I wrote last time about the elements of economic and community vitality, past and present, for our small summer town of Andover, Me. (pop. 800). While those are important foundations for any town, what has brought us here summer after summer for decades now has little to do with these factors.
What really counts is our joy in being here. Andover provides a family summer retreat home where our kids and grandkids come as often as they can and where all of us can rest and recreate in many different ways, from swimming and boating to riding the 1950 Willys Jeep, now relegated from a work-horse role to more of a purely fun one. What started for Becky and me as a few weeks a summer in my full-time working years has now extended to two months a summer. We are the opposite of the snowbirds who, to a similar end, wing south to Florida for their winter months; we are the sunbirds who come north in the most temperate of Maine times.