The Constant Love and Joy of “Big Red”

Dear Reader:

“Big Red” is starting to attract neighborhood attention. Vickie came over and took a picture over the weekend (the photo above) when I was in Mt. Pleasant (Vickie said the morning sun had just set it aglow) helping keep the grandchildren. Then Sunday afternoon I saw a car slow down and was about to go out on the porch to see if someone was stopping when I heard the driver telling the story of “Big Red”and how it had bloomed ever since I had come home from my first breast cancer surgery… almost a decade ago.

By the time I got out on the porch the car had driven off so I don’t know what neighbor was sharing the story but it sure made me happy to know that the story is being shared and passed around.

And now here it is Thanksgiving…and “Big Red” is in full bloom…healthy and happy. “Big Red” is my best health o’meter cheerleader and keeps me smiling at the determined red geranium… who will be ten years old this May. Wow!

The idea behind “Big Red’s” name came from the children’s book on the westward movement called Red Flower Goes West. I thought I had lost the book but Monday and Tuesday I tackled the last chaotic room in the house….my computer room and book shelves and found it.

In the children’s story the little boy traveling west with his family knows how much the red geranium means to his mom….her only vestige of life back east. Through droughts, floods, famine, etc. the red flower, with the help of the little boy, survives. Somehow he understands that  the family will only make it out west safe and sound if the red geranium survives so it can be planted on their new homestead.

*( That is the way I feel about “Big Red”…as long as the leaves are green and buds appear…I feel like “little c” is still in check and life goes on. )

At the end of the story….the grateful mother hugs her children and says:

After two days of throwing away bags, projects, and/or old notebooks and workbooks, clutter that has grown over time, setting more books aside for friends and colleagues to read…the computer room is de-cluttered!!!!!

My reward has been finding special books like Red Flower Goes West for all my hard work. Special stories are grouped together, spiritual stories are closest to the computer for easy access and ideas for stories tucked away in my brain…where it has finally become de-cluttered too.

What a delicious feeling of freedom and space to walk into my computer room and find organization again. The older I get the more I need de-cluttered spaces around me in order to think, imagine, and create.

So until tomorrow…Thank you God for “Big Red” in whom I see YOU each and every morning…letting me know we are still holding hands through this journey in life. Joy does come in the mornings!

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

*Gin-g….pumpkin bread and now chicken/pimento cheese croissants…I think I have my own personal “meal on wheels” in the form of Gin-g Edwards! Thank you friend so very much! Until our next adventure…


*Speaking of adventures…Brooke and I are heading to Columbia today for Jackson’s birthday…as well as…Betsy’s too. Love any opportunity for us to all get back together…even for only a few hours!


*So glad I will be gone tomorrow when the trash is picked up…my trash can feels like it weighs two tons and I could not have squeezed one more bag of stuff in it if I had tried.


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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One Response to The Constant Love and Joy of “Big Red”

  1. bcparkison says:

    LOL…The trash can looks famiiar only because we ,or I, have the same kind.. The declutter doesn’t because I need to continue to do this.. It seems never ending….the clutter.
    I think it was Erma Bomback who wrote “Stick a red geranium in your hat a carry on” or something like that.Your flower is grand and I am jealous because I have never been able to keep one alive for very long.


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