I was running the traps yesterday and one of my regular stops is a blogger and accomplished writer that lives in Upstate New York. He made the comment that none of the farmers in the area grow a garden any more. That space has been taken up by swimming pools and multiple 4 wheelers in various states of run. These farmers buy their groceries now right alongside the cubicle dwellers and insurance adjusters that live in The City.
Forest Oil rig near Balmorrhea, West Texas. 2-28-12
I just finished two thought provoking books — Locusts on the Horizon ($2.99) and The Five Stages of Collapse ($9.99) -both available for your Kindle at the prices noted. All of this throwed me off onto a weird brain tangent. Last winter we were gate guarding on a watermelon farm outside of Balmorrhea, Texas. They got that old gyp water for irrigation out that way and I guess the watermelon growing is big business. They had a camp set up for the Mexican workers. A couple of knocked together duplexes and a couple of FEMA trailers that appeared to be bunk house from about one end to the other. They arrived there in the late winter and while the women and kids unloaded their belongings from the pick up trucks, the men set about getting the garden spot cleared off and ready to plant. The garden was a rather elaborate irrigated setup and it looked like it had been in use for several years…. a perk of the job if you will. The men had the garden planted within 48 hours of their arrival.
Back in 2007, when I was working for My Bro, we did a project for some rich folks on a ranch up around Buffalo, Tx. The owners showed up out of Dallas most weekends in their Citation jet, They would spend a few days there doing country stuff…. shooting skeet, riding 4 wheelers like maniacs, skiiing on the lake etc etc.
Aerial view of the lake project
There was a garden there as well. The owners allowed the ranch hands a plot to grow a garden….. and it was a good ‘un. We shared the bounty with them. Funny thing is the owners didn’t care diddly about the garden. Matter of fact, a local woman came in the day before their arrival and stocked the pantry and cooked for them while they were there. I reckon they could have cooked for their selves because they most likely knew how. But then again, ya never know.
I am just trying to figure out what it all means. Sitting here in the steel tube that is the Princess Palace out in the boondocks of South Texas, it is difficult to gain a clear perspective. You see, down here everybody is blowin’ and goin’. Unemployment is 2 or 3% and them that ain’t working just flat out don’t wanna work. The McD’s in Cotulla is paying $12 per hour and they can’t get help. We don’t see the homeless and the disenfranchised. We got steady work and a tad of money in the bank so why do we feel so uncomfortable? And edgy?
Miss Kathy came back from Lowe’s Market in Cotulla the first part of the week with 6 bags of groceries that cost her $90. She filled up PACO with gas and it was over $50. Inflation is eating await at us bit by bit. We watch the happy talkers on the Evening News and even though Ms. Sawyer and Mr. Williams try to paint it up nice it is still lipstick on a pig. The Middle Class in America is losing the fight folks. Our Government is becoming ever more intrusive and dictatorial. They have most definitely crossed the line where they feel like they have any responsibility toward the American People. They don’t even try very much any more to hide the abuses of power, the sanctioned intrusions into our private lives and the disregard for our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Over 50% of our population is on some form of Government Assistance and we paid 41 million last year so the Feds could PROMOTE the Food Stamp Program. WTF? You think those folks that are living on a government check are going to vote to throw those professional politicians out of office? Not on your life! Those folks are bought and paid for and that is exactly what the Government wants. No revolutionaries in that crowd that want to upset the status quo; that I will guarantee.
The sad part is the rest of us –that aren’t bought and paid for- sit back and watch a little bit of freedom disappear here and a chunk of privacy go away there and we sorta half-way believe the happy talkers when they say the Recession is easing. We sit back and we say to ourselves and those around us “Well, maybe it ain’t THAT bad.” Sorta like when you here a bad bump in the night and you punch your partner and say “You didn’t hear that did you?” hoping they will say no when you know damned well you heard it.
You know, I have never preached anarchy or advocated out right revolution and I never will. At the same time, that knot in the pit of my stomach that says things aren’t quite right just gets bigger and bigger. You owe it to yourself to throw out a few bucks and read those two books I mentioned earlier. You may not agree with everything the authors espouse but it just may open some eyes to what the future holds for us. Locusts on the Horizon ($2.99) was particularly interesting to me because the authors chose to deviate from the accepted prepper mentality that is sweeping the nation right now. Most of us have a few bucks in a savings account (maybe) and a few hundred bucks left over at the end of the month at best. The Prepper Folks say we need Bug Out locations and underground bunkers and food stock for years and imposing arsenals if we are to even have a hope of surviving the coming Pocky Lips. Well, good neighbors, where are those multi-thousand dollars s’posed to come from? If you go to the Banksters and borrow the money for your off the grid ranchito and 4×4 Chevy, the foreclosure folks and repo man are just gonna come after you when the crap hits the fan.
The authors of the book talk at length about this and they chose to look at real life concerns instead. What if you don’t have a shit ton of money? What if you are living mostly paycheck to paycheck and your job security ain’t all that spiffy? What if you are upside down on your house? Or waiting for the Sheriff to show up any day with the eveiction notice? The growing sub-class of the former middle-class suburbanities are the nomads. Nomadic lifestyles have been around for centuries and they still thrive. Genghis Khan and his Mongols were nomads and they are still around today. The Gypsies of Europe are nomads. The American Indians were, for the most part, nomads. Miss Kathy, Tuco the Dog and me are nomads.
Setting up the Nomadic Home
News of late has reported the recreational vehicle industry is making a comeback. Folks up in Indiana where they build most of the RVs are being called back to work. The RV shows are chock full of prospective buyers — and good luck finding a decent used recreational vehicle. You think it is the AARPies flocking to the RV dealers to buy shiny new Class A diesels that are gonna set them back $200k? I don’t think so. I think it is the folks that have lost their houses and took what little cash they had left and bought a travel trailer so they wouldn’t have to live in a refrigerator box under the overpass. I think it is the folks who finally see the handwriting on the wall and decided maybe they ought to buy an RV just in case things go south. I think it is the folks who are tired of working in the cubicles and wearing shiny shoes and they cut the government umbilical and struck out on their own.
That is what I think. In our case, there was no Grand Plan. I didn’t have a step by step Master Plan to get from where I was then to where we are now. One day I was making $130k a year and the next month I wasn’t. My debt load crushed me. One day, Miss K was sitting at a red light in Idaho and some woman rear ended her at 45mph. She was never able to go back to her office job after that. Everything happens for a reason in our karmic world. It is not that you can sit back and wait for your future path to be revealed to you; nah, it doesn’t work like that at all. You need to be out hittin’ it every day and working smart and you can’t take the Government at face value-ever. Some how or the other, Miss K and I have become Nomadic Opportunists. If we weren’t gate guarding, we would move somewhere else and do something else. If we didn’t work for a month or two, we could get by. Our debt load is tiny, the pantries are stocked, we can make potable water, we have fuel and freeze dried food hidden away in various storage facilities along with bowling supplies and tools and books and spare parts. Honest to God, I hope it never comes to the point we have to rely on our stored supplies. It would be just peachy if we spent the next several years here and there in the Oil Patch collecting our paychecks and watching the rigs come and go.
But, then again, you never know do you?
BTW, I like for all of y’all to rate each post with the Gold Star thingy at the bottom. I am not saying you have to LIKE each one. Just give it a rating; good-mediocre-bad-whatever. The good ones make it to the sidebar on the right and I have noticed lately more and more folks are clicking those ‘Fave’ links for a good read.
End Note: Common One by Calvin Russell from the Sam cd…….. Cold and Dark and Wet by Greg Brown form the Evening Call cd. A bleak and black twofer.
Possibly Related Posts: