Almost There…But Not Quite

Dear Reader:

I thought I had finished the Mitford Series with number 13 when I discovered, last week to my surprise, that a “last” novel (to date – number 14) had been added to the series. I am almost finished…but not quite there. (The book is supposed to come in today from and I love the title “To Be Where You Are.”)

After leaving home to serve as an interim pastor, Father Tim and family have lived in the Outer Banks, followed by a year of house-sitting on a farm outside Mitford, then back home to Mississippi to re-discover some secret roots, ensued on the heels of a crime mystery in Ireland (the home country of Father Tim’s ancestors.) Jan Karon, the author, now finally brings Father Tim home again to the fictitious town of Mitford, nestled in the North Carolina mountains where it all started…returning full circle. (“To be where he is and where you are.”)

In life wherever we travel…aren’t we all returning home too? Eventually, at some point along our path, the beginning will start again…in our new home from whence we all came long before our memories. My bouts of homesickness will disappear forever.

I have to admit that I have not always ended up where I originally thought I was going (in my dreams from younger days) but I now know that by the end I will be exactly where I was always meant to be and I won’t have to worry about getting there too early or too late…I will definitely be on time for the last homecoming. We all will.

It is that “Not quite” in life that still reminds me there are more adventures waiting to be experienced, more people to meet that will influence my life, and more stories to tell. (Hopefully along the way I will, also, be a blessing to someone else.)

I read the other day that punctuation marks are on their way out. Mrs. McBride, my seventh grade English teacher, must be turning over in her grave. The one mark that is particularly singled out for removal is the period. (This makes me very sad because whenever I finish a blog post…I find such a sense of satisfaction in hitting the period key. Mission accomplished.)

The Washington Post (Jeff Guo) had an article recently with the title:

“Stop. Using. Periods. Period.”

“A few years ago, Ben Crair at the New Republic wrote a hilarious history of the period in our new age of instant messaging. “The period was always the humblest of punctuation marks,” he began. “Recently, however, it’s started getting angry.” Crair noticed that in his text conversations, the period has stopped serving any grammatical purpose. Instead, it is mostly being used to express a certain tone or emotion. And that emotion comes across as anger.”

One example:

Have you ever watched parents try to text with their children? One hilarious type of misunderstanding goes like this:

Parent: I am waiting for you in the car.

Child: r u mad?

Parent: I am not mad.

Parent: I am telling you I am waiting.

Child: what?????

The poor mom or dad doesn’t understand one of the cardinal rules of texting, which is that you don’t use periods, period. Not unless you want to come off as cold, angry or passive-aggressive.

Emailing and texting today use speaking rules of grammar and not written rules of grammar. Conversations are carried on as if you are talking directly to the person so all the old formal rules and guidelines for the written word are slowly fading away and speaking words in text are not only permissible…but expected.

Wow! I am definitely feeling old now. One thing I do know however, is that there were “periods” in my life (circumstances) in which I was more than happy to place a period at the end of it. Closures deserve a period – good or bad.

So until tomorrow and until the day a permanent period ends the notice of our passing…Live life to the fullest period and no… I am not angry. 🙂

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

Starting to “dress things up” for Easter …and letting nature do the rest.








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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2 Responses to Almost There…But Not Quite

  1. bcparkison says:

    Who makes up these rules any way….
    Oh me…I may never catch up.We all read the Mitford book years ago and several have been. added. Now I find out there is another one. I do love them and feel just like everyone else that they are personal friends of mine. You do know I’m sure that there is a FB group just for us. I’m on #11 (In the Company of Others)and just feel like I am there in the hills of Ireland. This must have been a favorite of yours.


  2. Becky Dingle says:

    It was…you are right…loved the Irish setting…but then the next one brought in so much family and fun I loved it too…so just started with the first five chapters of the last, last, last Mitford book last night…hate to finish it.


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