It finally happened. I knew it was coming but I just refused to believe it. My Dixie Lee has grown up and left home for college. A lot of parents will shout out a resounding “Hallelujah” when a child leaves home, but not me. Three of my five boys have left the nest so you would think it would be easy for me by now. But Dixie is different. She is my one and only girl, and she is very very special!

Girls are a precious commodity in my family. My dad had three sons and no daughters. My step-brother had two sons and zero daughters. My younger brother, Rick, had only one son. In 1996, I had four boys and no girls. My dad stood at 10-0 for daughters and grand-daughters. He wanted a girl in the family so bad, but had given up all hope. Since my brothers were not having any more children, I was the only chance he had. Then along came Dixie Lee, and she was born on his birthday. This little girl was indeed special, and predestined to be spoiled (at least by others in the family).

However, that is only a partial glimpse at why she is so special. Over the years I’ve heard  many parents say they would rather raise boys than girls, as the latter are so difficult. This has never been the case with Dixie. She has been the closest thing to a perfect child you will find. If you read my blog post on child discipline, you saw I do not believe in time-outs and other modern “techniques” of psychology. I  believe strongly in the Biblical recipe of rod and reproof. With Dixie, there was never a need for the rod because she always responded to the reproof. All it ever took was dad’s disturbed countenance to bring her in line. She has always been complimented on her manners and deportment. I’ve never known her to lie to me, be selfish with others, or do things that most children grieve their parents with. Not to mention the fact she doesn’t smoke, drink or do drugs!

Dixie Lee is also very intelligent. She graduated High School with High Honors, and received a scholarship for college. I taught her home school for a number of years, plus spent untold hours teaching character and duty in our daily “family time.” She has always been the most intent listener I’ve ever seen. You can tell that Bible truths and morals affect her deeply. Dixie wants to be an teacher herself. She is going for a teaching degree and she favors becoming an English instructor. She certainly has the aptitude for it. I honestly believe she can do anything she sets her mind to.

Dixie Cripps, daughter of John Cripps at clock towerToday we drove her to her dorm room and helped her set up. Her brother, Nathaniel, recently completed three years there. He gave her gave her a tour of the campus and showed her where all of her classrooms are. I took a few photos, had a meal together at the cafeteria and had to say my goodbye. Yes, it sounds like I am sending my child off to war in a foreign country when she is only 20 minutes away. But I am used to her being 20 feet away, so there.

Well, I returned home and spent the entire afternoon and evening pouring through photos to post on this blog. It was very difficult to choose which ones to use. I wanted to try to capture Dixie, the loving daughter – Dixie, the goofball – Dixie, the rocker – and so forth.  Plus I wanted to show a few special moments from some of our many travels and adventures. The photos are somewhat in chronological order  from 2000-present.

One last thing…then the photos. Dixie and I both like the progressive rock artist, Neal Morse. I snag up all of his albums as soon as they come out. It just so happens that the day my little girl entered college, Neal dropped a new CD on us. Track 9 on the album is “Daddy’s Daughter.” Morse is a rocker, but he occasionally gets his ballad mojo working. I’m not one that believes everything is a coincidence, so when I played the album and heard the song…I thought it was meant for this blog. So there you have it Dixie Lee, my dedication to you…



Oh yes…It finally happened. I knew it was coming but I just refused to believe it. In this world of modern science, why is it we can send a man to the moon and smash atoms…but we can’t find a way to keep our daughters “little girls”? I miss you already Dixie…

Love, Dear ol’ Dad!

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