Yesterday made up for a lot of struggle and hard work for many in my family and community. Cameron held its Spring Festival, and everyone got to relax and let our hair down a bit. We even got to have Kathleen join us, which made us all happy. I’m so glad she got a break from taking care of things in Yorktown!
There’s a lot to be proud of here. The Railfan team has nearly finished another two spaces that will eventually be local businesses, and the antique shop was all set up and looking great last night (I forgot to take photos of that, darn it).
We really enjoyed the new “annex” space last night. The new sliding doors open up so it’s like you’re outdoors. It was an incredibly comfortable place to relax, laugh, listen to music, and enjoy pizza and crawfish (separately).
The highlight of the night, though, was a very special event. The musicians paused, and Melanie Reed from the Chamber of Commerce called Chris, Mike, Kim, and Dylan up to the stage (they would have also called my kid up, if he’d been there). They had a special presentation for our extra-talented nephew to thank him for all the hard work and creative vision that’s helped the McMahon’s make huge improvements to the buildings downtown that were vacated by the city offices moving to another place. I have to say I smiled so hard that my cheeks started to hurt.
The presentation was a blown-up photo of Chris at work outside one of the downtown buildings looking like the true craftsman he is. We all loved the “cash” sign above him. It was wonderful to see Chris getting the credit he deserves for his part in bringing this vision to life (he would point out it’s a team effort, and that Mike, Kim, Dylan, and Declan also have added their ideas and effort). I’m so glad Kathleen was able to be there to see it, too. We are very proud.
It sure was great to hang out with friendly people and talk and laugh at all the antics. I met many new folks, got to hang out with some of my favorite local friends, actually heard some good news, and for a few hours, didn’t worry about anything. We all need some time to take a break and celebrate friends, community, and accomplishments. I’m looking forward to future progress and pride in little Cameron.
Not much to say about today, but there was much goodness involved. I’ve been spending a lot of time with friends this week and it’s left me feeling mellow and connected. That doesn’t happen often, so cheers!
I enjoyed lunch with my friends Trixie and Sara, next door. We hadn’t seen Trixie since a health crisis, so it was excellent to do some chatting about horses.
After work was something very wonderful and long awaited. The Venue that our family members worked on for so long officially opened and had its ribbon cutting by our Chamber of Commerce buddies. Barbara, who is running her catering business there, is so excited. Her entire extended family was, too.
Another exciting part was that my son and his band-mate, Austin, got to be part of the entertainment. It was their first gig in Cameron. They did good, and I got to enjoy it with my friend Pamela! I was thrilled to know so many of my local friends were seeing him play. Proud mom overload!
I get so proud to be a part of a small-town community and to see how it’s growing through so many people’s hard work and vision. Cheers to the folks with vision and forethought who are making our town fun and full of culture. Now, please enjoy some photos.
Anyway, life is good. Friends are good. Community rocks.
I just got home from a genuinely fun and satisfying evening out in our little town. It’s so great to have options for hanging out with your friends and neighbors in downtown!
I don’t get into town much, but Anita invited me to join her for coffee, so I headed over to the Farmers to Market Coffee Shop for some of their delicious coffee and cozy decor (plus friendly staff and friends to chat with). I’m thrilled we have TWO coffee shops to choose from. It’s getting better here!
Then we took the opportunity to see how the work Railfan is doing on downtown buildings is coming along. The Venue is getting even more beautiful. The mezzanine now has a beautiful wood wall and the floor is so shiny. What great work!
Next we wandered across the street to the old JC Penney building and its neighbors, where my son was painting walls and sealing bricks. It fascinates me to see the bones that were hiding in the former bland county offices.
Next we checked out the Penney building, which I’d seen before, but not cleaned out. Wow. I’d love to live in a loft on the third floor! Being able to look out the windows was a fun surprise. And the old elevator is something that needs to somehow be preserved. Being able to watch these renovations gives me a real sense of the hard work and creativity it takes to achieve a downtown revitalization.
Enough with the old buildings! Anita and I next went over to another building that was vacated when the county offices moved, the former tax office. Now it’s the Cameron Beer Market, with pizza, beer, pool, and so many fun people.
There were opening night glitches, like the credit card machine not working, so we had to pay cash. I never have cash. Still, we had fun conversation with so many folks we know, plus I got to enjoy Lee, Anita, and Declan talking about music. That’s always interesting.
Dang! Another fun night here, and soon we can do stuff like this all the time. And hey, some of the people were planning to go to another downtown spot, our beloved Central Avenue Bistro, after their beer, so wow, options!
Thanks to everyone who supports local businesses here, including the established ones, so I’m not forgetting Ginno’s Italian and the great Mexican restaurants here. Or further out, Bob’s! There’s stuff to do in our little town.
I forgot to blog about the fun I had last Saturday at the Steak Stein and Wine event in downtown Cameron. I got to hang out with so many friends. In the morning my friends Martha and Mike wandered around, having coffee from the extra cute new coffee trailer two friends of mine are opening and enjoying the vendors. The nice thing about being in a small town is you know lots of the folks.
I got a couple of Mexican outfits from a nice family who have tons of cool stuff, like lóteria shirts and Virgen de Guadalupe stuff for Anita, who came by later. We enjoyed chatting in our second languages to each other.
Our company had the cutest fishing game for kids. Kathleen is so creative in making stuff like this! She also made gorgeous wreaths for silent auctions. The caregivers and I dressed up as fish or something but I gave my tutu away to one of the husbands. They really didn’t need me cramping their style!
Friends I met at Master Naturalist stuff have opened a new hot dog stand that serves local 44 Farms all beef hot dogs. They were so busy, because it was so good. I’m happy for them and look forward to more Yoe Dawgs!
I must admit the highlight of the event was the Rotary Club pie throwing for charity. There were many officials there, but I zeroed in on the poor mayor. Bill was a good sport and I hammed it up to encourage others to grab a pie. I’m not a violent woman, but that was fun. And yes, I got a tie dye shirt.
I enjoyed the Art Walk in the beautifully renovated building where the last one had been. Wow has the Railfan on Main team done a great job! Anita came and enjoyed it with us. And she enjoyed trying to kill Kathleen.
The bathrooms are also lovely. I’ll share more pictures when all is done. In the meantime we drank delicious drinks and eventually had a fancy ribeye dinner. The steaks were huge! Tarrin joined us for dinner and it was so fun. Plus we got to see her in non-horsey clothes.
I’ve left off half the wonderful booths and vendors. It was a great group. I was impressed by the work of Lee and the rest of the Chamber of Commerce team. Everyone worked so hard to make it fun for all.
Thanks for reading my ode to the fun of our little town. Things are getting better!
What a pleasant Saturday! I started the day fairly early for me, so I could go work with the horses before it got over 100° F. I ended up hanging horse signs up in the tack room, rearranging my horse playground and round pen, working with Drew (who now wants to nip me while we trot right, so that got dealt with) and working with Apache, who rode all the way over to the edge of the woods today. He is now comfortable in most of the front pasture.
As a reward, I gave him a nice cool bath with my new horse bathing attachment. We finally have the hose available to where that works out. Apache was displeased that I made him stand around to dry while I cleaned his saddle and bridle, but they look good now.
Then, since Apache’s bath had cooled me off, I took pictures of how nice things are looking around here.
After all that I was too hot to do much, so I swam in the pool while it was still cool. I think that thing is my lifesaver.
After I rested a bit, Lee said he wanted to go to the first Art Walk in Cameron, which was held in the remodeled building that used to be Bea’s Kitchen. Wow, they’ve done a great job with the place. Here’s the restored signage.
The interior is gorgeous, and they made really cool light fixtures that allow you to see the ceiling tiles. And upstairs, there are beautiful new windows. It’s gonna be so cool.
The Art Walk was so much fun. Anita, Lee and I all had a great time meeting old friends and making new ones. the artists were all very interesting people, too. One woman lives in Maysfield, down the road from us and makes interesting jewelry. The rest were painters. Each was different in focus, ranging from sweet watercolors to cleverly subtle social commentary. I got a watercolor and was happy to learn the artist gives classes!
Lee and I both really liked the work of one of the artists, Randy Robinson. We learned he only started painting not that long ago. His work had movement and great light, because he studied Rembrandt’s style in Europe. I got to talking to his daughter and learned they live in nearby Milano and have lots in common with our family. All the stuff you usually don’t think you’ll find. What luck!
Then, when I was off with Anita, Lee secretly got the painting I loved the most, which was of a horse in the night, spooked (says the brochure) by finding a human lying in her field. It really captures the wildness and bemusement. And you just want to pet that muzzle.
We talked more later, and I kept thinking he seemed familiar. We started talking about plants, and then it all became clear. He’d joined the Master Naturalist group during my presidency and come to a few online meetings. I introduced him to Carolyn Henderson, our current president, and we hope he starts coming to meetings.
Well what a coincidence! We are all friends now. I’m so happy to keep meeting like-minded folks out here. Like anywhere, diversity’s out there and it makes for a stronger community.
In addition to the Art Walk, the model railroad across the street was open one last time before it moves elsewhere. All the tiny buildings were set out where you could really look at them, and there were folks explaining which modern places the models of 1930s life depicted.
The details on the buildings are quite charming. There are prisoners at the jail, a wedding at one church, and a nun at the Catholic Church. My favorite is a woman hanging laundry.
It will be fun to see the rebuilt model of old Cameron!
As if this wasn’t enough fun, we even tried a new restaurant. Yes, it’s Mexican but it’s different Mexican! I had chicken in Mole sauce. I hope Veracruz lasts.
Last night, Lee and I attended the Spring Festival in Cameron. He’s on the Chamber of Commerce Board, so he had duties. I just went to interact with other humans. This event was really a great sign for the future of the town. I was impressed!
First of all, the food vendors were amazing. There was wood-fired pizza, crawfish and other southern delicacies, baked goods that were beautiful, and my favorite, charcuterie by my friend Barbara Dominguez, all from local sources.
There were beverages for everyone, too, ranging from our darned good local wineries to some mighty tasty beer from Temple to snow cones and Italian ice for kids and adults alike. The Italian ice looked fantastic, but, well, I had my B52 Bomber beer to enjoy.
I got some sauces for our ice cream from Windy, which made me happy. I keep driving by the Farmer’s Market on my way to horse lessons but finding it closed on my way home. She makes some interesting canned jellies and such.
There were also vendors in some of the buildings the Railfan group is renovating. The buildings look unrecognizable in a good way.
The music was great, too. A good variety and not too loud or soft. We were able to talk to old and new friends just fine. We met people from Jones Prairie who we bonded with over our bad roads in our district.
And of course there were old friends who introduced new ones. I had to laugh when I realized how many different ways I “knew” the woman in Master Naturalists who lives down by Pamela. So many connections! And the new people from Dallas must think we are the friendliest town on earth. Well, at least my social group is darned friendly.
All in all, this was the kind of event that would bring in people from other places and leave them wanting to return. As it was, we locals had fun. Kudos to Melanie and everyone else at the Chamber of Commerce who helped put this event together.
By the way, today is Anita’s move-in day, so I’ll have someone to do fun things with, soon!
I didn’t have much blogging time today, since most of the time I was in meetings or driving to and from Cedar Park (Austin suburb) to get my teeth cleaned. That was unpleasant, since I’d delayed it 2-3 times due to all that COVID exposure.
I ran to Tractor Supply in the way home, so all animals have food. But I had to hurry and feed horses so I could get ready for this year’s Chamber of Commerce banquet. I hadn’t been to one in a while due to COVID and trying to keep a low profile with the family business.
I mainly enjoyed seeing some of my friends in town that I’ve missed. It’s nice to know you have a few friends, wherever you are!
Lee and all the Chamber Board and volunteers did a great job. It makes you proud of your little town to go to these events. We heard how great the Texas economy is doing from the speaker, and really enjoyed the yearly awards, which didn’t just go to rich business owners. Awards went to regular folks who helped out their neighbors in the freeze last year, a family plumbing business and the new high school basketball coach. It was nice to see people of all races, ages, and genders recognized.
We had a fine dinner and conversation, too. The wine selection was great, too, much of it local. Since the venue was the Youth Livestock Pavilion or something like that, the Texas decor looked great. I hated to help tear it down!
Now you know why I’m not a fascinating blogger today. But it was nice to get out to a well ventilated place. Glad it wasn’t tomorrow. It’s getting cold again, and all that fresh air would be chilly.
I just kept rolling along today, enjoying whatever came up. I was knitting away, when Sara invited me to hang out with her while she rode Aragorn. I walked over there, and discovered a bit too late that Vlassic came along. I was worried he’d have a problem with Sara’s newest cattle dog.
At first the puppy was not pleased, and her hackles were raised big time. Aragorn ignored it all. What a good boy.
We needn’t have worried. Moments later I looked over to see play bows all around.
Those two dogs didn’t stop running and playing the whole time I was there. I think they were thrilled to find each other.
Meanwhile, I enjoyed seeing Aragorn’s significant progress in this lessons. The most fun was watching him try to back up a hill like Drew did earlier. He was a bit tired from his lesson yesterday, but he did it!
I headed home and suddenly got a text asking me to get home so we could go. Huh? Turns out the nephew and I were going to Steak Stein and Wine festival after all. Yep, I went home, put on a necklace and lipstick and acted spontaneous.
We were a bit confused, but ended up seeing lots of people we hadn’t seen in a long time, had good chats, and enjoyed our fine booth for our company.
It turns out we were sponsors and had a cool sign in the bandstand. Ooh la la.
I sampled some liquor but not too much, then we had the steak part of the deal. It was good. The twice-baked potatoes were GREAT.
I’m glad our little town is coming back to life now that our COVID numbers are way down. It’s not the way it was, but it’s better.
So, let’s see what happens spontaneously tomorrow!
Times are getting more exciting here in little Cameron, Texas, and it’s not just because Anita will move here soon. Lots of new businesses and jobs have been coming in, and the upcoming relocation of some of the County offices to the old hospital will be freeing up some cool places for investors to come in and start new businesses. We all have our favorite “dream shops” we want to see, but which buildings are right for what?
That question is what led to my fun day yesterday. A few people who are members of the Cameron Chamber of Commerce got together, and let by the fearless Melanie, trekked all over the downtown area to look through the buildings that would soon be available and “re-imagine” them. Looking through historic buildings and offices is my idea of fun, which is why I volunteered to tag along and was so grateful for the opportunity to help out in a small way.
We looked at buildings that are still being used, buildings that were full of mold, buildings in great shape, and ones that required some imagination. We all had clipboards to write down our ideas.
I was enthralled by how many county records are in the old buildings.
I liked that some old buildings have cool windows up high with views, which makes me envision loft living. Other places would make great bars, bookstores, restaurants, gaming places (one even used to be a roller rink…could it be again?).
My favorite things, I guess, were seeing how many dang old jails there are in this town. The one we looked at yesterday was really big, and I had NO idea it was there. Ooh, scary.
Old jails make excellent, secure storage.
This jail adds to the ancient hoosegow, old jail museum, jail in the old police station (where someone lives now), PLUS the actual County Jail that is in use. My big idea was to have a “Jails of Cameron” tour, with little jails painted on the sidewalk to lead you from one to another, each with something interesting to see or do. That didn’t go over terribly well.
The jail could be turned into a restaurant, where you eat in cells and people serve you through the little door…right? Sounds romantic to me.
Other people had real ideas, so it will be fun to see what comes of all this! At least I know they aren’t building a subdivision next to my house or anything, because I made Lee buy all that land. I was a visionary, I guess.
PS: It sure was fun to do something with people like this. We couldn’t have a few months ago!