Tuesday, April 27, 2021

On the Road Again


After a long dry spell, we couldn’t wait to get on the road again. We like to travel and looked forward to seeing new sights along the way. It was our first big trip in over a year. The mileage on our 2019 car was still below 10,000 miles. Going to the grocery store, drug store, and church uses little gas and the car still smelled new. 

Our destination was Baton Rouge, Louisiana to see Charles’ sister and then Pensacola, Florida to see my sister.  Both of these dear ladies were recently widowed when their husbands died early in 2021.  We didn’t make either funeral but instead opted for a visit after vaccine shots were more widely distributed.

A stop in Laurel, Mississippi to see the town made famous by Ben & Erin Napier on their fixer upper show Home Town was on the agenda.  We checked in at the Holiday Inn Express ready to see the sights when Charles got sick to his stomach and started heaving. The next twelve hours were not pretty. We figured he picked up food poisoning when we stopped for lunch.  He managed to drive the next day to the Hampton Inn in Baton Rouge.

During the night, I got sick and spent the next twelve hours with decision sickness. Not food poisoning, but a throw up virus that attacked both of us. Charles pulled himself together enough to make the appointment the next day at the nursing home to visit with his sister, Marion.

After four nights of no sleep, we checked out of the hotel and headed for Alabama.  We spent one more night in a Hampton Inn in Fairhope to make sure we were over the bug. We were supposed to see Donnie & Erin and children in Daphne, AL but still felt sick so we took a rain check.

The next morning, we were on our way to Pensacola.

It had been five years since I’d seen my sister, Audrey.  We’d talked on the phone each week, but it wasn’t the same. Every time we tried to get together, life intervened. We thought we were going to take care of her, but instead we were the recipient of her hospitality. My niece and nephew opened up their comfortable downstairs suite to us and we were able to come and go at will. Some good sleep restored our bodies and minds so we could enjoy our visit. 

Once we were back home, groceries had to be bought and a ton of wash needed attention.  Life resumed full speed ahead. Call us crazy, but we are already anticipating another trip for our 25th anniversary in June. 

Friday, March 26, 2021

It's Crazy Out There

 

 

 


“Look, we're living in a crazy time right now. There's a lot of craziness going on in the world and in the United States in particular.” Mike Jackson  (retired British officer)

We are at the end of one of the craziest years in my lifetime. A business acronym describes the confusion of the past year. 

           ·      V = Volatility: the nature and dynamics of change, and the nature and speed of change                 forces and change catalysts.

·      U = Uncertainty: the lack of predictability, the prospects for surprise, and the sense of awareness and understanding of issues and events.

·    C = Complexity: the multiplex of forces, the confounding of issues, no cause-and-effect chain and confusion that surrounds organization.

·   A = Ambiguity: the haziness of reality, the potential for misreads, and the mixed meanings of conditions; cause-and-effect confusion.

Volatility is the hallmark word for the past year. Locked down and locked up. From losing our business to taking travel off our bucket list for our 25th anniversary, life has changed dramatically.  Like many other Senior Adults, we have struggled with a longing to spend time with grandkids and meet with friends for lunch.

Uncertainty has ruled as we have listened to the television talking heads telling us what we can and cannot do. Should we wear masks, go to church, avoid the grocery store? These are real concerns that seniors face each day. We have chosen to be pretty liberal when it comes to getting out and going places such as the grocery store and church. We have faithfully worn masks to protect ourselves and others.

Confusion at times has prevailed.  We chose to do a couple of upgrades to the house and as a result, confusion set in.  Contractors, with few English skills, caused nerve jangling days that made us long for peace and quiet.

Ambiguity is around every corner. Should I call the doctor or do a virtual visit? When will I be able to visit that friend in the hospital? Two of our brothers-in-law died in the past month and we decided not to go to the funerals because Charles had not received his vaccine.  After Easter we will leave our comfort zones and travel to Louisiana and Florida to spend time with our sisters.

As we move into a new year, free from the constrictions of the past, we will seek a new acronym.

  • V — Vision
  • U — Understanding
  • C —  Clarity
  • A —  Agility   (not so sure about this one)

We have signed a self-publishing book contract and will devote much of our time to getting Chasing a Whirlwind published and promoted. Never a dull moment around here. 

A recent edition of USA Today interviewed senior adults about their plans. A common comment was heard.  “I don’t want to be the one who gives it to people” “I won’t eat out or fly until herd immunity arrives.”   Late spring into early fall seems to be the timeline for the US to develop herd immunity and for most seniors to resume their previous activities. Maybe we all can have hot dogs in our yard by July 4th.

May God bless you as you move into new ventures and catch up with old activities in the remaining months of 2021.

 

 

Monday, February 22, 2021

February News

 

February comes from the Latin word februa, which means “to cleanse.” The month was named after the Roman Februalia, which was a month-long festival of purification and atonement that took place this time of year. Did you know: ... Originally, February was made the last month of the calendar year. (quote from Wikipedia)

February 2021 has been the coldest month during this winter. The wet, bleak, and frozen days have made their impact and it is time for them to go. Maybe that is why there are only 28 days in the month.

Our granddaughter’s weeklong visit to pick up her stuff before her move to Texas turned into two weeks when the snow and ice made I-20 leading into Dallas impassable. Rose left yesterday and should be there by tonight.

The demolition and construction crew demolished our bathroom floors that were affected by a water leak last October. New flooring was installed along with new toilets and painting was done.  What a noisy, irritating mess.  Not a very favorable time for purification and atonement. Good news – insurance covered the cost.

My February 8th birthday was celebrated with the help of family. Charles made it a special event.  Cards and good wishes from friends added to the fun time.  We postponed our Valentine Day celebration to a more relaxing time.

I shared my testimony with the Columbus Women’s Connection group via Zoom on February 11.  It was a new experience for me and for them since Covid is keeping the group from meeting in person.  In-house meetings are much more rewarding even with the travel.

We led our Sunday Morning Life Group at church in a study of the Gospel of Luke. We have studied the many miracles of Jesus and his forgiveness of sins. So, February has been a time of purification and atonement for me as I have considered the truth of God’s word.

Spring is around the corner and the promise of warmer and longer days awaits. Like me I know you are ready to see the daffodils and tulips bloom.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

New Beginnings

 

“If winter comes, can spring be far behind.” Ode to the West Wind by Percy Bysshe Shelley

 

Today is a day of new beginnings.  A new President and Vice President have been installed.  No matter how you voted in November, the United States has successfully transitioned to a new administration.  As Christians it’s important to pray for the Biden administration and all government leaders. That should be our priority.  Even though the atmosphere in Washington is not what I had anticipated, God’s in charge and control.

This week we kicked off a new year of Word Weavers. We are in a new location with new leadership.  This critique group has been immensely helpful to me in editing Charles’ book. Chasing a Whirlwind.  We have written the last chapter and epilogue and now begins the long editing process before we submit it for publication. We should have a book in hand this spring.

Charles took his first Moderna Covid 19 vaccine last week.  The second will come in February. I was not able to take the vaccine because of past problems with vaccines.  Everyone hopes 2021 will see a real slowdown to the corona virus.  That would be a real new beginning indeed.

We will finally be getting our house repaired from the water damage last October. New flooring in our laundry room and master bath will fix the problem. Sheetrock needs replacing in the downstairs bathroom. Leftover insurance money will be used for a couple of other projects. We will be dealing with contractors for the next few weeks.

Charles and I have been asked to become the lead teachers for our Life Group Bible Study Class.  Our last regular teaching duty was almost ten years ago, and we are a tad rusty.  But as we team teach, we will encourage each other in prayer and with ideas on how to present each lesson.  For the next few months, we will be studying the Gospel of Luke.

The beginning I like best this time of year is the longer days and shorter nights.  It’s been almost a month since the shortest day of the year, and each day has more sunlight.  I thrive in the late winter and early spring and anticipate the first blooms on the fruit trees.  The tulips emerging from their cold nap in my planters on the back deck are also a first sign.  Our pansies out front are happily blooming and brighten up a cloudy day.

  “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland” (Isaiah 43:18-19). 

 



 

Saturday, December 19, 2020

A December to Remember

 

As I end this difficult year, I want to contact my blog family and friends to wish them a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  It has been a year filled with challenges, but as of now, we are still in good health and very thankful for it. It seems everyone is ready for 2020 to go away and for the promise of 2021. Maybe we are expecting too much, but it will be interesting to see what happens.

A new Christmas star will appear on December 21, 2020 in the southwestern sky in the hour after sunset.  The alignment of Jupiter and Saturn will create a very bright star that can be seen by the naked eye. It has been 800 years since this great conjunction has occurred and another 60 in 2080 before it happens again.  Perhaps this is God’s gift to us to encourage us after a long, tough year.

As the Covid-19 vaccines begin to arrive in hospitals, labs, and drug stores across the country, there is hope on the horizon for better days ahead. It has been nearly a year of lockdowns, masks, and social distancing. Here in Georgia, we have lived an almost normal life, but we are tired of the masks and other precautions we have had to take.  Covid shut down our business and we are still trying to decide what to do next.  I am enjoying the peace and quiet and not feeling so rushed to accomplish something.  Charles has days when he is looking for his next adventure.

Christmas will be relatively quiet at the Dixon house. My Christmas came early when we had family for Charles’ birthday and Thanksgiving.  Rose Davis, Stuart’s daughter, spent four weeks with us before returning to Texas.



Last Saturday, we had high tea and other local granddaughter Alexa Davis joined us for the party.  A good time was had by all. 

On Christmas Day, two sons will join us for lunch and phone calls will be made to family spread far and wide in Texas, North Carolina, and Toronto, Canada.  I hope that you will be able to spend some time—virtual or in person—with those you love and reflect on the reason for the season of Christmas. 

May God bless you during this holiday when we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10 (KJV) 

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

 

Monday, November 23, 2020

A Reason to Give Thanks

 

Being thankful should be a daily way of life.  But most of the time it is easier to gripe or complain instead of being thankful.  I have a lot to be grateful for this week and I will try to show it to all I meet. 


Twenty-four and ½ years ago, when I met Charles, I never dreamed I’d get to celebrate his 90th birthday with him.  This week on Wednesday night, thirteen of us will celebrate in person and five will join us online for the big event. He does not look or act his age but appears to be  at least ten years younger. 

His last big party occurred when he turned 70.  This will be a Covid party—smaller crowd wearing masks but still with a good reason to celebrate.  The only problem I have with that date is that it is the day before Thanksgiving.

Our granddaughter, Rose from Canada is visiting with us for a few weeks while she looks for a job in the Atlanta area.  Her help pulling it all off will be invaluable.  She will help decorate, help pick up the cake, and bar-b-que. I will make the sides on Tuesday and the casseroles for Thanksgiving on Wednesday.  So much to do—so little time.

During Charles’ ninety years he has seen and done a lot. His active military service during the Korean War send him to California servicing airplanes for the battle. Forty years working for Lockheed Martin and other aerospace companies and twenty-four years in his own aerospace company equals 64 years of effort.  During that time, he earned three college degrees in aerospace engineering and business administration. He filed and received two important patents to overcome airplane drag and increase time on mission.  Because of Covid, he decided to take unanticipated retirement to figure out what he wants to do next in life.

We are struggling to finish the last of his biography, Chasing a Whirlwind.  Once the rush of the holidays has passed, it looks a little easier to spend time writing.  Just maybe, 2021 will not be as hectic and disrupting as 2020.  We will try to be thankful for each day as it comes. 

I know a lot of you are stuck at home and not able to travel to be with family or friends for Thanksgiving. We are glad many of our folks are local. I hope despite it all, you will find many reasons to be thankful this Thanksgiving.  I am always reminded of the Bible verse in Philippians.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

Monday, October 26, 2020

A Messy October

 

Colorful leaves are blowing in the wind making a mess everywhere. Temperatures are dropping and I am halfway through sorting and packing spring clothes.  My son, Michael, is helping me sort and clean out my office so that I can get some writing done.  In other words, much of the house is in turmoil.

 

Last Monday, Charles found a leak in the downstairs bathroom ceiling. We called in a plumber who discovered the leak in the upstairs washing machine.  He fixed the hose and suggested we call a restoration company to repair the wet walls and floorboards.  Since Friday, we have had fans and dehumidifiers blowing at high speed, creating a lot of heat and noise.  We headed to the other side of the house to sleep in the guest room to stay away from the mess. Two out of three bathrooms are inoperable, and the guest bath is small.  Somehow, we are managing but the turmoil keeps piling up. The restoration team came in to check results, and the equipment will remain in place three more days.



With the election just a week away, the news reports reflect a country in turmoil.  From people being attacked in road rallies in New York City to the 24-hour debate on the Senate floor trying to derail the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, dissenters are losing their battle. Their desire to create more election week turmoil seems to be running out of steam.

 Fall weather is wreaking havoc across the country with ice and snowstorms in the Plains and another hurricane churning up the water in the Gulf of Mexico—eventually heading to the LA/MISS coast. One of the busiest hurricane seasons ever.  The winds accompanying the storms are feeding the fires in Northern California, whipping them into a frenzy as they continue to destroy property.

And, of course, we have Covid 19 which is surging in many states and effecting the stock market and economy.  The weeks leading up to a vaccine are putting everyone to the test.

A state of great disturbance, confusion, or uncertainty is the definition for turmoil. That describes life in our home and the USA today. Living in a state of turmoil and mess requires patience and an inner peace that passes all understanding.  There is only one place I know of to find that inner peace.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The following quotes from the Bible will steady my mind and heart as I wait for the turmoil to cease.  I pray these verses will do the same for you.

 

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

 
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:6-7