Start Where You Are, Use What You Have, Do What You Can

Dear Reader:

I was thinking about the quote (in the title photo) that sits on one of my kitchen shelves that reads…”Live the life you imagined.”  It doesn’t exactly work any more does it?  I mean, who among us, could have ever predicted, much less imagined, that we would be living in the days of a deadly viral pandemic that affects the whole world?

It would have (and actually still does) sound like something out of an old science fiction movie…something like perhaps (War of the Worlds.) H.G. Welles

As we are still acclimating to our new life style it does seem quite “alien” to us often times, doesn’t it? Remembering to wash hands constantly, not get close or hug someone, not go in shops and businesses, or ride in a car with anyone….it is as close to science fiction in reality as we could have ever imagined.

For me..continuing to build my happy “fortress” around me is my main goal now to ward off “alien” feelings of insecurity and unease.

If I can find beauty within my home and outside in my garden…then that beauty transforms over to faith and hope…the two greatest weapons against “alien” thoughts. (This I did upon my return from Ireland where I fell in love with the yellows and oranges there in restaurants….my own walls began to reflect these bold colors…and I added whimsy wherever I could find it….it just makes me happy!

I pulled a variety of photos taken of my home at different seasons…(even years) my happiness evolved with time. If I get sad I simply walk around the rooms or go outside in the garden…it is there that I find courage to face the continuing challenges that affront us daily.

Laughter and humor certainly are two other powerful weapons against the “blues” these days….thanks to everyone who sends me a “funny”…an unexpected chuckle can carry us far!

So until tomorrow….

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh


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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10 Responses to Start Where You Are, Use What You Have, Do What You Can

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    I always love coming to chat for awhile in your happly place…so uplifting…can’t wait until we can do it agsin…


  2. Honey Burrell says:

    Beautiful pictures and wonderful thoughts. Stay strong my friend. We are in this together and we will get through ! Love you lots, Honey


  3. Beverly Dufford says:

    Seeing pictures of your Happy Room makes me want to come just to sit in it with you. Your garden is especially meaningful to the person whose flowers wouldn’t grow. (Who knew one would have to water flowers to make them grow? So then I watered, and who knew there was such a thing as too much water?) I mean people cannot seem to drink too much, water that is. I drink and drink (usually same bottle) water, and tell Donna I’m afraid to drink too much because of what happened to my plant. She said, “Mom, don’t worry. You can never drink too much, or did she say, ‘will never drink?’.” Still talking about water, since the only drink I like is sweet tea, but to say Jo and sweet tea may be an oxymoron. Dah! I’m low country Southern. Sorry about this but staying in makes one a little nutty. That’s my excuse, and I’m sticking with it. Anyway, Thanks for the pictures and memories!


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Some of my fondest memories are you and Colby visiting…our fun side trips with the other “girls” and the security of connections now and the past. Love ya Jo!


  4. Lynn Gamache says:

    Dear Becky,
    So enjoyed another blog from your way today. And also wanted to share this reading from my Daily Calendar for April 9th: “HOME! go watch the faithful dove,
    Sailing ‘neath the heaven above us;
    Home is where there’s one to love!
    Home is where there’s one to love us.” Charlies Swain
    Even as I typed those words above I thought of you and others who live at home, alone….YET, when we know Christ as our personal Saviour and Risen Lord….then always He is present with us whether we are home alone or with others. These days you must often feel alone…but your home and garden bring comfort, because He is there with you….even as the old hymn says,
    “I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses,
    And the voice I hear, falling on my ear,
    The Son of God discloses….And He walks with me and He talks with me,
    And He tells me I am His own.
    AND, the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known!” May it be so for you on this Good Friday…and always. Blessings to you and yours, Lynn


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Ah Lynn…one of my all-time favorite songs…brings chills down my back every time I hear it! Have a wonderful Easter dear friend….blessings to you and all your loved ones!


  5. Joan Semle says:

    Thanks again, Becky, for lifting my spirits! I loved the pictures of your whimsies in your home! I am planning to do over my sewing room (very tiny) in bright yellow with pictures of the 1920s around. My niece is a wonderful artist and she has promised me some 20’s paintings of her own creation. It is good to plan happy things at this time but also to pray a lot for the folks who are suffering, health-wise and financially. Happy Easter, HE IS RISEN!


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Yes He IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Whenever I think of you Joan…it is with a smile on my face and the memory of a friend who helped me get through all the paperwork necessary for my breast cancer surgery (in record time) on one of the worst days of my life…and then shared your amazing epiphany with me. I will carry it with me as long as I live. Happy Easter!


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