Tag Archives: Buchanan Dam

Buchanan Dam, TX

imagesI grew up in Kansas City, Missouri–yes, Missouri.  The major part of Kansas City is not in Kansas.  Kansas wasn’t a state when Kansas City was founded in what was the state of  Missouri. The town was named for the Kansas River.

But, enough of that geography lesson.  Back when I grew up, neighborhoods were friendly and people lived in their homes forever. We knew each other and helped each other.   The older I got, the less this was true.  We moved so often and seldom knew our neighbors–until we moved to Buchanan Dam, Texas, into a small subdivision with five houses.

imagesBuchanan–pronounced in Texan, BUCK-a-nan–Dam was a lovely place to live.  There was an eagles’ nest a few miles west.  We had deer who ate my tomatoes which meant I didn’t have to garden–I don’t do that well. We had wild flowers, wonderful views, cool breezes, and great Mexican food down the road, close to Fuzzy’s Corner.  images

But the best part was that we had great neighbors.   Suzanne was a nurse who looked after out health.  One night when George thought he’d had a heart attack–he hadn’t–there was Suzanne, waiting by the ambulance to see what she could do.  Down the hill were two boys who kept us in groceries with the chickens and vegetables they raised for 4-H. May and Al lived behind us and kept an eye on the place.

And then there was Bob, a handy man who watched out for all of us.  This was sometimes a problem.  Once a floor lamp broke so I put it down in the trash.  A few days later, Bob made the long trek up our driveway and knocked.  When I opened the door, he handed me the lamp which he’d repaired.  What a great guy.  The only problem was that the lamp still didn’t work. I didn’t want to put it in the trash again because I didn’t want to hurt his feelings.  Actually, my main worry was that Bob would fix it again, bring it back and this would become a never ending loop.  My solution was to put it in the back of my car and smuggle it into Burnet where a friend disposed of it for me.images

Do you have stories about your neighbors?  I’d love to hear them.


What happens to research when it doesn’t end up in a novel?

We used to live in Buchanan Dam, TX, a town of three hundred about ninety miles northwest of Austin in Llano County.  Twenty miles further west of our house on highway twenty-nine,  every fall a pair of bald eagles built a nest in a large tree about fifty yards from the highway.  This used to be the furthest west nest (sorry about that rhyme) in the United States.   The site became so popular, the county had to put in an off-road parking area.

What I learned both from that nest and reading is that eagles mate for life and that they return to the same nest every year to lay eggs.  The most interesting fact I read was that every year they add to the nest—branches, straw, anything they find.  After a few years, the nest may weight one-hundred pounds or more. 

I write this because I’m going to Buchanan Dam today to eat lunch with a former neighbor and her book club.  As I write this, I remember the sight of those adult eagles watching over those fuzzy headed little one that peeked over the edge of the nest from time to time, and I remember the sight of the adults against the horizon as they glided on the air currents. 

And I also write this because I researched the eagles’ nests for my novel Second Chance Bride.  In that romance, I was able to use the in to use the information about mating for life but that huge, heavy nest didn’t fit in.  Not a bit romantic for the hero to share that information.  However, I hate to let research got to waste so I’m using it here.   

What happens to research that didn’t make its way into a novel?  I blog about it.