We got a call from Shawn at 7:20 Monday morning letting us know that he need us on a day gate immediately. It just so happens that the gate was one that we worked January for a couple of weeks (out of our coach) and then in March Michael worked there a couple of times when it was a day gate. A day gate is just that…usually only open during daylight hours, so roughly a 12 hour day.
This job was with a workover rig (that’s pretty much what we worked with last spring when we worked day gates) that was getting a pump jack up and running. The wells over in this area only flow freely for so long before they need a little boost to help the flow and the pump jack is that boost.
We weren’t in ‘gate guard’ mode at all but got ourselves together pretty quickly. I threw together snacks and food while Michael gathered other supplies: internet card, tablets, chargers, chairs, drinks, etc. We ended up pulling out of the yard about 25 minutes after we received the call.
We made a stop for diesel and a stop for breakfast sandwiches and were on the road for the 50ish mile drive by 8:00 am. We arrived at the gate about 9:00 am and got settled in before our first vehicles arrived about 15 minutes later.
We had a very pleasant surprise when one of our old regulars, Enrique, showed up. He used to have a crew of three others with him but now rides alone as he is in a supervisory position. He’s a ‘talker’ so it was good to catch up with him.
We had a shortish first day, getting done about 4:40 pm. But that was nice as we planned to make a couple of stops on the way home. We wanted to get some small bottles of propane and cough syrup from Walmart and then we wanted to pick up some lunch stuff from Walmart so that we were ready for a week of living out of the truck.
The second morning we arrived at 6:30ish to find a beautiful porta-potty had been delivered….all thanks to our friend Enrique who reminded the Company Man that gate guards have to ‘go’ too! Such a nice boy that Enrique.
Our days were pretty quiet with only 50 vehicles going in and out both Monday and Tuesday. We passed the time by using our tablets, phones and laptops (thank goodness for electronics). I also finished a book, started and completed another and started a third…all with my handy-dandy Kindle!
Michael’s back has been acting up so I did most of the opening of the gate as at this location the gate needed to be closed at all times and then just opened for each vehicle. Not bad actually….especially since the traffic was light. It was a great way to get my ‘steps’ in! Michael was a great chauffeur!
Another time passer is wildlife viewing. This particular gate has a lot of Cardinals…which I remembered from the last time we were there. They’re so vibrant in the brownish background!
We also had a roadrunner come by to visit…not much fear in him as he would wander within a couple of feet of us and I’ll bet he would have come right up to us if we’d had any food to offer him. When we were here last time I fed him/her (or a relative) raw meat and they loved it.
Tuesday we worked a little bit longer….until 6:30 pm as the rig crew was finishing up the job that they were there to do. So that left Wednesday to be a very short day. The rig and it’s crew pulled out at 9:20 am and we left about 11:30 am as we had two trucks coming in to pick up a pump and a tank.
We decided to stop in Batesville at Desi’s Restaurant and get some lunch before heading home. We’d been there once before and I knew that they had pepper steak and I’d been craving some. Pepper steak in this area is a hamburger steak stuffed with cheese & jalapenos and I had them add some grilled onions and green peppers too. Yum! Michael went with his usual chicken fried steak.
We were home about 1:00 pm and spent the rest of the day vegging. It felt so good! This was just a three day gate but still pays the same and now we wait to see what’s next!
After a little more than a week Michael’s bronchitis seems to finally be waning. He finished all of his meds (cough syrups, cough pills, steroids, antibiotics, inhalers) several days ago but it didn’t seem that there was much improvement. But finally last night was the first night of no coughing fits. Let’s hope that we’re over that hump!
The bronchitis has kind of hindered the results of the CPAP. With all the coughing and getting up to takes meds, etc it’s been hard to tell if the CPAP is actually helping. Although, Michael has said that when he was able to sleep he slept good. I also noticed that it was very (almost too) quiet on his side of the bed. No snoring, no purring, no puffing…kinda eerie actually. No that the bronchitis seems to been on the mend lets hope we’ll be able to get a more accurate view of what the CPAP can do.
One thing that Michael was able to accomplish before we were sent out on this gate job was to fix one of my ‘barrel’ cabinets on the kitchen island. We’ve been having trouble getting one of the cabinets to stay shut for a while. At first we could lift up on it and coax it to stay closed. But in recent weeks it just would not latch any longer. Before we left San Antonio I made Michael promise that he would fix it when we got to Carrizo since he’d already purchased the replacement parts for it….and the came through!
I emptied all of the spices out of the cabinet and Michael removed the old hinges from the cabinet. There were originally two hinges with 4 screws each holding the cabinet in place. Michael purchased a single piano hinge with THIRTY screws to hold it in place. He would like to have had a center punch to make the job a little easier but he got it done with just a trusty screw driver. The cabinet, once again, opens and closes perfectly!