Ready to ‘Steal’ Yourself Away

Dear Reader:

I always loved singing the old African-American spirituals at church camps each summer. Then later, as an American History teacher, I loved playing the songs for the students when I taught them about the Underground Railroad…Harriett Tubman, and the brave slaves plight and flight to freedom. One of my favorites has always been ‘Steal Away.’

Steal away, steal away, steal away to Jesus!
Steal away, steal away home, I hain’t got long to stay here.

Songs such as “Steal Away to Jesus“, ‘Swing, Low, Sweet Chariot”, “Wade in the Water” and the “Gospel Train” were songs with hidden codes, not only about having faith in God, but containing hidden messages for slaves to run away on their own, or with the Underground Railroad.

“Steal Away” was composed by Wallace Willis, a slave of a Choctaw freedman in the old Indian Territory, sometime before 1862.

These days…it is my ‘steal away’ time each evening with God (in the garden) that keeps my own spirits boistered. I am really having to walk the talk and leave the frightening events assaulting our nation daily…in God’s Hands. This problem is bigger than I can handle…or anyone else. I pray God hears our prayers for unity and stability again.

But some times we need more than a spiritual time-out from the craziness around us…we need a Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. 🙂

Wouldn’t it be great if every year when we had our annual physical the doctor would reward each of his/her patients with a written prescription to play hooky for one day in the upcoming year?

The excuse prescription would have everything filled in except for the date…that … to be filled in by the patient…when life has just become too much for him or her to handle.

The doctor’s prescription note would be rigorously convincing that ‘playing hooky is absolutely necessary for the good of their patients’s health: physical and psychological.’

Don’t we all wish there was someone to write a note for us excusing us from the job, the marriage, caring for children and/or mom, or driving a car pool?

Playing “hooky” must not be confused with “sitting one out.” (that is only sleeping all day and waking up confused and feeling guilty.)

‘Playing hooky” requires some creative energy…eight hours that just belong to you. So make it fun! Be frivolous, self-indulgent, perhaps a sauna, or pretend to be a tourist and take in local attractions you have never gone to…go to the movies, out to lunch, or rent Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. 🙂

Read that novel you haven’t had time for…with a bowl of chocolates or bag of chips. Don’t answer your phone, text, or email. When your day is’ve accomplished a ‘body wrap’ for your soul.

So until tomorrow….take this Saturday today and surprise yourself or those around you by not spending it doing chores…but some fun and unexpected adventure…something that will release laughter among the group.

As British writer Jerome K. Jerome once said….”There’s no fun in doing nothing when you have nothing to do…Idleness, like kisses, to be sweet…must be stolen.”

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

After finally returning to the land of the living from the ‘crud’ and feeling brand spanking new again… Mollie came over yesterday to check out a new store in town …The French Mercantile.…so pretty ….smelled of lavender and the french countryside…made me want to return to Provence.

Right across the street was another adorable store called Cotton Down South. I caved when I saw this cute polka dot pumpkin…had to add it to my pumpkin patch!

Honey sent me this photo of her leaving my name as a “thriver” of breast cancer to date…She went over to Black Mountain yesterday and saw teams of pink setting up concrete objects for people to sign. It is nice to see this and have my name left…many of the walks and runs for Breast Cancer this year are being held virtually because of the COVID virus. So special of you to think of me Honey!



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.”
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Ready to ‘Steal’ Yourself Away

  1. Beverly Dufford says:

    Love your idea of being creative on your day off. I have a coffee cup that has these words on it: “I plan to do nothing today, and so far, I am ahead of schedule.” Sure that’s not what you meant when you said creative. Let me picture my special day: maybe a trip to the beach, way down on the island away from people, take your shoes off and feel the sand between your toes, watch the sea birds outrun the waves, sit on a beach blanket, make up stories in you mind of where those waves will finally touch, find figures in the fluffy white clouds, play music on your phone, carry a picnic like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and have someone to share it with. (I’d probably have to carry a chair though because my chances of getting up off that blanket would be slim to none.)


    • Becky Dingle says:

      I love your idea….be glad to go and we can help each other up out of the chair…in fact one of my birthday presents was a ‘tall’ folding chair I got from Tommy to take to watch the grandchildren play their sports. Gazing out at the ocean, watching the birds and making up stories…life doesn’t get much better. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.