Sunday, October 17, 2010

What Are The Odds?

Hi y’all. Like the other Sweetheart writers you’ve met, I’m thrilled to be a member of this extraordinary group. I write contemporary romantic suspense set in some of the western states where I’ve lived. If you’ve visited my website or my blog , you know my husband, kids and grandkids are 5+ generation Texans and understand why Texas has received the lion’s share of settings in the books I’ve written so far. However, that doesn’t lessen my love for my current home--Colorado’s mountains. Their peace and beauty feed my soul and creativity. So, you can see why deciding what to post first was a struggle until a chance meeting at a fall celebration neatly entwined Colorado and Texas as they are in my life.
Grand Mesa lies between the Colorado
and Gunnison Rivers east of Grand
Junction, Colorado.
Colorado promotes Grand Mesa as the world’s largest flat top mountain. However, it isn’t flat like a table. Its uneven surface resembles the bumps and dips of a giant cinnamon roll. Every year as nighttime temperatures drop at higher elevations, the aspens’ fall leaf color flows downward as if the yellow already prevalent on top were melted butter spilling over Grand Mesa’s edges. Gullies brighten first to create fingers of yellow and gold, and then the earthbound sunshine spreads across the slopes and onto ridges. Each dawn reveals fresh progress that highlights the sunrise with the promise of another glorious day. 

Raber Cow Camp, built in the 1930's, is now an Historic Site.

These are the days when local ranchers transport their cattle herds to lower fields, leaving behind rich mountain meadows via the trails, OHV roads, and CO HWY 65 unavailable to the cattle operations of the  1930s and 40s when stock was driven down the west side of the mesa at Kannah Creek and over to a valley railroad connection.

Highway 65 provides a smooth, curving drive up from the valley floor for thousands of visitors on Color Sunday--Grand Mesa’s fall foliage celebration. Hosted the 4th Sunday in September every year, this event is the major fund raising opportunity for communities and attractions situated along the road. Mesa, a small town on the north side of Grand Mesa, has continuously sponsored a dinner since the 1940’s when the women of the Methodist Church cooked the food in their homes. Now, the 4-H heads the fundraiser with the help of Job Corp and local residents. This year, they served the largest number of attendees for a total of 810 meals. My husband and I stopped at Mesa’s community center and filled our plates with turkey and all the trimmings. We had no sooner stuffed our mouths with bites of tender, juicy white meat than an elderly couple sat beside us. A few pleasantries later, the gentleman mentioned they retired in Cedaredge, on the south side of the mesa, after having lived in Bartonville, Texas. Back in 1970, my first boyfriend lived in Bartonville; I lived in Argyle. The towns were situated about 7 miles apart and were the size Mesa is now. 
Available January

What are the odds that after almost 40 years and dozens of homes in numerous places, my husband and I take a day trip and meet a lovely couple at a turkey dinner who were from my first boyfriend’s hometown in Texas, over 1000 miles away? The only thing more bizarre would have been running into him, or getting caught up in a situation like the characters in my romantic suspense novel which will be released in January. In CAUGHT BY A CLOWN, a spontaneous freelance journalist on a mission of mercy finds herself entangled with a methodical undercover agent out to settle a score.
I hope you’ll stop into Sweethearts of the West often--you’ll find us and our books fun, exciting, sweet, passionate, informative and, maybe, addictive.


  1. Sandra--I lived for three years in Colorado and your post reminded me of how beautiful the fall colors can be out there. I've also lived in Texas for several years--Dalls and Houston with relatives outside San Antonio in the Hill Country. I understand how tough it would be to pick a favorite--I love both areas of the country!

  2. SANDRA--what lovely descriptions of your beloved Colordo,the golden Aspens with their quaking leaves, and Grand Mesa.
    When I meet someone from my past, I always wonder, "why did our paths cross again?" Maybe there's a reason, maybe not, but I do wonder.
    In the early 70's, we lived in a univerisity town in OK, and one street over lived a family who had a boy our son's age. They moved away the year before we did to a university town in Central Texas. The next year we moved--where? To the same town they did--pure coincidence. After we'd been there a couple of years, this family moved away--about 1976. Two months ago a family came to our church--the couple are raising the teen grandchildren. My husband looked across the aisle, and whispered, "that look like (I'll omit their name) who lived close to us 35 years ago in OK." Sure, enough, they moved back to our town after 35 year years, and they are Presbyterians, too. Now why did our paths cross, not only once, twice, but three times?
    I loved your story--it's those things we notice and wonder about that makes us write fiction.
    Very, very nice--Celia

  3. Loved the descriptions of Colorado. One of these days I want to check out your state. It's on my hubby and I's bucket list.

  4. Sandy, as usual you have written so well. I can visualize the aspens from your post. Loved your descriptions. Now, move back to Texas!

  5. Hi Sandra,
    My family settled in Oklahoma--by way of Texas.LOL So we've been here for the last 5+ generations for the most part, some of them even longer, since we have Cherokee, Choctaw and Chickasaw ancestors on both sides of the family tree. I set all my stories in Oklahoma or Texas. There is so much rich heritage in both places that you can't go wrong--always something to draw on. I've never been to Colorado--can you believe it? With Oklahoma being so close?

    Something happened kind of strange to my sister--she was about 45 or so, on a plane to Hawaii, and there was a guy on the plane across the aisle from her that she'd gone to high school with in Duncan, OK. Hadn't seen him in 25 years! Another time we were on vacation and stopped at a little roadside curio place in Tennessee, and the woman who owned it was from Seminole, OK, where we were living at the time.

    Very nice post--I truly did enjoy it, and was glad to learn more about you!


  6. We came in from our trip late last night. We had a great time, learned alot, and enjoyed the drive through Monument Valley.

    Cheryl, Thank you for your kind words. I'm glad to learn you have American Indian ancestors. Those Oklahoma tribes have fascinating and noble heritages which have always interested me. My father was from Ponca City and Hydro areas; he encouraged me to read about those early cultures.

    Caroline and Marin, I'm glad you enjoyed a "peek" at our rich aspens. Looking forward to seeing you soon, Caroline.

    Paty, I hope we're still here when you cross Colorado off your bucket list. We'd love to host a portion of your discovery tour. ;-)

    Celia, You are so right--an unlikely meeting with someone from our past should make us wonder why it happened. I believe there is a definite purpose for those opportunities, maybe nothing more than the simple enjoyment of pleasant memories. It might be a sign to right a wrong or finish something left undone. It's up to us to follow through in order to be the best we can become.

    Yes, I hope the endless POSSIBILITIES of life spice my writing.


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