By Anthony Kimbrough
The school bus turned on its caution lights, began to slow down and then came to a complete stop on a rural section of Highway 246. The door creaked open, and out bounded a young boy, probably about 8 years old, who crossed in front of the bus to begin his daily home-from-school trek up a long, graveled driveway.
But he would not make the journey alone. Waiting near the end of the driveway but safely out of harm’s way from the road was a small dog, who immediately greeted the lad with wagging tail, barks and pant-leg snips. The dog had heard the school bus in the distance and was there waiting when its owner returned home from yet another day of spelling tests, cafeteria food and playground scuffles.
While stopped in my car behind the bus, I watched this scene play out, and then drove away slowly to watch for as long as I could as ‘a boy and his dog’ made their afternoon reacquaintance while heading to their house. Admittedly, it was a bit nostalgic for me, recalling similar afternoons when ‘a boy and his dog’ had been me and Prince, the part-bulldog, part-terrier that greeted me every afternoon as an elementary schoolboy. And Prince time would usually end with snack time, which was most often something prepared fresh by Mother especially for me.
It doesn’t seem that such scenes are as commonplace today, because rural has become suburbia, live panting dogs have been replaced by video games, and fresh-baked cookies are ‘soft’ ones that come in a bag. Who knows, had I hung around that afternoon to watch the scene completely play out, my nostalgia might have been shattered – the lad may have kicked the pooch halfway up the driveway and might have been home alone until nighttime. But if you don’t mind, let me enjoy my “Leave it To Beaver” recollection for a moment…Okay, thanks.
Times and things have indeed changed. We at TRH Health Plans have changed. In the more than six decades since we began offering health-care coverage to members of the Tennessee Farm Bureau, we have evolved to be much more than just an opportunity for rural families. Thousands of Tennesseans now rely on us – and not (heads up, political comment coming) the government! – for their health-care plans. They are laborers, farmers, professionals, self-employed and the retired. They are families, single adults, children and college students.
We work hard to offer them choices for their health-care coverage to fit who they are and their budgets. Our members pay their premiums out of their own pockets. So yes, we’re a bit nostalgic, too, because we still believe folks appreciate value and hard work, and we work hard to deliver plans that offer ‘Big Coverage, Small Rates.’ More than 185,000 Tennesseans are part of our family now.
Even amid so much jabber about health-care reform, our family has grown. And we’d encourage you – whether for a family plan, a Medicare Supplement plan or individual coverage – to talk to us. You can find us the old fashioned way at any local Farm Bureau office in Tennessee, visit us electronically at www.trh.com, or call us at (877) 874-8323.
In the meantime, here’s hoping warm cookies and a puppy dog greet you upon your return home tomorrow.