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An oasis of light

Best time of day if you ask me.  The sky is just tinging  to the east and at 68 degrees, I am knowing that temperature will be bested by half again as much by days end.  I can hear a truck rattling up the hard pan caliche road, probably more than a mile away yet.  I know he is coming here;   not much else doing out this far.   The big Cat stationary motors are growling up on the ridge.  If I listen just right I can pick up on the one running the big pumps on the frac job to the west versus the ones running the Saxon rig a bit more east.  I can sit outside by the Old Girl and post this entry because the amped signal extends about 15′.  Miss K had a guy stopped here the other day trying to make an important call and he had no signal.  She pulled him off the driveway and had him stand near the RV and he made the call.   She is smart like that.

A pickup truck with headlights and foglights blazing to pick up an errant deer or wild hog in the road pauses at the gate to read the signs  — 27 oilfield signs to look over.   New guy, coming in for the H&P rig move today, they started the rigging down yesterday.  It is one of the bigger Flex rigs and I doubt they will get it all moved in one day.

The bugs are circling the worklights that turns this into a bright oasis at night.   When you look out across the country, all quadrants are dark  for three quarters of the compass.  The ridge behind me glows with oilfield activity.  I can see the top flashing lights of 3 derricks but nothing more.  The oilfield rockhounds call that ridge the Muenster Arch and whatever the Muenster Arch is means there is oil and gas here. Beyond my knowing of course but everybody has that special something they do well.

More pickups and cars in and out as the night turns to day.  The regulars roll down the window as they exit and throw a wave or a brief good bye.  Can’t see through the dark tinted windows on these Texas vehicles.  The crew coming in for the rig move are uncertain as to check in procedures and are unerringly polite.  Yes Sir /No Sir / Thank You Sir from these tough looking brazeros with the cut off shirts and tattooed  arms.

I hate to see the H&P rig move out.  They have been here for 5 weeks   –punching 4 holes through the Muenster Arch.  Besides a reduced payday for us, the crew have become familiar faces and their schedule has become ours as well.  Tuco the Dog knows something is afoot today.  Normally, a vehicle stopping for check in warrants little more than a cursory glance.  The crew coming in for the rig move have foreign tires that she thinks need a good sniffing.  Dogs are like that.  I have to tell her to get that black ass out of the road more than once.

At 6:21am I get up to turn off the lights. The sun’ll be up over the oaks lining the creek behind the Old Girl before long.  I close up the RV as well.  The night’s dew and reduced traffic has laid the dust down on the road for now.  By 9am that will be over.   The rest of the day it will be a seething cauldron of dust and blowing wind and diesel stink.

I reflect at times on what I we would be doing if the two of us were not here.  Commuting on a super highway to some job that mattered little and hating every minute of it?   Living work day by work day in a 16 square foot cubicle?    Fakely fawning over the boss’ new luxury car; knowing I will never be able to afford one like it and resenting it wholly?   There are no bosses out here off the county road.  No one to count how many cups of coffee I drink or how many phone calls I make in an hour or how many computer key strokes I make in a day.

Young James comes through the gate in his red F150.  He is an EOG intern and has been working with the Pumpco frac crew.  They are finishing up today as well.  He has the look of a college boy and I ask him if he will be moving with the frac crew to their new location.   ‘No’,  he says with some measure of relief, ‘ I report to the office next week.’    James will be a boss some day, I can already see it.


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