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Catherine and I had a fantastic time with our two German friends, Leon and Clara. We gave them a taste of the rural living they wanted to experience.

We took them to the Freedom Community Historical Society’s Digital Archives Project debrief, went to a Mount View boys soccer game (my first time attending a Mount View sporting event in 10 years), walked around downtown Belfast, went for walks in the woods, had wine slushies at the Stone Tree Farm and Cidery in Unity, and simply sat outside on the back deck reading and enjoying nature.

I mentioned in a previous column that they are from a city of one million people and the most industrialized part of Germany. As such, they had never seen the stars shine so brightly. They were awed by being able to see the Milky Way, and sat on my back deck at dawn and dusk, with a pair of binoculars in hand, ready to point out whatever deer or porcupine happened to cross the treeline. They described their visit as “perfect.”

In a likely scenario where they live in the United States for a couple of years sometime in the near future, I truly believe they were serious when they said they wanted to live in Maine.

We also went to the Common Ground Country Fair — a first time for them as well as for Catherine and me — and we loved it. Huge kudos to the more than 2,000 volunteers for making the record-breaking fair (68,000 people attended!) a lot of fun and logistically successful. We particularly enjoyed the sheep dog demonstration, and the stables full of livestock and other animals.