Thursday, September 01, 2011


Happy Childhood Memories
For most of us, reminiscing about our childhood is nice, isn’t it? Trouble is, do we remember correctly? One of my favorite cartoons was "Hi and Lois" where Hi and his son were outside in the snow peering up at the icicles hanging along the eaves. Hi was telling his son how much bigger the icicles were in the winters when he was a kid. The little boy asked his dad to kneel down to his level, Hi did, and then peered up and said, “Yeah, I see what you mean.” We do tend to lose our perspective about the good ol’e days, don’t we?

Yellow House Canyon
near the Caprock

My childhood, as I look back, was pretty idyllic. I grew up in Lubbock, Texas on the high plains known as Llano Estacado. North of town and, coincidentally just north of where my husband’s family and mine lived, was a part of Yellow House Canyon. Ten thousand years and more ago, Native Americans camped in and roamed through that canyon. Spanish explorers followed the route, and allegedly Coronado came that way in 1541. Early pioneers followed the route for accessibility to water. Growing up, I had no idea Yellow House Canyon was important to anyone but the neighborhood boys.

Coyote - the 4-legged kind
Although I wasn’t allowed to roam the canyon, Hero and his Boy Scout friends did, searching for arrowheads, spear points, and other artifacts. Hero actually found a Clovis knife. In fact, there was a local site where Boy Scouts camped. One winter in the snow, my future father-in-law came to collect Hero, irate that the Boy Scouts and their leaders "didn’t have enough sense to come in out of the weather." Years later, my younger brother also camped there in a snowstorm, but my folks had no idea where to find him. He came home from his camping trip ecstatic because a coyote had come right up to their campfire. Only a ten-year-old boy would think that was a good thing!

Lubbock Lake Landmark Site
Above or near that spot is the Lubbock Lake Landmark Site. It was there when I was growing up, but I was pretty much in my own world of books and Nancy Drew back then and had no idea the place existed. Archeological excavations are ongoing and it’s possible to view them in process. Inside the new center is a nice museum.

Giant short-faced bear
once roamed here
Outside are bronzes of some of the extinct animals whose bones have been unearthed--Columbian mammoth, bison, short-faced bear. The site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is a designated National Historic and State Archeological Landmark. It is managed by the museum of Texas Tech University with excavations conducted under a Texas Antiquities Committee permit. Wow, I had no idea until I'd moved away and toured the site on a visit to my inlaws. Isn't that often the way?

Mackenzie Park

Further southwest along the canyon is the local picnic area, Mackenzie State Park. As a kid I was forced to attend what seemed like hundreds of reunions each summer at this park. Okay, it was only three, but I hated them. I was very shy, and having the same dozen old geezers each year tell my dad he needed to tie a brick on my head so I wouldn’t keep growing so tall was not my idea of fun conversation. Since the reunions were on a Sunday after church, I always had to wear a dress. At least there was an amusement park--tame by today’s standards--but it provided the only fun rides in town. The owner watched to see no rough stuff happened or creepy guys hung out. Now the area where my older cousins played softball has been dammed to hold water. It’s a beautiful park with huge old cottonwoods and elms. The park is named for Ranald S. Mackenzie, Indian fighter.

Still further southwest is Ransom Canyon, a part of Yellow House Canyon, where Comanches traded white captives for ransom. And sometimes where robbers who dressed like Native Americans traded captives. Now it’s a housing development with its own lake.

Lubbock, Texas

Going back to Lubbock feels odd now. My parents and my husband’s parents have passed away, although we are related to a huge percentage of Lubbock County’s residents. The town has changed a lot since we left and it seems almost as if we never lived there. Memories have to sustain us, because the Lubbock we remember no longer exists. Do you have a place your treasure from your childhood?

Lubbock and the nearby fictional town of Sweet Springs are the setting for my latest release from The Wild Rose Press, HOME, SWEET TEXAS HOME, which received a 5 Heart review from The Romance Studio. HOME SWEET TEXAS HOME is a modern Cinderella story about Courtney Madison. If anyone ever needed a break, it’s Courtney. She’s hanging on by a fraying rope. A two million dollar inheritance came in the nick of time. But money doesn’t really solve all life’s problems, just changes them. If you’d care to purchase the book in print or e-book download, and I hope you will, the buy link is

Thanks for stopping by!

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