Home » Gate Guarding » Learning the Lingo and the Lay of the Land

Learning the Lingo and the Lay of the Land

Red White & Blue Texas

I struggled with creative writing assignments in school.

I never knew what to write about.

Every teacher always said the same thing:

Write about what you know.

Sage advice.

Four months ago, I took a job I know nothing about,  in a field I know nothing about, in a state I know nothing about. And I started a blog.

It was supposed to be a way to keep in touch with family and friends.

I’m not much of a journaler. I’ve never kept one longer than 3 or 4 days.

Night traffic

I tried for the first month.

Then we moved to a new site and I started working nights.

Clearly, I was going to have to write about something other than the guys going to town and the mud trucks and water trucks and fuel trucks etc…

Future Areas of Study: Texas, Oil Fields and The Crew


The US of Texas

I’ve  lived in Indiana, Iowa and Oregon.

All 3 would fit inside the state of Texas with 74,166 miles square miles of wide open space to spare!

You could put Iowa and Indiana in again. Clearly there’s a lot to learn in a state this big.

The internet is an amazing resource.

I’m old enough to remember when an encyclopedia was required for research.

Thankfully that’s changed since the entire Encyclopedia Britannica is banned in Texas because it contains a formula for making beer at home.

A big state in a small place!

Tonight I decided that I needed a better mental picture of  Texas at exactly the same moment I decided I needed to brush my teeth.

I went into the bathroom, carrying the map of Texas that I bought back in December.

Texas is a very big state.

I didn’t realize how big until I tried to unfold the map.

It was bigger than my bathroom!

Gate Guarding on a Drill Site

There’s been no stress in gate guarding apart from the wildlife, the dust and the climate.

I just did a quick check on the high and low temperatures for Texas. It’s easy to fixate on the weather when you live in an RV.

As  summer approaches, it’s mostly the highs that interest me.

The highest temperature recorded in the last 20 years was at F 7 on the map: Monahans, where it  hit 120 degrees.

I’m at G 18 on the map. That’s an entire letter south. That’s not good. I’m hoping the 11 numbers east means cooler.

Parr 1852

Pushers, Drillers and Derrickmen

The guys on the drill site are a fascinating bunch.

They regale me with tales about things I’ve never heard of and often can’t repeat.

Sometimes I can’t repeat them because they contain some minor legal infraction but mostly they’re great stories that  I can’t quite catch between the drawl, the chew and the roar of the diesel.

Shy guys

I’m trying to become a student of Texas and of Drill Sites so that if I say something funny, it’ll be on purpose.

Eventually, I hope to write about what I know about or at least know about what I write about.

Until then, there will be more geographical adjustment anecdotes with some local flavor.

For example, yesterday Jimmy, our derrickman, brought us dinner.

It was the first time I’d ever eaten anything snared 10 feet from my home.

That’s a story for another night…

Jimmy spins a yarn for Jerry, Kathy and Heidi


2 thoughts on “Learning the Lingo and the Lay of the Land

    • I did know a little about cows before I got to Texas. Back home they’re just not the free ranging type. In Iowa they stay on their farms, they don’t stand in the middle of the road like Texas cattle!

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