Home » Gate Guarding » September Swan Song of Sorts

September Swan Song of Sorts

September means big changes.

When you’re a kid, or parenting kids, the hazy lazy days are gone in favor of new folders and new clothes and new routines. When you’re old like me and living in sweltering southern Texas, it means that for the first time since April, you can look forward to the weather improving! We’ve broken 100 degrees 40+ times this summer and we’ll continue to (according to Channel 4) for another week or so, but the 90’s are beckoning and there’s even a distant promise of 80’s in the long-range forecast.

September also means other changes here at Fork. When I began writing 3 years ago, I felt as if I’d traveled through some weird worm hole and landed on an entirely different planet. I knew nothing about Texas, nothing about the oil field, and not as much about myself as I’d thought. Every day was well … weird, so I had a lot to write about.

We worked with a lot of Cajun speakin’ Louisiana boys for the first year and a half and I couldn’t understand about half of what they said in the beginning. When I did get it right, it didn’t really matter because I didn’t know anything about the oil business so I had no idea what they were talking about anyway.

I didn’t like getting dirty. I hated hot weather and I was jumpy about things like spiders and javelinas and coyotes and scorpions and rattlesnakes and wild hogs.

Three years later, I’m not at all surprised when someone wants to show me their pot-bellied pig or pet tarantula.

I’m not even surprised when, like yesterday, I wake up to find a rattlesnake adorning our gate.

It’s just another day in the oil field.

I can not only talk the talk. I can even code it with a flash light…

to our derrikman through the tiny kitchen window!

We follow a rig so apart from an occasional ornamental snake and Coyote Catering, one day is very much like another. That doesn’t leave me replete with fascinating material (clearly, as I’ve now written about tearing my meniscus 3 times).

I’ve made multiple mistakes as a blogger.

I didn’t know anything about blogging so I let other bloggers tell me how to write:

  • If it isn’t 1000 words long, it isn’t worth writing about. Now that was BAD advice. I read a fair number of blogs, and unless the writer is a professional blogger or exceptionally gifted, when I see 1000 words, I move on down the road. That’s just way to long for me.
  • Never write about politics or religion (or anything controversial). I’ve followed that principle for all this time. Things are changing. My blog – my topics.
  • Stay true to your readers. People started reading Fork because it was about Gate Guarding so you have to stick with that. Well, as a general rule, that’s probably true. You build a readership that’s content based so if you change your content, you alter your readership.

However, here’s my problem. I set out to write about my experiences but after 3 years (and the NDA) it’s become more of a blog about me than a blog by me. As a result, I rarely write because I’ve lost interest in it and I can’t imagine it’s interesting to anyone else either. Some of you are just in too deep to quit I guess!

It’s September and it’s time for a change. I love my job – weird, I know, but I do love it – however I’m tired of reading and writing about it.

You know that Yogi Berra quote:

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

I’m at a fork. I’m not sure where this Fork will lead but I have to either put the blog to bed or take a different path. So I plan on trying another path for a while. If it leads us somewhere, I’ll keep going and if not, then it’s been a fun ride!

35 thoughts on “September Swan Song of Sorts

  1. I don’t care what you write about either. Every time I see a post of yours pop up it’s like catching up with a friend. We’ll be back in the oilfield in November and maybe one of these years we’ll actually meet. I look forward to it!

  2. Doesn’t matter to me what you write either. Every time I see a post from you it’s like catching up with a friend! We’ll be back in the field in November and one of these years we’ll meet. I look forward to it!

  3. I think I love you no matter what you write about! You bring humor, honesty and encouragement. Thank you for that! (now – back to the overloaded inbox.)
    Bless you!!!

  4. don’t quit writing…you are very funny…you inspired me to gate guarding and now I’m on vacation in Corpus, actually Padre Island. This is the first time I’ve actually read your blog since I first saw it but I had saved it and pulled it up today. Really…love your humor and the way you write….so just keep writing…huh

    • Thank you, Elizabeth!
      I’m wondering if there’s not quite a lot a wave action on Padre Island these days with the landfall of Ingrid? I imagine it’s quite beautiful!

      A couple of years ago we left the RV in Houston for repairs (after I’d ripped the side off on a tiny palm tree). We spent that week in Galveston.That’s as far south as our reserves would take us but I’d love to visit Corpus and Padre Island someday!

  5. Deb,

    Started reading your blog and found out about gate guarding. After finding that you and Heidi survived, we decided to try. We have been at it a year. Any problems that have popped up, were handled by being flexible and staying with it. I also enjoy your writing on other topics and will be a fan forever.


  6. I enjoy your blogs and will keep looking for them. I wonder where you are. We will be down there in a couple of months and hope it will be cooled down a bit. We will be looking for you and Heidi.

    • Hello Linley!
      So, it’s that time of year, is it? It still feels like July here but the log sheets do say Sept.:D
      I hear the “Winter Texans” have already begun to return.
      Right now, we’re w a y out in the vast unknown between Three Rivers and Karnes City but our rig should be finishing up here and moving on in about a week.
      Keep in touch! We’d love to see you and John again!

  7. Debbie,
    I, too, am in Way to Deep. I read your blog because you are a fellow gate guard, and CONTINUE to read it because you are an entertaining and captivating writer. I will follow your writings, but hope that an occasional gate guard story be included. I do understand the lack of material!

    • Kathy –
      Thank you so much!
      Undoubtedly there will still be stories from the world of gate guarding since I’m thinking I’ll be at it full time for another 5 years! πŸ˜€

  8. Love you and am thinking about you, as you take a different path. You ARE a writer .. .a good one. So cheering you on, whatever decisions you make. πŸ˜€

    • Debbie –
      This was sort of a preemptive post.
      I probably should have had some sense of direction before I left home. I’m so often lost, it seemed natural just to head out and see where the road leads. πŸ˜€
      Thank you for always cheering me on – no matter what!
      Tell Aub I had a grasshopper hopping all over my head tonight. I wanted to send him hopping into her lap but I lost him in the cacti!

  9. I didn’t pick up on “Swan Song” till I got to the end–please, please, please, You Gotta Keep Writing! I’m in Way Deep, and would probably read if you copied labels for posting. It’s too bad about the 1000-word deal–I know you’re right, but I’m such a jabberer…it’s tough. By the by, I LOVE this new blog theme! Okay, well–whatever you decides is fine, and I’ll quit whining. You’re in my prayers ALWAYS–God bless you BIG–I love you, sis Caddo

    • Oh Caddo –
      You have me smiling!
      Note that I said I won’t read long posts unless the writer is really quite good! I read yours so that settles that!:D
      I’m not sure where I’m going from here but it’s great to know you’ll be my traveling companion!

  10. Please keep on writing, I love to read your stories no matter what they are about as I find you such an interesting soul. I feel like you are a friend that one day I will get to meet, yet if you disappear how will I find you? BTW love the picture of the rattler.

    • Susie –
      There are two Susies who visit here.
      It’s not hard to tell you a part since the other Susie won’t even read my post if it’s snake-ish! πŸ˜€
      (By the way, a buzzard found the rattler and had, I suppose by buzzard standards, a very fine catered dinner!)
      Thank you for your kind words!
      Gosh and gee whiz! I’m just this side of speechless!

  11. I’m with the others….I don’t care WHAT you write about but please just keep writing!!!!!!!! You are such a good writer, funny, interesting and extremely enjoyable to read. So, dear friend, write about the funny things that happen day-to-day, tell me a joke, reference a good book or share a good recipe….I don’t care….just keep writing!!!!!!

  12. Hey, I’ll follow on whatever path you take – it’s been a hoot so far! (except for the knee thing, really sorry ’bout that)

  13. Morning Debbie
    I think we’ve reached the same fork – me in Nevada and you in Texas
    Take some time and the stories will come – your heart is so big and you express yourself so beautifully
    I agree with Sherrie and Linda, wherever you go – I’ll follow too
    God Bless your journey

    • Dear Susie –
      This summer surely has fried at least 11 of my brain cells (and I know it’s been even hotter where you are)!
      I would often think of things to write about that didn’t fit Two Minutes of Grace and had nothing to do with life in the oil field so I ended up not writing anything for either blog.
      Of course, now I’m a complete blank… πŸ˜€
      Thank you for being a constant source of encouragement wherever I go!

  14. All right so this is the deal: you are a free agent and can do what you like, but I am one of your readers so here is my vote. Whatever you do and wherever you go I want to go with you! I’m not picky about where, when or how just please don’t leave me behind. Last week I received a phone book thick tourist guide and huge map from the Texas tourist board and I was so delighted because it gives me a chance to learn more about where my friends are. I consider you and Heidi my friends, even though we have never met and maybe you are only friends in my head, but that’s friends enough for me. Yesterday morning my mother and I spent a whole conversation making a list of things that might ease your knee pain that didn’t require drugs or doctors, so maybe we are becoming more than friends maybe we are family.

    • Oh Sherrie,
      I’m so touched by you (and your Mom) and your care for me (us).
      Who would have ever guessed a blog about rattlesnakes and roughnecks and falling down the steps and landing on a cow could lead to a friendship all the way over in the Garden State!
      Thank you for opening your heart in such a generous way!

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