One year ago, I crossed the Piscataqua River Bridge into Maine for the first time. Driving up I-95, and then I-295 and I-95 again, the thought of trading southern New England, where I’d spent more than a decade, for Maine was a daunting idea.
Back in Connecticut, we lived in a little house on a tree-lined street just up the road from my cousin’s farm. Much of my family lived nearby actually. And the kids and I were active in our community. It sounds just about perfect, right? Except it wasn’t. Newtown was a complicated place to live in with a harsh recent history that had stolen some of the innocence of childhood.
But Maine — and Bangor, specifically — offered something special: my dream job in a place that was free from those pressures. I could do something I love doing, while my kids could just be kids, without being constantly reminded that life isn’t always good or fair.
By the time I returned to Connecticut two days later, I knew that given the opportunity I would say yes to Bangor, to the BDN and to Maine. Not long after, I did and I’ve loved every second of it since.
Slowly, my kids and I have also made our home in the Queen City. We’ve explored Bangor, met new people and started our life here. But while my kids made fast friends at summer camp, in school and on sports teams, I didn’t have the same experience.
It’s so easy to fall into the routine of going to work, running errands, picking up the kids, doing something with them, rinse, repeat. But to become part of a community is much harder. Part of that — a big part of that — is just being present.
Fortunately, since the BDN offices moved downtown, I have had a greater opportunity to be present in my own life here. You’ll often find Outdoors Editor John Holyoke and me walking to lunch or to get coffee. I try to meet our columnists and members of the public regularly too.
But it was on a recent morning, as I stood on a corner with John, waving to Metro staff writer and BDN columnist Emily Burnham across the street, that I realized something important: I am comfortable here now. Somewhere between my kids’ basketballs and soccer games, daily lunches downtown and a new family tradition of dropping into Bangor Wine & Cheese for our weekly cheese night, life got cozy. Slowly but surely, I am becoming a tiny part of the tapestry of this city. And I like that.
So, if you see me out and about and recognize me, say hi. If you want to get a coffee, let me know — I am always up for more coffee. And if you have a question, drop by the office, email or call me.
I’m here, and sure as crispy bacon and perfectly seasoned egg salad on a slider bun, I am happy.
- 6 hard-cooked eggs
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1-2 tsp dry ground mustard
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 12 Hawaiian-style rolls, sliced open
- 6 slices bacon, cooked to crisp and halved
- In a medium mixing bowl, mash the eggs with a potato masher. Add the mayonnaise, dry ground mustard and smoked paprika and stir to combine. Season well with salt and pepper.
- Slice open the rolls and divide the egg salad evenly among them. Top with bacon. Serve immediately.