Archived Story

A bit of cleaning before a looming open studio weekend

Published 11:37am Friday, May 4, 2012

“It doesn’t have to be the blue iris, it could be weeds in a vacant lot, or a few small stones; just pay attention, then patch a few words together and don’t try to make them elaborate, this isn’t a contest but the doorway into thanks, and a silence in which another voice may speak.”
~ Mary Oliver “Praying”
Welcome to May Saluda News & Notations.
This morning found me outside hosing the front porch: the more I washed pollen and dirt off the porch and house siding, the more the dirty water rolled forth! One of those jobs you wonder if it should have been better left alone, I kept at it until thoughts of a huge water bill curtailed the project. With open studio weekend looming, there’s got to be a bit of cleaning around here so people don’t get scared off. Afterward, I went out into the garden to gather flowers.
My summer-weekend neighbor, Jo Dellinger passed away this past weekend: I thought of how over the years I’d leave a small bouquet on her porch for when she and Charles would come up to Saluda from Charlotte. You’d think I’d given her $1 million instead of simple garden flowers, she was always so pleased.
Often, they’d bring ripe tomatoes, a Charlotte newspaper or summer veggies over; or I’d find that Charles had mowed my front strip along the street. They watched my son grow tall, and I watched their tow-headed grandchildren grow tall. Every year on Coon Dog Day, Jo would make her famous fried-apple pies, and the grandkids would enjoy Saluda time. Thinking about all those memories, old Mason jar in hand, I picked Jo another bouquet, left it on her porch this morning: and watered her potted plants one more time.

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