September 30, 2009
The Offer and the Chicken
Every person I know in this life lives in and around Bucks County, PA. If the location doesn't ring a bell, imagine the breads of Philly and Trenton. Bucks is the meat. And it's been my home my entire life. I know, I know... I need to get out more. I hadn't traveled much as a kid, other than whatever campground we could reach in a day. Now getting out into this sparkling country has become terribly important to me as evidenced by a vacation in Arizona, a trip to the everglades and most recently a drive from Florida to PA by way of an extended stay in Colonial Williamsburg, VA.
And then Kelly had to go and get me thinking...
My friend and former coworker moved back to California, where life in a seaside college town is apparently waaaay more fun than fighting with Jersey drivers. Her new digs feature a small downstairs apartment where little me has been invited (possibly even seriously) to live. Come on out, she says. Share living expenses and get away from the East Coast tension. So, in the spirit of my anal brethren, I made a pro/con list. Yes, even early middle aged people do this.
Problem one: Family. I live (and I'm not kidding) three streets away from my parents. I like this, keeping them close for parental hugs and such. And I'm an eight-time aunt of darlings aged 16 down to not-quite-born. This is an important role to me, being childless myself.
Problem two: Money. A cross country drive and all the gas/food/motel expenses is a wee bit out of the pocket change range. I'm a single gal, after all and far from independently wealthy.
Problem three: The furries. Can you imagine me tooling down the road in my rental van, towing a Neon-full of cats behind me? How do I sneak them into the motel each night? And did I mention my 13 year old dog (still recovering from a second cancer surgery) gets carsick?
Pro one: Weather. My multiple sclerosis is no fan of heat, which brings symptoms I'd be just as glad to live without. And the cold steals what little circulation I possess. San Luis Obispo is, by all accounts, the happy medium.
Pro two: Living. Yes, aside from travel, my thirties have been as unexciting as my twenties. I'm not a chance taker, I don't get up and go, I haven't the pioneering spirit. So I watch as opportunities pass me by. But I have no man (and no expected prospects), no offspring, no monumental debt. So why can't I get up and go. The wonder of technology will help me stay in touch with loved ones. Do they actually require my presence here? I don't believe I'm that important to anyone. MS has given me challenges but I'm not disabled, darn it. I want to live and see and do!
Pro three: Housing. I have ready-made and available housing in a new state. How often does that happen? Four walls and a new beginning. Who wouldn't love that?
But... sigh. Though I've considered all the angles (while I was supposed to be working, I might add), I know that I'll never go. I will live in Pennsylvania for the rest of my days, regretting yet another missed opportunity whilst surrounded by loved ones.
Honestly, that's not such a bad deal.