A “Grace and Gratitude” Bucket- Headlines and Smiles

Dear Reader:

As I was looking for a book to loan a neighbor I came across the anniversary painting that Anne did for me…located now in one of my “show-off” bookshelves…celebrating ten years of writing the Chapelofhopestories.com blog post.

What a day, that was, to celebrate last August 7, 2020…It was then I noticed the “Grace and Gratitude” bucket beside it…and Bingo! The light went on!

Every day, this year, I am going to write one headline on a strip of paper… cut from index cards with the date and my creative headline…so by the end of the year there will be a bucket filled with so much grace and gratitude that I can re-read them on New Year’s Eve as a reminder of just how great life was last year and continues to be. I am so excited!

Take yesterday morning for instance. Anne and I were exchanging books again and she said she would probably be by early so I just left her book on the white bench and she said she would leave hers there.

Sometime, right before 8, my phone buzzed that I had a text…then it buzzed again. Half-awake…I rubbed my eyes and stared at the message….“Warm Breakfast Croissant on Porch!” 🙂

Immediately I was wide awake…practically tripping over Pinkie the Robe to get out on the porch…sure enough wrapped in aluminum foil in a warm container was something that smelled so delicious…I grabbed the book and croissant. Happiness is!

I texted Anne to thank her immensely for the “surcie” and asked if she had made them ….she said “No” (Charleston Deli did) that her sister Kathy and her husband Steve were coming yesterday for a visit from Maine…and she was picking up some croissants to have for breakfast and got an extra!

Headline: Friend Drops Off Breakfast Croissant Starting Boo’s Day in the Most Generous Eatable of Ways!


P.S. (I had already eaten the other half by the time I thought of getting a picture!)  🙂

This act of kindness certainly started my day with a smile...and a smile is one of the most important gifts we can give each other…I find myself forgetting my worries when I get behind a mother and a little tyke in a grocery cart…who starts smiling at me and cooing…I start smiling and doing funny things to hear the child start laughing…no matter what was on my mind prior to this moment…it vanishes with the smile and giggle of a little child.

The smile is the most important gift (I think) God created on our faces…even with masks today…our eyes become our smiles when we add twinkles! Haven’t many of us gotten pretty perceptive of the mood of someone near us simply by the upturn or downturn of the eyes that have become warm smiles or lack of….

When I saw the following Natural Life message I knew I needed to make a comment on the importance of smiles…Don’t we always remember people who wear them like a crown… by saying something like ‘He or She always had a smile on their face”and it is remembered with great fondness.

So until tomorrow….

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

Do you remember when I bought two Encore Azalea bushes last fall… to finish out the line of plants across the front yard? I fell in love with the picture on this one and yesterday I saw where the first bloom is just starting to open….always a celebration day!

I am slowly but surely cleaning out the side area…want it to be a sanctuary for bird feedings, moon flowers, ginger shells, hanging plants and wild flowers this year…we will see how it progresses.

Lynn Gamache, our Canadian fellow post reader, created her personal headlines just recently to share with us…..

Headlines from Fraser Fir Farm today….March 10, 2021

Couple Married Nearly 52 Years Love and Appreciate Each Other More than Ever!

Son Living in Midst of Burma’s Political Upheaval Remains Safe Despite all the Tension, Turmoil, and Death

Granddaughter Turns 18 and Plans on Entering Nursing Come Fall 2021

First Tiny Daffodils Appear Under the Maple Tree in Our Garden

Thank you Lynn….prayers go out for your son’s continued health and safety!

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 A “Grace and Gratitude” Bucket- Headlines and Smiles

  1. Lynn Gamache says:

    Another little thought to follow up on yours today, Becky. I used this one when teaching ESL classes years ago: “A smile it is infectious, you catch it like the flu. When someone smiled at me today, I started smiling too!”
    For sure during these days with so much concern and dialogue re racism, let’s respond to others with a simple but sincere smile that radiates even from our eyes if our mouths are smothered in masks.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Exactly right…eyes are the windows to the soul, as they say, but also the windows to our smiles…especially during COVID!


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