As the Thanksgiving weekend started, I was feeling a little bit down.
I was heading to the worst camp of my oilfield life, my wife was having family dinners without me, and I couldn’t seem to shake this cold/chest infection.
As I backed my third load of the day down a lease road, I noticed a range of snow capped mountains in my mirror. I couldn’t help but smile. I thought about how lucky I was to be there at that moment, to be able to look past the piles of shale, the fuel sloop, and the treeline to see such a magnificent sight in the distance.
Then I started to think about how lucky I was to have a legal means of earning a lot of money in a short period of time, and to feel completely at ease doing it. Many people have tried this life, and many people have gone home disgruntled and disheartened. It’s taken it’s toll on me a time or two as well, but I keep coming back. Sure, the money is great, but it’s the people that tip the scales. They’re the ones that make rain out days enjoyable, and sometimes even hoped for.
That made me think about how fortunate I was to know the people that I know. From Jimmy giving me a job and a Red Rocket to drive while I’m here, to John and Leona opening their home and supper table to me for the many nights that I’m not in camp. It takes a lot of stress off of a guy when he isn’t worrying about hotel bills and cab fares.
From the moment I flew in to town, I was made to feel welcome. Whether it was delicious home made, stuffed burgers, a night of UFC and fantastic pizza, or a messy donair lunch with friends, I have been made to feel like family and it’s really a great feeling.
I have been invited to countless Thanksgiving dinners, and even for a Thanksgiving boys weekend at a cabin on the Halfway River! How amazing would that have been? As much as I would have loved to go, I am here to work, so work I must. I never know when the weather is going to shut things down, so I have to take it when I can.
Sure, I wish that the four days that it’s rained since I got here had started on Friday, but they didn’t, so that’s that. Get on with life and try to smile about the many good things that are constantly happening. Instead of dwelling on the fact that I’m curled up in a tiny sleeper in a gravel pit that is hours from town while eating cans of ravioli, I can look at it as not having to spend another night in that horrible camp or choosing from their seven different types of processed luncheon meat sandwiches. It has also saved me three hours of driving and probably a couple hours of fueling and getting situated.
Oh, and it gave me the time to write. I’m thankful for that too.
Seriously. You guys are a big part of my life now, and I want you to know how much I appreciate you.
Every night that I get in and don’t have the time or energy to spare for a post, I get a little sad. Obviously not sad enough to do anything about it, but more like the sadness you feel when you realise that you don’t quite measure up to someone you admire.
Hopefully you don’t know what I’m talking about.
I do, or at least I did.
So to hell with Thanksgiving dinners, and instead I will give thanks in my own way. I will give thanks for a great job that allows me to take beautiful vistas for granted, some of the most thoughtful and generous friends that you’ve ever seen, and for my family, because you make it so easy to be me.
I mean it. How many people have had the opportunities that I’ve had? How many people have forged as many great friendships and relationships as I have? Even as I write this, thousands of kilometres from home, holed up in the middle of nowhere, I will have a peaceful, stress-free sleep, knowing that there is nothing to worry about.
I know I’m going to be just fine, and that’s what I’m most thankful for.
What would you do if I sang out of tune, would you stand up and walk out on me,