“Big Red” Immortalized…Life is Good

Dear Reader:

Anne texted me Saturday afternoon to tell me that she was bringing my birthday present over yesterday…her watercolor of “Big Red,” my extraordinary twelve year-old red geranium… who has been my front porch “guardian angel” through the ups and downs of living with “little c.”

I was reflecting the other day that 2020, the year that will be most remembered for the world’s pandemic, Covid19, quarantined Americans, economic upheaval with jobless citizens reaching an all-time high, dis-united Americans divided politically on our future path…will, also, be remembered by me as the year of personal benchmarks accomplished in the years since learning I had an incurable breast cancer and living with the ups and down of an on-going disease.

In August my blog, Chapelofhopestories.com turned ten years old…ten years of daily reflections/blog posts.

Now a  twelve year benchmark for having a little red geranium (that was left on the front porch for me upon returning home from my first surgery)…. “Big Red” the loyal, enduring geranium that is bigger and better than ever….cloned by neighbors when it appeared to be at its end after ten years of life…. yet we are still both together.

In God’s world He gives us human friends alongside  nature’s friends…Anne and I decided that we, along with “Big Red” are “Foliage Friends”…there for each other for every season of the year(s).

Anne’s whimsical touch added to the painting…makes me so happy. I love seeing my “Boo’s Blessings” plaque included in the artwork…as it is in real life on my porch wall….along with a little red bird…peeking out of the container…(which I also have)…the little replica red bird that represents Sammy my cardinal friend. The painting has it all!


“Boo’s Blessings“…. I remember when times were tough I thought I would have to sell the house on several different occasions..but somehow, some way…Divine Intervention appeared and reappeared each time…making it possible to stay where my heart was….and from where my garden sanctuary would evolve and give me a new lease on life.

I am not a great planner but isn’t it nice that we have a Creator Who is? He holds our blueprints in His Hands from the moment we are born until we take our last breath….

God knew all the time that one day I would retire from a long, satisfying, educational career,  begin a life-time fight after a scary breast cancer diagnosis, and finally begin to become the real me…with my yearning to write and learning to garden. It was in the plans all the time. Oh me…of little faith…thank goodness God is patient with all the doubts we bring Him constantly.

While Anne was visiting she commented on my Clemson “Girl” who becomes “bewitched” in October carrying her sign…“The Witch is in!” 🙂 It reminded Anne of a funny text she had gotten from a fellow teacher, Angie.



Don’t you love quick-witted people? Apparently all it took was for a broom to fall off a truck at this time of the year to come up with this good one-liner.

“Everyone check on your friends…we’ve got a rider down.” 🙂

I do believe “witches” get a bad name when there are lots of us gals who just love to have fun this time of year…after all as the saying goes….we angels have to be flexible. :)

After all….


So until tomorrow….Enjoy this season of soulful delight and sheer happiness and fun.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

Yesterday was a weird weather day…started out gloomy, then we had torrential downpours until finally… the sun came out with beautiful blue skies. Mandy said it put her in the mood for a cook-out…so she called and I went over to eat hamburgers and share precious time with the grandchildren, John and Mandy, and of course my friend Tigger.

After supper John took us on a golf cart ride to see all the Halloween decorations going up…one house had a big BOO sign on it, and several homes were just so creatively decorated including John and Mandy’s home…they had just finished re-doing the patio floor and the summer outdoor space, yet even with the pool, my pictures display fall living near the water.

*Tigger knows I am the weak link in giving him food from the table…so I always have an eating partner…but look at those eyes, that face…could you not give him something to eat?

I Love being Grandmother Boo, especially this time of the year…it’s my season for even more blessings! 🙂

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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6 Responses to “Big Red” Immortalized…Life is Good

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    What a wonderful birthday gift. Ann is so talented…love all the details. She truly has bloomed in her retirement with all of her talents…just like you …both outstanding educators who have so many other talents…

    Love all of the fall decorations too…


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Anne definitely threw herself into the arts upon retirement….music and painting…always ready for a new adventure. Amazing.


  2. M Ellis says:

    Good morning!
    I enjoy reading each and every dailey post…you start my day on a positive note!!!
    Could you share with me the brand of bday card that you received with the lady gardener on the front…I have a friend who is a master gardener and the lady on the card could be her twin and her birthday is in late October.
    Thank you so much!!!
    Enjoy your day!!!!


    • Becky Dingle says:

      I did temporarily save most of the birthday cards but now I need to remember where I put them? 🙂 Let me check and see what I can find….thanks for reading the post…you made this cloudy day brighter.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      What a sweet comment! Went looking for the bag of birthday cards and finally found them in a drawer….but the only one with a lady’s photo on it wasn’t about gardening…it was an adorably funny card from my neighbor Vickie …that read…”Of course I know right from wrong. Wrong is the fun one. Happy Birthday to someone with just the right amount of magic and mischief.” 🙂
      If you send me your email address…I will send you a copy of the card and you can see if this is the the photo that resembles your friend. !


    • Becky Dingle says:

      M. Ellis….I think this might help….the card is a Shannon Martin Design…SM622 (2017)
      I googled this information and it pulled up all her cards…had to keep scrolling through them…but found it. Try this and see if the picture on the card is the one you are looking for….they all have witty sayings with them. 🙂


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