I get paid a little for expanding my horizons and sharing the view, as I do for fun on Hill Country Mysteries, which is how the editor found me in the first place.
A few weeks ago, we went east to Sealy for history and charm. But when we drove into town past tidy tree-shaded homes, we found an almost abandoned downtown. Historic storefronts blank, empty streets. I couldn't write the article I'd proposed, because the place wasn't there.
So we took the road from Sealy to other places.
Fifteen miles south, in tiny downtrodden Wallis, is the Guardian Angel Catholic Church, an intricate flower of a building constructed in 1913 by Czech immigrants; testimony to resilience, community and faith.
Fifteen miles north of Sealy, bustling Bellville, population 3,947 according to the sign at the edge of town. History, art, food, fun.
Holland St. Gallery represents 160 artists. Owned by watercolor painter Kathleen Bernard, seen here with one of her color-themed cow paintings (don't you love the look on that Brahma's face?). Kathleen's gallery could hold its own in Dallas or Houston.
Restaurants, unique shops, businesses, a local history museum in the old jail.
And a couple of miles from the center of Bellville, the Buffalo Creek Winery, currently a winebar, but planning to make their own wine someday. Open Thursdays through Saturdays. Sometimes there's live music and dinner. Always buffalo out front.
My Sealy article morphed into Bellville's sweet retreat, and the surprise was more fun than my plans.
The only hard thing in writing about Texas is figuring out what to leave out.
Copyright 2009-2010 Kathleen Scott ,for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.