Author Archives: Bill McCalmon

About Bill McCalmon

I am a former educator, swim coach, school administrator, financial adviser, and sales professional. I have lived and worked most of my life in Portland, Maine. I have been married 44 e ha 2 grown children and 5 grandchildren.

Morning coffee


One of 3 passenger ferries serving long Island, me

February 1, 2017 view of front beach on Long Island, Maine

As I sip my coffee on a snowy winter day on very quiet, scenic Long Island, my thoughts are about my summer friends hard at work or in school far from their summer escape, cottages, and restful vacations.

Mary Jane and I will be awaiting your return for the 17th year since we opened in 2001.  We look forward to seeing and hearing from you about your winter and spring accomplishments.  Stay safe and warm..

Living on Long Island, ME. in the Winter

So you think you know Maine, all you summer people.

I had a little idea what it was like when I first ran the store in the winters of 2000 thru 2002.  Although, I recall the winter of 2001 set a new annual snow fall total of 111 inches,  compared to an annual average of 55 inches.   The snow plowing contractor (Dickie) earned a nice bonus that year and took his wife to the Caribbean.  I have pictures of the snow piled high against the post office. It took some tunneling to get in.  However, I was on the last boat to town at 7;35 pm, often riding alone, to spend my night in a well insulated house.


Fast Forward to 2017

This is my very first, full time winter here.  The last boat is still the same.  But the first boat off the island is not until 6:45 am (the worker boat).  The next boat is 8:40 am (the retiree or shopper boat) and both can be challenging on a blustery, cold, snowy/icy morning.  I often sit in my pickup truck until after the boat has docked and begun loading passengers.  Not until then do I make a mad dash from the uncovered parking lot, braving the elements, and hoping I haven’t forgotten something; like the keys to my up town car or the list of things I’m suppose to accomplish before rushing back to one of the few boats back this time of year.

Some of the Challenges

What follows is a list of some of what a winter resident faces:

  • fewer boats.  the late boat from Portland is 8:30 pm
  • No covered parking near the dock
  • limited transfer station hours  (3 days instead of 6)
  • only one store with much fewer hours
  • Gasoline 4 hours per week, not daily for 12 hours per day
  • No place to buy prepared food.
  • limited outdoor activity

Some of the Benefits

  • very quiet
  • no traffic
  • knowing everyone here
  • Islanders looking out for each other
  • no crowds at the beach

Long Island News

The island is pretty quiet this time of year.  Occasionally, I will hear a vehicle go by the store, especially an island car with no muffler.  Pedestrian traffic is almost non existent,  unless the temperature gets into the 40’s.  I am currently watching the 10 am ferry from town going into diamond cove.  The sky is bright and cloudless and 28 degrees.  I don’t expect to see any kids jumping off the dock today.  Social interaction here is somewhat limited, especially now that the transfer station is open only 3 times weekly.  Morning coffee with Shirley is a highlight.  Hopefully, John Billings will be well enough to join Shirley and the Boat House crowd soon.

Community suppers at the new recreation center have been a hit this winter.  But the best place to see other islanders now is on the boat trip back and forth to the mainland.  See you on the Ferry.