Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sentimental Sunday - Home to Maine

For most of my childhood years we lived here in Rhode Island.  My parents, however, were both born in Maine.  At least once a month, on Friday night, we headed "home" to Maine for the weekend.  In the early days the drive was about 6 hours long.  We piled into the station wagon, argued over who got the "way back" (with the mattress) and settled in for the drive.  There were no VCR screens, no hand-held games, no electronic entertainment.  We just had each other and maybe a book or two. Back then many of the highways were made from concrete sections, and I can still sleep very nicely to the "thump, thump, thump" our car made as we travelled along. 

We were always ready to go, after all, many of our cousins lived at the end of the ride.  We usually stayed at the McKiel farm in Albion, Maine.  It was the farm my grandparents owned for almost all of their married lives.  Milking cows were the primary business and although my grandfather died when I was quite young, and the barns belonged to others, the smell of cows and their output are still a fond one for me.

The Albion Home of Harry & Elsie McKiel

On our trips "home" we also spent time at my mother's parents house.  They too had a farm and raised milking cows, as well as growing hay.  Their home had no cow smells nearby when I visited and I think my strongest memory is of my grandfathers rocker that had a swivel base and could spin around and around and around ... till some one told us to stop "for the ninth time!" 

Here is my Mom in front the the Hannan Home in Palermo

The following is a picture of my grandfather Harry McKiel's cows the night before they were auctioned off when his health wouldn't allow him to continue farming (in about 1957).  They are holsteins, known for their good dairy production.  

We enjoyed our frequent trips to Maine for a long time.  Till those dreaded teen years when all the other activities of our lives became so very important.  I don't know what age it happened, but I distinctly remember feeling that my parents saying we were "going home" to Maine was incorrect.  Home was Rhode Island and I didn't really like it that they thought otherwise.  Thankfully, we all do grow up and I certainly understand how they felt about "home" now that I am an adult.  My parents have told me some stories about their growing up adventures on a farm in Maine.  I think I need to get more and document them better!!

Thanks for listening.  


  1. Kathy, thanks for posting this. I enjoyed reading about "going home" and what a long trip, your poor dad, who probably did the driving. Nice pictures also.

  2. This was great! We used to summer in Maine near where our ancestors lived, but we stayed in a cabin on a lake. We would visit some of the farms and old homesteads, and it must have been extra fun to stay there instead of just visiting!

  3. Wonderful post, Kathy! Really enjoyed hearing about your summer trips home and the great photos (especially the old farmhouse!).

  4. Kathy, Those pictures and stories bring back so many memories of our summer trips to visit family.
    The trip was long and when we got to Wiscasset and I saw those old schooners beached on the shore, I knew we were almost there. We stayed on farms of various relatives in Unity, Thorndike and Knox.