Friday, July 13, 2018

Collecting in Cleburne

Vince said that he wanted fish for lunch, but we were all weary of our
One of the many older houses in Cleburne
usual seafood places. It’s amazing what you can find online, and I found an interesting place for fish in Cleburne. Off we went! We weren’t quite sure about the location of the restaurant, and our GPS took us to it, but we decided the GPS was wrong. It is in an old fast-food building, but the food is much better than fast food! To top off our adventure, we also took a drive through the older part of Cleburne to see what we could discover about its past. Collecting pictures of Texas Historical Markers is one of the ways we collect knowledge about what happened in our state’s past.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Around the Island (Γύρω από το νησί)

House in Margarites
On our last day in Crete we hopped on a tour bus for a trip around the island. Again, I saw scenery I hadn’t expected on this island and heard mythology I was completely unfamiliar with – I didn’t know that Hera was the second wife of Zeus. It’s great to learn new things! If I could do this trip, again, I’d do it in reverse order – this tour first, then Knossos, then time spent exploring Chania – I think it would help to put things in a more historical perspective and allow me to more closely investigate this unique part of the world.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Getting to Know Knossos (Yνωριμία με την Κνωσό)

Having had a rather average education, I thought I had at least a working
On the way to Knossos
knowledge of Greek mythology and a smattering of Greek history. No, I didn’t. But that’s one of the reasons I travel: to learn things. Getting on a bus for a half-day tour of an archaeological site I knew very little about was excitement in and of itself. Going with a bunch of librarians, all talking about what we were going to see – not necessarily in any common language – was a very real treat. Hat, sunglasses, camera, and water bottle at the ready…let’s go!

Friday, June 22, 2018

Cruising through Chania (Κρουαζιέρα στα Χανιά)

Flying into Crete for the first time I was struck by how much it looked like
Sunset at the Old Venetian Harbor
West Texas – rather desert-like instead of lush green, and with white sandy beaches. It’s amazing what perceptions we have before we go somewhere that blows our misconceptions sky high! Crete is a mountainous little island and, as with other mountainous regions, they have a phenomenon called rain shadow. I was seeing the side of the mountain that gets less rain than the rest of the country. Parts of Crete are very green, especially where people raise crops. The olive trees, of which there are thousands, are a grey-green (that would be olive green, of course), the fruit trees are a dark green with spots of bright yellow lemons, and the fields of cabbages, beans, tomatoes, and other vegetables add to the verdant shades that assault your eyes. There are also a dazzling array of flowers that contrast quite nicely with the red-brown cliffs and the bright blue skies. The beaches remained a surprise. If they weren’t craggy, the sand was a dark brown reminiscent of beaches found in south Texas. Just where would I have to go to see white sand; obviously not to Crete. We landed near the city of Chania and because of several delayed/changed/missed flights (see the Around the Island post on July 6th for reviews) had to make our way to our Airbnb without the aid of our host. This turned out to be a good thing because we got to interact with the local taxi drivers. Not only were they helpful, but they were good natured, funny, and knew a lot about their island. In fact, we only met one old grump during this trip; everyone else we interacted with seemed to be happy.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Fooling around in Frisco

Public art in Frisco
The only reason we go to Frisco any more is to do some business. Back in the ‘good old days’ we’d run up to the Abby Restaurant (now defunct), or take the 30 minute drive from my door in Plano to a friend’s house in Aubrey. Now, even if I lived in Plano, it would take at least an hour to get to Aubrey. Frisco has really changed.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Yonder in Euless

City of Euless
Before it was a town, the area near Euless was on the edge of Bird's Fort in 1841. The community actually began in about 1845, when Isham Crowley and a small party of pioneers reached the convergence of Big Bear and Little Bear creeks. There, on what is now the DFW airport grounds, a post office was founded in 1857, named Estill's Station. Nearby were a school, a church, a store, and a cotton gin. The post office closed in 1868 then reopened in 1881–1904, under the name Estelle. Most of the community gradually wandered away, moving to the present Euless and Irving.

Friday, June 1, 2018

The Edge of the Prairie

Eons ago I needed a job and found one as a placement councilor at an employment agency. The agency didn’t stay in business long, quite possibly since there were so few jobs to be had at the time. This business was in Grand Prairie, Texas. One thing I learned was that I really didn’t want to work in that field longer than absolutely necessary; I also learned how to spell ‘prairie’.