As December begins—and the sun sets at 4:03 p.m.—winter is here. Maine’s harsh winters can be difficult for both new and experienced residents. Compiled below are voices of the Bowdoin Community speaking on some of their favorite parts of the season. Wise musings from community members like Bowdoin professors and nearby Brunswick residents suggest that winter can be a season of joy rather than just a period of necessary endurance.
Associate Professor of Africana Studies and History, Chair of Africana Studies Department Brian Purnell
“I have grown to appreciate the fresh air during the winter in Maine. I actually think it is quite incredible. The air is quite clean, and you notice that in the winter.”
“Find ways to be outside. I didn’t grow up skiing, but I have gone a couple times. I am not good at it, but it is a really nice way to spend a day with friends or people that you love and you’re outside.”
“Finding something to do outside that is enjoyable with other people is a way to get through [winter].”
Dave Hunt, 72. Lived in Maine for 69 years.
“It’s beautiful, aesthetically. A typical winter is not for the faint of heart. As far as I am concerned, it’s worth it for the change of seasons. You have to go through winter to get to spring and summer.”
Alfred Beattie. Originally from Washington, Beattie moved to Maine in December 2021. He now lives in Dresden.
“Layering up is one of my favorite parts. There is not as much snow as I thought. Definitely hit L.L. Bean for lightweight, heavy duty stuff. Get some waterproof boots. Observe. You are moving to a new area so be conscious and observe everybody first.”
Rick, 64. Lives in Bath.
“I used to enjoy sledding until I went over a bump and hit my tailbone. I’m too old to do something like that.”
Glenda Grant. Lived in Brunswick for 57 years.
“Just go out and enjoy it when it’s not bitter cold. I’m from Texas and my husband is from Maine, and I hate the heat. My last two schnauzers hate the heat too.”
Robin Kulakowski. Lives in Topsham.
“I love running in the wintertime. I love snow-shoeing if there is snow. We haven’t had snow that much lately. I actually like being outside a lot more because the air is just so cold and crisp. You just have to get outside to keep yourself busy. My biggest thing really is running. I run at FleetFeet and our biggest running group is in the winter time. We all try to get everyone out to do stuff, or we’ll be sitting on the couch eating bonbons and cookies and ice cream.”
Beth Leonard. Born in Brunswick.
“I like a cold winter, so the part I don’t like about winter today is the warming temperature. I like being outside. I live on a lake. Cross country skiing across the lake when it’s frozen and there’s snow is pretty nice.”
Dave Luce ’62. Lives in Harpswell.
“Maine winter is Maine winter, you never know what you’re going to get but you know you’re going to get something. I always love the first snow or any clean snow when it first falls. I love it right after it snows and then the sun comes out and it’s just … peaceful. Just learn to enjoy it, you’re gonna have snow and you’re gonna have cold–- that’s Maine.”