The Old Woman is back and wait til you read her stories!

The old woman hasn’t run out of stories.

9781939017307_p0_v1_s260x420The subtitle of Return of Old Maine Woman, written by Glenna Johnson Smith and published this year by Islandport Press, is Tales of Growing Up and Getting Older.

Glenna grew up in the 1920s and 30s in rural Hancock County, eventually moving to Aroostook County where she lived on a farm and taught school.

I guess you can tell from the title that Glenna is some old pleased to be an old woman.

“I like the sound of the words old woman,” she writes. “They’re strong words – earthy, honest. I’m grateful I’ve survived long enough to be able to label myself by them.”

I galloped through Glenna’s first book, Old Maine Woman, published in 2010 by Islandport Press, and featuring “stories from the coast to the county.” I loved her stories and was disappointed when they ran out.

So the really good news is that Glenna is alive and well and has not run out of stories. Glenna is back!

GlennaThe new book includes stories in sections about growing up, getting married, and getting older. She was apparently out of her element sometimes, a feisty feminist well before her time. Her story “Just a Girl,” should be read by every girl, and yes, every guy too.

Only in the presence of women did I hear complaints about men, she writes. He hates to cut his toenails, and that makes me mad. I’m always darning his socks. He says he doesn’t have time to take his boots off every time he comes into the house. I spend half my time on my hands and knees, scrubbing the kitchen floor.

                I hope that doesn’t describe you, guys!

Glenna’s mother, who she says “didn’t like my noisy bragging and showing off,” had a favorite quotation: “Be good, sweet maid, and let who will be clever.” I understood that being “good” meant being meek, quiet, and obedient.

Some of my other favorite stories are My Horrible Day, Retire, The Grocery Store Scooter Caper, The Old Witch, and At My Worst.

Trust me, Glenna, who was named Citizen of the Year in Presque Isle and who received an honorary doctorate from the University of Maine, is never at her worst in this book. I especially enjoyed her final three chapters with fictional stories.

I kind of hope she’s got a new book of fiction coming soon. Or at least, more Old Maine Woman stories. They never grow old.

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.