There once was a lady who came to Montreal from a rural town in Pennsylvania. She was afraid to move into a neighbourhood with graffiti even good grafitti (not ‘tagging’) because she was determined to seclude herself from any form of violence or crime. She was newly married and suffered a great deal of anxiety about her small childlike looking appearance. When she crossed the border and they did a physical search of her, she realized bringing guns across the border might have been a wrong decision a few years back. In the end, for better protection, she opted for living on the third floor of an apartment building but it caught on fire and she and her husband ended up outside in their pyjamas with only blankets around them to shelter against the freezing winter temperatures. After trying to get into the housing market, she and her husband decided to keep renting. “But why doesn’t everyone come and visit with me or invite me over to do things together?” she asked her city-born husband. I don’t know what he answered, but I have my own thoughts. People in the city are different. They’re busy or they sit more and have lost their need to be moving around. It is hard to park. The distances keep them closer to where they have to be, not where you want them to be. With so many people to interact with, some prefer quiet and less conversation. Electrical wave lengths make them feel like they have been talking to thousands of people. “It takes a city to make a genius,”someone said even though in Africa “it takes a village to raise a child”. I could have learned a lot from her. Instead I missed my opportunity. I preferred to be a genius but I think I could have been a better adult if I had been raised in a rural setting. Since coming to Montreal this lady has had 4 children but many miscarriages. She began her own cottage industry and does online sales. She never did learn French but she baked the best bread I have ever tasted. I had to buy an Amish cookbook just to get an idea for where her recipes originated. She knitted and crocheted. There were little baby hats and shawls donated to the neo-natal department of the Jewish General. One of her daughters is a celebrity for having survived the most difficult pregnancy the doctors had ever treated. Life needs protection and all the ingenuity we are endowed with is enhanced by the skills we learn in tough situations. I am proud to have met this lady and considered her my friend. She will leave soon to go where her husband has found work in New Jersey.