farmer

Maine As I Know It

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Born and raised in the State of Maine. Most people often associate this State with Downeast Maine and the coastal region. Everyone know’s the fact we are quite famous for our lobsters and clams. There is some really great places away from the coast that people do not hear about. This State is beautiful with the country area’s as well. The northern part of the State is where a lot of crops are grown, especially Northern Maine, in the County they say. Towns like Van Buren, Houlton, Caribou, New Sweden. The central part of the State is more populated with local farmers growing crops and tending to their milking cows. pic 2

Some of the jobs that I encounter growing up include working in these farms. I picked chickens out of the barns and put them in cages to be shipped out for processing. I also worked for a big company which most of the eggs this part of the country come from. Decoster’s Egg farms. The company has been bought out since. Many of young kids in this area worked these egg farms. I also could be seen working in the local cemetery’s digging graves. We would get two dollars an hour, not bad pay for a young kid.

Maine has a huge history of papermaking. Big companies like Verso, IP, Wausau, Sappi, New Page, Boise Cascade, Champion, Bucksport, Otis Mill, Georgia Pacific. These mills employed many of people throughout history. Loggers, and many of businesses that support these companies.

Shoe shops, woolen mills also were a larger part of the community. Lewiston and its Bates Mill employed thousands. You should do a search on Bates Mill. It was amazing the size of this cooperation during the day. Many of the buildings stand today in Lewiston and are a site to witness. pic 5

Maine has many of beautiful rivers and Lakes that pass through the State. You can see many of fisherman along the banks or out in powerboats trying to catch a salmon, brook trout, browns, bass, and many other species of fish. Fly fishing is very big here. LLBean company in Freeport, Maine is one company that has supplied the outdoor enthusiast for many years. Hunting is also very big in this State. Whitetail deer are plentiful also Maine Black bear, and Moose. You have to have a permit for moose. Turkey’s are plentiful also and many of hunters take advantage of this season. pic 4

Maine also is a great place in the winter. There is many ski area’s that are very popular. Sugarloaf, Sunday River, and Saddleback Mountain are some . You really can find just about anything to do in this State if you have the time. I have lived here just about all my life and at this moment I couldn’t think of any other place I would rather live. I have traveled to my workplace many times without even meeting one car. I like the easy life and the country. Maine the way life should be. Enjoy your day everyone. pic 3

©Bilodeau,D.H. 2014

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Country Boy Not County Boy

Country-Feeling

 

I was born in a small town in Maine and have lived most of my life in the country. I played in the cow pastures, dodging the cow patties in the summer time to avoid the squish through your toes. I played in the pine woods with the abundance of needles on the ground. There was nothing like the smell of silage in the summer time as you pass by in your mom and dad’s non-air conditioned car.

I remember hitch hiking at 10 years old almost every weekend to visit my friend. The people in town would pick you up and usually you always knew who they were. Hey aren’t you Norman’s boy? The kids and I in the neighborhood could pick up a game of ball and holler down the street to any other kids who wanted to play. There was many of times we would get called in the summer to pick chickens in the local farms during the summer. This was a process of snatching the chickens and placing them into cages to be shipped off to a market somewhere. We were country boys and girls!

Most of the kids in around where I grew up also had to help with the wood. I remember my dad borrowed a Farmall tractor from the neighbor. This had a large circular saw blade that was powered off the power take off. That was a monster of a machine but it would cut some firewood. The stacking of the wood was not the fun part. We always did what we had too in the country. When we talk about being from the country and not the county it means by location. The northern part of the state or town’s like Van Burean, New Sweden, Houlton, those are Northern towns and it is called the County. The north is even different than here in the foothills or central Maine. The business is potato’s in the County and all the family work to bring in the crops. Kids are let out of school to help the family’s bring in the spuds.

I have loved being in the country and not living in the city. I did however spend 3 years living out west. I went to school in Phoenix, Arizona and also lived in Lake Tahoe. I did love both of these locations but it was not country living. I received my diploma and booked it back to the East Coast and settled back to the location I grew up. Most people I have grown up with have gone there own way or moved out of state. The country living has really been so peaceful and I highly recommend this lifestyle to anyone. We do not go out a lot but have come accustomed to watching wildlife for our entertainment. Most time for me, personally, is preparing things for the next winter. I will keep my country over living in a city any day. It is ironic that both of our children live in the largest city in Maine. Maybe when they get older they will realize how serene living in the country really is.

I will move on in time and enjoy every bit of the country living I have selected. I am not a farmer but could enjoy that kind of living if someone else was doing the work. Enjoy the day folks. I have a nuthatch on the tree I have to view. I have been waiting for the Barred Owl to come back into the neighborhood.  Come on big dog, come inside, it is raining outside.

©Bilodeau,D.H. 2014

One Degree Away From SUMMAH

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We still have frost on the pumpkin around here. The furnace is still running to keep some heat in this house. The woodpile ran out weeks ago and most people are just plain fed up with these cooler temps. For instance, I saw a very sad picture the other day of two children standing on the shore of their great fishing hole. They hiked through the woods with their dad to only be disappointed by the lake still skimmed over with ice. The law states around here in Maine that it has to be open water. They were able to fish because they tossed a ball out on the lake and had their dog fetch a few time. I saw fisherman the other day using a PVC pipe contraption the other day too. They stick this device under the ice from shore and the line goes through the pipe.

The other day I saw a couple driving a motorcycle with snowmobile suits on. They were also wearing their old ski jumping helmets and goggles from Lady Wellingham. Funny seeing people wearing the old snowmobile boots with the felt liners. I could have sworn I saw bread bags around the edges of the boot. This was used back in the day to keep the feet dry. Most of the boots in those days had leaks.

It is very sad to see the lumberjacks around here sitting on their front porches rocking in the chair and taking selfies of themselves with their Skidda’s in the background. The poor lumberjacks have nothing to do around here right now because they are between seasons. One being WINTAH and the other MUDD. There is not going to be SUMMAH season this year because WINTAH was extended.

The Firefighters around here have been so busy putting out stove fires and chimney fires. Most people ran out of firewood weeks ago and people are burning, literary, their undies. Really!  I saw a woman the other day burning her Ames Brand underwear in her outdoor wood boiler. A lot of people around here bought outside wood boilers and it makes no friggin sense to me why anyone would want to go outside in the freezing cold to stoak the fire. I wonder how Ames Brand underwear burn anyways? I have quite a few around here.

The farmers will have to have their cows warmed up this year by artificial insemination with heat modules inserted. The milk has been coming out creamy because it has not warmed up this SUMMAH so far. It is pretty weird driving down the road and seeing the lumberjacks and the farmers sitting on the same porch drinking Five Hour energy drinks mixed with Templeton Rye Whiskey. They really look like a bunch of goofs if you ask me.

The ladies around here have giving up on putting laundry out on the line to dry. We have so many ticks around here that the clothes on the line are starting to become an attractant. Also, it is so cold that I saw icicles hanging from one pair of jeans the other day from the crotch area. It was funny because it was hanging in a fashion that is looked like a weiner. Just no one getting a break around here.

I went out the other day to get some worms for fishing. My dad taught me when I was a kid how to fetch these little slimy things. You put water on the lawn after supper and then when it is dark you go out with a flashlight and the shiny slimy suckers will show up. You have to be quick and snatch them real quick or they will pull back in and go back into the earth. This one night I went to get them I could see ice crystals on the tops of their heads, or is it tails? Darn cold around here!

I know we will get a chance for SUMMAH sometimes, maybe it wont be until the flies are filled on the fly strip. Good day everyone-I’m going out to get some tick poop, I hear it burns good.

©Bilodeau,D.H. 2014

Old Man Jones

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I was riddled with rock salt from the old man in Jones’s Field. The big kids in the neighborhood told me about this man who lived in a farmhouse next to the pasture not far from my house. One cold and blustery day I decided to take my moto-ski snowmobile into the pasture and with a curiosity I pointed the snow sled toward the edge of where he lived. I looked up ahead on the trail and I was coming up on the dwelling. I just about got to where the trail opened up to his lawn when I heard a pop sound and something stinging in my chest area. The old man had shot rock salt at me to get me off his property. It was a good thing I had my full face helmet , I would of taken the shot into the face without it.

I turned my sled around real fast as to get a quick escape when out of the corner of my eye I see three dogs running full tilt toward me. I was only about twelve years old at the time I am  about crapping my pan’st at this point. Pop! I hear another shot but this time he missed me. I’m thinking in my head this guy is a lunatic and I’m about ready to get eaten by a wolf pack. I looked back for a few seconds and the dogs were right at the back of the sled and I’m punching the throttle right to the pin when it happened. When I was looking back, I forgot to also look forward and I collided into a cement slab that was probably there from where an old silo sat. I went head over tea kettle and landed on the other side of the slab. The dogs stopped right in their tracks and didn’t even come at me. The dogs sensed that I was done in for and walked slowly back to the farm house.

I stood back up, checking myself, when I looked at the damage on the snowmobile. My god, dad was going to kill me, my quest to be a snowmobile racer was never going to happen. I can see my dad now, Son?  YOU WILL NEVER RIDE A SNOWMOBILE AGAIN!  I knew my dad well. He didn’t take equipment failures and stupidity very good. The skis on the sled were in a v-shaped pattern, or snowplow pattern now. I have skied before and you know with snowplow it is a method of slowing you down. I had about eight miles to get back home with this sled. I started up the snow machine ,very slowly limping back to my home. My chest was still stinging from the rock salt attack. I was so afraid to report to my dad of the encounter with the farmer that I had to make up a story.

His eyes lit up when I showed him the damage to the sled. What in the heck happened? Dad, I went around a corner when going through the woods and smacked into a tree. He didn’t need to know the right story, right? I still to this day will have nightmares about being shot at from this old man. It kind of gave me an “Wizard Of Oz feeling”, he was like a character in a movie. The wicked farmer of the East, all the pigs are singing and the horse’s are talking. I come upon his land and I’m walking up a white road, I presume is salt blocks.

Old man Jones passed away a few years back, I wonder what kind of a person could do this to a young child. I certainly was not out to cause harm to this person. I was not there to steal anything. I was only being a twelve year old kids with an inquisitive mind.

©Bilodeau,D.H. 2014