Page 1

Angus King SENATOR

ON HIS PHOTOGRAPHIC

EYE

WHAT NONPROFITS REALLY NEED

& the Best Ways to Give

$5.95

November 2018

HOW LAND TRUSTS DRAW

KIDS OUTDOORS

MEET THE MAINER BEHIND PARTNERS FOR WORLD HEALTH


CONTENTS

NOVEMBER 2018

FEATURES 46

SPECIAL DELIVERY

One Mainers is saving the world one volunteer effort at a time

48

IN CONVERSATION

Meet a Hampden man who has created a new life after a terrible accident

52

GIVING

Local nonprofits share what they really need this holiday season

58

MINIS RALLY ON

The small British car taking over Maine’s roadways

62

48

OUT OF DARKNESS

34

CRAFTING FUN DOG TOYS

GET OUT

Take a trip to Bean Town

IN EVERY ISSUE 08

WHAT’S HAPPENING

Local news & sightings

16

OBSESSIONS

What we can’t get enough of this month

72

THE VIEW FROM HERE

ON THE COVER We’re feeling thankful and generous this season.

2 / BANGOR METRO November 2018

PHOTOS: GABOR DEGRE, CALLIE PICARD

Tis the season to be grateful


PHOTOS: (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT) JULIA BAYLY, SARAH WALKER CARON, AISLINN SARNACKI, JULIA BAYLY, BANGOR SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, KATIE SMITH

ARTS & CULTURE

FOOD & DRINK

HEALTH & FITNESS

14

20

22

THROUGH HIS EYES

IN SEASON NOW

HIKE ME

Senator Angus King talks about his love of Maine, his work in D.C. and how the two worlds meet in his new book “A Senator’s Eye”

We’re pledging our love for tart cranberries with a recipe for quick bread

HOW TO

HOME & FAMILY

OUTSIDE

34

38

68

CRAFTING WITH KIDS

Make fabric dog toys to gift this season

36

CREATE IT AT HOME

Crafting sparkly holiday wreathes with simple thumbtacks

Enjoy a scenic river walk this fall

28

A LOVE OF NATURE

Maine land trusts are getting kids outside and loving it

LABOR OF LOVE

Maine family caregivers are in the spotlight this month

42

WOODS & WATERS

How Maine wildlife has changed through the years

MUSIC SPEAKS

How a local orchestra can inspire your children and instill a love of music www.bangormetro.com BANGOR METRO / 3


EDITOR’S NOTE

Grateful

TIS THE SEASON TO BE

NOVEMBER IS MANY THINGS. It’s the month when magazines all over tell you how to make the perfect turkey and the creamiest mashed potatoes. Well, except this one — this year, at least. It’s also the month when we celebrate Veterans Day, which was originally called Armistice Day and celebrates the end of World War I. November is also when we have Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday that has been celebrated for centuries (and was designated a Federal holiday in 1863). And then there’s Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving and the fabled start of the holiday shopping season. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. There’s plenty of time to talk about holiday shopping next month. This month, we’re focusing on gratitude — the kind of gratitude that’s an appreciation of all that others do to make this world a better place. And really, there is so much that can and should be celebrated. Land trusts, for instance, are working to host programs that lure children away from devices and into the great outdoors. Read Aislinn Sarnacki’s story on those programs on page 28. Music organizations are also enriching lives, young and old, with a variety of programs. Read about those beginning on page 42. We’re also talking about caregivers on page 38, like-minded folks finding fun together with a MINI event on page 60, and don’t miss Emily Morrison’s column on gratitude on page 72. And if that gratitude moves you to give back in some way, we’ve talked to area nonprofits to find out what they really need right now. Step away from the dusty cans in the back of your cabinets and read about their needs in Sarah Cottrell’s story on page 54. This year, I am grateful for the writers who help fill the pages of this magazine with interesting, engaging and important stories. I am grateful for the readers who appreciate those stories. And I am so very grateful for the team — including creative director Amy Allen and copy editor Kaylie Reese — who are helping to make every month of Bangor Metro magazine better than the last. Thank you. WHAT ARE YOU GRATEFUL FOR?

SARAH WALKER CARON, EDITOR

Connect With Us Online bangormetro.com facebook.com/BangorMetro @BangorMetro bangormetro talkback@bangormetro.com 4 / BANGOR METRO November 2018


www.bangormetro.com P.O. Box 1329 Bangor, Maine 04402-1329 Phone: 207.990.8000

PUBLISHER

Richard J. Warren

EDITOR

Sarah Walker Caron scaron@bangordailynews.com

ART DIRECTOR

Amy Allen

aallen@bangordailynews.com

COPY EDITOR

Kaylie Reese kreese@bangordailynews.com

SUBSCRIPTION & PROMOTIONS MANAGER

Fred Stewart

fstewart@bangordailynews.com

Find your perfect

AUDIENCE

STAFF WRITER

Julia Bayly

jbayly@bangordailynews.com

STAFF WRITER

Abigail Curtis

Advertise your business in BANGOR METRO!

acurtis@bangordailynews.com

STAFF WRITER

CALL 990-8134 for details

Aislinn Sarnacki asarnacki@bangordailynews.com

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS & PHOTOGRAPHERS

bangormetro.com

Poornima Apte, Sarah Cottrell, Gabor Degre, Bob Duchesne, Anne Gabbianelli,

Jane Margesson, Rosemary Lausier, Emily Morrison, Crystal Sands, Katie Smith

www.bangormetro.com BANGOR METRO / 5


6 / BANGOR METRO November 2018


Bangor Metro Magazine. November 2018, Vol. 14, No. 9. Copyright Š Bangor Publishing Company. Bangor Metro is published 10 times annually by Bangor Publishing Company. All rights reserved. This magazine may not be reproduced in whole or part in any form without the written permission of the Publisher. Bangor Metro is mailed at standard rates from Portland, Maine. Opinions expressed in either the editorial or advertisements do not represent the opinions of the staff or publisher of Bangor Metro magazine. Advertisers and event sponsors or their agents are responsible for copyrights and accuracy of all material they submit. Bangor Metro magazine to the best of its ability ensures the acuracy of information printed in the publication. Inquiries and suggestions are welcome and encouraged. Letters to the editor, story suggestions, and other reader input will be subject to Bangor Metro’s unrestricted right to edit and publish in the magazine both in print and online. Editorial: Queries should be sent to Sarah Walker Caron at scaron@bangordailynews.com. Advertising: For advertising questions, please call the Sales Director Todd Johnston at 207-990-8129. Subscriptions/Address Change: The one year subscription cost is $15.95. Address changes: to ensure delivery, subscribers must notify the magazine of address changes one month in advance of the cover date. Please contact Fred Stewart at 207-990-8075. Accounts Payable/Receivable: For information about your account please contact Todd Johnston at 207-990-8129.

COVER DESIGN: Amy Allen

www.bangormetro.com BANGOR METRO / 7


WHAT’S HAPPENING

NOV. 1 HOWIE MANDEL Howie Mandel will bring his comedy show to the Collins Center for the Arts at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 1. Mandel has remained a constant force in show business for over 30 years. He currently serves as a judge on NBC’s hit summer talent competition series, “America’s Got Talent.” Previously, Howie received an Emmy nomination for “Outstanding Host For A Reality or Reality-Competition Program” for “Deal or No Deal” and a Daytime Emmy nomination for “Outstanding Game Show Host” for the syndicated version of the show. Tickets start at $40.

NOV. 2 MICHAEL HAWLEY Michael Hawley’s concert/lecture celebrates some of the great composerpianists 7-9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, at Gracie 8 / BANGOR METRO November 2018

Theatre, Husson University. You will hear the music of Bach, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Bernstein, Bolcom (including delicious transcriptions by Liszt, Godowsky and Mr. Hawley himself,). As a concert pianist, Hawley won the Van Cliburn amateur competition in 2002. Educated at Yale and MIT, he held industrial positions at Bell Labs, IRCAM in Paris, Lucasfilm in San Rafael, and NeXT in Palo Alto. For many years, Hawley was the Alex Dreyfoos Professor of Media Technology at MIT. In addition, Hawley has a passion for photography and produced a notable photographic book on Bhutan.

NOV. 2 WILD FOODS POTLUCK DINNER On Friday, Nov. 2, join Downeast Lakes Land Trust staff and volunteers for our annual “Wild Foods Potluck Dinner.” Bring your best dish comprised of wild

Feztival of the Trees at the Anah Shrine, Bangor

game, fruits and veggies from your garden, or other foraged foods. Participants should come to the Grand Lake Stream School Building, 15 Water Street, at 5 pm. We will have a contest for different categories including best dish, most creative and more. For more information, please contact DLLT at (207) 796-2100, or email info@ downeastlakes.org.

NOV. 3-4 EARLY BIRD ARTS & CRAFTS FAIR Maine Made Crafts will host its Annual Early Bird Holiday Arts and Craft Fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 3 and Sunday, Nov. 4 at Bangor Elks Lodge, 108 Odlin Rd in Bangor. The fair will feature artists and crafters from Maine and New England. It’s the perfect time to start your holiday gift purchases from our talented artisans selling their one of a kind products.

PHOTO: BDN FILE

NOVEMBER

MID-LATE NOVEMBER


For more information and tickets, visit bdn-dunlap.eventbrite.com

PHOTO: ©R.BABAKIN/ADOBE STOCK

NOV. 10 THE STRAY CAT’S LEE ROCKER Lee Rocker made his mark singing, playing, standing on, spinning and rocking his giant upright bass in the legendary music group The Stray Cats. Grammy-nominated, The Stray Cats have sold nearly 10 million albums and garnered an astounding 23 gold and platinum certified records worldwide. In this concert, Rocker and his band perform Stray Cats hits like “Sexy and Seventeen,” “Stray Cat Strut” and “Rock This Town,” plus lots of other post-Stray Cats songs he performed with music legends from Ringo Starr and George Harrison to John Fogerty and The Rolling Stones, from 7:30 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10, at Gracie Theatre at Husson University in Bangor.

NOV. 11 PIANIST JANE COOP

NOV. 3-4 Early Bird Arts & Crafts Fair

Jane Coop has established herself as a musician of stature. Her intelligence and perception, together with her refined and heartfelt approach to music, make her a pianist whom audiences want to hear many times over. Coop will perform at 3 p.m. www.bangormetro.com BANGOR METRO / 9


WHAT’S HAPPENING

NOV. 15, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25 FEZTIVAL OF THE TREES Anah Shriners’ seventh annual Feztival of Trees will be held multiple days beginning on Thursday, Nov. 15, at Anah Shrine, 1404 Broadway from 4 to 8pm. Additional days and times include 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Nov. 16 and 17 and Nov. 23 and 24; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18, and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 25. The Gingerbread Cafe is available to purchase snacks, lunches and refreshments, and an ATM is on site. Admission is $2, free for children under 12. Tickets for chances to win one of the many beautiful trees on display will be 50 cents each. Santa Claus will be available for photos by donation. Net proceeds will benefit the

work of Anah Shrine. Payments are not deductible as charitable donations.

NOV. 24-25 39TH ANNUAL THANKSGIVING WEEKEND CHRISTMAS IN NEW ENGLAND Maine Made Crafts will host its 39th annual Thanksgiving Weekend Christmas in New England, its largest show of the season, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24 and Sunday, Nov. 25 at the Augusta Augusta Civic Center. The fair will feature artists and crafters from Maine and New England. It’s the perfect time to start buying all your holiday gift items from these talented artisans selling their one of a kind products.

NOV. 28 SOMETHING ROTTEN!

Tony Award-nominated musical “Something Rotten!” is set in the 1590s and is about two brothers who set out to write and produce the world’s first musical at a time when Shakespeare reigns. It will be performed at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 28, at Collins Center for the Arts in Orono.

STILL STUMPED? 

10 / BANGOR METRO November 2018

NOV. 11 Pianist Jane Coop

PHOTO: ©STOCKSNAPPER/ADOBE STOCK

on Sunday, Nov. 11, at the Collins Center for the Arts in Orono, as part of the John I. and Elizabeth E. Patches Chamber Music Series. Patrons and artists are invited to a post-concert reception. Admission is $36 for adults; K-12 free, when accompanied by at least one paying adult. All fees included. Subscribers receive 50 percent off all fees, deduct $2 from ticket price.

Here are the answers to last month’s Pop Quiz.

Visit our Bangor Metro Facebook page to play online!


www.bangormetro.com BANGOR METRO / 11


WHAT’S HAPPENING

HERE’S A LOOK AT JUST A FEW SPECIAL EVENTS FROM THE PAST MONTH... 2 1 1: Bangor Metro’s own Aislinn Sarnacki signed copies of her hiking guidebooks at Act Out, a women’s adventure expo hosted by the Bangor Daily News and Pulse Marketing Agency at Husson University. 2: Act Out attendees try their hand at casting a fly rod during a workshop by Penobscot Fly Fishers. 3: The 11th Annual Bangor Walk to Defeat ALS at Hayford Park in Bangor was held to raise funds for local chapters to sustain care services and support research for much of the next year. The ALS Association — Northern New England Chapter serves the needs of those living with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) and their caregivers.

SHARE YOUR EVENT PHOTOS! 12 / BANGOR METRO November 2018

Email your photos and captions to

talkback@bangormetro.com

PHOTOS: (1, 2) SARAH SULLIVAN; (3-6) JEFF KIRLIN / THE THING OF THE MOMENT

3


4

COMFORT & JOY!

Relax and enjoy the kickoff to the holiday season! Play online at bangormetro.com for your chance to win a FREE one-year subscription to Bangor Metro!

4: Local fire and rescue crews attended the Out of the Darkness Community Walk to support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. 5: Bangor Land Trust Pedal the Penobscot one-day ride celebrated cycling while supporting Bangor’s wild back yard and offering beautiful views of the mighty and historic Penobscot River. 6: Former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell spoke recently at the BDN’s Dirigo Speaks series.

5

6

Sponsored by

Maine Mobile Massage

FIND ANSWERS TO LAST MONTH’S POP QUIZ ON PAGE 10!

mainemobilemassage.com


ARTS & CULTURE

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT

THROUGH

HIS EYES ANGUS KING TALKS ABOUT HIS LOVE OF MAINE, HIS WORK IN D.C. AND HOW THE TWO WORLDS MEET IN HIS BOOK “A SENATOR’S EYE” BY JULIA BAYLY

14 / BANGOR METRO November 2018


U.S. SEN. ANGUS KING is a man caught “It took a while to persuade my “Not just from press releases or seeing us in between two worlds, and he loves nothing wonderful staff in Washington that I could meetings. They enjoy seeing us eat pizza, or more than sharing photographs and stories handle writing and posting by myself,” he buying groceries and that lets them see us about one with the other. said with a laugh. “It still makes them a as real people.” Earlier this year Yarmouth-based bit nervous.” At the same time, King says he always publisher Islandport Press released a And it’s obvious King is having a blast carries Maine with him wherever he goes. collection of photographs by King titled adding to his Instagram collection and That’s where part of the book’s title “A Senator’s Eye: Celebrating Maine, could not be happier to have an entire came from, he said. Truly, what is more Washington, and the Joys of Scraping the book to share. “Maine” than scraping an icy windshield Windshield,” a title that pretty well sums of “We all have these phones with cameras on a winter day? King’s day-to-day life. on them now,” he said. “So we always have “I hope people really see and take away “I spend half my week in Maine and a camera in our pockets and can be ready to from this book my great love of Maine,” the other half in Washington D.C.,” King, capture anything.” King said. “I hope they gain some insight a first-term independent U.S. Senator and of what Washington is like, and I hope they former Maine governor from Brunswick, have fun reading it.” said. “One day I’m scraping my car’s King said he uses the captions under the windshield and the next I’m taking part in photographs to convey the story behind a debate in the [Congressional] Armed the image but never wants it to be overly Service Committee.” political or always about himself. When Sen. Cory Booker, D-New “This is my way to share my “WHAT I TRY TO DO Jersey, introduced King to online life,” he said. “And to share it in a ONCE OR TWICE A WEEK IS photo-sharing platform Instamanner that is not stuffy.” gram, it was a match made in Stuffy, King said is one thing TO CAPTURE A MOMENT, social media heaven. Maine is not. WHETHER IT’S AN INSIDER’S “Cory will say he had to “I’ve had people come badger me to try Instagram,” right up to me and say, VIEW OF THE CAPITOL, A MAINE King said with a laugh. “But ‘You can’t be a senator. In SUNSET OR A STACK OF DIRTY I’m so glad he did because it my state it would take three DISHES WITH A STORY TO has allowed me to combine months for me to [get] even three of my favorite things: close to my Senator,’” King TELL,” KING SAID. “THERE IS taking pictures, telling stories said. “That’s not how we do NO PARTICULAR THEME, AND and trying to convey to people it in Maine. I’ve always said what my crazy life is like.” Maine is a big small town with I DON’T GO LOOKING FOR King loves Maine. He also loves very long streets, and you know CERTAIN PICTURES.” Washington, and that love is shown people all along those streets.” a couple of times a week to his more Since beginning his Instagram than 15,000 followers on Instagram. photo mission, King said he’s become a “What I try to do once or twice a bit more observant of his surroundings. week is to capture a moment, whether it’s “When I see something, I try to capture an insider’s view of the Capitol, a Maine it,” he said. “Then later I will think about it sunset or a stack of dirty dishes with a King’s photos have captured blazing and write the caption.” story to tell,” King said. “There is no sunsets in Washington taken after he’s left So far his favorite image is one of particular theme, and I don’t go looking a late-day committee hearing, hugging a a statue of Civil War General Joshua for certain pictures.” puppy at the Maine Sportsman Show in Chamberlain, who led the 20th Maine to King has gained something of a Augusta, landing a striper on the Kennebec victory on Little Round Top at the Battle reputation among his staff and drivers for River, Easter Sunrise at Sugarloaf, a shot of of Gettysburg. coming to sudden stops when something his beloved Harley Davidson motorcycle “The snow is falling [on the statue] and catches his eye. with the license plate DCHOG parked there is the [United States] flag and a church “It’s really become a kind of avocation,” alongside a rural Maine road, grabbing in the background,” King said. “I am really King said. “I see something I think is cool a quick sandwich in between capital proud of that photo.” and beautiful, and I’ll stop and take the committee meetings, meeting the Super King said he’s gotten a lot of positive shot. And that night, when I have time, I Bowl Champion New England Patriots at comments about his book. compose the caption.” the White House, countless monuments, “I do tell people they should not expect He then posts his photos to Instagram buildings and statutes that line the streets great literature with it,” he said with a to give his followers yet another look into of D.C. when the early-morning or late-day laugh. “Hemingway and Fitzgerald have his Congressional or Maine life. light is perfect, talking with constituents nothing to worry about from me. When he got the idea to start posting on in Maine, and eating pizza with fellow Proceeds from sales of King’s book Instagram and later compile his Instagram senators in D.C. are donated to the Good Shepherd Food photos into a book, it was not met with “People enjoy getting an inside look Bank of Maine. It’s now available where round of applause from his staff in D.C. at what we do in Washington,” King said. books are sold. www.bangormetro.com BANGOR METRO / 15


ARTS & CULTURE

OBSESSIONS

OBSESSIONS WHAT WE CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF THIS MONTH.

READ So many books cross my desk at Bangor Metro, and I purchase even more. Every month, I select a few that catch my attention. “101 CHICKEN KEEPING HACKS FROM FRESH EGGS DAILY” BY LISA STEELE — From sprouting grains to keeping feed fresh, natural shelters to creating a nesting box out of an old chair, Lisa Steele’s book is a useful collection of tips, ideas, how-tos and recipes for raising healthy chickens at home. For anyone who keeps chickens or wants to, this book is a perfect addition to the home library. Available Nov. 6. (Nonfiction) “HOW TO BE A HAPPIER PARENT,” BY KJ DELL’ANTONIA — We read about it in parenting magazines. They study it. It’s documented. Parents today are unhappy and even experiencing depression. But we can be happier, if we let ourselves. Veteran parenting writer KJ Dell’Antonia has written a realistic, thoughtful book for parents who are engrossed in that life of activities, homework, work, housework and chores but want to be happy. This isn’t a rahrah, how-to-make-parenting-magical book. Instead, it’s practical and research-based, looking at the things that are stressors (homework time!) and offering advice on how to tackle them better. It may never be the charming picture of family perfection you envisioned, but it can still be a good life. (Nonfiction) “UNICORN FOOD,” BY KAT ODELL — Unicorns are kind of my thing. In the second grade, my mom made me a purple unicorn costume, complete with a golden horn, for Halloween. And although the horn never quite sat gracefully on top of my head, it was still among my most treasured costumes. Today, I still love unicorns. A few tasteful, whimsical unicorn accessories decorate my kitchen. Meanwhile, my daughter points out every unicorn cookbook she sees — but none of them have interested me in the past because of the excess of food coloring many recipes use in rainbow-hued creations. When “Unicorn Food” by Kat Odell arrived in my office, I knew it was something special. The subtitle says it all: “Beautiful plant-based recipes to nurture your inner magical beast.” Inside recipes like Vanilla Berry Morning Cakes and Pineapple, Clove and Black Pepper Jam are colorful, alluring odes to the magical unicorn. Not only are the recipes fun (This is Not Blue Gatorade is a homemade take on the popular sports drink; Lisa Frank Mountain Cake is a colorful layered cake that pays homage to the ’80s icon of posters and folders using natural dyes), but they are homemade and healthy, too. (Nonfiction) —SARAH WALKER CARON

16 / BANGOR METRO November 2018


WATCH “ORDEAL BY INNOCENCE” ON AMAZON PRIME WHY DO WE LOVE IT? Sometimes on a cold fall day, you just want to sit on your couch, wrap yourself in a blanket and binge-watch a British drama. That’s where I found myself when I decided to watch “Ordeal by Innocence” on Amazon Prime. This three-part mini-series is based on the Agatha Christie book of the same name. The show starts with the murder of Rachel Argyll and the subsequent arrest of her son, Jack. However, a year later the only man who can prove Jack’s alibi shows up and stirs the pot. If not Jack, then who killed Rachel? As someone who will watch any TV drama from the “Real Housewives” to “Downton Abbey,” this is the kind of show I live for. There was shock, suspense and deceit. And although I had my suspicions, you have no idea who the killer is until the very end. A true drama in my book. For anyone who is a fan of Agatha Christie or is just looking for a new show to watch, “Ordeal by Innocence” will keep you in your seat until the very end. —ROSEMARY LAUSIER

PHOTOS: ©ANDREY KUZMIN & ©TOMASZ ZAJDA/ADOBE STOCK

READ MORE "HOME REPAIR IS HOMICIDE" MYSTERY SERIES BY EASTPORT AUTHOR SARAH GRAVES WHY DO WE LOVE IT? Admit it — sometimes all you want to do is curl up in a cozy chair with a mug of tea and a page-turning mystery about a killer on the loose in tiny Eastport. At least, I know I can’t be the only one who has this desire because of the popularity of Eastport author Sarah Graves’ “Home Repair is Homicide” series. The books, which feature Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree, a Wall Street trader-turned-amateur home repair aficionado and sleuth, are well-plotted and written. Like her protagonist, Graves (a pseudonym) is not originally from Maine, but she has a knack for writing about the people and places of Washington County that make her books a pleasure to read. —ABIGAIL CURTIS

www.bangormetro.com BANGOR METRO / 17


FOOD & DRINK

OBSESSIONS

OBSESSIONS

EAT

BRUSSELS SPROUTS AT PHO HOA GRILL WHY DO WE LOVE IT? On the surface, there’s nothing special about the Brussels sprouts appetizer at Pho Hoa Grill, the Vietnamese take-out restaurant that opened at 213 Ohio St. in Bangor earlier this year. Basically, it’s just a container of stirfried Brussels sprouts. Trust me on this one, however: Order them, try them, and I promise you’ll be hooked. I’m not exactly sure what combination of sweet, savory, sour and salty ingredients the people in the kitchen at Pho Hoa combine to make these sprouts so tasty, but whatever it is, it’s magical. I think there’s some sugar, some soy sauce, possibly a hint of fish sauce. I don’t know, and I don’t care. They are delicious. Even if you think you don’t like Brussels sprouts, I assure you there’s a really good chance you’ll like these. But you’re not going to want to share them with anybody. You’ve been warned.

PHOTOS: ©MAREK GOTTSCHALK & MAREK ULIASZ/ADOBE STOCK

WHAT WE CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF THIS MONTH.

PHOTO: TKTK

—EMILY BURNHAM

18 / BANGOR METRO November 2018


MAKE

POTATO-LEEK SOUP

LOCAL EATS

WHY DO WE LOVE IT? On a cold day late last winter, my partner and his daughter placed tiny leek seeds in trays of potting soil and stuck them hopefully in a south-facing window. They weren’t sure the leeks would take, so they planted dozens and dozens of them in a bid to get some kind of harvest out of the experiment. I think you can guess what happened next: They all grew, and when we planted the wispy green seedlings bemusedly in the garden later that spring, we suspected we would end up with more leeks than we could possibly imagine eating. Well, the bumper crop arrived, and we sought out recipes and strategies to address the bounty of the mildest member of the onion family. One recipe, potato leek soup, has the twin distinctions of being both easy to make and delicious. I’ve been chopping the white and light green part of cleaned leeks into small slices and sauteing them, cubed potatoes and chopped onion in a mixture of oil and butter for a few minutes, or until the onions and leeks are soft. Then I cover the mixture with chicken broth and bring to a simmer, cooking until the potatoes are soft. Mash the potatoes (or mix in a blender) until the soup is creamy. Add salt, pepper, thyme and milk, sour cream or plain yogurt to taste. —ABIGAIL CURTIS

STOCK UP

TRADER JOE’S PUMPKIN PRODUCTS WHY DO WE LOVE IT? When I lived in Portland, I discovered the grocery store that changed my shopping experience forever: Trader Joe’s. I couldn’t wait to shop for food. Each time, even though I was on my own, I would buy things I really didn’t need. I took it to a whole new level when I discovered Trader Joe’s pumpkin products. Only around for a couple of months out of the year, I found pumpkin waffles, pumpkin ravioli and pumpkin butter. I would buy boxes at a time and stock up on everything so I could still enjoy the products beyond the fall season. It just takes me to a cozy place and really highlights my favorite season. Next time you’re in Portland, make a stop before it’s too late — or drive the four-hour round trip. My love for Trader Joe’s pumpkin products has no bounds.

Your ad could be on this page. Advertise in Bangor Metro’s Food & Drink section. Call 990-8000.

—ROSEMARY LAUSIER

www.bangormetro.com BANGOR METRO / 19


in season now

FOOD & DRINK

CRANBERRIES

STORY & PHOTOS BY SARAH WALKER CARON

IT MIGHT BE SAID that one of the first signs of fall is the presence of fresh, scarlet, tart cranberries in bags at the grocery store. Although they are available dried, frozen and in sauce form year-round, the fresh berries only make their appearances from late September to December or January. Cranberries grow on low, trailing vines in bogs with sandy, acidic soil. Many cranberries are wet harvested meaning the bogs are flooded at harvest time, dislodging the berries from the vine. They float, so it’s a matter of scooping them off the surface of the water. But I was surprised to learn a few years ago that some growers here in Maine dry harvest the berries, a lesser used process that results in fruit that lasts longer. Machines, these days, help the process along with human assistance. I wonder what folks 400 years ago would think of that? According to “The Story of Food,” published by DK, in the 17th century, indigenous people introduced English settlers to cranberries and they were so impressed that they shipped some back to the King of England. With a natural preserve that stopped the berries from going bad, they were also packed on small ships for eating, dried and carried by Lewis and Clark on their journey and so on. Today, they are a holiday tradition. Cranberry sauce is served alongside (hopefully) juicy slices of turkey at Thanksgiving, and the berries are transformed into something sparkly to decorate desserts at Christmas and New Years. But we shouldn’t limit our cranberry consumption to those times. A good source of vitamin C and potassium, raw cranberries are also lovely in baked goods like this Cranberry Quick Bread.

CRANBERRY QUICK BREAD Yields 1 loaf

INGREDIENTS

INSTRUCTIONS

1 large egg

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray an 8.5-inch loaf pan with cooking oil spray, or grease with butter. Set aside.

1⅓ cup buttermilk ½ cup olive oil 2 cups all-purpose flour ½ cup granulated sugar 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 teaspoon kosher salt 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 cup fresh cranberries, rinsed and well-drained

20 / BANGOR METRO November 2018

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the egg for about 1 minute until frothy. Add the buttermilk and oil, one at a time, and mix well after each addition. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and vanilla extract to the mixer and mix on mediumlow speed until just incorporated. Remove the mixing bowl from the stand mixer and use a rubber spatula

to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the cranberries and stir gently to incorporate. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Tap gently to even out. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until golden brown. A butter knife inserted into the center of the pan should come out cleanly. Place the pan on a cooling rack and allow the loaf to cool in the pan for 20 minutes before inverting to release. (You may want to run a knife around the edges first to ensure an easy release.) Cool completely before slicing.

SARAH WALKER CARON is the editor of Bangor Metro magazine. Her newest cookbook, “The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook,” was released in September by Rockridge Press. She’s also author of the popular food blog, Sarah’s Cucina Bella (www.sarahscucinabella.com).


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HIKE ME

RIVER WALKS TRAILS THAT TRACE SCENIC WATERWAYS STORY & PHOTOS BY AISLINN SARNACKI

THE GURGLE OF FLOWING WATER grew louder as she followed the trail to the river’s edge. The sound of the current, both soothing and exciting, drowned out the buzz of road traffic nearby. It was as if the waterway demanded her full attention. It was singing her a song. And as she walked along its edge, the music constantly changed. At first, the river swept along with the faintest murmur. Ducks loafed on the smooth surface, preening their feathers and diving for fish. But as she walked farther upriver, the current narrowed and began to churn, tumbling over rock ledges to form tiny waterfalls and rapids. There the river sang a wilder tune. In the shade of tall pines, she hiked along the riverbank and breathed in the fresh scent of water, tinged by the scent of aquatic plants. And every now and again she’d pause, mesmerized by its swift, fluid movements, the way the water dashed upon a boulder and tugged at the grass lining the shore. When the trail turned away from the water, climbing a hill into the heart of the forest, she felt a loss, as though she were leaving behind a companion, one who had been telling her a story. But what that story had been about was already escaping her, just as the roar of the current was fading with each step.


LITTLE RIVER COMMUNITY TRAIL

IN BELFAST MODERATE A picnic table is located at a viewpoint at the edge of Messalonskee Stream on the Messalonskee Stream Trail in Oakland.

THE 4-MILE LITTLE RIVER Community Trail was built by the Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition and opened in the fall of 2007. The trail travels along Little River and through a mature forest, where hikers won’t see any houses or roads aside from when the trail crosses a road at the 1-mile mark. Open to the public for free year-round, the path is great for hiking, dog walking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The trail starts at the 175-foot dam and brick pumphouse on Little River, which was built in the late 1880s. In 1943, heavy rainfall forced 10-foot granite blocks to fall off the dam and hurdle downriver to take out a bridge on Route 1. The pumphouse also flooded at the time, its windows and doors blown out by water. The dam was replaced the next year, but in 1980, the Belfast Water District stopped using the reservoirs created by the dam, though ducks continue to enjoy the deep pools. For more information, visit belfastbaywatershed.org. DIRECTIONS: From the traffic light in Belfast at the intersection of Route 1 and Route 52, drive south on Route 1 about 2.4 miles and turn right onto the driveway of the Belfast Water District office. Keep to the right when the drive splits and park at the back of the parking area, where there is a sign that reads “Hikers, please park here.” The trail starts at the nearby kiosk. The other end of the trail is at Walsh Fields Recreation Area off Route 52, which also has a parking area. www.bangormetro.com BANGOR METRO / 23


HEALTH & FITNESS

HIKE ME

KENDUSKEAG STREAM TRAIL IN BANGOR EASY THE KENDUSKEAG STREAM TRAIL is a walking and biking path that runs along the Kenduskeag Stream for about 2 miles, connecting downtown Bangor with a number of small parks and scenic outlooks on the stream. Along the way, educational displays provide information about features of the landscape, local wildlife and the stream’s history. A number of benches and picnic tables are located along the trail for people to rest and watch wildlife. The stream’s pools are filled with alewives, trout and Atlantic salmon, and a variety of waterbirds — including mergansers, mallards and cormorants — visit the stream year-round. Bald eagles nest nearby and often are seen perched on branches over the water, hunting for fish. And turkey vultures nest at Lover’s Leap, a 150-foot cliff that rears above the stream off Valley Avenue. The cliff was named after a legend of two lovers who were forbidden to be together and leapt to their deaths from the cliff long ago, according to an educational display located along the trail. Dogs are permitted. For more information, call 207-992-4900 or visit bangorparksandrec.com.


Find your perfect

AUDIENCE

DIRECTIONS: The trail’s southern end is on the northside of Franklin Street bridge in downtown Bangor, on the west bank of the Kenduskeag Stream. There is parallel parking along the side of Franklin Street. The trail’s northern end of the trail is off Valley Avenue, 0.4 mile north of where Valley Avenue crosses under I-95. There is a fairly large parking area just south of that end. The Kenduskeag Stream Trail can also be accessed at multiple points along the trail, including Lover’s Leap Park and Gateway Park, both on Valley Avenue. There’s also parking areas on Harlow Street, just before and after crossing the Kenduskeag Stream.

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HEALTH & FITNESS

HIKE ME

MESSALONSKEE STREAM TRAIL IN OAKLAND MODERATE THREADING THROUGH THE QUIET FOREST along the banks of Messalonskee Stream, the 2.5-mile Messalonskee Stream Trail opened in 2007 and has since become a popular spot for local residents to hike, run and walk their dogs. It’s also an excellent place for picnicking and wildlife watching, since the stream attracts a variety of waterfowl and wading birds, as well as bald eagles, and the forestland is filled with songbirds and woodpeckers. The trail, which stretches between Kennedy Memorial Drive and Rice Rips Road in Oakland, was built by the Maine Conservation Corps as a traditional hiking trail, marked with white painted blazes, with a blue or red diamond marking the center of each blaze. Features of the trail include long stretches of bog bridges, scenic wooden bridges that span brooks, and picnic tables at scenic outlooks along the stream. Dogs are permitted. For more information, visit kmtrail.org. DIRECTIONS: Both ends of the trail have small parking areas. The south parking area is a small fenced in area off Kennedy Memorial Drive, across Messalonskee Stream from the Oakland Town Office, which is located at 6 Cascade Mill Road. The north parking area is off Rice Rips Road in Oakland, approximately 0.3 mile from where Rice Rips Road intersects with Route 23 (Fairfield Street). Driving from the direction of Route 23, the gravel parking area will be on your left, just after crossing a small bridge over Messalonskee Stream. The trail, marked with a green trail sign, starts directly across the road.

AISLINN SARNACKI is a staff writer for Bangor Metro and the Outdoors and Homestead sections of the Bangor Daily News. An expert on the Maine outdoors, she is author of the just-released guidebook, “Maine Hikes Off the Beaten Path,” and also “Family Friendly Hikes in Maine.” Follow her adventures on her blog, actoutwithaislinn.bangordailynews.com.

26 / BANGOR METRO November 2018


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HEALTH & FITNESS

Annika Marshall (from left), 7, Kelsee Nevells, 6, and Emily Young, 6, sit on the shore of Fourth Pond in Blue Hill and paint what they see during a Blue Hill Heritage Trust OpenAir Arts Initiative workshop.

28 / BANGOR METRO November 2018


NaTURe FOSTERING A LOVE OF

HOW MAINE LAND TRUSTS ARE GETTING KIDS OUTSIDE BY AISLINN SARNACKI

HUNTING FOR BUGS, riding a bike, exploring a trail, beachcombing for shells — for children, playing outside can take many forms. Under the shade of tall trees, they can collect pine cones and twigs to build fairy houses. In a sunny meadow, they can press flowers in a nature journal. Or on a winter day, they can inspect animal tracks stamped in the snow. But sometimes kids need a little encouragement and guidance to get started. To help, many land trusts throughout Maine are focusing on creating programming that reaches children and gets them outdoors, actively learning about the natural world. “It really comes down to the fact that a lot of kids these days don’t have the freedom to be outside like the kids of our generation did,” Chrissy Beardsley Allen, development and outreach director for the Blue Hill Heritage Trust, said. “We’re such a tech-driven world now, and our schedules are so busy. … Kids don’t have the time to get off the bus and go play outside until dinnertime anymore.” Blue Hill Heritage Trust is one of dozens of land trusts in Maine. These nonprofit organizations conserve land throughout the state and typically have multi-

pronged missions that include creating opportunities for outdoor recreation and education. “The work we’re doing, we’re doing for the community,” Allen said, “the natural community and the human community.” While land trusts strive to engage people of all ages, children have become a special focus as they look to the future. After all, today’s children are tomorrow’s land stewards and conservationists. “I grew up in Maine, and I just always have loved spending time outdoors,” Julia McLeod, outreach coordinator for Harpswell Heritage Land Trust, said. “It’s been a really important part of my life, and I believe it’s good for kids — there’s research out there that shows it’s good for kids — to spend time outdoors, connect with the places they live and create that sense of belonging [to] and understanding of the world around them.” Hired by Harpswell Heritage Land Trust about six years ago, McLeod has worked hard to expand the organization’s youth programming to reach as many children as possible. Collaborating with teachers, she’s led outdoor lessons for every grade of Harpswell

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HEALTH & FITNESS Community School. She’s also enlarged the organization’s Nature Day Camp for kids, helped create the free monthly Harpswell Family Outings series, and is continually organizing family-friendly events at the land trust’s many preserves. “Part of what I see my role as is getting these kids hooked early and seeing that conservation is important early and hopefully taking that with them through their lives,” McLeod said. “It’s good for them, and it’s good for us.”

land trust that has worked with every single school on the Blue Hill Peninsula — 10 schools in all — to provide free educational programming, which range from structured nature hikes to a structured year-long study IT’S GOOD FOR US on the area’s watershed. This summer, the Coastal Mountains Land “Working directly with these kids in Trust announced to its members a new the schools is really important,” Allen, initiative to reach every child in their service responsible for many of BHHT’s educational area. It’s an ambitious goal, but according programs, said. “Getting up and out of the to the land trust’s executive director, Ian four walls of a classroom, visiting these Stewart, it’s one worth pursuing. places and learning to care about them.” “We’re going to spend the fall doing an Recently, to meet the high demand for IT’S GOOD FOR THEM analysis on how we can get every elementary outdoor education in their area, BHHT Since video games and television started luring teamed up with the neighboring Great kids indoors, parents have been concerned Pond Mountain Conservation Trust and children aren’t getting enough activity and Downeast Audubon to collectively employ fresh air. Though the concern isn’t new, an “Explore Outdoors Education the term for it is. In 2005, Richard Coordinator” who represents all three Louv articulated this worry and put organizations in Hancock County. “IF YOU’RE GOING TO a name to the condition: “Nature To engage more children in Deficit-Disorder.” outdoor topics they’re interested PROTECT WILDLIFE HABITAT His book, “Last Child in in, the land trust recently IN A LASTING WAY, YOU HAVE TO the Woods: Saving Our Chilstarted a 4-H Club to meet dren from Nature-Deficit and learn about various HELP THE NEXT GENERATION TO Disorder,” sparked a worldoutdoor skills. The new club, APPRECIATE WHAT’S OUT THERE, wide discussion among eduwhich met for the first time cators and parents about the in September, was created AND TO OWN IT, LOVE IT AND importance of outdoor eduto address the concern WANT TO PROTECT IT,” cation and environmental expressed by local residents awareness, especially among that children don’t have the SAID LUCY QUIMBY, our youth. tools or skills to be safe in the PRESIDENT OF THE “Passion is lifted from the woods. Designed for ages 8 to earth itself by the muddy hands 13, the club’s first study will be BANGOR LAND TRUST. of the young, it travels along grassin orienteering, which is navigation stained sleeves to the heart,” Louv using a map and compass. wrote in the book. “If we are going to BHHT also provides free educational save environmentalism and the environment, programming for homeschooled children, we must also save an endangered indicator and they run free public programs in each species: the child in nature.” of the peninsula’s seven towns year-round. Louv also wrote about the benefits of school kid of our service region out onto These events include walks along the nature, not only for children but for people our preserves,” Stewart said. “It needs to fit Bagaduce River to find horseshoe crabs, in general. with the teachers’ curriculums.” mushroom-identification walks, beach “The woods were my Ritalin,” he wrote. As a part of the initiative, in September, cleanup days, open-air art projects and “Nature calmed me, focused me, and yet Coastal Mountains Land Trust took the farm tours. excited my senses.” entire Camden Middle School outside, “Kids are so excited to come to the In recent years, many studies have splitting the students into groups to visit farms and see how it all works,” Allen said, been conducted to test the popular theory eight of the land trust’s preserves. These “to pull a carrot from the garden, dust it off that time spent in nature can improve a field trips were paired with assignments to on their pants and eat it, dirt and all.” person’s health in various ways. Just be completed in the classroom. Many land trusts offer these types this year, a report was published by the “The main goal of these field trips is of outdoor events as a way to get more University of East Anglia examining just to have a lot of fun outside with kids people out enjoying their conserved lands. 140 of these studies from 20 countries so they have a good association with these Bangor Land Trust, for example, offered to conclude that “spending time in, or lands and want to come back and do more,” 16 free public programs on their preserves living close to, natural green spaces is Stewart said. “We’re really just starting to in the past year, and the majority of those associated with diverse significant health experiment with this.” programs are designed to attract and benefits,” including a reduction in the For examples of how to successfully engage families. risk of Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular work with schools, Stewart need only travel “If you’re going to protect wildlife disease and stress. down the coast to Blue Hill Heritage Trust, a habitat in a lasting way, you have to help 30 / BANGOR METRO November 2018

These studies reinforce the idea that children should spend time outside, not just to learn to appreciate the environment but for their own well-being.


PHOTO: COURTESY OF CURT CHIPMAN

the next generation to appreciate what’s out there, and to own it, love it and want to protect it,” said Lucy Quimby, president of the Bangor Land Trust. HOW TO ENGAGE KIDS IN THE OUTDOORS Capturing a child’s attention and holding it can be a difficult task, no matter what the setting. So over the years, land trusts have experimented to learn what outdoor activities young people enjoy and what causes them to lose interest. Tree identification, for instance, is a topic that draws people of all ages, the Bangor Land Trust has discovered. So each year, at the height of fall foliage season, they organize a tree identification walk at one of their preserves. And like all of their other programs, the event is free and family friendly. “Whatever you’re doing with kids, you have to let them explore it with all of their senses as much as possible,” Allen said. “If you have them sitting in a chair and listening to talk about land conservation, they’re going to check out.” To that end, BHHT recently worked with the town of Penobscot to open an outdoor classroom at Pierce Pond Fishway, a location where students can watch thousands of alewives run in and out of the pond each spring and fall. This learning space features large stone tables, crushed gravel trails along the water and interpretive signs about why alewives are culturally, ecologically and economically important to the region. “It’s a place where the kids can go and move around and get wet and pick up fish,” Allen said. “They love it. They leave so excited about what they did. It really makes a lasting impression.” Another success story can be found in Harpswell Heritage Land Trust’s Nature Day Camp, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this summer. Initially, the camp was held for just one week every summer, but it has grown so much in popularity that the land trust extended it slowly. This past summer, they offered five weeks of camp. The model of the camp is unique in that it’s held at a different location each day. Taking full advantage of their many preserves, Harpswell Heritage Land Trust hopscotches among them, offering the campers new sights and experiences every day. They also mix up the activities.

Duncan Anderson of Brunswick holds up a bug net while participating in the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust program.

Molly Baker and her grandfather Jack Deislinger search the ocean for creatures during a Harpswell Heritage Land Trust program.

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HEALTH & FITNESS

“We’re poking around in tide pools or exploring mud flats or in the forest playing games,” McLeod said. “It’s really fun, and it engages the kids.” Sometimes the best ideas for children’s programming come from the children or teens themselves. A few years ago, Emma Levy, then a senior at Mount Ararat High School, created a Junior Ranger Activity Book for the town of Harpswell as her senior capstone project. The 68-page book introduces young people to 10 trails, parks and preserves in Harpswell, while pointing out things in nature that children might find interesting. The book, for a $5 suggested donation, can be picked up at the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust office or ordered online. And after a child visits all the properties and completes most of the activities, they can bring it back to the office to receive a certificate and prize. Last year, McLeod started using the activity book to guide outdoor programming at Harpswell Community School. Through32 / BANGOR METRO November 2018

out the year, the third grade went on nine field trips based on the book, completing activities and writing prompts for each site. “One of the teachers said something along the lines of, ‘They’re learning and they don’t even realize it,’” McLeod said. To teachers, land trusts and other organizations looking to expand their outdoor education, McLeod suggests working together as much as possible. This enables you to pool resources and have a broader reach for first-time programs. And start small. For example, the Brewer Land Trust, established in 2009, is working to install tree identification signs in Brewer’s Sherwood Forest Park, an 11-acre park that is open to the public and used for an outdoor classroom for the nearby Brewer Community School. And the land trust recently held its second annual Brewer Land Trust Day on the Brewer Riverwalk, where they set up activities for kids including rock painting, bubble-making, sidewalk chalk drawing and biking.

“Brewer Land Trust is a fairly new organization with a small active group,” Linda Johns, city of Brewer planning director, said. “However, we have lots of ideas.” Looking forward, the Brewer Land Trust aims to open more trails in their community and offer public events, such as guided hikes and outdoor art workshops. And while they plan to cater to all ages, they’re especially focused on reaching children in their community. This is crucial, because each land trust in Maine has a limited reach. “We can only do so much in our little pocket of Maine,” Allen said. “But to know these land trusts across the country are offering these programming and giving these opportunities to connect to nature is so vital and important, not just to our future health as an environment but as people. We’re healthier people when we get to connect with nature, both physically and mentally. It’s great to see more and more organizations focusing on that.” 

PHOTO: COURTESY OF CURT CHIPMAN

Grace Montana, a junior counselor at Harpswell Heritage Land Trust Nature Day Camp, gets comfortable while searching through seaweed with camper Estella Wigg.


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HOW-TO

CRAFTING WITH KIDS

Special thanks to our adorable dog models and product testers, (at left) Hero and (below) Beau.

FABRIC FUN TO MAKE & PERFECT TO DONATE BY AMY ALLEN

MY KIDS LOVE ANY EXCUSE to visit the animal shelter. The holiday season is the perfect time to give back, and these fleece dog toys (we’ve also had reports that cats like them too) are a great way to give back to our furry friends in need. It’s a simple and fun way to teach kids about giving and philanthrophy. It’s also a fun project to do with friends and comes together fast and with minimal supplies. Our little team of toy makers created more than dozen in about an hour. There are lots of ways to make these — from simple braiding to more complicated knotting. Any tying technique (like those used to make friendship bracelets) which creates a strong core should work well for chewing and pulling. We found it helpful to work with a friend who could hold the end of the rope as you braid or help to pull the knots tight if you try the square knot technique shown on the opposite page. Just start with a simple knot and leave plenty of room to knot the other end. Whether you give these as gifts or donate them to a local animal shelter, pooches everywhere are sure to be happy this holiday season! 34 / BANGOR METRO November 2018

WHAT YOU’LL NEED: • Fleece fabric • Scissors

REMEMBER: Always keep an eye on your pets as they play and chew with toys. Take them away if they start unravel or come apart.

PHOTOS: CALLIE PICARD; (INSET) KATHLEEN CASSIDY

DoG TOys


with KIDS DIRECTIONS & TIPS STEB-BY-STEP SQUARE KNOT TECHNIQUE

1. Cut your fabric into strips. We made ours about 3 feet long and 1.5 inches wide — the final product is a good fit for a small to medium-sized dog. For the square knot technique, use 4 strips. For braiding, we doubled up to make the braid more substantial, so we used 6 strips for a braided toy. 2. Knot the end tightly. Then braid or knot (follow steps at left and repeat to desired length) to create the middle section. Finish with another knot — leave plenty of length on the end to create your knot. Trim the ends as needed and hand over to Fido!


HOW-TO

CREATE IT AT HOME

HOW TO MAKE A

THUMBTACK

WREATH STORY & PHOTOS BY KATIE SMITH

FOR HOLIDAY DECORATIONS, step beyond the traditional for a fun, festive wreath that’s easy to make. I love mixing textures in my home, especially during this time of year. This wreath mixes it up with an unusual material: thumbtacks. I’ve been making thumbtack wreaths for friends for a few years and love how the rows of tracks resemble jewels or sequins. Plus, you don’t have to worry about it drying out. This wreath can be used year after year.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED: • One 12-inch (or any size you wish) styrofoam wreath form from craft any store. • About 1,200 thumbtacks. These come in packs of 300 and are available at any office supply store of Dollar Store, so four boxes should do it. • Ribbon • Spray paint (optional)

36 / BANGOR METRO November 2018


DIRECTIONS & TIPS 1. Begin sticking tacks in wreath form at top center, slightly overlapping, and make a circle so tacks wrap all the way around. 2. Continue making circles all the way around wreath form, slightly overlapping the tacks until it's covered, add ribbon for hanging, and that's it.

The added benefit is it's very therapeutic to punch the tacks in the foam while watching a movie, and your older kids will love making one, too. I love the look of silver or gold tacks, but this can also be spray painted any color you'd like.

Depending on the size of wreath, this project will take you anywhere from two to five hours to complete.

at

HOME


HOME & FAMILY

LABOR OF

LOVE MAINE FAMILY CAREGIVERS MONTH SHINES MUCH-NEEDED SPOTLIGHT BY JANE MARGESSON AARP MAINE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR

CAREGIVING FOR A LOVED ONE may be one of the most important roles you will ever take on. Anyone who has been a caregiver understands that this role, while rewarding and deeply meaningful, can also be complex and time-consuming. Many caregivers are raising families while working part time or full time. It can be extremely difficult to manage the demands of one’s job and the needs at home. Today, 178,000 Mainers are caring for a spouse, parent or other loved one to help them live safely and independently at home. Being a family caregiver is a labor of love, but it can also take a financial and emotional toll. Consider just two of the results from an AARP Maine survey conducted in 2017. According to the survey, Maine family caregivers believe it is important to help their loved ones live independently at home. However, there is broad understanding that caregivers face enormous challenges. For example, 59 38 / BANGOR METRO November 2018

percent of survey respondents said they use their own money to support their caregiving needs, and 65 percent stated they feel emotionally stressed because of their caregiving responsibilities. In an effort to shine a spotlight on family caregivers in our state, the Maine State Legislature unanimously passed a Joint Resolution to Support Family Caregivers in Maine in April. The Joint Resolution asks the State Legislature to consider certain measures including the review of state policies and programs for their effectiveness in addressing the needs of family caregivers and their loved ones. It also designates the month of November as Maine Family Caregivers Month. What is encouraging for Maine caregivers is that the Joint Resolution publicly recognized that family caregivers should be able to focus on caring for their loved one with access to support and services that help them provide that care.

Pam Champagne of Bangor has been a caregiver for her partner, Warren, ever since he suffered a stroke in 2010 at the age of 62. “I am very fortunate to be able to afford some respite care, but I am well aware that there are many caregivers in Maine who cannot,” Champagne said. “They are not able to take a break, and when you are a long-term caregiver you need to be able to recharge in order to keep going.” As a caregiver for my mother-in-law for many years, I can state emphatically that Champagne is absolutely right. One needs to be able to have sustained support during one’s caregiving journey, but this can be hard to come by. It is well known that direct care workers, certified nursing assistants and home health aides cannot meet the current or projected need in Maine. I am hopeful that progress can be made in this area since one of the provisions specifically mentioned in the Joint Resolution is the need for improved in-home support.


REALTORS

Pam Champagne has been a caregiver for her partner, Warren, ever since he suffered a stroke in 2010.

On the national front, legislation that was signed into law in March further bolsters Maine’s Joint Resolution. The Recognize, Assist, Include, Support and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act requires the development of a national strategy to support family caregivers. The law creates an advisory body to bring together relevant federal agencies and others from the private and public sectors to advise and make recommendations. The strategy will identify specific actions that government, communities, providers, employers and others can take to recognize and support family caregivers. There is much to celebrate in the passage of these laws, but family caregivers need to bring their voices to the table. As Kay Grindall of Oakland, a long-term caregiver for her mother who also teaches English at Waterville High School, said: “While we thank our lawmakers for their legislative leadership, we need to find real solutions that will begin to greatly alleviate

stress and financial difficulties associated with being full-time caregivers. We must make sure that family caregivers in Maine receive some semblance of deserved relief. In-home support, respite care and home improvements that can help our loved ones stay at home are just a few examples of the services and resources caregivers need right now.” When it comes to home improvements, it may be worth consulting with a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) who has been specially trained to address concerns of caregivers and their loved ones. When I was a caregiver, though we made every effort to make my mother-in-law safe and comfortable, we didn’t always make the right decisions. For example, her carpet, though pretty, turned out to contain an array of patterns that made her feel dizzy as she got older. Another consideration, and one of the simplest features to address in a home, is adequate lighting. An upgrade in bulb wattage and lamp placement can play important roles

Your listing could be on this page. Sell it faster. Advertise in Bangor Metro’s Home section. Call 990-8000.

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HOME & FAMILY

PHOTO: ŠLUCKYBUSINESS/ADOBE STOCK

in fall prevention. These and other home improvement considerations can be part of a CAPS home review. Visit the National Association of Home Builders at www. nahb.org to learn more. Here in Maine, we are lucky to have a brand new income tax credit available to individuals who earn $50,000 or less annually to make their residence more accessible. You can find out more about the AccessAble Home Tax Credit at www. MaineHousing.org/AccessAbleHome. As Grindall says, both of the legislative measures mentioned here are important steps in the effort to recognize the dayto-day challenges many family caregivers face. However, these laws must become part of a broader conversation to develop meaningful solutions across the country and right here at home. If you are a family caregiver, please consider ordering a free copy of the AARP Maine Caregiver Resource Guide. Offering contact information for local, county and statewide resources, this free resource can help Maine caregivers get the type of assistance they need. Send a note to me@aarp.org for a free copy. The AARP Caregiver Resource Center can also provide a wealth of information and tools for family caregivers at www.aarp.org/caregiving. I hope you will join me in celebrating the very first Maine Family Caregivers Month this November. At AARP Maine, we applaud all family caregivers whose dedication enables their loved ones to age with dignity in their own homes. Let’s work together to stimulate longterm change that will ultimately give family caregivers the resources and respect they so clearly deserve.

40 / BANGOR METRO November 2018


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HOME & FAMILY

MUSIC SPEAKS HOW A LOCAL ORCHESTRA CAN INSPIRE YOUR CHILD

THE VIOLINS BEGIN, with a sweet and low melody. The cellos come in, keeping a deep, magical rhythm. Then the winds join. And when percussion begins to beat, you can feel it in your chest. You remember to look down to see what your child is doing, to see if this musical magic is being appreciated. You find your child sitting still, with eyes wide open, engrossed in the orchestra’s music, one of humankind’s most magnificent art forms. The Bangor Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1896 and is one of the oldest community orchestras in the United States. During its season, families in Greater Bangor and from across the state can enjoy moments just like this one every single month. The Bangor Symphony Orchestra offers families in our area valuable opportunities to enjoy beautiful music from some of the best musicians in the world. In an age of stressful video games and social media, exposing our children to classical music seems more important than ever. According to some research, classical music has been shown to lessen anxiety. A study from McGill University published in 2013 found that listening to music helped reduce stress in adult patients. A 2015 study of children with autism in Australia found that classical music, in particular, helped reduce stress levels in the children studied. But there are important learning benefits of classical music as well. “It is widely understood in the scientific community that listening to classical music activates different areas of the brain. As children (and adults) make sense of the complex music they are hearing, they are essentially sorting different ideas being heard at once into one unified idea,” Brian Hinrichs, executive director of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, said. Tim Garrett is a cellist for the BSO and a cello teacher at RDL Strings in downtown Bangor. He has played cello for the BSO for 17 years and taught cello for nearly 20 years. He emphasizes the value of classical music for children. “Listening to classical music is incredibly stimulating for the brain and helps stimulate creativity,” Garrett said. Aside from the developmental benefits of classical music for children, the BSO offers families in Greater Bangor an opportunity to build traditions. Gretchen Schaefer is a Bangor resident, mom and co-host of the “Balancing Chaos” podcast. She says her family has an annual tradition of attending “The Nutcracker.” Performed each year by the Robinson Ballet, the BSO provides orchestral accompaniment for the famous Russian ballet. The Bangor Area Children’s Choir also performs during the performance. 42 / BANGOR METRO November 2018

PHOTO: GABOR DEGRE

BY CRYSTAL SANDS


Teacher and Bangor Symphony Orchestra principal cellist Noreen Silver organized and is led a performance by about 30 cellists at the Bangor Arts Exchange last winter.

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HOME & FAMILY

One of several Bangor Symphony Orchestra Kinder Concerts held at the Bangor Arts Exchange each year.

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PHOTO: BANGOR SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

LEARNING TO APPRECIATE CLASSICAL MUSIC GIVES CHILDREN A CHANCE TO “APPRECIATE SOME OF THE GREATEST ARTISTIC ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF HUMANKIND. THERE’S AN APPRECIATION AND WONDER THAT GOES ALONG WITH BEING IN AWE OF WHAT HUMANS CAN DO.”

Schaefer and her two girls enjoy getting dressed up and attending annually. “It’s something they look forward to every year. We get dressed up and go to the matinee and buy a nutcracker for our collection. It’s a fun and relatively affordable way to support the BSO,” Schaefer said. “Whenever I check in to see if they still want to go, they are horrified to think that I would think they wouldn’t!” Schaefer’s daughters enjoy the ballet but they also have a special tradition involving the musicians. “We always go at intermission to look down into the orchestra pit so they can see the musicians and understand how it all works as a performance of both music and dance, and we’ve talked about how a story can be told without words,” she said. Parents may be surprised at just how attentive to the dynamic music young children can be. “I am always amazed at how attentive children will be to live music when the setting is right,” Hinrichs said. In addition to the BSO’s main performances each month from October to May, the BSO offers a variety of special performances for families throughout the year. Each year at Halloween, the BSO offers a free “Fall KinderConcert” aimed at introducing small children to classical music. Before the program, there’s an instrument petting zoo, which gives children an opportunity to touch and try out an instrument. The BSO offers

another free KinderConcert in the spring, as well as a Young People’s Concert in May; admission to the Young People’s Concert is only $3 per person. Beyond the benefits of listening to and enjoying live classical music, parents may find that their children are interested in learning to play an instrument. Research shows the benefits of classical music on child development are multiplied when children move from listening to learning to play. “One study of preschoolers found that, among those who were given piano lessons and then subjected to spatial-temporal reasoning tests, their performance was more than 30 percent better than that of similar children without musical training,” Hinrichs said. “A famous UCLA study of 25,000 students found that those with musical training scored higher on the SATs. There are now medical schools specially recruiting musicians because of the correlation between musical ability and the ability to undertake and reason through complex tasks.” Greater Bangor boasts a wide variety of opportunities for children to learn to play classical music and reap these benefits. Tim Garrett says that, at any given time, 65 to 75 percent of his students are under the age of 18. Garrett began studying cello at the age of 12. Today, he has played in orchestras around the world but can be found almost every day in downtown Bangor teaching children to play cello and appreciate the value of classical music. “I teach everyone differently based on what is best for them. There’s some psychology to it. You have to be able to discern what the student is feeling. What they’re feeling will come right out of the f-holes [of the cello],” Garrett said. Garrett teaches students as young as 5 years old and works patiently with students to keep them engaged. Garrett believes in his work, inspiring children to explore classical music on a deeper level. “There are very few disciplines that combine the number of skill sets it takes to play classical music,” he said. But he adds that listening is also beneficial. Learning to appreciate classical music gives children a chance to “appreciate some of the greatest artistic accomplishments of humankind. There’s an appreciation and wonder that goes along with being in awe of what humans can do.” www.bangormetro.com BANGOR METRO / 45


FEATURE

Elizabeth McLellan working with pregnant women in Uganda.

SPECIAL DELIVERY MAINER ELIZABETH MCLELLAN was devastated by the need for medical supplies around the world. Then she decided to do something about it from her own backyard in Maine. It is not uncommon for indigent Mainers to drop by the Partners for World Health warehouse in Portland and ask founder Elizabeth McLellan if she can spare medical or sanitary supplies. McLellan remembers a recent instance of an older man asking if she had any discounted packages of Depends. When McLellan told him he could have them for free and that she would set up regular delivery, if he wanted, he was floored. Such stories are par for the course for the nurse-turned-volunteer, who collects unused medical supplies from hospitals all over New England and ships them to developing countries in need.

Elizabeth McLellan lead a medical mission helping pregnant women in Uganda as part of Project 10,000, a PWH effort to reduce infant mortality rates.

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THE MAINE CONNECTION TO THE WORLD McLellan grew up in Camden and traveled the world as a registered nurse before she took on a job as a nursing administrator at the Maine Medical Center in Portland. She was astonished to see the number of unused medical supplies that would be

BY POORNIMA APTE

tossed out when a patient was discharged from a hospital room. Remembering the hospitals around the world, where access to medical supplies was a significant challenge, McLellan decided to connect the dots. She requested permission to collect the supplies. Before she knew it, she had 11,000 pounds of supplies in her own house. Then she started shipping containers to facilities around the world that requested them. In September of 2009, McLellan moved the operation into a warehouse and officially launched Partners for World Health with $20,000 of her own money. Nine years later, the nonprofit now operates out of its Portland headquarters, with a separate shipping location in Portland and additional warehouses in Bangor, Rockport and Presque Isle in Maine and in Bethel, Vermont. Partners has a board of 14 advisors and five staff members, but McLellan continues to volunteer her time — she does not draw a salary. Volunteers from all over Maine, especially college students, devote their time to sorting supplies and a variety of other activities. Its internship program draws area students. In 2017, Partners logged 20,000 volunteer hours. McLellan has

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF ELIZABETH MCLELLAN

SAVING THE WORLD ONE VOLUNTEER EFFORT AT A TIME.


instituted a large local giveback program whereby the facility donates diapers and incontinence supplies and other personal care items to homeless shelters and food pantries in Portland, Augusta and Bangor. VNA and hospice services frequently pick up walkers and wheelchairs. “It is important for us to be good stewards in the community,” McLellan said. “We have a medical community that is giving supplies to us, and we don’t need to send all of this overseas. We can look at what aspects of this business we can return to the community in a cost-effective manner. It’s the right thing to do.” MEDICAL MISSIONS In addition to working with unused medical supplies, McLellan also leads medical missions to developing countries, where teams of U.S. doctors and medical personnel train their counterparts about the latest developments in medicine and increase community awareness about best practices. During a recent mission to Uganda, McLellan and her team educated pregnant women about the complications of pregnancy and donated first aid kits to assist in labor in Kampala. This was part of Project 10,000, a Partners for World Health initiative to reduce maternal and infant mortality rates in Africa. The project’s goal was to provide 10,000 women with kits containing the supplies necessary for a sterile birth. The team also traveled to Gulu and to Aurora, where they worked with refugees from Sudan and provided education and training on wound care and a host of related medical challenges. McLellan has additional missions planned to Bangladesh, which she visits twice a year to work with cancer researchers, and to Nigeria, Somalia and war-torn Syria. Volunteers with Partners for World Health wear what McLellan calls the BBC, the Blue Button of Commitment. “Our volunteers understand that it’s important you commit yourself to something greater than your own self-interest and that you stick with it,” she said. “If you do, you will see change, and it will happen in your lifetime.” McLellan believes in this principle passionately. “I’m just going to keep walking down this road,” McLellan said. “I am dedicated to committing myself to something greater than my own self-interest.” Poornima Apte is an award-winning freelance writer based in New England. Find her at wordcumulus.com.

(Above) Elizabeth McLellan working with pregnant women. (This photo) The Partners for World Health team in Uganda.

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FEATURE

IN CONVERSATION

A CRASH STOLE HIS VISION BUT GAVE HIM A NEW LIFE STORY BY ANNE GABBIANELLI | PHOTOS BY GABOR DEGRE

WHEN TODD MORRIS sat on his sister’s porch of her Pennsylvania home on June 11, 2000, his life was about to change forever. The then-30year-old father of three was struck by a vehicle. A drunken driver behind the wheel of a 15-passenger van crashed into the porch, dragging Morris 450 feet. “I have no recollection at all of what happened,” Morris of Hampden said. A NEW SELF Today the 48-year-old former roofer has been transformed. Now a massage therapist who is blind as a result of that crash. It’s challenging, he said, being a blind man in a line of work that usually includes making visual assessments of patients. “I love my work,” Morris said. “Instead of watching a client as they walk in, when the client is on the table, I do the assessment with my hands.” Verbal communication helps, too.

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“I do learn a lot by speaking with them, coupled with what I feel, which allows me to offer the client more nurturing care,” Morris said. With a chuckle, Morris admitted, “The blind thing comes in handy because some people feel uncomfortable showing their body.” Yet, the challenge has appealed to more male clients. “Men are coming to me, slowly but surely.” Morris’s Facebook promotions have drawn many new clients to the small, two-room, thirdfloor Main Street office in downtown Bangor to be greeted by Morris and his “eyes”: a German Shepherd named Falon. “She is kind of nutty and loves me to death,” Morris said while cuddling his loyal companion. “It’s work when it’s work, and when it’s not work, it’s play time and just being a dog.” His affectionate co-worker greets clients and then takes her place in a corner of the massage room while Morris performs his magic.


Todd Morris, massage therapist, in his Bangor Office.

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FEATURE

IN CONVERSATION

“He worked miracles. He saved me from surgery,” Dolores Foster of Clifton said. Her niece recommended Morris. “I could barely hold a pen and write. Working at a computer 12 hours a day had taken its toll on my right arm, ribs, elbow, shoulders and neck.” Because of the recommendation, Foster knew Morris was blind and she thought that was a good thing. “I was very large and I thought he was blind and wouldn’t see my size, and I found comfort in that. I know the other senses take over for them, but in my head that was a comfort,” Foster said. Any perceived discomfort she had soon disappeared. “He is so good at explaining what he is doing,” Foster said. “He is at one end of my body and I am feeling it at another, and he explains it so well about the connectivity within our body.” Foster had visited many doctors and therapists over the years in her quest for relief. “I do not see that level of knowledge and experience with other therapists. I did not have the range of motion in my neck and shoulder for years and years, and under his care I can even turn now to see better when driving,” Foster said. “He is willing to share his knowledge with you and is

good about making suggestions for things to do on my own. The type of deep-tissue modality he does offers incredible relief. Many therapists don’t get into that level.” When Chuck Somers’s massage therapist of many years retired, he went on a quest to find a therapist who would dig. For Somers of Brewer, some muscles become hard like a rock. “I actually need a strong set of hands to break down the hardness and release the tension — not rub lotion on and rub it off,” Somers said. Somers was impressed by Morris’ professionalism and accommodating nature in his small, relaxing environment. “He is just a guy who happens to be blind and really knows what he is doing. Also, he has a great sense of humor and is easy to talk with,” Somers said. Morris’ lack of sight was a draw for Kristina Ryberg of Orland. “It was appealing to me because he was blind, and I know other senses get heightened after you lose one and I wanted to experience that,” Ryberg said. “It feels like I have to say less and he knows more by touching my body. He sees everything and knows the places without me having to tell him where I need help.”

AFTER THE CRASH The crash on that day in June 2000 left Morris in a coma for 40 days, during which there was a blur of surgeries and hospital transfers. “I wasn’t sure if I was dreaming. It was like I had continuous, non-stop varied positions of life,” Morris said. “In some portions, I could see surgeries I was going through, but it was a continual kind of mess.” When he woke, he was only able to move his head. He was bombarded with information from his parents who had been with him at every hospital. His father, Ron, is the pastor of Glad Tidings Church in Bangor. When he was not commuting to Bangor from whatever city where his son was hospitalized, he was at his son’s bedside with his wife Dixie, a licensed practical nurse. “The overwhelming circumstances pushed our limits beyond our abilities, but the word of God held us to God’s possibilities,” Ron Morris said. As Todd Morris was progressing from his static state, he couldn’t see. It was believed his lack of eyesight was related

Todd Morris, massage therapist, demonstrates how he uses his hands for his occupation. He embraced a whole new life after losing his sight in a car crash.

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to the effects of medications, a condition doctors were hopeful would disappear. That was not the case. “Our hearts were in a sunken feeling but held by the Master’s love,” Ron Morris said. If it were not for his parents’ strength, Todd Morris said he would not have conquered the challenges the crash created as he has. In addition to losing his sight, Todd Morris was internally injured as well. “They were strong and not pushy but always there to be supportive of decisions whether wrong or right,” Todd Morris said. His mom was his personal caregiver, packing wounds, changing bandages and working outside of her trained comfort zone of geriatric care. Without abdominal muscles, Todd Morris had to learn the basics of how to walk again, sit up and lie down. “I had to learn a whole new life. I had to work with the memories. I still go through how life is with only memories of what my parents and kids looked like,” Todd Morris said. His children were 12, 10 and 9 when he last saw them. A fourth child, who is now 9-years-old, he has never seen beyond other’s descriptions. “My brain is always trying to process just things around me. Because I was able to see, I am always trying to figure out what things look like today,” Todd Morris said. A PATH FORWARD During the constant strengthening, Todd Morris began thinking about a future career. Through vocational rehabilitation services for the blind, he was equipped with computer screen reading software allowing him to search for jobs. Unable to work as a roofer any longer, he was drawn to doing something that used his hands. In 2006, he enrolled in massage therapy school in Bangor and started his career a year later, a career for more satisfying than he ever thought. “I am able to hear the comments back and forth of how good the therapy was or how clients feel much more loose and free,” Todd Morris said. “Just knowing I am doing something that they could not get elsewhere and that they feel better, gives me instant satisfaction — not just for me but for them, too.” www.bangormetro.com BANGOR METRO / 51


FEATURE

GIVING WHAT LOCAL NONPROFITS REALLY NEED THIS HOLIDAY SEASON BY SARAH COTTRELL

PHOTOS: ©KENISHIROTIE/ADOBE STOCK

LATE FALL IS AN EXCITING TIME as the holiday season gets underway. For many people, this inspiring time of year compels a sense of generosity. And for many local charities, this can translate into an avalanche of donations. While the spirit of giving may come from a genuine place of wanting to help others in need, not all donations, as it turns out, are helpful. We reached out to a few Bangor area nonprofits to find out exactly what they need from volunteers and donations in order to thrive during the harsh Maine winter. So before you drop off that bag of old clothes or bulk cans of sardines, be sure to check out this wish list from seven local charities.

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To:

GOOD SHEPHERD FOOD BANK

“When people think of Good Shepherd Food Bank around the holidays, they often consider food drives. But financial contributions are what we truly need — and that can be an easier and more efficient way of helping,” Erin Fogg, vice president of development, said. The Good Shepherd Food Bank is able to source and distribute an impressive 24 million meals that serve 200,000 Mainers each year. Because of cost and logistics, it is often easier for the food bank to purchase high-demand, nutritious food at a wholesale cost. You can help them by making a monetary donation at feedingmaine.org. You can also call your local food pantry and ask them what specific items they need to better serve your community. FEEDINGMAINE.ORG

To:

BA NG OR PU BL IC LIB RA RY

When it comes to charitable givin g, food pantries and animal shelters might come to mind. But don’t forget about your local library. The Bangor Public Library is a cornerstone of Bangor, and just like other nonprofits, they, too, need your help. “We are so much more than boo ks, and one of the best gifts (other than money) you can give us is your patronage,” Hannah Young, director of development and marketing, said. She shares a few ways that community mem bers get help the Bangor Public Library during the holiday season. “Support the Annual Fund! Each year we fundraise for our annual fund, which helps us fill the gaps that our funding from the city, state, and our endowment don’t cover,” Young said. Those funds pay for great programming including story times, game nights, LEGO club, genealogy, author talks, cooking class es and so much more. “We do also have an endowment fund, and planned gifts are a wonderful thing that make a hug e difference for us year to year,” Young tells Bangor Metro. Donations to the Bangor Public Library can be sent to 145 Harlow St. Bangor Maine, 04401 (attn: Hannah Young). Be sure to write what the fund is to be used for in the memo line. If oldfashioned checks aren’t your style , BPL also takes donations over Facebook, where there is a donate button at the top of the page, and also at their website www.bpl .lib.me.us. BPL.LIB.ME.US


FEATURE

To: To:

MAINE DISCOVERY MUSEUM

Many kids in Greater Bangor call the Maine Discovery Museum a second home because of how much fun their educational programming is. For those wanting to donate time, funds or goods to the museum, the nonprofit has made it incredibly easy with a wish list of materials that kids use every day. This includes glue sticks, gallon-sized washable liquid Elmer’s glue, beads and buttons, markers, kids character Band-Aids, gift certificates to Lowes and Home Depot, cleaning sponges by Scrub-It in assorted colors, 2-liter hand sanitizer bottles with pumps and Clorox Disinfecting Antibacterial Wipes. If you’re looking for volunteer opportunities, the museum has no shortage of those either. “We are always looking for volunteers to support our mission,” Autumn Allen, director of museum services, tells Bangor Metro. “Our purpose is to encourage creativity, nurture a sense of wonder, and to challenge all to learn in new and innovative ways. We can’t do this without volunteers.” To learn more about donating materials and supplies, volunteer opportunities, or helping to fund the museum through charitable donations through their Annual Fund, please visit www.mainediscoverymuseum.org. MAINEDISCOVERYMUSEUM.ORG

BA NG O R HU M AN E SO CI ET Y

Who doesn’t want to help our most vulnerable furry friends this time of year? If you r heart is set on making sure that pets up for adoptio n get some much-needed love and attention, then donatin g to the Bangor Humane Society might be the best option for you. The organization relies heavily on in-kind donations such as wet food, toys and bed ding. They even have a wish list posted online at www.bang orhumane.org/wishlist for folks who want to help but aren ’t sure what to donate. “Since we do not receive any state or federal funding or funds from national animal welfare organizations, 60 percent of our revenue comes from local donations and grants,” Stacey R. Coventry, dire ctor of development and public relations for the Bangor Humane Society, says. To learn more about how to don ate online, become a kennel sponsor, leave a legacy gift, join their annual Paws on Parade event, make a gift to our Second Chance Fund (which is specifically earmark ed for veterinary care) or to become a volunteer or foster parent, visit the “Support” tab on their website www.bang orhumane.org. BANGORHUMANE.ORG


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FEATURE

EASTERN AREA AGENCY ON AGING The holiday season can be particularly tough on our most vulnerable populations, which includes senior citizens. That’s why the Eastern Area Agency on Aging works so diligently to make sure that donations and volunteers are utilized in the most meaningful and efficient ways possible. If you want to volunteer, consider the Meals on Wheels program, which is the agency’s No. 1 program in most need of helping hands. If you can deliver meals to people’s homes, then they want to hear from you at unitedwayem. galaxydigital.com/need/detail/?need_id=371072. They also need help filling volunteer roles for their EX Fix Program, which is a popular minor home repair and cleaning service, and Furry Friends programs. Community members can help support these two programs by donating dog and cat food, liter to help keep the animals in the Furry Friends program happy and healthy. The Meals on Wheels program, in particular, needs monetary donations to help fulfill the requests for food services. “We have approximately 50 people on a waitlist to receive Meals on Wheels. The individuals who qualify are home-bound and often have very limited access to food resources,” Dyan M. Walsh, MSW executive director of Eastern Area Agency on Aging, tells Bangor Metro. “Community members should access our website (www.eaaa.org) for monetary donations or to fill out a request to volunteer. Pet food and cat litter donations can be dropped off at our offices on 450 Essex St. in Bangor.” EAAA.ORG

LITERACY VOLUNTEERS OF BANGOR For some folks looking to volunteer their time and skills, there are other equally profound ways to get involved in your community to make a difference. Consider joining the Literacy Volunteers of Bangor, and help someone to develop the gift of literacy. Executive Director of Literacy Volunteers of Bangor Mary Lyons explains that the nonprofit needs volunteer tutors. “Our Tutor Training is in the fall and

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spring. Interested people can be added to our list, and we can contact them when the training is scheduled. Additionally, we are always willing to talk with people about how their skills set could help support this mission,” she says. The group is also looking for gently used children’s books (for all ages) and cash donations. If you want to help, the best way to reach out is by called 207-9478451 or visiting www.LVBangor.org or their Facebook page, www.facebook.com/LVBangor. LVBANGOR.ORG

RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE CHARITY OF MAINE The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Maine serves families from all walks of life who come from Maine and New Hampshire and beyond to access medical care in Greater Bangor and Greater Portland. Families who need a place to sleep and eat while dealing with medical care can lean on the 11 staff members and more than 350 active volunteers throughout the state to be comfortable, safe and stress-free. But they always need more help, which is where you can help. “Our volunteers are incredible in the support they provide, from cleaning and preparing guest rooms for new families, acting as a resource for the area to help families acclimate during their stay with us,” Jennifer Snow, Administrative Coordinator says. “We provide dinner most every evening throughout the year, a listening ear to those families when they need someone to talk to, and [assist and celebrate] with families as they prepare to go home.” To volunteer or donate, visit their website rmhcmaine.org/volunteer. RMHCMAINE.ORG/VOLUNTEER

The holiday season is a magical and wonderful time of year for many reasons but the spark of inspiration to reach out and help those in need around us is, by far, the most magical part of all. Happy holidays.


Helping parents and parents-to-be improve their lives and get the support they need. Our Comprehensive Services include: • Supporting single, pregnant and/or parenting women, including a high school diploma program for women ages 14 to 20 • Child Care Center for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years • A continuum of adoption services from homestudy to post placement

Want to help? Volunteer • Donate • Partner Learn more at goodsamaritanbangor.org 100 Ridgewood Drive, Bangor • 207-942-7211

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FEATURE

MINIS RALLY ON

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HOW A SMALL BRITISH CAR IS TAKING OVER MAINE ROADWAYS

PHOTOS: (OPPOSITE) ROSEMARY LAUSIER & (THIS PAGE) MATT BRADY

BY ROSEMARY LAUSIER

IT’S A CRISP, SUNNY Saturday morning in September, and Matt Brady of Hampden is bursting with excitement. He got up at 4:30 a.m., anticipating the exciting day ahead. He’s prepared, prepped and ready. It’s a MINI rally day, and “MINI Enthusiasts” from MINIs of Maine are ready to motor. The MINI brand was launched in 1959 in Great Britain. It was a small, yet roomy, fuel-efficient, go-kart type vehicle that outlasted and outran the clunkier cars of the day. It was acquired by BMW in 1994, which then re-launched the line in 2001. However, it wasn’t until 2002 that the MINI came onto U.S. roadways. The closest dealerships to Maine are in Bedford, New Hampshire and Peabody, Massachusetts. The MINIs come in various sizes, colors and models, including the Cooper, Clubman and Countryman. MINI owners can personalize features and will often give the car a name. Brady launched the MINIs of Maine group in August of 2015, after attending MINIs on Top, an annual gathering of MINI owners who drive their cars together to the peak of Mount Washington. He was fascinated by the idea of motoring with fellow MINI drivers and contacted MINI USA to see if he could start an owner’s club. “I fell in love with the idea of bringing a diverse group of people together to share laughs, drives and meals together. MINIs on Top was a reminder for me of the various motorcycle groups I had ridden with over the years,” Brady said. MINIs of Maine has grown to include more than 570 members in its Facebook group and is now one of the dozens of owners groups throughout the country certified by MINI USA including Arizona MINI Owners, Cape Cod MINIs and PhillyMINI. The goals of the group are pretty simple: no drama, politics, bullying or harsh comments. Members log in for advice, to exchange ideas, and to share photos of their MINIs.

Although not all owner clubs participate in rallies, it is a big aspect of MINIs of Maine. Matt has planned and lead over 24 rallies to places including Acadia National Park, Stonington and the Rangeley Region. The rallies are not exclusive to just Maine residents either. About three to four outof-state MINI club drivers come to the MINIs of Maine rallies from Boston, New Hampshire, Louisiana and New Brunswick. Some events such as MINIs on Top and the MINIs on the Dragon in South Carolina get drivers from all over the nation. But the biggest event is MINI Takes The States, a biennial cross-country MINI rally hosted by MINI USA. During the latest rally, in July 2018, MINI owners drove through 14 states and covered 5,030 miles. Kathy Murphy of Augusta first heard about MINIs of Maine after driving past a rally through the Kancamagus Highway on her motorcycle. “I saw all these little cars coming up and thought, ‘I want a little car like that!’ and everybody was having fun. They were having fun and laughing,” Murphy said. She has been a MINI owner for two years now.

The elements of a good MINI rally include twists and turns, elevation changes and good scenery. But the success of a good MINI rally depends on excellent planning. For Brady, planning a rally takes over a month from picking a region, photo ops, pre-runs, and drawing main and alternative routes via Google maps. Rallies can vary in size between six and 30 cars. To keep the group together, Brady leads, with another car at the rear called the “sweeper.” The drivers communicate with each other via walkietalkie to alert each other of a lost car, walkers and bikers on the side of the road, and to relay directions. “I know that Matt puts a lot of effort to planning,” said Dave Powell of Kennebunkport, who has been on seven rallies. “It’s friendly and open. Everyone gets along, and it’s a great experience.” Brady notes that the craziest rally he planned was a rally to the Allagash Beer Co. during a snowstorm in January. About six or seven drivers came to Portland, and they drove the short distance to the brewery in whiteout conditions.

Members of the Atlantic MINI Club, as well as some members of MINIs of Maine, line up for a photo during a rally in Canada.

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FEATURE A close second was the “Mud Rally” in March 2017 in what Brady calls the “messiest, dirtiest, rally” they’ve ever done. “It was pretty dodgy — pretty bad,” Matt said. But for Brady and the MINI Enthusiasts, the MINIs of Maine group and rallies are about more than just the cars. The group brings together people from different backgrounds to a fun group where everyone is included. “While the cars bring us together, it’s really the relationships that keep us together,” Brady said.

ON SEPT. 9, I joined my sister and the MINIs of Maine in a spirited, twisty drive to Stonington. The night before, my sister did her pre-rally ritual of washing her car, Pearl. She gathered her walkie-talkies, had her “I  MINI” T-shirt, and was ready for the day to follow.

I didn’t know what to expect, spending a day with people as passionate about MINIs as my sister, but I was along for the ride. The drive started in Hampden and included a stop at Penobscot Narrows Bridge, a route through Sedgwick and crossings over the Sunset Causeway and Deer Isle Bridge. We would on occasion stop for breaks, photo-ops, and to chat with the other Enthusiasts. I was able to get pictures of all the colorful MINIs at different angles and saw some beautiful scenery from a part of the state I was unfamiliar with. There were two members of the group who even took video footage of the cars crossing over the bridges and causeway with a drone. Drones and walkie-talkies? These people mean business. We stayed toward the front of the pack among the 16 other MINIs. We drove at a quick pace, with the occasional twist, dip and scream from me.

When we stopped for photo-ops or drove through a town, some people would stop their cars, started taking pictures or just waved to us. They had just as much joy seeing these tiny, colorful compact cars as we had driving them. After an eight-hour day, we gathered at the final stop in Orland. Some, including us, stuck around for another hour and shared stories and took photos. I got to know them some more. The rally really emphasized the camaraderie between the drivers, and like the people, no two MINIs are alike. But all are always welcomed. In the days after the rally ended, I’ll admit, I was jealous. Why did I pass on that red MINI Clubman with the racing stripes two years ago? My role as the sister of a MINI Enthusiast will have to do — for now.

MEET THE MINIS

NAME: Clifford

NAME: Pearl

FAVORITE FEATURE: “The extra room. We get more room than any of them. And all-wheel drive!”

MODEL: 2014 Countryman

MODEL: 2016 Cooper

—DRIVER BRIAN HAZEN

FAVORITE FEATURE: “I can change the color of my interior lights. Pearl is also equipped with Spike, a stuffed bulldog. Spike is the MINI mascot.”

NAME: Oz

—DRIVER ANNE MARIE LAUSIER

MODEL: 2010 Cooper FAVORITE FEATURE: “Everything.

Anne Marie and Rosemary Lausier with Pearl.

It’s a MINI!”

NAME: Herschel MODEL: 2014 Clubman FAVORITE FEATURE: “We have a 7-year-old, Adrian… We got Hershel because he loves to come on MINI rallies and getting in and out of Michonne [Matt’s Cooper] is kind of a chore for him… On the passenger side, it has two doors… And he can get in and out easily. The coolest feature is that he can come with us on more rallies.” —DRIVER MATT BRADY

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PHOTOS: MARY LAUSIER & ROSEMARY LAUSIER

—DRIVER KRISTIN MASTA


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GET OUT

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TAKE A TRIP TO

BEAN TOWN WITH CULTURE, ARTS, HISTORY AND WICKED GOOD FOOD, BOSTON IS A GREAT GETAWAY

PHOTOS: ©GB27PHOTO/ADOBE STOCK

BY SARAH WALKER CARON

62 / BANGOR METRO November 2018


FOR 388 YEARS, the City on a Hill, the Olde Towne, Beantown has been a hub of activity in North America. The Puritans arrived in 1630, forming the Massachusetts Bay Colony and — specifically — Boston. Today, it’s home to a thriving cultural, arts and food scene. Nearly three dozen college and universities are in (or partly in) Boston, bringing thousands and thousands of young people to the city each year. And the Boston Red Sox with the stadium’s ubiquitous green monster call it home. It’s also a relatively short trip from Maine to Boston — about two hours from Portland and four hours from Bangor – making it a convenient place for a short or long getaway. WHAT TO DO There’s so much to do, it’s hard to know where to start. For me, I like to start at the top. The Skywalk Observatory at the top of the Prudential Center gives a panoramic view of Boston and surrounding areas. It’s open 10 am to 8 pm in the wintertime. I love getting there toward the end of daylight hours so you can both see the city in daylight and watch as it lights up for nighttime. Do pause for the videos telling different histories of the city — they are worth it. While you’re at the Prudential Center, if shopping is your thing, you might want to check out the dozens of shops and stores there. And perhaps drop by Eataly for a little cheese to enjoy later. Speaking of shopping … Geek aficionados will want to drop in on one of the several Newbury Comics locations throughout the city for their fill of graphic novels, geek novelties, music and more. Independent bookstores including the Harvard Book Store in nearby Cambridge offer well-curated selections of reading materials.

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BOSTON

Skating at the Boston Common Frog Pond is a great cold weather activity.

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PHOTOS: (THIS PHOTO & PENGUINS) SARAH WALKER CARON

GET OUT


Depending on the weather (and if there’s snow on the ground), the Freedom Trail , which stretches from Boston Common to the USS Constitution (a 2.5-mile walk) is an excellent step into the history of Boston and the United States. Don’t worry, you needn’t do the whole trail if you don’t want to — even snippets of it are worth it. A few of our favorite stops on it: King’s Chapel Burying Ground where the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony is buried), Old State House (the Declaration of Independence was first read to the people of Boston from the balcony) and Old North Church (“one if by land, two if by sea”). Boston comes alive in the winter, celebrating the outdoors. Ice skating at the Boston Common Frog Pond is always fun. You can rent skates there, or bring your own. Other skating rinks can be found around the city too. But indoor fun abounds. The New England Aquarium is a warm refuge with penguins, sea turtles and so much more. Several hours watching the marine life can be both fun and fascinating. Every time we go to the Museum of Science , we find new and different things to learn about — and not just because there’s

Visit the penguins at The New England Aquarium.

PHOTOS: (FREEDOM TRAIL PHOTOS) ©CECILE, ©R.BABAKIN/ADOBE STOCK

Tour the Freedom Trail, including the Old State House.

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GET OUT

BOSTON an ever-changing array of exhibits. The Lightning show, a permanent exhibit at the museum is a favorite of ours, as is the dinosaur exhibit and the Hall of Life. Right now, there’s also Space: An Out-of-Gravity Experience, which will be at the museum through Jan. 1, 2019. This temporary exhibit is a hands-on, cosmic experience that sounds amazing. While you’re in town, check out what’s happening at the TD Garden , where entertainment and sports events happen throughout the year including Disney on Ice performances. Both the Bruins and the Celtics play there as well.

WHERE TO EAT Where do you even start talking about the amazing food in Boston? There’s the North End, also known as Boston’s Little Italy, where delis, Italian restaurants and Mike’s Pastry (300 Hanover Street) offer a bevy of delicious options. A trip to Mike’s is a must for one of their signature cannolis. Not far from there, Union Oyster House (41 Union Street) is the oldest continually operating restaurant in the United States. It’s so old that there is no documentation indicating when it was constructed, though it’s definitely more than 250 years old. It’s been a seafood restaurant since 1742 and was a favorite of JFK (his favorite booth is dedicated in his honor). The oysters, their 66 / BANGOR METRO November 2018

PHOTOS: SARAH WALKER CARON

Chow down at the Union Oyster House.

WHERE TO STAY With dozens of hotels spanning the city and neighboring Cambridge, there are many, many options to choose from. Still, my kids and I keep gravitating back to one hotel, the Omni Parker House (60 School Street). This historic, elegant hotel featuring ornate golden elevator doors, and fine details throughout the hotel, opened in 1855. Located on the outskirts of the Theatre District, its walking distance to so many sights and museums including the start of the Freedom Trail. It’s also home to Parker House, the famed restaurant where Boston Cream Pie was invented. Other great options include the newly renovated Revere Hotel Boston Common (200 Stuart Street), which is conveniently located in the Theatre District and boasts an exclusive rooftop lounge. Newly opened hotels like The Alise Boston (26 Chandler Street), a dog-friendly hotel in the South End, and Studio Allston Hotel (1234 Soldiers Field Road) in Allston offer modern design and amenities in the colonial city.


signature offering, are worth slurping down. But I am also partial to their fried clams and fried oysters. My kids will tell you the Union Oyster House clam chowder is the best they’ve ever had. It can be a bit pricey though. Closer to Quincy Market, Koy Boston (16 North Street) is a new favorite for us. The Asian fusion menu leans toward Korean, a cuisine I adore. The menu features several dumplings (try the Korean Mandu (pan seared beef and tofu with sesame soy sauce), entrees including Hot Stone Bibimbap, a traditional Korean dish (traditional Dolsot bowl, seasonal vegetables, marinated beef bulgogi, egg, gochujang chili sauce), sandwiches and more. There’s also makimono rolls served during dinner service. Also a little pricey, but worth the well-crafted food. Sweet Bakery (11 School Street as well as locations in Harvard Square and Chestnut Hill) specializes in creatively flavored cupcakes. Delicate, well-crafted cake and perfectly flavored and sweetened frosting made these a favorite on our last trip. There’s a cast of year-round flavors, but it’s the seasonal ones that are most worth indulging in.

Pick up a treat from Sweet Bakery.

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GET OUT

BOSTON For breakfast, Paul Bakery at Downtown Crossing was our favorite spot on our last trip but that location has closed. There are still locations outside Boston in Natick and Somerville though. But perhaps the bestkept breakfast secret is The Black Seed Cafe & Grill (131 Tremont Street). The enormous, flavorful pancakes are a tasty bargain. I could go on and on and on. The food vendors at Quincy Market are always on our list of stops, and during our past few trips, we’ve also made a point to head to Boston Public Market (100 Hanover Street) and Eataly at the Prudential Center. All are great for grab and go food. HOW TO GET THERE Boston is about a four-hour drive south from Bangor, mostly on I95. But if you drive, be warned that parking in the city — including at hotels — is costly. My preferred method of travel is to take the Concord Bus lines bus to South Station and use the T (or walk) from there. It’s easy and less expensive than what I would pay for parking, gas and tolls. It takes a little over four hours. For a different travel experience, the Amtrak Downeaster train travels from several stops in Maine to North Station. My kids love seeing the New England landscape pass by when we take the train instead. In Maine, you can catch the train in Brunswick, Freeport, Portland, Old Orchard, Saco and Wells. My advice is to take the bus to Portland and then catch the train if this option is of interest. This will take a little over four hours total from Bangor, but may take longer depending on how long your layover in Portland is.

READ ABOUT IT “GANGLAND BOSTON,” BY EMILY SWEENEY — History buffs and those fascinated by the gangs of Boston will love this story of the city’s hidden history. A great read to know the story behind the story of all the places you’ll travel in Boston. “URBAN ARCHAEOLOGY BOSTON,” BY DAN TOBYNE — This book, filled with pictures and hidden histories, helps fill in the gaps of all the things you see while traveling through Boston. It will encourage you to take a closer look at the historic sites all around Boston (including the Chipotle housed in what was an impressive home to literature). Reading about the Garage Art I’d seen dozens of times really made this a must-read for me. “CHOWDAHEADZ: A WICKED SMAAHT GUIDE TO ALL THINGS BOSTON,” BY RYAN DELISLE AND RYAN GORMADY AND ILLUSTRATED BY KEVIN MULKERN — Witty and clever with comical illustrations, this guidebook is part-glossary, part-things you should know. It won’t tell you where to eat or sleep but it will entertain you (and maybe demystify some of the lingo.)

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PHOTO: ©LETFLUIS/ADOBE STOCK

SO MANY BOOKS HAVE BEEN WRITTEN ABOUT BEAN TOWN. THESE THREE NEW ONES CAUGHT MY EYE:


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WOODS & WATERS

Wild and A STORY OF TWO MAINES BY BOB DUCHESNE

SINCE THE ICE AGE glaciers retreated, Maine has been a haven for wildlife. It remains that way today, though the actual species mix has changed drastically. What Native Americans and European settlers saw 200 years ago bore little resemblance to what Mainers see today. Here in the Wild Wild East, cougars ran free. Maine had wolverines. Caribou thrived, their herd size kept in check by wolves. Mainers routinely ate birds that are now extinct. What happened to change all this? The 19th century happened. The 1800s were a time of abundance — and slaughter. It was easy to think that our natural resources were limitless. From the beginning of the French and Indian War to the end of the War of 1812, warring factions made the Maine forest a dangerous place to be. There was little hunting pressure on game species. Afterward, the burgeoning post-war logging industry required massive harvests from the surrounding forests to feed hard-working lumberjacks. Logging also opened Maine’s wilderness for unrestricted recreational fishing and hunting. Eventually, the limitless wildlife proved not so limitless. By 1840, Maine’s caribou herd was clearly in decline. The last known caribou was shot on Katahdin in 1908. Large predators were seen as pests. In 1832, a bounty was placed on wolves, leading to their extinction in Maine. The state treasurer was responsible for paying the wolf bounty, and archival records show that the last bounty was paid for a single wolf shot in 1895. The eastern cougar would hang on longer. The last officially documented Maine cougar was shot in 1938. People still report cougar sightings, but few are substantiated by physical evidence. Occasional

WHAT NATIVE AMERICANS AND EUROPEAN SETTLERS SAW 200 YEARS AGO BORE LITTLE RESEMBLANCE TO WHAT MAINERS SEE TODAY.

PHOTO: BILL TROTTER/BDN FILE

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confirmed cougars are most likely released or escaped from captivity or wanderers from western states. With the top-tier predators gone, coyotes moved in. The first was identified in Maine early in the 20th century. Maine’s historically dense, coniferous forest was never great bear habitat. Then logging opened up the canopy, creating a younger forest and increasing the amount of available food. Numbers in the 1800s were not nearly what they are today. Neither did early Mainers see the same mix of game birds that we see today. The heath hen was a small, chickenlike bird of the coastal forests. It was so common and easy to hunt that it was a staple on many dinner tables. Servants complained when they were fed heath hens multiple times a week. By 1850, all of Maine’s heath hens were gone. In 1932, the last heath hen on Earth died in Massachusetts. Likewise, Maine lost its population of wild turkeys by the 1870s. Only a successful re-introduction program brought them back to the levels we see today.

The great auk was the largest member of the puffin family. It disappeared from the Maine coast early in the 1800s, and the last pair on Earth was shot in Iceland in 1844. The Labrador duck was the next seabird along Maine’s coast to go locally extinct. Soon thereafter, the last known specimen was shot in Elmira, New York, in 1878. By 1900, there was only one pair of Atlantic puffins left in Maine. It took a near-superhuman restoration effort to bring them back — a project that began in the 1970s and continues today. The common eider is the largest duck in North America. It lives up to its name today, and it was even more common prior to 1800. Unfortunately, it was easy to visit nesting islands and take their eggs. Many were shot just for their feathers. There were fewer than 100 nests left along the Maine coast before the Migratory Bird Protection Act was enacted, precisely a century ago.

And so it goes. Maine’s moose population improved with the disappearance of wolves, declined with over-harvesting, and rebounded when spruce budworm outbreaks cleared the way for new growth — excellent moose browse. The herd has lately suffered declines because of winter ticks and climate change. Likewise, deer benefited from the extinction of top predators but lost ground when coyotes moved in. Deer declined further when their wintering areas were harvested but gained ground when they moved into suburban neighborhoods. Their distribution now varies widely across the state. Bears are doing well — too well, in fact. Expanding numbers have pushed them closer to backyards, increasing the number and severity of interactions with humans. So Maine remains a wild but changing place. Nobody alive in the year that Maine became a state would recognize the woods today.

BOB DUCHESNE is a local radio personality, Maine guide, and columnist. He lives on Pushaw Lake with his wife, Sandi.

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THE VIEW FROM HERE

TIS THE SEASON TO BE

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BY EMILY MORRISON

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For the record, I’m always the one bringing the cheese and crackers. My sister makes Martha Stewart look like a hack, and my mother-in-law is much the same. Every Sunday, Mom makes a mini-Thanksgiving for Dad, so she’s no slouch with a spatula, either. The point is, I’m surrounded by women who take care such good care of me and mine that for a woman who’s approaching 40, I’ve added remarkably little to the magic beyond the pre-cut cheese. But, man, that cheese is rich. The irony is delicious as well, because most days I still feel like a kid. Sometimes, when I’m particularly weary of the weekly grocery shop, I wish I could go back to Meme’s table and recapture the magic — steal all the Mr. Goodbars again, even though I know they’re Pepe’s favorite. Sit around and watch her cackle over the sink while Mom and Aunt Barb dry the dishes. Hear the ice clinking in the men’s “four-fingers” glasses — before Pepe gave all the fingers up for good. Crawl underneath the couch and wait for my cousins to say, “What are you doing under there, Emily?!” The magic isn’t the only thing I miss. It’s the simplicity that calls to me the most. My grandparents were living, my parents didn’t have chronic health issues, and my life didn’t resemble a kaleidoscope of ever-changing responsibilities. I didn’t fear sickness and loss like I do now. I didn’t fear death and dying or not being around to see my children grow up. I took family and life and love for granted because that was all I’d ever known. That stuff filled me up like the turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes. Goodness was abundant, and it just kept coming. Maybe that’s why I make this meal for my family once a week. Sometimes, when their tryptophan intake borders on comatose levels, my children groan, “Thanksgiving again? Mom, it’s a Thursday night!” Although we do have a lot of Taco Tuesdays and Waco Wednesdays (both creative adjectives for tacos twice a week), for some reason I can’t resist Thanksgiving Thursday. I guess it’s what it represents to me. Magic. Love. Simplicity. Family. Gratitude.

EMILY MORRISON is a high school English teacher, freelance writer and editor from coastal Maine. She is living happily-ever-after with her handsome husband, three beautiful children and two beloved dogs. And a cat.

PHOTO: ©JUANARREGUIN/ADOBE STOCK

I LOVE HOW DURING NOVEMBER we stop for a moment and appreciate all the things in our lives we’re grateful for. Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. Something about the turkey, potatoes, cranberry sauce and boxed stuffing speaks to my soul and says, “Come, eat me, and you shall never be hungry again.” One hour and four slices of pie later, and I’m as stuffed as the bird I just ate. Beyond the soul food, Thanksgiving holds a special place in my heart because it reminds me of the holidays I spent as a child around my grandmother’s mahogany table. It was a gorgeous, dark wood with leaves that added just enough space for our large, French-Canadian family to squish in around it. I can still see their faces, Meme and Pepe, Aurele and Marguerite, Tom and Helena, Barbie and Wilfred, Mom and Dad, Sandra and Suzanne, Jen and Willie, and my sister, Mary, sitting elbow to elbow above Meme’s fancy china. In my mind’s eye, the old people are less old, my aunts and uncles have no grey hair (except for Aunt Helena, whose hair was always white) and my cousins are still kids, like me. We’re laughing in the living room watching Snoopy fly high and sneaking mini Hershey’s bars from Meme’s candy bowl while our parents drink from special tumblers in the kitchen. Thirty years have passed between then and now, and I can’t help but feel a pang of sadness for the faces no longer around the table. My parents, aunts, and uncles are now Memes and Pepes, and our children are laughing in the living room, eyes glued to various electronic devices while we drink from special tumblers in a different kitchen. So much remains the same, yet so much has changed. Sure, we’re missing our loved ones, loving our kids, and eating our faces off, but everything is different. There are in-laws and holiday rotation schedules and “Whose house are we eating at this year? Who’s bringing the centerpiece? Who’s bringing the cheese and crackers?” to consider. The magic in Disneyland is still there, but I see now what it takes for the theme park to run.


Metro November Proof  
Metro November Proof