Recognizing the Talents Within…


Dear Reader:

I love to sit in my Lazy Boy recliner and stare at the painting on the opposite wall that Mandy created for me when the den was going through renovations and transforming into my Happy Room. Isn’t it funny how home items can tell time better than a clock or Iphone?

IMG_1413Mandy hadn’t met John yet (she was just months away from meeting him) and completed this painting over Spring Break. It must have been 2005 or 2006. Ten years ago …unbelievable! I still think of my Happy Room as being  in its”novice” stage…not so.

This painting reminds me of all the input the family gave me to make my dream come true….Walsh and Tommy painted many walls and cabinets… and Walsh, also, helped me put up blinds, put on cabinet knobs, and hang window/door dressings. Talents that didn’t come naturally to me.

It took a lot of “talent” and time from everyone to help me arrive at my dream home. One person can’t make creative changes without the necessary support to sustain it.

Ree Drummond works prepping food inside the newly-remodeled lodge near her home on the Drummond Ranch outside of Pawhuska, Okla. Photo by Shane Bevel

Ree Drummond works prepping food inside the newly-remodeled lodge near her home on the Drummond Ranch outside of Pawhuska, Okla.
Photo by Shane Bevel

I like the introduction to the cooking show Pioneer Woman when Ree Drummond says (paraphrase)” Hi, I’m Ree Drummond, blogger, photographer, wife, mother, and cook to hungry cowboys, etc….” She is using a technique in her introduction known as the “Slash Effect.”

Aren’t we all at some point in our lives a little embarrassed when asked “What do you do?” Before retirement I always just answered ‘Teacher” along with the grade and school…stopping the response there.  I never mentioned single mother, three children, carpool member, sole decision-maker, morning nagger….”Get UP!”….and so on.

Today, as much as I love being retired, I get a little tired of giving that as my only “to do” profile. It’s ambiguous at best. But people seem to be comfortable with a retired school teacher with grandchildren. Down deep I hope I am more than that….but then self-doubt creeps in. If I add writer/blogger wouldn’t people expect more than a daily dose of thoughts and observations. So I leave it out.

I think I need to take time to re-discover my ideal slash at this stage in my life.

51yM+urR9QL._AA300_Brene Brown, in her book The Gifts of Imperfection added the same quote by theologian Howard Thurman to her blackboard at the beginning of each semester. It read”

” Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

So until tomorrow….While searching for our identities…some of us spend too much time looking up wondering where God is in our search for our ideal/slash identities. “We keep forgetting that God lives within us, not above us. Sharing our gifts and talents with the world in the most powerful source of connection with God.” (Brene Brown)

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

*Dukes Barbecue (yesterday) turned into an Alston Reunion of sorts. (Lto R) Gene Graham (maintenance) Jan Hilton (guidance) Jane Clevenger (financial secretary) and I got to represent the teacher. It was so wonderful to be able to catch up with all our lives…both the good and challenging.


On the way out the peanut man with (also) fresh vegetables was back in action by the rails in Ridgeville. I bought 1/2 pound of delicious boiled peanuts and two ripe tomatoes.


Luckily I found the last two slices of bread in the loaf, some mayo, sliced tomatoes, salt and pepper….I added the last of the boiled peanuts and viola/ summer has culinarily’ (just made that word up) arrived!

IMG_1400*Harriett….Look at these two beauties you gave me three years ago….they are very happy!





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 Recognizing the Talents Within…

  1. Mary Fennemore says:

    Becky – Your “ideal slash” should include….BEST blogger, ever! Thank you for your daily inspirations!! With my love and prayers, Mary


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