Tuesday, January 18, 2022

January Gems

 


 

In ancient Roman culture, Jānus was a god of doorways, beginnings, and the rising and setting of the sun. His name comes from the Latin jānus, meaning “doorway, archway, arcade.” (Wikipedia)

January, the first month of the year, is a doorway—the beginning of a new year. I actually like the month even though it can be very cold and blustery. The holidays are over and once I get the house pulled back together and the Christmas decorations packed away, I’m ready for a fresh start.

With the year stretching before me, what will it bring?


Longer Days—The shortest day of the year is behind us, and daylight lengthens every day. Soon spring will arrive, and regeneration will begin.

Birthday—Another one is coming up in February. They come so much faster than they used to.

Taxes—We always start working on our taxes in January. We look forward to getting a refund this year.

New book—Charles and I co-authored his book, Chasing a Whirlwind.  It’s a good looking and good reading book. We are pleased with the response so far. You can find it on Amazon.com and AuthorHouse.com.

Vacation—We signed up for a bus trip through Kentucky in May to see the ARK and the creation museum among other sites.

Graduation—Our local granddaughter gets her diploma at the end of May. A good reason to celebrate.

Election Year—It can’t come soon enough. It’s time to bring back some sanity to national and local elections.  Find good candidates to support and work for their election.

Eating Right—I’m still struggling to eat a low-carb and low-calorie diet and find time to exercise. It has to become a priority.

Refining my to do list is a necessity in order to appreciate 2022. It’s easy to become bogged down in daily tasks. I pray for appreciation of each day and the time to do what is important. 

 “Faith is Taking the First Step Even When You Don't See the Whole Staircase”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

 

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Have a Merry Christmas

 

                                                                             

 

Christmas 2021

To all our family and friends scattered everywhere.  Here is my Christmas card to you and yours. 

It’s hard to believe this year is almost over and 2022 is right around the corner.  Our first year of official retirement sped by with more to do than we ever imagined. 

We spent late April visiting our sisters in Louisiana and Florida. On the way we picked up a stomach bug and had to lay low for a few days in a motel until we were no longer contagious.  That was fun!!!  Both Marion in Louisiana and Audrey in Florida are doing as well as they can with their advancing age and health issues.

In June we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary in Branson, Missouri.  We enjoyed the shows and performances but were glad to get back home and off the interstates.

We devoted the remainder of the summer and fall to completing Charles’ book.  Chasing a Whirlwind is now available on AuthorHouse.com and Amazon.com in a hardback and softback version. We are impatiently waiting for our copies to arrive. A book launch is planned for early next year.

Covid found me in August, but I recovered quickly after receiving an infusion of Regeneron antibodies. Except for my sense of taste and smell, all is back to normal—with the exception of Diabetes Type 2. Since my diagnosis early in the year, I’ve followed a Keto low carb diet. Thanksgiving triggered a return to my old eating habits.  It’s time to get serious again to keep my blood sugar levels under control.

We pray this Christmas season finds you well and enjoying time with your family. Let’s remember the family of the first Christmas and the great gift God gave to all of us with the birth of Jesus.  Take time to celebrate his birthday by sharing his coming with those around you.

 Love from the Dixons

aka Two Late Bloomers

 

 

Friday, November 19, 2021

Chasing a Whirlwind


 


We are very thankful. The first mockup for Charles book has arrived. Yippee! Working with him on this book has been a five-year labor of love. A love that has been tested, but we have prevailed and are about to reap the reward. His phenomenal memory has recreated seventy-year-old stories of adventures and challenges that shaped his life.  I promise you will be blessed by his story.

Charles (Chuck) Dixon wrote “Chasing a Whirlwind” to share his adventures during his life and career in aviation. His life is a story of ambition and determination to reach goals that were often challenging and adventurous. God, family, country, and aviation were the driving factors in his life.

Charles, an aerodynamicist, almost lost his life due to rogue whirlwinds or vortices created by powerful military aircraft early in his career. Vortices are necessary for an airplane to fly, and as an aerodynamicist, he was determined to learn how to maximize their effectiveness.

During his years working at two major aircraft companies Charles’ revolutionary thinking created patents that enhanced his work for the rest of his career.  His sense of adventure gave him many opportunities to explore the great outdoors and kept him fit during his long life.

After an early retirement, and the death of his wife Mary, Charles won two proposals. First to the Air Force to pursue the creation of a specialty software that could predict stability and control effects of most types of aircraft. The second proposal was marriage to Frieda who would be his lifelong partner in his new business and the editor of his life story.

Sharing his faith in God with co-workers and others became a cornerstone of Charles’ life. His belief in the power of God to bring abundant life to everyone he met, inspired him to invite others to find God’s peace in this world.

Much help for this book was provided by his second wife, Frieda, and by the members of the Christian Authors Guild and Word Weavers International.

We hope you will plan to purchase the book when it is released.


“I believe that the memoir is the novel of the 21st century; it’s an amazing form that we haven’t even begun to tap…we’re just getting started figuring out what the rules are.” ~Susan Cheever

 

 

 

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

October Has It All

 

The tenth month of 2021 is packed with festivals, football, and food.  Take your pick along with tons of other things to do.

The cooler temperatures and shorter days of October provide many opportunities for fun. A big football weekend was celebrated in the Southeast with a surprising victory of Texas A&M over Alabama.  University of Georgia took first place in the conference.  Baseball is not about to be sidelined with the National League East playoffs in Atlanta.  Braves beat those Dodgers for your chance to win the World Series!


The Fall Foliage Prediction Map shows minimal leaf color in Georgia.  More colorful leaves will show up before Halloween.  We will enjoy leaf peeping and blowing them off our deck for the next two months. Drives through the North Georgia Mountains are a delight when we travel during the week to avoid the weekend crowds.

Apple and Pumpkin festivals abound in those mountain communities. The Georgia Apple Festival held in Ellijay, GA provides access to homemade crafts, great music, and delicious apples made into fritters, breads, and fried pies. The event can be a bit crowded, so plan for plenty of time to enjoy it all.


Acres of orange cover the ground at Burt’s Farm in Dawsonville, Ga. There is a pumpkin of every size to be picked and taken home to carve or prepare for a pie.  Hayrides are another popular activity at the farm. The smell of baked goods —pumpkin pie, bread, and rolls— draws you to their store where you can stock up on your favorites.

Many festivals were canceled last year due to Covid-19.  There is a pent-up enthusiasm by the planners and attendees for life to be more normal after a tough eighteen months.


The changing seasons makes me stop and reflect about the uncertainty of life and the certainty of God’s promises. As summer fades to fall and then into winter, we are reminded of God’s goodness and faithfulness.

 

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.”


Ecclesiastes 3:1

 “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Betwixt and Between

 

          

September is betwixt and between the hot days of summer and the cooler days of fall.  Change is definitely a hallmark of the month.  It’s been painful to recover from the botched Afghanistan exit and then remember the almost 3,000 people who died twenty years ago on September 11. We wished for the times when as Americans we were more united in purpose and politics wasn’t as poisonous as it is today.

The weather changed after Labor Day just like it did when I was a girl.  In upstate New York, going back to school the day after Labor Day meant fall and winter clothes.  It would always warm up for another week or so, but you knew that the short summer was over. Here is Georgia, the 90s of August are history and the much cooler nights and mid-80 days call for a lightweight sweater. The days are getting shorter and the nights longer as we head toward the first day of fall on September 22.

Charles and I are heading to the North Georgia mountains.  Both of us need to recover from sickness as well as the aches and pains of growing old.  Relaxation beside a lake will do both of us good and prepare us to come home to a busy fall.  It’s also time to stock up on the blueberry jam, apple pies, and breads at Panorama Apple Barn. We are headed back into birthday season for several family members, and the holidays will soon be here.

On Thursday, we returned from Hiawassee, GA where we enjoyed the 80-degree weather on beautiful Lake Chatuge.  We reserved a boat at the Ridges marina on Tuesday and were surprised to receive a major upgrade.  The crew gave us a beautiful twelve-person luxury boat to take out on the lake. Since it was past the busy season, there were few other renters. We floated and relaxed for two hours surrounded by mountain vistas and water as smooth as glass. A tinge of orange and red was visible in the trees and we could only anticipate the lake surrounded by color in another six weeks. 




Fall used to make me sad with remembrances of losses and difficult challenges. Instead, I have decided to embrace joy this year and be thankful for whatever comes my way.  I will do my best to place every day in God’s hands knowing that He is in charge and control of my life.

 

 

 

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Covid/Chaos

 

Chaos is defined in the online dictionary as “complete disorder and confusion.”


That’s what it felt like when I was diagnosed with Covid.  I was a walking target. Since I couldn’t take the vaccine, I knew at some point I would get sick. My prayer was that I would not get so sick I had to be hospitalized.

On my fourth day of symptoms, I went to Acworth Health Park Urgent Care.  The wait time was listed at three hours since the waiting room was packed. After 3.5 hours, I was called back.

The nurses were very efficient, and the doctor immediately ordered a rapid response Covid test, a chest Xray, and an EKG.  With a positive Covid result, the doctor ordered fluids and talked to me about antibodies.  Regeneron Monoclonal antibodies were given via infusion. My fever spiked to 102 degrees, and then started to decline.  By mid-afternoon, I was able to be wheeled out to my car.  The hospital was avoided, and I was on my way to improvement. Thank God for therapeutics.

Charles and I were both placed under quarantine for the next two weeks. Charles took over cooking and dishwashing duty.  Not his area of expertise, but he has handled it without complaint. Friends and family have delivered food, and even though I can’t taste anything, it has been much appreciated.

Since I was stuck in my recliner, I turned on the TV.  My chaotic diagnosis paled in comparison to what I saw on the news. 

The turmoil in Afghanistan was hard to watch as thousands of people surged into the Kabul Airport trying to get on a flight out of the country.  The situation erupted overnight as the U.S. abandoned its promise to the Afghani people and the Taliban took control of the country.

All I could do was pray for the people caught up in the mess.  The President was AWOL and when he finally did speak, he made little sense. What had happened to the most powerful country in the world in just eight months of the Biden administration?

With a broken heart, I watched the tragedy unfold. America has never left its citizens behind and takes care of those who stand with us. The military will do its job of rescuing our people, but the Taliban won’t make it easy. What will be the reputation of the United States at the conclusion of this exit debacle?


?


I am healing and getting my strength back, but I don’t have that same confidence in the United States of America.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Freedom is not Free

 

The recent celebration of Independence Day on July 4th in the US was protested and fraught with emotion.  Members of the far-left Socialist caucus let their feelings be known about how America isn’t free for the underprivileged minority. The term racist was hurled too often at our history and white citizens.
How fitting that a socialist country 90 miles to our south is fighting for its freedom.  Protestors have taken to the streets in numerous cities in Cuba to march against food shortages, inflation, and the failing medical system.  Many are pictured carrying the American stars and stripes.

The government forces are cracking down on the protestors, beating them, and arresting many. Cuban Communist President Miguel Diaz-Canel hosted an address on television to request government-supporting revolutionaries to counter the anti-government protestors. Social media and news websites have been shut down to quell the flow of information

Residents of South Florida are demonstrating in support of their Cuban brothers and sisters. The older Cuban generation who lived under the Castro regime are leading the way. Many are donating food and weapons and urging people to take boats to Cuba to show their support.  The US State Department and other government officials have taken a passive approach to the uprising in Cuba after the Cuban government accused the US of funding the demonstrations.

Second generation Cubans have adapted to the more liberal culture of America and are less inclined to want to interfere. Older Floridians want the US government to intervene in Cuba to stop the bloodshed and to restore freedom of assembly.

 I remember well the 1959 uprising in Cuba that swept aside the dictatorial Batista regime and put Fidel Castro into power. The failed Bay of Pigs invasion followed by the Cuban Missile Crisis dominated the news headlines of the early 1960s.




The Cuban people deserve their freedom from the Communist regime. I pray that before many more years go by, that will be a reality.  I also pray that the citizens of the US will not allow our freedoms to be taken over by socialism, critical race theory, an out-of-control border, massive debt, and inflation. 

Our founding ancestors had to fight long and hard to win the right to independence from Great Britain. Freedom is not free or cheap. May we as Americans continue to symbolize freedom for the rest of the world, to our children, and grandchildren.