Searching for that Elusive Balance in Life

Dear Reader:

Yesterday I went over to see Eva Cate ride her bike (without training wheels) for the first time. Actually it was the second day for her… she finally got up the nerve Saturday to give it a try (again) and this attempt was the charm.

All summer the bike had been in the garage (training wheels taken off) waiting for her to learn to ride it…It was the summer for this goal. But after a few initial “painful” falling down attempts Eva Cate got scared and wouldn’t try again.

She just had to wait until it was her time to fly the nest and Saturday, August 26 was that time. Don’t we all remember that feeling of success when we realized we could balance a bike without falling off? The sense of freedom that comes with first learning to ride a bike, is a fore-taste of all the different freedoms we will experience in our lives.

Eva Cate just experienced a childhood rite of passage without even understanding it now. She will later… when she looks back on the day she learned to ride a bike. This is just one ‘small’ step towards personal independence that will carry her through adolescence and adulthood.

Other events like going to the movies with friends without parents, overnight sleep-overs, camps, retreats, school trips, fifth and eighth grade dances, proms, sweet sixteen birthdays, graduations, and leaving home for college/work will all complete the sequence of steps leading our children and grandchildren to self-independence. (And oh…it goes too fast!)

Eva Cate also doesn’t realize it yet…but she is following in an historical Women’s Movement that Susan B. Anthony recognized as one of the most important: “Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world.”

Think about it…for the first time the bicycle offered women, stuck at home all day, the opportunity to travel freely around town…what a sense of freedom that must have been! Consider, also, the impact it had on women’s clothing.

Article: “How the Bicycle Changed the World for Women” Shelby Erdman

It was extraordinary. It affected the way women dressed, women’s sense of themselves, women’s ability to travel beyond the confines of their homes,” Macy told CNN Radio.

For one thing, the layers of heavy petticoats and wide crinolines had to go.

“When they started riding bicycles it became clear that this wouldn’t work,” Macy says.

“The petticoats were getting caught in the spokes. Women were really getting injured just because of the clothing they wore. So quite quickly alternatives to the way they dressed were introduced. They were no longer wearing such heavy clothing.”

Macy said the petticoats gave way to the bloomers, the puffy underpants worn under skirts. Even with the bloomers, though, women weren’t riding for speed or to get somewhere at that time.

Beth Emery is a biking teacher in Connecticut. She’s also a historian on women’s athletics. Emery said women weren’t really riding in the way that biking is thought to today because biking at the time was mostly about being out and being seen.

“It was like parading around and part of getting the fresh air and exercise,” says Emery.


In my first blog post back on November 25, 2014, after taking a haitus between Chapel of Hope Stories I and II to consider whether it was time to stop and try other writings or stand firm and continue with what gave me so much joy…I placed a picture of Rutledge on the cover ( he was a little over one year old and terrified of hair-cuts back then)…to start off the new blog with the comment…“One of the hardest things in life is knowing when to ‘cut your losses’ and start over or follow your intuition to stay the course.” 

So here we are in the final days of the ‘dog days’ of August. We have miraculously gotten some cooler, less humid air to settle into the lowcountry…giving us a hint of September with cooler mornings and nights to come!

And as for me…I know I made the right decision…my life is a balance of activities and energy offset with solitude and conversation with God…the right balance for me at this stage of my life.

A wonderful friend of mine at church yesterday (who has had lots and lots of company this summer) said she has discovered the right expression for the blessed silence and solitude that follows a crowd of guests…her new term: “A happy lonesome.” I had to laugh and laugh….I told her and her husband…that pretty much summed up my life a lot and it was and is a wonderful thing!

So until tomorrow…

We can’t find true happiness without balance in our lives.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

The family shares in the bicycle celebration. Jake even showed off for me on his (well big sister’s) old trike…so proud of his achievement too.

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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9 Responses to Searching for that Elusive Balance in Life

  1. honey burrell says:

    Precious babes beautiful blog! Have a wonderful day 💕

    Sent from my iPhone



    • Becky Dingle says:

      I am having a good one…it is raining here but nice and cool…have an oncology appt with the PA at Charleston Cancer Center tomorrow… since Dr. Silgals is still on medical leave…don’t know what is going on there…maybe I will find out more tomorrow.


  2. Rachel Edwards says:

    Oh the joys of life…think of the song Great Is Thy Faithfulness. ..morning by morning new mercies I see…so proud of Eva Cate. Miss you. ..have had lots of summer company too…now it us football season…life is busy but so good. Loving the book you gave me…

    On Aug 28, 2017 6:03 AM, “Chapel of Hope Stories” wrote:

    > Becky Dingle posted: ” Dear Reader: Yesterday I went over to see Eva Cate > ride her bike (without training wheels) for the first time. Actually it was > the second day for her… she finally got up the nerve Saturday to give it > a try (again) and this attempt was the charm. ” >


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Ordinary Grace will always stand out as one of my all-time favorite reads…a couple of scenes are embedded in my memory…hope they make a movie from that book. Let’s play hookie one day and hit the consignment shops like we used to…


  3. ambikasur says:

    Awww Becky… After reading how Eva Cate got her balance with the bicycle, I walked down memory lane of my first bicycle ride 25 years ago… My dad tried a lot to support me and train me up without the side wheels, but I also used to get scared.. so the next time, after a lot of convincing from my parents, I reluctantly agreed; I remembered praying to God to give me a better balance this time… And guess what, it happened 😁😁😁… After that I remember, my dad gave me a treat of a large strawberry ice cream in celebrating my first bicycle ride… Phew!!

    And coincidentally, now my son is learning to use his tricycle… Hahaha… God is good, all the time….😇😇🙏🙏


    • Becky Dingle says:

      God is with us all the time…from trikes to bikes to graduations, marriages. careers…all the way to the end of time for us on this time and space…all we have to do is keep learning and keep balancing our lives with Him in it.


  4. bcparkison says:

    I don’t even remember learning to ride but I do remember a fall or two even after being on a ‘big’ bike. They, who ever they are, say riding a bike is one thing you never forget but haven’t been on one in a very long time. Maybe I should give it a go….well….my grands will probably be to small a bike.Oh well….good thought.


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