Yesterday was my twenty first anniversary. Doesn't seem like it's been that long. I'd like to see at least another twenty-one, but that's not gonna happen, dammit. So, at the beginning of September I asked if it would be alright if I renewed my vows at the hospital where my wife works for her anniversary present. Sure, they said, let us know when it gets closer. Foolish me, I lost track of time until the 10th. But her bosses are great, and got stuff set up for me. I gathered up my stuff, including the two kids that aren't in school and headed down to the hospital. I stopped to get flowers, but my favorite place no longer sells them. Damn, didn't plan for that. Cancer brain fail. So, I go on thinking what a dope I am, and find out when I get there that her friends (which are bosses as well) have a dozen red rose buds, a veil, something borrowed, something new, and have the entire thing set up. We are waiting for my oldest kid to show up. She gets there and they go get Liz. "We have a meeting", they said. "It won't take long", they said.
So, I see my loving wife walk out of the door, into a hall full of people, with a WTF expression on her face, then she sees me with a dozen roses, and I think she sees the chaplain and the veil and breaks down into tears. The shits is, I'm more nervous now than the day we got married. If that's not some shit and all. The Chaplains (there were two) did a nice prayer each, one read a renewal ceremony, and we had a smooch. Well, I got smooched, mine smoocher is fucked up and doesn't work anymore. Much to my chagrin.
This is not the big soiree' I'd been looking into since last March. I had, or so I thought, four years to plan a really cool twenty-fifth anniversary party, complete with a renewing of vows, some grilled foods, maybe some dancing and drinking. Probably copious amounts of drinking. I got kinda cut off at the knees on that one. Such is life though, or the Terminal Velocity portion I'm on right now anyway. I certainly didn't expect to make it this far, given some of the situations I've been in when I was younger, but now that I'm here, I certainly would love to see another 20 years, or more, at least. I hit that point where things were really getting close to "Me n Liz" time. Not that you ever quit thinking about or worrying about your kids. But so far we've done a good job at making independent thinking children who can take care of themselves. I saw no reason that wouldn't continue to be the case. It was time to start thinking about taking another trip to Scotland, and this time traveling on our own, going to see what we wanted to see, and spend a bit more time at fewer places. Or, just take some trips to the high lonesome, go to places here at home we haven't been to yet. There are a lot of those. Or, heaven forbid, learn how to talk to each other again without the conversation being around a kid and what they are doing. The kids are getting old enough to become friends as well as children. That's a pretty neat time in your life. Where you can kick back and say, "Yeah, they're gonna be okay. We can have fun with them now, again.". That was getting to be pretty cool. Yep, "Me n Liz" time got shot in the ass. So, the only thing I could think of to do, was show her I really do love her by renewing our vows on what is more than likely our last anniversary. Liz, love you as much as my life itself. It's been a party, ain't it.
This morning I go to get set with the boys and listen to them prattle on, because normally it's relaxing and it breaks up this dog shit routine I've got at the house of feeding every 4 hours, suctioning pond scum out of my mouth and wondering if it's time to up my pain meds a little (decision on the latter is "not quite yet"). I wrote something down, got a smart assed remark about Kansas State, and it pissed me clear the fuck off. I left. Normally I'd just ignore it and go on. But, for seven years I've listened to these guys crack wise about where I'm from and what I do for a sport and just laughed it off. All the while listening to them prattle on about that boring assed golf game they talk endlessly about, or get bent completely out of shape if you say one sideways remark about UT sports of any kind. So, fuck em with a cactus this morning. I don't need that particular brand of shit right now. I don't feel well enough to put up with it, and quite honestly, I don't have to put up with it. I never really did, so that's on me. Not anymore though. It's tough enough to have to write shit down all the time, I'm not going to defend the state I grew up in to a bunch of self righteous pricks.
So ends the rant. (more than likely i'll go back, just not anytime soon).
I'm beginning to tire more easily. I retain more fluid in and around my face, neck and shoulder. I'm more sore and the pain is a bit stouter than it was a even 2 weeks ago. I do not like this at all. I know Baxter is on the move, and it seems like he's picking up a little steam, the rat bastard. I think the trip up to Kansas, and the one to Fort Worth late next month will probably be it for me. I'm hoping that I'm up to the trip to Fort Worth, even. Considering the difference in how I feel now, compared to how I felt this time last month. I used to hack up a little blood every once in a while. Now it's every three to four days, and for varying lengths of time. It can be a bit disconcerting when that first big slug hits. After that it's just a pain in the ass. Because I feel like that's something I need to keep an eye on, just in case it starts getting worse. And it will. I'm hoping that holds off a bit. Liz has a birthday coming up. She deserves a break for that day, for sure and for certain, and worrying about my ass isn't a break at all.
Some years back, after we moved down here, and I'd been catching grief about working in the Kansas oil field from these Texas boys, I was watching them take water legs down from heater treaters to clean iron sulfide out of them. The guys were filthy, and stank, because that's the nature of that nasty black shit. It even gets into the pores of your skin so it's a terrible thing to get off.
"So, why is it you genius Texas boys work so hard at cleaning a water leg?". Which got started in on what the hell do I know, I'm from Kansas. What I knew was where to find 30' of 5/8" sand line, which I promptly opened the stranded on the wire rope and made a brush looking end. I went to the next treater, undid the victaulic clamp and opened up the bottom of the water leg. I shoved my homemade brush up the thing, with rubber gloves on, and started brushing away. In 10 minutes I had a 5 gallon bucket full of iron sulfide and scale, and the water leg had quit shedding the crap out of it. I buttoned it back up, kicked the water to it, and it ran like a champ. "There, geniuses, that's how we do it in Kansas, smarter, not harder. I guess you puddle jumpers don't know everything GD thing after all, do ya?" I rolled up my wire rope brush, put it in the back of my truck, and while I was getting ready to leave, was practically begged to leave the brush with them. "Nope, you assholes are so bright, go find some of your own and make the brush yourself. I don't know shit, remember? I worked in Kansas". Took them the rest of the day to clean two more water legs. And before I get "that just cost the company money", no, it didn't. Those guys were contracted a minimum 8 hours in my field, every day, regardless of what they did. Now, it wouldn't have only taken them 30-45 minutes, maybe less since it took me 40 minutes doing it by myself, to clean each water leg on the other two vessels. But they also learned a bit of "shut the fuck up" while they were getting absolutely filthy, and black, and covered in salt water on a 105 degree summer afternoon. Six months later, it was pretty chilly and time to clean water legs again. They had a wire rope brush to took them 5 hours to clean 8 water legs. Not 16 hours like it did the last time, and they didn't get wet, or quite so covered in BS. In the long run, they learned something new, and didn't forget it either. And they didn't say much to me about where I worked either. Unless we were kidding around, and that was fine by me
Be nice today, someone you run into may not be feeling well. Some folk aren't as sweet and kind as I am these days. Someone may be me thirty-mumble years ago and kick an ankle out from underneath you, because they hadn't learned how to pull their temper in like they did as they got older. Just sayin.
Love all y'all. Be careful out there, hear?
And my buddy Dennis Folk, watch your ass when you get west of Abilene, the dorks here in the Permian Basin can't drive for shit. See ya this evening.