The Last “Wheady” Mile… Until Becoming “Real”

Dear Reader:

Yesterday was “Real I.D. Drivers License Day.” For the past couple of days we have experienced a little of everything when it comes to weather…some wind, on and off torrential showers, gray skies and bursts of sunshine followed by tornado warnings and more rain.

I picture Mother Nature emptying her mixing bags of weather with gleeful abandonment…pouring  a sprinkle here of rain, another sprinkle of wind…a handful of thunder storms, followed by tons of electricity….lightning.

I do believe Mother Nature is “fudgelling.Fudgel is an ‘old new’ word added back in the dictionary last year.

To fudgel is an eighteenth-century term meaning “Pretending to work when you’re not actually doing anything at all.” Modern offices are full of it, largely because when somebody is staring intently at a computer screen and typing it’s hard to tell whether they’re busily putting together this year’s accounts or busily updating their Facebook status or buying something on eBay. “Stop fudgelling” should be the catchphrase of every efficient office manager.

I must admit that sometimes while ‘working’ on the blog post…I get distracted by a visit from Sammy the Cardinal…or the little brown bunny that runs out from behind the moon flower trellis and I start  to “fudgel” a little myself…while I shop on 🙂 But then I do return!

I decided to use St. George’s DMV office instead of some closer ones to me…simply because it is rural,  smaller, more manageable, and I always have a good rapport with their kind staff. This was true yesterday too…but it did seem to take forever to get there.

Part of the reason was the weather….it was fairly cool, overcast, and slightly drizzly…misty the whole way there and back…about a 40 minute drive. It was just enough drizzle to turn on the windshield wipers but not enough to leave it on…so I was turning them on and off and on and off.

The closer I got to St. George the rainier and darker the overcast day became. It has been a few years since my last visit and somehow I thought  the DMV was closer than it was…so I kept slowing down to check the road signs along Highway 78.

That last mile before arriving was definitely a “wheady” mile. You know how I love new words…I am constantly checking to see what unknown words have entered the Oxford Dictionary in the past year or two. That is how I discovered the word “wheady.” 

The wheady mile is the last mile or so of a journey that, for some reason, seems to take much longer than it should. It’s an old dialect term from rural Shropshire, but it still applies to modern journeys. It feels as though you’re about to finally arrive at your destination when suddenly another twist and turn in the road dashes your hopes.

That is how I felt…especially with the darkening skies and dreary rain falling…passing sections of swamps that started turning into eerie-looking spooky places. I was ready to get to the DMV and “get real” with my new driver’s license.

I discovered that even with an appointment and all my required documentation complete…I still had one more form to fill out…which required me to return to the car and fill out the form while listening for the office to call me to return.

Then I played bumper cars with waiting chairs…inching up when each person in front of you was called into the office section. I lucked up when my name was called…I had the nicest lady behind the plexi- glass counter.

When she asked me what I was there for…I told her that I wanted to get “real” with my new drivers license…so “real” she was going to think I was the Velveteen Rabbit before I left. She stared for a moment (like I was a lunatic) and then burst out laughing.

That was a good one…love the quip…I used to love reading that story to my now grown children when they were little.” From that moment on… we hit it off and all the paperwork, forms, etc. just fell into place.

By the time she took my new photo…she was yelling “Work it Sister…you got it…a little smile to the left …turn slightly to the right”– hilarious. I left smiling with a big check-off item for yesterday…no “fudgelling” at all…In fact it was such a big check-off item…it will last me eight years. Not bad for a rainy, misty, day in September!

So until tomorrow…

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life. It goes on.” – Robert Frost 

*( So true…and if we are very lucky…we get to continue on as life goes on and purchase a new drivers license that assures us of eight years of  more driving …if we still need wheels and not wings yet!) 🙂

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

A Big Shout-Out to Lassie…my September birthday friend and sisterly co-hort. We love having birthdays in early fall…So many beautiful mums of diverse colors…Happy Birthday Lassie and thanks for all the Race for the Cure memories…I miss them and seeing and being with you on ‘race’ day! 🙂


GO TIGERS! First home game of the 2020 season… against the Citadel! Love you tigers!



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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1 Response to The Last “Wheady” Mile… Until Becoming “Real”

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    Becky…did you see my question about doing an early dinner next Tuesday for your bday. If you can let me know that will be great.


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