This wasn’t the post I was going to write tonight. I had a couple of other ideas, but I got a package in the mail yesterday that changed my plans.
I don’t know how many of you who read Fork live in a gated community? This is my first time. In reality our gates are far a part, but we Gate Guards have a unique network. Because we’re away from family and friends and we live in pretty isolated areas, we bond on-line.
Most of us haven’t met face to face. I’m guessing some of you who read Fork are gate guards that have yet to introduce yourselves. Leave a comment sometime! I’d love to meet you!
We’re a diverse group: different ages, different interests, different philosophies – but bound together by the ever-present hum of the generator and the smell of diesel fumes. It’s an unusual life. We all ‘guard’ our gates 24/7. Some are like me and are working nights for the first time in our not so young lives. Like many, Heidi and I have had just one day off in 6 months, which is OK because there really isn’t anyplace to go anyway (that’s not true for all GG’s). What is true is that it’s a life only a fellow gate guard can truly appreciate.
Joanie worked for me at an ocean resort in Oregon before becoming a gate guard. It was her encouragement that got us started. Thank you, Joanie. I would never, ever have considered this if you hadn’t blazed the trail!
Jill and I got ‘acquainted’ through Fork, eventually became Facebook friends and have become true friends indeed, even though we’ve never met. Jill, your friendship has been one of the most pleasant gate guard experiences I’ve had! Thank you for being my friend!
Some of us read each others’ blogs which has created interesting relationships.
John and Terry brought us books when we were at gates just miles apart. John, you never seem to weary of correcting all my Texas misconceptions and are gracious with my faux pas! Thank you for being my native Texan authority!
Kit and Jerry surprised us with a visit on their way back home from Corpus. They gifted us with a case of bottled water, fresh fruit and short cakes and even biscuits for Henry. It was following your blog that gave us an idea of what ‘a day in the life’ might be like. I doubt we would have followed through if we hadn’t found you. Thank you for being our mentors!
Andy and Miss Kathy have offered practical advice and some less practical, but hysterical additions to Fork – like Miss K’s tattooed cow. Thank you both for being a wealth of information. The hummingbird feeders are perfect, Andy!
As I mentioned, I decided to write this post because of a package I received.
Thank for making me laugh night after night! I’ll never forget the night the tattooed bovine showed up on my desktop!
Thank you, coupon Queen, for sharing your hard clipped coupons!
Thank you for the coconut mango candles that have nearly eradicated the smell of the Texas blind snake I carried inside night before last!
Thank you for the Ruby Slippers that are clicking their heels together on the corner of my desktop, reminding me that there’s no place like home (even when it rolls) and that there are new and interesting folks somewhere over the caliche haze!
And my little dog, too … thanks you for the biscuits!
If you’re thinking of gate guarding, you’ll find support and help on just about every inconvenient road in Texas. Maybe we should consider starting a club. Miss K suggests t-shirts. I was thinking of F.O.G.G. – Fraternal Order of Gate Guards, in honor of our ever-present caliche fog and our kinship through wind and hail and heat and heat. OK, I already said heat but I thought it deserved a double mention.
So to all you who work 24 hours with no days off for $5.21 an hour but take the time to lighten the load of not only the guys on your rig, but of your fellow gate guards as well, a tip of my hat to you.
And to the person who finds Fork every day by Googling ‘ruby slippers’, thank you for reading. I’ll try to work the slippers in from time to time. ~dlb