As of June 1, I’ve lived in Maine for 25 years — longer than in any house, any city or any state. I’ve learned a lot of things I never knew before. Here’s a list of them:

There are more stars in the sky in Maine than anywhere else.

Ice makes a noise as it freezes. The sound is just a whisper when the ice is thin, but a deep boom when it’s thick. A physicist friend told me that as ice freezes, it creates heat, and that this is the way the heat escapes.

When spring comes, so does mud season. I live on a dirt road, and I’ve experienced 25 years of the phenomenon.

I’d never heard of frost heaves before moving here. I appreciate the signs that warn you as you drive along the road, but is the frost heave right at the sign or at some unknown distance ahead?

Almost always, Mainers don’t want you to come in the front door. I first learned this when I visited a friend. I knocked on the front door, as I had all my life, and I was surprised when she was surprised I’d chosen to come in that way. In the country, they solve that problem by leaving the front steps off. I do sincerely hope that there’s a large piece of furniture in front of the door to protect city people like me from a broken leg.

Also in the country, the garage is often larger than the house. I’m not sure what is in the garage that requires it to be so big.

Maine men wield chain saws with great expertise. I think baby boys get chain saw rattles to get them started. In Massachusetts, a large branch fell across my driveway, and I couldn’t get out to go to work. As I was sawing the branch with a handsaw, two male neighbors stopped by. One said he couldn’t help me because he had his good clothes on and the other said he had a bad back. In Maine, a man would have jumped out of his truck, grabbed his chain saw, and freed me in seconds.

Mainers also back into parking spaces. It’s a Maine thing; I was talking to a man from Connecticut, who has a Maine wife. She backs into the space, but he doesn’t, so it’s not just a man thing.

I also learned that in Maine, the people at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles are very friendly and helpful, and that the wait time isn’t too long. I spent 20 years hanging out in Massachusetts DMVs, and they are none of the above.

Also in Maine, you can get there from here, and in the same amount of time every time, except, of course, in a sudden snow storm. In Massachusetts, I often visited friends who lived 17 miles away. I took me from 20 minutes to three hours to get there, depending on the time of day.

Finally, I discovered, contrary to the legend, that Mainers are very friendly.

Moving to Maine was just about the best thing I’ve ever done, but who knew 25 years ago? ‘

Jane F. Coryell, of Augusta, is retired and loving it.

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