Re: I Walked to Canada When I Was 3

Fort Kent, Maine is located on the Canadian border at Claire, New Brunswick. That's where I lived when I was a young child. My mother had grown up there in a very large French Canadian family. She was the youngest of 11 childen. My father grew up in an Industrial city further south. My parents met when he went to Fort Kent for work. They married, and I was their first born. When I was around 4 years old, we moved south to my father's home town, which was one of the many mill towns that had been established early in the 20th century. His mother had migrated there from Acadia. I grew up in a Catholic Parish, went to parochial school (as was the norm in my culture) and graduated from the local high school. In parochial school, we were taught subjects in French and in English, and of course, the teachers were nuns. It took me many years to unlearn some of the stuff that was taught to me. LOL. Except for the very old, people were bilingual. It was easy to do business in town even if you didn't speak English - someone at the business could speak French. In my parish, masses were still said in Latin and sermons delivered in French. The Church had a strong hold on its member and people obeyed Church rules. There were 6 Catholic Churches in town (4 French & 2 English) and 6 masses were said every Sunday. The Churches were packed at every mass. Friends and relatives were French Canadian and most people followed the same social rules.  As children, we were very sheltered, and it wasn't until I was a sophomore in high school that I realized not everyone was French Canadian. What a shock! I had gone to Catholic schools 1st thru 9th grades and this was my first exposure to other cultures. Like most girls of my generation, I did not go to college, because it was expected that I would marry and have a family after high school. At some point in my adolescence I began questioning some of the beliefs and wanted to investigate new opportunities. So, at age 19, I left Maine and went West. What a learning  experience this was. First, I had to lose the Maine/French accent. People just couldn't understand me! LOL. I met all kinds of people from many various backgrounds and I had to learn how to fit in. Over time I gained some sophistication and I did fit in better. I came back to Maine when my parents became ill and needed help. I've been back a long long time and when I'm feeling selfish (really not too often) I wish I hadn't stayed. I've got family and friends here, but sometimes I feel like I kinda got stuck here and after battling another cold, snowy (and expensive) winter, I may move on again to warmer climates soon.

That's It. Hope you enjoyed my little bio!

Christmascactus Christmascactus
56-60, F
3 Responses Mar 16, 2009

I also live in northern Maine and you're right, the winters are tough and wow, Catholic school! We don't even have a Catholic church in full time service here anymore. It seems the priests have moved out and the parishioners have changed churches. I feed the wild animals, birds, squirrels, deer, turkeys, ducks etc and they keep me great company in the winter. In the summer I feed the raccoons and always look forward to the end of June when they bring their babies to my back porch at night to eat (they love dry dog food). Nature is a wonderful thing and while there may not be a lot of people around here (cultured that is), the nature is quite beautiful and enjoyable.

Thanks, if you're not French Canadian, you may have learned something about this culture. Glad you enjoyed it.<br />
Christmascactus

This is a wonderful story. I am glad you shared.