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    have power, or refrigeration, and the only running wa- ter was flowing down the side of the hill. We cooked and ate most of our meals outdoors, fully immersed
in nature, and engulfed in the active seasonal cycles. When berries or foraged foods were abundant, we’d pick, and when it was hunting season, we’d hunt. We also fished almost all year long, and we attempted to raise a small garden, despite the lack of fertile soils and an over-abundance of rocks. These are the same rocks that caused earlier settlers to abandon their farms and move on, as evidenced by the numerous stone walls and granite foundations evidenced on our property. I often think about how hard their lives were, and what they faced for challenges. I reflect on how much they had to rely on each other, and about their dependence on nature to help provide sustenance for their surviv- al. I sought to understand the role that they played in this relationship as a part of their ecosystem, and their link in the food chain.
I began to realize that the hardships added to the adventure I was seeking. Nothing was easy, everything required determination, and we relied on each other to push through the times that could possibly break us. We were challenged by the weather, by wildlife, and by the inconveniences of life in western Maine, especially in the winter. We had to hike our long driveway with snowshoes on, with kids on our backs or in a sled, through several feet of snow more times than I can recall. The weather has always posed a chal- lenge, whether it was the heavy snows, high winds, or wet and muddy springs. This provided an ever-chang-
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