Early Secrets of Spring…

Dear Reader:

Monday’s StoryWorth question asked about “family secrets”… which I interpreted as asking about “family skeletons in the closet.” 🙂

Immediately I could see Uncle Harlette telling us grand kids about a family ancestor known as “Bloody Bill” Cunningham…the most hated Tory/Loyalist of the American Revolution in Upcountry South Carolina.

Even as a child listening to “Bloody Bill”‘s gruesome (unfortunately true) escapades in the revolution…I remember being a little embarrassed that my family was on the “wrong” side of this war.

I loved hearing stories of the heroic patriots from our state like Francis Marion, the “Swamp Fox” or Andrew Pickens or Thomas Sumter, the “Gamecock”….not “Bloody Bill” the Sweeney Todd of the revolution.

But then we also had another good Cunningham “cuz” (Mother’s family- the Wilsons are close cousins to the Cunninghams) who came later in history and brought dignity back to the genealogy…her name was Ann Pamela Cunningham whose home place was known as Rosemont in Laurens, SC….where I went to high school and where all my mother’s family is from.

She was instrumental in saving and preserving George Washington’s home (Mount Vernon) when it was quickly deteriorating during and after the Civil War. *(The last time I visited Mount Vernon I told one of our guides that I was kin to Pamela…and I came away with a lot of extra goodies, to be used in the classroom, from there. (Life really is easier if you know the right people at the right time. 🙂

Spring has its secrets too….with each opening flowering bud that is revealed…what delight they bring!

This beautiful crabapple tree took my breath away as it suddenly appeared out of the corner of my eye on West Carolina Avenue yesterday. I checked my rear view mirror for any cars right behind me and then slammed on brakes to take a quick photo before a car came up beeping… it just made my day….just gorgeous. For the first time the real hope of spring was right in front of me!

I went around cutting the most delicate-looking camellias…they look like fairy camellias they are so light and airy… to put on one end table…I was just floating yesterday with the beauty of early spring’s secrets slowly being revealed.



For the last time I lugged “Big Red” the geranium back out on the porch…my back can’t do it any more…so fingers crossed we don’t get any more extreme low’s…I realized it was actually warmer on the porch than on the other side without the lights on and temp off.

“Big Red” was so happy and before the day was over…a bud appeared on one stem…what a survivor and thriver that geranium is…one of a kind! Give it one pinch of light and water and it’s off to the races once again….to grow, grow, grow. (We should all be like “Big Red.”)

So until tomorrow…

Take time to walk around and look for early spring’s secrets slyly being revealed…for the chosen ones… who stop long enough to see nature’s delights in the making.

“Today is my favorite day.” Winnie the Pooh

The South Carolina State Flower, the Yellow Jessamine, is a very early spring flowering vine… sure enough when I went to check on it…very tiny little specks of yellow buds are forming…it won’t be long now before it is covering everything that gets in its path! 🙂 *And I do mean everything.





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 Early Secrets of Spring…

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    Love spring being around the corner. My 1st spring in Summerville I got so excited with the camellias overlapping with the azaleas and the wisteria…Heaven on earth.

    Please lift up Suzy…long story …but we are hopefully headed there tomorrow…if not sooner. She had an emergency procedure yesterday and Clyde sent texts twice but didnt hear again…l will call today…figured their family may need time…or they may not know much yet until tests biopsies come back.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Oh Gin-g…I am so sorry…will certainly let the post readers know about this latest update and to keep Suzy in their prayers. Godspeed and hope travel with you.


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