A Barrel of Beauty…in All Our Thoughts


Dear Reader:

My barrel is the prettiest it has ever been in the winter! I suppose I must “grudgingly” give credit to all the rain we have had.

It stands out in the front yard surrounded by dead grass and colorless shrubs….like a beaconing lighthouse…displaying its beautiful colors for walkers, runners, and car drivers to see.

It makes me smile each time I pull in the driveway. While most of the other flowers still sleep underground within their seeds, pods, and bulbs….cabbages and pansies seem to challenge and even taunt Old Man Winter.…by shouting:

“Bring it on Old Man…we can take it…watch us play “How low can you go”! (Very low temps indeed!)

As I looked up quotes with the word barrel in them….most of the samples were: A barrel of monkeys, a barrel of laughs, over a barrel, or scraping the bottom of the barrel.

My notion for the term, however, was going in a different direction. A ‘barrel of thoughts‘ came closer to my Tuesday musings.

I decided to put myself to a test… to choose three powerful ideas to live by (and one day leave for my grandchildren.) The challenge (especially for loquacious me) is to simplify big ideas into small wordings. This was the criteria…

1) one 3 word thought  2) one 2 word thought 3) One 1 word thought


My first thought centered around this sweatshirt I saw on a ‘Life is Good’ website. The site had all their winter products marked down considerably.

I kept looking at the words (Live and Give) and thought to myself… how simple but powerful these words are. Isn’t this the way we should spend our time on earth…living and giving simultaneously…as easily as breathing and loving?

*(So I had to just go out and order it…hope it comes in the next day or two…because I have begun layering… even in the house…it just feels chilly all the time with this latest cold front.)

My second thought? Don’t Settle. I think nothing is sadder than watching someone with much potential (to bring to the world) settle for a life that undermines his/her God-given gifts. This world is too amazing to turn it into a mundane and colorless existence. A true waste of life…

My third thought? If you are ever asked…”What is the most powerful force in the world…the only one that can and will endure forever?” reply: LOVE.

Think about all the scriptures that remind us of the power of love…the power of God. In the end…love always wins out…death, itself, finally meets this most formidable opponent….named LOVE. Death can never overcome the power of love.

There are three things that will endure – faith, hope, and love – and the greatest of these is love.

That’s it…that’s my three thoughts to leave behind one day… but to live by now each day. (And I didn’t even have to scrape the bottom of the barrel!)

So until tomorrow….less really is best…a few words are better than many…because they can, not only be absorbed and retained…but identify who we are as God’s children.

“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh

* Try taking the challenge…can you come up with three mantras with 3,2, and one word. I recognized Patty Knight’s identity through her three choices immediately. Patty chose:

10845973_10203331309626738_1941480915213296398_nPeace and Quiet   Be Happy   Smile!

Try it and share your identity of words with us.

* Honey just emailed me to tell me we have another “Barrel” Connection…too funny!

The name of Mike’s wood turning business. Check out Mike’s jacket logo! Burrell’s Barrels!


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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