Here’s the Story

In the three years I have been writing about Maine, many of you have asked how we got from Texas to Maine.  Well, here’s the story and it’s my own fairy tale.

P. C. Lewis PhotoBefore we  married, the hubby captained a yawl that raced the Southern Ocean Racing Circuit.  Following a race that ended in Bermuda,  a fella  asked the hubby if he would sail his boat to Castine, Maine.  There was time until the next race, so that opportunity offered a new adventure.

foggy dayOff the coast of Maine came up one of those thick as pea soup fogs which forced an unexpected time out in Rockland, a couple of hours down the coast from Castine.  When the fog lifted and it became one of those glorious Maine days, the journey was completed and the hubby was blown away by the beauty of the Maine coast which he talked about for years.

Now, fast forward to a year when the hubby agreed to take a whole week off from work and our daughters decided to give up a summer of softball tournaments.  I decided it was a good time to surprise the family with a vacation in Maine.  Great idea, but the only places I had heard of were Kennebunkport, Boothbay Harbor and Bar Harbor.  In none of those places could I find a house to rent at the late date I began my search.

Then, out of the blue I got a phone call from a lady who heard I was looking and had a place in Camden, totally unknown to me.  She described it as a condo which was a real turnoff as I envisioned it as a Houston type high rise, and I had in mind a cozy cabin.  “Well,” she said, “it’s better than what you have now!”  Right, so I took it.

camdenThus begins the first of our 22 years visiting Maine, and I am forever grateful for that phone call as it led us to a place  with which we immediately fell in love.  As we drove that first time into Camden, we let out a collective WOW! as it looked like a scene from a photo book of beautiful places.

Camden HarborOur hearts began to beat a little faster when we turned onto Bayview Street and glimpsed the beauty of Camden Harbor backed by the Camden Hills.

Camden condoAnd the condo wasn’t a high rise after all.  It was part of a charming group of dwellings right on the harbor.  For the next 10 years we rented in that same location, and each year Maine became more a part of our heart.

Somewhere along the line we, or maybe I, dreamed of living in Maine, and I entertained the fantasy by looking at houses.  The hubby had no interest in one of the beautiful old homes that he felt would require continual maintenance, but that was about all that was available.  Then, one day as we biked the dirt road, we saw a house being built on Rockport Harbor.  It was in a beautiful location and best of all from his point of view, it had a dock.  He commented, knowing it was not a likely possibility, that if I ever found a place like that we might consider a second home.

StoneledgeThree years later, we heard the house was being sold.  We flew up, took a look and a few hours later the place was ours.  You can’t begin to imagine what a departure this purchase was for us because  for all the years of our marriage we had been so sane, making decisions that made sense.  This one made none, but after spending time here, each year adding another week or two so that now we are half time, it makes perfect sense.  I am grateful every day that we stepped outside our box and began an adventure that has brought such joy, not only to us but to family and friends.  So far, it’s been a real happily ever after tale.

That’s my story.  What is yours?

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34 thoughts on “Here’s the Story

  1. Great story and just proves that some things are simply meant to be. Thanks for sharing!

  2. That home was meant to be yours…a decision that may not have made sense years and years ago, now makes total sense…your home is beautiful….so loved the story….and I felt the same when we rode into Camden for the very first time….a little piece of heaven!

  3. What a great story. We are Texas/Maine residents also… began coming here in 1997 when my kids were in elementary school. There is nothing like the coast of Maine! And of course now Southwest Airlines flies up here!

    1. Aren’t we lucky to have discovered Maine? Where are you?

      1. yes I feel very blessed to come up here and get refreshed and re-energized. We are in southern coastal/Kennebunkport area and

  4. Your husband is quite dashing in that photo. I love your Maine story, Linda! I haven’t been to Maine but hope to someday. Enjoy. It is VERY HOT and HUMID here!

    When I was setting my tablescape outside early in the morning this week the humidity was so thick my gobblets immediately fogged up!!

  5. I have loved reading your comments and the stories you have left behind. Phil is pumped that some of you found him to be such a hunk, gave him a whole new self image! Yes, we are lucky and will enjoy every minute as long as we can.

  6. How blessed you are Linda.. beautiful story..thanks for sharing your heart with us.. just very beautiful.. must be hard to leave! Lovely to put a face to the ‘other half of Linda’ as well.. thanks for sharing x j

  7. Lulu is my grandmother name June 13, 2013 — 10:41 pm

    Great explanation; I know understand. How many months are you in Houston?

    1. Half and half these days. We’re in Houston mid November thru mid May. Would you be surprised to know we don’t miss summer in Houston?

  8. I love the story 🙂 Great picture of Phil! XOXO

  9. great story. I’ve never been to maine, but I hear how beautiful it is. it’s on my to do list for fall…some fall.

  10. I loved reading your story, and yes I have wondered how you came to live in those 2 places. Camden looks like such a beautiful and special place, and you have found such a charming house! Our story isn’t quite as dramatic but a little similar. We knew we wanted a place on the beach and when we went to an absolute auction sale for a condo, I kept looking across the water to the houses on a private island and suggested looking over there. We never thought we could swing it, made a ridiculously low offer and they took it! We were a lot younger and fearless, we would never do it now, but it was the best decision we ever made! Our little beach house is the heart of and soul of our family, and now our grandchildren are growing up here too. I can’t wait to hear and see more about Camden this summer, keep the stories coming!

    1. Our grandkids think Maine is their second home and, of course, our girls have loved it for a long time. I know what you mean when you describe a place as being heart and soul for family.

  11. Opps, SigNed all the legal bits… (chest infection all wheeze no brains)

  12. Himself and I had given up looking at property for quite a while in New Zealand because we hadn’t seen anything we liked for ages, but about 6 years ago where there on holiday and visited a little town. Whilst Himself was grocery shopping (on our first day there, a Saturday) it was hot so the kids were messing around outside and I popped into a real estate place next to the supermarket and grabbed a local print-out of places for sale to browse while I watched them.

    We saw a place we liked and arranged an appointment for the Sunday. The house was beautiful outside but needed everything doing on the inside and the layout was ridiculously not practical so we decided against it.

    About two hours later the agent called around to where we were staying… a local couple had phones who were going through a very messy divorce and wanted rid of their property pronto so they could divide their assets and never see each other ever again.

    It wasn’t yet on the books but we could go and have a look if we wanted. We did and we loved the place and on the Sunday evening put in an offer for the asking price (top of our budget) the next day both parties accepted it and we sighed all the legal bits and got the keys one day before we flew back home.

    We too kept shaking our heads that it was all a bit rushed but it just felt right.
    Best buy we ever made, it’s a little gem and we adore it. Added bonus, it’s gone up a heap in value ,,, but that’s just the icing on the cake. We were simply in the right place at the right time.

    We still keep contact with the agent… lovely lady, she said later she will always remember us because she liked us a lot and it was the fastest sale she’s ever made LOL!

    1. When/if you go back to New Zealand, it will be wonderful to have this place to return to. Isn’t it amazing how something can capture your heart?

      1. The house that’s there is small, but it comes with a 1/4 acre of land. We love the town so it’s rented out whilst we live in The Netherlands. The long term plan in the back of our mind is to pull the little house down eventually and build a larger one in it’s place as our future retirement home.
        Second option: We also have a 10 acre patch of bare land in the High Country … also a beautiful spot close to a lot of childhood memories for me… so that’s also an option for building a house, we will see what options suit us best when we are a little closer to retirement and a lot closer to the huge move from The Netherlands to New Zealand.
        Since Himself works self-employed free-lance and doesn’t have “pension via an employer” and I have a good job, we decided that the way to go was to buy properties and pay them off before retirement. This gives us options for income from rental later, options of where to live etc.
        Therefore we have a little house in Christchurch city too, again it’s rented out full time, it’s the “leftover” option as it has the least space but might have to be an option because of my lung condition as it’s in the city and close to medical facilities.
        We are also entertaining the idea of spending the warmest six months in NL and then going to NZ to escape European winters… especially if the kids (one day grandchildren??) stay in The Netherlands, we wouldn’t want to be on the other side of the world all the time.
        So far we have been VERY lucky in that we have bought properties at the best possible moment… pure pure luck rather than planning because in all cases we followed our hearts.
        For the house in Christchurch our financial advisor frowned and said: maybe not a great time to buy… wow was he wrong! With six months the housing market boomed… then came the quakes and our house came out with lots of minor damage but nothing major so the area is in high demand. We bought it for NZD $195 000 and it’s currently worth NZD $365 000 at last valuation. We’ve had a ton of offers but want to keep it:) We’ve been VERY lucky with excellent tenants which I think helps enormously too.
        Sometimes if you know you are not stretching to budget too far and you follow your heart it really is the best thing to do.

  13. I adore that photo of Phil. I remember when he looked like that!!!

  14. Phil, you still are a hunk!

  15. Wowza! The young Phil is a F-O-X! I see what attracted you in the first place and what a happy circumstance that has turned out to be.

  16. Readinging this in Houston with the tempaeratures hitting high 90’s, I feel envious of the time you have in Maine. I look forward to my time in the High Sierra’s for a few weeks.

  17. nutsfortreasure June 12, 2013 — 6:48 am

    LOVE the RUGGED coast of Maine as much as my little 18 miles of coastline here in NH I am glad you are up here and having a wonderful time

  18. Love that picture of Dad. Always liked his sailing shots. 🙂 I never imagined you’d LIVE there half the year, but it’s been a great place to return. It’s my first “real” vacation memory. You’ve been blessed to explore a lot of beautiful spots. Hope I get to do that someday! xoxo!

  19. Lulu, you know we are looking for a place to visit and you had me almost sold on Camden with your last post. I, too, looked at Kennenbunkport and Bar Harbor and was a little disappointed with the lack of places that I was interested in staying at. Like you, I wanted something cozy and on the beach. If you have any recommendations for us, let me know if you don’t mind. The place you stayed at all those years was just perfect! What an interesting story, I can see that you both realized your dream and turned it into a reality…many don’t take a leap of faith.

    You probably know from my blog that we have the year round house on a lake in Michigan. As young parents, we would rent homes every summer for a week where we could rent a boat and do fun things with the 4 kids. One year we were on Diamond Lake in Michigan, a very large lake that is big on water sports as well as simple pleasures like fishing and kayaking. And one afternoon during that week we were on the boat and cruised through a channel into a small bay and there we saw it…A beautiful A frame home for sale on a gorgeously landscaped lot. To make a long story short, we bought it that week. And that was 22 years ago! It’s two hours from Chicago and we go for 4 days every week in the summer, as well as 3 weeks in July, and maybe once or twice a month in the winter. Life has been good. It’s the best thing we ever did, and for a young couple, it really was taking a chance.


  20. What a beautiful home. It must be hard to leave it!
    We used to go to Cape Cod for 2 weeks every summer. My mom visited a friend who had a summer home in a little beach colony here in Southampton. She said it reminded her of the cottages we rented in Eastham. So she rented one overlooking the Bay and a private beach. We all loved it, and rented for the next 5 yrs. Only 40 homes, 1 lane roads, very peaceful and safe for kids. In1980 we scraped together every penny we had and bought a tiny cottage that needed a tremendous amount of work, but our own beach. We worked like dogs redoing it. Houses there rarely came up for sale. Our neighbor was moving to his mom’s house, so we bought his and sold ours to the next door neighbor.
    It is a little piece of Heaven, and the best investment I ever made. At the time everyone thought I was crazy to spend that much on such a dumpy little place, but I was right !
    Enjoy your Maine paradise!

    1. I so appreciate you sharing your story as it makes me feel a little better acquainted with you. Aren’t we lucky to have places we love?

  21. Is that hunky guy in the first photo, Phil?

    Happy Father’s Day

  22. What a wonderful story LInda! Such beautiful scenery and so charming! I would to visit there one day, especially this weekend since it will be close to 100 degrees here 🙂

  23. We loved the picture of Phil!! Hey, you WERE young once! I had never heard all of that story myself—just knew you had gone to Camden over the years with the girls, but knew nothing about Phil’s sailing history, etc. Your house was meant to be for you—-it is perfect and you share it with all of us so generously.

    1. Absolutely love your story. The pic of the boats is so pretty. Looks like a painting.

      1. Thank you. It’s not hard to get a pretty photo of a boat on the water here!

  24. What a beautiful story!

    Sent from my iPhone🌴♻

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