"if you are not living on the edge, you are taking up too much room"

Thursday, March 14, 2013

is that a "flicker"?

Our gate is starting to return to normal after over 2 weeks of "busier than a one arm paper hanger". The process just completed on the two wells requires the use of large pumps with huge diesel motors all mounted on semi trailers. There were over 20 of these units on our site and the company moved all but three of them by Tuesday evening. Business through the gate had even slowed down enough that I decided to sleep in the "big boy bed" instead of trying to cat nap while curled up on the couch. I closed the gate and we turned in around 11:00 pm after a very quiet evening. I no more drifted off to sleep and "ding ding" the driveway bells woke me up. CRAP! I went outside and found a van load of workers wanting to come in and remove the last 3 semi trucks. I checked them in and went back inside to wait for them to exit. They were back at the pad for almost an hour and when they came back out there were only 2 semis and the van. I asked about the third one and they said they couldn't get it started and out the gate they went.
By this time it was almost 1:00 am when I headed back to the bedroom trying not to disturb Rudee. Shortly after 5:00 am the bells sounded again. I went back outside and found two of the same guys at the gate that were there at midnight. They said they were there to pick up the last semi and were sure they would be able to get it started this time. They went back to the pad and I was surprised when they came back in 10 minutes without the semi. They said they couldn't start it because there were no keys in it. I asked if maybe one of the other crew members from earlier this morning had forgot and left with the keys? They told me no that wasn't possible because the reason they couldn't start it at 1 am was because there were no keys then either! I wasn't sure what to say after that, not sure why they thought the keys would be there at 5am when they were not there at 1am!
Later that morning I turned the gate over to Rudee so I could take a little nap to catch up on the sleep I missed. When I woke up she told that right after I went to bed a crew showed up again to pick up the semi. She asked if they had the keys and they assured her they did and would be right back out with it. They returned to the gate in a few minutes without the semi. When she asked them "where is the truck?" they told her they couldn't get it started because there were no keys in it. Really??!!! I mean this went from being kind of funny to becoming a big pain in the butt with us in the middle! :-)

Rudee made a trip into Cotulla to meet some of the other lady gate guards at JJ's Restaurant for a late lunch. She also did the weekly grocery shopping and brought me back a Wendy's chicken sandwich and a Frosty. :-)
While she was in town one of the company trucks pulled up once again to pick up the semi truck. I asked them of they had the keys? They told me no, they decided that the keys were indeed lost and instead had a mechanic with a new ignition switch with keys. They were there to replace the ignition and get the truck running again. Well, I guess that is one way to get it done, I would have thought there would be a spare key somewhere but doesn't sound like it. They were back at the pad for about 30 minutes and out they came but no semi. What the heck??!! They told me that the ignition has been replaced, the keys are in the ignition and the engine starts. The problem is neither one of them has a CDL so they cannot drive the truck down the highway so they had to leave it here! You have got to be kidding me! I swear there is no way I could make this stuff up! I just knew they would be showing up in the middle of the night again to pick up this semi. Oh well, such is the life of an oil field gate guard. :-)

The good thing is there is a flicker of light at the end of the tunnel. We have just over 2 weeks before we will turn the gate over to another guard and begin to head North. We have a couple of stops to make on the way that should make for some decent "blog fodder". :-)
Our plan is to be back in Indiana by Sunday April 7th because we have an appointment to have our taxes done on the 8th. We will take care of some medical appointments and of course get some quality family time before leaving for South Dakota later in the month. We are both looking forward to the new job at Mount Rushmore and were a little nervous these newest budget cuts would effect us. We have been in contact with our employer and been assured that all is well and their season has been fully funded.

Wednesday night just before dark a crew arrived and removed the final semi! Whoo hoo! Maybe I will be able to get some quality sack time! I'll keep you posted.


  1. Your job at Mt. Rushmore is safe. There are no real budget cuts. The only thing being cut is budget increases. Can't believe anything you read/see in the media.


  2. Isn't that the way these things go? We had nights like that gate guarding.

    Then there would be the times a trucker would check out and say, "I'll be back in an hour or two," never to be seen again. I wonder what happened to some of those guys?!

  3. I guess that is really normal. You can never plan on what they say will happen when they say it will happen. We just have to go with the flow.
    At least I won't have to deal with that stuff for quite a while, since I will be leaving in the morning to go to FW to have surgery. Safe travels when yo do leave.

  4. I am really looking forward to you mt. Rushmore adventures. Thanks.

  5. Sounds like an episode of the 3 Stooges :) Can't wait to hear about Mt. Rushmore, would love to do that next summer ourselves :)