By Sara Dobbs Gwin
Mom, the regular writer of this column (aka Nell Dobbs to her readers) asked me to fill in for her this week as she’s been in bed with the flu for the past several days. Please keep her in your prayers and give her a call. You know Mom – she won’t want to miss any news of her friends, relatives or church family simply because she’s sick! Plus, she’ll want to put the news in this column next week when she returns. When I’m home, many of you always tell me how much you enjoy reading the news about people in her column.
Saturday, December 31, 2011 was a special day for Hilda and Jimmy Dixon, my aunt and uncle and Mom’s second youngest sister. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a county-wide buffet lunch at their home on Maplewood Drive off Dusty Miller Road. You know you’re from a small community when you open up the “Madison County Carrier” from your home in Mobile, Alabama and find an invitation from your aunt and uncle extended to every reader of the paper to attend the celebration. And many did come to celebrate their 50 years of wedded bliss.
I jokingly said to Mom when I learned Aunt Hilda had invited everybody to come, “You know, Aunt Hilda. She won’t stress out if she runs out of food at her party. She’ll just open up jars of pickled okra and boiled peanuts to feed them or maybe a bag of blueberries.” I hope that many of you – like her family members – have been blessed throughout the years to receive canned goods from Aunt Hilda. She has an extra-generous spirit (so does Uncle Jimmy) and is always sharing bounty from her garden with others.
Aunt Hilda and Uncle Jimmy were tickled pink to have relatives from Aunt Hilda’s side come, the Agners, family from Uncle Jimmy’s side, the Dixons and the Blairs, and a host of friends from their church, First United Methodist, and community friends. Their three children were all present: daughter Gina and her husband Eugene and their eight children, Grace, Faith, Noah, Hope, Joy, Glory, Isaiah, and 11-week old little Daniel from King George, VA; son Devin and his wife Libby from Cumming, GA, and three of their four children, Jessica and husband Robby, Jarod, and Melissa, daughter Emily and husband Kevin and little Evelyn from Albuquerque, New Mexico, were unable to come, but they wished their grandparents well via Skype; and son Marlin from the Atlanta area.
Both the newspaper editor Jacob (who I’m glad to hear is back at work many mornings after his recent health scare) and Mrs. Mary Ellen have promised to run pictures from the anniversary celebration as soon as (my cousin) Devin can get some to them. Thanks.
Though I’m still from Florida at heart, I have lived in Alabama for the past 23 years, so let me take a few brief sentences to commend the Crimson Tide for their January 9 win of the National Championship. According to my hubby Bobby, a real avid, rabid football fan, this is the Tide’s 14th championship – not that I’m bragging or anything. So all you Gator and Seminole fans, let me say Roll Tide. When my good friend from Madison, Debbie Parrish Nicolle, met Bobby a few months after our engagement in 1988, they just happened to strike up a conversation about football. Afterwards, she said to me, “Do you have any idea of how much he really loves football?” Now this is from a woman who planned her own wedding on an open FSU date, October 6, 1985, so she wouldn’t have to miss a ‘Nole’s game! Can she say anything about Bobby? Smile! Debbie and her son, Thomas, Nina Reeves Watts and hubby Bill, Caron Holton and her family, and Robin and Lee Peavy and children regularly tailgate in Tallahassee for FSU games and I know they have a blast.
Nina and Bill are thrilled to report that their daughter Samanatha, an English Education major at FSU, made the honor roll and the symphony orchestra her freshman year.
And to give the University of Florida equal billing, I’ll mention that another high school classmate of mine from 1977, Mike Norfleet and his family are big Gator fans. In fact, he missed the class reunion we had last October at The Lunch Box Restaurant to attend a Florida football game. We missed him and Nida and sure hope they’ll make the 35th class reunion we plan to have this year! Hint, hint, Madison classmates, Judy Townsend, Angela Culpepper, Terry “Badcock” Olive, Larry Smith, Cindy Coody, and Terry Martin, we better get going on the planning meetings for it.
As I wrap up this column, Mom wanted me to make mention of many needed prayers for a number of sick friends and family throughout the community. Right after the anniversary celebration, Uncle Jimmy was hospitalized for pneumonia, though he is home now. John Troyer, our special friend, didn’t get to come to the celebration because he was sick with the flu. And I’m sure you all know of many others.
Though football is a lot of fun and brings many good memories, let’s make sure we keep our eyes on the Lord this year, stay in touch with family and friends, and do all we can to help those in need.
And as Mom would say, “May you be blessed.”