The Joys of a Small Town

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Whenever I am at our Maine house I am reminded of how fortunate I am.  Our house is in a small town and all the towns surrounding our little town of Naples are small also.  It reminds me of when I was young and although I didn't live in a small town, we had small neighborhoods.  It seems now, everything is large.  People don't connect like we use to when I was young.  Everyone knew your family and your name.  In some ways, it wasn't good because if you got in trouble, it wasn't long before your Mom found out about it and she wasn't shy about handing out punishment.  Looking back though, a neighborhood was comforting.  We all watched out for each other and we never had to travel far for entertainment.  We made our own.  So, here in Maine, I love the small towns.  I enjoy getting up on a Saturday morning and heading 15 minutes up the road to just wander around and see what I see.  It's like stepping back in time for me and it makes my day...Today I want to share a bit of the joy's that I find in the small town of Bridgton, Maine.  It's such a special place and it's my favorite small town.

 Every Saturday morning from early spring right through the fall Bridgton holds it's farmer's market.  So many fresh and homemade items, from the soap, to the cheese and veggies to handcrafted products.  This is always my first stop.  Fresh flowers, vase included...

Every Saturday morning from early spring right through the fall Bridgton holds it's farmer's market.  So many fresh and homemade items, from the soap, to the cheese and veggies to handcrafted products.  This is always my first stop.  Fresh flowers, vase included...

 After the market, I just walk the streets. This is a great shop...I especially like the name.  It seems to speak to me.  Bridgton is an old Maine town but they do take good care of the property.  

After the market, I just walk the streets. This is a great shop...I especially like the name.  It seems to speak to me.  Bridgton is an old Maine town but they do take good care of the property.  

 This is a fairly new Italian restaurant in town and it is so good.  You need a reservation to come here unless you come early.  For a small town, Bridgton has many fine places to eat.  Something for everyone's budget. Next time I'll take you to the bakery...so yummy.

This is a fairly new Italian restaurant in town and it is so good.  You need a reservation to come here unless you come early.  For a small town, Bridgton has many fine places to eat.  Something for everyone's budget. Next time I'll take you to the bakery...so yummy.

 I'm going to assume anyone who has even been near Maine, knows Renys.  It's a Maine adventure, as the sign says, second to lobster, I think.  I can get lost in here for hours.  Remember that store when you were growing up that had everything, yes, that's Reny's...even better, you simply cannot beat the price's here with a stick.  Even Liam and Jaxson love coming here. This is a great place to spend a rainy day...

I'm going to assume anyone who has even been near Maine, knows Renys.  It's a Maine adventure, as the sign says, second to lobster, I think.  I can get lost in here for hours.  Remember that store when you were growing up that had everything, yes, that's Reny's...even better, you simply cannot beat the price's here with a stick.  Even Liam and Jaxson love coming here. This is a great place to spend a rainy day...

 Antiques are a staple of Maine.  Bridgton has it's fair share of them.  I love this one on Main Street...It always has some nice homemade doilies.. reminds me of my grandmother's doilies.I always pick up a few over the summer.  Then when I want to toss one, a new one is waiting.  Most of them are handmade.   

Antiques are a staple of Maine.  Bridgton has it's fair share of them.  I love this one on Main Street...It always has some nice homemade doilies.. reminds me of my grandmother's doilies.I always pick up a few over the summer.  Then when I want to toss one, a new one is waiting.  Most of them are handmade.

 

After I finish at Reny's, I head to the Bridgton Book Shop.  This is the friendliest bookstore ever.  There are not many independent bookstores left so it's important to me that I support this one. It might not be that important to Jim but he usually isn't with me on my Saturday adventures. The staff is amazing.  They remember their customers and they have a special table in the front of the store with all the staff picks.  Those are the books that I am drawn to and then I chat with the member of the staff who critiqued the book.  I never leave without buying at least one book and guess what, they are always right about their picks. They also have a members registry.  After you buy so many books, you get $10.00 towards your next purchase.   Some people just like to sit outside and watch the world go by.  That's good also and it's nice that the bookstore provides a bench.  It's a great place to read also if your waiting for someone.

 Heading out of town this is what waits for me.  It's the pink that pulls me in...It's the ice cream that keeps me coming back...and it's usually lunch time.  I often think ice cream makes a great lunch.   

Heading out of town this is what waits for me.  It's the pink that pulls me in...It's the ice cream that keeps me coming back...and it's usually lunch time.  I often think ice cream makes a great lunch.

 

The Corn Shop Trading Co...Homemade fudge and photo cards by Cheryl Crotty...that sounds like a good deal.  I think the next time I'm in town I better stop in to make sure they still have some stock.  They also sell these wonderful rugs.  They are great for inside and out...

 

 So that's my little tour of a lovely small town in Maine.  There really is so much more.  Bridgton is a small town but they pack a lot of goodness in a small space. You just park your car and start walking...next time I'll take you to Tea...

So that's my little tour of a lovely small town in Maine.  There really is so much more.  Bridgton is a small town but they pack a lot of goodness in a small space. You just park your car and start walking...next time I'll take you to Tea...

In those days, at least in my small town, parents didn’t seem to worry so much about what their kids were doing as long as they made it home in time for dinner.

K. Martin Beckner
With a small town mentality, you make a decision very early on as to whether you are going to do everything by the book or just go your own way and not care.