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.