“If You Don’t Learn Something New Every day or Have a Good Laugh…Then Get Back up…Your Day’s Not Over!”

Dear Reader:

If you take time to think about it….more days than not…most people hear themselves say, something along the lines of, “Really? I didn’t know that?”

I found myself thinking it yesterday while watching a garden show on PBS. The guest host was telling the audience if you want fresh flowers from an open flower market to last longer…stick with pastels…lighter colors live longer than dark, primary ones in vases of water. “I didn’t know that?” (* I, personally, prefer primary oranges, yellows, etc. but now I know to mix them with more pastels to keep the bouquet, as a whole, blooming longer.)

For just a second…it took me back to my grandparents’ cotton fields where lots of quips and daily ‘truths’ were learned doing this backbreaking farming for a living. Since Granddaddy Charlie died, within months of my own father, when I was five…I have more impressions of him than actual memories.

It was only through grandmother’s memories that I felt like I got to know him somewhat. Apparently the title quote today was one of his favorites ” If you don’t learn something new every day or share a good laugh…then get back up…your day’s not over.”



This is so true. I love learning new and “novel” little tidbits about any subject that I didn’t know before…I think we teachers became teachers because were curious children always asking “why?” We were always ‘life-time learners‘ before it became a popular ‘catch-phrase.’

I find myself, still today, jotting down quotes I hear that I like about life, new words I don’t know, trivia truths, and new perspectives on old topics. There’s always something new under the sun to learn.

As far as sharing a laugh…I still love Jake’s little T-ball buddy asking me if  “Jake was my grandmother.”  Later, after the game, I was sitting on the sofa between Eva Cate and Jake watching “Scooby-Doo” (their favorite cartoon show.)

Suddenly Jake looked at me and then at the characters again and announced loudly “Boo Boo…your hair looks just like Shaggy’s!” I broke out giggling… but not before I could hear John practically falling off the computer chair where he was working in the next room. 🙂

***As far as learning a new story, Lynn Gamache sent me a story with a similar metaphor as the blog post earlier this week on God being the co-pilot in a plane helping us steer through life.

*Instead of a plane…Lynn shared a story about a tandem bike... with Jesus helping us pedal.

A Tandem Ride With God 

I used to think of God as my observer, my judge, keeping track of the things I did wrong, so as to know whether I merited heaven or hell when I die. He was out there, sort of like a president. I recognized His picture when I saw it, but I didn’t really know Him.

But later on, when I met Jesus, it seemed as though life was rather like a bike, but it was a tandem bike, and I noticed that Jesus was in the back helping me pedal. I didn’t know just when it was He suggested we change, but life has not been the same since I took the back-seat to Jesus, my Lord. He makes life exciting. When I had control, I thought I knew the way. It was rather boring, but predictable. It was the shortest distance between two points.

But when He took the lead, He knew delightful long cuts, up mountains, and through rocky places and at break-through speeds; it was all I could do to hang on! Even though it often looked like madness, He said, “Pedal!” I was worried and anxious and asked,Where are you taking me?” He laughed and didn’t answer and I started to learn to trust. I forgot my boring life and entered into adventure. And when I’d say, “I’m scared”, He’d lean back and touch my hand.

He took me to people with gifts that I needed, gifts of healing, acceptance and joy. They gave me their gifts to take on my journey, our journey, my Lord’s and mine. And we were off again. He said, “Give the gifts away; they’re extra baggage, too much weight.” So I did, to the people we met, and I found in giving I received, and still our burden was light.

I did not trust Him, at first, in control of my life. I thought He’d wreck it, but He knows bike secrets, knows how to make it bend to take sharp corners, jump to clear high rocks, fly to shorten scary passages. And I am learning to shut up and pedal in the strangest places, and I’m beginning to enjoy the view and the cool breeze on my face with my delightful constant companion, Jesus.

And when I’m sure I just can’t do any more, He just smiles and says… “Pedal.”

(Author unknown)

So until tomorrow…When times get tough…just pedal! 🙂

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

Actually yesterday was a pretty great day! Anyone with a garden or lawn in the area wants rain…lots of it. And we finally got some…but even more importantly we got a cloudy, dark day with some spots of showers…perfect reading day…exactly what I had been wishing for…and wanting. “Thank you God”!

Hopefully…this will continue with Isaias, pronounced ees-ah-EE-ahs. *If, like me, you have been wondering where in the heck that name came from…I will tell you since I got curious and looked it up.

It is the Spanish-Latin derivative of the Hebrew name Isaiah, a prophet in the Old Testament tied to both Jewish and Christian religions. Ironically (with a little twist of humor) it also means      (according to popular name origin websites) “God is my salvation.

Only time will tell ….but in the lowcountry we are just hoping a nice long rainmaker arrives.…though no doubt we will ‘pay the price’ picking up pine cones, needles, and sprays…they are already falling down. Hopefully, along with a few branches, that will be it…no larger falling debris like trees or buildings. Everyone take care!

We have to always look at something pretty each day too.

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 “If You Don’t Learn Something New Every day or Have a Good Laugh…Then Get Back up…Your Day’s Not Over!”

  1. Beverly Dufford says:

    Boy! everything about this blog hit me in some way or other. For instance, I often say the title to this story and really mean it. And maybe asking, “Why?” is the reason I loved teaching so much because I was the student that some teachers might sigh when the hand went up because the question was coming, “Why, How or When?” I remember my 6th grade teacher saying, “I know I am going to Heaven (Of course, that was back when she could.) Up went my hand, “How do you know? What’s Heaven like?” Then I am forever looking something up. Of course, now that means I will have to look it up again next week because it doesn’t stick. Then I absolutely love the bicycle story and will find a time when I’m sure I’ll use it. Learning is such fun even for those of us whose short term memory “ain’t” what it used to be. I just love your Little Jake. And thanks for the source and meaning of the name of this storm.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Jo….what am I going to do with you…you make me cry all the time…happy tears but still tears with your funny and poignant comments….and I received your letter yesterday…that didn’t make me cry…it made me bawl! You are such a gift in my life…no doubt another guardian angel…I need a lot! 🙂


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