Posted by: cwvoigt | July 2, 2008

An Introduction

I’m not a native, nor really a long-time resident of Mount Desert Island.  We began coming here some thirty years ago as tourists.  We visited every second or third year until I took early retirement from the Tennessee Valley Authority, where I worked, in eastern Tennessee mostly, as a biologist, ecologist, environmental program manager, and staff member of the corporate environmental staff.  In 1996, having had all we wanted of the climate in the southeast, we found a modest home here on the island, on the outskirts of Bar Harbor.  We have lived here since, year-round.  By most standards I guess, that makes us locals.  Natives, we will never be, because we were born off-island. 

What brought us here?  Initially, it was the lure of Acadia National Park and also the proximity to Nova Scotia via the now-extinct Bluenose ferry.  After that, it was the promise of again having four seasons—something that, having grown up in the upper Midwest (Wisconsin) we both missed in our years in the southeast.  Added to that was the friendliness of the people here.   Legends abound regarding the dour New Englander.  We haven’t met very many.  Most of the people here unfailingly have been kind and helpful.  If they chuckle at you, they also chuckle at themselves.  The humor may be understated and at times a bit sly, but it is there and it is good-hearted.  I think that in part, the people here reflect the notion that once all of the tourists leave in November or thereabouts, this is a small community and we all are in it together.

So here we are, and have been, for twelve years now.  The novelty really hasn’t worn off.  We still find ourselves saying that we can’t quite believe that we really live here, that we have Acadia National Park basically as our back yard.   There are still times that I stand on a trail or carriage road and am speechless at what I see around me.   After having been born in Chicago, grown up in northern Wisconsin, spent years in graduate school in Madison, and spent my professional career in eastern Tennessee, now I feel that I am home.

What will follow will be my thoughts and observations on life here throughout the seasons, and on Acadia National Park. 




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