It’s Beginning to Feel a Lot like Summer!

Dear Reader:

When one receives Mary Alice Monroe’s latest novel from (Amazon) UPS, especially when it is the sixth in the series of The Beach House sequels…you know summer has arrived…no matter the date…or even if Memorial Day Weekend has kicked off the unofficial summer season. Summer is here! The settings for her novels are our own Charleston beaches…including Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms.

My copy arrived Monday and I have been beside myself with anticipation. I have just finished several rather serious novels (the last one completed Tuesday night)…so now I am ready for the light-hearted summer romances.

Any of us who fell in love with the Rutledge family in 2002 (when the first novel The Beach House was published) knows that reading the sequels to the now extended family of each reader is like eating potato chips…you just can’t stop.

In fact part of me hates to begin the novel because I will read straight through and be finished way longer than my willingness for it to end catches up.

The first four books were written five years apart but the last two, including this summer’s read…are only one and two years apart. We know all the characters…Cara Rutledge, mother Olivia “Lovie“, lots of close friends and extended family members…but most importantly the names of all “The Turtle Ladies” in each novel.

2007                                2012                           2017

2018                                          2020

The Rutledge and Muir families are our families now. And since 18 years has passed in all since we first met them…we have suffered the same tragedies and losses (as these fictional families) in our own family dynamics.

It will be interesting to see if Mary Alice Monroe writes an upcoming novel that includes the coronavirus/pandemic within its pages. It would certainly make for a great story line.

No author could make this topic up…*it is still more fictional to me than real now…even after all this time with continued cultural transformations underway.

***In fact I bet that a lot of diverse novels due out later this year or next will contain coronavirus plot inserts…don’t you? I can already picture lots of espionage/mystery novels implementing the virus into their complicated global plots to wipe out certain areas or target specific enemies before they can release another  corona-type virus to gain power over other countries.

The coronavirus will soon be jumping off the daily news shows on to the pages of best-selling novels. It is just a matter of time.

I believe this summer of 2020 will be remembered more for Staycations than vacations. Between restrictions on travel, lodging, summer camps closed and everyday expenses (especially for families who have lost  jobs) creativity at play will be important components to pull off a memorable summer for children.

Put the World on Hold

Turn off your phone. Turn it on to check messages, texts, notifications, and the like only when you want to, keeping in mind that not at all is always an option.

Do an out of office for your email (even if your office is a corner of the playroom). Say you won’t be checking your email until you’re back from vacation (they don’t need to know it’s a staycation), then exit out of your inbox. Resist the urge to check your email again until you’re back at work.

Skip the news—and maybe even stop the mail—for a week. When you banish the source of stress, the stress itself may follow. The earth will continue to turn even if you’re not reading all about it every morning at 7:30 sharp, and sadly, the bills will still be there when your vacation is over.

Now that the family knows you are serious…have fun…here are a list of ideas to choose from

Destination home dinners- seafood night, pizza night, taco night….and decorate the eating place accordingly

Barefooting…remove rugs off the floors, put on fun music, light candles, have vacation reading binges, camp out in the back yard, have a film festival, a water day with water pistols, sprinklers, water balloons etc.

Spa Day…basic yoga…soft cremes and lotions, high thread count on sheets, soft beddings and remember to put mints, chocolates, treats on the pillows at night as if you are staying in a fancy hotel!

In other words…let your imagination go wild this summer. This will definitely be a reading summer staycation for me…and I am totally ready for it…bring it on! I have a comfy garden swing, soft fountain music, munchies and drinks….I am one happy reading “camper.” (And I won’t get homesick!) 🙂

So until tomorrow…

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

…But one “favorite” and “best” day happened yesterday! I just completed my 2000th post since November 24, 2014 in Part Two.

(From August 7 2010 to November 19, Part I)… the total number of daily post blogs was 1565. If we add the two totals together…my grand total since my very first blog was written almost ten years ago is…

3565 written blog posts to date! 🙂

Thank you, readers, from the bottom of my heart for continuing to read my posts, leave comments of support and encouragement and please remember… each of you really is….




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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6 Responses to It’s Beginning to Feel a Lot like Summer!

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    Congratulations on your record…that is reflective of how many lives you touch daily. I will have to read the Beach House series. I have read some of her other books and enjoyed them. Hope you have a good day.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      The Beach House series is my favorite and the original Beach House-2002 still lingers in my memory…one of my favorite all time summer reads.


  2. Beverly Dufford says:

    Drum Roll!!! Congratulations! You have increased the record of 1000 stories by quite a bit. I believe that is something like 250%. Of course, my math with percents might be a little off. At any rate, that’s a “whole heap of joy” you have brought to a “whole heap of people”. Just keep writing and taking time to smell the roses. (I mean that literally too, as the roses were so beautiful this year. Only wish I could have gone back to O’burg Rose garden. The roses should have been beautiful this month.)


    • Becky Dingle says:

      You are right Jo…it was a special spring for roses…every type of rose bush, including yours and Colby’s just outdid itself this year…I have never oohed and aahed so much in my life. I have some graduation surcies for Colby…just waiting on something I ordered online to get here and I will give you a holler and come over to drop everything off. Soon friend….


  3. Harriett Edwards says:

    Congratulations on your numbers!!! Thank you sharing with me. May God bless you as you keep on sharing with so many of us. 💕💕


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Thank you are a mentor to me and your graciousness through all your “little c” problems definewhat the grace in graciousness should look like. Love ya! Becky


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