ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Growing Up In The Country, REALLY In The Country!

Updated on January 17, 2010

My Little Piece of the World

My house, side view, Christmas Eve 2009. Rare snow for Texas!
My house, side view, Christmas Eve 2009. Rare snow for Texas!
View from my front porch, same day
View from my front porch, same day
Side view from my porch that wraps half-way around my house.
Side view from my porch that wraps half-way around my house.
Suspension or "cable stayed" bridge in BluffDale, Tx. There used to be a few of these.
Suspension or "cable stayed" bridge in BluffDale, Tx. There used to be a few of these.

Life in Bluff Dale, Texas

Growing up in Bluff Dale, Texas was unusual to say the least...We moved there from Granbury, Texas in 1966, when I was 6 years old. If you click on the name of BluffDale in blue, in my opening sentence, it should take you to a few details about this speck on the map. There is another website here, if you will please click on it, that will take you to some more photos of what the country REALLY looked like then, and still does.

When we moved to this town, (pop. roughly 200 or so at the time), I was young, but not so young as to wonder if my parents had lost their minds! What really prompted them was, my father, after having having lived in Fort Worth for many years, even though we had already "down-sized" to Granbury had always want to live in the country, and even though we had lived in Granbury for about 3 years, Bluff Dale (or BluffDale, depending on who you are talking to) was further in the country and my father liked that even better. The town consisted of a small Mom and Pop grocery store, a Post Office, a couple of gas stations, a hardware store, three churches and a tabernacle. There was also a very small, red brick school. The nearest hospital, doctor or decent grocery store was roughly 20 miles away.

This is where I went to school for the first eight grades of my schooling. When you reached the 9th grade, you had to go to a neighboring town for high school. The school had two classrooms (1st-4th grade in one and 5th-8th in the other), two teachers (one for each classroom) a tiny "library", an auditorium complete with faded curtains and a stage, and one cook for the cafeteria. In the beginning, we even had an outhouse, but got indoor bathrooms shortly after I got there. That was all we had for a whopping total of 30-35 total children! As we got older, a child from 7th and 8th grade would rotate a week each, helping the cook, Mrs. Yarborough, in the kitchen each day. Then, when lunch was ready, we would go to the hallway where the two classrooms were located and yell "Lunch!", so the teachers would know to start lining us up to go to the cafeteria. This was in 1966, mind you, and it was literally like traveling back in time, going to school there.

I can remember both of my teachers, one a man and one a woman, both smoking cigarrettes and reading a newspaper during "class time". We kids spent a large amount of time at recess each day, where we would play soccer, basketball, chase, dodgeball, red rover, jumping rope, playing "jacks", We got licks or a paddling with the paddle if we acted up, but oddly enough, that didn't happen very often. When we played games, it was all ages playing together. 1st graders played with 8th graders. We would just flip a coin to decide team captains among the oldest two, and then start choosing teams, all the way down to the youngest that wanted to play. There was very little rivalry or jealousy that I can remember, it was like we were all sisters and brothers.

My family lived so far out in the country that I rarely saw any of my schoolmates during the summer vacation. By 1969, we were living on a 114 acre farm that my father was steadily working on, building fences, plowing, planting and fertilizing. I spent the majority of my time alone. My sister was 8 years older, so this made her around 17 by then, and she was busy with high school , boys and dating. We went to a little church each sunday named "Zion Hill Church", which had maybe a total of 25 people attend each service, on a good day. My father led the singing each sunday and my grandmother played the piano. I was the only child my age or even close to ever go to that church, that I can remember. I rarely had "Sunday School", I just stayed with the grown-ups and attended the actual service. Zion Hill was a typical, strict, to the letter, fundamental, hell-fire and brimstone Baptist Church.

Moving on up!

When I was in the 7th grade, we got a new, male teacher for the "big kids room". This was a terrible shock to us all, because this man was an actual, by the book, TEACHER! He believed in learning and discipline, and not always in that order. He realized very quickly that we were a bunch of uneducated, undisciplined and rowdy kids, and even told us one day in a fit of frustration that "We acted like a bunch of animals", which looking back, we did! Well, during my 7th grade year, I, already a voracious reader, had discovered a love for writing poetry, and took it upon myself, in the 8th grade, to write a poem about this poor man that made terrible fun of him. Well, somehow, a copy of that poem made it's way to a meeting of the school board, and led to him being fired. I felt terrible because this man, although we rebelled against him big time, had actually tried to teach us something, and had even taken a special interest in me and my writing. He had told me I had a gift for it, and had even entered an essay of mine into some national contest, that of course I didn't win. Then it was my writing that cost him his job...The view of the school board was that if he didn't have the respect of his students, then we wouldn't learn anything from him. Kind of ironic after the previous situation we had been used to with our previous teachers!

By the time I got to high school, I was so far behind everyone else that I had to take math classes for people with learning disabilities. To this day, I lack some of the fundamental math skills, and the majority of what I know is from being self-taught. I really wish I had grown up in a town where I could have been able to go to a better school. Looking back, there are so many things I missed out on.

One thing I didn't lack was imagination. I spent so much time alone that I had to come up with ways to amuse myself, so I spent a large amount of time outdoors, building hide-a-ways and such in the woods. I would sit for hours and watch the birds and wildlife. I always had a dog or cat for a pet for company. I collected rocks of all kinds, and spent countless hours roaming the banks of the Paluxy River that ran behind our land and most of the time, my parents had no idea where I was. You can't do that much anymore, because it's not so safe these days. I miss that.

Forty years have come and gone since then, and I have lived in big cities such as Houston and Colorado Springs, Co., but I keep being drawn back to the country. My roots are here, and in the silence of the land around me, I find peace. Here is where I belong.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Art 4 Life profile image

      Art 4 Life 

      8 years ago from in the middle of nowhere....

      Your story was so good! I felt like I was right there...great hub~


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)