Thursday, December 12, 2013


Evan was two days away from graduating from the Police Academy. I was sitting on our couch in the living room of our house in Marshfield. Both boys were asleep in their beds. My phone rang and I could tell by Evan's voice that something was up. He proceeded to tell me that he'd just gotten the call that he had been hired by the Maine Warden Service. He probably won't like me for saying it but we both started bawling. Relief, excitement, pride, joy, disappointment (that I couldn't share the moment with him in person), and fear raged through my body. A paralyzing fear. I knew that this moment was going to change our lives. I am not a fan of the unknown. I'm not a fan of change. I'm not a super spontaneous person. I like a plan. I like to know what's going on. I like to have a say. I like to be grounded and planted in one spot. I like to be in control. With that phone call, all control slipped through my fingers.

My facebook status on 12/12/12. :)

The state is divided up into 87 Warden districts and out of those 87, our house was not located near any available district. It was something we knew would be an issue the first time Evan applied. In the end, the Clayton Lake district made the most sense for our family. Besides being Evan's dream place to live, it is one of the last districts left in the state with housing. We had discussed what it would be like for him to live away and for us to spend every other week with him until a district opened up. After 30 weeks of police training, I made my decision that we would absolutely be going with him wherever he went. I am a home body and am VERY close to my large family, but in the end the decision was an easy one to make. I had spend those 30 weeks going through motions...doing things by myself with the boys that we had done as a family. I hated the feeling that had become all too familiar of being completely alone in a room full of people. In today's world it's not a very popular thing to depend and rely on a man and to love him fully, but I am proud to say that I do. I didn't want to spend another minute away from him if it wasn't necessary.

Three years before this phone call, Evan made a decision that he wanted to become a Maine State Game Warden. His passion was in the woods. It made sense that he should choose a career that revolved around the Maine woods. At the time I didn't think he was all that serious. Maybe it was a phase he was going through, just toying around with an idea. Knowing him, I should have known better.

Sometimes it drives me completely insane, but Evan is a perfectionist. Everything he has ever done, he has done it to the best of his ability. Every job working up to this position, he has taken so seriously, using every opportunity as a learning experience. After he went through the extensive hiring process for the first time, the Warden Service told him that he needed some kind of law enforcement experience before they would hire him. Two years later, he was working for the Calais Police Department when he was sent to the Maine Criminal Justice Academy. It was there that he was named top shooter, top academic, and the Valedictorian of his class of sixty. Being his biggest supporter, of course I kept having thoughts, "Oh wow, they better hire him this time!!!" When I met Colonel Wilkinson for the first time, I shook his hand and said, "I want to congratulate you on hiring my husband." Aaahaha. It was a great moment. :)

Looking back now, I might be a tiny bit thankful for the long period of time it took for him to get that phone call. The wait certainly made the moment SO much sweeter. Timing is everything. If I had not had two wild boys to focus on and keep me busy while he was away it might have been easier for me to lose focus. I had no other choice but to keep it together for them. If it had not been for two police academies back to back, I might have been able to say that we would be fine to stay in Marshfield and visit him every other week in whatever district he was assigned to.

There have been plenty of times this year that I have felt like a rag doll. It has easily been the most challenging time of my life so far. It has been a year of substantial growth for me. I have learned that plans are overrated, things change, and control is only an illusion. There is a plan for my life and I know who is in charge of it. There are 25 townships in Clayton lake and we moved here on my 25th birthday...Evan said it was his birthday present to me. :) My God has a sense of humor.

My facebook status on my 25th birthday. My grandfather who has since passed away from cancer, was one of Evan's biggest supporters in this venture. He would check in and see what the news was with the hiring process and was always there for encouragement. He bought Evan the first couple of Paul Doiron books, just another way to scratch the itch. His nickname for me was Dizzy Lizzy and he was just tickled at the thought of me becoming a warden wife up in the woods. Almost every time he saw me he would say, "Dizzy Lizzy, you're gonna make a great Warden wife up there in Clayton Lake!!!" It still gives me shivers to this day. I thought he was completely crazy and at the time the thought of being a Warden wife seemed completely absurd. I had married a painter, not a law enforcement officer.

Our little family on the day of Evan's graduation from the Advanced Warden Academy.

It was sooooooooo hot that day.

A very happy day with our biggest supporters. My Mom and Dad. <3

Wicked shaaaap looking group!


  1. A great story of your journey. God has been so good. You are dancing through it with Evan and we are all so proud.

  2. Rianne,

    There was a question on the Retired State of Maine Game Warden site about the Clayton Lake warden camp. The original camp was built in 1961, is the present camp in the same place? When was the current camp built?

    I enjoy your blog, please keep it up!

  3. My boyfriend's dad is a retired Warden - he apparently almost went to Clayton Lake, but was threatened with divorce by his wife if he went there. He ended up being the warden in the Fort Kent area then Kingfield. I love and appreciate all that Game Wardens do!

  4. Nice way to make me tear up tonight! So happy for you and Evan and your journey together. And to the Warden Service, you have a gem in Evan! Evan you have a gem in Rianne! Miss you all terribly and look forward to the day we don't have to drive quite so far away to see our babies!! Enjoy the ride! <3

  5. Your blog is very interesting. Continue:)

    I grew up in Saint-Cyprien in dorchester(Québec). My house was near to the St-John River and the Maine and i was always wondering if people lived in the woods of Maine. I think Clayton Lake is maybe 50km from there hehe

    I would like to go there some day:)