Those are the kind of solid roots had by native Mainers. They're pleasant to the rest of us who are from away, but no matter how long we may live here, we'll never not be from away.
We can, however, enjoy the glory and wonder that is Maine and take part in its many traditions, like lobster and whoopie pies, lush green forests and rocky shorelines, LL Bean and our foodie capital Portland, and so much more. I followed the path of many a native Mainer recently by drinking a Moxie, the official state drink.
If you haven't heard of this strange cola in an orange can, it definitely falls into the trippy category. It's unique -- or, as the tagline on its website says, distinctively different. I read an article, probably two or more years ago, that quoted someone as saying that the first sip of Moxie is the worst. And I remember deciding at the time that I didn't need to have a firsthand experience with it. Kind of like not feeling the need to go skydiving to know that it's not for me.
One day recently I happened to be at a friend's house -- the one considered from away -- and found myself being offered a Moxie. Apparently, her teenage sons drink the stuff. My curiosity must have gotten the better of me that day, because I was a bit intrigued. I said I'd try it. My friend popped the can open and set it in front of me.
Initially, all seemed well. I detected a hint of something that was reminiscent of black licorice, but naught was amiss. Then my palate picked up on a medicinal taste that then morphed into something utterly indescribable.
My friend burst out laughing at the face I made as that first sip lingered, and lingered some more -- and my tongue repeatedly smacked against the roof of my mouth trying to dislodge the offending taste.
Then I did something that surprised even me: I proceeded to drink the rest of the can. After all, from what I had heard, it was all downhill from there.
You, too, can take the plunge into the Maine-originated phenomenon that is Moxie. If you decide to indulge, though, be sure to shore up your moxie.
You'll need it.