Cold, Wet, and Thoroughly Snuggly Lovely

Dear Reader:

Since Luke came to help me Tuesday evening get all the plants inside before the first freeze… we have had cold, wet, windy weather…the kind that chills you down to the marrow of the bone if you stay out in it too long. *Very unusual for this early in November.

With the exception of a few medical appointments I have been able to stay inside reading, napping, watching old movies on television and eating lots of different soups beside my fireplace. Nothing is more comforting than a warm home while listening to the rain fall and the wind blow. It fills one with such thankfulness and gratitude for home and haven.

One book I have re-visited is Madeleine L’Engle’s Walking on Water.

She searches for connections between faith and art in this reading…finding many diversified examples of God’s gift of art to mankind and its positive effects on all of us.



One passage, particularly, examined the correlation of healing pain with stories….a fascinating research project discovered in many medical centers.

At one conference Madeleine attended, a storyteller (librarian from Philadelphia) had the audience in laughter and tears as she demonstrated her art of storytelling.

One day she told the group about visiting the pediatric wards of hospitals and telling stories to the children, many of whom were in severe (burns) pain. But while the children were listening to the stories, they did not feel the pain.

Madeleine L’Engle was ready to add her own personal family episode to the discussion to confirm the storyteller’s pediatric experiences.

She recalls telling the gathering….

I remembered my elder granddaughter’s ninth summer, most of which was spent on the pediatric floor of a city hospital after she had been hit by a truck on her way home from swimming. She could not be given any painkillers because of the head injury and she was in great pain.

As she returned to consciousness, she said to her parents and grandparents, “I love you,” and then “Read to me.” So we read to her, hour on hour. When our voices would tire and we would slow down, we would immediately hear, “Keep on reading…it makes the pain go away” and so we kept on. 

From this experience this granddaughter became an avid reader and thinker.

Story was painkiller, quite literally. When the brain was focused on story, then it was not on the pain center. Story was a more effective painkiller than any chemical medication. 

Researchers have discovered that the younger the child the more imaginative the story should be…if the hero or heroine in the story is not restricted to the laws of gravity and can fly wherever they wish to explore…young patients can fly also in their imaginations away from pain to fantasy utopias where all the characters brim with good health and pain is an unknown anomaly.


Today when we watch the numerous commercials on the overuse of opioids…treatment centers have discovered that if they can get a patient or recovering addict caught up in a book series, suited to their interests, they stand a better chance of total recovery than patients who just walk the halls or watch television aimlessly.

Most of us have experienced seeking escape from the everyday problems of life through stories. It is one of the reasons why reading is so important in a person’s life…it offers secret get-aways as needed during personal problematic episodes in life.

So until tomorrow…

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

Yesterday’s game between Wake Forest and Clemson was charged with high emotion….seniors day…their last game playing at home. Several times at the start and end of the game I found myself tearing up…such a warm family feeling for the Clemson players, parents, fans, and friends.


How lucky we all are to have a “Dabo” leading young men into adulthood…such a wonderful example of childish fun and adult work habits…so much more than winning a game is taught to these young men…it just makes us all  glad to be a small part of 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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2 Responses to Cold, Wet, and Thoroughly Snuggly Lovely

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    This reminded me of Ellie. Before she was old enough to read she would escape to another room or put a blanket over her head to escape the drama…now she has a book or books to read…voracious reader…


    • Becky Dingle says:

      My sentiments exactly Ellie…I did the same thing at my house growing up…and I still love escaping into another world with new friends.


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