Saturday, January 28, 2012


Seeing this sign on South 7th, I'm taken back in time picturing "Flo's Ice Cream Sandwich" shop as a gathering place for the neighborhood. I imagine people walking down in the evenings to buy a cold-something for dessert and sitting on benches outside, or at booths or at a counter inside, enjoying their sweet treats while visiting about the heat or the brand new baby that so-and-so down the street just had. Comparing notes about the new doctor in town. Saying hello to her and her family as they arrive. Children would be skipping rope, or likely squabbling over whose turn it was to spin and whose to jump. It's strange and a bit nice to think of buying just one ice cream sandwich at a time, instead of for instance a pack of eight at a Big-box store.


Monarchs came through town the end of September. Butterflies were everywhere -- hovering over my neighbor's roses, flitting across streets. When they fluttered around me as I took a walk, I felt unreasonably complimented. Feeling as if they were attracted to my presence (or my hot pink shirt, thinking it was a flower). They were gorgeous. Glad Abilene is a stop on their amazing journey.

A-Frames of Abilene

One a church, the other a defunct drive-in. Both structures within sight of one another.

They sure accentuate the sky. Do you think the drive-in thought it would be good advertising to build in that shape (assuming the church came first)?

This is startling architecture for these parts - and also, for a church in general, especially a smaller one like this. Does remind one of the Air Force Academy chapel though.

Castles of Abilene

I happened upon this apartment complex with its Rapunzel tower, near my son's middle school. It looks so incredibly incongruous in the middle of our West Texas plains. The fake half-timbering is a pretty good replica though. Overall, there's some room for the imagination plopped here. I'd like to know what room is inside the tower.

The second "castle" if you'll notice, even has a rounded front door. I wonder when the shutters on either side of the window came along because they're not the right size and look out of place. Even more, I wonder about who decided to build this! The fairytale effect is enhanced by the overgrown yard and bushes.

"Abilene" doesn't sound a very European name, but we have our castles!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Highly Recommended Christmas Lights

McMurry University had a music-coordinated display this year. I hope it'll be there again next year. Set to music, you drive up and tune your radio to the channel on the signs. Face the star, the tree and the light arcs and let the show begin, complete with accompanying music. It was all great! Really, very fun and a stirring holiday experience, better than I'd imagined.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Dublin Dr. Pepper

Dublin Dr. Pepper Bottling Plant and museum is a far-flung, well-run treasure of a place. Well worth the hour and a half drive from Abilene we took for a day trip. The tour and gift shop were simple but interesting. Our guide (Luke) was informed, entertaining and kept a good pace. The man who first established the company thought that Dublin would become the size of Ft. Worth someday but, it hasn't (pop. approx. 4,000). That actually adds to the charm of the place. Bill Kloster, eventually named "Mr. Dr. Pepper" started as a bottle sorter at the plant and eventually became owner. He began collecting related memorabilia after his wife gave him a Dr. Pepper calendar during WW II. His collection forms the basis for a professionally curated museum and recently opened museum annex. The company is known for never substituting Imperial sugar for corn syrup. Evidently, fans appreciate the unwavering taste.