Ferns, Birthdays, and that Darn Bamboo…


Dear Reader:

I associate ferns with Brooke’s birthday because the Ya’s always give her Lowe’s or Home Depot gift cards to help her purchase them to decorate her long front porch from end to end.

I decided to decorate the back side of the B&B with two ferns I got from Bi-Lo over the weekend… so Brooke would see them when she pulled in. It definitely took some doing…the old rusty chains hanging down weren’t long enough to reach…so I had to climb on a ladder, haul the big, heavy ferns up to the top, and then try to hold onto the ladder, the chain, and the ferns at the same time…while trying to get the fern planter handles in the hooks.

It took some perseverance…but it got done in time… before Brooke’s arrival Sunday afternoon.

Yesterday we were both up bright and early because we wanted to make the most of our time together….first Short Central…Southern Belles Consignment Shop, Simple to Sublime, and Marigolds. Lots of fun, great conversations with the owners…and even some purchases!

Then onto Belks...but no luck there for either one of us…I just wanted a black cotton button up shirt with a collar…three quarter length sleeve…First of all..it is hard to find cotton ( I think thin jersey seems to be the material now) and secondly it is hard to find black shirts this time of year. Anyone know a place?

* For lunch we went to Oscars and both got that wonderful sirloin steak salad…then Brooke and I shared her birthday surprise dessert…so yummy. Now fortified with food…we were back on the trail….

…On to Home Depot where Brooke met with lots of success…so much so… that one fern was sitting on her lap as she started the car to return home…she finally managed to squeeze it in among the other 7 ferns!


By the time we got back from running errands..we were tired! We both flopped on the sofas with our eyes half-closed as we pretended to watch a little television but mostly talked.

Brooke asked me what the blog would be about tomorrow (today) and I told her I didn’t know but I was sure something would “pop” up…it always does. (Little did I know how true that statement would prove!)

IMG_4611Brooke had no sooner beeped and disappeared out of sight when I cut back around the house to check on a plant and stumbled over a bamboo stick shooting up out of the ground.

“Aarrgh”  I hate the bamboo that crosses my neighbor’s yard over to mine each summer…it is a tenuous battle trying to keep chopping away at it…since the neighbors’ back yard is filled with it. It will soon knock down the fence if it isn’t cut down…and the shoots are “popping” up everywhere in my yard now.



Still scowling over the job facing me …hacking away at the bamboo…I decided to wait and cut it tomorrow. I had a blog to write…and Dancing with the Stars is getting close to the end.

So I plopped down in front of the computer and glanced at the pictures I had taken yesterday for some ideas….photos of friends, ferns, and even unsightly bamboo….

I googled quotes on ferns and came up short…and then typed in stories on ferns…. the magic appeared…a story popped up.

“God Never Gives Up on Us” – The Story of the Fern and the Bamboo

I almost fell out of my chair….(See Brookie (to answer your question)…God does provide when we always can’t! )

It is why I have felt from the start that this blog is bigger than me…it is some kind of destiny…what I don’t know…but God does!

So here is God’s “Pick” for the story today!

“The Fern and the Bamboo”

Once upon a time a certain young man decided that he was completely fed up with everything in life. He announced: “I quit my job, my relationships, my spirituality…in fact I just want to quit my life.”

Then he went to the woods for one last talk with God. “God, can you give me just one good reason why I should not quit.”

Instead of answering his question God said: “Look around…do you see that fern and bamboo over there?” God pointed in the right direction.

The puzzled man simply nodded his head.

When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds …I did so at the same time. I took care of them equally. They both received the same amount of light and water. The fern immediately popped up and grew quickly….its brilliant green soon covered the forest’s floor.

But nothing came from the bamboo seed. Still I didn’t give up on the bamboo…by the second year the fern was more vibrant and plentiful than the first year. But still nothing…from the bamboo seed. 

…Still I didn’t give up hope on the bamboo….even when the third and fourth seasons came and went with no visible results.

Finally in the fifth year…a tiny sprout emerged from the earth. Compared to the fern it was small and seemingly insignificant. But just six months later…the bamboo rose to over 100 feet tall. 

You see…it had spent five years growing roots to sustain its height when it shot to the sky. It was the roots growing underneath, invisible to the eye…that gave the bamboo the foundation it needed to not only survive…but be successful!

Did you know, my child, that all this time you have been struggling, you have actually been growing roots. If I would not quit on that bamboo…I certainly would never quit on you. Stop comparing yourself to others…you are special in my eyes…the best is yet to be…it is time for you to soar. Give me glory by rising as high as you can.”


So until tomorrow…Let us open our eyes and ears to God’s voice…guiding and pacing us as individuals with unique destinies to fulfill.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

* Psst….I still don’t like bamboo growing in my back and side yard…but God I did like the story…and I needed to hear it…Thank you!

* Brooke took a picture of me kissing “Big Red”…my geranium…that now has clusters of blooms about to pop open all over it…I told her we weren’t tree huggers…just geranium kissers and fern embracers.


* Jakie’s official 7 months “tie of honor!”



Look at what happened to the beautiful light blue iris from the time I took a photo of it yesterday morning for the blog and when Brooke and I returned several hours later Monday.

IMG_4598IMG_4603 And even my deck got a new ornament from Brooke…a pretty big “D”….thank you Brooke…loving it…just my color!









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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6 Responses to Ferns, Birthdays, and that Darn Bamboo…

  1. Jo Dufford says:

    I just loved the story of the bamboo with deep roots. I’m sure that could be used as an analogy for many things one may want to talk about or write about. It reminds me of the parable of the sower of the seeds. We may never know when something we say or do plants a seed in fertile soil and begins growing roots which years later will show itself in something hopefully good and strong. As bad as bamboo is to control, there are many ways it is used for good. Of course, that is another story in itself such as: in the worst of us there is so much good. (But let me add, I do not wish to have bamboo or wisteria in my yard. As a child, I helped my family dig and cut wisteria vines so often. Our neighbor loved wisteria.)


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Jo…I have wisteria too….I looked like Jungle “Jane” hacking away at the bamboo and vines this morning…Whew…have it at bay for a few days at least. There good in everything if we look for it.


  2. Brooke says:

    I think of our time together as the 3 R’s….RELAXATION, RENEWAL, AND REST! What a wonderful birthday with you, my friend! The blog story today is a God’s Wink for sure…..amazing message! Thank you for EVERYTHING!!!


  3. Gin-gEdwards says:

    God using you each day to deliver us a wonderful blog is absolutely amazing and inspiring. I can’t believe that Jake is 7 months old.


  4. Becky Dingle says:

    I can’t either…he looks like a year old. Big boy! As usual thanks for your continued support…there are many days I need to hear it…to keep going.


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