Julie Murchison Harris

Community News Editor

 
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU CURVES

How closing camp stirs old memories

on Sept. 26, 2016, at 12:07 p.m.
I found the serene scene most unsettling as I gazed out across the lake early Sunday morning. The hundreds of ducks, geese, and other water-loving birds that normally find refuge in our cove were conspicuously absent. Only a lone loon fished lazily off the end of the dock. The migratory …
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU CURVES

Facing down a ‘widow fear stage’

on Sept. 19, 2016, at 2:52 p.m.
If you’ve ever raised a dog from puppyhood, you know that puppies go through natural “fear stages” in which normal things that never bothered them before suddenly scare them into odd responses such as cowering or hiding. It could be noises or sudden movements or people that trigger the fear …
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU CURVES

How a shelf containing hygiene items has become a shrine of sorts

on Sept. 12, 2016, at 11:58 a.m.
There’s a shelf in my custom-made medicine cabinet that still is crammed with my husband Jim’s personal hygiene items. I pretty much ignore it, so it’s remained the same for five and a half years since shortly after Jim died from pancreatic cancer in December 2010. Despite usually ignoring it, …
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU CURVES

Lessons from death: There is no real ‘normal’

on Sept. 06, 2016, at 1:13 p.m.
It turns out “normal” is a relative term. It’s taken me a while to come to grips with this concept, especially since my husband Jim died from pancreatic cancer in December 2010, but I think I’ve finally accepted it. Whenever something happens to us — no matter how deeply we …
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU CURVES

So what did I really do this summer?

on Aug. 29, 2016, at 3:53 p.m.
As the days visibly shorten and the night air takes on a kind of crispness, I find myself evaluating what I’ve accomplished over the summer before my mind turns to all that needs to be done before God coats my world in ice and snow. It’s been a very busy …
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU CURVES

How my husband’s spirit was part of my daughter’s wedding

on Aug. 22, 2016, at 12:40 p.m.
My newly adopted daughter Jessica and I have seen a lot of changes already this year. She was graduated from University of Maine with a degree in social work; I legally adopted her through an adult adoption process; and on a recent Sunday, I walked her down the aisle, then …
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU CURVES

Why I feel close to a woman I never met

on Aug. 15, 2016, at 12:56 p.m.
I never met her in person. She died at age 30 from complications associated with Lupus the year I joined the flyball (think dog relay racing) team with my Brittany dog Sassy. But she was the reason there was a team at all. She was its founder.Story continues below advertisement. …
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU CURVES

Gardening my way back to my old self

on Aug. 08, 2016, at 2:10 p.m.
I’m sure lots of people are eating green beans for supper these days. They are in season, and most farmers markets and many local food stores carry the locally grown versions of the popular legume. I recently ate them for supper myself. With a bow to a good memory, I …
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU CURVES

Remembering what the Bangor State Fair was like in the 1970s

on Aug. 01, 2016, at 5:51 p.m.
We worked all year toward one goal — showing our prize steers and lambs at Bangor State Fair. In the 1970s as a teen, I was a member of Penobscot County 4-H Beef Club. My first bull calf came from the baby beef auction at Fryeburg Fair in the fall. …
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU CURVES

How the dog’s 10th birthday brings up dealing with loss

on July 25, 2016, at 3:25 p.m.
My husband Jim and I lost our 13-year-old Brittany dog, Rosie, to congestive heart failure two days before my birthday in May 2006. At the time, Rosie was our only dog, and the hole she left in our lives was enormous. She was a very special dog for both of …
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU CURVES

Figuring out how the pieces fit into my life

on July 18, 2016, at 12:44 p.m.
I have books everywhere. I am one of those dinosaurs who has not graduated to electronic books, and still considers turning paper pages a comforting and enjoyable process. I love getting new books and have trouble parting with books I have read but will never read again and really am …
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU CURVES

10 things I miss since my husband’s death

on July 11, 2016, at 12:31 p.m.
The trouble with being on the road a lot is that I have too much time to think, and I’ve been on the road at least 90 percent of the weekends since mid-March. It wasn’t my fault I was on the road so much — well, it was, but it …
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU CURVES

Independence Day means more than personal holiday memories

on July 04, 2016, at 11:50 a.m.
Holidays feel odd to me. They encourage an intensity of spirit, emotion and physical exertion that no other days of the year do. They heighten anticipation with planned events, and never quite live up to our imaginations. They give us hope, pull at our heartstrings, and let us celebrate or …
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU CURVES

How a deck so full of memories has become a place of peace

on June 27, 2016, at 6 a.m.
It’s been awhile since I’ve really wanted to sit on my back deck. But on a recent Sunday morning, I found myself sitting there in my PJs and robe, drinking a hot beverage and listening to the sounds of birds and dogs and feeling the gentle breezes of a new …
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU CURVES

Parting with the physical reminders of happy days is the hardest part

on June 20, 2016, at 6 a.m.
My best friend from high school and I shared apartments when we were in our early 20s. She had just returned to the area from two years at Vanderbilt University and secured a clerk job while she contemplated her next move. I had just returned from two years at Skidmore …
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU CURVES

What step am I on in this journey?

on June 13, 2016, at 1:04 p.m.
The thing about a journey is that once in awhile you have to stop and see where you are. It’s important to reflect on where you’ve been and to anticipate where you might be heading, but at times those considerations are not as important as where you are. And I …
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU CURVES

The abnormal burden of ‘normal’ errands

on June 06, 2016, at 1:16 p.m.
I never used to give normal errands much thought. You know the ones I mean: vehicle maintenance and repairs, groceries, prescriptions, salt for the water softening system, taking the recycling to the bins at the town office, going to the transfer station, registering vehicles, paying taxes, veterinarian appointments, getting dog …
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU CURVES

How adoption is a special kind of love story

on May 30, 2016, at 6 a.m.
There was a little girl who was one of four children. She ended up in foster care because her parents made bad choices of addiction and lawlessness, and her grandmother, who had taken over her care, had issues too and left her on the doorstep at the Maine Department of …
American flags wait for Brewer Boy Scouts to place them on veterans' graves at Brewer's Woodlawn Memorial Park Cemetery last year.

2016 Maine Memorial Day events

By Julie Harris on May 24, 2016, at 6:14 p.m.
ABBOT — Abbot Memorial Day parade, organized by American Legion Posts Conner-Trafton No. 119 of Guilford and Stott-Flanders No. 165 of Sangerville, 9:30 a.m. Monday, May 30, starting at the town office and ending at the veterans memorial. BANGOR — Greater Bangor Area 2016 Memorial Day Parade, organized by Bangor …
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU CURVES

Remembering the little things that catch my heart

on May 23, 2016, at 12:56 p.m.
The little things that we miss because they can never happen again; the little things we miss because we know they would have happened.