Take Time to Thrive!


Dear Reader:

One of the items on my medical exit “not to do’ list is work in the yard/garden for five days following eye surgery or lift anything over 20 pounds. Oh no, I thought, my garden will have turned to dust in five days with no watering. (Then I started wondering how much a gallon of water weighed….maybe I could make two trips instead of one.) While pondering all my options God stepped in.

Oh me of little faith…it poured late Thursday afternoon into the night for several hours (first good rain in quite awhile) Friday evening we got another rain shower….not as substantial as the day before but still a shower is a shower. Then lo and behold, around 8:00 Saturday night…I walked out on the deck and it was sprinkling….never got much stronger than that….but still it was steady for a little while. I only have to make through today…Monday…and my five days are up. God provides for His children…and their gardens!

IMG_2776Sunday morning I walked through the garden and noticed something different about the asparagus fern near the fountain. It had tiny white blooms on it. I ran to get my Iphone to take a photo.

Then I pulled the name up on the internet….going first to Dave’s Garden…one of my favorite websites. It promptly said that it was not any kind of edible wild asparagus (actually poisonous to pets)…and, for that matter, it wasn’t even a fern. It’s closest cousins are members of the Lily family, which include plants such as amaryllis, daylilies, hosta, and tulips.

aspaet002There is only a two week period in late summer when the asparagus fern blooms and I should expect to see red berries quite shortly….I can hardly wait. Here is what it should look like… when the berries replace the white blooms.


Asparagus ferns *thrive in most environments….tolerating hot and moderately cold conditions quite easily. (It was about this time that the word “thrive” jumped out at me….love that term. And the title ‘deal was sealed’ when I found this popular Maya Angelou quote.)

"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style." ~ Maya Angelou

Now the blog was on track…from asparagus ferns to humans… what do we need to do in life to thrive and just not survive? In a Huffington Post article, Danielle Dyball, gave these five suggestions from her article: “Five Ways to Stop Surviving…and Start Thriving.” 

  * Take time to create each day. Art can be decorating your home, socializing, planning events, cooking meals, gardening, even working on your car…everyone has art and in order to thrive, you must acknowledge it and CREATE!

*Create beauty in thought and deed, as well as, creating beautiful surroundings. Enjoying the natural beauty of nature inspires us to bring that beauty inside. Beautiful surroundings create beautiful thoughts.

*Love boldly like there is no tomorrow. Not taking your loved ones for granted is one of the best things you can ever do for those you care about.

*Play more! Play is essential to health and well-being. Get outside! Go dance in the park! Laugh, have fun, and play!

*Create margin. What does this mean? It means to create space in your day for the unexpected. For example: If a meeting is schedule for 60 minutes, block off 90 minutes. This will give you time to catch up with colleagues and allow for travel time so as not to rush. It means creating white space on your calendar when nothing is scheduled. You have given yourself a little ‘time treat’ of fifteen minutes to pause, reflect, and maybe even give yourself a little special culinary treat. It means not being rushed 24/7…it means giving yourself time to breathe!


So until tomorrow…“Have you noticed that when we die, our eulogies celebrate our lives very differently from the way society defines success? Thrive, don’t just survive.”
― Arianna Huffington, Thrive

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

*I had to laugh out loud at this post surgery exit instruction:

Slowly progress to your regular diet as tolerated.”

images*I was literally “stuffing” those Chick Filet mini-chicken biscuits down my throat as I was waving good-bye from the Physicians Eye Surgery Center. And I never stopped. Brooke and I made honey/maple ham sandwiches for lunch and I had Greek potatoes with one chicken breast filet left over from Oscars the night before… while Kaitlyn had her craving satisfied with her Continental Corner shrimp sandwich. Friday I finished off the ham…and Saturday I ate one of my favorite salads….the oriental chicken salad. But the best was yet to come Sunday!

Anne finished the novel (The Provence Cure for the Broken hearted) Saturday night and had me over for lunch yesterday. Another French cuisine success! We had pear, prosciutto and goat cheese tarts, along with a BLT salad….Good food is the taste of life!


     “If life were predictable, it would cease to be life and lose its flavor.”  Eleanor Roosevelt

Anne has been hard at work re-working (three days of composting) a plat of land in her front side yard for planting pink rain lilies….bulbs her neighbors gave her. After planting (and the recent rains we have received) she woke up to this lovely surprise. *Anne told me that in order to thrive you first have to have drive…it takes a lot of work for beauty to thrive.

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Before I went into Anne’s house…I just kept walking around it oohing and aahing at the beauty of the earth.(azaleas/encore, shasta daisies, pink morning glories, and passion vine blooms)

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I was kinda sad when I got home and didn’t see any buds on my passion vine….Do you remember when it came back and surprised me last March and it has taken off…covering several feet of fence and looks healthy but so far not one single bud. “Get passionate, passion vine!” THRIVE! Obviously Anne’s vine is listening better to her than mine is.


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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