Chatting with a Facebook “friend” the other day, something in the conversation led to my posting a photo of me back in the early ’70s when living in California. It was me in front of the 80-passenger, 10-speed, double clutch school bus I drove (as one of my three simultaneous jobs, in the Sierra Nevadas of California).

He posted back:

“I bet that time of your life filled several chapters of ‘The Book.’ Bob”

I answered: “You’d win that bet — like the wild ride thru’ the Pismo Beach dunes and surf on the biggest Appaloosa, “Speckle Butt,” I’ve ever seen; like the time I faced down “Dirty Harry” (I drove his son to a small private school in Carmel Valley); like the motorcycle treks up (and back DOWN) Figueroa Mountain; like the forays to overnight beach parties on a secluded sandy cove above Vandenburg Air Force Base with no worries due to the men all carrying their “off-duty” weapons; like the time I narrowly got a group of high school kids out of a meadow alive.

I was taking them on a trek in the Manzana Wilderness above Santa Barbara to meet a sculptor who lived deep in. The boys were resting at the edge of a small corpse of trees in the middle of the meadow while I went part way up the hill to make sure we were still on the trail. A few yards up, I looked back down at the meadow to check on the boys. I could see the whole meadow with the little oasis of trees in the middle. And I could see the other side of the meadow. And I could see the “mythical” herd of wild Brahmas — very real, very live Brahmas. I dared not yell and alert the Brahmas. I snuck back down, praying my movement didn’t catch their eye, got to the boys and told them to “be quiet, be very very quiet.” and we got over the hill safely.

That trip also included my going outside in the morning to wake the kids, who slept on the ground, and spotted mountain lion tracks circling their sleeping bags.

And so it went. And I had four little boys then (and added my little girl while in California) — lots of fodder for my nostalgia columns I write, 35 years and counting.

I got to California from the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, where I had lived for 14 years. I love the Berkshires. Not that different from Maine, not like the rest of Massachusetts. I packed up kids (flew two boys out ahead), cat, et al, into a 26 ½-foot cab-over U-Haul and drove from the East Coast to the West Coast where my brother, an engineering specialist in sonar, radar and space electronics, lived.

I lived there 10 years, which I figure was about 9 ½ years too long. I could see the handwriting on the wall even back then and decided, time to go back home. And drove into Waldo County on Christmas, 1979.

Lotsa life in between the years of a little girl growing up with her grandparents on Tucker Ridge up in the North Woods — Grampa was a Maine Guide — and little old great-gramma sitting here in her forest-rimmed house, pounding away on her keyboard today.

I like to send some columns to my grandkids and remind them: “We old folks used to be people, too.” (An aside — my seventh great-grandbaby arrived Sunday — in Kodiak, Alaska.)

Since coming home to Maine 42 years ago with one of my sons, then age 20, and my little girl, age 5, I now have three of my children, four grown grandchildren and my oldest great-grandchild all living here in Waldo County. All own their own homes in the county and are only a few minutes away. And that’s what it’s all about. I am blessed beyond belief with family.

And so here I am, now firmly ensconced back in my home state, looking out my “office” windows at sun-splashed goldfinch and purple finch in the window feeder against the forest greens dancing in the rising light of the same sun that Adam watched come up, spilling through the forest.

You can have your mega-mansions and penthouses in the Concrete Jungles, while dreaming all year of being able to get to Maine for a few days and have a lobster out over the water.

I can hop across the bay and do that any day, with family members, during the season and then come home at night and sleep for free.

Looks to be a good day for lobster…

Marion Tucker-Honeycutt, an award-winning columnist, a Maine native and graduate of Belfast schools, now lives in Morrill. Her columns appear in this paper every other week.