A 4th of July in Maine

Many years ago, we spent our 4th of July in Maine.

As I told the kids at the time, “this is a real, old-fashioned, American 4th of July. Enjoy it.”

Staying with friends not far from Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, we began the morning with a drive to the coast.

We hiked at Rachel Carson National Wild Refuge, admiring the views and the salty air.4th of July, Maine, fireworks, lobster, Rachel Carson National Refugee, town green, happy birthday America, corn on the cob, Statue of Liberty

For some reason, the thought of standing on the shore in Maine and feeling the breeze lift my hair, always appeals to me.

Maybe it’s the romance of Maine for a girl from Los Angeles? Who knows.

On that day, the kids–who had just spent four years in Hawai’i followed by a drive across the United States–were missing the beach, so they loved it.


The next stop was a lobster shack where we bought, yes, live Maine lobsters.

My five year old’s eyes went very big and round as our friend Tom collected them.

“Are they alive?” she whispered to me.

I nodded, a bit unnerved myself.

When we returned to the house, Tom and his wife Jennifer put two large pots of water to boil on the stove.

“Aren’t you supposed to be tickling them so they relax and fall asleep?” I asked. I’d seen Annie Hall back in the dark ages.

They shook their heads and laughed.

All the children watched with mouths open!

Why yes. With corn on the cob, hot dogs, apple pie and strawberries, the meal delighted us all.


Of course the seven boys played baseball. Maybe the two little girls did the same.

I wore my famous Statue of Liberty hat–which I’d recently purchased at the Statue of Liberty.

4th of July, Maine, fireworks, lobster, Rachel Carson National Refugee, town green, happy birthday America, corn on the cob, Statue of Liberty

Still fits!

I still wear it on the 4th of July all these years later.

No fireworks at the house, but sat together telling stories with old friends and waited for dusk to settle.

We led the children in America the Beautiful as well as The Star Spangled Banner.

(The naval officers elected not to stand).

The boys may have hiked in the woods–such a novelty after life in Honolulu–and we all admired the fire flies.

We’d never seen them before that trip.

The green

I thought my heart would burst with joy when we stopped to park at a white steepled church on the town green not far from their home.

We nestled on the grass and leaned back to watch the sky.

The fireworks came late as they do in New England summers.

My children had never been so close to them before.

Oohs, ahhs, and a satisfied hush at the end.

Surely we finished with homemade ice cream?

A magical Maine 4th of July is not to be forgotten.

Happy birthday, America!


What does an old-fashioned Maine 4th of July look like? Click to Tweet

Hiking, lobster, fireworks: a 4th of July in Maine. Click to Tweet


Leave a comment


  1. Love this, Michelle. I first fell madly in love with Maine…and became a true maine-iac – through Frederick Church’s paintings of Mount Desert Island.

    It’s truly God’s country.

    • Michelle Ule

       /  July 5, 2017

      I love Maine, too, Andrew. Wish I could spend more time there– but three trips I’ve made were all lovely!


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