Presque Isle

My sister and I booked an Elderhostel Creative Writing course in Presque Isle, Maine. The first leg of our journey, we flew into Portland and from there we had to catch a bus to Presque Isle. While waiting for this bus, we were told that it would stop at ever little crossroad.

We waited in the Portland terminal for the Presque Isle bus. There was one and it made a round trip every day so we dared not miss it. Finally, the bus pulled in and a load of people descended into the terminal with bags. I often wondered where they were going.

My sister and I stepped outside to get on the bus and unbeknownst to us, the skies had opened up and a torrent of rain was washing everything very clean. When we stepped on the bus I knew it was not the kind of bus I had expected. This bus was more like a school bus. No bathroom; no cushioned seats; bare bones. The driver looked tired.

He said “Everybody on?”

I thought “How would we know?”

So we pulled out and the journey to our motel started.

The bus stopped at every crook and corner just like they said it would. Either someone got off or someone got on. That generally is what happens on buses! Finally, the seats were all filled. My sister and I had not been able to find two seats together so we were separated. She was a couple of rows in front of me. I had dozed off to sleep when I felt something beginning to drip on me. I woke up and said to my sister “It is raining on me.”

She said “It couldn’t be. The window must be open.”

I repeated that it was raining on me and the window was not open.

I went forward to tell the bus driver it was raining  where I was sitting. I looked for an empty seat but there were none. I said to the driver:  “It is raining on me.”

“Move to another seat,” he said.

“There are no other seats,” I said.

He reached over and handed me his big, black umbrella and said: “Here use this.”

I returned to my seat and opened the big black umbrella. Snickers could be heard in back of me which caused those in front to snicker as well.

My sister said: “Close that umbrella! It is bad luck to open an umbrella inside.”

I said: “I will be wet if I don’t keep the umbrella up…luck or no luck.”

I sat under that big black umbrella the rest of the way to Presque Isle which was about 45 minutes. I think everyone thought it was funny except me. I have not thought about this for years until I saw the suggestion for the post a day and then I remembered. Looking back..It had to be funny!! Who rides on a bus sitting under a big, black umbrella.

5 thoughts on “Presque Isle

  1. This headline really caught my attention. Of the VERY FEW places in the US that I’ve been to, Presque Isle is one. I’ve actually been there TWICE.

    What a ride! Was it long ago?

    Presque Isle in itself was a kind of strange experience. Such a small, sleepy town, and this huge shopping center outside with a Walmart Supercenter.

    We visited there because my husband is into genealogy a bit, and he had relatives in an even sleepier and smaller town nearby, named Mars Hill. It consisted of just this one street and the mood of this picture goes well with the date on it.

    Not too far away is Caribou and New Sweden, so we visited there too. Was fun to see all the little villages with Swedish names.


  2. It seems long ago…in the mid 1990’s.

    There is another strange experience I had in Presque Isle which I plan to write about as a sequence.

    We went to Caribou as well.

    I thought I would like to live in Maine. I have always felt a “coming home” feeling there. In the cemetery across the street from our motel were, I believe,distance relatives. An Alexander Ross and families with the Ross name. My great grandfather was a Ross. I never followed up to find out for sure.

    This was very strange to me because I had always wanted to be called Alexander and I found the name in Maine.

    By the way, my middle name is Ross. I dropped it because I did not like it when I was young but of course back then in the South all the girls seemed to be called by double names…Linda Ross; Linda Faye; Linda Love…all girls in my high school.


    1. My «coming-home-feeling» for Maine was even stronger while we were still living in Quebec. I’ll never forget the first night we were having dinner in Bar Harbor, and I could understand what all the people said around me. I was so used to the language barrier in Quebec, so I’d forgotten what it felt like to understand what people said LOL..

      In Caribou there was this Swedish store that sold all kinds of herring ‘n stuff. That was cool and unexpected.

      You’ve never done any genealogy? Maybe Alexander Ross was one of your ancestors 🙂


    1. Gee, I went back and looked at the date. What a sad date in the history of our nation. I still like the photo.

      My sister and I were there during the fall because we watched the gathering of a crop. I cannot remember what crop. Remember the workers in the field.


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