Let Life Surprise You

Dear Reader:

I learned so many lessons this past week helping with the children and just listening to their thoughts. There was one incident that made me realize the importance of “letting life surprise us.” We shouldn’t be in such a hurry to plan everything ahead of time or rush to try to figure it all out. Instead we should embrace the unknown and just let life surprise us. Case-in-point:

Every afternoon I picked Eva Cate up after school and we went for a little special treat or just simply spent a little bit of “free” time  together…to just talk.

Last year when Eva Cate started first grade it soon became obvious that she was struggling. After several meetings and educational/medical observations it was concluded she was a ‘drifter’ who just couldn’t seem to stay focused on anything long enough to absorb it.

Homework was a nightmare and filled with frustration. She finally was started on medication for the problem and it definitely helped with her attention deficit but it still seemed like our little ‘bird’ just wasn’t quite ready to fly. The”light of learning” basic reading and math concepts just had not turned on. She wasn’t seeing  connections.

So this year we were all holding our breath to see what would transpire…and to our delight and surprise all of our ‘hopes and a prayer’ brought results. When I went to pick her up last Friday the class had received their first progress reports.

I didn’t want to make a big deal of it but I was anxious to know  how Eva Cate did. So casually on the ride home I asked if they had gotten their progress reports that day. At first she looked a little blank and asked what “progress reports” were?

I knew this was a pivotal moment…I didn’t want any kind of negative attachment assigned intellectually or emotionally to this report. So I responded, “It’s just a little note to let you and your mommy and daddy know how well you are doing at school.”

“Oh, said Eva Cate confidently with a big smile…I am doing good, Boo Boo.”

“That’s  terrific Eva Cate…is that what you saw on your progress report?”

“No” she responded. I haven’t looked at it…but my teacher came over and gave me a really big hug today and told me how proud she was of me… so I know I am doing great!

(And she had…all checks and happy faces.) She is now reading to me…just not parroting words but sounding them out. I am so happy I was there to witness Eva Cate showing me how she knew she was doing well…not from anything written on a piece of paper…but from the hug she received from her teacher. A wonderful life surprise!

But that wasn’t the last surprise…Yesterday after returning home from partying with Jakie, later dinner out with all my grown children, and last but not least partying with my little nephew Rhodes for his first birthday…I stopped at my mailbox to check my mail and it was packed with cards and surcies.

Then as I got to the front porch more surprises…a birthday bag and mums awaited me….I was completely overcome!  Got the mums all placed on the porch! It is being transformed from summer to fall!

So until tomorrow…It will take me quite awhile today to read through the cards,open the packages and get caught up with earlier communications…I was so sleepy last evening…that I just barely made it into bed. I hope I can sleep for dreaming about what life has in store for me today with more surprises….what a fun day today will be…and I will just let life amaze me!

*Let me share one funny card a friend from church, Dee Lesko, sent me…I have laughed and laughed.

By now most of you know I have endured a “stalker” dressed in red feathers and filled with “waste materials” that he dispenses on my side car door and rear-view mirror…  a cardinal (a criminal cardinal)….This stalking has been on-going since early spring.

I have literally had to change parking driveways and hidden my car in the back of my house…(to no avail)…he even follows me over to Vickie’s house, my neighbor across the street, and sits on her bird feeder while we talk staring at me through Vickie’s glassed-in room off her beautiful garden.

While I was away…my wonderful neighbor checked on my garden, mail, and put away my garbage bins….then one afternoon I received this…a picture of Sammy the Stalker. She told me he looks innocent but prior to this picture he had driven off all the other birds… he’s mean and greedy! He has become an “angry bird” because my car has been gone and he has nowhere to let loose of his frustrated wayward ways!

But my friend, Dee Lesko, from church has seen another side…she said he appeared at her home and in spite of his troubling ways…actually wanted to send me a birthday card and needed help from her -since he didn’t want to ruin his beak pecking on the computer keys. (*Must save his beak for pecking my rear-view mirror.)

 Hi Ms Becky:

My “feathered” friends and I opted to leave our “broods,” take “flight” and “wing” our way over to your “roost” to “warble” some Happy Birthday wishes to you! Today is YOUR special day- a day when you get top “bill” ing among all “flocks” -human as well as “fowl.”

Hopefully when you hear our “chirping” and “migrate” to the great outdoors from your “nest,” you won’t see me as your “beak”ed, redheaded arch-enemy and immediately beat “tail” back indoors.





(A.K.A. Sammy Stalker)

Tommy, Kaitlyn, and I went to Rhode’s first birthday party…it was so much fun to see Ya-Ya (Vikki’s grandmother) and Joan (her mom) again. It was a fun party…I got to hold Rhodes and have a chance to chit-chat with my youngest nephew. Mollie and the boys came…first birthdays are so special.

* Love this table Kaitlyn has fixed up…she is in the process of painting and renovating parts of her and Tommy’s duplex…it looks so pretty.








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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6 Responses to Let Life Surprise You

  1. bcparkison says:

    Careful Miss Becky some people consider red birds a visit from Heaven, others a good luck charm. You might need to make friends since he seems attached to you


  2. Becky Dingle says:

    He is going to have to try a lot harder not to peck the scratched/scarred rearview mirror to death….think I am going to have to end up getting a new one….it hardly reflects any more. I am washing my side door off every other day….for at least three months this has been going on…I fear it is something a little off with this particular redbird. Sammy is a mess and makes one too.


  3. Rachel Edwards says:

    So glad you had a wonderful bday wkd. We will celebrate again on Thursday at 12. See you then..

    On Sep 25, 2017 6:03 AM, “Chapel of Hope Stories” wrote:

    > Becky Dingle posted: “Dear Reader: I learned so many lessons this past > week helping with the children and just listening to their thoughts. There > was one incident that made me realize the importance of “letting life > surprise us.” We shouldn’t be in such a hurry to plan ever” >


  4. Becky Dingle says:

    Can hardly wait!


  5. Janet Hilton says:

    I hope that you had a great birthday! Love you and pray for you each day!


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