Kleenex and Aging Faucets

Dear Reader:

What is it about aging and leaky faucets…especially my eyes and nose! All one has to do at a certain age is start eating and one’s nose starts running. I remember Dee Dee, Mrs. Dingle…my amazing mother-in-law, complained about this unfortunate link to aging…every time she ate.

At the time I idly wondered why anyone’s nose would run simply by eating…now I have been around long enough to, not only understand it, but live it. Dee Dee was right…it is extremely irritating.

And if it isn’t one’s nose…perhaps you, like me, have the drippy eyes. In my case it is more pronounced because (due to all the years of chemo treatments) I have no eyelashes. Eyelashes keep the important natural oil in  eyes to lubricate them. Without lashes the eyes grow dry and ironically water, water, water.

I have gone through several different types of eye lubricants to no avail. So…I need kleenex with me all the time. I buy the pocket size to keep in my purse and am constantly reaching for it. That is why I had to laugh at this personalized pocket kleenex holder (title photo)…I think I might have earned the right to add this expense…it is now part of who I am….faulty faucets and all!

So when I saw where one person had left a package of kleenex in one box at the Philadelphia International Airport… as part of the  personalized “Philadelphia Story” project I just had to read it. Am glad I did…here is Karen’s story.

 Box 038: Karen Handel

Since starting my freshman year of college in Philadelphia and leaving home, I’ve found that I am an extremely emotional person. I never really realized how emotional I was until I left for a few months and couldn’t see the people I adore.

I’m constantly home sick. I cry and I ache for the people I’m used to: my parents, my siblings, my boyfriend. I hate leaving my family behind because I’m afraid maybe one day they won’t be here anymore and I’ll miss out on all the moments I could have had with them. They are the most important people in my life and they are constantly giving me unconditional support while in Philadelphia.

I never realized how many go-pack white Kleenex tissues I go through.  As a person with a weak immune system, I’d say my Philadelphia story includes go-pack Kleenex. My mom always said, “You can never have enough Kleenex tissues. Just throw them in your bag!!” She’s constantly prepared, carrying them in her purse everywhere we go, passing them to anyone who is in need of a tissue.

They wipe my tears, they catch my sneezes after a good cry and they wipe away my sickness, my home sick-ness. My go-pack Kleenex tissues remind me of the support I have, the support that I’ll always have while away. I won’t always need a Kleenex tissue, but I find comfort in knowing I can always grab a tissue.

While getting older, and less emotional, I move on and remember why I am in Philadelphia and the amazing scholarship that put me here. I find myself needing them less and less as time passes and I focus on the life I’m creating for myself. I’m growing into the artist I want to be and I find myself getting stronger.

Who knows, I might need a lot of Kleenex when I graduate and leave Philadelphia, but I can take comfort in the fact that when my family is not around, my Kleenex replaces a job that my family normally would.


So until tomorrow…“Be kind…everyone is fighting their own personal battle.”

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

The evening lantern coming on ….Rutledge’s Japanese Maple.







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 Kleenex and Aging Faucets

  1. bcparkison says:

    Oh …this is my Mother. She has kleenex every where.


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