What a Crazy Messy Wonderful Year!

Dear Reader:

This cute Christmas card came in the mail yesterday…it had a picture attached of an adorable family…it was from Suzanne, one of Mandy’s room-mates when she was single. She now has two cute little boys about the same age as Jake…they bump into each other at the boys’ sports games and these days rare… infrequent visits.

Still, like Suzanne stated in her note….2020 has been a “crazy, messy, wonderful year.” If we take time to write down all good and not-so good things that have happened this year…we really have enjoyed some “good” …and if our health is still intact or we have recovered from health problems…”great” times.

I thought about that card today as I was busy taking down pumpkins and putting up Christmas wreaths and decorations. I have just barely gotten started…but, as we all know, starting is the hardest part.

It is 6:00 p.m. now…I have called a halt to the decorating and started my first fire of the season! We had freezing temps last night and frost this morning. I wavered with bringing in “Big Red” but it is too fragile to cover and too heavy to move without taking a chance on breaking stems. No need to worry…its blooms were big, bright, and red….the right color for the season today.

Here is as far as I have gotten….hope to get the Christmas tree up by this weekend….so am decorating around the rest of the rooms… saving it for last.

My neighbor Vickie came over to help get some of the wreaths up…I had some gifts for her…a thank you gift for checking on the house and mail while I was gone…and a warm hat for walking this winter (an early birthday gift I got At Bulwinkles Outdoors Shop in Brevard)….Vickie is out everyday…rain or shine, hot or cold.

My pastor, Jeff, and I talked today about recording my story for this year’s Christmas Eve Service…looking at different options. I told him this was the 30th year of my Christmas tales and told him the story behind-the-story… about how it got started. He told me he thought that should be the story in itself this year.

So I will share my story about how all it all began with you readers too… as my Christmas story this year…a medley of tales called “Christmas Memories.”

So until tomorrow…Start thinking about your own personal favorite Christmases….whether they were funny, nostalgic, poignant or filled with surprises…then turn them into your stories…and have some ready to share with your family, friends, and loved ones. Everyone loves to hear a story, especially about past Christmases.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

Mollie sent me this picture today…How happy Rutledge was when he realized the book he received at school was the one I read to him during the quarantine on Face-Time…written by one of my favorite children’s authors, Eve Bunting….*I taught social studies and science standards from this true story of a resilient little plastic tub toy…Ducky, who was dumped into the ocean off a transport liner… following  a violent storm that caused the crate it was in to wash overboard.

Fighting storms, currents, sea creatures over thousands of miles…this little plastic tub toy….shows up close to where the original crate was supposed to be delivered….nothing short of a miracle. One of very few tub toys to survive.

*My beautiful granddaughters…

Eloise and Eva Cate…my “E” girls!

How can one not find “good” in any time period when you have loved ones you so adore!

*Psst! Both girls and all their siblings and cousins are getting a little white squirrel in their stockings…remember I told you I would tell you the history behind the white squirrel mascot of Brevard and surrounding mountain areas…we saw several at Lake Toxaway.

The Origin of the White Squirrel of Brevard...

Brevard is known for its white squirrels. yes, they are white with black eyes and gray markings on the tops of their heads. They are not albinos but a variant of the common gray squirrel. How did they come to be?

“Two squirrels escaped many years ago from a carnival truck, were rescued, and then released into the wild by Brevard residents. They must have loved the area….and each other…as their family grew rapidly.

Today it is a protected species. Brevard hosts an annual White Squirrel Music Festival during Memorial Day Weekend. The local radio station is known as “White Squirrel Radio.”

One white squirrel, Pisgah Pete, has become a weather prognosticator…in fact Groundhog Day is called White Squirrel Day in the Brevard area. He also predicts the winner of the Super Bowl.

A good place to spot one of these beloved creatures is in the Silvermont Park, Franklin Park, and Brevard College Campus. Good luck!


***Today, December 3, my youngest brother was was born. David died at age 21…a short life but an amazing one….he was one of the kindest, more gentle, human beings I ever knew. I miss you each and every day of my life David. Happy Birthday!

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 What a Crazy Messy Wonderful Year!

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    Enjoyed seeing you for a few minutes yesterday and hope you enjoy your Christmas surcies …look forward to being able to really getting together…

    Love Brevard…my niece has lived there since she got married 25 yrs ago and we always enjoy visisting her …your grands will love yhe white squirrels…and your granddaughters are so pretty. I will keep you posted on Suzy…thank you for asking about her and Amelia. ❤


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Thank you for your visit and that yummy cookie! Have already gotten my Christmas towel up….I love it…putting more decorations up today…step by step, inch by inch…Christmas decorating is a cinch….NOT! 🙂


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