Since arriving at Footlights we have settled in really well.

The whole process started a year ago at a Pizza and Beer get-together, hosted weekly, weather permitting, by a couple who live not far from us on Windy Hill, an offshoot of Rigsby.

Open to everyone and any family or friends who get a whiff of the wood burning oven and hear the chinking of glasses.

Hubs was hesitant this year to go every week but I pointed out that they were prepared for us so we should show up, just as we would want people to show up at our house.

So we got over the feeling that we were taking advantage (since they obviously don’t view their hospitality that way) and show up with a salad or dessert to round out the evening.

We are part of the hard core of regulars, the inner circle so to speak.  It is lovely to feel cushioned in companionship, confident in the knowledge that if your goat goes into labour, or your dog’s been bitten by a snake, or your horse has sunburn, there is someone who will be more than happy to offer you advice or come give you a hand.

We were in Florida this time last year so missed the hay cutting season so when June rolled around this year we were still wet behind the ears when it came to agrarian management.

Never mind though, our neighbors gave us the names of three local farmers who, we were assured, would come out, look at our pastures and give us a quote on mowing and baling and hauling away.

The spring rains were against us and the cutters and balers were so behind on their own thousand acres that our few were pushed to the back of the queue and eventually forgotten.

Unfortunately our fields went from a rather attractive blue stem swaying in the breeze, to a vibrant red and yellow display of Indian blanket humming with bees,


to collapsed grasses and faded, gone-to-seed blooms during the hot, dry month of June.

I could tell my Texan, who loved a neat and orderly garden, was fighting off the urge to take things into his own hands with his zero turn Cub Cadet

“It looks like a wasteland… no-one is going to want this!”  he said every time we drove onto our property.


The day after our latest get together with the neighbors scarfing gourmet pizza and sipping beer, Hubs got an email from the couple who had been our first introduction to the lane and its close knit community,

“We have an attachment on our Kubota which will help you tidy up your land.  We’ll be down with it later so you can start on your back forty.”

No inviting us to come get it “anytime,”

Or asking “would you like to borrow our tractor?”

Just a simple statement followed by a drive up the lane, a one hour in-person training session and reassurance that,

“It’ll probably take you all week to make two passes, so no hurry!”


They drove off in their John Deere four wheeler leaving us with a tractor complete with brush hog and a front loader.

Now that’s neighborly and they certainly didn’t lead us wrong when we flagged them down in the snow just over a year ago to ask,

“What’s it like living out here?”

Their actions speak louder than words and each day we remind ourselves how blessed we are to have found such a gem in Collin County.

“He’ll make a rancher out of me yet!”  Hubs said as he set out to mow a meadow with a grin on his face and no dog in sight.

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