So Lucky to Be in the Mountains!

Dear Reader:

After we got to Mike and Honey’s around 4:00 Monday afternoon (lots of roadwork on I-26) I went to one of their bathrooms to freshen up from the trip and on the side wall was this cute hanging and message:

That pretty much sums up our feelings for this special adventure…we knew how lucky we were every moment we were there.

One does wonder why the highway department waits until summer, with vacationers packing the interstate, to go to one-lane situations causing parking lots for miles and lots of idling with air conditioners struggling to keep running with all the delays. But we made it and oh how worth the trip it was. Brooke’s expression says it all!

 

We had talked, all the way up, about the one image we kept in our thoughts while packing to come…Mike and Honey’s wrap-around deck with the water falls and chimes bringing tranquility and amazingly cool, cool breezes to our rocking chairs! We saw lots of beautiful scenery on the back roads but Pinnacle Mountain held everything we needed right there. Sunsets were drop-dead gorgeous!

Here are some of the scenes we saw from the deck and yard.

…And one recent mystery was solved! As we were taking our luggage in the house we commented on the new screen-like doors on the front porch and leading out to the back deck. We thought it was to keep out mosquitoes and no-see-ums which dominate  lowcountry summers. To our surprise…Honey told me it was to keep out the ‘HUMMINGBIRDS!’

They have so many hummingbirds at that elevated level that they started flying into the house when there were no screen back in early spring. Honey said they would then panic and fly from room to room trying to get out…sometimes hurting themselves, temporarily, in the process. The situation got so bad that she ordered magnetic screens and the problem was solved!

So why haven’t we been seeing as many hummingbirds this spring/summer? It is just too darn hot I think! They apparently have all moved to the mountains…and since we enjoyed 70’s in the evenings and 60’s for temps in the morning…we don’t blame them one bit! 🙂

Tuesday was the day for our pilgrimage to St. Jude’s Chapel of Hope. I packed up prayer lists and photos from friends who wanted pictures left at the chapel…I said  a prayer that it would be a special encounter…and the little chapel did not disappoint!

Honey made a huge breakfast, Tuesday morning, after a fabulous homemade supper Monday night…5 Star cuisine! And we were off. It used to be we were completely lost in our directional memories each time Honey took us…but this time we sensed when we were getting close and started remembering all the landmarks we pass right before turning in. My heart was pounding. There it was…looking better than ever! Three years had passed and the chapel was aging well.

Someone had stained/painted the outside of the chapel…the entrance stain glass window over the door had been cracked and now was fixed…the chapel was smiling proudly down on us. It had undergone a “fixer upper.”

The name of Mike and Honey’s water falls are “Hope Falls” and “Spring Creek” runs behind the chapel…On this visit it was almost the last day of spring (before the first official day of summer) and hope was still “springing” eternal behind the chapel. Just beautiful!

I couldn’t believe when I looked at the crowded table top at the front of the little chapel. The first picture I ever left at the chapel was one of me, Mandy, and newborn Eva Cate. It was miraculously still there…a little battered with time but still visible. I could still see the quote I had written on the back of it…

“Love is the child that breathes our breath. Love is the child that scatters death.” William Blake

I added the latest picture of me with the four oldest grandchildren at Easter with Eloise’s photo in the back along with a message….that these five grandchildren have kept me breathing for the last decade by showing me a new, deeper kind of love.

*Kathy…I placed your adorning photo/message in a very special place…will send you a copy of the pictorial placement later today with the story behind it.

There was an instantaneous moment when all four of us shared a remarkable moment…one that will never be forgotten. A circle of love and friendship. Sealed in each of our memories.

I left my prayer list in an envelope in the front drawer and told St. Jude’s good-bye until we meet again…whenever that is to be.

Before heading to Hot Springs for lunch…we stopped by two other familiar landmarks in Trust…The covered bridge over “Madison County” and the next little community four miles away…simply called “Luck.”

I suppose the idea is when you leave “trust” behind a little “luck” always helps. (*With a little luck someone will fix the community sign before it falls down.) There is only one building (which has seen better days) in Luck…but still it is quaint! I love it. One second you are in Luck and the next second you are “out of Luck.

But one is never out of luck with a friend like Honey

If laughter is the best medicine…I think all five of us should be cured of everything we have ever had or will possibly catch. We laughed both nights out on the deck until my stomach muscles hurt. Mike and Honey are too cute! Suddenly everyone was remembering their favorite jokes and stories. Was it just luck or something else…like the legend of the hummingbirds. 

Legend says that the hummingbird floats free of time, carrying hope for love,joy, and celebration. The hummingbird is  delicate grace reminding us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal connection has meaning and THAT LAUGHTER IS LIFE’S SWEETEST CREATION.

So until tomorrow…”Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God. (*Kurt Vonnegut)  Never be afraid to follow the path less traveled because at the end of the trail one might find St. Jude’s Chapel of Hope.

 “Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

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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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8 Responses to So Lucky to Be in the Mountains!

  1. Jo Dufford says:

    So happy you had a safe and wonderful trip. There is such a glow emanating from each one of you, and of course, that beautiful smile that Honey has always had is infectious.

    Like

    • Becky Dingle says:

      How sweet Jo! There is something infectious about the adventures we all share together centering around our pilgrimages to St. Jude’s Chapel of Hope. It is a glowing experience!

      Like

  2. Reading this first thing in the morning reminded me to seek an adventure for today. The pictures touched my soul and lifted my spirits and I am grateful for the way you live life to the fullest and take us on the journey with you. What a beautiful little chapel. You know, I love the big churches in Europe, but that small chapel has as much majesty and peace. The picture with the four of you is priceless, what a gift from God is friendship! Until the next adventure!

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    • Becky Dingle says:

      What a lovely thing to say! I love company on my journey and you are so right…I am so blessed to have fellow travelers and friends accompanying me on it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Kathy Worthington says:

    Oh Becky – you made my morning! You can’t imagine how much it means to me for you to deliver my special picture to the chapel. I am forwarding your message today to Mary Lou’s Granddaughter so she can read it to her. We made some special memories during our visit several years ago. Little did we know it would be our last trip together.

    Like

    • Becky Dingle says:

      I am personally emailing you the picture, location, and strange incident that happened that Jackson found to put with the photo and message.

      Like

  4. bcparkison says:

    Yes! Give me the mountains any day and an added stream?….Oh …bestill my heart.
    So glad you har a wonderful visit.

    Like

    • Becky Dingle says:

      The little chapel never disappoints…it only exceeds my expectations and strengthens my faith and body for the opportunities and challenges that always lie ahead.

      Liked by 1 person

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