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

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

I Can See Clearly Now


Well, almost.

I am anxiously waiting for my new glasses to arrive.  It has been a long six weeks sincmy first cataract surgery.  My right eye was fixed for clearer long-distance vision and the left eye for arm-length vision.  Cheater glasses help with reading and close-up work, but I do not like to leave them perched on the end of my nose.  My new glasses will give me clearer vision in both eyes.  I can't wait. 





The first of the year started out with optimism. I challenged all of us to make 2020 the  best year of all.

Take a leap of faith.

Faith is the opposite of fear.

Taking a leap of faith says that we believe God rather than what we hear in the world or what logic or fear tell us. I can survive a Leap Year filled with uncertainties and scary changes if I take the unchangeable God at his word and rely on him through the next 366 days. Blog post dated February 28, 2020

That was posted in February 2020 before everything locked down in March due to Covid 19. I have had to rely on God daily through much of our year-long turmoil.  Like the blind man touched by Jesus, it has taken some time to clearly see the things in front of me.

They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. 23He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man's eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, "Do you see anything?" 24He looked up and said, "I see people; they look like trees walking around." 25Once more Jesus put his hands on the man's eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26Jesus sent him home, saying, "Don't even go into the village."  Mark 8:22-26 

Our biggest challenge this year was to close our company, Consulting Aviation Services. We sorted all the paperwork and supplies from 24 years of hard work.  I knew our office suite would sit on the market for months after listing with a commercial agent.  My blurred vision was restored when we were under contract on the day of listing.  

What a surprise to learn we will close on the sale October 9. 2020 has been a challenging year but filled with promise and hope that better days are around the corner.  The national election is almost four weeks away and I will be praying daily for the right outcome for our country.  I plan to see clearly now and wish the same for you. 

Friday, August 21, 2020

Large and In Charge



Office Sign
Saying goodbye after twenty-four years of commitment to our aviation company is not easy. Consulting Aviation Services (CAS), like so many other businesses, experienced the fallout of the Covid 19 pandemic.  In January of this year, we were in negotiations with a major aircraft company to install Charles’ drag reduction invention on their fleet of aircraft.  Within six weeks, 95% of the U.S. commercial fleet was parked in remote desert airports. Our investors took a giant step back that left us with few options.

Charles likes to say that twenty-four years ago he made two proposals.  One was to the Air Force to develop his vortex control software and the other proposing marriage to me.  With a resounding Yes to both, we began a new adventurous life together.  Our marriage is still going strong, but the time to shut down CAS is here.

Engineering pack rats like to save every scrap of paper filled with equations and drawings.  Administrators, like me, save paper copies of every document that crosses our desks.  Storing them on the computer is just not the same.  The challenge was daunting, but we have made Marie Kondo proud.  We overheated the shredder for days on end. Numerous truck beds filled with trash made their way to the dumpster. Empty file cabinets and desk drawers could breathe again. 

Contemplating  Retirement
Memories of exciting experiences and people we met along the journey will remain. Admirals, generals, astronauts, CEO’s, test pilots, investors, and Pentagon personnel are some of the people that have visited our office, or we met on our travels to military bases.  Many employees that worked with us will remain friends.  We had our struggles with partners who had different ideas of the company’s direction, but in the end, Charles prevailed and kept us moving forward.

We still have an office filled with furniture and a lot of things to recycle, but we survived the worst of the downsizing ordeal.  Charles and I decided that really retiring looks good and the stress of maintaining a business is not desirable at our age.  Selling our office condo is the next challenge on our list.

Charles’ life story that we are writing together waits to be completed.  Chasing a Whirlwind tells of his adventurous life and his inventive aviation journey.  We plan to finish it by the end of 2020. 

We are trusting the rest of our future into the hands of God who knows what is best for us. Our pastor’s sermon last week about the uncertain times we are in really hit home.  My takeaway was his statement:

GOD’S LARGE AND HE’S IN CHARGE.

Maybe that statement will encourage you as you face a time of uncertainty.  Let me know if it does.