A Perfect Day

Dear Reader:

Every now and then don’t we experience a “perfect day” in our lives…or at least as perfect as this world allows. Then when we get to share a “perfect day” with loved ones…there truly isn’t  a more magical memory.

The “perfect day” of course, is when everything just seems to effortlessly fall into place. I met Mandy and the children at their home around 9 Sunday morning…by 10 we were off and heading to Folly Beach.

Living about the same distance from Folly as Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms or even Edisto Island…Folly is one beach that I haven’t frequented as much since moving to the lowcountry…at least… not in a long time.

So driving in Sunday morning I was amazed to see how different my memories were for this charming little beach we were rapidly approaching. The children were curious over the first signs that popped up announcing….

Eva Cate  asked why Folly Beach was located at the “Edge of America? Good question…I was clueless…(I don’t think it had been named that when Brooke and I used to go, with our fun apartment military neighbors, Larry and Mark, to Bowen’s Island for seafood right outside Folly Beach during our first few teaching years.) 🙂 Good ole’times!

When I looked it up I discovered the “Edge of America” was definitely just a catchy phrase that two owners of a surfboard store at the time created. It does, however, perfectly catch one’s attention…today it is a registered trademark and unique only to Folly Beach.

Folly Beach, itself, got its name from a word used by early English explorers. Folly Island was named after its coastline which was once densely packed with trees and undergrowth, as the Old English name for such a wilderness area was called a “Folly.

Since then ….the island has grown from a rather bland name of origin… to  a rich colorful history. “The history of Folly Beach Island is a story of pirates, shipwrecks, soldiers, and dancing. It is a story of the hardships and hurricanes that have shaped a thriving beach side community.” 

One interesting bit of trivia is Folly Beach provided a temporary home for resident composer and pianist, George Gershwin. It was while staying here that he composed the classic opera Porgy and Bess.

But all that aside…we were  just anxious to get to Tommy and Kaitlyn’s rental beach house! The kids wanted it to have stairs…they love playing on steps…and they were not disappointed. It was so high up…the house was built on stilts… so that meant there were lots and lots of steps to climb. I got my workout just getting inside! 🙂

If there is one thing kids love more than stairs it is different hiding places and “Pride and Joy” had that too….an alcove on the landing before reaching the tip top bedroom was the most popular one. For the rest of the stay the kids hid up there while playing hide and seek.

I fell in love with this house…it is right on the beach and wide open inside…it had a huge front screened-in porch that offered a view for miles up and down Folly…with a gorgeous vision of the vast ocean… for as far as one’s eyes could see.

It was rather overcast when we arrived and I was secretly delighted…I love sitting on the beach when there is a nice breeze blowing and indirect sunlight. For the first few hours of our stay…that is exactly what we had.

Happiness is….I could feel all my stress oozing out of my pores… as I watched the children initially play in a wading pool and later the ocean.

Jake has had surfing on his mind and he couldn’t wait for Uncle Tommy to take him out for a try. I waded out to get a photo and ended up so surprised I missed the photo of his little sports life so far.

We watched as Tommy put him on the surfboard for the first time and was showing him where to lie…then Tommy explained how to slowly get up and stand….but basically Tommy told Jake just to get the feel of the waves this first time and practice holding on to the board.

Jake did… but he also started to stand up and went right up …straight as a ramrod with his arms outstretched on either side…he, nonchalantly rode the wave all the way in.


We were so astounded, including Tommy, that I never took the picture…by the time I realized what had happened and taken a photo shot…he was already kneeling on the board coming in the last stretch. Unbelievable! A five-year-old surfing like he has done it his whole five-year-life.

Of course it was one of those “miracle” rides and later two big waves plowed him under pretty good making him respect the ocean and its power…but no matter…he had accomplished (on his first attempt what some never do or at least not for quite awhile)… ride the perfect ride!

From a cool, overcast morning through early afternoon peppered light/cloudy skies…the sun slowly emerged and was glistening off the ocean…Mandy and the children stayed on the beach all day and evening…just coming in for refreshments.

We experienced the most beautiful sunset, gorgeous moon, and even a delightful “scary” thunderstorm during the night…we got to embrace a little of everything Mother Nature could throw out…perfect for a family retreat!

We ordered taco’s for supper   and took an evening stroll on the beach while Jake looked for crabs in the jetties and even ghost crabs when night fell. We watched a family movie with the kids (Dennis the Menace) and called it a day.




Of course all my adorable grand dogs had to be loved too and played with…and they certainly got lots of that……Below you will see a collage of photos to help us remember an unexpected (the best kind) but wonderful treat as August came to an end.


Sunset, evening and a new morning….all breathtaking!

*Thanks Uncle Tommy for playing with your nephew and niece for so l-o-n-g Sunday in the ocean….What a trooper! Thank you Kaitlyn for all your hospitality and generosity! Time is the greatest gift of all.

The children did not want to leave Monday…but the reality of some type of a school schedule was looming….still, no doubt, this adventure will stay etched in their memory for a long time…it sure will mine! What a fantastic way to end the summer!

* When I got home my perfect day continued ….”someone” had left something for me by my door! I took one look at the plaque and smiled….”Honey”!

Look at this treasured heirloom Honey made for Poogie’s family (Walsh, Mollie and the kids will be excited when they return today)…You are so talented Honey…and another bag filled with mountain apples and tomatoes….Guess what I had for supper last night?

So until tomorrow….

I knew you wouldn’t forget? It is the FIRST DAY OF SEPTEMBER! We have  survived another summer…unlike any other we have experienced to date….nothing to do with heat and humidity…that is a given in the lowcountry… but surviving a tenacious virus that just doesn’t want to leave and stay away.

Deep breaths this month… for our courageous teachers, administrators and prayers for students/ actually everyone within our school buildings and classrooms….such an unknown start for a school year. Prayers everywhere…for everyone!!!!

Let’s all remember to say “Rabbit” this morning and add a prayer that we are getting closer to a Covid19 departure so we won’t have many more months left looking over our shoulders at an invisible enemy.

ON our first day of September let’s bring HOPE to this month with our “Rabbit, Rabbit” this morning (Remember Dee …like Susan reminded you…no “Bunny, Bunny”….’RABBIT RABBIT’! 🙂

We all need lots and lots of good luck, prayers, and wishes to see how this month unfurls.

Let’s all have a wondrous month…full of happy surprises and life’s uplifting moments of joy!



*I love the symbolism in this whimsical work of art… as the rabbit looks up at the last carrot on the tree… in all its glorious hope.

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 A Perfect Day

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    What a special treat…the picture of Eva Cate and Jake holding hands is so beautiful…loved the story of Jake riding the wave and totally understand not getting a picture. Paul took JP who will be 5 this month to play golf on a real course…he hit a 12 foot putt…Paul didn’t think about taking a picture but JP said …”I will do it again Daddy and he almost did …but like Jake it was never that good again…but what fun they had…so glad you got away…


    • Becky Dingle says:

      I have decided the best photos in life are in our memories…probably for the best! 🙂
      Just getting away and having time to talk among siblings and cousins including our “paw’ ones was such a treat- especially during these times.


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