The New “Fluid” Life of 2020

Dear Reader:

There is definitely a story behind this original artistic (hand dyed wood on linen) artwork for our cover today… and I will get to it in a minute.

But while my mind is still “fluid” with ideas floating around on the ‘overnight’ popularity of this word, especially when used as an adjective,  let me follow my “fluid progression” of thoughts like the “fluid progression” that so many rivers reveal.

I have come to realize that the people who are having the most difficult time adjusting to  new living conditions under COVID are you wonderful, organized planners, who aren’t comfortable leaving any type of final results to chance.

Then there’s me… not organized, big picture person, who flies by the ‘seat of my pants’ through life…that is…when my broom is non-operational this time of year. 🙂

One of the biggest social drawbacks to COVID is the task of making plans for any event…big or small…at work, in the community, or at home. The more you think about it…the harder it gets.

We hear more people saying….”Well our plans are still “fluid” at this point.” And the truth is….all our COVID lives are in a constant “fluid” stage of life.

When my minister, Jeff Kackley, and I were talking Wednesday… the subject of the Christmas Eve Children’s Service came up. As most of you know I have told stories at it for well over thirty years… the thought of not doing it is almost incomprehensible (For me that is Christmas)…but then so was any thought of a world-wide pandemic producing a potentially fatal COVID virus incomprehensible too… just a few (l-o-n-g) months ago.

We discussed several options… especially for the story…which could include Zoom or Pre-taped or even an outside storytelling circle…but that depends on the weather… and it would also require a very “fluid” last minute decision.

We can make it work…in whatever form it takes….but church services, holiday events, any type of gatherings these days… require all of us to let go of precise, detailed pre-planning rigidity or stability…instead we have to re-learn how “to go with the flow.”

I think there are a lot of us who have come up with different mantras that we wordlessly (but repeatedly) refrain in our minds to help us relax our reins on former structured daily routines… no longer  practical or accessible  …these days mine is “Faith over Fear.”

Let’s face it….surprise and spontaneity can be fun too…in fact it happened yesterday. Today is Anne’s “official” birthday and we had tentatively set aside this Monday to have a birthday lunch out. Then Anne’ plans changed yesterday and we decided to go with that date.

It ended up being the best spontaneous decision of all…because of some predicted inclement weather…we were the only ones on the front porch at the new popular Cuban restaurant…The Gypsy Parlor. A breeze, with some kick to it, was cool and nice…and kept flying insects away.

The food was absolutely delicious…I gave Anne a stepping stone for her garden, along with a bouquet of “Boo” flowers for Halloween and a Charleston Rice Bead necklace to show her “northern” sisters (when she goes home for the holidays)…what “southern pearls” look like. 🙂


We decided to go over and see the Water Project Art Exhibition before we went home. *(Remember Anne had painted this amazing watercolor for it…one of my favorite artworks she has done. )


…And now we have come full circle to the title artwork. (“Poor COVID Carol”)

It was designed and hooked by Dawn Hortman Shaw…She shared the story behind its creation:

” With the world the way it is at the moment, I woke up one morning with this image in my head and I had to get it out of there. This was originally a self portrait. My wonderful friend and neighbor whined until I named it for her.


Anytime we can fight back with COVID using the talents we have, along with a sense of humor, we have  won a small but worthy match.

So until tomorrow….

“I would love to live like a river flows, carried by the surprise of its own unfolding.” – John O’Donohue

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

There was just one bit of “downer” news yesterday ….early morning winds broke some major stems on “Big Red”…Anne brought more stakes and we secured as many healthy stems as we could but one major “stem artery” (which contained several more stems and blooms) had to be amputated.”

Now “Big Red” looks rather lopsided….but still it survived the trauma and it will grow back.(even my “Boo’s Blessings” plaque was blown off the wall landing on several more stems and bruising them.)

Before and After….

All this week students have dressed up for different events…Red Ribbon being among them…Eva Cate ended up on the School Facebook page yesterday representing “Super Hero” Day (against bullies and drugs) at James B. Edwards Elementary School. Way to go Eva Cate!




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 The New “Fluid” Life of 2020

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    So sorry about Big Red…he is a resilient plant and I am sure he will persevere. Happy Birthday to Ann…hope she got my card. Loved Eva Cate’s project…


    • Becky Dingle says:

      I remember the year I took Bali’s job at the district and had to organize the Red Ribbon ceremony and numerous activities for all the schools….plus representing the district with community activities around town..I remember being completely exhausted at the end of that week….thought I never wanted to see a red ribbon again in anyone’s hair. 🙂


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