Autumn…All Too Brief and Never Enough

Dear Reader:

Autumn is universally voted as the world’s favorite season…not just a favorite season for one country or even region…but a global attraction that never lasts long enough for most of us.

In the low country of South Carolina we have to wait a long time to visually “see” fall. In fact many of our prettiest fall photos come closer to Thanksgiving than Halloween. Still, even in a semi-tropical location…we can sense fall in all the best ways.

Sight…Finally the humidity begins to lower producing the bluest skies we  see all year…so perfectly crystal clear…no longer misty, murky, or opaque. Shadows get longer… making us grow taller.

Scent and Smell…Burning leaves, cook-outs, camp fires, pumpkin candles, pies, lattes, cookies (pumpkin everything)…deliciously tart apples, cinnamon apple candles, smell of jack o’lanterns lit at night.

Sound: Whenever I go out to cross the street to get my mail these days…all I can hear is “pop, pop, pop, pop, pop.” One would think a little boy was running up and down the street with his “pop-gun” but no…it is acorns, seed shells, pine cones, and cone husks falling from the trees…hitting the roofs and bouncing off onto the sidewalks, driveways, and streets.

Taste and Touch…The always  gooky guts of the pumpkin being removed to make jack o’ lanterns (amid children’s screams of fake horror and pure joy) apple cider, pumpkin drinks of every type…hot and cold, spider webs, real and fake, Halloween candy…Halloween is definitely a tactile experience… starting in childhood.

After Mollie and I left the cute boutique stores Friday…I drove Mollie through some of the most beautiful old areas in Summerville…large old mansion-size homes dating back a century or more, many turned into inns, and even cozier…renovations of old cottages and new structures reflecting the charm of yesterday and its historic past.

Usually when any of the family comes for a visit…we rarely get to leave the house… much less have leisure time to just ride around. I remember my grandmother used to call this unexpected escape from the everyday routine to a delightful outing. …as a “whiling.”

Even though we hardly ever see this word used in its old noun form..If you are from the south…you might remember expressions like this: “Mollie and I decided to “while away the ride home” looking at quaint, adorable homes and cottages…an unplanned but lovely diversion.”

So while we can decorate with mums and other fall flowers…the rest of the foliage here in the low country….like tree leaves turning colors…has to patiently wait…it will come later….sometimes as late as between gobble gobble gobble and ho ho ho.

It is hard to believe that last year (at this exact time) I was in Maine with Anne. We were trying to chase down the remains of fall in all its beautiful foliage before it left for the season…going from lighthouse to lighthouse.


So until tomorrow…I think I will “while away the rest of the  afternoon” finishing a novel I am reading and wishing/hoping/praying my Clemson Tigers play well against Miami. But no matter what…I always love my Tigers.


I think it was the Dingle boys, brothers and all… the Dingle dogs, and yes…Eloise who decided watching Clemson football was fine as long as the treats kept coming….lots of good luck charms around. Way to go Tigers and Dingles! 🙂

*Marcia Temple, Mollie’s mom, always finds the cutest things on-line… that get even funnier. Apparently a mother  sent her married daughter an Autumn decorated mailbox cover that read WELCOME TO THE NUT HOUSE….decorated with squirrels and ghosts dashing all around.

The daughter, not to be outdone, played around with a smartphone picture of it on her mailbox… adding words and her personal photo that replied: GEE THANKS FOR THE GIFT  MOM!



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 Autumn…All Too Brief and Never Enough

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    ❤❤❤ fall…and we need to go whiling soon.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Whiling away time on a rainy fall day is always a luxury to enjoy leisurely…watching football and listening to the rain. Yes…we must while away some time together soon.


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