“Where Flowers Bloom…So Does Hope”

Dear Reader:

At one time I would have just smiled at this quote about flowers and hope…certainly true but nothing seriously in-depth or earth-shattering…just a nice little saying.

Today, however, I know first-hand the spiritual relationship one can have with a flower…”Big Red” (my original ten-year old geranium – 2008-2018) taught me this. Today its clone “Little Big Red” is still watching over me and teaching me about life, also.

In fact…right now I am patiently waiting for the last section of red buds to open and bloom (8 buds are in waiting) because I will  then cut “Little Big Red” way back….I must learn from the tragedy that happened to the original plant two years ago.

It got so top-heavy with blooms that unknowingly (hidden under all the green leaves and foliage)…the roots were slowly being pulled away from the soil) until it was too late to save my beloved plant from self-destruction.

Here is a brief history on how I came to acquire “Big Red” (the car gawking) huge geranium that once ruled over the white bench on the front porch for a decade… acting as my ‘health o’meter’ throughout this decade. Whenever “Big Red” was struggling…I found myself in the same position.

Yet when it was blooming…my treatments were over and my color was coming back too…I was blooming again. This occurrence happened over and over until I came to see my life inter-twined, literally paralleled with Big Red’s. It became more important than ever…to keep it alive.

Its existence and relationship with me started in mystery. When I got home from the hospital in late May, 2008 someone had dropped the potted geranium off. It was sitting on the porch, as if waiting for me to come home. I looked all over  for a card…but it was a windy day, perhaps the card blew off… because we never found one. To this day the mystery of the giver has never been solved.

It was while I was recuperating from my initial surgery (my first mascetonomy) at home that I found a book I had used in workshops connecting literature to social studies….a children’s book called…Red Flower Goes West. 

The story is told by a little boy about this father deciding to move his family from a comfortable home back east where much of his family lived… to go out west and start life over.

The child could  tell his mother was afraid and didn’t want to go. One day before departure, he watched her dig up  one beautiful geranium plant, put it in wooden container, and say a little prayer…that if the plant survived, it would be a sign then the family would also…it would be like bringing a little bit of home along with her.

The young boy decided right then and there that nothing would destroy that geranium…and he would re-plant it for his mother as a gift when they arrived at their new home.

This promise was tested over and over again…through ravaging rivers, enemy attacks, droughts, frozen weather, torrential rains and dangerous mountain paths…but through it all he kept the plant alive and gave it back to his mother when they finally all arrived at their new destination.

His mother smiled…”It is a sign, she said, all will be right in our new life as long as we have this faithful persevering geranium to watch over us.”

This is how I came to see my “Big Red.” I would drag it in the house when temperatures dropped in the twenties, water it daily in the summer…it grew and grew and became the talk of the neighborhood. But then when I discovered… that under all the plumage of beauty it had been slowly dying… I was devastated. What did this mean..was my time up too?

Then Chelsey, my new neighbor, came to my rescue. She took nine rootings from the dying plant and placed them in pots all around her home and yard…to try to give each rooting its best shot at survival. Only one “clone” made it…but that was all that was needed. It is now bigger than the original “Big Red.” “Big Red” lives on.

Vickie later took a fallen stem from the cloned plant and got another rooting …so we have clone 1 and clone 2.

Like the frontier family going west with a geranium plant…we now have back-up for “Big Red” to continue bringing enjoyment and life to one and all.

So now you know the history of my relationship with a big red geranium I love and adore…twelve years of life and beauty shared.

I don’t need a guard dog…I have “Little Big Red” who stands as my sentinel guarding the house and me. A “chip off the old block! 🙂

So until tomorrow…Hope lives when flowers bloom! Just ask me!

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

Voices from my readers:

*The first day of September…finally…for Louise Penny fans…the day her latest Gamache detective novel has arrived…it has been a long wait. So excited to get started this evening. 🙂



Dee said she remembered to say “Rabbit, Rabbit” first thing to her husband, Mike, yesterday morning who replied with his witty quip, “Hare, Hare!” 🙂 Way to go Dee! Best of luck this month!!!!!!!!!!!

Susan made turkey tetrazzini and dropped it off yesterday morning…getting ready to heat it up right now….yum..so excited! Thank you Susan!




I think God purposefully had this amazing moon flower bloom just exquisitely… because I have whined to Anne that of the 10 buds set to bloom…only two have fully opened….now let’s make that 3. (We decided it was just because they were 2020 moon flower blooms…everything is mixed up this year! 🙂



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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4 Responses to “Where Flowers Bloom…So Does Hope”

  1. Beverly Dufford says:

    Big Red became like a family member to so many of us as we watched her grow and bloom. Someone said that we should bloom where we are planted, and she surely did that. How sad we all were to learn of her fate, but now new life is there and filling hearts with joy and pride once more. Thank you, Becky, for continuing to bloom, write and inspire us daily. In Psalm 30, we find these words, “Joy comes in the morning.” Certainly, for me, much joy comes every morning when I find your words of inspiration, fun, family adventures, history, stories and joy. Keep blooming!


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Oh Jo…little did you know that you were one of my guardian angels yesterday put forth to bring me encouragement and hope. How I love you so!


  2. Gin-g Edwards says:

    I agree with Jo…many of us marveled over how long and how big the beautiful red geranium was…and we too were upset when she no longer thrived…but in true Becky fashion she survived with the clone and as you said continues to bless folks everyday…go Big Red two and Becky too…love you…


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