Christmas spirit, community warmth fills Saluda

Published 5:40pm Thursday, December 5, 2013

“The autumn twilight turned into deep and early night as they walked. Tristran could smell the distant winter on the air a mixture of night-mist and crisp darkness and the tang of fallen leaves…. the crescent moon hung white in the sky and the stars burned in the darkness above them.” 

– Neil Gaiman, Stardust 

December skies this morning were a pale whisper of silver, touched by an early sunrise over winter-bare trees, sere in quietness.

Cardinals alight on my back deck, picking for food, puffed up in holiday scarlet finery already. I’m glad to see them, a reminder to pick up birdseed soon. As the days get shorter, nights longer: I find myself ready to go to bed earlier and earlier (the electric blanket has become my best friend on freezing days).

“It’s only 9:30 p.m.? Geez, I’m definitely gettin’ old, River,” I jokingly moan, digging out flannel pajamas with wild-pink roses.

River just burrows down deeper into his own warm bed, and doesn’t say a word about the flashy PJ’s or age-related comments. He knows better.


Saluda Community Land Trust (SCLT) will have a roadside trash pick-up day on Dec. 9, 10 a.m.; meet at Saluda Library.  Please consider a donation to SCLT this holiday season. Contact SCLT at 828-749-1560 or visit

Saluda School needs knick-knacks, jewelry, candles, mugs and other items for their Christmas Bazaar, so children can purchase small gifts for family and friends. If you can donate items, bring them to the school secretary’s office before Dec. 13.

Need a special gift that will help Saluda and last longer than the holidays?

Consider a brick paver for Pace Park with the name of your choice engraved. Proceeds go toward building public restrooms at this community park to be located downtown near M.A. Pace Store; for additional information, contact Catherine Ross at 828-749-3534 or

Saluda’s Hometown Christmas is Dec. 13 from 6-8 p.m. with shops open, Christmas lights sparkling, refreshments, dancers from Dancer’s Extension above Thompson’s Store/Ward’s Grill at 6 p.m., and music throughout the evening; Saluda Presbyterian Church will host an ecumenical service at 8:30 p.m.

The Children’s Christmas Workshop will be on Dec. 14 from 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m., in a new venue this year — upstairs over Thompson’s Store/Ward’s Grill downtown Saluda; for children over five years old.

The third annual Saluda Christmas Parade will be Dec. 14 from 3- 5 p.m. Before the parade, the third annual Christmas Dog Show and Parade Walk will be held at the tennis courts at Saluda School, registration ($5 which supports the Saluda Dog Park) starts at 1:15 p.m.; dog blessing by Rev. Rob Parsons at 1:30 p.m. Community members can register in advance by emailing, or contact 749-9172.

Art notes: Jim Carson will have a reception at Saluda Center, Dec. 7 from 5-7 p.m. for “Eastern Italy to Western North Carolina.” Corinne Gerwe will have a book signing for “Blood Runs Cold on the Black Side of the Mountain” at Saluda Library, Dec. 14 from 10 a.m.-noon. I will have a “Holiday Open Studio” at 285 Greenville Street on Sunday, Dec. 15 from 1-4 p.m.

Saluda is designated as a N.C. “Small Town Main Street.” Monthly meetings with the STMS program director, Sherry Adams, are scheduled the third Tuesday of the month at 9 a.m. at Saluda Library; next meeting is Dec. 17.

Autumn Care residents would appreciate a visit, a card, or a kind gesture during the holidays. Autumn Care of Saluda is located at 501 Esseola Drive; for more information call 828-749-2261.

Happy December birthday to Judy Ward, Holly Wilkes, Theresa Wilkes, Perry Ellwood, Donnie Hunter, Jeff Bradley, Preston Mintz, Carolyn Morgan, Susan Casey, Jeff Jenkins, Nikki Ammerman, Cas Haskell and Mary O. Ratcliffe.

Thank you for reading this column; as ever, the goal is to make you, dear reader, feel like you’re enjoying a cup of hot tea with me, and small town life in a friendly little mountain town called Saluda. You can contact me at; or 828-749-1153, visit my website at for more writing and art, or find me on Facebook.


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