You Can’t Eat The Scenery

photographs and text by Nancy Albertson

We arrived in midcoast Maine twenty years ago this Memorial Day weekend. Two decades of embracing the view from every angle and we are now fully engrossed with life in Rockport, Maine. As David Byrne questions in his popular song, Once in a Lifetime, “You may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?” Well, I will tell you.

After three years of being working newlyweds in London and adventuring around Europe, we found ourselves living back in the house I grew up in in New Canaan, Connecticut with my parents. 1992 was a bleak year for my husband’s profession in the construction industry, I was busy tending to our one year old and for three months we searched for that path that would define who we were as a couple and a family. I clearly remember the moment that Tom brought to my attention an add in The New York Times classifieds: ”Lease and manage a bed and breakfast in Camden, Maine.” Even more etched in my memory is my dad’s reaction, God rest his soul. He looked at me with those dark, thoughtful eyes and said, “Do you really think you can run a bed and breakfast, you are not much of a morning person?” Bingo – he was absolutely right! I could barely talk when being greeted in the kitchen but that was not going to stop me.

A new adventure was calling; we were going to manage Goodspeed’s Guest House for the summer and I was going to have to learn to be social at seven in the morning.

Our worldly belongings were all tucked away in a storage facility. We packed everything we had on hand into two station wagons, strapped the red Webber grill to the roof, buckled Sarah in her car seat and headed to the great state of Maine.

We rounded that corner on Route 1 in Warren where the Camden Hills loom right up out of the landscape and I knew instinctively at that moment that this was our path, this was where we would raise our family and this is where we would call home.

Welcome to “you can’t eat the scenery,” a saying that has defined my philosophy of making a living in midcoast Maine. We chose this area to raise a family because of the rich quality of life that includes: salty air, no traffic,  flexible work schedules, and most importantly lots of outdoor time in the hills and on the water where I never get tired of the view. The closest mall is an hour and a half away and that is fine with me. Making it here has its ups and downs and sacrifices, I think it is worth it. You can’t eat the scenery, but I’m not hungry.