People often ask why I moved from Manhattan to Maine. Simply put, I wanted a change!
After living in subsidized housing while attending a private school on the Upper East Side for middle and high school with the aid of a scholarship from 1978 through 1985 (and many crazy nights spent in Greenwich Village and night clubs including Studio 54), I attended Bennington College in Vermont for one year, also via scholarship. I loved Vermont and the academics, but I really wanted to be in a more economically diverse setting in New England since being the “scholarship kid” among the wealthy elite had its challenges. I transferred to the University of Maine in Orono where I earned my B.A. in English. I went on to earn an M.S. in Counselor Education at The University of Vermont in Burlington where I was awarded a department assistantship and lived in a tiny house in the woods. I later returned to Maine in 2000 where I’ve since remained.
An important part of my story is that I live with chronic PTSD as the result of being the victim of numerous crimes, traumas and sexual abuse as a child. It mostly manifests in the form of disrupted sleep, nightmares and distressing memories. After a lifetime of suffering silently (and lots of cognitive-behavioral therapy) I am now open about that in an effort to help destigmatize PTSD and overcome my own feelings of shame. New England’s serene surroundings and gentle opportunities for connecting with the natural world keep me grounded. I’m also in long-term sobriety. My last drink was in 1994.
I and my husband Wayne (married September 2018), who is also in long-term sobriety, live on two acres in a mid-century cottage at the edge of our woods in Scarborough, Maine.
I work from home and enjoy old-fashioned homemaking and cooking from scratch, oftentimes making dishes inspired by vintage recipes.
We live only five miles from some of Maine’s most beautiful sandy beaches.
Our home, built in 1950, has had few updates since that time. We do not have a dishwasher; I find washing and drying them by hand with vintage linens to be meditative and relaxing.
We use old rotary phones, transistor radios and other outdated delights.
I find fulfillment in befriending the chipmunks in my yard, get a thrill from the changing leaves in autumn, appreciate the calm and silence during a gentle snowfall, and enjoy treasure hunting for old books and vintage goodies at estate sales and flea markets.
Wayne, who designed and built yachts for almost twenty years, tends to our little organic vegetable garden in the summer and does the outside chores in addition to being employed full time on the coastal Maine working waterfront.
In the fall of 2014, in the midst of a divorce, I sought non-denominational spiritual counseling with a Nun at the beautiful Marie Joseph Spiritual Center in Biddeford Pool, Maine. It was through these meetings that I was inspired to embrace Christianity which became an integral part of my spiritual path and healing. Wayne and I are both practicing Episcopalians.
Welcome to Simple Living New England!
My Biz Site: Hillstock, LLC