When Alex and Holly Tompkins decided to buy a home in Abilene, they didn’t have trouble deciding which house.
The house at 207 NE 10th was the only one they looked at.
“I drove by this house and thought ‘That’s a cute little bungalow!’ I liked the white house, red door and black shutters,” said Holly. “So I looked it up online. My husband and I decided that it was a neat size for us. The upstairs needed renovating but I like to do that DIY stuff. We painted the downstairs trim, resurfaced the hardwood floors upstairs and renovated the upstairs bath, including tiling the shower.”
Ah, the energy of youth.
The house was built in 1921 on a lot purchased from Everett M. Shockey and his wife. Everett is one of the co-founders of Shockey and Landes hardware and furniture company that operated in downtown Abilene for more than 100 years.
Over the last three generations, it has been home to a veritable community of residents – teacher, bookkeeper, shoe salesman, car dealer owner, beauty salon operator, and architect. One occupant, Irene E. Keel , was a classmate of Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Add soldier to the list. Alex is in the Army, Holly stays home and cares for their toddler, Grayson.
“I grew up military, so we always seemed to be traveling at Christmas,” Holly says. “My husband and I got engaged at Christmas, so it’s a very special time of year for us. This is our third Christmas to be married so we’re just establishing our own Christmas traditions.”
The cozy home has a generous kitchen, which makes it the natural center of activity.
“We spend a lot of time in the kitchen,” she said. “When my husband comes home from work, he reads to me while I make dinner. Our little boy sits in his highchair. We can all be together. It’s also a perfect entertaining kitchen because it’s so big.”
Food has always been an important part of the holiday season.
“My family is from the South, so there was always a plethora of food and family,” Holly says. “And one thing we always had was cheese dip!”
Everyone wants a home that fits their taste, so change is often needed, especially in the early years. Holly is comfortable tackling those home projects.
“I worked on a construction crew in high school and in college,” she says. “I can do quite a bit. I can roof a house. I just finished building a bench in the kitchen. And my dad can talk me through the plumbing.”