Tag Archives: Maine

M is for M states

In the United States, there are eight states that begin with the letter M, tied with the letter N. But N has the advantage of descriptive adjectives New (Hampshire, Jersey, Mexico, York) and North (Carolina and Dakota); only Nebraska and Nevada are one-word states.

In 1963, ZIP Codes were introduced, although many large cities were divided into zones 20 years earlier. At the same time, the Post Office introduced two-letter abbreviations for the states, to accommodate space for the ZIP Codes.

The ones for the letter M tell stories about the states:

MA – Massachusetts. The mother of the country. Continue reading M is for M states

30-Day Challenge: Day 13- Favorite Memory

Do they mean my FAVORITE memory, or ONE favorite memory? If it’s the former, there are too many contenders, including getting lost in the Adironacks with my father when I was 10, taking a free Christmas tree on a bus, being on JEOPARDY!, all of which I’ve written about. I probably wrote about my daughter’s birth too, and if not, I’ll rectify that soon enough.

Here’s a story about going to an inn in Poland Spring, ME. Yes, it’s the town where the water is bottled. The inn isn’t directly related to the bottling plant, though plenty of the beverage was on hand.

We first heard of the Poland Spring Inns when we had gone to a wedding reception in August of 2003. It sounded great, a lovely getaway without a lot of hassle.

The timing probably made it special. Carol was pregnant with Lydia, and we had told no one at that point; it was our conspiratorial little secret.

We got there on Sunday night, barely in time for dinner. The rush was that the room was transformed every evening for some sort of entertainment, whether it be BINGO or a talent show. You could go to it, or not.

During the week, we walked, read, played shuffleboard, did tai chi. The food was great, the atmosphere casual, the vista beautiful, the price was right. And I loved the attitude. From the website:

To become a Great Vacation Value, we have done away with many of the costly services that most people do not miss. Please take the time to read our website and decide if Poland Spring is right for you.

Poland Spring went “green” before it was the chic thing to do…. One way we help the environment is by conserving water…. Please bring your own towels, soap and room glasses. We do provide sheets, blankets, bedspreads, and one pillow per person. If you would like facial tissue or an extra pillow, bring it along.

Don’t pay for things you don’t want …There are no phones in the rooms, but we do have public phones in the lobbies or if you must, bring your cell phone. There is a message board for incoming calls that you are free to ignore. The Maine Inn lobby has wireless internet access and a public computer to check your e-mail. No clanging ice machine in every hall, need ice? Buy it at the gift shop. Bring your own shampoo, we don’t give you little bottles that adds to the room cost. No doormen or bellboys.

Based on our five-day stay seven years ago, highly recommended.

S for Severed States


I saw this article recently in the Wall Street Journal about some people on Long Island wanting to secede from the rest of New York State for a bunch of reasons; it won’t happen, BTW, because the state legislature wouldn’t allow it. But it reminded me that the 50 states in the US were not always the size that they are currently.

Even before there was a United States, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New York all insisted that Vermont was a part their state. That’s why Vermont declared itself a kingdom in 1777, and Vermonters to this day refer to the state as the “Northeast Kingdom”, though it became the first state after the original 13.

In the early days of the Union: Continue reading S for Severed States