“A Needle in a Haystack”

Dear Reader:

Just a little thought today to encourage all my readers, who like me, continuously lose things….car keys, purses, remotes, drinks….you name it….I can lose it.

My problem is I pick things up but don’t put them back down…at least not where I found them. The remote, for example, I pick it up to turn on or off the television or simply change a channel and then I take it with me wherever I go from that point on…later finding it on the bed in the back bedroom or on the kitchen table where I decided to fix a sandwich…it could and usually is anywhere but where it belongs… on the coffee table in the den. ‘Oh me…of feeble brain…help!’

And every time we do something forgetful like this…and try to re-trace our steps… Don’t we find ourselves making comments similar to… “It’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack” and plop down on the sofa or recliner in total self-exasperation!

Well good news….guess what? You actually canfind a needle in a haystack.”

Case in point: In the Mitford series-by Jan Karon,  Father Tim is trying to cheer up a friend who has given up finding someone they are desperately looking for….making a discouraging sigh and falling back on the cliche…”It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.” 

The familiar phrase makes Father Tim start smiling as he remembers a true story about such an incident following World War II. He tells his friend:

“It happened right after the Second World War when nobody had any money. A sewing machine company held a contest . . . whoever found a needle carefully hidden in a haystack would win a brand-new sewing machine. There were people swarming all over that haystack, hay was flying everywhere. And guess what?” “What?

“The chances were one in a million, but somebody found the needle!”

“Oh Yeah?”

“Yeah” said Father Tim beaming.


So until tomorrow… Every time we get discouraged about finding something that is lost….mundane/silly or a true treasure in wealth or sentimentality…think about how many “one in a million” moments we have already won…being born, being born in this country of freedom, loving families and friends…we never need fear losing anything because we already have everything…we are blessed beyond measure.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

One of my frequent visitors to the suet cage appears to be maybe a red-headed woodpecker…he has black and white stripes like he is dressed in a tuxedo with a beautiful red head. I love watching him eat at the feeder…he adds “class” to the place in his natural attire!


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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1 Response to “A Needle in a Haystack”

  1. bcparkison says:

    My Mother is always misplacing the cordless phone. Drives me crazy when I call and it just rings and rings because she is in a different room from the phone. She is also very hard at hearing which adds to the problem. I try not to get too upset with her …why? Because my day is coming. lol


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