Discovering Our Own ” Wanderlust “

Live for the MomentsYou Can’t Put Into Words

Dear Reader:

Wanderlust is actually a feeling that represents the urge to break from everyday life and experience something new and unknown. We usually associate this term with people who prefer travel and new unknown experiences over stability and consistency…. a ” rolling stone.”

Growing up I was only brave enough to explore the unknown through my imagination… safe and sound in my bed.

But as time passed and my acute case of homesickness finally subsided … I slowly began venturing out …a little farther at a time until the day came when I voluntarily competed for a trip to Utah… a national educational conference ( IMPACT II) -this lead to a follow up conference in Miami, a Teacher Exchange in Denmark, a Goethe Social Studies Leadership ( all-paid) trip to Germany, an International Creativity Workshop in Provence, France. I experienced Ireland and Maine with Anne… ( after being diagnosed with on-going breast cancer)

Little “homebody” Becky finally realized that once you give permission to your yearning spirit to soar… it does. And the Chapel of Hope in Trust, North Carolina freed my spirit to ” travel” through my daily writings… sharing my life experiences, to date, with others.

So until tomorrow… After confronting a serious cancer diagnosis and learning to live with this disease daily… ( my new normalcy) my wanderlust spirit now recognizes that life, itself, even under challenging conditions can be beautiful and defies limitations.

Today is my favorite day -Winnie the Pooh

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Special Memory …

Dear Reader:

Memorial Day certainly aligned to its namesake… remembering and memories… but with another different type memory… embedded in me … that brought personal joy for 44 years… The Continental Corner.

Perhaps because it was a stay-at-home quiet Memorial Day… I was looking through a series of photos on the history of Summerville and suddenly this photo of my most beloved all-time favorite restaurant ( ever!) Continental Corner popped up.

Immediately I could feel myself growing nostalgic at the memories because the Continental Corner just wasn’t a restaurant but a popular gathering place for luncheons with friends and family, a connection to my Aunt Eva who knew the owners and worked with them in Greenville before they decided to move to Summerville to open up the soon-to-be famous Greek restaurant. They never failed to ask about my aunt after we first went there and they made the family connection.

I had moved to the Lowcountry in August of 1971 ( after graduating from Erskine) to begin teaching but Brooke and I shared an apartment in Charleston and commuted those first two years… so didn’t spend leisure time in Summerville.

It was November 3, 1972 when the restaurant opened… Since I was commuting I never got to go to it until I married the following year, now living in Summerville and mother and Aunt Eva came for a weekend visit. We were going out for lunch and Aunt Eva said she would like to go to the new Greek restaurant because she knew Tom and Ernie… they had worked together earlier and she wanted to see them and how their dream had turned out.

There were a lot of hugging and both men were so happy to inform Aunt Eva that their dream had come true… everything was going very well.

It was the day… I fell in love with the restaurant! And that love didn’t stop with me… Mandy adored it and when she was home from college or teaching… later married …it was the place we all went!

Then when Walsh and Tommy married… Mollie and Kaitlyn would come for the day and they fell in love with it-only place either wanted to eat at for lunch.

When the Dingle girls would get together to go to the Summerville Little Theater in town… we always met at Continental Corner before the performance. A tradition!

In fact I still remember my last meal there ( not knowing it was) I had their Mediterranean Omelet… with their Greek potatoes they were famous for… and I have never tasted again … since their closure on July 8 2017 … six years ago!

I am not alone in my elongated mourning period .., whenever Mollie or Kaitlyn come to Summerville and we talk about where to go for lunch, without fail, there are deep sighs and a longing to return to the Continental Corner.

The day the news hit the media about the Continental Corner closing… the phone never stopped ringing… it was the same conversation over and over… comments like ” I was just in there a couple of days ago and everything seemed normal… business as usual… how could this have happened?”

Over four decades… it was an ” historical landmark ” to Summerville residents!

So until tomorrow… Ernie perhaps summed it up best in the closing comment ( Tom had passed ) ” JOYFUL SORROW.”

Today is my favorite day-Winnie the Pooh

So true! Summerville had Ernest Yatrelis and Tom Maurikes for over four decades… how much joy they brought to our hometown-they were greatly loved and we are gratefully indebted to them.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What to Say to a Veteran on Memorial Day?

Dear Reader:

Every year on Memorable Day I always wonder what is the correct way to thank a veteran? Even with my own brother… knowing how his life was changed forever … I usually just tell him how grateful we are that he came home and how appreciative we are for his service and sacrifice to his country.

According to Memorial Day regulations … the intent of the day is to honor only those who gave the ” ultimate ” sacrifice, their lives, and as such leave ” Thank you’s to living veterans for Veterans Day. ”

I do understand the logic in the separation but what about our young boys who physically survived but left parts of themselves in Vietnam and were never the same again? Isn’t this a type of death?

The suggestions given me on one Memorial Day website were: Thank you for stepping up and serving your country: Thank you for the sacrifice you made being away from your family and finally Thank you for putting your life on hold to serve our country.

The problem with so many returning soldiers was that their lives just weren’t put on hold during their Vietnam experience but it followed them home…throughout their lives.

Like Ben… many soldiers tried to forget their memories from the war, pretend it didn’t happen and resume their pre-Vietnam personal and career dreams … but with little success. And even if like my brother… he could pull it off successfully for awhile… the tell-tale symptoms of self-isolation, phantom physical symptoms began appearing until he was finally diagnosed as having a clear-cut case of PTSD. It’s a lonely path to follow.

Today neurologists are studying the links between PTSD and dementia… it is an on-going new study and starting to show more and more connections to catalyst predispositions to this emotionally wrought disease.

I am still so thankful I was able to persuade Ben to tell his story… he was more ” alive” during that time … for the first time. A special shout-out to Libby for helping him tremendously with the book! ( He finished it before dementia began to settle in permanently.) A Great Memory Treasure!

Even though Summer doesn’t officially start until later in June … Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer and I know a lot of school children are happy about that!

It is also the second most popular cook-out grilling day ( just behind Independence Day!) And here’s a fun fact… Over 800 hotdogs are consumed PER SECOND on Memorial Day- 72 million to be precise! ( The problem that most consumers …who wait late to buy …find themselves in-they can always find enough hot dogs but not enough BUNS! ) Those 4 two-sided 8 packaged hot dogs ( that stick to the inside of the bag) run out quickly.

At 3 PM Americans are supposed to pause and have a moment of silence but most gatherings don’t realize this or if they do… by then they are in a hot dog induced coma! 😂

So until tomorrow… Even with ” iffy” weather… Hope everyone has a wonderful Memorial Day and do stop to remember those brave souls who traded their lives on and off the battlefields , for our freedom! God Bless!

Our transformed beautiful princess-Memorial Day / Disney World Memory
Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Progress Over Perfection


Dear Reader:

Yesterday Tommy had sent out an inspiring true story from Golf Digest to Mandy to show Eva Cate who started golf lessons this past year and really enjoyed the girls around her age in the group-most had played golf earlier but so sweet to help Eva Cate learn about the rules and procedures, besides learning vital position techniques. ( First Tee Program)

Tommy thought the following inspiring story of two young female golfers who had little or no experience playing the game but bravely agreeing to help out their college in tough times for gathering enough participants to meet qualifying criteria in a conference female golf division …had a great life lesson Eva Cate could learn from.

I found myself reading it and feeling inspired myself. ( If you would like to read it in all its entirety… the title of the story was The Grinders Who Saved a College Team.)

Brene Brown once wrote: ” Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of light.”

To say two young female golfers , who attended Meredith College, were in the dark when it came to playing golf …is a huge understatement and yet they agreed to help out because the college was two golfers short for division eligibility.

The story begins… ” On April 26, 2023, at the Carolina Country Club in Spartanburg South Carolina -Maycee Kay Aycock and Sarah Marshall cried together in a bathroom. It was a cold, rainy day morning-they had just made the turn and the fatigue from three days of play at the USA South Conference Championship had taken its toll. One mean girl had called them an embarrassment!” ( They were a joke to all the other teams participating. )

” It was there that a woman found them crying. Her own daughter played for another team but she sensed they needed a surrogate mother.

” Don’t listen to the mean girls, she said, ” You two are my heroes ! You’re the only ones out there having fun!”

” After the tears ran their course, they realized she was right. When they weren’t having an emotional breakdown -they had been having fun! And they had a purpose-even playing mind-boggling bad…truly terrible golf-they were doing it for their team and conference by just showing up and allowing the team to participate by sheer numbers of players.

” They dried their eyes . There were still 9 holes left to play and a season to finish-they walked out of the bathroom together and ran back into the rain.”

As the story was retold over and over at the courage of the two girls to finish those last nine holes… a golf writer was intrigued and puzzled at how two girls shot a ” Titanic ” 434 in a single round and became heroes!

If you have time to read the whole story from Golf Digest… you will admire what these two girls did even more by risking everything to help their college-Meredith.

So until tomorrow… as the writer concludes: ” When we focus on small, incremental improvements instead of perfection, the human spirit takes over!” ( Everyone at the tournament that day witnessed it upclose and personal. The human spirit revealing itself is a beautiful thing to see! )

Today is my favorite day-Winnie the Pooh

Eloise and ” Friend”
Two beautiful princesses

It has been cold, blustery, with torrential downpours on and off… we could use the rain but the timing is terrible. John and Mandy said this was the latest for the pool’s official opening since they got it! I woke up in the middle of the night Friday to a strange sound… it was the heat coming back on-never turned it off because it has never come on in ( at least) two months…but fifties brought it back on… down with the windows. Up with the heat! Crazy weather🤪!

Hutchinson Square
The beautiful Ravenel Bridge ( I know it well! )
Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

An Important Life Lesson from the Sun…

Ever-giving… Ever-loving

Dear Reader:

Let’s first think of the highly diversified job our sun has been given… ( in human terms… high stress with no rest… working two 12 hour shifts a day… everyday! No vacation time off. (For that matter) no time off…ever!

Our sun is an ordinary star in the Milky Way ( 1 of about 100 billion stars)

It extremely influences our planet… by driving weather, ocean currents, seasons, and climate. It makes plant life possible through photosynthesis. Without the sun’s heat and light, life on Earth would not exist.

Thinking again, in humans terms… the sun gives selflessly and completely…non-stop. It is one thing in life we can all count on daily… not subject to man’s greed, and because of that it is everyone’s ( regardless of race, religion, social or economic status) life- giving gift, also not controlled by budgets or ” ceilings” designed to benefit the few and devastate the masses who make up We the People… the true ” government ” in a Democracy!

Do we meet the sun’s generosity with equal gratitude?

It’s not too late… We the People must remind our representatives that love always wins… everybody wins when lives are shared equally and we give everyone respect and dignity by reaching back and pulling another living human with a lift and helping hand.

So until tomorrow… Remember our sun is just an ordinary star ( one of 100 billion in our galaxy) but look how it puts all of us living on Earth first …our needs) before itself or its needs. Isn’t it time we do the same? Ordinary residents on Earth?

Today is my favorite day… Winnie the Pooh

Surprise! My favorite oncology infusion nurse-Linda Carson -surprised me bringing me soup/ stew-so full of vegetables and chicken I could eat each delicious bite with a fork… sent my taste-buds saluting! ( Linda is holding an original ” Honey-Bowl” that I filled with lantana for a colorful surcie delight! )

Gin-g stopped by earlier this week with yummy muffins-cool this week but hot ice cream weather is just around the corner!

Sweet Memories

Eloise is having a ball with her three girl cousins and cool t-shirts at Disney World!!!

Love you my precious!
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The Importance of Benchmarks in Arriving at Accomplishments

Follow your heart, Live in the Moment, Believe in your Dreams, Choose happiness, Always be Kind

Dear Reader:

Yesterday I was the proud grandmother sitting upfront and watching my oldest grandson, Rutledge, graduate from elementary school.

It was the grandparents ” holding down the fort” ( along with Aunt Mandy) since Mollie flew out with Eloise on a Disney trip with her three girl cousins … planned nine months ago… and of course, Murphy’s Law … the same day chosen for Rutledge’s” graduation ceremony and chosen speaker for the entire grade.

Rutledge and his wonderful teacher!

Mandy videotaped and I snapped pictures to give Mollie …and Walsh… who, sadly, had to work!

After the ceremony I wondered if I would just float away… I had ” puffed” up like a giant balloon. Watching someone you love ❤️ cross a major benchmark in their life makes you want to stop and blow a kiss to life itself… give a nod of affirmation to the universe…in spite of all its ups and downs… moments, like these, make life so fulfilling… if only for a moment in time…. a ” treasured” moment in time. It grabs your heart!

I actually got through the ceremony intact but when Mandy stopped to take Rutledge’s picture for the last time in front of the school that had watched him grow from kindergarten up… I misted up! His home away from home!

Good-bye, farewell, adieu!

So until tomorrow…

God definitely circled this wonderful school for Rutledge… landed right where he was supposed to be! Thank you God for all that is good in teaching and learning… amazing teachers! Amazing students!

Today is my favorite day-Winnie the Pooh

The rose bush is fighting back!
I am drawn to yellow or orange blooms like moths to light!
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Being You… Requires LISTENING to You!

Dear Reader:

The best part of writing a daily blog is wondering where the next idea will come from… a conversation, television show, story, or nature itself.

I got an email from Linda Carson who had just read an excerpt between Christopher Robin and Pooh… and she said it made her immediately think of me and a new connection we share.

” So Pooh, why aren’t you busy? ”

” Because it’s a nice day” replied Pooh

” Yes, but….?”

“Why ruin it?” Responded Pooh

But you could be doing something important?”

“I am,” said Pooh

“Oh… doing what?”

Listening, ” replied Pooh

Listening to what?”

” To the birds … oh, and that squirrel over there” said Pooh.

What are they saying”?

” That it’s a nice day” responded Pooh

” But you know that already?”

“Yes, but it’s always good to hear that somebody else thinks so, too” … said Pooh

*** And Linda thank you for thinking of me and my listening time in the garden that you now enjoy too since your retirement–the precious gift of time!

( Remember readers how we would each pick a word on New Year’s Day that reflected the direction we wanted to follow that year? I picked the same word LISTEN every year. )

I, intuitively, felt that if I stopped more and listened to the ” real” me … ( my wants, dreams, and desires) over others’ expectations of me… I would find the Becky God created and follow His plan for me. It worked… I started writing… and found the love of my life… creativity released!

… And here is where I received my plan for the futurethanks to Mike and Honey Burrell! 😘
Have been to the chapel in all four seasons now…
I took this shot on one of my first visits… a spider and butterfly sharing the same delights together… just as God wants humans to do also… life is sacred/share it with everyone!

So until tomorrow…

So True!!!!

” Today is my favorite Day” Winnie the Pooh

The Stokesia is so lovely this year! ( Thanks Doodle for memory jog! 😘)
Welcome to my garden!!!
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Importance of Endings… and Beginnings

” Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”

Dear Reader:

Yesterday I had my cousin, Bob, on my mind… during the past couple of weeks… I discovered he was very sick and Mother’s Day Weekend was extremely challenging, for his family, as tough decisions had to be made. Bob passed away a week ago today.

I found myself yesterday reminiscing about him and looking through family photos. Suddenly this one old Easter picture appeared …. Mom and Aunt Eva had on their Easter hats … Aunt Eva and her two sons( Bob and Don) and David and myself-( Ben must have taken the picture) completed the photo… I appeared to be slightly apart … now looking at the photo again I found myself bursting into tears…. I am the only one left from the photo.

Bob ( in front of group) my brother David ( glasses) beside mother, Aunt Eva on the right and her youngest son Don beside her…. and then myself.

I always considered my boy cousins as part of the younger boy set… Bob, Don and David-out of the six photo figures… I, alone, am still here… life is so unpredictable. We all thought Bob would outlive everyone… he took good care of himself… earlier…we were all shocked when his younger brother, Don, had a sudden heart attack two weeks after his mother, Aunt Eva died. And of course my brother, David, died weeks before his college graduation from heart problems associated with Marfan’s Syndrome disease. All gone!

Intellectually I know that life demands endings so it can leave the door open for new beginnings… you can’t have new beginnings without endings. If no one ever died… earth would have used up its life sustaining resources millennia ago.

Think about how each new generation rises up to replace positions and opportunities left behind with someone’s ( earlier generation) passing. Without endings there could be no beginnings… no fresh ideas, no life-changing advancements for the good of all the people.

Life would get stuck if endings never came and new beginnings never started. And as much as we love family and friends around us… don’t you think life would lose its ” specialness ” if it went on forever. It is like me lamenting the grandchildren changing as they grow… but deep down we wouldn’t want it any other way… each stage brings new surprises.. new opportunities to know each in a different special way.

… and as for all who pass… their greatest adventure… new beginning into eternity …is just about to start… surrounded by love.

On a lighter note… here is an insightful anecdote on the ” perils” of living forever on earth.

One day a popular king was surrounded by his lords drinking wine… when the thought hit him how much he didn’t want to die and leave his luxurious life behind. Solemnly he shared his sadness with his lords .

Suddenly, they too, grew sad and realized death would bring their abundant lives to an end, also, and lamented with the king. All but one… who burst out laughing. The king demanded the reason for his mirth.

The laughing lord explained that he was imagining if everyone lived forever and there was no death… then the first majestic emperor would still be here, followed by his son, the Great Sage, followed by The Immortal Emperor, and the Fearless General!

” Why… Your Highness.. in comparison I and my fellow lords would be fit to only be rice planters and you, sir, would be a mere clerk!”

The other lords’ eyes grew big as saucers and trembled waiting for the wrath to fall … but instead heard laughter… the king toasted all the lords saying” For encouraging my foolishness… I penalize each of you a drink of wine. ” And as for you ( pointing to the laughing lord) … ” whenever I bewail my death again, you are to cry out,” A clerk! A mere clerk!”

So until tomorrow…

Today is my favorite day-Winnie the Pooh

All they diverse beauties of lantana
Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Are You Nice? Or… Are You Kind?

Dear Reader:

I know you must be thinking… ” Hum… yesterday’s post was about the difference between ” looking” or ” seeing” and now ” nice” or ” kind?” ” Is Becky on some kind of grammatical mission?”

No. ( ” NO is a complete sentence.” ) ***Popular quote by Annie Lamotte. Of course she simply means that we water down the power of the word when we add dangling participles or adverbs… whatever … to the comment.

Most of you readers know I have had a long love affair with words, their meanings and origins from day one. It is only now, however, that I have come to realize how some of our simplest words are more complex when used correctly. ( Look and See- Nice and Kind)

Monday morning found me scurrying around-three major items on my to do list and one appointment. By the time I got groceries and got home… it was 1:00 and GMA 3 was starting. The whole show was their big kick-off Cool To Be Kind – a year-long initiative.

I was starving and gobbling down some lunch as I watched the program. The first initiative was to send some of their young employees to Central Park to get volunteers to participate in acts of kindness.

Beautiful areas of Central Park

If you can pull yesterday’s show …watch how everyone in Central Park got pulled into the joy of giving… one girl went into a nearby coffee shop and bought coffee for a stranger-what was so nice was watching the expressions on the other customers faces… everyone was smiling … their day was made watching this one isolated act of kindness!

First, however, the question arose between applying the terms nice or kind to individuals… what term was more surface and which one had a deeper concept.

Nice and Kind are often used interchangeably to describe a friendly person. However there is an important distinction.

Nice typically describes a person who is pleasant or polite to others, while kind typically describes someone who performs good acts for others. Nice is passive; Kind is active.

Go back in time and remember how many times your parents ” warned” you ( as a child and adolescent) to ” be nice” at a relatives gathering or friend’s sleepover. Today we should direct our children and grandchildren to be kind… not just polite. Do something that shows your kindness in being helpful.

We only have to look to Jesus to see the best examples. Kindness is bestowed on us through the complete love and acceptance of His love through us. Jesus never stopped at just being nice… He actively made arrangements to feed the hungry masses listening to Him, to heal the blind and sick, to comfort those who mourned and accept everyone’s differences without judgment.

Niceness is pleasant , but it lacks conviction. Jesus’ kindness is selfless, compassionate and merciful- It is the act of kindness that He wished for His believers to follow- ” Love your neighbor” and spread kindness to everyone… go the extra mile.

GMA 3 even had one of their doctors share how being kind to others can affect your physical and mental health. Kind people have lower blood pressure issues, decrease in cortisol-a natural stress hormone. Kind acts produce good endorphins and increase connectivity that enhances relationships , thus lowering isolation. Kind people live happier and longer lives.

So until tomorrow…

Today is my favorite day-Winnie the Pooh

After I got back from Mt Pleasant this past weekend…while checking my mail I was so excited to see a notecard from Joan… my son-in-law John’s multi-talented and kind mother!

I had sent her ( earlier) a combo get-well and Mother’s Day card-( Joan had fallen down her porch steps – when the railing broke) but thankfully escaped with bruises but no broken bones! Now here she was sending a personally illustrated notecard cover of a garden one finds in their dreams or wildest imagination! Breathtaking in its beauty. I just wanted to magically ” transform ” into that garden of serenity and awe-inspiring beauty !

And she didn’t stop there… she put another secret ” surcie” in too to pay forward … best example of the difference between nice and kind. Joan is both… magnified!

I want to jump in the pond and swim with the koi! Our multi-talented artistic Joan!!!
Finally! My first gardenia bloom! I smelled it before I saw it!!! Heavenly!

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

You Can’t Ever Go Wrong When the Answer is Love…

The answer is still and again … LOVE!

Dear Reader:

On this Monday… I feel like just sticking to one simple thought… Love Always Wins!

” Love is the only rational act”

I love this particular quote from Tuesdays with Morrie... especially these days when it seems like we are living in an ” irrational” time period. A time when self-greed prevails over love and compassion for others.

Yet I do believe that love prevails in the end… I refuse to give up on that conviction! … Just as Mitch learns in the book from his old professor Morrie… ” As long as we can love each other… and remember the feeling of the love we had, we can die without really going away.”

” All the love we created is still there. All the memories are still there. We live on -in the hearts of everyone we have touched and nurtured while we were here.”

Even Einstein confirmed (under the Conservation of Mass Law) – Matter is neither created nor destroyed-Einstein saw matter as energy and if you have ever been in love… haven’t you felt so energized that you see the world sunny-side-up… glimmering and brimming with love and happiness? Our love remains behind to all we cared for and nurtured!

So until tomorrow…

I think it is time to start a new movement… Let’s Get Rational! Love Shows Us The way!

Today is my favorite day -Winnie the Pooh

My plants welcoming me back!

The hydrangeas are the most beautiful this year-everywhere!
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment