Home » Gate Guarding » How We Got LIT

How We Got LIT

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We shouldn’t be here at all, if we’d known more about it before we started. But I suppose it’s often that way. The brave things in the old tales and songs, Mr. Frodo: adventures, as I used to call them. I used to think that they were things the wonderful folk of the stories went out and looked for, because they wanted them, because they were exciting and life was a bit dull, a kind of a sport, as you might say. But that’s not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have been just landed in them, usually β€” their paths were laid that way, as you put it. ~ J. R. R. Tolkien

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Picking up where I left off in There and Back (But Not) Again, we left Oregon in mid-December of 2010.

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WeΒ  raced (well, as fast as we could on the narrow two lane roads in a 32 foot Class A – towing) across the Siskuyou’s just hours ahead of a winter snow storm.

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We made the 1300 hundred mile drive from Gold Beach to my sister’s home on the outskirts of Tucson in 2 days. There were warning signs all along the way.

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Even the names of the tiny towns made us wonder if it was foreshadowing?

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After spending a wonderful Christmas with my Sis in Tuscan (our first in over 20 years) we set out for San Antonio.

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… or so we thought. We headed toward San Antonio. We had campground reservations. We hadn’t’ been living in the RV for a year. We kind of stuffed things in and hit the road. We planned on using the “Just get to Texas and we’ll call you when we have something” time to organize, stock up on groceries, water etc..

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We drove 755 miles and stopped the second night in Junction, Texas where we dropped the U Haul (on purpose). πŸ˜‰

I forgot to mention we’d given the Saturn to my son,Β  bought a 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee with 200,000 miles on it while visiting Heidi’s son in MN.

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We were told we couldn’t tow the Jeep, so we rented a U-Haul ramp thing and pulled it through the mountains. $900 later, we dropped it in Junction at a U-Haul spot

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We got an early start, heading for San Antonio to begin the wait. I hopped in the Jeep and we drove the last stretch of our trip separately – sort of…

Heidi wrote about that day so I’ll link to her post instead of rehashing it all: Car 54… Where Are You?

To summarize:

  • Heidi and Henry took off in the Class A down Interstate 10
  • I followed in the Jeep
  • 57 miles later, we pulled over to check directions to the RV park
  • Heidi and Henry took off in the Class A
  • I didn’t follow in the Jeep
  • Eventually Heidi noticed
  • The Jeep battery was dead
  • Heidi called 911
  • We didn’t know where we were so they couldn’t find us
  • I walked a quarter-mile to find a mile marker
  • It began raining –
  • The guarding company called while H was talking to the 911 operator
  • Heidi called Jamie back while waiting for the police
  • We had a job that day IF we could get to Tilden before dark
  • A police officer found us and jumped the jeep
  • He told us to follow him to an auto parts store
  • He raced off across the grassy median
  • We didn’t have time to get Henry
  • We left Henry locked in the RV on Interstate 10
  • We got a new battery in Kerrville
  • We got lost trying to get back to Henry and the RV
  • We found Henry and the RV
  • We took the VERY bumpy “short cut” the auto parts folks suggested
  • We didn’t have any food or water
  • We left Henry in the RV in a church parking lot in Jordanton
  • We went to Pleasanton in search of supplies
  • We left Walmart and went the wrong way
  • We lost Jordanton altogether
  • We lost Henry and the RV for the 2nd time that day
  • We found the RV and Henry
  • We called Jamie for directions
  • We lost the phone signal
  • We found our 1st gate,outside Tilden, in ankle-deep mud in the rain
  • We had a 20 minute set up/training session
  • The training was: Here’s the clipboard, wear your vests, do what I did
  • We had no phone and no internet
  • We had no water (J. didn’t set it up right and we didn’t know how yet)
  • We had no septic (that would come a couple of days later)
  • We had no clue what we were doing… or why πŸ˜€

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And there you have it. We now think of things in terms ofΒ  LBT – Life Before Texas and LIT – Life In Texas. We’ve been living LIT for a year and a half now.

But I expect they had lots of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn’t. And if they had, we shouldn’t know, because they’d have been forgotten. We hear about those as just went on β€” and not all to a good end, mind you; at least not to what folk inside a story and not outside it call a good end. ~ J.R.R> Tolkien

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37 thoughts on “How We Got LIT

  1. …and so the Fork becomes reality! Thanks, this was great, good friend. Yaw’ll come back now, ya’ hear? …side note: Pot Pie was almost lost in the FL floods of TS Debby (that’s awful close to Debbie). Loving to swim, he dove into a culvert of rapid moving water… he showed back up about a hundred yards up stream. By upstream, we mean the back yard. God bless, Debbie.

  2. I would say trial by fire, but trial by Texas seems more accurate! I think I would have had an ulcer by the end of a day like that. Losing my home and m y dog twice in one day…….that’s what I call STRESS! You two are so brave!!!

    • Oh Sherrie – there must be some saying about the fine line between brave and crazy?
      I felt sorry for Henry, but at least he didn’t know we’d lost him. πŸ˜€
      Probably just as well that we don’t move real often in this job, you think?
      Debbie

      • I’m not the one moving and to me it feels like you move ALL THE TIME!!!! I have found that often when I’m brave I am also crazy, those things seem to go together….I think it’s evolutionary, like thinking babies are cute so you don’t kill them.

        • Sherrie –
          My internet has been so sketchy that I’m just now seeing your comment. My laughing woke up Henry which required a trip outdoors (for his miniature bladder) and a romp (on leash) with a Texas sized grasshopper! We both needed the exercise! Thanks! πŸ˜‰
          Debbie

    • Vicky –
      We did join RVing Women when we first left Oregon, but since we never go anywhere – and our budget is really tight – we haven’t kept up the membership. I think it’s a great group, though.
      Grit – I don’t know, maybe.:D
      Wherever we eventually land, we’re happy. Sometimes it just takes us a little longer than most folks to find where we’re supposed to be going!
      Debbie

    • Diane –
      I really did feel sorry for Henry that day. At least he was in the RV and didn’t know he we couldn’t find him!
      It made for an interesting first day of gate guarding!
      Debbie

      • How could i have not commented on Henry. Poor baby, scared and lost. I know you snuggled him into doggie heaven. I thank you. I’m putting in my application for pets soon. Will you be my master πŸ˜‰ NUTTY!

  3. Surely there must be some great big humongous expensive and grand Trophy for Tenacity–y’all deserve it, and once again I’m awestruck, filled with admiration–and the smidgen of envy that is common for folks who prefer vicarious adventures (that would be me) to doing the real thing. Much love to you both–God bless you–love, sis Caddo

    • Caddo –
      Believe me the oil business is a business of tenacity. It’s a minimum requirement for the job! No trophies for sure. πŸ˜‰
      love to you, too,
      Debbie

    • Susan –
      I’m much more of a reader than a writer.
      I doubt that Tolkien would be real keen on my use of his quotes, but I couldn’t resist!:D
      Debbie

    • Honestly, Debby – We’re pretty pathetic when if comes to a sense of direction. BUT, we are women so will stop and ASK! πŸ˜‰
      Mostly, the Navigation programs on our Droids save us – except when (like now) we have kind of nothing to enter. Even the longitude and latitude varies! πŸ˜‰
      Life is an adventure, for sure!
      Debbie

  4. When I saw the town of “Why”, I said, “My thoughts exactly!” This doesn’t seem to be a trip to a well-thought out location. Relocate? Reload? Land-locked? All that comes to mind. My heart is on the West coast and even if I die here, it’s there. Just so you all know, we’re here for the money, but in the meantime we’re very happy and it’s entirely inexplicable what two white women from the North are doing standing in the road directing semis and roughnecks! No amount of ‘explaining’ is going to make sense of it. Debbie, you did what you could and I enjoyed the post. Just in case people think we’ve gotten our bearings I should mention that you called last week from town and thanks to the internet, I could help you find your way back to this cow pasture again!

      • Judi –
        Me, too! I’m so blessed to do this with my best friend. Although most of the people who guard gates are married – many of the ones we’ve met aren’t good friends. I can’t imagine living this way, in this space, if you didn’t really like the person you share the job with!
        And then there’s always Henry to make sure we stay in line! πŸ˜‰
        Debbie

  5. What a journey you are on!!!! The word “perseverance” comes to mind big time!!!!! Oh that you survived all that and stayed this long is a testimony for sure. love and prayers for all that comes next!

    • Hello Deb!
      That’s why Tolkien’s quote seemed so fitting:
      “We shouldn’t be here at all, if we’d known more about it before we started. But I suppose it’s often that way. The brave things in the old tales and songs, Mr. Frodo: adventures, as I used to call them. I used to think that they were things the wonderful folk of the stories went out and looked for, because they wanted them, because they were exciting and life was a bit dull, a kind of a sport, as you might say. But that’s not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have been just landed in them, usually β€” their paths were laid that way, as you put it.”
      It seems our path was laid this way. πŸ˜€
      Your prayers are a gift that we never take forgranted. Thank you!
      Debbie

  6. OK, i have to admit i got a little alarmed when you said you lost Henry!!! KIDDING!!!! How terrifying to be stuck on the road in a dead jeep. All i can think of is sand in my eyes, and sweaty discomfort. Sobbing for the Debster. Thank God you have your bestie Heidi (i was going to write Debbie, do you blame me) to care so much about you. You guys are TRULY adventurers!!! I really want to grab JEN, if i can find her, and jump into a couple of jeeps (sand in teeth and all) and take off for, erm, Oregon? Alaska … first stop, Texas and all the crazy – ass signs, like “Why Food, Water, Life?” πŸ˜‰ Walk you dog down this itty bitty path or i’ll shoot you with a 10 gage gun or is it gauge ?

    Must say, i got choked up at the very first: Leaving Oregon… especially since you could have said hello to my Uncle Owen in Gold Beach, OR. I know those docks!!! I know that shot!!! Man it hasn’t changed in, over 40 years!

    Hey, is this a reblog? Haven’t you been LIT for longer than 1.5?

    I’m so pumped to do something FREEING, with dogs too! Course. How did you account for cash. MEL REALLY WANTS TO KNOW πŸ™‚ Love you! mel

    • Mel –
      You make me laugh! What a take you have on things! πŸ˜€
      No, it’s a re-cap but not a re-post.
      We’ve been here (Texas) for just a year and a half. It FEELS like 6.1 sometimes, but it’s only been 1.6.
      I have to say though that it’s been a really unusual year and a half! πŸ˜‰
      love back at ya,
      Debbie
      You can take comfort in the fact that although we knew we’d lost Henry, he didn’t know and was expectantly waiting for us to return to him – never a doubt (as far as I know)! πŸ˜€

      • Oh, oops, i guess i did mention Henry. HELLO MEL? Anyone home.

        I KNOW Henry was waiting for you like a good soldier! Excellent dog fix for the day. A Henry rescue!!! πŸ˜‰

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