Poor? Us?

17 years ago

Some say living in Aroostook County and being poor go together. I’ve lived most of 80 years here, and I don’t think that’s right. Granted, we don’t have as much money as other places, but many of our assets are cost-free.
For instance, our seasons change. Living through spring, summer, fall, and winter is like moving to a different place each season. And we don’t have to go to the bother of moving. That’s valuable.
   Some people have to go to a zoo to see as many different animals as we live with. We have moose, bear, deer, coyote, fox, bobcat, lynx (the big cats seem to be coming back), porcupine, rabbits, raccoon, skunk (say, does someone want some of the ‘coons and skunks around our house?), beaver, muskrat, marten, fisher, and a bunch more. A mouse had a hole in a snow bank outside our cellar window until the snow melted.
It would take a lot more space than I am allotted here to list the birds, which visit our birdfeeders. And many don’t visit. Ducks, geese, and eagles just fly by. To me, they are all wealth.
Neighbors in Aroostook are not hard to come by. The ones we don’t know personally are as easy to talk to as close friends. And we see them often because we don’t have to live behind locked doors as people do in other places. That is valuable to me.
We have color. Even in winter, evergreens and white snow blend well with bare brown and gray leaf-bearing trees. In summer, flower gardens are fine and wild lupine is special, but we also have acres of purple and white potato blossoms and fields of yellow canola. We can’t grow flower gardens all year, but our fall leaf season makes up for that. We have thousands of acres of leafy trees, which change from green to whatever shade you like. That is also valuable … I think anyway.
Now the truth is, back during the Great Depression years, we really were poor. In our house, we had only one pair of boots for eight kids. One kid wore the family boots to school and took the dog. The dog carried the boots home for the next kid and so on for all of us. Except once in a while here comes a rabbit and the dog goes hunting. Miserable dog. It’s cold finding those boots in your bare feet in a swamp full of snow.
And, by the way, did I mention our valuable sense of humor?
For information on issues related to aging, contact the Aroostook Agency on Aging at 764-3396 or 1-800-439-1789, e-mail at Info@aroostookaging.org or visit www.aroostookaging.org.