As most of you know, I’ve had the unique opportunity of living off and on for the past three and a half years in the little town of Montgomery, Texas which is eighteen miles from Richards, the town where I was raised until I was thirteen years old. I came back to take care of my mother who had Alzheimer’s and I had a chance to connect to her in a way that was at once incredibly sad and unbelievably healing for me. I had similar, but not so intense, experiences with my second mother Willie and my favorite aunt Lucille who was my father’s sister. I’ve lost all three of these women in the last eighteen months. They were, along with my grandmothers, pillars of strength for me in my life in different ways. I can only marvel at the examples they’ve been when I consider the times they were given for their journeys. Remarkable. Truly remarkable.
During this time I’ve roamed the back roads of Grimes, Montgomery and Walker counties in my old Dodge Dakota pickup – sometimes in the company of my dogs – sometimes in my own company. I’ve re-visited the house where I grew up and friends and cousins that I barely knew since I’ve been away for more than forty years. I could still recognize the house and remember the love that filled it. My cousins and friends welcomed me home as if I’d just left yesterday.
My partner Teresa and I bought a house on Worsham Street in Montgomery, and neither of us expected the joys this neighborhood has given to us. Sometimes I have to pinch myself when I rock on the front porch as I look up and down the little street. Instead of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, I have the irrepressible Huss Brothers. The Little Women of Worsham Street are friends that would make Louisa May Alcott proud. Houses in the ‘Hood at Christmas have so many lights and decorations they put Disneyland to shame. If Andy Griffith hadn’t lived in Mayberry, he might have been happy in Montgomery.
Today I set off on a road trip with my dogs Red and Spike to find Stubblefield Lake, the one spot I never was allowed to go fishing with my daddy. it’s been sixty years since our fishing trips, but I can still remember my disappointment when he would announce he was going to Stubblefield Lake with my mother or one of my uncles and shake his head when I asked to go. I tagged along to every other fishing hole he knew – but never to that lake which then assumed magical proportions to me. Lately, I’ve been thinking about the lake and wondering where in the world it was.
Thanks to the omniscient internet, I located this lake that was made during the Roosevelt administration by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1937. Guess where it is? Eleven miles north and seven miles east of Montgomery in the deep piney woods of the Sam Houston National Forest. And I do mean deep and remote, but less than a thirty minute drive from Worsham Street. If I’d started from Richards like my daddy would have, it would be eight miles south and seven miles east for him. I had imagined it was an exotic distance from Grimes County and accessible only to a chosen few.
Steps to a fishing spot?
I think I heard my daddy say, Well, you finally made it to Stubblefield Lake. Yes, I did. I didn’t have his company or a fishing pole in my hand. Instead, I had a camera to take pictures of a place that I don’t want to forget.
What a pretty spot! It sounds like a lovely area to live.
Yes, it is – and the weekend got a Big Boost when the Horns hooked Kansas State!!
I would have to take my rod and reel with me! Did you know C.H. made me pass a fishing test when he first met me? I passed but I could NEVER outfish him. It sure was a funt time though.
Keep up the good work, Sheila. I even love your reflections !!!
I didn’t know C.H. made you pass a fishing test, but that of course doesn’t surprise me! No one could have outfished him…:)
Thanks so much for reading and keeping in touch. I really appreciate it!
Love to you and yours,
Sheila, I love reading about your Texas visits and seeing the pictures. The Huss brothers, as you well know, are adorable. I live for updates on their adventures in boyhood. After finally getting to Stubblefield Lake, have you figured out why your Daddy didn’t take you to this one fishing hole? What a mystery!!!
It tickles me that you love the adventures of the Huss Brothers – if you could hear Oscar talk like he’s 35 instead of almost 5 and if you could see Dwight’s expressions as he scrunches his face which I can never quite capture with a camera, you would be in love. And George is beginning to have his own personality, too – they are a delight!
You know, after thinking about my visit to Stubblefield Lake today and looking at the pictures, I think perhaps it was a safety issue more than anything. The banks for the fishing area were very steep with no place to grab a child who tripped and fell. I don’t know if he’d trusted me to keep the lines out of the trees behind me, either. I had a tendency to “hook” branches instead of fish! 🙂
It was fun to find it , though. Really.
Thanks always for the kind words,
I tried fishing many times, I never caught anything. I only caught fish accidentally when I was watering the garden with water from a nearby pond…. 🙂
Good one, girl. Love the sound of Montgomery. Any houses for sale there?
Thanks so much, Bob – yes, there are always old houses (and new) for sale around town. Alas, no beach but a very large Lake Conroe five minutes away. Sadly, completion of a gigantic apartment complex directly across the highway from our High School makes me fear Paradise has been paved and made into a parking lot. “Growth” has set in, and of course I hate that. A pox be upon Progress.
Fishing was my excuse to be outdorrs in the countryside with my family…I can’t remember catching much of anything either really. Even as a child, I was content to sit and daydream and feel a part of nature. The fact that I held a cane fishing pole with a red and white cork on the line was just an “extra.” 🙂
Your description of Montgomery gave me chills–no kidding. The good kind.
Thanks so much, Luanne! That makes me happy this afternoon…:)