Simple Pleasures – A Nice Country Neighborhood

My wife and I live in what used to be a rural area about twenty miles west of Austin. However, the explosive growth of Austin now is shooting out in all directions and is wrapping around our little pocket of the old and simple way rural neighborhood developments had been done. This little area is around 145 acres, with one way in and out, and while each lot is a minimum of one acre that was unusual in the beginning. There still are quite a few homes on three to six acres, even though (as one might think these days) some landowners have subdivided their plots. At any rate, we now have around fifty-five homes, with the average a bit under three acres per homesite.

One nice feature is Bear Creek, which is the basis for the name of our neighborhood: Bear Creek Pass. The fairly significant creek meanders through and within the neighborhood, as well as a nice tributary creek, called Cub Creek (get it?). Cub Creek runs perhaps half the time, depending on rainfall, while Bear Creek is rarely dry, but that does happen at times. The only road in and out includes a low water crossing, which is picturesque and "cool." A small dam, perhaps three feet high forms a teensy lake on one side where Bear Creek Pass traverses the creek, yet Bear Creek overflows the dam most of the time. We have waterfowl including traveling birds that resemble small crane-like creatures. I'm sure that's not the correct term, but they sure are interesting. There have been times when it was impossible to get across a flooded Bear Creek, but those are extremely rare and I suppose in a live-threatening situation, a helicopter rescue would be feasible.

We moved here in the spring of 1984, and my wife and I used to know virtually everyone - at least a little - but no longer. Some of the old timers have passed away or retired into "senior living" arrangements. In fact, without a thorough fact-check, we now might be the oldest (I prefer the term longest-term) residents. The neighborhood has a nice low-key but effective committee to handle the few matters that come up. One nice feature of the original "rules and regulations" of the 'hood was a very short and simple set of "requirements." These included that homes must be at least one-half made of brick or stone. Oh yes, also no pigs or swine allowed, so that rules out any rush for pig farming I suppose. Other than that, it's pretty much live and let live. We could live with both of those easily. In fact, my ham radio hobby thus could include one or more towers, and that is not a trivial allowance. Other neighbors have similar "needs" in various areas. So, we live and let live.

12 Responses

  1. JK James George
    From Anon-1: Nice description of our ‘hood’ Jim. I too used to know everyone here, mostly because of (my wife's) daily walks around the neighborhood and the kids. I’ve lost track of the new neighbors and my terrible memory for names doesn’t help. We’ve lost some good folks in the last 10 years. (names deleted) There are others that I didn’t know as well. You beat us here by 4 years. We moved in august of 1988. Had our baby the next week on august 7th. It’s been a fabulous neighborhood. My only complaint now is the traffic on 1826 that makes me shudder everytime I turn left. It’s really getting dangerous there. Hope you guys are doing well.
  2. JK James George
    From Anon-2: Jim, they call that "progress"!!! I don't...I come from a small town in Maine where the population was 1000...to me the "big city" was anything over 10,000! I enjoy recalling the many characters of my youth and the fine people I knew until I left at 18. I've adapted to the "big city" but still live out "in the county" even with a Raleigh mailing address. But in my "older" years I'm losing friends and family faster than making new ones; I guess that's the way life is...
  3. JK James George
    From Anon-3: Nice change of pace from book reviews. Hope you all are doing well.
  4. JK James George
    From Anon-4: Nice message, Jim When we bought our home here in (deleted) the deed said something like, “No negroes, Jews, Hebrew, Armenians.” I am not sure of the distinction between Jews and Hebrews (I are one!), or why Armenians. That provision may have been enforceable in 1961 or earlier but certainly not in 2001 when we bought our house. I find it quaint and amusing.
  5. JK James George
    From Anon-5: Well said, Jim!
  6. JK James George
    From Anon-6: Very nice!
  7. JK James George
    From Anon-7: As a publisher of weekly newspapers and regional magazines for over 50 years I appreciate the time someone takes to sit down and write about a moment, situation or simple pleasure.
  8. JK James George
    Your comment*
  9. JK James George
    From Anon-8: Hello, Jim. Nice reading your piece.
  10. JK James George
    From Anon-9: A very nice piece for your grand and great grandchildren and on down the line. And for us as well. Good job.
  11. JK James George
    From Anon-10: I enjoyed that, well written.
  12. JK James George
    From Anon-11: So good to hear from you and know you are still full of wonderful words and a real passion for sharing your special gift. It really gives me something to look foreward to and I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels that way. I enjoyed hearing about all the different types of vehicles it took to keep your land in good shape.

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