‘Tis a Gift to be Simple… Free to be Me’

Dear Reader:

Yesterday I spent about an hour on the phone with Brookie…reminiscing about a spring break trip we took our senior year at college…our last “hurrah.” We were both laughing so hard we could hardly hear the other speak.

Brooke found an unbelievable “Bahama Cruise” deal that we just couldn’t turn down….she still has the receipt…$90 per person for a three day stay on a cruise ship over our last spring break week before graduation.

Even for the seventies…this was quite a deal…it was, actually, one of those “If it’s too good to be true…it probably is” deals. 🙂

I remember begging and pleading with mother…consider it an early graduation present…I never let up until poor mother caved…she wasn’t alone.

Brooke was having problems with the Dean of Women since she had missed too many chapels that semester…but stretching the situation somewhat…she told the dean an aging aunt had already paid for the trip as part of her graduation gift. Luckily the dean “caved” too.

When Mollie’s question this week for me (StoryWorth) was “Describe your first big trip” this hilarious adventure immediately popped up.

It was a miracle we even made it to the cruise ship…we stopped in Coco, Florida to stay with college friends on the way down…but still had a long way to go. Brooke’s old “Falcon” had already seen better days…but somehow, some way…we made it.

It was a chilly raining morning when we left Laurens in the “Falcon” heading to sunny Florida and then on to the Bahamas. We were not deterred…the sun would come out…and it did.

Thank goodness for that “break” in the trip…we were exhausted but Florida was all sunshine and we got to relax with college buddies…who lifted our “spirits” a lot…actually too much! 🙂

…And what did we get for a $90 dollar three day cruise package…an “engine” room (where most of our neighbors spoke Spanish and literally worked on the engines) The room was 6 feet by 8 feet with one bunk bed…that we had to take turns jumping off or out of…when anyone had to use the “john” which was also the shower…with the shower head right over it.

Yet…on a positive note…when we looked out our portholes we got to see fish swimming by! 🙂 And after we dressed “to the t’s” while climbing more steps than deemed humanly possible…for meals…no one, but us, and some of the engine crew knew where our “stateroom” was located…the secret of our accomodations. We just sash-shayed around like we owned the place.

It was spring break for other colleges…especially Wofford College and a couple of fraternities were on the same cruise. How convenient! Brooke and I found ourselves on the back of mopeds going to the beaches and even crossing the bridge one night to Paradise Island…the international (James Bond) hotel and casino with our Wofford dates.

Brooke remembers winning $15 dollars at the casino and giving it to her date to help pay for supper. I can only imagine that today $15 wouldn’t pay for a glass of water. My date preferred gambling…but that was fine with me…since as long as he gambled… free food and drinks were continuously delivered to the ‘tables.’

Brooke didn’t have a car radio…just a portable one…but we remember listening to “Jeremiah was a Bull Frog” (while singing at the top of our lungs) all the way back to Erskine College…before finding ourselves (literally sliding) into the parking area…an ice storm had hit the night before and first day-back classes, as well as, chapel had been cancelled.

God is so good to the “young and restless.” 🙂

This first adventure did teach me a wonderful lesson on taking risks…meeting new people from diverse backgrounds and cultures…and never allowing myself to get too old to not be a risk-taker and an adventurer…no matter the age.

So until tomorrow…

“Do not stop thinking of life as an adventure. You have no security unless you can live bravely, excitingly, imaginatively; unless you can choose a challenge instead of competence.” Eleanor Roosevelt

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

I loved working on this post yesterday… because for the first time in days…my mind was completely off concerns for our country and leaders. Instead I was re-living a happier time when life seemed a lot simpler and the world was filled with endless possibilities.

Now my wish for my grandchildren!




‘Tis a gift to be simple

‘Tis a gift to be free

‘Tis a gift to come down

Where we ought to be

And when we find ourselves

In the place that’s right

“Twill be in the valley

Of love and delight.”

Please keep Wanda and Suzy in your prayers…they are both so grateful for them and wanted me to please pass along their deep gratitude for continued prayer support for each of their individual health challenges…Wanda-Covid and Suzy-pancreatic cancer. I thank you too …the power of prayer…never to be underestimated!



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 ‘Tis a Gift to be Simple… Free to be Me’

  1. You tell great stories! What an adventure for three college females!


    • Becky Dingle says:

      I am so glad I let myself go enough to venture out in the world and experience all the craziness that I did…though I am sure I drove poor mothers nuts with worry…life IS a caberet with an old friend to share these hilarious adventures with…happy for the memories. We only go around once!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Rachel Edwards says:

    Thank you Becky…


  3. Honey Butrell says:

    I love going on adventures with you! Loved this trip!! Those were the days!!😜


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Every time we go any where…it always turns out to be an adventure…doesn’t it Honey! There is never any doubt in my mind if we go any where together…it is going to be filled with surprises!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂


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