Home » Gate Guarding » I Miss the Moon

I Miss the Moon

The mosquito crop has hatched in Houston (in such mass numbers that they made the San Antonio news).

They found their way to Wharton, thirsty. Until now, apparently largely due to the drought, that’s the one insect we’d been spared.

I’m hoping they drift on over to Austin where the bats under the bridge are decreasing in number, which is affecting tourism.

If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito. ~ Betty Reese

I’m a bit under it again (the weather, not the bed – that’s where the mouse is). It’s not a good thing to be under the weather when you’re a gate guard at night if under it means frequent restroom visits. As before mentioned and attested to by other gate guards, a nocturnal trip to the restroom is guaranteed to ring bells.

I thought I was safe because there’s no moon at all – we’re in the zero moon phase. Maybe the moon and the tides are impacted in reverse in Texas? It’s been a moonless full moon kind of night and it’s only 1 a.m.

First the bells were rung by an older man, dressed for a date (who was with him), soaked in cologne, which still failed to cover the smell of alcohol. He said he was here to pick up a mug (I think he meant mud) logging truck. He held up traffic for a good while, looking for the cigarette he dropped somewhere inside his truck. I got a flashlight but to no avail. His lady friend took this all in stride.

He finally decided to just let it burn itself out. Hmm… He did another check of his paper work to make sure he was in the right spot and went on in. I was contemplating another trip to the restroom when he came back out, wrong rig indeed.ย  He didn’t want directions. He said it was too dark to drive anyway.

I had just ventured back toward the restroom when the bells began ringing and ringing and ringing. A semi driver had parked on the air hose, which didn’t alarm him at all. I don’t think he could hear the ringing over his diesel and his iPod. He was nice about moving when he finally heard me knocking.

I took another long look at the night sky, now filled with stars but abandoned by the moon.

This time I was only considering a trip upstairs when Lacey from Lafayette Louisiana arrived, exhausted, after driving for 15 hours down back roads. As I filled her coffee mug she told me she’d been given directions approaching the rig from west Texas (which would be a very round about way to get here from Louisiana). She said the back roads were so dark… Yep, no moon.

She also said, while she was lost in the panhandleย  she heard that it’s supposed to snow there tomorrow. It was 90 here yesterday. The forecast for tomorrow is a high of 66. I’m not complaining. I like the cool temperatures, but do you see what I mean? These things didn’t happen when the moon was doing her job.

Finally, the coast seemed to be clear. Just as I entered the restroom, removed Heidi’s baby booster from the foot pedal and seated myself, a mouse ran in from the bedroom, took one look at me, and headed back under the bed (as far as I could tell, after waking up Heidi while I did a pre-Halloween sweep around the bedroom with a broom). I guess the past two nights of under-the-sink-quiet were misleading.

It’s late and the traffic has stopped. I think I’ll have a little dinner.

I don’t know why since I’m certain it will want out as soon as I put it in, but I feel compelled by hunger and the blackness of the night to pursue this misguided course of action.

I miss the moon.

Night’s black Mantle covers all alike.ย  ~Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas


14 thoughts on “I Miss the Moon

    • Vicky – Thanks for the reminder. I’ve always given him heartworm protection year round. I’ve moved so much that I never knew for sure if it was necessary and seems better to stay on the safe side! Looking forward to your gate guard arrival. Sure sounds like you have everything ready!
      ~ Debbie

      • We are getting ready! Yesterday Bob got me a new pair of Ariat Fat Baby boots to wear caliche clogging ๐Ÿ˜€
        They are great to keep mesquite thorns from reaching your feet! And they are so comfy!
        Did you get my email about trying to meet in Houston? I hope we can work it out:-)

    • Vicky – Fear not – but always be ready to make a hasty exit! ๐Ÿ™‚
      Most will wait, but not long – some will run your gate and you’ll have to catch them on the way out. If you’re at a gate that closes, they have no choice – but are gates have all been invisible since Tilden and we don’t have a stop sign (GGS ran out) so running happens, but rarely. When I wrote about this rather indelicate topic a while back – it seems to be the universal experience of gate guards – particular during the night when you might go an hour or two without a truck, UNTIL…! ๐Ÿ˜‰
      ~ Debbie

  1. I have a cat I could lend you for 24.
    This is a Kay Ryan Poem that reminded me of you and your struggles

    Nothing exists as a block
    and cannot be parceled up.
    So if nothing’s ventured
    it’s not just talk;
    it’s the big wager.
    Don’t you wonder
    how people think
    the banks of space
    and time don’t matter?
    How they’ll drain
    the big tanks down to
    slime and salamanders
    and want thanks?

    • Kay – I would happily borrow one of your kittens and double dose on allergy pills! Lovely poem. I’m not certain I understand it – but I’ll keep rereading it until I get it. ๐Ÿ˜€ Thanks, Kay!
      ~ Debbie

  2. What an interesting night! Fun to read. You are such a GOOD writer. I can hear you telling it in person and I’d be all ears.
    It would be a great story around a campfire with friends.

    • Diane – You’ve had so much more rain than we have – your mosquitoes must be really plump by now! Do they bite Phoebe and Hannah? Feeling better so far. ;D
      Hope you don’t get washed away tonight!

    • Has anyone used the dry Off mosquito repellant? Does it work? I hate the regular stuff. And has anyone tried the Skin So Soft by Avon. Many say that works but I’ve never talked to anyone who has actually used it. We are getting prepared to start in December so we are looking for good ideas and things that work!

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