Want a New Magical Year? Be Kind!

Dear Reader:

Yesterday I experienced something quite magical…due to the timing of the incident. Something good actually came out of my frantic search for the book To Bless This Space Between Us. I found (tucked away in the back of one of my book shelves) two of my all-time favorite stories by Sarah Addison Allen…her first big novel (Garden Spells) and then her sequel to it.

I love to live in Sarah Addison Allen’s world of “Southern fried magical realism”…in fact it is where I have spent most of my life. I feel like I have come home when I read her novels.

In Garden Spells and her sequel First Frost…we are introduced to the Waverly sisters who have all been given the gift of paranormal prophesy… resulting in hilarious outcomes.

Even their famous apple tree (located in the back yard) has its own strong personality and will throw apples at the characters…as a warning change is coming…but it never tells you for good or bad. (That must be deciphered by the character rubbing his head from the apple attack.)

Yesterday I had  just finished one line about the quivering apple tree building up energy to intercede on a personal note in the book when I heard a loud thump on the kitchen floor. One of the apples had rolled off the “Apple Tree” Honey made me…from the table to the floor.

It is definitely time to take it down until another Christmas…the apples have started to turn dark and ferment…but still it is such a lovely smell when one enters the Happy Room.

When I realized what had caused the noise I had to laugh…apparently something is getting ready to put a ‘spell’ on me…I hope it is a good one because there is a special power shown only to a few.

“Claire has an apple tree in her garden with a special power; anyone who eats an apple from it sees what the biggest event in their life will be.” (Do you see the gap in the tree…where the apple fell?)

*I can hardly wait to see if this event will appear to me in a dream…time will tell.

So until tomorrow…

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

*I just have to share this funny but also shocking discovery Eva Cate and I shared Tuesday.

We went to TGIFriday for lunch and I told the waitress that we were in a slight hurry to make the 1:00 show. She told me she was on it and no problem. She was and it wasn’t a problem. I paid early, she brought the take-home boxes quickly to the table. Sweet high school student.

And then it happened…she asked what we were going to see and Eva Cate said excitedly “Little Women!” The waitress looked completely blank…so I filled her in by saying…”You know …the classic you have probably been required to read by now…by Louisa May Alcott? Still nothing…so I filled in the awkward silence by saying we needed to go and thanked her again.

Eva Cate looked at me…and whispered softly, “Boo Boo…I don’t think she knew what Little Women was…do you think she never read it or saw any of the other movies?” (This from a nine-year-old who initially struggled with reading????)

I just shook my head sadly and we started out the door. Another young woman, probably in her 20’s or early 30’s smiled at us and asked if we were having a grandmother-granddaughter day. Eva Cate nodded happily and then she said excitedly…”We are going to the movies to see Little Women!”

No gleam of recognition once again…but this time she filled in by saying “Oh …so you are meeting your little friends…your “little women” at the movies to see a show? “

Eva Cate inherited her grandmother’s “snort” when she loses it and out it came…it was all I could do to keep a straight face as I hurried Eva Cate out to the car where we collapsed in total laughter…neither of us believing these women had never heard of “Little Women.”

Maybe it isn’t considered important any more…but what a shame…to me a person who doesn’t know basic classics in literature is not considered an educated person. But then what do I know…when my grandchildren fix my computer for me? 🙂 🙂

Perhaps I should pick up a beginner’s book on the classics and send the restaurant a copy…sigh…it’s a new world out there.

“Little Big Red”s buds are popping out each day like kernels of popcorn…it gets more beautiful each morning when I check it and the mini-petunias are just out-doing themselves…even more so now than this past summer.

“All was calm” when I rode by Hutchinson Square…decorations were gone. I thought it was kind of strange the town didn’t wait until at least today…following New Years’ Day. It was still pretty…but did seem empty after the beautiful fairy lights and decorations.

Sammy stopped by to see me…again…but he has yet to eat from the cardinal shaped bird feeder….I keep taking photos of one particular bird that seems to have made it its home. Sammy prefers eating by my office window suet cage…and who am I to judge…I love watching him out my window.


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 Want a New Magical Year? Be Kind!

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    Wow…as a media specialist that makes me sad. I can’t imagine that they had not heard of it


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Upsetting isn’t it? I felt strangely out of contact with social mores….I just couldn’t believe somewhere in these young women’s education…even if it had just been at home…they had never heard of Little Women? When I taught history I always made a reference to the authors living and great literature associated with different periods of American History- never taught the Civil War without teaching and connecting this period to my 13 year olds introduction to Little Women?


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