Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas 2014: 30th Anniversary and Becoming Grandparents

Merry Christmas and A Happy 2015 From Dixie and Greg

Greg and I can't count all the blessings and all the love and all the changes and sorrows and joys that we have shared since we got married but we both agree that we never suspected that 30 years could pass so quickly.  Yet, here we are - no longer 1984, and no longer thin or flamingly red-headed, or young.  Still thirty years with the only person who knows me at both my best and worst and still is willing to stick around for another 30 if we get so lucky.  It is possible, after all, my in-laws just celebrated their 64th anniversary this summer.

So after 30 years together, we find ourselves firmly in the "sandwich Generation" as it has been named to describe those years when you are one of the Generation who still has health and strength and has established some stability, and is sandwiched between kids and grandchildren who still need some help - and aging parents who can no longer be your strength but now need you to be there for them.  It is a time when you are acutely aware of the passage of time and the fact that you are still lucky enough to have this much family, but also coldly aware that it can't last much longer.  You want to spend every moment enjoying being needed and wanted but every time you are one place you feel guilty for not being in at least three other places at the same time. 

      Speaking of being in not enough places at a time, My Brother Brett is amazing at being there for Mom and Lance. Lance still lives with Brett in Virginia and was delighted at the flood of birthday cards that he got, but he is also old enough to remember both Grandma Grace and Dad as they got sicker and died. So he understands illness enough to be very worried that Mom might die.
Mom became more and more confused and paranoid, and she couldn't do the basics of taking care of herself anymore. Then she ended up in the hospital, and from there into a nursing home that she hated and was afraid of.  Since then Brett found her another place, still not far from Brett and Lance, where she is comfortable enough that she has relaxed and calls it home. However she did fall and fracture her vertebrae and need 4 staples in the back of her head.  The first nursing home had her overmedicated and she is doing a lot better with her blood pressure and diabetes better monitored that she was getting.  Dementia is a cruel disease and it is nice to hear her being more happy than she has sounded in months.  She even went to Brett's for Thanksgiving and then said of her room at the manor, "It was good to get home."
Mom and Lance at the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian

For those of you who remember the many Christmas cards and letters she has always sent, her new address is at

Priscilla Miller
Greenfield Of Berryville
413 McCellen Street
Berryville, VA 22611
Phone (540) 955-4557 (Not her room but the manor number)

Lance after receiving his birthday cards

His address is Lance Miller
PO Box 865
Middleburg, VA 20118

Thanks to everyone who took the time and money to make him smile like that.

So what else happened in 2014?

I got a couple long term teaching jobs at the school where I taught full time for 10 years, and Emerson is working there now too, so I have seen him a lot more.  And Emerson and Lula made us Grandparents on April 28th when Lula gave birth to Daisy Grace Goode

Greg and I have done a bit of traveling together without the boys for the first time really since we became parents.  This summer we went back to Wyoming and visited our Goode family relatives including Greg's parents and one brother, and both surviving sisters.  We also visited a couple nephews and Aunt Melissa and Rose.  It was low key and fun mainly.  We let our easy going way dictate the pace, and read Harry potter novels to each other while we drove, we went to see the sights like the Rocks at Vedauwoo and then visited Fort Laramie in a downpour and that seemed strange since out temperate rainforest home is in a drought.  But I had never been there, even though I wrote about it based on research in my Oregon Trail Novel.  We went to the Black Hills Playhouse (where Greg and I worked that long ago summer we were married) with my Father-in-law and had a couple picnics in the gazebo at my mother-in-laws nursing home.
We went Camping with friends up by Oregon Caves,  and we went to see "Into The Woods" at the Shakespeare Festival.

    In one week in August we had three friends die here in Crescent City, one our next door neighbor for the last 18 years, and one a fellow music teacher with Greg and a very dear friend since we moved here 25 years ago.  They were all older friends, more our parents generation than ours, but they were good friends and our world is emptier without them.

     I managed to publish two picture books for kids. One, Rainbows around Us, is a book about colors using my photographs and the other, Moonrise, is a lullaby I used to sing to the boys 20 years ago, along with finger paintings I did on the table top and lifted as prints.  So now you can google Dixie Miller Goode and find five of my books on-line or available for your local bookstore to order.

    Greg has changed back to straight vocal music instead of doing just high school band and choir, he does 5th grade through high school Choir this year, and as Christmas gets closer he has an incredible number of performances scheduled, but he ended up with a record number of his students being selected via blind audition to go to the All Northwest USA choir festival, as in RECORD (Triple the  number he has ever had before)

    Austin and his girlfriend Tricia are around quite a bit and are always working. They have kept us in firewood while also helping her family while Austin is driving for GH Outreach.  He drives handicapped adults to work and helps supervise them on the job sites. They pick up recycling and do yrs wok and he seems to really enjoy the work.  I kind of blame Lance for the fact that I have so many years teaching Special needs kids and now both of my sons work with people with handicaps.  Once you have known Lance, you realize that people need to be given a chance to be their own best self.

     Anyway, life is still LIFE, busy, happy, sad, crazy, wonderful and exhausting. It looks like we will make it to 2015 with a smile and a prayer that you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy 2015.

Much Love,

Dixie and Greg
Flat Stanley Came to visit

4th of July here at the Crescent City Display

I was finally sailing on a tall ship with my fifth grade class when Lula texted me, "My Water just broke" 

The Lady Washington

Dad, Grandpa and Daisy

Camping with family 

exploring only 4 miles from my house

Austin and Tricia

Family in Laramie, Greg's Sister Wendy and John, and their two boys 

Me, at Fort Laramie

Mother and Son

Harvey (My FIL) front and center

At Oregon Shakespeare Festival

The two picture books I published this year

Which makes 5 books published and more on the way

My Beautiful Angel

Emerson, Daisy and Lula on Halloween
Could you guess?

Being Grandma

Greg with Gasp 52 candles!

Singing Happy Birthday

Uncle Austin and Daisy

The Christmas lights getting turned on at Ashland Oregon

Dixie, Marc and Thomas

Already getting ready to run

What December looks like here.

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