The Last Weekend of Summer…


Dear Reader:

We all just experienced the last weekend of summer…and true to form…summer went out the way it started…hot! It wanted to show who was still in control as the fall equinox draws closer.

There are two equinoxes each year… in September and March… when the sun shines directly on the equator and the length of  day and night is nearly equal.

The Fall Equinox (for the Northern Hemisphere) can fall any time between September 22-24. (So glad I squeaked into the fall category) This year (in Summerville, SC) the September Equinox is on Wednesday, September 23 at 4;22 a.m.

I even found a “live” time counter on-line that gives Summerville the official count-down….at the time I was writing this blog yesterday afternoon…the count-down was 2 days, 16 hours and 12 minutes. Tick, Tick, Tick!

Good-bye exhausted air conditioners and welcome new open screen windows and ceiling fans! Good-bye bright and light flip-flops and sandals and welcome enclosed, dark-colored flats. Good-bye cold showers and welcome hot, steamy baths. Good-bye light lavender perfumes and welcome pumpkin-smelling everything…except real pumpkins!

Have you noticed that about this time of year, every year, new pumpkin-scented items begin emerging, on the market, faster and faster…which brings some people to ask “Is pumpkin spice the ultimate aphrodisiac?”

I must admit that I usually go out and buy a scented candle each fall because I do love the pumpkin, cinnamon aroma waffling through the house.

But now…everywhere you go… from the bakery to the drug store to the grocery store to the coffee shops… a pumpkin-scented something awaits you.



The strange thing in this fall marketing strategy is that the pumpkin-scented items have a time-limited availability to consumers. As soon as we start hearing the jingles of Christmas the pumpkin-scented products magically disappear off the shelves…not to return until next fall.

I took a little time this past’ last weekend in summer’…to reflect on the summer of 2015 and decided it was the ‘summer of reading.’ I think I read more books this summer than I have in a long time…nothing very heavy…just typical summer reads. But I have discovered, that even in the lightest read…I always walk away from a book with a bit more wisdom or insight into life than I had before reading it…Books are funny that way.

Another common thread running through my summer novels…is that I stayed pretty close to home in all the fictional settings…really just the Carolinas…with the exception of the book I am presently reading….(which I will conclude with in a minute.)

thesoundofglass-largeMy first read of the summer was Karen White’s “The Sound of Glass.”  The setting for this read was Beaufort, South Carolina…one of my favorite places in the Palmetto State. I came away with some funny and poignant sayings and expressions.

…And I also came away with my own sea glass chime ( placed on the magic moon gate.) It has been my best purchase in a long IMG_7412time. Especially now that my windows are open and I am lured to sleep each night with the soft rustle of the “sound of glass.”





downloadAfter this novel…it was on to Sullivan’s Island for the trilogy by Mary Alice Monroe….Summer Girls, Summer Wind, and Summer End.



The first book was okay…but I am normally not fond of trilogies…I must admit, however, the second novel lured me back leaving me with tears over the character “Lucille” (for obvious reasons) and happiness at the end of the third novel. The book was all about relationships…in fact all my summer reads have been about relationships because that is what life is all about…isn’t it?

image-01*I did like how the three books brought in many restaurants and bars I am familiar with at Sullivans…It made the reading experience even more attractive. (Especially Poe’s Tavern for lunch)

This was the summer that I discovered a new author (Sarah Addison Allen from Asheville, NC) and fell in love with her two novels about a magical apple tree, mysterious herbs and edible flowers in a garden and the relationship of the Waverly sisters and their mysteriously gifted family members.

up-IUE0I50C3HTBAS8IThe setting is in Balcom, North Carolina (fictional) but it refers to Hickory throughout the two novels as being in close proximity.



There was just enough magic and fantasy without being silly and just enough reality to produce a wonderful , memorable read….the kind of book that you don’t want to end. The Waverlys become your best friends and you don’t want the friendship to cease on the last page of each novel. (Gardens Spells and First Frost)



It was while I was returning Garden Spells back to Timrod that one of the volunteers there told me about The School of Essential Ingredients…a best-seller from 2010. I am right in the middle of it as I type today and I  love the musical and lyrical rhythm of this author-Erica Bauermeister.

For the first time all summer…I have finally left the Carolinas…this book never gives the name of the city that Lillian’s Restaurant is located in…but it does, frequently, refer to being in the Northwestern part of the United States.

download (2)Like Garden Spells and First Frost the central theme in this book is, not only the relationship of people attending a cooking class, but also the relationship between food and people…how food affects their attitudes, moods, and spirits.

Mixing*I just discovered that a sequel to this NY Bestseller is available also…so I think you can surmise what my next book will be.

The Summer of 2015…a wonderful summer, spent with friends, both inside and outside of, my summer novels.

So until tomorrow “Reading is life’s great gift.”

“Today is my favorite Day” Winnie the Pooh

*I have waited all weekend for the moon flowers to bloom simultaneously since I counted four buds Friday on the hanging green chair…. I have the same situation with one of the moon flower vines on the fence with three buds…Finally last night all my waiting paid off….See for yourself! (With more blooms to come…this must be the season the moon flowers like best!)

  1. The “Peace” Moon flower returns:


2. Three Moon flower blooms on the replaced vine on the fence


3. Finally the “bragging rights” go to Hanging Green Chair with four moon flower blooms at one time!





Glorious! Glorious!

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 The Last Weekend of Summer…

  1. Jo Dufford says:

    Thanks for your information on your summer book-reads. I had read some, but now I have some more choices. I also love that you have the change of the season time down to the last tick. I was thinking of another event that I can remember to the first tick. It happened 26 years ago tonight, but I’m grateful it has been 26 years, and “that’s all I’m going to say about that.” Your moon flowers are outdoing themselves, and they are so beautiful.


  2. Becky Dingle says:

    I hope when I get down to the last “tick” that I will be excited about a new change of scenery!


  3. Johnny Johnson says:

    I like to read as you should be able to tell by now! But whst strikes me still, is the beauty of the moon flowers! They are gorgeous to me.


  4. Becky Dingle says:

    Me too Johnny…they just take my breath away!


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