The Sweet Scents of Southern Springs and Summers

Dear Reader:

Ah…there is nothing like it in the world! The sweet scents of flowers in May. I think every perfume in the world should come from a southern garden at this time of the year.

Even if April showers brought more (lots more) May showers, (besides the flowers) this season…they  also brought the most aromatic fragrances to our yards and gardens. Some of these scents are so secretive they sneak up on you. One minute you don’t detect anything and the next…you are practically consumed in their perfume …especially gardenias, of course.

But when one has gardenias, Confederate jasmine growing on the fences, and magnolia buds opening….wow…it doesn’t get much more southern smelling than that…the combined scents bring back so many childhood memories from summers of long ago.

The rains continue to fall and with the tropical disturbance in the Gulf it looks like we will continue to have rain throughout Memorial Day weekend and even more next week. Surely…by the time this is all over (about three weeks worth now) we will be out of drought conditions hopefully.

I must admit the lazy gardener in me is still loving it…it will be a shock to have to get out and start watering again (after all this time.) I am out of practice.

So my thoughts have turned inward to the house…actually towards the purchase of a rug for the den while they were all 50% off at Tuesday Morning last week. My last rug was almost 10 years old and starting to flip up on the ends. I wanted to keep the rug simple so I could display the newest addition to the sofa…a bright colored summer sofa throw.

The rain-nourished flowers in the garden continue to drink happily and bloom in all their beauty. Each day brings new surprises.

I got a call Thursday from a wonderful teacher-friend from Alston Middle where I taught…who is now an assistant principal at Dubose Middle School, Kelly Kennedy, to let me know that a friend of mine, Jackie Canaday, was retiring and they were giving her a party. Wow! Jackie used to teach with me at Alston as another eighth grade social studies teacher decades ago.

My immediate response was…Jackie has still been teaching all this time? Unbelievable…and when I arrived at the retirement party yesterday afternoon…I found it to be true. 45 years in the classroom! How amazing is that…and she is just as strong a teacher this year as every year before. The tribute the school gave her was heart-warming and so appreciative. Over the years Jackie came to represent everything that was best about her beloved school and second home…she became the symbol of all that is right and beautiful in teaching.

When it came time to present gifts from the different grades and teams…the principal asked her to come forward to accept a special recognition. Look what it was! So deserving…from now on out…a special hall is named in her honor!

*Besides a delicious meal and desserts…there was a sweet bun by everyone’s place. Apparently Jackie would be the first teacher at school each day and treat herself to a sweet bun and coffee in peaceful bliss. I loved the saying on it…so creative!

Now she can hit the beaches and it looks like an Hawaiian trip is being planned for the future. Congratulations Jackie…you are awesome! I was so happy to be able to share this special moment of recognition with you and our time together teaching 8th Grade Social Studies! Social Studies Teachers rule!


With all the rain lately…the Dingle Five should be feeling right at home in the “Irish” lowcountry…showers and green grasses everywhere. In fact fairy homes are popping up all over too…so keep your eyes open…you never know when a little fairy might just appear from underneath?

So until tomorrow…Father thank you for cooling showers, green grass, blooming flowers, and teachers who continue planting seeds and a thirst for knowledge to another generation of students.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh


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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4 Responses to The Sweet Scents of Southern Springs and Summers

  1. bcparkison says:

    Nothing sweeter than a Southern Magnolia scent floating through the air. They do make a mess though. LOL


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Yes…magnolia owners pay for the scent…thank goodness…mine is on the property line and falls the other direction…so I get the beauty and the scents without the cones. Life is good.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Honey Burrell says:

    Thought of you so often as we are having the Garden Jubilee downtown. So many beautiful flowers, plants and garden attire.
    I am so happy to know that Jackie retired. We were classmates at SHS back in the day. She is a great teacher and person. I wish her the best!❤️


    • Becky Dingle says:

      It was truly amazing to realize that she had been teaching all this time…it seems like I have been retired forever now and there she was…still teaching away. I saw Becky Woods there, Trip Ewers mom and didn’t realize the connection…Jackie’s husband is Becky’s brother…I sure never knew that…for some reason I always thought Jackie had come from another place when she started teaching…didn’t know she was a Summerville gal…Took all this time to make connections. Another history lesson in itself.


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