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  • Published
    December 2, 2018

    Lee Van Dyke, Portland: The soup that can cross an ocean

    Between my junior and senior year of college, I spent a summer in Vienna. Before leaving, I promised my grandfather that I’d visit his birthplace in the Netherlands. My grandpa had immigrated from there as an contract worker. Little did I know when I made that promise that it was to be a hot Sunday […]

  • Published
    December 2, 2018

    Sally Hinckley, South Portland: Family finds re-entry rocky

    We dashed from our berths in the bowels of the boat to the main deck. My mother held my brother in one arm while I grabbed onto her dress. All dependents were told to get on deck near their assigned life boats. Lots of words were spoken over the PA system. One of those words […]

  • Published
    December 2, 2018

    Margaret Jones, Old Orchard Beach: Coming home to say goodbye

    Maine was in the glorious throes of autumn when the phone call came. I had just pulled in the driveway of my Old Orchard Beach home. It was my sister. “It’s Dad.” She said in an urgent voice. “He’s going quickly. I think you need to come home as soon as you can.” My eyes […]

  • Published
    December 2, 2018

    Janet Anderson-Murch: Life is what happens around the dining room table

    When I was a young child, my parents brought home a Moosehead furniture-made, dark maple, dining room table with eight matching chairs. The glossy wood table was beautiful and there were two leaves to add more room for more people as needed. For you see, in my family, dinner was the most important meal of […]

  • Published
    December 2, 2018

    Elizabeth Dostie, Fairfield Center: Coming home, and keeping going

    I flew up the front steps of 2021 East 4th St. clutching a huge stuffed dog I’d just won at the holiday bingo at Holy Rosary, our parish in Duluth, Minnesota. It was late evening by then. I’d been invited to go with my best friend Ibby Kubiak and her Dad. It was my 10th […]

  • Published
    December 2, 2018

    Brian Wentzell, Portland: Walking through the woods of memory

    One cold, quiet morning last autumn, I went out to the woods behind my family’s house in rural New Hampshire for solitude and fresh air. It was an intense and emotional week. I’d retuned home to to be with my father and sister to help take care of my mother, who was in hospice and […]

  • Published
    December 2, 2018

    The better angels of my muffler

    It was the summer of 1975. I had a summer job in western Maine. With 24 hours off, my destination was Bangor. Homesick, I was hoping my tired Ford Fairlane would get me there. The winter before I had replaced the spark plugs, the alternator, the battery and the brake drums. It was a great […]

  • Published
    December 2, 2018

    Anne Holliday-Abbott, Portland: On the last lap, and heading home

    There’s no denying I’m on my last lap and heading home. I’m healthy and happy, but I know I’m edging closer. I enjoy telling family stories. Mistakenly and often I think my children and grandchildren will find it interesting to hear them. My stories are met with eye rolls. Clearly I am a dinosaur. Thus, […]

  • Published
    December 2, 2018

    Sarah Goldstein Szanton, Portland: Places change, but not the policy

    “We have the same policy as Grandma,” my 26-year old son says to me from his home in Denver, Colorado, where he lives with his wife. “You’re welcome any time.” He grew up hearing that from his Grandma, my mom, who lives in the San Fernando Valley in southern California, my home from age 6 […]

  • Published
    December 2, 2018

    Anna Cecelia Colpitts, Rome: A cat’s rebellion threatens homecoming

    We’d flown since early morning from Seattle’s SeaTac Airport, via Detroit, then Boston and finally home to Portland. It’s late. I’m tired and hungry. You don’t get anything to eat on the later flights. Not even a peanut. Home after Christmas. Our headlights cascade down a long, winding, driveway piled three feet deep with snow. […]

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