Archived Story

Never the wrong season for neighborly warmth

Published 9:31pm Thursday, June 13, 2013

“Train your hands

as birds to be

brooding or nimble

Move your body

as the horses

sweeping on slender hooves

over crag and prairie

with fleeing manes

and aloofness of their limbs

Take earth for your own large room

and the floor of the earth

carpeted with sunlight

and hung round with silver wind

for your dancing place”

– excerpt from “Earth Your Dancing Place”

by May Swenson

A few days ago, a gray and white pick-up truck pulled into my back drive, gravel crunching.

Of course, being it’s Saluda, I knew whose truck it was — although River thought he’d be guard dog at the back porch, despite my reassurances this wasn’t a burglar. You can’t be too sure, said River, continuing his ferocious barking (as his wagging tail belied the truth).

It was my ‘up the street’ neighbor Wayne Thompson, who had come to bring me a present.

“Just checking if you were home: I’ve got something in the truck for you,” he said, heading back to retrieve a neatly folded well-washed quilt.

Turns out, the quilt was hand-stitched by Wayne’s grandmother back in the 1940s, made lovingly out of old clothing from nine boys and four girls. Several of those boys served in World War II at the same time. Just holding the quilt in my hands brought back memories: my own grandma lived during the same hard times as Wayne’s did: just different places — but both women made hand-sewn quilts from clothing and flour sacks — what a treasure to have a piece of someone’s family and history that they’ve shared with me.

It was hard for me to take it: this piece of family history, yet I did, with great honor and gratitude that someone thought enough of me to share it. It’ll keep you warm, said Wayne, smiling.

He remembered growing up in past bitter-cold Saluda winters: the quilt had warmed his bed many a chill night. He’d thought of me, and he and his wife had wanted me to have it, and be warm. So, sometimes you gladly accept what’s given, and hug back with all you’ve got. Isn’t that Saluda for you?

Saluda Tailgate Market starts at 4:30 p.m. Fridays at the city parking lot off Main Street. Many Saluda businesses are open later on Friday, so you can stop by after tailgate marketing for shopping, dining, and music.

Saluda Welcome Table is every Tuesday, dinner will be served from 5:30 -7 p.m. in the fellowship hall of Saluda United Methodist Church. All welcome; donations accepted.

Saluda Community Land Trust (SCLT) will have an open house at Wilkes Twin Lakes on June 15, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. There’ll be a free barbecue lunch, sponsored by the Saluda Fund at Polk County Community Foundation. Shuttle vans will leave and return to the Saluda Fire Department during the day, so come for an hour or spend the day, swimming, walking, and having fun. Also, enjoy “Walks in the Woods” on the first and third Sunday of the month at 2 p.m. Meet at Saluda Library’s parking lot for carpooling. SCLT’s phone is 828-749-1560; website:

The Women’s Club of Saluda will host ‘Swinging at the Saluda Canteen,’ a fundraiser on June 22 at Saluda Center from 5:30-9 p.m. You’ll enjoy an evening at a 1940s USO canteen with dinner, music and dancing. This will help raise funds for college scholarships for Saluda youth; contact Anita at 828-749-9781 for information.

Happy retirement to Lisa Obermiller from Saluda School. Thank you, Lisa, for being there for so many Saluda children.

Happy seventh anniversary to Saluda Lifestyles. Thank you, Cathy Jackson.

Happy June Birthday to Nancy Barnett, Verne Dawson, Peggy Ellwood, Anna Jackson, Charlie Jackson, Amy Violet Ford and Terry Arrington.

Thank you, dear readers for reading this column! Each and every one of you is special to my heart — I want you to feel like we’re visiting on the leafy, flower-filled front porch enjoying tea together. Keep in mind if you have something of note, feel free to contact me at; or 749-1153. You may also visit my website at

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