“Return to Normalcy”

Dear Reader:

Well, I did it….it wasn’t easy but I persevered. Once you start a major project like this you just want to see it through to the end so by nightfall everything is back to normal again….Christmas is gone.

But I realize, also, that items are never precisely returned the same way…I either forget how the arrangement went or decide another location is better for a picture or vase or whatever. For example…with the tree gone…I rearranged the tables…putting the white one against the back wall and Poppy’s table against the side wall.

Is it just me or does the reflection of the chandelier on the Provence painting on the back wall look like a white Tiger Paw? Interesting.

I thought of the term “Return to Normalcy” because of a seventh grade assignment I had long ago. Our teacher, Mrs. McBride, had each of us come up and select a President’s name out of a glass jar. I remember being really excited about it.

I had never heard of our 29th President, Warren G. Harding, so I excitedly read the name of the President I had chosen out loud to the class. Before my turn…Mrs. McBride was oohing and aahing over everyone’s selection….but she didn’t say a word when I read the name. Her expression said it all…she looked like she smelled something bad.

I was puzzled but excited to get started. Mother took me to the library to get some books on this President and wisely didn’t say anything about him except he was a very nice looking President and the first one women had been able to vote on.

At the age of twelve I didn’t see anything handsome about him…he just looked old like all the other Presidents.

I do remember asking mother what the word “scandal” meant since I saw it a lot in my research….and I do remember thinking  the “Teapot Dome” scandal sounded like fun…did he spill tea on someone in the Oval Office…that would have been funny.

Mother patiently explained that a scandal was worse than just an accident or a wrong-doing…it was devious and crooked. I don’t think I ever fully understood the negative implications of his scandalous administration. But one article did place him at the bottom of the Presidential rankings so I figured I had gotten a dud.

I remember even Mrs. McBride hiding a smile as I gave my report… I said that his interests included playing golf, playing poker, and entertaining a special friend. (Mother made me cross out the word mistress which didn’t register anything with me anyway…and replace the term with  special friend.)

Harding thought America should go back to the good old days- thus his slogan (“Return to Normalcy”) before World War I. The problem is he discovered that there is no going back in history…only forward motion.

And isn’t that true of life? All of us, at one time or another, have wished for an easier, less complicated world or time-period to live in, and we think we remember or have read about such a time. The truth is every period of history has it good and bad….some periods tougher…in the case of war….but never as good as we think we remember.

It was Hurricane Hugo that brought this realization to me….after the storm that September of 1989…it was hot, sticky and foul-smelling in everyone’s homes. I knew then that, for me, there were no good times before electricity. I was miserable….food gone bad, toilets that wouldn’t flush, flies and mosquitoes in the house. It made me appreciate fully the time period God put me in… to live out my life.

So until tomorrow…

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh


It is hard to believe that Eloise’s due date was January 9…she came early on December 31…ten days early….and even in that short time…it is hard to remember when she wasn’t always here…time is funny that way.



Brookie’s newest grandchild…Beautiful little Emma Grey is home now with big brother Caleb…or “Boogie Boy” as Brookie calls him…he doesn’t seem quite sure about this latest addition and Brooke is realizing that ….the fun is just starting…and it really is! (with a few more challenges)



Guess what I saw yesterday…the most beautiful hawk sitting on the fence by the vacant lot next to me. I was putting out the garbage and he never flinched as I pulled my IPhone out and tip-toed closer to him…he seemed downright happy to get his picture made and posed for me in several directions. Does anybody know what type of hawk it 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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6 Responses to “Return to Normalcy”

  1. Cynthia Ashley says:

    I think it is a red shoulder hawk. Return to normalcy? Is that like Make America Great Again? Den is doing some research on colonial South Carolina, pirates, and some even before colonial. Got any recommendations for reading? He is finding a lot on line but I told him you probably had a few “stories”. Cindy

    Sent from my iPad



  2. Jo Dufford says:

    That’s right, in this life there is no going ” back”, and that’s as it should because there is so much to look forward to. Just when I think they can’t do anymore with technology, they invent something beyond belief. Your blog reminded me of Thomas Wolfe’s “You Can’t Go Home Again” (published after his death). I remember how much I enjoyed that book, but since I can’t remember much about it now, I am going to reread it. All I remember is that he had a command of the English language and could really make one think with his philosophical phrases or thoughts. Love the picture of the hawk. I’ve never been that close to one not in captivity.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      You are right about not being allowed to go backwards through life…think of all the mistakes I would have to re-visit…instead we live with endless possibilities of the future.Cindy said it is a red-shoulder hawk…gorgeous…though I shooed Fuzz the cat back in Vickie’s house…scared the hawk was hungry enough to take on a cat.


  3. bcparkison says:

    Beautiful hawk and one sweet baby girl. Your room,all rearranged ,looks very inviting and a yes,,,I see a paw on that painting.


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