Crowded Kitchen Table
I always pictured Maine the way it must look in the winter… a desolate, white wasteland. Maine, Norway, Iceland. In my mind’s eye they were all linked as geographic synonyms of each other. Moving up here I imagined a quiet life filled with hard labor, goats, and a lot of time to think and read.
Maybe I was afraid of what I might find within myself if I had too much think-time. Or maybe it was a childhood dream that led me to choose the farm and the family that I did.
I grew up in a single parent home with 2 sisters, who are four (Laura) and eight (Shannon) years my senior. Shannon departed for college, eventually ending up on the west coast where the ocean prevented her from putting any greater distance between her and home. And Laura was rarely home either, as her membership with the Boyfriend Of the Month Club kept her busy. Our extended family is spread across the States and many of them we only see at the occasional wedding and, thankfully, infrequent funeral. So the most familial activity I experienced as a kid was Shannon’s annual return home and the long parent-dissing sessions she and I and Laura would share while sitting on the kitchen counters (ah! our rare moments of young sisterhood camaraderie!). Other than that, it was mostly just me and mom, which means it was really mostly just me.
A noisy, jostling family eating and sharing stories around a crowded kitchen table, that was the family I ached for. Though it wasn’t a conscious part of my decision, I suppose that’s one of the reasons why I chose the farm that I did.