Texas, land of windshield monsters

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I’m pretty sure that out of the 10 million times we’ve been to Texas, we’ve had a windshield broken at least half of those times. Two things we can be sure of in Texas – the A/C will freeze up and, inevitably, a rock, large stick, torpedo or grackle will find the windshield and adapt an up-close and deadly fascination with it at high rates of speed.

George assures me the ratio of windshield breaks associated with Texas is directly related to the number of times we’ve been there. I say it’s windshield monsters, and possibly asteroids, because there are places we’ve been in Texas I’d swear was an alien landscape. Rolling between Ozona and Van Horn on 10, I wouldn’t be surprised in the least to look over and see a Millennium Falcon parked on one of the desolate outcrops. Actually, I’m pretty sure I did see a crashed X-wing fighter, but I also had a high fever from a toothache, and George told me it was broken fence, so that may be the wrong set of facts.

Besides the scars and general aversion to chain saws, this refrigerator magnet is all that’s left of G&W Landscaping.Besides the scars and general aversion to chain saws, this refrigerator magnet is all that’s left of G&W Landscaping.

The last time we were smashed into by a potential windshield destroyer in Texas, it was courtesy of a chunk of wood that flew off a decrepit landscape trailer, being pulled by a couple who looked a lot like George and I did when we ran our landscape business – tired and beat up as hell. They were decent enough to pull over, which is unheard-of, but we didn’t, it was a nick in the glass and it didn’t touch the paint on the hood, George just slowed down and gave them the “It’s OK” wave. We actually had a spider nick in the other side that needed to be fixed anyway. There was no sense in taking the time and risk of stopping in the breakdown.

George and I also have a very soft spot for people who work hard and try to do the right thing. They not only pulled over, they secured the load, and again, you don’t see that very often. People don’t seem to have any qualms about flying down the highway with crap flying off their vehicles anymore. I hate to say it, but sometimes, even truckers.

I’m gonna reminisce a minute here and give a big thank you to the folks out there doing hard jobs and trying to do the right thing. We’ve been the landscape people — George and I had a business we did all by ourselves for several years. We worked our butts off, and, yes, sometimes we packed our little trailer so tight with yard waste and debris, we had no business running it down the highway.

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We were lucky nothing ever flew off, and George also perfected a loading system in which the last things loaded were branches, that I would climb up on top of, and jump like a fool to smash down while George cranked ratchet straps to keep it from popping back up. Consequently, every single time we see a brush-loaded trailer, we both yell, “Jump, Wendy! Jump!”

Good times.

Blue-collar work built this country and blue-collar work will sustain it a lot farther into the future than I believe we’ve planned for well. So here’s to the folks who get their hands dirty, you’re a rare breed, and you are appreciated more than you know.

Now quit breaking our dang windshields and learn to jump, Wendy! Jump!

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