Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Road Less Traveled

I enjoy my annual trip to the rural town outside of Philadelphia.  I come here each year to drive my Great Aunt north a few days before she flies back home.  She likes that the long roads cut across sprawling farmland, small ranch house communities, and rest stops. The big cities have too much going on, too many people living on top of each other, too much murder and mayhem on the news.  Either way, moving to America for good, like so many of our other relatives, was never a consideration.

The return trip home from America often comes with the assumption of financial gain.  In reality excessive rents and mortgages, a reactive rather than preventive healthcare system that can't be accessed without health insurance, dependency on cars or big city living to get around, and bills for just about everything else quickly cut into any additional earnings.  She's used to people owning or building their own homes, having the option of free hospital treatment or paying private doctors out of pocket, and having cabs pop up wherever walking is not convenient.  And apparently, neighbors look out for each other to such a degree that it's safe to leave doors ajar. 

Second place doesn't sound so bad after all.