The Special Beauty of Autumnal Sunsets

Lowcountry Fall Sunsets

Dear Reader:

Archibald Rutledge, once owner of Hampton Plantation, admitted that sunsets along the marsh of his beloved home were most beautiful in October and November. Sunrises couldn’t compete during this season-Autumnal sunsets were breathtaking!

The beauty of these sunsets lead to misperceptions that plantation life was idyllic and carefree. Rutledge knew better-no matter the land or where one calls home… life is unpredictable. Yet Rutledge came to realize that ” life is enlivened by its uncertainty and made dearer by its insecurity and brevity. “

In other words… problems are here to stay and if one day you have none… you have ” crossed over.”

Rutledge shares this true anecdote that supports his theory that ” life everywhere is made up of roses and razorbacks, arsenic and azaleas. If it were otherwise it would not be so piquant.”

Before Archibald Rutledge left New England to permanently move back to Hampton Plantation to devote the rest of his life restoring it… he got a note from his foreman and caretaker that ” he was badly in need of a mule.” ( His former mule had died and he had found him a really good replacement!)

Rutledge purchased it for him but it soon appeared that he had only half supplied his foreman’s longing. He wanted a wagon to go with the mule. Then as he put it, he would have ” real transportation.”

After lengthy negotiations Rutledge purchased a wagon from a mail-order house. Rutledge sent specific directions since the trip would require rail and boat to get there-weeks later it arrived-at Rutledge’s home address in New England-not Hampton Plantation in the Lowcountry of South Carolina.

Frustrated and after much loss of time… due to the low-gear speed on Southern freights of the time, the wagon was reported to Archibald as having arrived within ten miles of the plantation.

Rutledge let his foreman know the good news! He knew his foreman would ride the mule down to the place, proudly hitching him up, and then drive home in a ” lordly ” manner. Rutledge found himself smiling broadly at the image of his grand return!

A few days later, however, this devastating message arrived from his caretaker: ” Dear Cap’n, the day before the wagon came, the mule died.”

Haven’t we all gone though periods like this… the challenging intervals that perfectly fit the timely adage… If I didn’t have bad luck I wouldn’t have no luck at all.”

Yesterday I had to go to my bank and check on my Visa Bank card that has mysteriously disappeared… I know exactly the last time I used it over the weekend but when I called the restaurant nothing had shown up.

Changing the garden to pansies-it’s that time!

I tore the house apart and car looking but with no luck-then when I got home Saturday afternoon I was chilly so turned on my heat for the first time and nothing…thank goodness for heating pads and blankets ! Mickey is coming to check the unit today but it will be nothing short of a miracle if he can revive it-it has been on borrowed time now for quite awhile-add my property taxes check payment going out this past week and I feel a ” perfect storm” gathering. Still I believe in miracles!

In the big picture all these challenges are just annoyance and become misty memories in the past. All will be good! Poor but good!!

*** Only Libby, called me (also with similar heating problems ) to check on me to see if I could still count! October is the 10th month-not the eighth-no matter how many arms an octopus has!

I burst out laughing-Finally someone noticed my Halloween trick-I figured all the other readers were simply ignoring the glaring error or knew why October was once considered the eighth month. Before the Roman Senate voted to change the calendar… the first month of the year was March ( not January) thus October WAS originally The eighth month!

So until tomorrow I will remember November is our month for Thanksgiving, gratitude, and blessings.

” Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh

Flappers, old football players, rocker unicorn princesses and Lachlan and Jake are into Minecraft figures… Boo isn’t up with that trend yet???

Eva Cate and Jake
Eloise and Mollie
Neighborhood Gang

The way the holidays are all running into each other this year… I think the Peanuts gang have it right!

Happy Happy Life

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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1 Response to The Special Beauty of Autumnal Sunsets

  1. Rachel Edwards says:


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