Saturday, December 31, 2011

Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest

How cool is it that here, out in the middle of the desert tundra that surrounds Abilene (ok, I’m not sure if that’s geologically accurate but you get the point, for effect) we have our own miniature Gothic cathedral?

It actually is cooler than normal inside, which in my experience does in fact match the temperature of the larger European cathedrals. There are interesting architectural touches everywhere, from the classic upside-down-fishing-boat ceiling, to carved wooden seats and figures of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John that surround the lectern (is that the right term?).

The stained glass windows are a highlight (check out THAT pun!). And because the place is smaller, their colors glow through closer and have a more immediate effect. Much of this stained glass art is better than some of the older stuff, I think. It all depends on the artist no matter the era I guess, but I feel some others that I’ve seen were more focused on violence or were legalistic.

There are some colorful needlepoint cushions sewn by ladies of the church, and depicting native wildflowers. Why not make ordinary-use things beautiful? I liked experiencing this place. We got a local, personable tour from a church member.

Mockingbird Branch – Abilene Public Library

When I went into the Main branch and South branch I thought both times, “You know, putting some plants in here wouldn’t hurt.” What a great combination plants and books are. But, there weren’t any that I noticed. There are several healthy, lush ones in Mockingbird library, housed in a building which is a perfect example of, “don’t judge a book by its cover.” The outside of this library is flanked by not just one, but two dollar stores (kind of convenient for errands, actually) and a Super Bingo location. It’s an old strip mall, with a somewhat ratty parking lot in front (again, rather convenient). A shiny new sign is attached over the still-existing holes from old one(s). Get inside though, and it’s very pleasant and clean and arranged nicely. They also seem to have more of the books I want here.

Vacuum Cleaner Hospital

Although dustier than your average hospital (: we had quite a good experience getting our Dyson repaired and serviced here. I liked the humor of the sign, which included a vacuum with its tongue hanging out and a thermometer. On South 14th St.

Allen's Taxidermy

Wow! Who knew? I previously knew almost nothing about taxidermy. What surprised me about this place were the iridescent feathers of the turkey, and the exquisite design of the bird. Allen's has an extraordinary reputation in the area for quality work and service. Evidently, during the White Tail season they have a 6 month+ waiting list for jobs. The animals and birds on display give one a good chance to look at them up close. The shop is off the highway on the way to Clyde. The purple flower was outside the owner's residence and I've no idea what kind it is, but it's beautiful and otherworldly.