“A Lick and a Promise” at Thanksgiving


Dear Reader:

The pumpkin lucks up with longevity in fall since it can be displayed for autumn in general, Halloween, and Thanksgiving…but after today (lots of pumpkin pies, lattes, breads disappear from the stores)…Mr. Pumpkin (decor) is put away in a dark closet until next fall.

Friday will be this day….not “black” for shopping for me…(gave that up a long time ago)…but putting up the Thanksgiving decorations…especially all my many pumpkins. The hearth and happy room will look strangely devoid of happiness until the Christmas decorations start next week. An empty interval of a  few days.

What got me thinking about the old expression “a lick and a promise’ was when I accidentally glanced down at the family photos on top of the chest and saw the dust bunnies flying around. If anyone picked up a photo frame they would have to blow off the dust to see the face beneath it.

Big Sigh!…Been cleaning , cooking, and now the old dust bunnies are mocking me…guess  what you forgot Boo? My least favorite job! (It might or might not get cleaned…hopefully I can turn down the lights! 🙂

I remember Grandmother using the expression a ‘lick and a prayer’ whenever the country pastor from her church would come unexpectedly visiting on Sunday afternoons…Grandmother would be running around the parlor….dusting as fast as she could.

Now I am a grandmother and doing the same thing. Some things never change! I did like the history behind the expression….

A lick and a promise means to do something with a minimum amount of effort.. The term a lick and a promise plays on a secondary meaning of the word lick popular several hundred years ago, meaning to clean something quickly. The promise portion of this idiom most probably refers to a promise one makes to oneself to do a more thorough job when more time is available.

(Interestingly, the idiom a lick and a promise is most probably derived from an older idiom, a lick and a prayer, which means a quick, haphazard cleaning dating back to mid 1800’s. Today, a lick and a promise may refer to any situation where something is done quickly and not very well. (Amen!)

Hopefully no one will be searching for dust bunnies but be more interested in eating and laughing…fingers crossed! Hallmark Thanksgivings and Christmases are never real….with everything polished and sparkling and everyone beautifully dressed…reality is quite different but much better.

Nostalgia is great…but the reality is people will always be people…meaning some happy moments, sad moments, angry moments….human moments at family gatherings.

So until tomorrow….Have a happy, crazy, loud Thanksgiving with spills, children’s laughing and screaming…and memorable moments after the fact! 🙂

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

Had several lucky sightings yesterday….it started with finding a shiny penny face right side up! Loving it!

Then Sammy stopped by to eat and wish me Happy Thanksgiving…love my red cardinal.!He pecks at the suet cage until he knocks the food on the ground and then eats it.  Happy Thanksgiving Sammy!

Yesterday the fates intervened and sent the family cousins over for delightful pre-holiday visits …it was like old times. So glad the cousins were all getting together in different places ….at my house Carrie, Catherine, and Doodle came for a visit and I was able to give my birthday gifts to my nieces….then Lee, Vikki, and Rhodes came to visit and stayed to see Walsh. Mollie, and the grandchildren arrive. All impromptu, crazy, and fun…..



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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