The recent rains and subsequent muddy mess it left got me to thinking about the challenges we oft times endure as gate guards. While it's a 180 degree transformation, we also suffer from the dirt and dust that pervades everything out here. As a gate guard you will inevitably find yourself parked out in the middle of nowhere, completely at the mercy of whatever Mother Nature chooses to throw at you. As a friend of mine likes to say "There ain't no sniveling in the oil patch." I have to remind myself of that as I return to the RV with the dogs from their walk, after two days of soaking rain. We keep a towel by the door just for these circumstances and block off areas of the house that we don't want the animals in. I clearly understand that I took on the responsibility for these animals, but that doesn't make the task any easier or more agreeable. I have learned that mud that dries out into dirt is much easier to clean up. While it bothers me to no end, I have learned to accept the inevitable. The rain has stopped and we enjoyed a partial reprieve as the sun popped out and the temps soared into the eighties. The mud and muck are now a little more manageable. Another cold front is due to blow through tomorrow and the temps will crash yet again. I take solace in knowing that the length and severity of these cold waves grows shorter and shorter. As a longtime resident of Oklahoma I am well aware of how capricious Mother Nature can be. I am also a world traveler and few places have equaled south Texas in the variety and severity of weather. We're talking 50 degree temperature swings and a winter that fights voraciously against the inexorable tide of summer. I work nights and return to the RV to rest in the morning. These transition days find me switching the heat off as I retire and setting the air conditioner to avoid waking up in an oven. The process repeats itself in reverse at night. Just plain weird. Sooner than we like the storms will abate, the wind will lay down and it will be over 105 degrees in the shade. It's an annual rite of passage that anyone working down here goes through.