Sometimes it seems like yesterday, instead of 25 years ago, when my husband and I bought that shell house with a pond on 10 acres in Bedias, Texas. I freely admit that it was HIS piece of Heaven, not mine! I had different ideas about our golden years, and they didn’t include being an hour away from a hospital or a mall or leaving my two-story brick home with a double oven. Regular readers of this column may recall I have a lot of good memories tied to that oven!
But after “camping” and endless mowing for two years, we bought the property across the road – one with a real house! And despite my resistance, the peaceful weekends began to grow on me. Even I couldn’t wait for Friday to ‘get outta Dodge.’
City born and raised, I had a lot to get used to and the first was the darkness – rather the absence of shopping center parking lot lights everywhere. Stepping out of that truck at 10 p.m., into what I called ‘darker than dark’ took some getting use to. As the “gate girl,” I had to navigate the cattle guard to unlock the gate without my size 5.5 shoes slipping through the rails. I still recall flailing my hands all about my head in the dark in case there were spider webs stretched between the fence posts.
Once the sun came up, our Saturdays seemed to stretch so much further than they did at home. We puttered – him in the barn and me trying to plant things or sewing or crafting. Living in the city, I had taken the seasons for granted but they came alive for me in the country. This place had become our respite and rejuvenated us to survive another week of chaos and traffic.
The worst part of our weekend was Sunday evening when we had to go back to Houston. As the months and years progressed, we left later and later. Once in our angst over leaving, we stayed Sunday night and went directly to work from Bedias. After all these years, I still remember that sadness we felt closing up the house, locking the gate and heading back home.
But humans are strange creatures. After five years as weekenders, my husband retired, and we made the move. Unfortunately, the everyday business of life that resided with us in Houston became part of our life in Bedias as we settled in. I was too young to retire so found a job in Bryan, trading a 10-minute one-way commute on safe, concrete streets for 50 minutes on patched, pothole laden, two-lane shoulder less roads. The peace I felt from our country retreat faded pretty quick.
Even though, we lost the magic after moving in, I don’t regret the decision. From this vantage point, I believe the journey was all part of God’s plan. Our Beaver Creek Ranch was my husband’s version of Heaven before he went to the real one and as for me, mine is right here in Navasota!
Connie Clements is a freelance reporter and award-winning columnist. She writes feature news articles on a weekly basis and an opinion column as the mood strikes her.