When Nothing is Everything…

Dear Reader:

I’m back! And as I have thought about our time together on this retreat….I remembered how I had four blogs’ worth of stories, adventures, and legends from the mid-winter Pawley’s Island Ya retreat…this time, however…is definitely different, but just as fulfilling.

Speaking of “fulfilling” for once we didn’t make our usual dinners, casseroles, desserts, etc. but relied on the King’s Market on Edisto Island to supply us with what we needed. They make delicious chicken and squash casseroles….as well as, tomato pies. Why cook and drag the heavy cooler out of the closet?

We made a run one night for hot dogs and hamburgers, had our birthday casserole the first night for Brookie and Libby…made pimento cheese, chicken salad sandwiches, along with BLT’s… our big night out (the last one) was at Ella’s and Ollie’s...believe me we didn’t lack for food. So this time when we cleaned out the refrigerator on the last day…it was a cinch…we had estimated just the right amount for the time spent.

One reason we weren’t traveling out as much was that family and friends were coming in. (Plus Jackson is just six weeks out of her second knee replacement, I came down with a summer allergy/chest congestion situation, in fact everyone was just in need of a spring tonic…labeled ‘Doing Nothing’… while just loving being together.

On Monday the beautiful Veronica (Brooke’s daughter-in-law arrived with Caleb (or the little “Boogie Boy” as Brooke calls him and his little sister, Emma Grey (born a week to the day after Eloise) *...They don’t know it yet…but they will soon be best friends! We all wanted to hold her and play with Caleb…he had more grandmothers that he knew what to do with…but took us all in stride…just playing and playing on the beach!)

Tuesday…we had a wonderful surprise…one of our closest friends (Lura or “Tura Lura” as we all called her) texted me to say she had read in the blog that we were at Edisto and she was there too. Jackson, Brooke, and I were in her wedding…the summer after our sophomore year and haven’t seen her since. So, did we ever, have fun reminiscing about that first wedding we were in as bridesmaids. (Remember that was the one where mother insisted I have my hair put up for it….) Lura brought pictures and what memories came flooding back…we were nineteen-year-olds!

*From left to right…Jackson, me, and Brooke)



And now we are all together again! Love you “Tura Lura!”



I had given this little book to Brooke back in 2006 after doing a lesson on it for a Sunday School class I was teaching at the time.

In this story Mooch (the cat) wants to give Earl (the dog and best friend) a special gift for his special day. But Mooch can’t think of anything Earl needs…he has everything! Then Mooch gets an idea…if Earl already has everything…why not give him “nothing?”  But where in a world filled with so many things…could Mooch find “nothing?

Mooch remembered people said there was “Nothing on television“…but Mooch thought there was a lot of everything on TV…Then the cat heard someone say they had gone shopping and couldn’t find “anything” ….there was ‘nothing to buy’…so Mooch tried shopping. But the cat found many many things.

Finally Mooch sat on a pillow and stayed very still (like cats like to do) and by not looking for it…Mooch found nothing. The cat wrapped up a big empty box for Earl and when the dog opened it…he asked (puzzled) “But there is nothing in it?” “Nothing but you and me and our friendship” replied Mooch.

The story ends with both of them sitting close to each other and just watching the snow fall…they had found everything by finding nothing. And that is exactly what we Ya’s did this time…

Libby and I found “nothing” by watching a “Simply Orange Juice“commercial together. You might have seen it. ‘Sometimes “Simply” doing nothing at all…is the best thing to do.”

Fetch with Man’s Best Friend | Simply Orange® – YouTube

Libby has the funniest expressions by far…she is NOT a morning person and doesn’t want chit-chat before she has her first cup of coffee. Tuesday morning, as she was emerging from her bedroom..I told her the breakfast casserole was ready…she waved her arms dismissively at me and said: “I can’t talk…I can’t eat yet…because I’m still “coming to myself.”

So until tomorrow…Maybe, in a nutshell, this retreat in early May, was a time for all of us to simply “come to ourselves” leaving  rested and relaxed!

Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh


Instead of balloons for the birthday gals…I picked up beautiful flower baskets…a lovely tradition to instill for our future birthdays…natural colors that lasts all summer! Every morning the two baskets brightened up the front porch!

*Brookie and I with our Ya Ya pendants on!




I promise to catch up with email and text messages- just been feeling a little under the weather…my sweet doctor ordered me a Z-Pak (antibiotics) and called the prescription into the pharmacy so I could immediately pick it up upon my return. I got started last night…my doctor is the best…she knows this stuff turns into bronchitis quite easily with me due to my low hemoglobin side effects from my cancer medicine. Hopefully this will  knock the chest congestion out  before it finds a home for the long haul and/or laryngitis sets in.

*Have gotten so many fabulous photos from the Dingle Five…incredible landscapes, photos of them paddle boarding in Dingle Bay….way to go!…and making friends with some of the locals. Will work in a collage of photos for tomorrow’s blog.



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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2 Responses to When Nothing is Everything…

  1. Legally Ohm says:

    such great pictures!


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