First time County residents describe experiencing winter wonders
PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Kelsey McFadden had no idea what life in Aroostook County would be like when she and her husband and two children moved here from Texas.
McFadden, whose husband moved to Caribou for work, said that the family had never lived in the Northeast and thus had never seen snow before.
“When we first got here in July, we just loved it,” she said Tuesday. “We saw the best Fourth of July parades in the area and went to the Potato Blossom Festival in Fort Fairfield in August. The children had never seen leaves turn color either, so we were all excited about that and spent the whole fall collecting leaves and pressing them between wax paper so that we could mail them to our family out of state. And then the snow came.”
It was the first time the family had experienced both snow and frigid weather, she said.
“My 5-year-old son loved it,” she said. “But my daughter, who is 8, hated it. She hated putting on her snowsuit everyday and having to stand out in the snow and wait for the bus. She hated slipping on the ice. I thought that they would like the experience of picking out a Christmas tree, but that didn’t go over too well, either. They love Aroostook County, but they aren’t too crazy about the Aroostook County climate.”
McFadden said she was grateful for neighbors who told her that she had to find someone ahead of time to plow their driveway, clear snow off their roof, and bring sand to clear ice from their driveway.
“It has been quite the experience,” she said. “But we are totally prepared for next year.”
Jason Hernandez, 42, moved back to Houlton, Maine last fall for the first time since he was a child. He lived here for a few years when he was a boy and his father was stationed at Loring Air Force Base. This is his first winter in Maine since returning. His wife has a job as a nurse, and he is working odds jobs, including plowing driveways and shoveling roofs, until he finds something more permanent.
“I barely have any memories of living in Maine the first time,” he said. “But I am getting quite the reminder,” he said, laughing. “I had to go out and buy a new winter jacket and boots, and that didn’t keep me warm enough, so I had to go out and buy a new vest to go under the jacket.”
Kasey Blue said he left his job in Florida to move up to Houlton with his family and saw snow for the very first time in November.
“I currently have a job filming local basketball games,” he said.
He added this his bosses first piece of advice was “to get winter tires.”
“I quickly discovered why after a few terrifying drives through the snow.,” he said.
Blue said he is “definitely looking forward to any other season but winter.”
“It has been nice, but I am looking forward to it going away now,” he said.