Home » Gate Guarding » Somewhere Near Nowhere

Somewhere Near Nowhere

I’m watching the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympics while I write this (recorded earlier) and while I work the gate at 3 a.m. I’m not sure why I’m watching the Parade of Nations? Maybe just because it’s a nice reminder of the humanity behind the politics.
Plus, how else would I have known that the owner of a Malaysian gold mine has offered a Gold Bar worth $600,000 specifically to any Malaysian athlete who wins a gold medal in Badminton? For that matter, how would I have known Badminton was an Olympic sport?

This post is part 1 of 2 about what you might expect if you decide to head for Texas Tea/ Black Gold country. Reading my blog, or even the majority of blogs about gate guarding, you may be under the impression that it’s a job where you guard the gate for a drilling company.


Our first 3 1/2 weeks on the job we were on a hunting ranch in Tilden, guarding water we never saw, working for a Company Man we never met. We opened and shut the gate after each truck, or stream of trucks. It was one big, heavy gate!



From there we joined FO and Lantern 16 (drilling rig). We followed them (by invitation, we weren’t stalkers :D) for 11 months. The roughnecks (which are now called employees) were a wild bunch and certainly made that first year interesting! They were good to us and we decided then that we really liked following a rig. We’d hoped to follow them right into retirement, but they stacked in November.



We subbed for some folks on a drilling rig for a couple of months over the holidays last winter.


A typical gate for us


When the gate guards came back, we joined the Winter Texans. I’ve mentioned before that Texas, unlike every other southern state in the nation, does not have Snow Birds. Texas brands everything so down here it’s Winter Texans.ย  After a week or so of waiting, we spent 1 long week 500 miles straight south ofย  Nowhere, Oklahoma which wasn’t near Anywhere in Texas.

I can understand why the group, Cross Canadian Ragweed, sang about Nowhere in Texas because I’ve been there.

Why don’t you roll with me baby down to Nowhere, Texas
I got nothin but time
Jump in the cab of my 70 Chevy
Leave Oklahoma far behind
My good friend told me once Texas is big enough
That a man could get lost
Roll down that window
Open that glove box
Give that road map a toss

A woman could get lost in Texas, too. I know. I do it all the time. ๐Ÿ˜€

Texas is also big enough that you may not have a tower for your satellite TV or your internet or even your cell phone, which was the case for us Somewhere that felt like a long way from Nowhere. This gate was kept shut and padlocked at night, even though we had traffic. It was kind of eerie going out at 2 a.m. and fumbling with the combination while blinded by headlights.



2 days into the job, for the first and only time ever, we called our mgr and asked for a replacement. We stayed 5 days until he found someone. I took a bit of flak here for that decision. It goes back two posts. We each have to do what makes us comfortable and we weren’t comfortable being that isolated.

Since I’d ripped off a part ofย  the side of the brand new RV the second week we had it as I cut too close to a tiny palm tree, we left a week early for our appointment in the Houston repair shop (Bob Jones RV – really great folks to work with if you need someone in Houston).



On the way to the Texas Bayou to wait for our repair appointment, we picked up a stone that shattered the back window. Heidi got really creative at Home Depot!

My son, who lives in New Jersey, had a February conference in Houston so we’d scheduled the repairs to coincide with his trip.



After the visit, which was grand, and the repairs, which took 10 days – there was a whole lot of repainting involved –ย  we headed back to wait for a gate. It was a long wait. By now, we knew what we wanted so we waited.

Heidi and I will never strike oil, but we do seem to have struck gold with an oil company for the second time. Before I get into that, I’d like to share a little more about some other options you may have if you hit highways and they carry you south to the unique world of Texas Tea and Black Gold. But not tonight since this already too long. I’ll close this with Dave Barry’s ever wise words:

Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic. ~ Dave Barry

10 thoughts on “Somewhere Near Nowhere

  1. Hi Debbie,

    I’ve been in Texas (and consider myself a real Texan :-), since 1982 and yes, they do brand everything here. Winter Texans, DQ–That’s what I like about Texas (I know you did a post on that too… cool). It’s just the way Texans feel about this great state. I caught the fever as I headed into the state in the U-Haul and never lost it. Texas is home… always will be. Fortunately, Bob feels the same. Imagine this… we are both from Illinois orginally but met in Texas. Meant to be I guess ๐Ÿ˜€


    • Oh Vicky –
      Definitely meant to be – 2 folks from Illinois who meet and Texas and both LIKE Texas! Y’all were certainly meant for each other! ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. I love your sense of humor and adventure and you certainly must have heard that little phrase that God says often to us . .do not fear. Yep, I think you are fearless! love and prayers for you, right where you are!

    • Oh Deb ๐Ÿ˜€
      I didn’t used to have much of a sense of adventure.
      I think I was about as conventional as they come.
      I don’t know what happened. Menopause maybe? ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Thanks for your prayers – sending some up for you right now,

  3. I’m Really glad you decided to call for a replacement–isolation is NOT a good thing, gals, and doesn’t prove what you don’t have to prove anyway. (And if you need to send anybody my way to hear that a little Louder, bring ’em on!) I particularly love the “Winter Texans” deal–yeah, along with everything else, PRIDE is Bigger in Texas. God bless y’all–love, sis Caddo

    • Howdy Caddo!
      Thanks! Always nice to know there’s someone we can send people to when they need a good talkin to! ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Believe me, Texans take PRIDE in their PRIDE! That’s how BIG it is!

      The internet is here and there now but our phones work fine, which is great since I have to call to get directions home any time I go to town. Not that that comes up a lot. I’ve only gone once in once in 4 months! ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Your heat-stroking FF,

  4. We didn’t feel safe without cell phone service at the site you mentioned. Just to clarify, the flack we took wasn’t from our company, it was from another gate guard who thought we were too picky. We draw the line at not being able to use our phones to call for assistance. We’ve often worked without TV and without internet, but won’t work without that.

    One very nice couple that we met worked at a dead end road and had to have groceries brought in by their service crew. They washed their clothes in a bucket with a toilet plunger and hung them out to dry on a line behind the RV. Guess we are picky, but our company is wonderful to us and they want us to feel safe.

    I love this job. The service guys are very helpful to us and I’ve learned a lot from them. I was new to working with generators, air hoses and portable sewer processors. Each location has it’s own challenges and moving every few weeks is not a big deal because they transport the equipment and set it up again for us. It’s an adventure that never becomes boring to me.

    • Heidi –
      Life with you is never boring! It’s a lot of things, but never boring! ๐Ÿ˜‰
      I think John and Linley should get some kind of medal for their amazing attitude while plunging their clothes and waiting for groceries!

  5. Oh boy Debbie. It still looks really fun to me! What i want to know is, Who built the Hindenburg. More professionals?

    I’d say i qualify for just about any job that doesn’t require wearing a dress. Jack of all trades, master of nothing (mom rubbing it in). Hell, i bet i could swing that big ol’ gate like Heidi; and i think i could lasso some bald guy’s head. As far as wondering cows … i might get sidetracked on my job. I’d follow them around, or pick one out for a pet. I may have to rethink my eating habits and switch to tempeh vs. beef. I wonder if i can make it really greasy like a big ribeye?

    I’m tellin’ ya, EA, i could swing this job! I work with Union guys and i love them. I think i could adjust to be called a “little darlin” or a “honey”, or a “little lady” … or perhaps, “an old bat” quite readily.

    Thanks for the practical advice. I think the only thing that bugs me is Internet stuff. The caliche is a bit offsetting … i can imagine scraping that stuff off with a knife every day, M U D D Y. But, i’m a gardner, and a lover of mud-pies (still, yes).

    If i’m in good company, and with nature (as wild as it may be … and hot/hailing, egad) i’m prepared.

    Love the pics. Your son is a sweet looking man. (I hope he is and/or i hope he doesn’t read this). Hi, Debbie’s son, I’m sure you are quite nice!!!

    Anyway, love you muchly,

    • Hey there, Mel!
      I doubt if Dan reads the comments since he reads my post (when he reads them) in Google Reader, but yes,he is a very sweet guy. As fine as they come, in my opinion. ๐Ÿ˜‰
      I don’t mind the ‘terms of endearment’. It’s taken Heidi a little longer to get used to that part. ๐Ÿ˜€
      The internet seems semi-OK during the day when it’s really busy and not very responsive at night when it isn’t. I’m getting more reading in that way, though.
      About the only time (with 1 or 2 exceptions this year) that the caliche has been wet enough to track in has been when they’ve been kind enough to water the roads to try to minimize the dust.
      About an hour later, it’s dry again so we haven’t had to scrape yet!
      I’ll try to catch up with you soon,

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s