When Conversations turn to Charades



Dear Reader:

You know you’re getting old(er) when your conversations with friends sound more like a charades game than a normal conversation. The problem is those darn names of people who just won’t pop up when you need them.

Brooke called me out of the blue earlier this week and wanted to know if I wanted to escape with her to Edisto for a couple of days….I started packing my bag. It was a short stay…(to winterize the beach house which was basically already done) but it gave us two  days to hang out together.

An example of a typical conversation between us: We might be talking about the lottery or something and one of us would mention how nice it would be to have just enough ‘gold’ to not have to  live from month to month on social security and state retirement. We could travel more and meet exciting people.

Then I add on to the topic by saying…” Just like in that movie…about a group of archaeologists hunting for buried treasure….Oh what was the name of it…something like a, maybe,  ‘Treasure Hunt’ or something.” (I would keep babbling…as Brooke looked blank)…“You know Brooke…the movie with that actor… oh what’s his name…darn it….you know…the one that became “un-angeled” for Meg Ryan in that romantic, chick-flick movie we saw.” 

The light would come on in Brooke’s eyes….”City of Angels”….and suddenly, while still making angel motions, I would scream Nicholas Cage and the movie was National Treasure, Part 1 and 2!!!

Brooke would still be thinking about Meg Ryan and Nicholas Cage in City of Angels and stick her hands out like she was riding a bike…and pout: “My goodness… that poor man gave up being an angel for her and she didn’t have the good sense to open her eyes while riding a bike around the mountains…what a waste.”  

Hopefully you get the gist of the problem…at a certain age every- day names play hide and seek with our memories. It was too chilly this time to sit on the white rockers on the porch but this has been the setting in the past for many solutions to personal, national, and global problems.

*Some of you will be able to relate to the alphabet game used when trying to remember an individual’s name, Brooke said she and Ted do this practically on a daily basis….Brooke will say ” *I think his last name starts with a “D .” When one or the other gets it….Brooke will say “I’m feeling an “S” for the first name” and the game starts again.

I left Wednesday afternoon to go over to Edisto and returned yesterday, driving through the white-knuckle down pour …it reminded me of the 1000 year storm back in October

As I pulled into the driveway, I was ‘un-peeling’ my fingers from the steering wheel….I wished that I had stopped at the store and picked up some “artificial” logs for the fireplace…I felt a chill from the weather. Suddenly I noticed something on the porch…a whole stack of these logs  with two packets of seeds and this message! My goodness….Thank you Anne!!!….last night I let the “glow begin.” The real glow is one, though, of friendship!

“Becky, Logs on the hearth-Provide a warm winter glow-Seed packets in hand-Stir images of summertime’s show.”

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Thursday was a mixture of sun and clouds so while it was still sunny Brooke and I went to the Edisto Bookstore. Brooke needed to get a birthday card for her brother, Rusty, in the mail.








The atmosphere in the bookstore is so warm and friendly. The nicest clerk, Carroll, was talking to everyone and just hooting over Brooke’s beach home name (Rest in Peace) and the history behind it.

He then introduced me to Emily Grace, the beautiful cat that ‘graces’ this bookstore with her presence.

Brooke told me, that according to the story she heard, a little kitten just showed up on the steps of the store porch ten years ago or so and the bookstore has been her home ever since. Every time someone wants to use the computer Emily Grace jumps up on the counter beside them because she loves to watch the screen change different colors and all the action of the letters.

My photo of Emily Grace looks like an oil painting….she was watching the computer screen…. sitting in front of a mural wall painting with bold greens and yellow hues in it….just gorgeous!


On the way back we agreed that cold or not, we had to at least walk out on the beach for a few minutes. The gray clouds were rolling in hiding the last few streaks of light from the pattern.


We took our diet cokes out on the beach to “rev” up some caffeine energy that was lacking earlier…the cool breezes and drinks got us going again.


By the time we got back to “Rest In Peace” it was five o’clock (somewhere) and I showed Brooke the hilarious gift Lee and Vikki gave me for Christmas. A whole wine bottle fits into the glass. The writing on the glass/bottle says: Finally! A wine glass that fits my needs. We are going to “pay it forward” to someone (we both know) who could really use it now…and even more, a smile!

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Despite the slight annoyance, these days, of retrieving names we should already know ..Brooke and I can still finish each other’s sentences….so no matter the memory loss…just keep a close friend nearby who can fill in the blanks for you.

So until tomorrow…Keep your hair light and your memory right…and always keep your friends in sight.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh


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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2 Responses to When Conversations turn to Charades

  1. Cindy Ashley says:

    Becky, you must have been gone when I tried to reach you this week. Check your phone messages and let me know when you are home this weekend.


  2. Becky Dingle says:

    I am home today staying warm….have the book on the front table ready to go ….I hate for you to make a trip over here unless you are in the neighborhood though….but if you are I am home today….I went out once to the store and about froze…so I am just going to be lazy today.


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