FARMINGDALE — Sandra Alexander said she had hoped to hand over day-to-day operations of Foggy Bottom Marine in Farmingdale to somebody else in the next couple of years. Her husband Dan, however, had no plans to retire, Sandra said, because “he just loved it so much that it wasn’t even discussed.”

Sandra’s plans changed Oct. 15 when Dan was killed and she was seriously injured in a crash on Interstate 95 in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire. The couple was headed to their winter home in Florida when Dan, 71, suffered a “medical event” and lost control of the pickup that was hauling the Alexanders’ camper.

Sandra, 69, said running the business is a lot of hard work, and she hoped within the next few years that her husband would have agreed to turn the business over to someone who would appreciate it and keep it going.

“I’m just taking it day by day,” Sandra, 69, said on a cool Sunday morning in her cabin overlooking the Kennebec River in Farmingdale. “We’ll take one day at a time and do the best we can.”

After the accident, in which Sandra suffered several fractures in her lower back, among other injuries, she was hospitalized for several weeks before being released to a Portland rehab center in November. She was bedridden for about two months and just returned to Farmingdale from her daughter Alex’s house in Poland last week.

Despite all of that, Sandra said she never really considered not opening the marina and campground this year.

“I felt with so many people planning on coming back, and with their campers already here, I wanted to continue,” Sandra said. “I am not making any decisions on the future this year. I am taking one day at a time.”

Kevin Alexander, the youngest of Sandra and Dan’s three children, and his wife Margie arrived in Maine from outside Atlanta recently to help get things up and running for the season. He said he’ll be here for a few weeks to help put the docks in the water Saturday and to make sure operations are going smoothly, but he isn’t alone.

Oldest son Larry and his wife, Dianna, live in Farmingdale, and Alex and her husband Rob are in Poland. Kevin said both his siblings will be heavily involved with making sure the business continues to run smoothly.

“Everybody has stopped by and asked what did we need or what they could do to help,” Kevin said. “(Mom) has been overwhelmed by the offers to help.”

The campground is fully booked for this season with the majority of the 16 sites occupied by returning guests. It is a very close community at Foggy Bottom, Kevin said, and many of the campers have been there since the family opened the business about 20 years ago.

“It’s really like an extended family for (mom) here,” Kevin said. His mom added that the love and support has been overwhelming and is a tremendous source of comfort.

While his mother is unable to handle the daily operations, longtime family friend and camper Ken Stackpole has offered to assume a leadership role. Kevin said that while he wishes he could spend more time in Maine helping out on the ground, there is a great deal he can do remotely.

“You wish you can be here face-to-face, but you can really do a lot on the phone,” Kevin said. “We FaceTime and she’ll ask questions or I’ll ask questions.”

It’s been a difficult last six months for the Alexanders, but Sandra and her son said the support of the community has helped keep them going.

“She’s been getting stronger,” Kevin said.

Jason Pafundi — 621-5663

[email protected]

Twitter: @jasonpafundiKJ

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