Home » Gate Guarding » Year in Review Part 5 – Oh Shoot!

Year in Review Part 5 – Oh Shoot!

It’s time to finish up my Tilden tales. I’ll keep it short since the rancher just came by to ask us when the storm is supposed to hit? We typically have no internet when it storms. Our rancher also proudly shared the news that we’re on Lightening Hill. He’s had 5 cows get struck by lightning! His neighbor’s had 6 hit but that was cheating because 5 of them were lined up along the same metal fence!

If you live in certain parts of the country, you talk a lot about weather. As a matter of fact, the weather is a pretty significant topic wherever you live either because it’s just right or just awful.

A year ago, if you happened to be two women and a Schoolde,  living not terribly far from the border in southern Texas on a remote 1500 acre ranch, you’d talk a lot about safety. We spent a little time with the sweetest gate guard couple that were just down the road a ways from us in Tilden. I’ll call them John and Mary.

They felt strongly that we should have a gun, which we didn’t and which we couldn’t  buy in Texas since we weren’t Texas residents.  This isn’t a story about whether or not gate guards should have guns or are allowed to have guns (both are mildly controversial in gate guarding circles). This is a story about what happens when generosity backfires.

I’d been down  looking at John and Mary’s little hatbox satellite dish. We’d been in Tilden for two weeks and still had no internet, cell phone or TV. As often happened, the conversation turned to our safety. They again expressed their alarm at our lack of weaponry and decided the solution would be to loan us their 12 gauge shotgun, since they also had a rifle and had recently shot a 5 foot rattlesnake out in front of their RV.

While I thought this might be a good idea, I didn’t think it would be a good idea for me to be the one handling the gun or getting the instructions, since I do my own stunts and had been rather stunt prone of late.  Heidi headed over to check it out. She grew up hunting and is certainly much more comfortable with guns than I am. Heidi said she’d take a look and go with her gut.

It was about a 4 mile trip on a wash board road to John and Mary’s, so it takes about 15 minutes to get to their gate and back. 20 minutes after she left, Heidi came barreling up to the fence, spraying rocks and laying on the horn, which is SO not like her. I rushed out to open the gate, and she jumped out of the Jeep, wide-eyed, and raced straight into the RV. I was thinking that maybe she was hiding the shotgun under the seat and that Border Patrol was coming?

Turns out, she was hyper-ventilating. In the process of showing Heidi how to use the gun, John stood in the middle of their living room,  released the safety and pulled the trigger to show Heidi how it worked. It worked real well. Mary had gone to Pleasanton, which I’m sure was a good thing since the load shattered their large living room window, passing on through into the Texas tangle of mesquite and cactus.

Neither the discharge of the gun or Heidi’s scream rattled him a bit. John stated in his usual, laid-back fashion: We’ve been needing a new window anyway.

Just then, the bell went off. Mary was back. John looked upset for the first time as he said to Heidi: How am I going to tell her I did it again!?

At this point Heidi’s gut told her that this was a sign we maybe should just lock the doors, keep a watch out for rattlesnakes and see if we could teach Henry how to bark.


19 thoughts on “Year in Review Part 5 – Oh Shoot!

  1. Church friends of ours in Moulton (NE of Gonzales) gave us the same advice about having a gun with us when were gate-guarding–but more to scare off illegals that have been plaguing this area. I asked our supervisor his opinion, and he said MARATHAN (whose site we were guarding prohibits firearms on their sites. We are at home in Moulton now till after the 1st of the year. Merry Christmas to you and GOD BLESS US EVERYONE!

    • Hello Nancy – I hope you see this. I didn’t see your comment until this morning. 😦
      I’m so sorry. I’m having a world of internet/computer issues right now.
      Some companies ban guns. I’m aware of one company that actually searches the gg RVs looking for guns!
      Frankly, most of the gate guards that I know, have guns – partially for protection, but also because many are full-timers and their RV is their only home and they already owned guns before gate guarding. I didn’t. 😉
      Will you be back on a gate this year?
      Hope to hear from you. I’m so sorry I missed your message.
      Happy New Year!

      • So good tohear from you! Iam having some health issues but we hope to be back out gg by Feb. We are hoping for something in the Shiner/Moulton/Gonzales area since we live in Moulton. Where are you located now? Regarding weapons-the rocks and long handled hoe aregood ideas. We saw no wildlife at all out by Poth–but then we had a big light generator right by our RV so it was VERY WELL LIT!!! (try to sleep-day or night-Good Luck!) We enjoyed our stint and Hallburton treated us GREAT! Nancy

      • Hi Nancy! I got your message right away, this time! I’m so sorry to hear you haven’t been well. I hope you soon feel much better.
        We are somewhere between Westhoff and Cuero – for 12 more days until their regular gate guards come back. Then… it’s back to Gonzales to wait for a new gate.
        It would certainly be great for you folks if you could be placed in that area – so very close to home.
        I don’t think there’s much of anything that lives in Texas that hasn’t made it to our door. I’ll probably write about that this week. 😉
        Best wishes and please keep in touch!
        ~ Debbie

  2. I don’t know how so many funny things can happen to you two. My first 3 wks in Tilden, was without internet, phone and TV. I did not even have a book to read. Carpal Tunnel so bad i could not do much with the left hand. I was not off the place for 3 wks. Finally got up enough courage to go to Three Rivers to grocery store and laundry mat. Driving a dually truck with 5 speed and only one good hand was rough to do. I got so bore i was outside the 5th wheel scraping caulking off that was messed up on camper. Then here comes a man with a truck load of honey bees. You can guess a lot of them came to the camper. If there is a bee within a mile it will find me. Here in Ky, we have yellow jackets and they always find me and leave a sting before exiting. There was another couple not to far off. Rickey goes over to meet them. She came over and brought me 3 books. I went through them in no time as there was nothing else to do. At this point in time i was wondering if i could stay in Texas 8 months without going home. Now i feel like i am almost Texan. Enjoy the stories keep them coming.

  3. Well Shoot you are just too funny I laughed myself sillywhen I read about your freezing and dripping water back in January now you tell us about the gun Wow I bet Heidi did not want to pay another visit. Keep it going we love reading it.

    • Hello Luke! I’ve been having internet fits and just now saw your comment. They were real nice folks, but no, Heidi never paid them another visit! 😉
      ~ Debbie

  4. Thanks for the great chuckle. I can just picture it and honestly, I can put myself in Mary’s place as I can see my OWN husband doing the same thing. He want to get a license to carry (we ARE Texas residents so can do so) and the thought of having a gun around scares me to death. Anyway, thanks. Can’t wait to share the story with him.

    • giniaj – Oh, that’s too funny! Maybe this story will instill a little extra bit of caution in your husband! We’re Texas residents now, too, as of November but haven’t picked up a 12 gauge just yet… We d0 have one fine little BB gun, which I learned from John, to lock and load – outside!

  5. Debbie,
    Damn you’re funny! I mean, you make Texas sound like, well, Texas. Hilarious. He shot the window out again? He shot the thing in a trailer? Rattlesnakes, electrocuted cows.

    Didn’t anyone ever tell those cows you really should stand near metal in an electric storm?

    Henry, honey, Please Bark for mommies! Guns are scary biz, love. Laughing still. xoxox melis

    • Hello melis!
      One of the best things about me writing about our adventures is that it helps Heidi find the humor in them! 😉
      Henry still doesn’t bark – good pet therapy dog that he is, but Heidi’s got her scream pretty well perfected (more on that to come).
      Remember, we’d never been in Texas and all this happen the first 3 weeks – you’re seeing Texas through the eyes of a Yankee newbie in these posts.
      We’ve gotten a little more acclimated in the past 11 months. 😀

  6. Hi Sweetie – You and Heidi have had more excitement in one year than I have had in 64 years!!! LOL The shooting out the window always cracks me up. Going on 2 hours sleep so will email you tomorrow. Taking a few days off, Having a hard time getting back in the swing of actually working. Ended assignment this morning. Keep up the good work – the recap is hysterical.

    • Oh Jill, you’re back! it hasn’t been the same without you! (I know you were working, but I hated it that you didn’t have any internet)
      You know, I’ve only talked about the first 3 weeks of gate guarding in my recap so far… No wonder my hair’s all silver now, huh? 😀
      I had a hard time getting back into the swing of things after our 3 week break in September, so I can imagine it would be tough after having months off. Looking forward to catching up with you. Do you guys have another gate assignment lined up?

  7. That story had me worried, I was thinking maybe Heidi was hit, then Mary comes home immediately after… “Did it again”?? Wow really had my thoughts going from extremes in that post! Great story.

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