Big Lake Texas My Little Mayberry

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Everyone always asks me how in the world did I end up in a little town called Big Lake, Texas? If you believe in destiny or fate, then there’s your answer.

I have met my soul mate, the Love of my life in this little town, called Big Lake, Texas. We have been happily married for over 10 years and we’re still on our honeymoon!

So how did I end up in Big Lake, Texas from Nashville, Tennessee?

There was a house going to be auctioned in this little town, and I have always wanted to move to Texas. To find a Cowboy…I love the way a cowboy treats a lady like a lady, tipping their hat, and opening doors.

I came out to Big Lake to take a look at this house and fell in love with the town. You see, when I was a little girl, I always wanted my own house with a fireplace, a little white picket fence with puppies in the yard, and the atmosphere of Mayberry RFD. You know, where the church ladies are always cooking from scratch, quilting and gardening. Where you can walk down the street and everyone knows who you are and says hello with a smile. That’s what I found in Big Lake, Texas, my dream was coming true.

I never knew that you literally stood on the courthouse steps and the Sheriff of the town actually held an auction and would sell my dream house! Now this auction wasn’t like any auction that I’ve ever been to where the auctioneer rattles off the bids so fast that you better not think too long to bid. No this auction was very slow. In fact one of the folks bidding on the house had time to call his banker to see if he could qualify for a larger loan so he could try to outbid me! I urged the Sheriff along stating that I had my checkbook and was ready to write a check right then and there. I could just see these men, not knowing who I was, running my name to find out all they could about me. I just smiled and kept up with the bids. I had made my mind up that this was where I wanted to hang my high heels up and find me a Cowboy.

I need to let you know more about this little West Texas town. Remember I’m in search of a Cowboy….well Big Lake is in Texas, should have cowboys right? Big Lake used to have a lake, but it dried up. There are plenty of mesquite trees, and oil. Big Lake is a town full of oilfield workers! No not the oil tycoons, just hard working oilfield workers. Hmmmmm…what have I gotten myself into?

This little town, has 2 stop lights, a Dairy Queen, a local restaurant and coffee shop, and a little grocery store. The grocery store is just a little bit bigger than a convenience store, and if you needed more than what it offered, the closest town is 70 miles down a long highway!

There wasn’t a Sam’s Club in this town. That would have to be Midland which is about 2 hours away. People tried to give me easy directions, but this city girl of course got lost! It seemed as though I was driving forever, all I saw was a lot of mesquite trees, and more mesquite trees, and did I mention mesquite trees? I just knew I was lost, so I turned off the main road thinking I’d drive just a little ways and get turned back around. Somehow I got really turned around and lost! I had to keep driving until I could get in cell phone range, and now I was panicking. I didn’t know who to call, I didn’t even know where I was. I dialed 9-1-1. The operator tried to keep me calm. I explained to her that I was lost and what did she ask me? Where are you? Hello, did I not just say I was lost!!! She asked if there were any road signs….not for about 15 minutes! Then she asked what do you see? I see lots of mesquite trees, oil wells, and fences! She asked what direction am I heading? Now from my Campfire Girls days, they never taught us how to tell directions….I tried to let her know that if I was facing the sun was my left hand North, or was it West? Hmmm…next she suggested to drive until I found a land mark or sign…ok that was simple. I drove and drove. A sign, it said Ricker Ranch!

I informed her of this….I need to let you know that the Ricker Ranch is over a hundred square miles! Did this dispatch lady not know the area? Well as we talked I found out that she was located somewhere in Dallas, Texas! How could she help me if she was clear across the state?  Somehow I found my way back to the main highway. I think I drove in one hugh circle….so now I’m giving this adventure up and heading home….oh, no, what am I coming up on??? On the highway in front of me there are trucks lined up blocking the road….am I watching a movie or have I been out in the heat too long? There are men lined up outside of their trucks with rifles….now what do I do? All I want to do is pass them and go home! I pull up to them, not that I had a choice there is only 1 road home and we were all on it. Come to find out one of the little local banks had been robbed and they were setting up a road block! These were not law enforcement, but just men with guns in their trucks. All men in Texas drive trucks and have guns!

I got off my subject….lets get back to my love of this little town of Big Lake.

In February I was already gardening. The weather was beautiful. I joined the Baptist church and was a new member of the Garden Club. I was approached by Nina Hallmark a very good friend, to join an organization that she was starting, called Friends For Hope. As you can tell when I get involved in a project that my wheels are always turning. I’ll get into my role in Friends For Hope in another post. I will need to let you know that I designed a website for the organization, it was pretty fancy for that time. It even had a dove flying out of a pair of hands! This was before we had all the neat tools to create websites and blogs.

Now, I had pretty much decided that I wasn’t going to find my Cowboy in Big Lake and now my time was occupied with helping this new cause and little did I know what was going to happen next. I received a phone call from the local newspaper editor, David from The Big Lake Wildcat. He said that he was interested in learning more about how I designed the new website. This was going to be great! A little publicity could go a long ways. I had met David at several events, and when I needed office supplies, I’d go into his Office Supply Store which was in front of the newspaper. He was always nice to me, but for some reason, I thought he was married….after all most of the men in Big Lake were married!

David came over and wouldn’t you know it, I couldn’t get the website to work! It’s like animals and kids, when you need them to show off, they don’t!  The internet was really slow and it was taking way too long to load the website….dial up, and flash graphics! Luckily he brought a couple of Dairy Queen Blizzards, and we talked a little. Mostly, I was preoccupied with trying to get the dumb website to load, this was not going to make a good article. After 2 hours of frustration, the phone rings. It was Nina. She asked how things were going and all I could keep telling her was how stupid the internet was acting, and how I was fighting with trying to get the website to load. She asked about David, and I told her that for the past 2 hours he was very patient. Nina laughed, and said silly, he wasn’t really there to see the website, but to get to know me! Oh, My God! I wanted to crawl into the phone and hide, I was so embarrassed. I hung up the phone and closed my laptop. It was getting late so David excused himself and left.

The next day was my birthday and Nina and friends were coming over to have cake and ice cream. Nina said, ‘You should call and invite David.’ I said, It’s newspaper night and he probably would be too busy. She was very persistent, so I called him. Guess what? After he had the newspaper printed he stopped by. Everyone else had left, and we got so involved in talking that he forgot to take the newspapers to the stores! lol

It was his turn to call me, he said that he needed to go to Midland to pick up some paper and asked if I’d like to go along and have supper and see a movie. Oh, no….I was so nervous. Midland was over 2 hours away, what if we didn’t get along…what if he didn’t like me….Nina kept saying go on an go, it will be fun. We had a blast! And we haven’t been apart since then!

This was in 1999 and you know when you meet someone special it’s a once in a lifetime event? Well next, I will tell you all about our wedding….

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Misty (Baggett) ByersNo Gravatar March 18, 2011 at 4:24 pm

Ramona- I adore this story! Especially because I know all the characters! You have made growing up in Big Lake even more special! Thanks!


Zara Mary GurganiousNo Gravatar January 18, 2014 at 7:55 pm

Hi, I can’t find anyone with info from Texas and found u in www. that I only can find. and Can u poster on anywhere store. Tell any cowboy to contact me thru Email. I am deaf woman with chubby and a lot of freckles, 5’9′, used to be cowgirl in deaf school in my teenager. I am going to be 49 in this year. I lives in Iowa. I always want move to Texas to be involve into cowboy and cowgirl way of traditional. I am straight woman. Any cowboy who is hungry for soulmate, who is owner of ranch with the house, looking for share, flexible, lovable, respect, showing the way. I hope any cowboy who accept me as deaf and willing to learn sign language and accept me as wiccan religious- healer, herbal, spiritual, and vision and for me to go to UU church. I would learn anything in ranch. I am cooking, crocheting, walking, reading lover, writing, studying herbal, collection, make new friends, and very soulmate, lovable, desire love, and to be close side by side.



Donnis ShortNo Gravatar July 16, 2014 at 8:07 pm

I spent several years in Big Lake as a young boy. I had the privilege of fishing in the lake with scraps of beef that my dad gave me from Cheatham’s Grocery….he was the butcher. My father also worked at the post office and at the drive-in theater as a the projectionist.
Our family lived in the trailer park east of the city limits and in several rental houses in town.
When I was a boy, Big Lake was a paradise for me and a formidable experience for my parents.
Today I live in Memphis.


RamonaNo Gravatar July 16, 2014 at 8:42 pm

You would not believe Big Lake today! We have moved just north of San Antonio, but follow friends on FaceBook….with the oil boom, it’s changed so much and there is a lot of traffic with all the big trucks….


Kathy HensonNo Gravatar August 28, 2015 at 10:47 pm

I came across your website while looking for recipes for my basil. As I started reading Big Lake Texas jumped out at me. I went to school in Big Lake and two of my children were born there. I’ve really enjoyed your website and your sense of humor. To think I was just looking for recipes and was blessed with your stories! Thank you!!!

Kathy (Durden) Henson


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