We left Patagonia for a trip home arriving April 3rd...a beautiful wedding for our daughter, catching up with all of our children and some medical tests. It is June now, two operations later for my brave and strong hubby, and a couple more coming up.
We have had a wonderful time with our children, but being back is disorienting and I am having a difficult time being here as is Greg though it is a good thing we came and necessary to stay until he is all fixed up. The hardest thing is the frenzy and pace. People have NO TIME to live a normal life. I suppose they think this is normal...racing to work, racing to the store, flash meals, buying food and items to save time so they work harder to pay for those things. The TV's blaring "BE AFRAID", the political vitriol, people afraid of crime, children who can't safely play in their neighborhoods. It's craziness. The cost of prescription medicines and medical care...the US should be ashamed!
I see so many people just hanging by a thread, trying to keep a roof over their head and food on the table. At the same time I see things thrown in the trash that is so wasteful I could scream. I long for my simple life. Though it was difficult at times, it felt good and clean and right. I see people who could grow food in their back yards, make good bread, make better food cheaper than they can buy, but many simply don't have the time. It's sad really.
Every fad that comes along, for even small children, sweeps the country and everyone HAS to have whatever the new product is. People talking on cell phones while they are driving, shopping, walking. My god, how did we ever live when our phones were wired to a wall in our homes? Two hundred channels on the TV. Supreme Court decisions that defy all legal logic and wisdom. You can carry a gun on the metro in Atlanta and in Arizona you'd better carry papers showing you are a United States Citizen. The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and that whole debacle makes me ill. Angry aggressive drivers!
I don't belong here anymore. I feel like a foreigner now. I don't fit in and can't see myself being happy here for the long haul. Many folks assume that we left here because we didn't like the US. That was simply not so. We left for adventure and travel. What I have learned is that the US is run, OWNED by corporations and herded by media marketing. It feels like as long as the general population can be kept working and buying at a breakneck speed and a level of fear and misinformation is fed to them, nothing is going to change.
Remember the days when you spent the summers running wild as a kid? Coming home after playing all day only when your mother called you in for supper? Building a fort in the tree in your yard? Lugging a sack lunch to school and being able to work out your differences with a neighbor kid by tussling with them. Knowing how to get somewhere using a map. Walking to school by yourself. I know I sound like an old lady with my "those were the good old days" whine, but this visit has made me painfully aware of just how mired people are now, tied to a consumer hamster wheel, running faster and faster. One day they will fly off and crash.
Friends and family have suggested that I can find my preferred lifestyle here in the US, that I don't have to traipse off to some "god-awful, third-world country". The truth is, yes. If I were financially well-off, I could spend thousands of dollars to find a place in the country somewhere, build a little place where I could do all the things I love to do. But I can't afford to. And I can't afford our medicines or health care, or utility bills. There's alot I couldn't afford to do including spending time taking care of my husband when he's ill.
It's a shame really.