Valentines Day Really is for the Birds…and Love for the Beauty of the Earth

Dear Reader:

I promised you that I had found the perfect Valentines card for Sammy the Cardinal, my once nemesis and now friend, to give his “wife.” This is it. Isn’t it pretty and I am sure Sammy would love to see his mate adorned just like this…himself included.

In case you don’t know the story-here it is….(About two-or was it three years ago-time flies when you are shooing a determined wayward cardinal from pecking your rear view car mirrors into complete oblivion) a red cardinal decided my car was his enemy…and made my poor old Saturn Vue’s life miserable.

The cardinal left ‘calling cards’ of a quite evident (pre-determined) origin that meant getting the car washed regularly. I even surrendered and moved the poor car to the other driveway… but to no avail. He just flew across the yard and resumed his belligerent activities.

Everyone had a theory of why cardinals do this occasionally and then more ideas of what to do about it…which all sounded like good advice…until none of them worked. Long after nesting season was over the poor car was still looking much ‘worn for wear.’

*(But there is a bright spot here…remember this car was the same one that was stolen…returned and stolen again? *The only thing left of it now is probably a few parts that someone could salvage.)

*I have conjured up a wonderful mystery scenario concerning the bird-battered rear-view mirrors …What if the thief backed into a tree (there were scratch marks on the back) because he couldn’t see out the front rear view mirrors…thanks to Sammy’s steady pecking at one time…so the thief furiously threw the car in drive hitting a poor deer in the mix and tearing up the radiator. Who knows? Perhaps Sammy is, indirectly, the true hero in the recovery of the car.

Actually we made a truce the following spring when Sammy started coming around again , along with his wife, to eat from the suet bird feeder… right outside my window. I started noticing that his mate had an injured leg and couldn’t hold onto the suet cage. Then to my surprise one day…Sammy rocked the cage and threw down food to the ground below so his wife could eat from the cage droppings.

My once “hardened heart” completely softened when I saw Sammy literally go over and put birdseed/food into his mate’s mouth. She would fly off (I presume to feed the new brood) and return minutes later when the practice repeated itself. ( So I started shaking bird seed on the ground under the feeder just before the  two times in the day Sammy would usually appear.)

My hilarious church friend, Dee, was/is always a strong supporter of Sammy and never gave up that he would become the bird he was destined to be. (We are Presbyterians after all…we get caught up in that predestined thought.) 🙂

*I am completely  “bird-walking” right now but this one joke in the Mitford series that “Uncle Billy,” the town jester, tells Father Tim, the Episcopal priest, one day (that makes him, literally, fall over laughing) goes….( It was a sign Uncle Billy had seen, on a billboard, outside a country church farther up in the mountains)

“Don’t let worry kill you; Let the church help.”

Many of you readers wanted a reconciliation between me and ‘Sammy the Stalker’ (a name I dubbed him) too since cardinals are supposed to be messengers from heaven and aviary “prophets” of extraordinary encounters.

As if on cue… Kaitlyn sent me a story she saw on Facebook that touched her …actually not as much from just the story, as interesting as it is….but because of the accompanying video that witnessed a moving and unusual reunion.

“There’s an old saying that says ‘if a cardinal appears an angel is near.’ In the following story it appears that the angel was a beloved grandmother who said she would send back a cardinal as a promise to loved ones she was in heaven. The grandmother’s name was Dorothy Booth and she was 97 years old.

The story begins with this explanation”

For the past few years my mother-in-law Debbie and her sister Jeanne had talked to Grandma and on several occasions asked her (when it was her time to leave this world) if she would send them a sign once she was in heaven.

They specifically asked that a cardinal be involved. Aunt Jeanne also prayed that the Lord would do it in such a way that they would never foresee and would leave no doubt of the truth of its occurrence. Well, God answered … (the day after grandmas memorial service, and hours after they had been talking about that very prayer) while they were playing grandmas favorite card game, “Canasta”!!!

They heard something at the kitchen window and my father-in-law Brian went out to check. A cardinal was there and he was able to bring it inside. For 10 min they held and pet it, then they decided to go outside to release it.

Following is a short video clip of this amazing experience and what happens next! (The bird flew away 10 min later)

*Resource (Southern Living

So until tomorrow….On this Valentines Day…Let us remember that God loved us first so that is why we love him back. Today think about the other special people in your life who loved you first, as a child, adolescent, young adult, and now…unconditional love that has built the foundation of who you are today. Then send them some love of gratitude today.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

We had a beautiful sunset last evening…(as if planned for upcoming Valentines Day )… When I saw Kaitlyn’s photos she sent…what she, Tommy, and four little dogs saw, while walking the dogs after work at Alhambra Hall, it was breathtaking.

Wishing everyone a day of love…you are breathing…rejoice and fall in love all over again with life!



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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6 Responses to Valentines Day Really is for the Birds…and Love for the Beauty of the Earth

  1. bcparkison says:

    Sammy feeding his mate is a God wink if there ever was one.We have a lot to learn from his creation.My friend Cobwebs mother sends her white feathers, I was sent a tree full of Chick-a-dees on Mothers Day and maybe an abundance of lemons from a tree that has tried to die several times.The signs are there….we just need to notice them.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      We just have to get to the phase in life where we stop and see the signs that have been there all along…a “What the what?” kind of frustration that we missed so many signs for so long before we ‘saw the light.’

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Beverly Dufford says:

    You are so great at making your friends our friends. I’m glad you made peace with Sammy because like Big Red, he has become family to so many of us too. Good picture of Pooh today, and those sunset pictures should be framed. I tried so hard to capture the colors I was seeing yesterday, but I guess my phone just couldn’t do it. So thanks, Kaitlyn!


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Me too Jo…I had taken a couple of photos of the sunset here…but when Kaitlyn sent hers I went “delete”! Weren’t they beautiful? I know Winnie sends his love to you today Jo and so do I! Happy Valentines Day!


  3. Joan turner says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day Becky! Beautiful blog and photo’s as usual!💕💕💕💕❤️


  4. Becky Dingle says:

    Happy Valentines Day to you Joan…and again thank you for sharing your talents so generously…I fall in love with all your paintings…you are the art valentine muse…hands down!


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