A Viking and Three Mermaids sailed into Summerville

Dear Reader:

Isn’t the greatest thing about life…happy surprises? Honey called me last week and said, “Guess what? Kewin and Rikke Larsen are coming to the mountains to stay with Mike and me a few days and then heading to Charleston for a tour with their two beautiful daughters, Frida and Karla. I know they would love to see you again and the B&B side of the apartment where they stayed while teaching in the Summerville schools…almost twenty years ago!”

All I could think of was…”Surely it hasn’t been 17 years…no way!” Oh but it has…Kewin and Rikki were just young educators when they came to stay with me and teach at Summerville Elementary. I remember Gene Sires calling and asking if they could stay on the other side. I told him “Fine” but there was no one living there at the time and no furniture…we had already completed mother’s estate sale.

“No problem” said Gene…”I can load up all our extra furniture and bring it over for them.” And he did.

The Larsens arrived about 12:30 yesterday…amid lots of rain…but it didn’t dampened our spirits…we had the best time reminiscing…especially about the Christmas they were here. They went to church with the family, heard my Christmas Eve story…and then we returned for food and festivities. We remember Santa Claus, a.k.a.  Gene Sires bursting in with presents to wish everyone a wonderful Christmas. It was a Christmas for the memories.

In fact…I had just looked up one of the decorations (Danish braided Christmas hearts) they made me for the Christmas tree that year and showed it to them as they pulled up in the driveway.


I still decorate the tree with all of the hearts and remember the wonderful young couple from Denmark who gave them to me and the story behind it.

The history is  interesting. The exact age and origin of the tradition of making paper hearts is unknown, but the oldest known pleated Christmas hearts were made by the Danish author Hans Christian Andersen in 1860. By 1871 there was a guide/directions sold to show people how to make them. However, it is believed that kindergarten students started spreading them as gifts for their parents, made at school, to enhance their creative and fine motor skills.

I keep my two snow globes (title photo) from Denmark right by my computer ( one from the Viking Museum and the other from my visit to the Little Mermaid)… so I can always remember my time there and the poster the Danish children (in “my” class) made me as a welcome sign.

So yesterday my favorite handsome Viking, Kewin, and his three beautiful mermaids (Rikke, Frida and Karla) sailed into Summerville to visit me,  Summerville Elementary, and other sights…finishing up at Oscars for lunch. They were thrilled it was still open and running…their favorite restaurant! (mine too)

In between raindrops we toured the garden and I showed Kewin and Rikke the new, improved B&B side with permanent furniture in it.

Tak fordi I kom i dag.  (Thank you for coming today!)

*I told them not to wait so long to return again…I might not be around! 🙂

So until tomorrow…May you arise each day with a voice of blessing whispering in your heart that something good is going to happen to you. May you find a harmony between your soul and your life. (John O’Donohue)

Something good did happen to me yesterday…the world grows smaller when friends stay friends, cultures apart, but hearts together. Safe travels Larsens! Please come back!

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh
GREAT NEWS! Mike’s surgery was successful and if all continues to go well he will come home Sunday. Your prayers are powerful… blog readers: Thank you!

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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3 Responses to A Viking and Three Mermaids sailed into Summerville

  1. bcparkison says:

    What a fun visit and thank you for letting us know our prayers have been answered.


  2. Rikke says:

    Dear Becky – Thank you so much for all the nice words. We surely had a wonderful time with you, yesterday and 17 years ago. You are such a fantastic person and we love you very much. The girls were happy to get to know you. See you again – in a near future. Please keep on telling all your stories – you are the best.

    Love from the Viking and his mermaids (K, R, F & K)


    • Becky Dingle says:

      You are too cute and I love your message. What fun…no little rain could dampen our reunion! I will keep my fingers crossed that the sun emerges soon, especially for the girls to go to the beaches in Myrtle Beach…what fun they will have! Take care.


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