Dixie Turns Sixty and What's Important Now

Every season asks the question,
"What's important now?"  


My sweet husband had a cake made 
with images of dolls I have made over the years, 
It was the BEST cake, too!  Lemon with 
raspberry filling and buttercream frosting. Yum!

The first year of the pandemic clarified for me that some things were on the back burner that I wanted to complete. They aren't things that would seem important to other people, and they aren't earth-altering, but they are important to me. My dad passed away in 2020. And my mom in 2021. And the pandemic happened. This life is finite and now is important. So I'm working on completing things and adding more fun, creativity and adventure into life. So I planned a visit to Texas to see a wonderful friend as the first adventure after turning 60!

I want to see better life services available for adults with intellectual disabilities, developmental disabilities and autism. In the State of Maine people with developmental disabilities have been sorely neglected for over twelve years while the service infrastructure has deteriorated. Figuring out how I can make a difference, be a caregiver and do my own work is on the to-do list. 

In 2014/2015 art-making in general got set aside. Last fall I started making things again. At first I was just making myself go through the process, and wasn't feeling it. But now I'm starting to see my little basement workroom as the creative springboard that it is. It's a place of respite, and I get to go there. I'm thankful. I've been learning to do things in short chunks of time - trace pattern pieces, cut out pattern pieces. It's been helping me complete things. I'm thankful.  I'm making pressed cloth Izannahs right now, and having fun working on that process. I'm thankful. Read about the Hopestill Izannah Walker doll clan here

I'd like to do more paintings. Colorful fun paintings without constraints. I made and sold paintings before I sold dolls. You can see some of my old paintings by clicking here.  

I'd like to do more sculpting of my own one of a kind dolls. I really enjoy sculpting - it's very relaxing and fun. 

We will see what 60 brings. But I'm not going to take a passive approach to it and just see what shows up on my doorstep.  I remind myself that lots of people have their greatest accomplishments after 60.  I found the following words about late bloomers in my emails while searching for something else. It goes to show that each season can have good thing in store. 


At age 50:

Hermann Hesse wrote Steppenwolf, which dealt with man's double nature.

Leo Tolstoy, horrified by the meaninglessness of existence, considered suicide, and finally turned to the simple faith of the peasants. 

P. L. Guinand, a Swiss inventor, patented a new method for making optical glass.

The philosopher Plotinus was finally persuaded by his students to write down his ideas, published as The Enneads.

Samuel Adams directed the Boston Tea Party. 

Barbra Streisand won a 10-year film and recording contract estimated at $60 million.

Mary Dixon became a pilot at the age of 50, fulfilling a lifelong dream.

Earl Vickers got married. The day included a string quartet performance of "Bohemian Rhapsody," a performance by an improv group, and a song he wrote for his wife.

Terri Tapper became the oldest female certified kiteboard instructor in the USA (and possibly the world).

Larry Silverman of Ballston Lake, NY, achieved his 3rd-degree black belt in karate.

At age 55:

Painter Pablo Picasso completed his masterpiece, Guernica.

Italian physicist Alessandro Volta invented the voltaic cell.

Richard Daniel Bass reached the summit of Mount Everest.

Walter Cronkite broadcast two special reports on Watergate, for the first time putting the story clearly before the American public.

Ella T. Grasso became the first woman to become an American governor on her own, not as the wife of a previous incumbant.

Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring, which publicized the indiscriminate use of pesticides and helped rally support for environmental protection

At age 60:

Playwright and essayist George Bernard Shaw completed a play, "Heartbreak House," regarded by some as his masterpiece.

Italian sculptor, painter, playwright, draftsman and architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini began designing churches.

At age 70:

Benjamin Franklin helped draft the Declaration of Independence.

Businessman Cornelius Vanderbilt began buying railroads.

French actress Sarah Bernhardt had a leg amputated but refused to abandon the stage.

Justice John W. Sirica heard the Watergate case.

Judy Brenner, who had recently run the Boston Marathon, chased a teenage shoplifter 100 feet and helped hold him until police arrived.

At age 80:

Jessica Tandy became the oldest Oscar recipient for her work in Driving Miss Daisy.

George Burns became the second oldest Oscar recipient for his work in The Sunshine Boys.

American writer and physician Oliver Wendell Holmes published "Over the Teacups," which displayed his characteristic vitality and wit.

Christine Brown of Laguna Hills, California flew to China and climbed the Great Wall.

Paul Newman earned an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie for "Empire Falls" in 2005.

Dick Van Dyke appeared in the movie, "A Night at the Museum."

Sir George Martin (along with his son Giles) co-produced the Beatles' album "Love," the soundtrack to a Cirque du Soleil play.

At age 90:

Chagall became the first living artist to be exhibited at the Louvre museum.

Pablo Picasso was still producing drawings and engravings.

Chemist Paul Walden was still giving chemistry lectures.

And we cannot leave out centarians! 




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"Do not let what you cannot do
keep you from doing what you can do."

John Wooden