published in the 2012 Jewel of the Maine Coast — a magazine of the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce


Camden Hills Realty   “the place just right.”
Tis the gift to be simple, ‘tis the gift to be free,’ tis the gift to come down where we ought to be; And when we find ourselves in the place just right, ‘twill be in the valley of love and delight.”
from the Shaker hymn, Simple Gifts, by Elder Joseph Bracket,1848

It started like this…
One summer, my husband, Bob, and I packed our car and departed Columbia, Maryland for Maine to continue our search for a summer home. We’d already explored the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Cape Cod, but found them either too hot or too crowded. We also visited the Adirondacks. Beautiful, but too remote for us. We’d even spent a few days in Portsmouth, NH but we couldn’t see ourselves living there. Maine was next on our list.
We crossed the border into Maine and spotted a large billboard—Maine, the Way Life Should Be. A rather bold claim…it would take us a few years to figure it out, but we did with the help of our soon-to-be new friends.
Bob and I drove through Camden, a town we’d seen on an earlier trip, and remembered its beauty and bustle. We found accommodations north of town where we were welcomed by then innkeepers, John and Linda Burgess.
We told them we were researching areas where we might buy a vacation home. John suggested we drive to Camden Hills State Park and the summit of Mt. Battie. It’s the best view on the coast and puts the whole coastal area into perspective. The Burgesses are personable, hospitable, funny and, as it turned out, John is a Realtor.
We wandered around Rockport and Camden—
a picture postcard come alive. Churches, parks, shopping, restaurants, sparkling harbor, mountains, lakes, ponds, people strolling about and pet friendly. We had our pre-dawn coffee on a bench in front of the library facing Camden Harbor. Loons, sea birds and the low drone of lobster boats leaving the harbor were the only sounds.
The next summer when we returned to Maine, we stopped to see the Burgesses at Camden Hills Realty and rented one of their cottage/vacation homes. It was cozy, well appointed, convenient, perfect.
Maine was now becoming a part of our lives.
We found ourselves looking at property. John and Linda helped us through the process by asking questions, most of which we couldn’t answer at that point. Our homework that winter back in Maryland was to determine if we were really serious, and, if we were, what kind of property we wanted.
By summer, we were more than eager to return to Maine. We were certain about our desire to relocate and live here year-round!
We also had our criteria: to be able to walk to town, be near the ocean, close to mountains, lakes and ponds. A neighborhood with people of all ages and backgrounds. And it had to be a smaller home since we were downsizing. John managed the pace of looking at listings and insisted we take time to play tourist. We rode the ferry to Islesboro, visited Owls Head Light, Marshall Point Light, Tenants Harbor, Thomaston and Rockland.
In the evenings we retreated to our Camden Hills cottage with wood-burning fireplace and all the comforts of home. Over dinner with John and Linda we shared our concerns about leaving family and everything familiar. They listened as the friends they had become. Asked questions but did not offer opinions. They were patient and respectful. Everyone wanted the decision to be the right one.
The next summer we looked at many homes but none fit. John suggested that we consider a few more properties in Camden. He gave us a number of listings and sent us on our own to browse. Little did we know John had one home he thought was special.
We turned off a paved road on to a long gravel driveway lined with trees and drove up to a little one-level house in a clearing. Beautiful! The midday sun flooded the front garden. Pines and hardwoods graced the edge of the property. We walked around to the back. Small yard. Simple gardens. A back deck. We had to peer in the windows because we couldn’t get in without our Realtor. The next day John made an appointment for us to see the home. It fit our needs perfectly!
The Maryland house sold quickly. Our offer on the Maine house was accepted. We packed our car… no maps. We knew exactly where we were headed.
We arrived in Maine and once again stayed in our Camden Hills cottage. The closing on our new home was scheduled for morning. Our
new life had begun!
Six years later…we now call Maine “home.”
There’s no doubt we made the right decision to relocate to Maine and settle in Camden. We’ve never looked back because we found “the place just right.”
John and Linda are masters at matching people to homes and lifestyles. Experience has taught them that “Maine—The Way Life Should Be” means different things to different people, and we all have to figure it out for ourselves.
- by Cathy Lickteig Makofski


For more information about Vacation Homes and Real Estate in Midcoast Maine, contact John and Linda Burgess at Camden Hills
Realty at 207-338-0009, or go to our website at
Better yet, come visit us at 1315 Atlantic
Highway, Northport.
One of the Camden Hills Realty vacation rental homes.