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The Unsung Maine: Fiddle-Playing Gypsy

July 13, 2017

Fiddle-playing gypsy

She tells me she would have worn her gypsy outfit if she didn’t think I might think she was crazy. Are you kidding me? She had me at gypsy! In a tiny Northern Maine town, with her backyard overlooking Mount Katahdin, this gypsy-spirited woman makes her life exactly as she chooses. She has lived on this farm for many years, first in a tent, then a stock trailer, and now in a tiny house which once was only a basement. She fills it with her art, and her animals that are not yet old enough to live outdoors. Everything is as neat as a pin and has its own place, an ability I envy as I’d love to live in a tiny house but I am not organized or a neat knick. I am invited into her home through a common friend, another horse lover, as she is. I feel honored that she is wiling to share this world she has created with me.

Each piece of art has a story

Made from a birdhouse gourd

Gorgeous artwork

vignettes of color



artistic succulents


Each horse has a name

spotted goats

Her several acre farm is home to special chickens, spotted goats, sweet kittens, and many horses. She shows me around explaining how it all came to be, and there is a story behind everything. I love it. I already know we are kindred spirits. The cat named “Kitty” follows us everywhere. What strikes me is that it’s not a perfect farm, or perfect house, or perfect land, or a perfect life. I think life has not been easy for her here. She has to work very hard maintaining it all. But, alas, she has retained, no not just retained but flourished, her creative and child-like gypsy spirit. She tells me that being poor may have helped her become creative, but I think the opposite. She has to fulfill Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs all by herself, and she still has the energy to be creative. This concept interests me greatly. I think she is ambitious, and has set her purpose to live a full, rich, creative, and independent life in spite of life’s imperfections.

She shows me her art, which is everywhere inside and out. It is succulents growing in and on work boots, it’s redesigned clock innards to look like an owl, its an old wooden chest full of unicorn fantasy objects that she has collected for children. And the colors! Color is everywhere! Then she introduces me to all of her animals, collecting eggs from the chickens, helping a goat who has poked its head out of a fence, and talking to her horses and calling them each by name, as we walk around the farm. She loves them all.

Over a lunch of soup she has made from her own chickens, we talk non-stop about how to live a life where we can spend as much time as possible, every day, doing the things we love to do. How do we do that and still pay the bills? Its the Universal problem of us free-spirits who love to do so many things, and have a hard time settling into one routine for very long. Is it possible? We think so.

Just before its time to leave, I ask her a question. Would she be willing to put on that gypsy outfit she thought of wearing but was afraid I might think she was crazy, so I could take her picture? Much to my delight, she says “Yes!” and quickly begins digging around in her closet. She tells me she has so many gypsy clothes but doesn’t wear them often here in Northern Maine. She comes out looking like a beautiful, barefooted, red-headed gypsy. Her corset is the gorgeous color of brass, her petticoat is a bright white, and her long skirt is the most beautiful colors and print I have ever seen. She has her prized bobcat skin draped around her neck. The one she shot after he got into her henhouse, and killed all of her chickens. She leaves her hair down, and we head outside to take a few photos. She turns to me and says, “I should have brought out my fiddle.” Wait, what? She plays the fiddle too? My mouth drops open as she begins to play for her animals…first for Kitty, then the goats, and then we let the horses out into a back pasture, and she runs along with them as she is playing. One of the tunes I recognize is from “The Last of the Mohicans.”

I think she is my “spirit animal.” The person I have always thought I am in my head. The personification of the person, that if life, and fear, and society had not had such a great hold on me, maybe I would be. But then I know…

gypsy player

beautiful music

the woods trail

helping one of the little goats

sweet friends

the audience

Kitty leads the way

those colors!

her gypsy outfit

the prized bobcat

playing for the horses

free spirit

The Last of the Mohicans

playing in the field

portrait of a gypsy

running with the horses

billowing skirt

artistic interpretation

gypsy necessities



4 Comments leave one →
  1. Pat permalink
    July 13, 2017 4:43 pm

  2. Kelly Cox permalink
    July 14, 2017 3:37 pm

    Thrive gypsy queen!

    • July 27, 2017 11:45 am

      Isn’t she an amazing woman, Kelly! I love how she has carved out a life that works for her!

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