Julie Murchison Harris

Community News Editor

 
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU CURVES

Why I don’t want to remove my wedding ring

on Feb. 07, 2016, at 6 a.m.
I still wear my wedding ring. Though I have been widowed for five years now, my wedding ring is symbolic of the love I still share with my soulmate and husband Jim, who died in 2010 of pancreatic cancer. It’s the unbroken circle, a promise to love each other forever. …
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU CURVES

What’s left behind: How my husband’s pocket junk revived old grief

on Jan. 31, 2016, at 6 a.m.
I opened the box filled with my husband Jim’s “pocket junk” and bric a brac from the kitchen. I’d filled it shortly after he died of pancreatic cancer in December 2010, and then tucked it away. But now, it was time to sort through it, save what I must, and …
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU CURVES

Am I alone? The reality of sickness in life after a spouse’s death

on Jan. 18, 2016, at 2:50 p.m.
About 13 months after my husband Jim died, I fell hard on the ice. Not thinking too much of it — this is Maine, after all — I didn’t go directly to the hospital by ambulance. I got up with help from coworkers and went to a meeting. Only later …
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU CURVES

The art of coming home to an empty house

on Jan. 11, 2016, at 1:32 p.m.
I don’t know why Fridays are the worst; the house is just as empty every other day of the week. But the feeling of dread that starts as a seed when I leave work on Fridays grows into a boulder that lodges solidly in my gut the closer I get …
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU CURVES

A lesson on living from a good friend and snowman snow

on Jan. 04, 2016, at 3:48 p.m.
We had just buried my husband Jim in mid-December 2010, and I didn’t want to bother with a Christmas tree. My Dad wouldn’t hear of it and tramped through his woods behind his house, finding me a beautiful tree. Dad and Mom helped me put it in its stand and …
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU CURVES

How I will embrace positive changes in 2016

on Dec. 28, 2015, at 12:51 p.m.
When the ball drops at midnight on Jan. 1, 2016, it will usher in a new year — and one, I’ve decided, will be a year of transition for me. While we can’t change the past, and there are things that will remain foremost in my mind no matter what I …
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU CURVES

The perfect tree that got away

on Dec. 21, 2015, at 11:30 a.m.
Even before my husband Jim passed away, the Christmas season was always a time of mixed emotion in our household. Memories of a couple of deaths of close family members in December years ago dampened what otherwise should be a time of good cheer, but Jim and I always did …
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU CURVES

Finding my new place among the pews in ‘widows’ row’

on Dec. 14, 2015, at 10:38 a.m.
Julie Harris: We weren’t just a group of widows; we were a group of Christian women who relied on faith for our strength.
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU CURVES

The fifth anniversary of the day my life changed forever

on Dec. 07, 2015, at 1:12 p.m.
Note to Readers: The following is a deeply emotional post and may be difficult for some to read. Today, Dec. 7, 2015, is the fifth anniversary of the day we lost Jim’s battle with pancreatic cancer. Ironically, it was a battle we didn’t know we were fighting. We knew we …
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU CURVES

How ‘Quincy Time’ led me toward a path of healing

on Nov. 30, 2015, at 1:35 p.m.
I, like my dogs, have become a master of escape. Instead of trying to get out of my physical confinement though, I do my best to avoid what has become my reality — a life without Jim, my husband and soulmate. I use lots of mechanisms for escape but my …
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU CURVES

Trading an empty chair at home for a place at the counter

on Nov. 23, 2015, at 3:27 p.m.
The menu lay closed on the counter before me. I didn’t need to look at it to know what I wanted — I already knew the whole menu by heart. Still, just in case, I glanced at the specials board in the dining area of my favorite hidden gem restaurant …
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU CURVES

Of mouse traps and everyday things

on Nov. 16, 2015, at 10:07 a.m.
I still live in the old farmhouse where Jim and I made a home together. In our house every fall, we could count on the rush of field vermin that wanted to cozy up with us for the winter. Mice, small field rats, squirrels and chipmunks all found our house’s …
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU CURVES

How a puppy named Thistle saved my life

on Nov. 09, 2015, at 4:42 p.m.
In the first few weeks after my husband Jim died, my grief counselor thought I might follow him to the grave. She wasn’t worried about suicide; she was worried that my broken heart was in too many pieces to reassemble. It wasn’t even that I had given up. It was …
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU CURVES

Sorting through my past to find my future

on Nov. 02, 2015, at 10:17 a.m.
When my husband died, my identity was ripped in half, and for the longest while I didn’t know what to do about that or who I was.
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU CURVES

The smallest actions can have the largest impacts

on Oct. 26, 2015, at 4:29 p.m.
Julie Harris: For me, the smallest actions, like those of my friends’, can produce the largest impacts in my life.
Community

Down East Dickering cast to hold fundraiser for Michael Kelly

By Julie Harris on Oct. 22, 2015, at 11:20 a.m.
BANGOR, Maine — Cast members from the History Channel show Down East Dickering will hold a dinner, auction and music 7:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 13, at Season’s Restaurant to raise money toward an Action Track Chair for Michael Kelly. Kelly has a rare genetic syndrome called the triplication of chromosome 17, which …
Community
From left, Kathleen Cravens, RN, BSN representing Mary Dow Center; Deborah Ehrlenbach, MCMH Board Chair; Larry Barker, President & CEO of Machias Savings Bank; Robert W. Foster, President of R.H. Foster.

Maine Coast Memorial’s 24th annual Poinsettia Ball fundraiser

By Julie Harris on Oct. 20, 2015, at 4:16 p.m.
ELLSWORTH, Maine — Lists have been made and they’ve been “checked” twice, for the 24th annual Maine Coast Memorial Hospital Poinsettia Ball. R. H. Foster and Machias Savings Bank come together to wish you a happy holiday season, wrapped up in a tartan bow.  This year’s event will be held …
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU CURVES

With my husband’s death, I really needed to find my Plan B

on Oct. 19, 2015, at 12:46 p.m.
If I have learned anything, it is that there is no straight path in life. As a person in my mid-50s who has been widowed for nearly five years, I know what I’m talking about.
Community

South Thomaston honors oldest resident

By Julie Harris on Oct. 14, 2015, at 12:59 p.m.
SOUTH THOMASTON, Maine — The town honored its oldest resident Tuesday by presenting him with the ceremonial Boston Post Cane. And fittingly it went to a Post. Edgar Post, 94, was honored by selectmen at his home on Spruce Head Island. Post was born and raised in the neighboring St. …
Community

CDRC’s Scarecrow Fest comes to downtown Calais for October

By Julie Harris on Oct. 12, 2015, at 3:58 p.m.
The scarecrows are arriving in downtown Calais for this year’s Scarecrow Fest sponsored by Calais Downtown Revitalization Coalition. Local businesses, organizations, and individuals are decorating the lamp posts for a friendly competition. If you would like to vote for your favorite, stop by Boston Shoe Store and Calais Bookshop to …