Page 11 - WCM 2022 Winter
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  cracked from the elements, his wool jacket smelled of wood smoke, and had more years on it than I was old. He kept hunting dogs that he used to run snowshoe hare, and he would shovel paths out to each of their houses. There would be five feet of snow, and he’d shovel nice clear lanes to each kennel. He’d strap on wooden snowshoes, and hit a patch of fir and spruce, and return with enough rabbits for a few meals. If he wasn’t hunting, he was fishing, and when he wasn’t fishing, he was cutting firewood.
He told me a story of a time one deer season when
he had hiked out into Brownfield Bog through three feet of snow. He was miles from any road, and he
was on a big buck’s track. All of a sudden, a huge bull moose stood up right in front of him. Then a second bull stood just off to his left, and another on his right. Soon enough, he found himself smack in the middle of five large bulls. He said, “It took a bit of negotiating to get myself out of that mess!” He ended up having to change his course and take the long way back to the truck. He came out well after dark, after trudging through thick tangles of fir, blowdowns, and open stretches of bog. It’s stories like this that have inspired me to always seek the more challenging route to anything I set my mind to.
Another big influence in my life was Roland Morin. He had a woodlot in Mason Township, close to where I now live. He had an old International school
bus that he converted into a camper, complete with bunks, kitchen space, and a woodstove where the driver’s seat was. The bus was iconic in my younger years, a place where adventure lived. Cold feet, wet gloves, muddy boots, and the smell of pine pitch, cherry blend pipe tobacco, and coffee percolating on the black stove set the backdrop to most of my time there. Mr. Morin would disappear into the woods for hours at a time, trudging through snow to drop next year’s firewood. Despite it being well below zero, he’d return in a thin flannel shirt covered in woodchips, and a look of satisfaction on his face. You could tell that he was in his element, a man who loved the wild, and was fully immersed in it.
So, what does it take to not only survive a Maine winter, but thrive in it today? It starts with a strong mindset, and the willingness to sometimes be uncomfortable. Whether you’re new to Maine, or have lived here for years, it’s easy to get soft and take the easy road. It’s less and less common that folks choose the harder path to follow, but in times of struggle, those that have the ability to face into it with a bit of grit will likely do just fine. Whether it’s dealing with a three-day power outage in the middle of a blizzard, or surviving an unplanned night
or two in the woods, it all begins with a positive attitude, a bit of planning, and grit. These are the moments that make us or break us.
 Roland and Pauline Morin in their element, cooking up a hearty dinner in “the Bus.” The Bus was everything you ever needed, and provided a wonderful escape from normal everyday life year round.
 Linda Morin

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