My husband and I are blessed to live and work on a 400-acre ranch in the Texas hill country. We often wonder if various Indian tribes might have lived on this land before settlers arrived in the 1820s when Stephen Austin gained Mexico's permission to bring Americans into Texas. We've found a few broken arrowheads here and there, so we feel fairly certain there were natives living off the land here at one time.
|Adele's resting place on the ranch|
So let me tell you a little bit about Adele.
Adele was born in Switzerland on July 23, 1837. She was the wife of Henry James. I believe she was preceded in death by at least two children because the inscription at the bottom of her headstone makes reference to "her babies." She died in 1885 and her resting place now sits beside a small pond just down the hill from our caretakers house. Every morning when I look out our picture windows to greet the day, I see Adele. We call her "our neighbor" since we can't see any other houses from our location.
|You can clearly make out "Switzerland" beneath the metal bar|
that is part of the protective covering over her headstone
|Early morning with Adele and a foggy pond|
We've tried to figure out exactly where her house stood, but other than finding some old square-headed nails and a few other small items, we haven't come to a positive conclusion. I feel certain it wouldn't have been too far from her grave, so we've narrowed the location down to a couple different areas due to their being the only flat patches of ground around.
|Pioneer home located on the LBJ Ranch|
Every now and then I'll walk down to Adele's and just sit and enjoy the peace and quiet and think about her life here. I'd like to plant some wild flowers in her little graveyard, but between the deer, the sheep and the llamas, they probably wouldn't last long.
I think Adele would be quite surprised by the changes that have taken place on her old homestead. She could have never imagined the grand house, pool, and tennis court that now sit atop a beautiful mesa overlooking the valley. But I also think she'd be happy to know the owner's and their family, as well as my husband and I, truly enjoy living here.
Someday we'll be gone too. In a hundred years, someone will poke around the property, wondering about the people who came before them. Maybe I'll bury a time capsule with a copy of my book and some pictures of what the place looks like now for someone to find.
If you'd like to meet Adella Rose, the character named after Adele, go HERE to order your copy. THE PLANTER'S DAUGHTER is getting lots of great reviews and is currently holding at 5-stars on Amazon! Adella's life in Texas was no doubt different from Adele's, but they would have faced many of the same struggles, had many of the same hopes and dreams. I think Adele would be tickled to learn I named my character after her.
It's funny to think the life we are living right now will one day be history! I'm determined to make it interesting!
Have a fabulous day as you make your own history!