Geography is no hindrance

Joyce Pemberton Columnist

There’s a reason people in the days-of-yore married their cousins. It wasn’t about love, it was about location.

Cousins were convenient. A stone’s throw away, easy access and all that. In days-gone-by choices were limited, and pickings’ were slim, all because people stayed put.

A hundred years ago there was none of this travel nonsense. You were born in the house you were raised in and most likely would die there too. You got married in the church you attended as a child. Your children were born in the same place, raised in the same church and attended the same school you did. You worked at the same job in the same town all your life until you retired after 30 years. You spent your sunset years sitting on your front porch waving to everyone who walked by. You knew everyone, and everyone knew you.

I love that scene, don’t you? But it’s a different world today, in case you haven’t noticed. It’s rare to find the type of culture I just described, except maybe in an old movie. As the roads between small towns and big cities have disappeared, so have our reasons to stay put in one place forever. Simply put, we’ve become nomads. Thanks to all the things that exposed us to the world, (college, military service, The Travel Channel), we are able to live and travel anywhere in the world, and so we do. And rarely does the dust settle.

But with our wandering lifestyles comes separation. When we move about the world, it’s inevitable that we leave someone behind, or worse – they leave us behind. Close friends, precious family…and maybe even the love of your life. No longer are they close enough for a drive-by drop-in. They are out of reach and beyond our touch.

Thankfully, we do have bridges to those we love. Roads we can drive, skies we can fly, and technology for instant contact. We are a blessed generation. No longer do we sit for weeks waiting on a letter from home. Today, we pick up a phone and hear those voices or open a computer and see those faces. It’s an amazing time we live in.

A few years ago my son’s job took him and his family more than 5,000 miles away. It was the right choice for them, but I was devastated that they would be so far away. But thanks to technology, the distance has not been as unbearable as I thought it would be. With the push of a button on my smart phone, I can actually see those faces and hear those voices just as if I’m right there with them.

And in the arena of love? Well no longer do we let geography keep us from long-term relationships. Nothing against my cousins, but I’m really glad we can look further than our own back yard to find romance. I have a friend who found the love of her life over the Internet. He lives thousands of miles away but somehow in a world of over 7 billion people, they managed to find each other, and they are making it work.