Regardless of the circumstances of a move from Maine, most will experience similar symptoms after leaving the state. From missing the beautiful wilderness and the smell of the salt in the coastal air, here are 11 signs you have been away from Maine too long.
1. You haven’t seen the stars lately.
Growing up in Maine, every night, you are blanked with stars that seems so close you feel like you could reach out and touch them. You learn pretty quickly this isn’t the case in all 50 states. Nights under the dull yellow haze of urban lights doesn’t begin to match up.
2. You have resorted to eating lobster that wasn’t caught less than 12 hours ago.
It definitely wasn’t steamed in salt water and you nearly fell off your chair upon seeing the price tag.
3. You get excited when you see someone wearing clothing that references Maine.
You have to quickly decide if you want to start a conversation or give just a silent nod of approval to the well-dressed stranger. Regardless, you feel like you are part of a secret Mainer club.
4. You get even more excited when you see a car with Maine plates.
Your first thought is that you probably know the driver and try to fact-check this by evaluating all of the bumper stickers and the beach pass in the window.
5. You haven’t heard an “ayuh” in months.
You have actually started to use the word “yes”, and your family back home is making fun of you for it.
6. You have forgotten the smell of fresh, salt air.
It is the unmistakable scent of Maine. You may try to take in a deep breath of ocean air somewhere else, but it isn’t the same. You miss that air so thick with salt that you can practically taste it on your lips.
7. You miss driving for miles without a traffic light.
You think about all the hours you waste sitting in traffic and long for the efficiency of getting from place to place without constantly having to stop and wait.
8. You haven’t had to shovel more than six inches of snow in a while.
You miss the big Maine snowstorms and blizzards. And Storm Center, which has a way of making each storm seem new and exciting. Other winter weather coverage just can’t hold up to your high expectations.
9. You can’t remember the last time you saw a “moose crossing” sign.
But, you don’t miss the underlying fear of actually encountering a moose crossing the road and potentially crashing into it. Is it break first then speed up, or speed up and hit the breaks?
10. You find yourself visiting the Facebook pages for your hometown’s lighthouse and other local businesses.
You can’t necessarily trust your family to give you all of the relevant updates on the town, so you take matters into your own hands. A couple of hours of scrolling through photos and comments on Facebook is a poor replacement for actually dropping in to visit, but sometimes it is the only option. Plus, somehow you always seem to pick up a couple tidbits that even your mom didn’t know about.
11. You miss the joy of driving over the Piscataqua River Bridge.
There is nothing like driving over the bridge, entering Maine, and being home. No billboards, just plenty of pine trees and the satisfaction of returning to “the way life should be.”