Saying Good-Bye to a Beloved Garden “Bench”mark

Dear Reader:

Yesterday I confess I had a few moments of nostalgic sadness over the loss of my Ya Ya “bench” mark for the garden. The Ya’s gave me the bench for my birthday on September 24, 2012. It would turn out to be almost a year before Anne, Doodle, and I “officially” planted (first shovel of dirt) the first bushes/bulbs/flowers in the Boo’s Garden. (Date: September 6, 2013)

(*Meanwhile (during that year of indecision) the bench would stare back at me accusingly…”Just do it Becky..begin your garden!”)

Luke came over to spray for bugs yesterday afternoon…(such a continued wonderful neighbor…even after the move.) As we walked back in the garden towards the fountain…I hesitantly made the sad decision to ask Luke to remove it and take it to the street for pick-up.

*(The wood had rotted and the arms and legs left were lying on the ground.)

Luke could tell how sad I was and I told him about how I got it and from whom and what it symbolized in my garden….hope. The bench sat in one of the bedrooms on the other side of the apartment for a year…waiting for me to get the courage to start my dream . And when finally I did…it was the first piece of furniture placed outside. I knew I wanted it under the old oak tree for shade.

A year later (2014)…the fountain joined it…. already it was obvious the wooden bench was struggling against the elements…Still it stood sturdy for several more years…six to be exact…until November 7, 2019…the end had come.

For so many years it was my go-to bench when I needed to reflect on life while listening to the fountain gurgle…it was my bench of refuge and rest.

I still remember the first evening I sat on the bench following the initial planting of the garden…so many hopes for the future…so much excitement in the creation! Nothing will ever erase that contented feeling I felt on the evening of September 6, 2013…the bench’s first night in the garden.

I read somewhere recently that memories are closely tied to the senses…especially smell. I do remember the smell of fresh wood when I first got the bench but now that fact about remembering saddens me because of all the chemo I have taken. It has caused me to lose my ability to smell things. I wonder how that will affect my memories going forward?

In fact…after Luke sprayed yesterday…he went around opening windows so it wouldn’t be too strong for me…I told him that I couldn’t smell one single vapor of bug spray. Sometimes I suppose not being able to smell has its strong points too. 🙂

So until tomorrow...“Our memory is a more perfect world than the universe: it gives back life to past loves (people and things) that no longer exist.”

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh


***As you clicked on Chapel of Hope Stories today…there was a surprise…a new ‘header’ for the blog post. It is way past time to have updated it.

Initially John and I were just going to update the grandchildren’s picture (within the four photo collection) but then I decided that the original four pictures were a little “busy” for a heading. I looked around my “office” and saw Joan Turner (John’s mom) whimsical creative painting she did of the Chapel of Hope steeple several years back. I knew this was it!

The two “benchmarks” in my life that have changed it the most…(Discovering the Chapel of Hope...(lead there by Honey) and my five treasured grandchildren)…they are the catalysts for my new life and perspective on the world. Hope you like it.

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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