Sunday, August 24, 2008

Upscale Maine Living

I first ran across this fine example of Upscale Maine Living back in the mid 1980s. Back then my trucking career was winding down. I spent the last couple of years delivering corrugated products around Maine and northern New England. I would pass this palatial compound several times a month when heading to Fryeburg and Conway with boxes for local craftsmen to ship out their handworked wooden gadgets and gizmos in.

The property did not have that finished and elegant look you see before you today. The family still lived in the building in the foreground. That high falutin single wide had not made an appearance yet. It's appearance indicated a family that was upwardly mobile. The dish was most likely in your face notice to their neighbors that these Jones-es would, could not be kept up with. The satelite dish told everyone in town this home had a TV inside and most likely it turned on in living color. It's appearance caused quite the stir. There was grumblings down to the villiage store laced with words like persnickity, uppity, and snooty. But I think they was just jealous cuz all they had was Channel 6 and 8 that came in clean all the time with Channel 13 only making a snow free delivery when the weather came out of the Northeast.

I most likely passed this no nonsense complex dozens of times before I noticed it. Must have been about the time the big honking satelite dish appeared that it caught my eye. It may have been one of the first satelite dishes in Maine. It certainly was the first one the folks in Cornish had ever seen. Like some evil genius James Bond deathray popping out of the ground to wreak havoc worldwide, it just appeared one day.

The addition of the newer and improved single wide may have spoiled the over all effect somewhat at the time of it's erection on site. But the folks living here have proven their their visionary abilities. In the 12 years since the wheels came off that trailer, that single wide has settled into the property like it was stick built right on site.

The contradiction of new vs old and traditional always made me smile. Here we have a family who knows where their priorities are. They have proven they are indeed part of the new world of gee whiz tech. The addition of the smaller dish shows their commitment to staying tuned in and turned on to the latest and greatest in multi-channel delivery systems. As long as they pay their power bill, they will have 500 channels of the finest entertainment America has to offer. I heard from someone who knows, their only complaint is no Tractor Pull channel. Their minimalist approach to landscape layout and their nod to the state custom of never tearing down anything still standing shows their sensitivity and concern for local cultural norms.

All in all, A damn fine effort. But like any arm chair landscaper worth his salt, I would have done some things differently. Their over use of the lawn mower in front of the single wide detracts from the the postcard look I think they were aiming for. Less mowing and more weeds would move the rating from good plus to outstanding. Besides, some folks feel the trimmed up dooryard does take away some from the overall "Maine Look" many of us try to maintain.Some locals even consider it borderline snobbish. I would suggest maybe an older John Deere tractor peeking out from under a slightly tattered blue tarp from Mardens next to the dish. And maybe some animated sculpture attained by chaining their big black mutt to the base of the dish with 3/4" link logging chain. Give a good dog a chance and they can cut dirt circles to rival any made by man. The contrast of dirt against the taller plantings might just take the viewer's eye and mind off the flaw of a too narrow of a lot.

Regardless, it is an excellent start on a work in progress. A few more years might just be the touch it needs to mature into something worth entering over to the Fryeburg Fair some October in the homes and woodlot contest sponsored by the local Ladies Auxillary.


Side note, post note, or maybe request note - take your pick

I pushed my imaging skills into new territory with this post. I figured out how to beat the auto sizing function of blogger. It was not done with genius. It was not done with knowledge. It was done because I finally stumbled onto the right combination of procedures to beat a system I am convinced was created to confuse the confused. If this works for every computer out there and I can remember how I did it, then I guess I am still confused. Only less so than before.

What I would like to know is this - Does this bigger image play well on your screen? Does it sit in all it's glory without the need to use a scroll bar? Or have I overreached myself again?

Keep it 'tween the ditches.


BBC said...

What is your place like? I own just one place, and many would call it a dump but I'm happy enough with it. What the hell, it's free and clear and cheap to live here. My home is in my head anyway. My second, third, fourth, etc homes are anywhere I'm camping. I own millions of acres of waterfront and beaches and they don't cost me a cent.

Gary ("Old Dude") said...

The picture came through on my puter just fine---I can see why the Main crowd is kinda suspicious of outsiders-----all that ambiance on display---eat your hearts out tourists.

MRMacrum said...

bbc - Let's just say, my dooryard would fit just fine as dish man's next door neighbor. Like I said in the post - You don't tear it down if it's still standing. In addition, you don't fix it until it won't work anymore. Looks like my roof is testing that last one. I see me humping shingles up a ladder in the near future.

I actually love living in a state where you can basically do what you want with the land you have. No one makes you keep your yard clean. No neighborhood groups whing about how my yard brings down the value of their yard. Keeping my neighbor's value down along with mine is a public service. Lower taxes.

Generally we just don't care. Of course, the folks on the coast and near to the bustling metropolis of Portland have begun to take on airs. I guess now over there you have to put your mobile home on a slab. Imagine that.

Demeur said...

Gee I thought I was looking at an upscale neighborhood in W.Va. Just need to slap a "chew mailpouch tobacco" sign on the side of the grey house and you wouldn't know the difference.
Your layout looks great. Wish I could get mine to widen out a bit.
Actually the property values are dropping here and the taxes are going up anyway so we're starting to look like your area cause nobody cares any more.

BBC said...

My house and yard would compliment his wonderfully. I am a pack rat and I hate yard work. One drive by would tell you that.

You sound like me. When Cher was here last weekend she loved my place and said she would come here if things got bad.

Few women could live here, but she could, to bad she is married and I can't clone her, I love her to bits. *sigh*

There are officials that would like me to pretty the place up but for a few years I ran in their circles and they know that if they say anything to me that I will tell them to piss up a rope and make life more difficult for them than they want to deal with.

I'm just outside the city limits so they can say nothing to me. The county knows that if they say anything that I will open a can of worms they don't want to deal with.

I have owned a couple of businesses, been president of a business association, was a member in the business association here for two years. So they know me, know that I'm very talented, and know that I can stir up a can of shit and opposition if they get me riled up because I know how to pull people together if I have a mind to.

But like Castro they are just waiting for me to die. Whatever, I don't care if they doze the place down then. Meanwhile, if they want the fucking grass cut they can just damn sure come and mow it.

You can't please those fucking people, they bitch if you don't cut the grass, and then they bitch if it doesn't rain and you don't water it and it turns brown. Fuck 'em.

BBC said...

I'm retired and I don't give a shit. Other than camping I have nothing better to do than pick on those morons. :-)

BBC said...

And it's on record that I have walked into public meetings and told them that they are morons.

J at said...

Page looks great.

I lived in Fairbanks, Alaska (the only other state with AWESOME blueberries, imho) for 5 years, which for some reason I think of as being similar to Maine. If it were me, I would throw some wildflower seeds in the front yard, stop mowing, and hope for the best. ;)

That first house doesn't really look like it should have electricity. And with my Alaska homesteading experience, I know of whence I speak. ;)

American Hill BIlly said...

In the States I roam The Inland Northwest.

I have family in North Idaho. Your picture reminded me of home. We are upscale. We start out with a single wide, and after that we add a second addition off the back. Later on down the road a second story....Of course an Ole' John Deere Skidder that's had it's frame welded more than what was ever originally there!

I guess country folk, and US hillbillies take life for what it is. Enjoy it, and tell the Jones's to go home; that is if they have problems with us!

Rock On!!!

United In Peace And Freedom

El Cerdo Ignatius said...

Crum, I love the photo. Obviously Maine has more than the weather in common with the Canadian Maritime Provinces. The ONLY appropriate time to take down a building, or a portion of a building, is after it has collapsed.

The photo looks fine on my computer at home. On my computer at work, the screen resolution is a little "off" (long story) for every page and every program, so I can't give you an objective opinion from the office. I guess I really better get back to work.

Anonymous said...

I don't see where the problem lies. Unless it's the fact that there are no: 1) tires 2) cars on blocks 3) boats 4) barefooted kids 5) starved dogs guarding the valuables.

Cause with a satellite dish like that, you KNOW mama's pregnant and barefoot.