I am alone again tonight. The kids are in bed, the reptiles have been either put to sleep or woken up, depending on which one it is, and the dog is softly snoring on his bed by the window. I am sitting here in the bed, where sleep eludes me, enjoying a wonderful cup of coffee (and I wonder why I can’t seem to fall asleep. Ha!). I’ve done this many nights before. That’s the way nights often go when you’re an oilfield wife. Which brings me to the entire point (at least as of right now before I get sidetracked and get completely off topic, which wouldn’t surprise me too much) of this post.
I am an Oilfield Wife. I wear the title proudly. I spend long nights just wishing for a text from my husband, knowing it might not come. I spend long days taking care of the kids and the house hoping he will be home for dinner, knowing that he probably won’t. I chose this lifestyle, or rather it chose me. My husband and I had been together for a few years before he got involved in the oilfield almost ten years ago. I didn’t marry into it like a lot of women I know. I was asked my opinion, my thoughts, my feelings. We discussed it at great length. We both agreed that he could at least give it a shot and we could see if it worked for us. So far, I have taken this way of life and made it my own.
Anyway, I was at the bank today taking care of a couple of things that needed to be done when the banker helping me asked me what Kevin did for a living. I told her he worked in the oilfield. She said, “Then I guess that means he’s gone quite a bit then, huh?” I told her he was gone at least as much as he was home, if not more. She asked me why and how I did it. I told her that I do it because I have to. I do it because we CHOSE this life. I do it because I am strong enough to handle it. I do it because I love my husband.
This is a hard life to live. I keep my phone with me at all times when my husband is out on a job. Yes, I even take it to the bathroom with me. It could ring at any time, and be my wonderful husband. He could have only half a minute to spare to call me (it’s happened several times before) and if I don’t answer it, I don’t know when I will get to hear his voice next. I sleep with my phone right by my head when he’s gone, because he might have a chance to call at 2:30 in the morning and I don’t want to miss it.
I am an oilfield wife. That means I know how to fix my truck if it breaks down (or I know how to call someone else that can). I know how to take care of the yard work. I know how to take out the trash. I know how to cook and clean (although my husband would argue with you about that one). I know how to pack a bag for him in about ten minutes flat, and not forget anything. I know how to pay the bills. I know how to attend family functions without him. I know how to drive halfway across the country by myself (with the children, so I’m not really by myself, but I am the only adult). I know how to handle a gun. I know the difference in my dog barking at an animal and barking at something I really need to go check out. I know how to defend my children, my house, and myself.
One thing that people don’t always understand is that if we go with them somewhere, let’s say to dinner, we might have to get up and leave before our food ever arrives. If his phone rings, he must answer it. He can’t just leave it in the truck or at the house. He is ON CALL. Even when he isn’t, he still is.
I have recently met a group of oilfield wives here in San Antonio, and I don’t know how I ever got along without them before. They know what it’s like. I don’t even have to say anything. They just know. They understand. They don’t judge me when I stop in the middle of a conversation and walk off to answer my phone. They don’t judge me when I start texting while we are talking. They know. I love our weekly lunch dates. I look forward to them every week! We all pretend like none of us are ever going to move away, but we all know that any of us could be moving anytime. We also know that if we have plans, and one of our husbands happens to be home, that lucky wife just might not make it to wherever we were meeting. If one of us disappears for a week, we know it’s because the husband is home. Time with them is so precious.
So now that I am rambling, and jumping all over the place, and not really making any kind of points or sense anymore, I think it is time for me to try and get some sleep.
And yes, my phone is right beside me, waiting on that call or that text…