Tuesdays for the month of August have been pretty exhausting. On these days, I conduct field work three hours away from where I live. It’s fairly run of the mill – I have to collect water quality parameters while work is being done on site. I have to be on site by 10:30. I wake up at 5:45 that morning so that Puppy can have a chance to stretch his legs, eat, play, and wreak whatever havoc he wants before I leave. We usually spend that hour together watching Breaking Bad (I’m on Season 4, so no spoilers or else I will hate you forever).
At 6:45, I put him in a nice big cage with a blanket, toy, and water, and leave for the site. After my arrival, I collect my parameters (usually, there are at least one or two wells that do not want to cooperate, which can be very frustrating). After four or five hours of work, I drive the three hours back home, play with Puppy, and then take him to training class.
For the past 4 weeks, weather on site has been sunny, hot, and humid; it’s your standard Texas August heat. But today there was rain. It was not heavy rain, but just steady enough to be a nuisance. As long as it’s not lightning, field work must continue. This morning, I nervously parked my truck next to my wells and began calibrating my equipment, keeping a sharp eye to the ground. It started getting soft and muddy. I’ve already gotten my truck stuck before at this site during a rain event, so today I moved the truck to higher, more solid ground. I’m glad I did, since I could feel the ground getting softer beneath the tires as I drove. Of course, I wasn’t smart enough to empty my equipment out of my truck before moving it, so I carried it all back to the wells. A contractor on site was kind enough to lend me a large umbrella and a trash bag – the trash bag would keep my equipment safe from the rain, while the umbrella would keep me dry. I had rain gear on but was still soaked. My jeans clung to my legs and my socks and shoes never dried throughout the day, even as it stopped raining.
I was chilly at first but started to warm as I kept dry under the umbrella. I collected my parameters and actually left the site in record time, even as I had to carry all my equipment back. The drive back was a bit tiresome. Driving on country roads can be easy since they aren’t as populated, but they can be challenging at times. Sometimes people will drive 30 mph below the speed limit, or drive huge farming equipment down the highway. Today a semi tried passing the truck in front of me up, but as another car approached in the oncoming lane, he cut me off and got in front of me. He was carrying flammable cargo, which was reassuring.
When I got home, I did not take Puppy to training class. I instead sat on the couch, tossed toys for him, and watched more Breaking Bad while working on a cross-stitch project for my cousin.
I am tired. My left ankle is sore for an unknown reason. I can already feel chigger bites on that same ankle. The dog was hyper and bit my nose while we were playing. I would just like to sleep for the next ten hours.
But I feel accomplished that my day’s salary, and the relaxation I’m experiencing now, was well-earned.