Home » Gate Guarding » If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Texas

If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Texas

If it’s Tuesday, this must be Belgium Texas. If you’re not old enough to remember the movie, never-mind. It was pretty forgettable. Just like the day of the week or the month of the year is forgettable when you’re a Top Secret Agent in Texas.

Life as a TSA is jam-packed with redundancy.

We work every day  – all day and all night. Heidi and I are year-rounders so we work every day and every holiday and every birthday, which makes every day pretty much the same.

That’s a fact, not a complaint. We’re extremely grateful that we’ve almost never been without a job since we started gate guarding. It’s just funny to hear someone say on the news: Have a great weekend! That’s something you never hear in the oil field because we just have days – not week days and weekend days and holiday – just days.

I’m writing this on Saturday but it might as well be a Tuesday in Texas. I may not know what day of the week it is or sometimes even the month or season but I always know I’m in Texas. It’s the unforgettable part of life as a TSA.

Texas won’t let you forget you’re in Texas.

The Texas flag flies high and proud everywhere. It’s often accompanied by the Confederate flag which seems like a little bit of a contradiction to the US flag to me, but there it is.

Michener sums it up for us Yankees.

What you northerners never appreciate…is that Texas is so big that you can live your life within its limits and never give a (darn) about what anyone in Boston or San Francisco thinks. ~ James Michener

I can’t count how many Texans I’ve met who’ve never been outside of Texas. Seriously. Not ever. Grown-up people who’ve never once been out of this state. We worked for a rancher (a retired postmaster) who had never been out of his county. Hmm…

We’re well into our 3rd year now as Top Secret Agents. People are always asking us how/why we’re here working as TSAs in TX.

It’s a great question. If I had a bucket list, which I don’t, Texas might not fit in it because I’m a:

  • Water lover
  • Forest lover
  • Bug hater (spider fear-er)
  • Cool temperature lover
  • Nature (involving things that don’t want to bite or sting me) lover
  • And an avid walking on the beach type of bum

You can find things like water in Texas but you’re not likely to find a TSA job nearby.

I lived most of my life in the Midwest of Grant Wood. It was lovely. I don’t miss the freezing winters but I do miss having 4 real seasons.

For the three years prior moving to Texas, we lived on the southern Oregon coast. Growing up in Indiana, my family spent almost every Spring Break in Florida, where I fell in love with the ocean.

But Oh! the ocean in Oregon with the mountains and forests falling off into the sea; the whales spouting; the fog horns; the crab boats; the lighthouses; the agate and jasper covered beaches. It seemed like a place people made up in books.

Walks in Oregon were in the beautiful old growth forests or, if Henry got to vote, on the beach.

Henry enjoying a romp and stomp with the seagulls
Henry’s favorite thing was a wild romp and stomp with the seagulls, no leash, ever. Those were his halcyon days – and ours!

Heidi and I both worked as managers at a beautiful ocean front resort. The location was idyllic but the chest pains that Heidi started having from the stress became alarming. At the end of a particularly hard week, I made a just catching up phone call to Joanie who used to work for me at the resort. She and her husband were full-time RVers, gate guarding in Texas.

To tell you the truth, the job didn’t really appeal to me but it was clear we needed to make a change. Heidi already owned a motorhome which was sitting empty in a lot since we had a 2 bedroom apartment at the resort.

Acting on impulse and with no idea what to expect, we talked it over, took the Level II Security tests and headed to Texas with the assurance from a gate guard company that they’d find us something eventually after we got in state.

We started working the day we called to say we’d crossed the border. And oh gosh, it hasn’t been anything like anything either of us have experienced before. Not Texas, and not gate guarding.

Working as a TSA is nothing like being  Public Speaker/Trainers, or a Counselor (me) or an English teacher (Heidi) or as Managers at a beautiful ocean front resort. As a matter of fact, being a TSA isn’t anything like doing anything else. Ask anybody.

We do like it, though, which amazes us both.

Next time I’ll try to add some real slices of Texas TSA life.

35 thoughts on “If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Texas

  1. Well alright then… was Henry running so as not to be seen as having taken part in the starfish free-for-all? Sorry, but Possum won’t quit asking. By the way it’s like Thursday in Florida, so if it’s Tuesday in Texas, then it must be Easter in Oregon! “Do what PotPie? No, I’m sure they don’t hunt starfish on Easter in Texas. Even if they did, the the TSA’s would have to kill us if they told us so.”

    One final thing… are those Heidi’s boots? “These boots are made for walking…”

    Blessings all the way from the grace, good agents.

    • MT– Tell Pot Pie those aren’t my boots. I didn’t keep my cowgirl boots when I got the RV because I wasn’t going to line dance in Oregon. Of course now I dearly wish I had! I could dance around the snakes!

      • Now you’ve really got Pot Pie pushing us for a trip to Texas, Heidi! He’s convinced there are Easter starfish hidden on the rig, that he’ll get to do the two-step with a TSA in a snake pit, and gather wild hog collectibles with Henry off the fence lines. Happy Resurrection Day to the Fork, good friends!

        • MT – Well my friend, sadly there no starfish here on Easter (either week). I did color eggs tho’ 😀
          What does Pot Pie think of bobcats?
          We have one living in the brush pile next to the RV.
          It makes Henry’s fur stand up!
          After 3 days of rattlesnake companionship, Heidi HO got fed up and took off with her hoe (this being Texas and all, a young fellow took the hoe from her and about got them both bit)
          Anyway, it’s always interesting here on the ranch…

  2. Wow its been a while since we read your post and as always they are still so very good, Love reading them.We are still at the same gate for another month then it is off to Lake Tahoe for a few months break. Take care and we will look forward to more good reading. Give H & H our hugs till later Luke and Inez

    • Well hello Luke!
      It’s great to ‘see’ you, my friend!
      I’ve only been to Tahoe once – so beautiful! Good for you! 😀
      You two be careful this month and safe travels.
      (I won’t go into details here as it offends some but we found out the hoe does work on 5 1/2 foot rattlesnakes)

  3. Holy smokes I missed the biggest chunk of this post. Did you add stuff? I think i missed all the text around the photos (which are stunning). Oh, the reference to Henry and his loving, stomping around on the beach … just speaks to my heart and makes me want to go to Oregon, which Don and I will be doing soon. I am so homesick for the Oregon coast. Not for swimming of course, but the beautiful trees and rocks (agates), and little crustations that grow on the rocks, and those little sea anenemies (sp). I can literally smell the ocean now.

    Are Heidi’s chest pains under control now!? I’m totally shocked? I haven’t read every blog post of anyone’s, so I’ve missed things. So sorry! Very scary. But the job sounded really cozy, but lots of work. Mel

    • Sweet Mel –
      Heidi quit having chest pains about 2 hours after we left our jobs at the resort. Too much stress but a healthy heart!

      So, you’re going to Oregon!!! Hooray for you!
      Sure wish we could join you and Don!
      Someday, my friend!!! 😀

  4. Damn, they even celebrate East earlier in Texas! Just kidding you. FUN and funny post. I love your adventures in BIG BUG BITER land! Lol. HOWEVER, I can imagine how the repetitiveness of living in heat, bugs and 24 hour “shifts” can wear on a woman who loves sea, land, nature (minus biting insects). Oregon Trail. Trail yourself to Oregon (not that far away my friend) …

    • Mel –
      Well, if any state could name their own date, it would be Texas! 😉
      I was momentarily embarrassed but honestly, it’s all kind of a blur here: days, months, seasons, years.
      We’ve had 3 days in the 90’s – 2 before the 1st day of Spring.
      When you from the Midwest that just adds to the confusion – plus the Big Dipper is sideways!:D

      • Oh Debbie. You’re so sweet. I hope you don’t feel that upset about the holiday thing. I’m telling you, Easter ALWAYS sneaks up on me. Always.

        I give you and Heidi all the credit in the world for holding on to your sanity in the endless minutes, hours, weeks and months blurring together. Soon you will see the seasons AND you’ll get to see all the advertisements for holidays. The retail industry will bombard you with shopping “clues”. XO

        REALLY, the big dipper: Sideways. Hey, that says it all! Whacky!

  5. Thinking of you each day, whatever day it is .. it’s a good day to pray and thank Him for you brave TSA’s. Love and prayers, gracious frined!

    • Oh Jill –
      I should have known when you didn’t know it was Easter, it wasn’t Easter! 😉
      There are some gg that are kind of grumpy, but you and Mr A have the biggest hearts out there!

  6. Wow, the world of occupied Mexico is a world apart! I don’t think I could handle the confederate flag with such good grace, but then I am a Yankee girl through and through……plus which I think in the Midwest they teach you manners in a stronger way, but that’s just a hunch. Big hugs to you both!

    • Sherrie –
      Well, it’s been interesting…
      You know how it is when someone buys the house next door and you don’t hit it off right away?
      Maybe you don’t like the way they mow (or never mow) their lawn or let their dog bark all night.
      You can focus on that or you can try to look for the upside.
      Texas is like that neighbor for me.
      At first, all I could see were the things that I didn’t like (or that wanted to eat me) but I’m learning to look at the upside! 😉
      Plus, to be fair, Texas is one BIG state and I’ve only lived in 3 southern counties which are far removed from life in places like Dallas or Houston or Austin. Not necessarily better or worse, but different.
      The picture I have and the only one I can share is like looking at 15 pieces of a 500 piece jigsaw puzzle!
      Saw your Gov. on Saturday Night Live. He’s a character! 😀
      Sending hugs back at you!

  7. Glad to see y’all are still alive and kicking–sending big prayers and huge hugs and smoochies. God bless–love, sis Caddorino

    • Well, Howdy Caddorino!
      You are SO fun!
      Yep, we’re still a kickin’ and slappin’ (bugs, not each other) and spittin’ (out bugs not at each other)!
      What we aren’t doin’ is gettin’ on line hardly ever, but we’re still workin’ on it!
      Hope to teleport to the PNW soon!!!
      Your Henri sends his own special Schnoodle smooches.

  8. Enjoyed your comments on how you entered the world of gate guarding. We’ll be back at it for four months the end of August, hope we can get a rig site pretty quick. Your blog is on my daily read list, really enjoy keeping up with you two. Jan

    • Hello Jan!
      I do hope you get right on a rig!
      August should be a great time to come back. all the companies seem to really struggle to keep up with the demand for gate guards during the summer months.
      It’s so nice of you to read Fork regularly.
      I’ve been having quite a time trying to get any internet access.
      We’ve just started using Heidi’s phone as a hot-spot and it seems to be working better so I may post a little more often.
      For the first year on the job, I hardly ever missed a day.
      Of course all of those posts are CLASSIFIED TS now! 😉

  9. Debbie is so right days, weeks, months and holidays crop up as just any other day in the oilfields. But it doesn’t start or end there – when we retired from that 9-5 job Woody took off his watch and did not put it back on for 19 years. He had to put it back on in 2011 when we started gateguarding to log in the “big trucks” etc. Easter slipped up on us this year being in March. Have a great “nother day” you three.

    • Hey there, Mickey!
      There is something freeing about not wearing a watch, isn’t there?
      I still don’t.
      We have a little clock (we stocked up at Wal-Mart) stuck on our clip board.
      Between that and the microwave and the ever present smart phone (it’s so smart, I should have asked it when Easter was) I only wear a watch on vacation! 😀
      Happy Easter to you and Woody NEXT Sunday!

  10. Hi Debbie,

    I fully understand what you are talking about. I always know what day of the month it is but find it difficult to know what day of the week it is. BTW tomorrow is Palm Sunday and the 31st is Easter. Did you ever find out what was wrong with your water heater?


    • Hey Nick!
      I should be embarrassed but it does kind of make my point, doesn’t it? 😉
      The over the phone diagnosis is wiring-gone-bad in the water heater.
      The mobile man will repair it when he comes out to replace the gray and black water valves (and all that involves, which I guess, is quite a project) and the convection/microwave oven. All of which, thankfully, are covered under the extended warranty.
      Since we’ve had several 90 degree days now, the water is plenty hot w/0 the water heater!

    • CindyH–Ok. Just discovered the real Easter date after Debbie went to bed, so I’ve removed the sentence referring to Easter. It only goes to prove the point, however. We’ve no idea when any holiday hits unless it comes up in conversation or email or we see it on the news! Sigh. She wasn’t kidding. We’re clueless. Now the question remains, what arenas does this really extend to? Crawling back under my rock now.

    • Cindy –
      I have no idea why I thought it was Easter!?!
      I guess I just made it up?
      I truly need to get out more, don’t you think? 😀
      On the bright side, since it wasn’t, we’ve had time to get tons of candy to fill BIG plastic Easter eggs for the guys who will be going home Tuesday and for those who will be spending Easter with us here on the Ranch! 😉

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