March 11, 2015
Here I sit in the office of our River House. Surrounded on three sides by the Arms of God. And the Muse is waxing poetic. That is unusual for me. She knows I am a storyteller. Not a prosaic. Nevertheless, there is this occasional wisp of poeticism that overcomes me and I get the desire to make pretty words. Forgive me friends, for I have no story to tell today, just ruminations and observations. At least you can always count on me for a brevity of words.
The Brazos de Dios engulfs me to the north, east and south. My only escape without a bridge or fording is to the west. Our little place is on the banks of what is shown on maps as the DeCordova Bend of the Brazos River. We are located a couple of ripply miles below the DeCordova Dam at Lake Granbury. Looking at a map, the bend stretches east like a rubber band for about a mile and then curves back west, only to eventually work its way south to Lake Whitney and, eventually, the Gulf of Mexico.
When I look out the back window I see dinosaurs. I see American Indians – Tejas, Tonkaways, Lipans, Cherokees, maybe an Apache or two. I’ll have to look that up. I see conquistadors, searching for gold and naming rivers. I see vaqueros and cowhands fording the river behind our River House. We have shallow water. It would be a natural crossing place. I see pioneers with wagons looking at these hills, trying to decide where to settle. I see a man and his dog, and wonder if they parked their canoe and camped on this land.
Across the river is Barnard’s Knob. I know that because it’s marked on John Grave’s map inside the cover of “Goodbye to a River.” We live on Ravenswood. The longest street in Hood County. Up the street from us is a cul-de-sac called Kristenstad Ct. I know that Kristenstad was a pioneer community in this area. I intend to research and learn more about Barnard’s Knob, Kristenstad and other points of interest I run across as I spend my time here. That’s one of the things I hope this blog will be about.
As far as the dinosaurs go, we are only twenty minutes from the Dinosaur Valley State Park at Glen Rose. There are dinosaur tracks there in the Paluxy River valley. I walk down to our river bed and look for tracks, hoping. I’d settle for a toenail.
When it comes to research, I don’t have to go to the library or the Internet to look up “Kristenstad.” Just the name tells me a lot about the settler’s hopes of the time. They planned the set up house in “Christ’s Place.” I expect a lot of hopes and dreams were either dashed or fulfilled within a ten minute walk from our house.
The same goes with this house. We bought it a year ago as a getaway closer to our kids in Dallas and Houston and my mother in Waxahachie. It is a retreat that we didn’t expect to find at this point in our lives.
I think my writing is better from this desk. I hope to keep it up. We will try to come here more often. Our lives are filled with weddings, showers, births and funerals. That’s where we are at 60. In the middle.