You know that moment when you arrive in a beautiful Maine town and start plotting how you might move there? This phenomenon is not limited to those who live out of state. We locals experience it all the time. I have mentally relocated to coastal villages and mountain towns all over Maine, but the place I return to most frequently is Stonington. “I can write and you can hang a shingle!” I have said to Mark so many times as we’ve strolled along Main Street that he no longer takes me even remotely seriously. But last weekend I had willing participants in my fantasy. Our good friends from Portland came to stay with us at our camp in Deer Isle and, on a cloudy afternoon, we introduced them to Stonington. Within minutes of taking in the lobsterboat-dotted harbor backdropped by 19th century houses arrayed on a steep slope, they were snapping up real estate brochures and mulling properties. As we ambled through the narrow streets terraced into the ledge, we talked through what our lives would be like here and whether we’d feel isolated in the winter. No, we decided, because we’d have each other — and daily access to 44 North Coffee to keep us cheerful and warm. All the while, I was snapping photos of our hypothetical houses, shown below. None of these is for sale, mind you, but a girl (and her friends) can dream.
“Mommy, it’s just another white house,” my son said as I was taking these. But when I examine the images together, I see so much nuanced variation in the rooflines, adornments (or lack thereof), and the way shadows tint the clapboards. To me, each house looks like it was plucked from an Edward Hopper painting and I can’t decide which one I like best. Do you have a favorite? Leave a comment and let me know!