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A Place Where “Everybody Is Somebody”

Let’s go to Luckenbach, Texas
With Waylon and Willie and the boys
This successful life we’re livin’
Got us feuding like the Hatfields and McCoys
Between Hank Williams’ pain songs and
Newberry’s train songs and Blue Eyes Cryin’ in the Rain
Out in Luckenbach, Texas ain’t nobody feelin’ no pain

Just outside of Austin Texas in the west hill country is the famous spot that songwriters have sung about. This tiny hill hamlet began its humble beginning in 1849 as a Trading Post for both pioneer farmers and Comanche Indians alike. There was where a small community of German immigrants thought of setting up a community. With the unifying of the Engel and Luckenbach families began the dreams of some.

Today it is known for being a spot about thirty minutes southwest of Austin Texas that has monthly dances at their legendary Dance Hall. Where you can get a cold beer and listen to good ole music. Luckenbach hosts wedding, reception, birthday and corporate parties. And for some of us it is just a tourist attraction. When I first moved back to Texas I started looking at places I had never been to in the Hill Country. That is when I realized I had never been to Luckenbach. The Trading Post is now a bar and little store.

U.S. Post Office (Trading Post)

U.S. Post Office (Trading Post)

And so with my tall guy and the dog called Lizzie it was a day to head out there to get a feel of the lay of the land. From Austin you passed through famous Stonewall where President Lyndon B Johnson Ranch is onto a spot on the side of the road. In southeastern Gillespie County you see a sign for Luckenbach. If you are not familiar with it, as I was not, be sure to keep your eyes open because it quite literally is just a spot on the side of the road you can miss.

Dance Hall

Dance Hall

There on the side of the road is the Dance Hall, the U.S. Post Office, which, was once the Trading Post. Some tables under the trees and a huge parking that will be home to many vehicles as folks pour in to have a cold beer, dance and listen to good music. There is a small RV concern as well.

We wandered about, took some pictures and my tall guy drank a soothing cold Lone Star beer. Lizzie the dog being the active dog she is wanted to check it out until we came across a large black chicken who was defending its home territory. As good guests we recognized the need to back away and respect its humble home.

Engel Luckenbach Family tombstones

Engel Luckenbach Family tombstones

Looking around at the Live Oaks and the tombstones of the Luckenbach family at the far endI see the buildings. I can almost hear horses coming pulling wagons, the jingle of the reins as they move. Over on the porch I imagine seeing pioneers and Comanche Indians mixing together while everyone gets their supplies before heading out their separate ways. Truly where “everybody is somebody”.



Category: History, The Way It Was..., Photography  Comments off

Road Trip Into South Central Texas

Along the roadside as we leave San Antonio Texas the houses begin to dwindle away. Slowly we move from small town to small town. Readily it becomes apparent that this land that once inhabited a large group of Apache Native American peoples has changed into another life. You can almost feel their ancestors looking up from cooking or other work as we drive by. Off in the desert there on a hill can be imagined a few men watching over their land. Their family, and their way of life.

Back to the present I register oil rigs on the sides of the highway. Each mile brings more oil rigs, more oil industry until here in south central Texas is a whole new community. Small motels, RV parks and other amenities that the oil workers will be able to use. Here they will stay, some maybe separated from family for long periods to work to bring America oil. DSC_0026

As I looked at pumps moving slowly up and down my “big guy” jars me back to notice the small squadron of javelina ranging from 40 to 80 lbs. Thankfully we are happy to be in our vehicle as these poor sighted creatures that are also known as “musk hog” have a strong scent that helps them mark their territory upward to a few hundred acres.

Family of javelina

Family of javelina

Both the oils rigs and the javelina remind me that we are in a part of Texas that takes strong people and animals to endure.

After about an hour or so we move on to another pleasant experience. On to Choke Canyon State Park. While the water is low this time of year the “beware of alligators” sign reminds us that this land locked lake has many natural things to experience.

After wandering through the park my tall guy, the dog called Lizzie and I pull over to get a Google map set up to get us home. Just then we notice a lovely red and black bird we have never seen in Texas.

A Vermillion Flycatcher is sitting in the tree next to us, moving back and forth to show off its red under belly. And as my tall guy tried to get a photo shot this beautiful bird flew toward my open window as if to say, “here I am see how pretty I am”. What a fitting end to a perfect day trip. DSC_0059

We turn to head north toward San Antonio. Soon the skyline comes into few. A beautiful place to be sure. It is a reminder of the many faces of Texas.






Category: History, The Way It Was..., Photography  Comments off

Texas, Black and White Photography

Whether you are from Texas or a transplant doesn’t matter. Whether you are holed up in one of the larger cities like Fort Worth, Austin or San Antonio doesn’t matter either. Once you have gone down a country road the ghosts of yesteryear cry out to share their lives. Here are some places that have a story. Wouldn’t it be nice to hear what the people in here had to say?


DSC_0098 DSC_0096 DSC_0087 DSC_0086 DSC_0083 DSC_0074



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My Name Is…..

When I was in college I had an assignment to describe my family, my tribe. What my professor wanted from me was to tell her my ethnicity, my religion, my culture and family. It seems to be important these days to be defined by your culture. But when I was in college I no longer had children at home. And my family is so diverse in all these areas it was almost difficult and complex to bring this assignment down to what she wanted. So I decided to start from where I was and am. Me.

My “name”.  I was born as Amanda Jane Edwards. As I began to travel through life I was known as “Mandy” to my peers and Amanda to my various school teachers. At one time in grade school my teacher called me “Armanda” and I was just too shy and timid to tell her that wasn’t my name. So that fell to my mother to do.

Growing with my sisters as "Mandy"

Growing with my sisters as “Mandy” (in the back, red tee)

As I grew I became “Mom”. Or more directly MoQ and MoM. This stands for Mom of Q and Mom of Micah. By then I had changed back to using my given name “Amanda”. But still when you are a parent there is a period when you are only known someone’s mom and identified as Q’s mom or Micah’s mom. I do like the endearing name some have given me as “mother of Q”. It makes me feel a part of where I am now in life.

My Mom of Q and Mom of Micah tee.

My Mom of Q and Mom of Micah tee.


Beginning my travels as Mom.

Beginning my travels as Mom.








Because I have continued to use my birth name instead of a married name that is traditional when married sometimes people address my husband as “Mr. Edwards”. He is not Mr. Edwards and that really confuses Americans who expect married women to take their husband’s name. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find out it was welcomed and normal when I lived in Europe.

Why did I decide to keep my birth name? Because, you see, I am proud of my personal heritage. It is many generations of Americans who have lived with the name “Edwards”. I am proud of that. I like my name. The whole name is very simple, non-complex and direct. Easy to spell, easy for people to remember and a reminder of who I am and where I came from.

Many people still know me as “Mandy”. Which is fine. I don’t mind they use it. It has a certain familiarity from years of long terms relationships with friends and family. Many times people get me confused with my daughter because I named her Amanda. Both Amanda and Jane are family names. I like tradition so that is why I named my daughter a family name.

Who I am now.

Who I am now. And so today and forever my name is Amanda Jane Edwards.

Category: Boomer Musings, Photography  Comments off

Photoshoot- Black and White

Yesterday my tall guy, my dog and I went for a nice drive just outside of town. We passed a road thought for a moment, backed up and this is what we saw!

(Photos by






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Delicious autumn!

The weather has been so much colder this fall. Today the fog has settled in showing off the fall colors.

On my walk I saw these two trees and the effect of the fog was stunning. IMG_1509



IMG_1511The greens and yellows contrast to give a nice look to fall.

Fall is my favorite season and when it comes I totally enjoy it. As George Eliot said, ““Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”

How about you? What is your favorite season?

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