Condolences to the family of Ruby Harris, a graduate of Freedom Academy who passed away in January at the incredible age of 102. At the family’s request, donations in her memory can be made to the Freedom Community Historical Society. Her graveside service will be held on May 8, at 11 a.m., in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery.

Further condolences to the family of Joyce Bunker, formerly of Belfast and Freedom. A celebration of life will be held at the Freedom Congregational Church on April 18, from 1 to 3 p.m. At the family’s request, donations can be made to Alzheimer’s or Cystic Fibrosis foundations.

A hearty welcome to Freedom’s Edge, a small cidery business that just opened in an idyllic orchard location on the Quaker Hill Road, just on the Albion side of the Freedom/Albion town line. You can find them at https://freedomsedgecider.com/.

Freedom’s Edge was founded by two best friends and brothers-in-law, Ned Ervin and Andy Kaplan, who have Central Maine roots. I talked with Andy at length about their new business and how they get their cider to taste uniquely bittersweet through the kind of blending they do with their apples. Their cider is delicious and is carried at numerous stores, bars and restaurants throughout the state.

I first learned of them because my brother and sister-in-law gifted me a four-pack as a housewarming present. I liked it so much I sought out a couple more packs to give to two friends who helped me move. Personally, I am thrilled to see such a new, non-chain business get up and running in our neck of the woods. I’m sure we all wish Andy and Ned much success!

I am also thrilled to say “welcome to the neighborhood” — and I mean that in the literal sense — to fellow millennials Dan Towle and Kelsey Kobik, who moved to Freedom from Portland in January. They live on Hutchins Corner (intersection of Greeley and North Palermo Road), and are planning on opening a bread and bakery shop out of their home within the next couple of months. They work with Song Bird Farm in Unity as their grain source.

I spoke with Dan at length on Wednesday. As I told him how I lived in Portland and Westbrook from August 2015 to early 2020, we connected on how we unhesitatingly would prefer the peaceful quiet of nature and rural Maine over the more populated areas.

I marveled at how different the town looks, even compared to my childhood — which wasn’t that long ago. In the space of a few months, two local, non-chain businesses have opened in the south Freedom area, and more are coming into the surrounding Waldo County community.

Over the years the village has been cleaned up and is now attracting people far and wide. Yet, even if the town’s “look” is somewhat different, the “feel” is not — it is still a desired refuge to escape the hustle and bustle of the outside world. I suppose it all comes back to the idea that “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”