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Working the List

Santa Elena Canyon Big Bend, TX

The departure date of 8/2 for the West Texas Ramble draws ever closer and I cannot wait to get back to Terlingua.    A 3 week trip with plans for land improvements while we are out there requires a pile of stuff.  The   TO DO   List is not growing  but it is not getting much smaller either.   Most of it involves money……  (sigh)

One of the biggest drawbacks of  the oil field gate guard job is the restrictive nature of the job itself.  We are in a fairly remote location and trips into town require quite a bit of time and logistic planning.  Perfect example…. I bought 2 more Desert Tan Babies. One will be turned into a water buffalo for Terlingua since the anticipation is we will be hauling water for some time to come down there.   The other one went to my Dad and BIL in Houston.   I made the decision to take the DTB to Huntsville,TX and meet him there for delivery. It was a 550 mile round trip this past Saturday.  Saturday was chosen because the weekends tend to be slower paced at the oil lease.  I worked 7 hours of  my regular shift and them jumped in the Suburban.  12 hours later I was back at the job and got a 3 hr nap before I had to work the next shift.   I worked about 20 hrs straight as did Miss K to get this trailer delivered.  We both missed some sleep on both ends.  There is just no easy way to get anything done outside of gate guarding when you are responsible 24/7.    I still have several maintenance items to accomplish on the Old Girl.   About the only time I can do that is when I go off shift in the afternoons.  Trying to get anything done while you are watching the gate is a series of interruptions and an exercise in frustration.   The few hours I have in the late afternoon is also during the 100+ heat of the day so there is no easy solution. Maybe I just need to suck it up and bear down but it sure is rough on an old guy.

Thinking more positively, renting a local post office box has been a real advantage.  We have been able to pick up many items online and a trip to the post office usually results in an arm load of packages.   A six month box rental was very cheap versus the benefits.   Our permanent address of record is still Livingston, TX where we use a mail forwarding service to send that mail to our PO box on a weekly basis.

Miss K – bless her heart – has been tolerating me as I drift in and out of mission mode,   even Tuco the Dog avoids me at times when the OCDness takes over.   I would love for every item on the TO DO list to have a neat line through it and everything packed and cataloged away in the belly of the Old Girl.  Maybe then I could sleep through the night without waking up and wondering for the 77th time if I have every thing covered.  Last night I snapped fully awake wondering what the hummingbirds were going to do for the 3 weeks we will be gone.  Christ,  I need to get a grip.   Miss K – as always – is the voice of reason.  Treat it more like a vacation she says.  We are due some down time after all this hard work she tells me.   The last few days I have really been trying to follow her advice.  I have to or I am sure my head is going to explode.

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3 comments to Working the List

  • don

    That’s a heck of a picture of the canyon you have there! I remember hiking back into it a ways back in 2001 or so. It was January and COLD in the evening!

    Good luck with hanging in there until your vacation. You sure sound like you & Miss Kathy need it!

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  • Joel

    Happy trails, Andy. Drive safe. Look forward to the posts and the pix.

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  • Safe travels, you two! Have a wonderful time!

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