Sharing New Surprises with Perennials…



Dear Reader:

Saturday afternoon I got home from running errands and realized I had left my television on. I had been watching Martha Stewart on PBS, before leaving, and now the show For Your Home was playing.

VickiPayneThe host, Vicki Payne, was having a cypress walkway built to go through her garden…located on the shady side of the house. She was showing her television viewers a variety of shade-tolerant perennials that would do well with little sun.

She, also, demonstrated for the viewers how to separate one large hosta plant into many smaller ones….thus saving a lot of money.


While she was separating and cutting six potentially new hostas…she was happily chit-chatting away and telling us, the viewing audience, why Fall was the perfect season to transplant hostas and other perennials.

It was something she said at this time in the program that grabbed my attention. (To paraphrase)

“Think of transplanting these perennials as finding a new cozy home for them – a niche for each hosta where it will be protected from harm and kept warm during the cold winter. You want them to wake up one warm, spring day, look around, and see that it has been moved to a wonderful new home. ”

“No longer part of a family…but grown and independent….shining in its own beauty.”

“The hosta might recognize some of the other transplanted (family) hostas from the original planter…but it also sees new and different shade plants that are smiling and welcoming it to the new neighborhood!”


I found myself thinking that I had heard that story before….but it had nothing to do with transplanting perennials. I mulled on it all afternoon and finally during the evening the idea behind the story returned.

It is one of the most beautiful little anecdotes… metaphorically…it told about passing from this world to the next… an account that made the reader feel loved and secure.

(* As hard as I searched I couldn’t find the original story….so I created and adapted the story, according to my memory and imagination.)

“Changing Bedrooms”

Remember, as small children, the times when we fell asleep on the floor or sofa watching television or doing some activity. The next morning we would wake up in our own beds trying to figure out how we got there.

Of course it was one parent or another loved one, who lifted us up and took us to bed. It made us feel so loved and protected to know (upon waking the next morning) that someone cared enough to carry us back to our own bedroom where familiarity and security resided.

As adults, now, what if we consider this same incident (metaphorically) with the process of leaving this world for the next?

What if we “fall asleep” one day…only to wake up in a different bedroom? Puzzled, we look around trying to figure out where we are and how we got there.

The unsettled feeling, we initially experience, dissipates quickly when we realize that this bed and bedroom is a composite of every dream we ever had about the perfect bedroom for us.

IMG_4461It is filled with our favorite stuffed animals, dolls, and toys from our childhood, posters from our teenage years, awards and degrees from our schools and jobs. Most importantly the room is filled with loved ones.

Photos of dearly beloved grandparents, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, children, grandchildren and special friends fill the room. All the photos are smiling down on us.

The bedroom suddenly begins to glow with a most beautiful light and all the questions forming in our minds are answered without one single word being spoken.

We know, intuitively, the light is God…His love permeates every single pore of our body. We have never felt a love like this in our entire life on earth. We tremble with happiness !

It is God, our Father, who picked us up and carried us to our new bed, bedroom, and home. Now everything starts to look, smell, and sound like home. Not our home on earth….but the home we yearned for, unconsciously, throughout our stay on earth.

Joy engulfs us! WE ARE HOME! Finally we are home again with our Father. But we are not alone….the photos hanging on the bedroom wall begin to tremble and shake.

The pictures disappear as the people in them re-appear….all young, happy, and delighted to see us again! The bedroom begins expanding until no longer are four walls visible….

We look out on the most glorious scene ….it is a garden with waterfalls, animals and flowers of every species ever created. From the mist under the waterfalls comes man. Millions begin walking towards us.

Slowly we recognize faces of people who helped us along our journey….neighbors, teachers, coaches, professors, pastors, and friends.

The wind picks up and a beautiful melody is heard with the rustle of wings overhead…the angels are singing and welcoming us back home.

A heart-shaped trellis beckons us to enter the garden…to return back from whence we came. It’s been a long journey…it feels so good to return where love abides eternal.


IMG_4455So until tomorrow….like perennials…Father…Let us know when to separate ourselves to begin our own journey to a new home waiting for us …a new but familiar location that we thought was gone forever…a home where we shine in God’s Glory!

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

IMG_4443* Look what I saw yesterday, in a neighbor’s yard while walking around….this blackberry bush filled with ripening blackberries….the “Blackberry Winter” did accelerate the growing process!


 *** Stop the Presses….A News Flash Just Occurred….I just woke up to the SUN!!!!!!!!!!! Where have you been my big, round friend…I have missed you!

First I saw my shadow and then I was so excited I climbed to the top deck of the cottage in the back and figured out how to take a panoramic photo shot…………so happy…do you see the light filtering through the tree? So beautiful!


Here is my grove of trees (God’s Temples) at the back of my house…you can see the trees in the panoramic ….but here is a closer picture.

(* Doodle gave me the redtips for my birthday years ago…and now they are trees…speaking of Doodle and Harvey…They went to the famous rose gardens in Orangeburg Sunday and walked some of the trails….They saw many “temples” (groves of trees) on their walks.)


My shadow….I can’t believe I have a shadow again…thank you sun!


I now have ten lilies and everyone is perfectly beautiful….they really light up the garden….my rosemary is gigantic…think I will get a sign made for it telling everyone who enters the garden to grab a piece and smell it while walking through the garden! And Welcome New Lovelies ….I hopIMG_4469e you like it here!



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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4 Responses to Sharing New Surprises with Perennials…

  1. ambikasur says:

    Wow Becky! That was a very lovely picture of ‘Heaven’ in the story told! Hope you all are doing well! Take care and regards to family! 😊


  2. Becky Dingle says:

    My Ambika! Thrilled to hear from you….Please update your blog fans with your family news…we all want to know how you are doing and the excitement date!


  3. Gin-g Edwards says:

    Becky…this was beautiful as so comforting to me since Mother just went to her new home. And I know now that she knew and started preparing. She was always a spiritual person but the last few times I was there she tried to give me lotions, etc. And she even said “I am not going to be able to use all of it.” I have gone for many years to see her and she has given me many things but she never said those words before January.


  4. Becky Dingle says:

    I have no doubt we all know when our time to move has come….your mother left quite a legacy behind with her family and especially you!


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