“Big Red” Lives on in Art

Dear Reader:

I never checked my mail Sunday since I wasn’t expecting anything from Amazon.com….so it was Monday morning when I dropped some note cards in the mail to go off. There was a small package in the box and when I took it out I recognized Beverly Parkinson’s Mississippi address. What in the world?

When I first opened the package… a clear box containing the originally designed creative birthday card was sitting inside. It took a minute for me to put two and two together and realize, knowing Beverly’s artistic background, that she had re-created “Big Red” sitting on a three-dimensional, delicately cut cardboard white bench alongside a large pop-out red-papered “bloom”… back-dropped by the exact color of the bricks on the front porch behind the white bench. Absolutely amazing! I now have a personally created card from Beverly! What a treasure!

I am going to find a small shadowbox to preserve it and place it on the central coffee table  so I will never forget the plant that guided me through a decade of cancer treatments…encouraging me with its own acts of courage and perseverance…a ‘floral mentor’ for me during tough times.

*I have decided ‘Wendy the Witch” (who reigns over my mailbox each fall) is definitely a good witch…bringing me wonderful surprises inside my box each day.








How lucky am I to have such artistically talented friends like Beverly, Anne, Honey, Joan, and Kaitlyn (who made me key chains from some of mother’s costume jewelry I gave her years ago.) Painters, sculptors, and jewelry artisans….WOW!

*I hit a wrong button while editing the new ‘little bird chapel’ photo and it came out …really psychedelic…different but kinda “cool.”

And then there is Michele who contributed to artisans in third world nations (providing employment for them) and finding a bird house chapel…exact replica of St. Jude’s Chapel of Hope. Life is filled with surprises if we just take time to pause and look around.

In the midst of all the craziness of the month I went to my mailbox after I got back from the mountains and there was a large envelope from Joan Turner….When I opened it…I squealed with delight!


One of her wonderful whimsical animal paintings (I had admired and coveted) was in the bag, along with what else….note cards of the same artwork. My goodness…my life is surrounded with creative friends and family! I love the painting and note cards Joan…talent galore!!!!! Thank you beyond words! Isn’t it precious…every baby’s room should have one on the wall!

It wasn’t until I got home that I realized how fast I had flown through opening the birthday gifts at the mountain cabin before we left for Columbia. Honey had given me two exquisite fall-colored acrylic finger-paintings from a colleague of her…Amy Perrier Paintings.com of Hendersonville, North Carolina. Amazingly creative…I never was good at finger painting in kindergarten!

*God Wink: Another interesting little tidbit from the stolen car incident. (one week ago today) When I saw how trashed the car was inside I immediately began hunting for important papers that I needed in order to drive the car.

Two documents I really wanted to retrieve were my updated insurance card on the ‘Vue’ and even more importantly…my registration card from the DMV. It was safe because instead of putting these cards in the glove compartment, I hid them under the driver’s  sun visor….held firmly in place by an “angel” pewter clamp that Terry, a friend of Brooke’s, gave me as a former breast cancer survivor. That little angel spared me a “long” visit to the DMV. Thanks Terry!

Another fun coincidence happened yesterday when I had to detour off 17-A (cutting tree limbs) and pull into the neighborhood next to mine to get home. At first I saw the beautiful entrance to the Tea Farm neighborhood….the families living there really keep the entrance looking pretty throughout every season…and then saw the historical marker about the original tea farm founded by Dr. Charles Shepard.

Just think…here I was dreaming of sweet tea and loving its history associated with Summerville while I am living less than a mile from where it all began….the first successful tea farm in the United States. Connections, connections, connections…the universe must love to laugh out loud at its own tricks on us.

So until tomorrow…Zola says that being an artist is “living out loud“…and look at all my friends/family who are doing just that…and then sharing their dreams on canvas with us! Thank you one and all. Quite a memorable birthday!

And don’t get me started on all the other cards…When I got back last Friday I spent the night re-reading them, laughing, crying, and just hugging myself in gratitude for such wonderful friends!

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

My roses are trying to bloom again…their third showing this season!

For the first time…there was just a slight tell-tale sign last evening that fall is only a few steps behind…slowly catching up….a beautiful evening. It is certainly getting darker earlier and earlier.




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 “Big Red” Lives on in Art

  1. bcparkison says:

    Oh Becky….How special that you would highlight the Big Red card or maybe it is an encouragement for Little Red. It was just something I need to do for you. Thanks for your friendship.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      I am just so happy to have a visual memoir of the plant that meant so much to me….how thoughtful to take the time to re-create Big Red. A special gift. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Awwh-lovely post as always and I just love dear Beverly too!


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