SUNDAY December 20, 2020
My mother turns 95 this week. She’s received cards and gifts every day since September 19, giving her a nice surprise for 95 days leading up to her birthday. It’s a fun project that has kept our spirits lifted and focused on gratitude.

One of her nieces sent her a card last week letting her know about the rare sky show occurring on the eve of her birthday. The planets Jupiter and Saturn are lining up closer than they've been observable from Earth since 1226. She’s accepting this great rarity as one of her gifts. Join us as we look toward the southwest just after sunset this Monday, December 21 to witness this vibrant "great conjunction."

Hope this issue brightens your day and that you have a wonderful holiday season full of comfort and joy.
— P.A. Geddie
"Spirit" by Donna Page. Learn more about her in this County Line ARTICLE.
Each year as the weather starts to cool here in the Upper East Side of Texas, it’s still a whole lot warmer than the northern parts of the United States and into Canada. That’s where many of the "snowbirds" come from that migrate through this part of the world on their way to the warm coastline of the state. Some even choose to stay here all winter and save themselves the extra miles. And some stay a little longer like the eagles — they often build their nests in the region and become more active and therefore visible in the winter.

Photographer Lisa Hilbers of Wood County beautifully captures these birds with her camera each year as they make themselves at home in the region. Follow the headline link to see more of her feathered friends.
About a century before GPS systems gave us digitized versions of maps and satellite or bird's-eye views of streets and neighborhoods, mapmakers created two-dimensional versions of maps that created the illusion of "being there." 
The Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth easily ranks as one of the top visual art venues in Texas, but few may know that its origin is tied to an art-loving couple who themselves originated from rural Upper East Side of Texas.
It Came Upon The Midnight Clear
"It Came Upon the Midnight Clear" is a poem and carol written by Edmund Sears. Hear the smooth voice of Gilmer native Johnny Mathis sing it on this video.
DeFoore Authors Small Town Texas Stories
John DeFoore is legendary in the Upper East Side of Texas. He’s a gifted guitar and songwriting teacher with former students that include Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves, Michelle Shocked, and Ryan Beaver, to name a few.

Now he’s ventured in to writing short story fiction and has a book called Texas Ghost Town Snapshots, available through Amazon and other booksellers.
He began collecting the stories many years ago.

“Driving from my homes in Mineola and Grand Saline, Texas, to my parents’ home in Boerne for 30 years, I started to wonder about the old deserted houses along the route.”

Curiosity led him to create stories about who might have lived there and what might have happened in their lives. So he began writing down “glimpses” of life of small town Texas.

Hear DeFoore narrate one of his stories, “Leonard of Kelsey,” accompanied by guitar, on the video above.
Covering the Arts Across the Upper East Side of Texas
Make Your Own Chocolate Souffles
Here's a recipe for Chocolate Souffles by Lyndsay Caldwell from the County Line archives.

Soufflé recipes generally stop people in their tracks, but if you follow a few simple techniques, they are super easy to make and anyone who indulges in them will surely be impressed. 

Before we get started on the recipe, the most important thing to remember is that water and chocolate are long time enemies. As long as you respect this relationship, you have nothing to worry about. Be sure to completely dry any utensils used in the process. This applies to egg yolks as well. If any yolk or water gets into the egg whites, they will not aerate properly. The last thing to know before getting started is that investing in good chocolate is important for the best results here. So reach for the bag that costs a little extra. You’ll be glad you did.

Chocolate Soufflés
Makes 3-4 2" ramekins (ceramic containers)
3 tbsp. whole milk
5½ tbsp. sugar, divided, plus additional for dusting
4 oz. semisweet chocolate
2 egg yolks
3 egg whites
Confectioners' sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Combine milk and 4 tbsp. sugar in a small saucepan and stir over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Stir in chocolate and cook until melted, 1–2 minutes. Transfer to a glass bowl and cool for 5 minutes, then beat in egg yolks.

2. Beat egg whites in a nonreactive bowl until foamy, then sprinkle in remaining sugar, beating until stiff peaks form.

3. Generously butter three to four small ramekins, (about 2"deep) then lightly dust with sugar. Mix one-third of the beaten egg whites into chocolate mixture, then very gently fold in remaining whites, one-third at a time. Do not over mix. Spoon batter evenly into prepared dishes.

4. Make sure that oven racks allow soufflés enough room to rise as much as 2'' above the dish. Bake until soufflés have risen, about 25 minutes. Dust with confectioners' sugar.

Soufflés begin to deflate after about 2 minutes and must be served immediately upon exiting the oven. However, if you wanted to make these the day before, you may freeze the soufflés in their ramekins overnight. Place them in the oven frozen and allow a little extra time for baking.
Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis perform this livestream with special guests Ray Wylie Hubbard and Shakey Graves. Tickets are $15. Click the headline link above for more information.

Find more events on the County Line CALENDAR and fun THINGS TO DO on our website.
Feel free to send story ideas, poems, letters, and beautiful photography from the region to Let us know what you enjoy most about this area.
County Line Magazine
PO Box 608
Ben Wheeler, TX 75754
Office: (903) 963-1101
Text: (903) 312-9556