Monday, June 14, 2010

One big family.

The kids and I spent last week with an interesting mix of folks from both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line, my immediate family being the only true Yankees in the bunch. Steve's job is in Pennsylvania but the guys on the crew - at least the ones I got to know - are from Virginia and Tennessee. I heard a lot of "hellfire!" and "I don't reckon" and all kinds of one-liners that kept me chuckling and by the end of the week had bled into my own repertoire.

We had a great week overall, and while I was more than ready to get home and back to my own bed and all my other creature comforts, I was a little bit sad to leave that beautiful place and that group of folks who have become like family. It does a mama's heart good to know her man is doing OK and that he has a few strong, honest buddies watching his back while he's so far away from home. They work together and play together. They eat dinner together, drink beer together, talk shop together, and generally have a good ol' time. And when it comes to the wives and children of any of them, we are all considered an extension of their big, happy family. These guys will feed you, drive you, offer to pick something up from the store for you, call you ma'am (which I don't mind in the least), offer you their seat, and treat your kids the same way, too. I think they can only temper their language so much - they are pipeliners, after all, and a pipeliner can just about make a sailor blush - but they respect the children and at least keep their cussin' to a minimum when we're around. I can appreciate that.

Here's a little glimpse at our week in Penn Run, PA.

Four people. Twenty-four feet of trailer. Insanity, anyone? It's still better than a hotel.

My little Pinky.

Sammy, always trying new tricks.

Giant rocks in Yellow Creek. Which was actually kinda' brown from all the rain. I'm guessing it's not really yellow. I don't know how it got that name.

The bridge. It's toward the back of the campground and leads to an island between the river and a smaller creek. The kids liked to hang out there and skip rocks. And there is no shortage of rocks here, lemme tell ya'.

More tomorrow.