputation: 1126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steel*Faith View Post
Just to clarify. I'm not talking about living secluded, and totally detached from society. Things like gardening, hunting, cutting my own timber and using a woodstove would be supplemental to the common way of living. I'm not talking about being totally self-reliant, and cut off from the rest of society. I'm definitely taking all the advice and knowledge into consideration that's been given to me.

Someone mentioned Eastport to me, and that it has good hospitals and medical centers to work for. I was also told it's inexpensive to live in that area. I don't know if i'd want to live on Eastport itself, but I was checking out areas around Boyden Lake, Pennamaquan Lake ect and it looked interesting. I could commute to Eastport for work everday from those areas. Could anyone tell me how living is in those areas?
Sounds like Washington County could offer you what it offers me.
 
Old 01-02-2010, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Elgin, Illinois
216 posts, read 541,817 times
Reputation: 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steel*Faith View Post
Just to clarify. I'm not talking about living secluded, and totally detached from society. Things like gardening, hunting, cutting my own timber and using a woodstove would be supplemental to the common way of living. I'm not talking about being totally self-reliant, and cut off from the rest of society. I'm definitely taking all the advice and knowledge into consideration that's been given to me.

Someone mentioned Eastport to me, and that it has good hospitals and medical centers to work for. I was also told it's inexpensive to live in that area. I don't know if i'd want to live on Eastport itself, but I was checking out areas around Boyden Lake, Pennamaquan Lake ect and it looked interesting. I could commute to Eastport for work everday from those areas. Could anyone tell me how living is in those areas?
It would seem to me a more realistic goal would be to get along with making a living and start the longer term goal of getting yourself a camp at "the end of the road". I've no idea what percentage of Mainers have camps or the economics of it are. It's all to far from Illinois to make it practical.Here are some examples of Mainers I know:

Live in Boston; work at a university; camp in Great Pond
Live in Brewer; work in Bangor; camp at Alligator Pond; sold camp to build dream home in Newburg Village
Live in Old Town; work at Bangor International; camp in Lincoln
Live in Trenton; work in Ellsworth; camp at Tunk Lake

From what I gather, many of these camps have been "in the family" for decades and generations. But they do come on the market.

One other consideration is the difficulty and dangers of winter commutes from the secluded areas to areas of commerce. If you have to be at work on certain days.....you just not be able to make it. Even a main highway like The Airline (Route 9) can be deadly in the winter.
Just my two cents.
 
Old 01-02-2010, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,722 posts, read 47,483,706 times
Reputation: 17565
Quote:
Originally Posted by IRV007 View Post
It would seem to me a more realistic goal would be to get along with making a living and start the longer term goal of getting yourself a camp at "the end of the road".
That sounds to me like really good advise.



Quote:
... Here are some examples of Mainers I know:

Live in Boston; work at a university; camp in Great Pond
Live in Brewer; work in Bangor; camp at Alligator Pond; sold camp to build dream home in Newburg Village
Live in Old Town; work at Bangor International; camp in Lincoln
Live in Trenton; work in Ellsworth; camp at Tunk Lake
To me, each of those plans sounds feasible.

 
Old 01-03-2010, 03:56 AM
 
56 posts, read 105,326 times
Reputation: 54
Why camp in Maine, when I can live there? There's a certain environment I want to be surrounded by day in and day out. The more people I speak to, the more realistic it sounds that I can comfortably live in Maine if I get my Nursing degree.

Quote:
Sounds like Washington County could offer you what it offers me
Thanks, i'll be sure to check it out!

Quote:
One other consideration is the difficulty and dangers of winter commutes from the secluded areas to areas of commerce.
Which I completely understand. I know how harsh NE winter can be, especially in Maine. That's why i'm trying to figure out where it would be best to live, and be in realistic travel distance to work in the winter time.
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