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Thread: Nomadland by J Bruder

  1. #21
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lainey View Post
    I finally finished the entire book. Also read the article in Harpers. I liked these 2 paragraphs from the author:

    "During my stops in Nevada and Kansas, along with three weeks tenting on federal land south of Quartzsite, a pattern emerged. Unprompted, many workampers told me how happy they were. How free. What an adventure it was. That everything happened for a reason.

    I nodded along. I liked these people, so I wanted to believe. Still, I grew increasingly worried about them: under the carefree veneer, it was hard not to read something darker. I began wondering: What happens to all these people when they're too old to scrub campsite toilets or walk ten hours a day in an Amazon warehouse or lift thirty-pound sacks of sugar beets in the cold? When they can't see well enough to drive cumbersome rigs on the highway? Some geriatric migrants I met already seemed one injury or broken axle away from true homelessness. Vans and trailers don't last forever. Neither do bodies.


    Just really makes me wonder why we can't do better in this country by people like this.
    Unprompted expressions of joy about life must really be tamped down with dour predictions. As one poster here would remind us, this is our Puritan nature guiding this point of view. Is joy about one’s unrepentant current situation even a godly thought?

    The mantle of always knowing what is best for everyone is quite a heavy one.

  2. #22
    Simpleton Alan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    The mantle of always knowing what is best for everyone is quite a heavy one.
    I was thinking that too. You know my wife and I have discussed the possibility of work camping for a year or two just for the adventure of it. It distresses me to think that people would assume we were on the verge of homelessness during our sojourn.
    "Things should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler." ~ Albert Einstein

  3. #23
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    Research it carefully. Itís a lot of work. Itís a lot of unexpected crisis management. Iíd say itís a lot like a waxed red delicious apple.......it looks plenty better than it tastes. A hot shower in a truck stop is $8.

    For a neat little tour tour of the community....I recommend this guy and his YouTube channel. Start with this episode:

    ďPooping in a Car, Van or RV......Ē


  4. #24
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    Lots of people are campground hosts because they get free camping. I have known people to do this for a summer and then return home. People are totally free to live how they want which is a good thing. I was just commenting on the comment that someone made saying we should do better. We have services for people that want them. If they don't that is fine too. I love my iphone as it was easy for me to buy the book and download it instead of waiting for it to arrive.

  5. #25
    Simpleton Alan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Williamsmith View Post
    Research it carefully. It’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of unexpected crisis management. I’d say it’s a lot like a waxed red delicious apple.......it looks plenty better than it tastes. A hot shower in a truck stop is $8.
    I've been researching it for the past 10 years as we spend 4 to 6 weeks each year on the road in our RV. Believe it or not, hot showers and clean toilets travel with us.
    "Things should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler." ~ Albert Einstein

  6. #26
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    No way am I cleaning toilets and putting up with people’s BS for a free spot and minimum wage.

  7. #27
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    My husband's retired uncle lived in a well kept 5th wheel trailer and moved between Iowa and Texas. In the summer, he was in Iowa and worked at an amusement type park for wages and free parking in a well maintained lot with other people doing the same thing. In Texas, he volunteered at a national park and had a nice lot to park his trailer. He knew everyone and when he got cancer, the manager and employees at the park could not do enough for him and my husband's mother, his sister.

    Some just like the independence, the social nature of working, the daily schedule, etc. After getting to know the "issues" of living in senior housing (not income supported), I have my doubts about every moving into such a situation. It is good for safety but my goodness, the social issues of some of the residents can be very maddening.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    Unprompted expressions of joy about life must really be tamped down with dour predictions. As one poster here would remind us, this is our Puritan nature guiding this point of view. Is joy about one’s unrepentant current situation even a godly thought?

    The mantle of always knowing what is best for everyone is quite a heavy one.
    Yes, it must be frustrating for them when the lower orders refuse to vote in their best interest.
    Last edited by LDAHL; 6-1-18 at 10:03am.

  9. #29
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    Unprompted expressions of joy about life must really be tamped down with dour predictions. As one poster here would remind us, this is our Puritan nature guiding this point of view. Is joy about one’s unrepentant current situation even a godly thought?

    The mantle of always knowing what is best for everyone is quite a heavy one.
    In this case, I agree with IL. Not sure why. . To her point, I am taking the people at their word when they say they enjoy their lives.

    I was telling my son about my mother, and the topic swung around to the one I've cited frequently here: the fact that she died with one bag and one box of possessions to her name. My son says, "I don't know if, when you say that, you are saying that's a terrible thing or a great thing." Good question, because most people think it's terrible that she died with barely nothing.

    But I knew her when she had all the burdens of middle class life with 3 alcoholic husbands in the mix, and when her illness divested her of all that, she became almost mystical in her joy and serenity. I never remember her complaining that she didn't have more stuff.

    But when it comes to the core thesis of the article, aside from the "headin' for the highway" joie de vivre attitude of some of these septuagenarians, there is the issue that they HAVE to work. They are not CHOOSING to work necessarily. That's the social issue being tackled here. We don't know each person's story. Are they to blame because they didn't live more frugally? Because they didn't pursue higher education or better job skills earlier on? Did they squander their potential savings and put themselves in this position? Or has society created a pothole for this population? Is it because we have moved away from multi-generational homes? Refused to raise minimum wage to a living one? Who knows? What is the definitive retirement life anyway? This article implies a template. Work, make money, stash it, retire at 65, and live off of the savings in a life of leisure. That template is somewhat new-fangled, and it may be time we rethink it--what's good and what's not so good about it.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  10. #30
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    I bought the book yesterday and look forward to reading it. We met a couple in Denver who loved the RV lifestyle but didn’t work. They spent winter somewhere warm. I have friends in senior housing that love it due to all the activities, etc. Most of them have lost their spouses. They said that the sad thing is all the people dying. I don’t see myself living there. If you are in a harsh climate in a RV it sucks. I feel bad for people that can never retire because eventually physically they won’t be able to work.

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