Weather Is About To Change

Wednesday was the Cowboy’s birthday–another trip around the sun for my guy. I wrote on Facebook Wednesday morning that we turned 39 and 49 years of age shortly after we met and now look at us–where have the years gone?

We celebrated the birthday by having lunch in Billings at his favorite restaurant, CJ’s. I had a haircut appointment and we did a little shopping. I happened to mention to my hairdresser that I was waiting for our county to get Pfizer booster shots and hoped the public health folks would have a booster shot available before we left to go south. Becky told me that a nearby pharmacy had the boosters–we stopped, filled out paperwork and now I am “boostered!” As of Thursday morning–no ill effects, none.

Our granddaughter Katie brought me some of her mother’s quilt tops and other projects way too long ago for us to talk about. With time on my hands I sorted, loaded a top onto the longarm and started quilting. I haven’t forgotten how!

Have any of you read Nomadland by Jessica Bruder or seen the movie? I purchased a used copy of the book for the Cowboy. When he finished I asked him, “did you enjoy the book.” His reply, “it’s not an enjoyable book.” Well, I read the book and he’s absolutely right–it’s a hard to read book in the sense it makes you think and it’s hard to read about how difficult life is for many, many people in this country. You have an apartment, a junky car and a job at Home Depot. You can barely afford your utilities and groceries much less insurance. Forget the safety net emergency fund Susie Orman preaches about–you are just barely surviving.Then your job is eliminated after Christmas. And just that quick you are homeless.

But some of these people pick themselves up, buy any kind of camper they can afford, hit the road, and supplement their $500 social security checks with work camping in jobs such as hosting a USFS campground, Amazon during the holiday season, sugar beet harvest in the west, selling Christmas trees, running a pumpkin patch, oil field gate guarding–anything to survive. They aren’t lazy and most of them are my age and older. There is no way I could work a season at Amazon! Those folks walk ten to twenty miles a day on concrete for $11.25 an hour–they aren’t lazy–they are doing what it takes to survive.

There is a whole culture that exists of people living in a RV, their car, a van, an old school bus, etc. And I’m not talking about those of us who lived or are living in a RV–working a good job from that RV or living on a good retirement income. I’m talking about nomads who wander the country in older vehicles, living on minimal social security and working temporary/seasonal jobs just in order to survive, to buy groceries, gas for their vehicle, propane to keep warm, etc. 

The book made me both sad and grateful. The Cowboy and I are so fortunate and for that we are truly grateful. 

It’s a beautiful fall day on this Sunday but that’s about to change! Snow and temperatures in the twenties are in our forecast for the next two or three days. But it’s OK–we have nowhere to go, we have a warm house, food to eat, wine to drink–and we need the moisture. 

The above photo was taken earlier in the week when it rained a bit. 

This last photo was taken from almost the highest point on our land looking to the west. Not a neighbor in sight! The houses you see in the middle right are abandoned–that ranch is now owned by the platinum mine. 

20 thoughts on “Weather Is About To Change

  1. We are thankful and never take a minute for granted. Your post reminds us not to judge people by what we see, or what we think we see. we never really know what another person is going through, how hard they’re trying to stay afloat. A good reminder to everyone. On a lighter note…..your golden land is just beautiful.

    congratulations on being boosted!

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  2. We, too, are boostered. Arrived home Wed and made appts for Thursday. No reaction at all. We are flying east Nov 3 so we’ll be fully protected. John watched the movie and said it was very depressing. I think Sue hit the nail on the head with her comment. John and I comment often what a wonderful life we have and never take it for granted. Stay warm this week.

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  3. Years ago one of my kids had to read “Nickel and Dimed” (Nickeled and Dimed?). I read it too. The writer gave herself a safety net of $1,000, and then set out to get a job and live off what she earned as a motel maid, and other such jobs, for one year. She saved the $1,000 for medical problems, and did have to use some. It was a scary read.

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  4. Happy birthday to the Cowboy. Nomadland tells it like it is for lots of folks in our country. Incredibly sad and yet they try to make the best of it. Jim and I are so blessed. You’ll soon have snow on those mountains. We are in the 50s at night and a high of 65 tomorrow. But then beautiful days ahead so come on down.

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  5. I often think of how fortunate we are, and I also agree with Sue’s comment. We just never know the challenges that people are going through, and so many are living on the edge of desperate poverty. The problems are systemic, but we try to help in small ways—contributing to food and clothing banks, tipping heavily in restaurants, supporting organizations that help people in need. I appreciate that you talk about these kinds of things in your blog.

    And yes…where does the time go?? Here’s to another wonderful trip around the sun for Michael.

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    1. We just never know. There is a single mom in our area, she has raised an amazing child by herself but I think she is struggling right now just from things she has said on FB. She has a good job (but low wages), rents a good house but I just wonder……..We too try to help in small ways. So much of our country is as you said, living on the edge!

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  6. Belated Happy Birthday to Cowboy! May he have many more.
    I am glad you got boosted. I have gotten mine as well, however Farmguy was busy combining so he does not yet have his. Our county health dept offered the boosters along with the flu shot, so I got both. I did react them more than I expected, but just a couple days feeling under the weather with 2 sore shoulders.
    Good luck with the weather, we have still not had a frost yet, but they are talking about maybe this coming weekend… For South East North Dakota, this is late in the year.
    You take such pretty pictures. I enjoy seeing them.

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  7. Happy belated birthday to Michael. Can’t wait to see beautiful snow pictures! I do agree with Sue’s and Laurel’s comments…not to judge and to help others in need. Veterans and single moms grab at my heart strings. Your views are spectacular! Joe and I are cautiously waiting for the Moderna booster…😷😬!

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  8. You mentioned the ranch is now owned by the platinum mine. Is the mine purchasing all the land in the area that becomes available? Just wondering. Safe travels.

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    1. The mine purchased that ranch years ago–their plan was to pipe mine waste water through huge pipes buried in the road and use sprinklers to evaporate that water over the ranch lands. It never happened. Now the mine is enlarging their tailings pond–sure hope they know what they are doing!

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