Nomadland and gardening

The two are mutually exclusive, of course, but we have experienced both and know them to be similar. First, with the Nomadland……

When Sal and I were first together, we traveled as often as we could and I believe our first real trip was the one we took to Belize and Guatemala in our old, flat green VW bus. That first big trip (we had enjoyed a number of shorter romantic extra-long weekend trips all around but nothing further than Cannon Beach, Tofino, Kelowna and Banff) was quite an adventure and it lasted about two and half months. Fabulous time.

But, it was a fabulous time in an era that allowed young people to safely camp on beaches and in fields in their vans – even in the USofA. It was a time when the worst danger was a $20.00 bribe paid to a trumped up Mexican Federale or being cheated by a dishonest gas station out of a few bucks. There was a smidge of danger associated with those petty crimes but not much. And, back then, it was infrequent – not the normal way of doing things it has become today. RV’ing, even on the very cheap, was a very viable way to take an extended trip/vacation/adventure and we did.

We went to Mexico so often that Sal figured out that we had accumulated over two years there – all of it RV’ing. We traveled all across Canada a few times, too and, on one occasion, returned by driving home through the US from Boston to Seattle. We have flown to Florida but have not seen the deep Southeast……it is kinda still on our bucket list but sadly, definitely NOT at the top of the list. We have definitely RV’d.

And here is where the reference to Nomadland comes in: that show was authentic. It was mostly a documentary, really. And, to be fair, it was pretty slow paced but, if I recall correctly, RV’ing really is rather slow-paced, especially when you factor in hours of driving. There is no question Sal and I were more adventuresome and exploratory than was the main character, Francis McD/Fern but, as our RV’ing days extended into our sixties, we, too, slowed down and sat around campfires more often. By our sixties, adventure was packing a group of old people into one vehicle and traveling to another village to visit their restaurant. RV’ing for seniors is definitely more slow-paced.

Which kinda segues nicely into gardening as an adventure (there isn’t one!). Gardening is the very definition of slow-paced for me. Gardening is like watching grass (or vegetables) grow, paint drying or waiting for a broken traffic light to change… feels like it is never going to happen.

I am ill-suited to that kind of pace still. I can sit forever in the dark like a just-planted seed but, once I get moving, I have to ‘get er done’ and focus hard til it gets done’. I still suffer the impatience of youth (without the energy to back it up).

Anyway, we compost (of course) and now is the time to reap our garbage rewards. My job (over the next three days) is to dig out the compost, rub it over a screen to filter out the twigs and uncompostibles and then deliver to Sally all the lovely soft, dark soil for her to plant stuff in. Rubbing dirt on a screen is slow-paced, too. Mind-numbingly so. Sally planting is also slow paced but, for her, full of exciting distractions (“Hey! Look! A squirrel!”). When RV star, Fern/Francis, was musing and being slow, she was drinking coffee and smoking and looking pensively at the sky while saying earthy, pithy things to another RV’er. When Sal and I are being slow, we are digging earthy, pithy things for each other and not saying much at all.

See? Same thing, only different.

8 thoughts on “Nomadland and gardening

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