A Tale of Marriage, Medicine and Murder


This is a list of how often and where the term 'Dixiana' appears in the book PERSONAL BAGGAGE.

Search result for 'Dixiana' in PERSONAL BAGGAGE

Chapter 1: Chapter One
"...Summer sunlight sent a golden glow through the outstretched wings of a hawk floating on currents of air above Dixiana, Mississippi on an afternoon in the year 1991. Without warning, the flier plunged straight at a house cat lying on the roof of a small red car. Springing up from her nap, the long-haired calico hissed and slashed as the powerful predator swept past. ..."
"...Penny faced her neighbor. “I’m changing jobs: I am going to work full-time at the Jacksonville hospital.” She paused, afraid her friend would disapprove. Jacksonville Medical Center, a new 300-bed hospital, was 75 miles northeast of the town of Dixiana. Penny would begin her new job the next morning. ..."
"... Misty nodded and Penny continued. “Three twelve-hour night shifts or thirty-six hours a week will qualify me for full-time benefits, and I can still work day shift in Dixiana every other Saturday and Sunday on the Baylor Plan, which pays time and a half for each hour of weekend work.” ..."
"... Tears stung Penny’s eyes. Her steps in deciding had been littered with second thoughts, but Misty agreed with her. Recently named Dixiana’s Citizen of the Year, Misty managed the Garden Club and ­organized pilgrimage house tours for the entire town. God knew Misty understood business! ..."
" the one who would take care of her parents in the same way in which her mother had cared for her grandparents, but it had turned out that she and her husband, Johnny, a high school coach and history teacher, depended on the income from her job at Dixiana’s River Park Hospital where she had worked for nineteen years. ..."
"...One could say there was nothing wrong with taking an interest in people, but Johnny, a Dixiana native, not only wanted to know their names and who their relatives were, but also he wanted to help them. He said he must repay the debt he owed his stepfather, a gentle man who had been his “Pop” since Johnny was ten years old. Before they ..."
"...Penny’s uncertainties swarmed in. She must have been crazy to think she could work in Jacksonville! It took all her energy just to make it from one day to the next, and yet she was vegetating in Dixiana. At the big hospital, she would learn to manage Swan lines and assist with pacemaker insertions and she could take part in new procedures she had only read about. She wanted to work in a larger hospital, and she had already accepted the job! ..."

Chapter 2: Chapter Two
"...Dixiana, deep-South home of magnolias and plantation museums, squatted on a bluff high above the brown, mile-wide Mississippi River. The town claimed a population of 15,000, but its size had mushroomed. Since the 1990 census a new Japanese plastics plant and a large-scale automotive manufacturer had expanded the ..."
"... down the street. As a matter of fact, more people worked in Dixiana than lived there. On weekdays around the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. short-­tempered drivers hustled through town, their cars bumper to bumper, honking and squealing and clogging up the square. But at this early hour, ..."
" remember everything. She studied a long form with carbon copies which were to be passed along to several departments. Of course! Reporting a questionable event to more than one person made sense. That would work better than the way they did it at the Dixiana hospital: writing out a report for the Director of Nursing and not knowing if anyone else would ever learn about it. ..."
"...The trip back to Dixiana was effortless. She passed a car whose driver was tapping the steering wheel and singing along with music Penny could not hear. She turned on her own radio as Michael Bolton screamed “When a Man Loves a Woman.” Changing to the FM band, she located a ..."
"...where multicolored zinnias, nandina bushes, and ornamental grasses encircled the base of an electric pole. Deep in the lot, moss-draped oaks simultaneously veiled and romanticized the tall Tuscan columns that supported the portico of Oakden. Built as a millionaire planter’s town house before the Civil War destroyed Dixiana’s prosperity, it sat, along with the town’s other grand mansions, stranded in its trappings of antique splendor. It had originally occupied the whole block. ..."
"...household through high school and after graduation had worked as an aide in the now-demolished old City Hospital while studying to become a licensed practical nurse. She had taught Penny the fine points of nursing procedures and of surviving in the profession. The Director of Nursing for Dixiana’s ­fifty-bed River Park Hospital had agreed to schedule Maureen to work each of Penny’s weekends, starting tomorrow. ..."

Chapter 3: Chapter Three
"...The Dixiana hospital appeared, a sprawling fortress shrouded in mist. Penny circled behind it, continuing to the end of the parking area because of a recent regulation requiring that employees park on the back row of the lot in order to leave the closer spaces for visitors. She pulled ..."

Chapter 4: Chapter Four
"...startled them and Maureen, champion sticker of the hospital, agreed to start a difficult IV down the hall. She approached the Unit door as it swung open to admit Buck, who had come to chart results on some tests that had been sent to another hospital because the Dixiana lab lacked the equipment to run them. ..."

Chapter 5: Chapter Five
"...Finding Mr. Harris’s bed stripped was no surprise when Penny entered Dixiana’s CCU on Sunday morning. Dr. Ghent had told the Harris family a week ago that the old man would not regain consciousness and had recommended moving him to a nursing home, but the Harrises had refused to have him transferred. ..."
"...Dr. Wiseman had spilled her brilliance all around, and had brought their hospital up to date with new policies and new equipment. Penny admired the fierce way in which the woman had stood up to Dixiana’s older physicians when any one of them, having fixed on an idea, became as unwielding as a slab of marble. Moreover, Dr. Wiseman had offered Penny a job in her new office in Jacksonville. ..."

Chapter 6: Chapter Six
"... recognize what was important. On her way to the shower, she phoned Dixiana CCU. A monitor alarm was ringing in the background when Maureen answered, and the familiar sound comforted Penny. “Hi Maureen. Have you heard anything about Mrs. Spoonhouse?” “Dr. Scales says she’s doing ..."
"...Penny glanced at the The Dixiana Gazette, still open to the obituary. Linden, TN...Wiseman, M.D., Vera W.–Age 52. August 25, 1991. Memorial service 2 p.m. August 31, 1991. Speck Funeral Home, (910)373-2135. That’s all there was in the local paper. Next, she searched The Jacksonville Daily News and ..."
"...“All right.... I’ll ask for two weeks off in Jacksonville, between my Dixiana weekends. They’ll probably let me have it since I’m still in orientation. I’ll call you when I know. How is Alice?” David’s wife was a social worker. It seemed to Penny that either one of them could unravel any problem and work out a ..."
"...When it was Penny’s turn, she asked, “Does this happen often?” Penny had never heard of a patient admitted for a blood transfusion who didn’t need it at the Dixiana Hospital. Glancing at the previous entry in the blood ledger, she read that the patient’s physician was Dr. Scales. She had known that he practiced here, but seeing his name startled her. ..."
"... because of cost.” “Dr. Wiseman was our Critical Care Director in Dixiana last year and she was great. I can’t believe she’s dead; she was so full of life. Do you know how she died?” To fill the awkward silence, Penny added, “Her obituary was in the paper.” The nurse kept her ..."
"... head-injury patient but would not give a condition report. Penny introduced herself to Mrs. Spoonhouse’s nurse. “I admitted her to CCU in Dixiana and transferred her to you this past Sunday. Please tell me how she’s doing.” “She won’t last much longer; she’s got brain stem ..."
"...It took only a minute for Penny to comprehend that she had been right—dead right! Mrs. Spoonhouse should have been sent straight from the Emergency Room to a neurosurgeon. Maybe she would have died anyway, but Dr. Scales should not have admitted her to Dixiana. Penny had planned to speak to the family in the waiting room but instead found herself in the elevator on her way back to CCU. ..."

Chapter 7: Chapter Seven
"...mound of time-worn items, whose odors crowded the room like shadows. She filled the crate with ten of her father’s sermons, a book written by her mother’s brother, old photographs and newspapers, and some of her own letters that her mother had saved. When Penny returned to Dixiana, Faye would mail the box to her. ..."

Chapter 8: Chapter Eight
"... beside her silent husband. On the way downstairs, Penny visualized her neat bedroom at home where everything was calm and in order. She detested having to look for anything. Since she had left Dixiana, everything was out of place and every day was more stressful. Entering the kitchen, she ..."
" would have been better if Penny had taken time to rest and regroup, but she was obligated at two hospitals, and at this point she would not have believed the things that were about to happen even if someone had told her. As she drove back into Dixiana, where crepe myrtles were in full bloom, even the approach of autumn was inconceivable. ..."

Chapter 9: Chapter Nine
"... believed Dr. Spate didn’t want activity in his building at night.” Penny, remembering Maureen’s story about the old Dixiana hospital, asked, “What about temperature changes? Did the heating system work right?” “You know what? They talked about ‘The Eye Chill’ when Spate was ..."

Chapter 10: Chapter Ten
"... her neck and the pendant rested comfortably on her chest. Tomorrow was Saturday, a Dixiana hospital weekend, so Penny climbed into bed early and read her uncle’s book until she fell asleep listening to the racket of rain on the roof. ..."

Chapter 11: Chapter Eleven
"...Set against a background of rain-rinsed pine and live oak, Dixiana appeared fresh and clean as Penny drove across town to the hospital early Saturday morning. A few leaves clung to the deciduous trees, but last night’s 30-mile-per-hour wind had sent all but the most stubborn foliage down to become part of the dead, brown mat concealing acorns and ..."

Chapter 12: Chapter Twelve
"... for ABGs. Maureen was right: they wouldn’t use Dixiana’s lab results. They were drawing their own drug screen. Penny gave Report and handed the patient’s papers to the receiving nurse. Relieved of her charge, she helped Bubba straighten up the back of the ambulance. One of ..."
"... you’re working up here,” Bubba said. “Do you like it?” “It’s different from Dixiana, where we all know each other. I do like it, though. The nurses are nice, but nobody will tell me about Dr. Wiseman’s accident.” “I heard cervical fracture was her cause of death on the ..."
"... was one feisty doctor!” It was after three when the EMTs dropped Penny off at Dixiana CCU. The same RN who had worked last night opened the back door at her knock, and Penny glanced around the empty Unit. “Thanks for covering for me.” “No problem; I was awake when Mrs. ..."
"...Penny had never told Johnny about Mrs. Spoonhouse: how Dr. Scales admitted her to Dixiana’s CCU when she should have been sent straight to Jacksonville. As they walked, she struggled within herself: confidentiality never used to be such a big issue, and Johnny wouldn’t tell anybody. Penny decided to tell him. ..."

Chapter 14: Chapter Fourteen
"...Even if Penny worked harder and made more money so that she could hire help and move her parents to Dixiana, and even if she and Johnny suddenly became wealthy and she could quit work—even then she could not take care of her mother because she would not be able to deal with her father. An all knowing God would surely know that! ..."

Chapter 15: Chapter Fifteen
"... You’ll be back soon enough.” Penny was at home in Dixiana. She had been back from Roanoke approximately twenty-four hours, barely enough time to unpack and catch her breath, but she was ready to return to work. Jacksonville Oncology would be a pleasant change. An October wind whistling ..."
"...the desk where Maria held a unit of blood. “Nancy North is our new patient. She’s on the way up–-and I forgot to tell you somebody asked for you this afternoon before you got here. She said she’s a patient on Second and knows you from Dixiana.” Maria produced a sticky-note upon which “Maureen Meadows, 209” was written. ..."

Chapter 16: Chapter Sixteen
"...In the grey dawn of Saturday morning, yards in Dixiana appeared frozen as Penny drove across town thinking of the Allisons and other families who missed work and stayed at the hospital day and night in order to be with their loved ones when they died, although as far as Penny could tell, the dying patients were too far ..."
"... probably die before she had to worry about his eye socket. Opening the door for visitors a little early, Penny found a young man waiting. He wore a grey outfit with “City of Dixiana” written across the front in big red letters. “Thank you,” he said. “I’m in a hurry, but I just ..."

Chapter 17: Chapter Seventeen
"...Penny shifted onto her back, stretched, and struggled to focus her eyes on the illuminated numbers on her Bose. It was ten minutes before the alarm would sound on a Dixiana work Sunday. She blundered to the bathroom regretting her crying jag the night before. Her lips stuck together, her eyes throbbed, and she dropped everything she picked up. Struck by her own clumsiness, she perched on a bedroom chair to pull on her jeans and turtleneck, ..."

Chapter 18: Chapter Eighteen
"... in Emergency.” Although Penny had kept her promise and given Flossie Mae a job recommendation, this was the first time she had talked to her since they had worked together. “Have you quit Dixiana? Have you read your E-mail?” Penny was bursting with questions. “Tony came through ..."
"... up there. Come down to see me when Barb gets back.” “Okay. Are you working here full-time?” “I am. I quit Dixiana entirely, darlin’. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done.” When Barb returned, Penny ran down to the zoo-like atmosphere of the ER. On one side of the long room, ..."
"... On the drive back to Dixiana, Penny wished Maureen would call her but knew she wouldn’t. They had a close friendship at work but their backgrounds and their lives were so different that the only time they talked to each other outside the hospital was at the grocery store. Her mind ..."

Chapter 19: Chapter Nineteen
"...Milton and his family had returned to Dixiana, but Maureen’s cold body remained in Oncology at 5 a.m. because ER had been so busy that its doctor couldn’t come to pronounce her. Penny threw her uneaten supper into the garbage and sat down in the staff room. It was Christmas and her children were ..."
"...she knew about Flossie Mae’s life with her own. Her own life looked better. She phrased her question carefully. “Flossie Mae, when you were working in Dr. Scales’s office did he ever mention Dr. Vera Wilhelm Wiseman? She was a woman doctor who worked in Dixiana and then moved up here.” ..."

Chapter 20: Chapter Twenty
"...rain fell straight down out of a dead sky. Needles of ice stung her face while she scraped the windshield, and all but one of her car doors were frozen shut. Hail pelted the Chevette and bounced on the roadway like mothballs as she drove home to Dixiana through a frigid torrent. ..."
"... even if I could get the car out, big limbs have fallen across the driveway and they’re stuck solid in ice.” Penny plugged in the coffee maker, then called the Dixiana hospital. “If you’re not sick, get ready to come,” the night supervisor told her. “It may be a while, but the fire ..."
"... tonight.” On Sunday morning, Penny drove on slick streets to the Dixiana hospital anticipating an easy day. She moved Mr. Garrett to a telemetry bed on the hall before lunch, then listened for the telemetry alarms while she checked CCU’s par list against their inventory. In the ..."
"... followed Penny as she moved around the room. She reminded him that he was back in Dixiana and talked about his motorcycle accident. His face was as devoid of expression as a cat’s. Penny injected IV morphine in 2 mg increments until he relaxed. When the two night-shift nurses sat down ..."
"... and gone out the back door; they couldn’t have come from the hall or she’d have seen them. Electrified, she phoned Dixiana CCU. “I can’t sleep for worrying about Buck. How’s he doing?” “Buck didn’t make it,” the night nurse told her. “He coded again—I’m not sure how ..."
"... light on at three. Bad night?” Penny shoved what she had written across the table. “See if you think this sounds all right. I’m taking your advice and turning in my notice at Dixiana. I’ll have to work one more weekend, but maybe I’ll be sick.” Johnny filled his cup and picked ..."

Chapter 21: Chapter Twenty-One
"... when Penny came to the floor. “It’s Flossie Mae Fox.” Penny cupped her hand around the mouthpiece. “Buck died in Dixiana CCU this weekend, and I need to talk to you. It’s crazy up here tonight; I can’t talk now.” “Do you work Thursday?” Flossie Mae asked. “Yes, ..."
"...A man who police suspect of fatally beating his wife, mother, and child was critically injured in a motorcycle accident yesterday in Dixiana, Mississippi. Buck Dalton, 28, had been wanted ever since detectives found the bodies in their 124 State St. home in Ardmore, Louisiana. However, before detectives there could find him, he was injured and placed in the Critical Care Unit in Jacksonville Medical Center. Ardmore’s Sheriff, Tommy ..."

"... sun ignited the world. Its colors intensified in front of them until the heavens glowed, like a promise. As they neared Dixiana, Johnny rubbed the back of his neck and yawned. “How’s your throat?” Penny asked. “It doesn’t hurt now, but I try not to get cold when I have a sore ..."
"... Several minutes passed in silence. Penny located station WEZY on the car radio and the familiar voice of one of Dixiana’s announcers reached them. “Riverdale County Extension Service will have a workshop on coyote control in the county library tomorrow night at seven o’clock.” ..."
"... whether they would become friends. The next weekend would bring to an end Penny’s job at River Park Hospital. She wished that it was already behind her, and if she had known how heinous her last Dixiana shift would be, she would have refused to work it. ..."

"...Her hunger superceded by adrenalin, Penny stared at the newspaper while her cereal grew soggy and her coffee cooled. Dixiana physicians had always run the show. When they didn’t get their way, they had withheld admissions. They blocked discipline of their colleagues in a good-ole-boy network—like last year when Dr. Graham had given Penny two inappropriate phone orders for insulin. She reported it to Mrs. Gwen, ..."
"...Penny climbed into bed early, trying to decide if she should work Saturday and Sunday at Dixiana; wondering whether the guilt from calling out when she was not sick would be worse than working. She decided to plead sick and reached for the receiver, making up symptoms for a fake illness, but the phone rang as she touched it. ..."
"... items with the help of the ER nurse; it was okay after all. The next day, a beautiful Sunday morning, there was no warning of what was to come. Penny arrived at 6:30, full of hope for a good last day in the Dixiana hospital. Joan Hargrove’s calm expression did not convey the gravity of ..."
"... “I’ll stay here.” Penny returned to the phone at the desk. She described Scales’s callous disregard for the child’s condition to the new Chief of Staff, a young man who moved to Dixiana last year. She had heard that he was competent, but did not know him well. “Call Dr. Scales ..."

"... Be careful, girlfriend, and read the paper!” As the temperature teetered between bitter and balmy in March, Dixiana welcomed the arrival of tourist season. Azalea blossoms burst open as if they had been waiting for an audience to start the show. Out of the kitchen window a drooping branch ..."

Chapter 26: Chapter Twenty-Six
"... “Mississippi Bureau of Investigation agents and U.S. marshals raided the office of Dixiana, Mississippi physician Samuel Scales and arrested him yesterday for allegedly defrauding the state-federal Medicaid program by submitting false claims. The arrest came after a year-long undercover probe. ..."
"... and clocked out, leaving Penny, Carina, and Flossie Mae with their supper in the staff room. “So you two know each other from working in Dixiana,” Carina said. “How’s the hospital there?” “The way things are these days, it’s hard for small hospitals to make it,” Flossie Mae ..."

"...Carina must have told them that she already knew Flossie Mae! “I worked with her several times in Dixiana, and after she came here I went to her apartment one morning for awhile when I was sick.” Conscious that her words sounded like they belonged in a TV courtroom, Penny continued. “I met her son once, when I rode the ambulance to transfer him from ..."

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"In a story of evolving relationships, Margaret McMillion breathes life into her characters, especially Penny, who must find..."

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