The “Book Marks” in our Lives…

photo  Dear Reader:

I heard back from several of you yesterday remembering Christmases past and special people who have gone ahead but who still live within you…guiding you along your life’s journey. I will share one at the end of the blog. Thank you for commenting!

But before we do that…there was one other idea mentioned in yesterday’s story that I forgot to mention. It, however, started me thinking in a new direction.

In one passage of the book Theodora is trying to remember her favorite Christmas….at 93 the task isn’t easy.

She finally settles on a Christmas from the 20’s when she was around six. She describes how everyone would help wet long strands of rope, hanging it on the front porch. While it was drying the family would begin inserting all types of greenery …interweaving it in the rope…so that by the time the rope dried the garland was secured for the holidays.

Then they would all bake cookies and cook favorite recipes together…followed by each child decorating his/her own room in any Christmas fashion they wished for the holidays…always surprising the family with  “tea party” drop-in delivered with home-made invitations.

Theodora commented that the fun of the holidays was never in the presents, even as a child she realized that, but in the preparation for Christmas. Theodora lived for that glorious moment when everything else stopped and all the family came together to create Christmas memories ….the best present of all! Being together…sharing one goal.

Still…the children wanted to make their parents and grandparents a gift and they did…the same gift every year. And every year the family would make much “fuss” over the present being the best or the prettiest yet.

You see…back then…people read…a lot! It was not unusual for the average reader to have three or more books “going” at the same time. So the children worked on  homemade “bookmarks.”

Theodora and her brother Gordie would construct bookmarks for the family members who loved to read…which turned out to be everyone in their family. Their home’s library was well stocked with every kind of book imaginable…there was no censorship of reading materials. Simply to read took importance over what one read.

Theodora and Gordie would work together….drawing a bird or flower on a “skinny piece of tall, stiff paper.” They would then color their pictures carefully and finish off the gift… making a fringe using manicuring scissors. They would sign their name…always including the important date… like Christmas 1923.

While waiting for the Christmas tree to go up…Theodora and Gordie made homemade envelopes for their bookmarks and then hid them under their beds.

Parents and grandparents, alike, would act completely surprised at their new bookmarks… as if they had never even seen one before…each Christmas this or that bookmark was considered the best one yet!

The bookmarks only had to hold up a year until replaced with a new one….but, one day, Theodora happened across several years’ worth of bookmarks in her grandmother’s bed table drawer… after her death. They looked like they had all been handled many times, with affection, by her grandmother. The large envelope that held them all…read “Comfort and Joy.”


photo   This Christmas gift of old…got me thinking about all the different bookmarks I have accumulated over the years. But for some reason the only one I seem to be able to hold onto is a miniature wooden cross given to one of my children when they were baptized….long ago.

If we look at our own life journeys as stories…haven’t we all experienced “bookmark” people in our lives who appear (seemingly out of nowhere) to help us through a rough passage in our lives and then disappear as quickly as they came?

Perhaps the “book marker” helps us close a chapter in our lives that has been dangling for too long. Or perhaps the “book marker” reminds us where we’ve ‘strayed too far from our story’ and helps us return to the central focus of our narrative.

I believe God sends our own personal “bookmarkers” to us to keep our story flowing in the right direction… all the while not losing our place in it.

So until tomorrow…Let us use these special “bookmark” people who come into our lives to keep us moving forward steadily…not losing time trying to figure out where we left off  our journey.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

1146490_803671573016991_5661099339478846135_n  * Our “Darling from Dubai” (Ambika) could relate to yesterday’s story about the loved ones who have gone ahead…another God’s Wink.

Hi Becky!

This blog title actually happened with me today in the morning… Not in reality though, and not exactly a thought also… After a long time, I had a dream about my Grandmother who had passed away few years ago…And it’s like I’m walking up to her and asking her if she wants to have some tea with me… She replied yes with a really sweet heavenly smile… That’s all the dream was about.. Lol… I’m not sure whether I thought about her, she just suddenly appeared in my dream…
And what a coincidence… You too came up with a similar title.. Wow!

And by the way, congrats about the number goal that your blog has reached in just 1 month… Hopefully, you should achieve number 500 by the year end… Have a blessed New Year 2015…



About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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