The Gator Who ” Saved” Independence Day

Dear Reader:

July 4, 2022, will always go down in family history as the holiday “that wasn’t” but yet the celebration of laughter… “that was! “

Mandy and John decided to go all out for the Fourth this year…bringing in many branches of the family tree-excuse the pun-it would be a ” Mighty Oak Tree” gathering… with lots of little two and four-footed ” acorns” running around.

We had all signed up to bring a dish and then some… a massive banquet for the memories no doubt… or so we thought. But someone or I should say-something -had other plans- that ” won’t go away” Coronavirus decided to visit Jake and then Mandy… bringing the July 4th celebration to a screeching halt … much to the disappointment of one and all. * The bright spot was neither Jake nor Mandy had really bad cases but just enough congestion to feel poorly and really tired.

The real disappointment was missing the rare opportunity to all be together again… since these opportunities seem to get rarer and rarer as time passes. And then it happened…

It started with a July 4th text to the ” Dirty Dozen” (on the same text line)…a little after 8 yesterday morning with a picture of an alligator crossing the street beside John and Mandy’s house carrying something in its mouth.

Doodle was the first to recognize the poor ” victim ” -an alligator eating an alligator snapping turtle ( isn’t that kind of a strange form of dietary nepotism? )

Alligators have certainly been spotted in their community since it lies besides different bodies of water… including the canal that ends right in back of the Turners’ home-but for the whole time they have lived there-(almost a decade) – up close and personal sightings have been relatively infrequent and the first for them. *** This must have been a patriotic alligator!

The fun started when Walsh alluded to the fact that the alligator obviously had never learned to read since there were plenty of signs that read Watch Out Alligator and Beware of Alligator. ( An illiterate alligator-imagine-we will blame it on the Coronavirus too-missing person to person teaching takes its toll on learning !)

Then Doodle warned Tommy he had better start leaving his ” fur babies” ( dogs) behind when he and Kaitlyn went to Mandy’s-especially little Pip! Walsh jumped in and predicted Pip would just be like one chicken nugget to that alligator… Julie cinched it with her new food title… a ” Pippen Nugget”!

But Tommy defended Little Pip’s size and strength-he was confident Pip could take down the alligator because under his fur he was ” jacked.”

By now everyone was on board with the fun… Carrie had just flown home earlier yesterday morning after meeting friends and seeing Yosemite-she encouraged the rest of us to add it to our ” bucket list.”

Suddenly everyone was exclaiming how fun all the ” puns” were and how if we couldn’t physically be together we could, at least, laugh together. No one wanted it to end! And all because an alligator crossed the road.

Mandy took a picture of the path of the gator cutting through the marsh behind their house. ( see the gap in the tall marsh grass?)

So until tomorrow… as Carol Burnett would sing at the end of each show…🎶 ” I’m so glad we had this time together…” just to have a laugh and share a pun .” ( So much fun!)

Today is my favorite day -Winnie the Pooh

I did feel sorry for Eva Cate and Jake since they love having their cousins come swim and play… but here in Summerville …mid-afternoon brought a severe thunderstorm and a deluge of torrential rains. Not a good outdoor afternoon.

Eva Cate had entertained herself making decorations out of old hats for the July 4 gathering -she was very disappointed no one got to see them … so here are a few she did.

Winnie looks sad too no one got to see her patriotic tiara!

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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