Around Town With Michael
In 1982 my wife Julie and I took up residence on Woodman Road in a home I built myself with help from family and friends. We were new to New Gloucester, having grown up in Maine but with no connection to our new town other than the land we purchased after our marriage in 1974. We both wanted to settle and raise our family in Maine. New Gloucester was where we landed. One of the first things I did to get to know our new community was to begin volunteering for our local paper, the New Gloucester News. At the time, my duties were to help with paste-up of the paper and then help with distribution.
At the time one of the contributors was a lifelong resident of New Gloucester named Alma Berry. Alma wrote a weekly column, The Nature Notes. In her column she reported her own wildlife sightings at her farm on Cobb’s Bridge Road. She also passed along sightings that other residents phoned in to her at their homes. When Alma died in 1986, Verna Hobbs, the paper’s editor, asked me to pick up her column. I was honored to be asked to attempt to pick up where Ala had left off. I called my column, Greetings from Norumbega. Norumbega was what we dubbed our home on Woodman Road.
I wrote my last “Greetings…” in 2008. The paper had become the New Gloucester Independent. It ceased publication in 2009. In the twenty-two years of writing my column it became a way for me to reflect on my journey not only in nature but also my journey in life. I still bump into people who remember me as that guy from Norumbega. In 2021 we built a new home in the Lower Village across from the Congregational Church. My mare, Cyra moved with us as of course did our two English Sheperds, Mocha and Sadie. We have throughly enjoyed getting to know our new neighborhood. Our wanderings now include the Interurban as well as ways of linking together other opportunities to walk and ride, both on foot and on horseback. While I miss Norumbega’s streams and trails, I have found many wonderful ways to immerse myself in the healing power of the natural world.
I have missed my weekly time of reflection that my former column provided. I am resolved to begin a new series of articles about our life in the village. I am not sure what form these missives will take and how often I will find time to write but be assured that this will be the first of what hope will be many new columns where I will share my journey with all those who are interested to journey with me. So, I will see you again soon! Michael Fralich from The Village House on Gloucester Hill Road.