Since a restaurant in our neighborhood shoots off a very loud cannon every hour on the hour on the 4th of July, the hubby, son and I decided to take a road trip today. Where better to go to on July 4th then a town named Liberty? How appropriate! I happened to grow up in Liberty, Maine and have been hankering for a visit back for quite some time. Unfortunately, both of my parents are deceased and I no longer have a reason to return so it has been several years since I have been to my hometown. My Dad always called it "sweet land of Liberty" and it truly was a great small town to grow up in. It was the type of community where you knew that if you did something wrong, a neighbor would give you heck for it and your parents would hear about it before you got home. It was also the type of town where people helped each other regardless of age, etc. It was just what you did.
It was an interesting and somewhat sad trip for me. The village where I grew up had a relatively small number of homes but there was a lot of pride of ownership. The people of Liberty didn't have a lot of money but most of the houses were well-maintained and neat. I didn't find that today. Only one of the houses on the "main drag" was as I remembered it. That house is still owned by the same man who owned it when I was growing up. The rest of the houses were mostly run down, needed repairs and some had debris and junk in the yard. We actually owned two houses next door to each other when I was growing up. We owned one house that we outgrew and "traded" with the next door neighbors as their house was too large for two people. It was an interesting move, I tell you. Both of those houses were fairly run down. I know my parents would be heartbroken. I am not so naive that I expected the properties to look like they did when I lived there. It was just sad to see much of the town in a state of decline and disrepair.
There were some positive signs, however. The elementary school that I went to has been updated and athletic fields have been added and the only church in town looked to be in even better shape then when I lived there. We also drove by a Chicken BBQ lunch that was being sponsored by the fire department and it was packed. We thought about stopping in but having our dog and a vegetarian son with us nixed that idea. Also, Liberty now has its own library. When I was growing up, we had a bookmobile come to our small town three or four times a year. That was it. I would have been in heaven with an actual library!
There was one house that looked newly painted that is right next to the church. It is painted pink panther pink and has an attached red barn. It was colorful to say the least.
All in all, I am very glad that I went home again. It was fun to show my son where his old mom had grown up.
We did manage some fun as part of our day. For us, no car ride "up Maine" is complete without a stop at the world famous L.L. Bean. It is always a great place to look around and today I managed to find a pair of dress shorts and a new backpack purse and both were on sale. The
purse was about 70% off the original price! How sweet is that? In addition, we took the long way home and traveled down Route 1 along the Maine coast. We got caught in not one, but two, severe thunderstorms but enjoyed the coastal scenery. In a "it's a small world moment", I did drive by the home where Mary Ellen grew up. We didn't meet until college and were thrilled to discover that we grew up about 45 minutes from each other.
I hope everyone in blogdom had a happy and safe 4th of July.
Here's to going home.