This pack rat finds warmth in memories of calendars

Published 7:41pm Thursday, January 9, 2014

“You can’t, if you can’t feel it, if it never
rises from the soul, and sways
The heart of every single hearer,
with deepest power, in simple ways.
You’ll sit forever, gluing things together,
cooking up a stew from other’s scraps,
blowing on a miserable fire,
made from your heap of dying ash.
Let apes and children praise your art,
if their admiration’s to your taste,
but you’ll never speak from heart to heart,
unless it rises up from your heart’s space.” 

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust: First Part 


A polar bear would feel at home in the mountains here, at least this past week single digit temperatures and arctic winds have been roaring like banshees.
Layering long thermal underwear, heavy-duty thrift shop jacket, socks, gloves and hat. I remind myself that before long, I’ll be back to whining about summer heat before I know it — that bitter cold and countless layers of winter clothing will pass. Even River dog is bundled up in his red fleece vest He allows me to pull it on over his wrinkly noggin on icy mornings.

One morning, I plug in extra lights so I can work on a large painting. Somewhere in that equation, a sudden *snap-pop* blows the lights out. After circling around looking for smoke or flame just in case, I decide it was a matter of a blown fuse. This means climbing on a step stool to rifle through a kitchen bookshelf for a pack of fuses. I’m sure I’ve got them somewhere.

As usual, one thing leads to another, and I end up tossing out old vet bills, papers, calendars from past years and stuff, finally excavating one fuse. After taking the trash to the back porch can, I have to figure out which fuse was the culprit and replace it.

Later on, I fill out a brand-new 2014 calendar with birthdays from last year’s, add in future appointments… and of course, being the pack rat I am, stash the 2013 one where the others had been — and find myself thinking I might have missed more dates to transfer.

Out to the back porch trash can I go, rooting down to find the old calendars I’d tossed — yes, they had dates I’d needed as well: paging through the months was a life journal — appointments, reminders, parties, lunches, birthdays, notes from years past. These are too good to throw away, what was I thinking? So, I haul those old friends back into the house and stuff them back up on the shelf. I’ll keep them a little longer.


Contra Dancing is back in swing Jan. 11 at 7 p.m. at Party Place and Event Center.

The Saluda Women’s Club meets at Tuesday, Jan. 14, 10 a.m. at Saluda Presbyterian Church.
NC Small Town Main Street monthly meetings with STMS program director Sherry Adams are scheduled the third Tuesday of the month at 9 a.m. at Saluda Library; next meeting is Jan. 21.
Saluda Welcome Table is every Tuesday, with dinner served from 5:30- 7 p.m. in the fellowship hall of Saluda United Methodist Church. All welcome; donations accepted.

Honor a loved one with an engraved brick paver for Pace Park. 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 Community Land Trust (SCLT) can benefit from your donations for the year ahead or your time as a volunteer for their many community projects. Contact SCLT at 828-749-1560 or visit

It’s not too soon to book your spot for Thompson’s Store’s “Let the Good Times Roll” music series with a Mardi Gras party in the upstairs Boarding House venue, March 1, starting at 5:30 with music, dancing, food; make reservations by Feb. 24; call Judy Ward at 828-749-2321.

Saluda sympathy goes out to the family of Jessie Ann Phillips.

Congratulations to Maria ‘Luz’ Salazar Rulona, 2013 Autumn Care of Saluda employee of the year.

Saluda trivia: the first mayor of Saluda was Andrew Tanner in the late 1800s.

Happy January birthday to Brandy Bradley, Alex Bardos, Carolyn Ashburn, Scott Kinard, Donna Bond, Greer Eargle, Wyatt Alan Pace, Irma Anderson, Paul Aaybe, Rich Rauschenbach, Phyllis Arrington and Kenneth Justus.

Thank you dear readers, for reading this column. As ever, the goal is to make you feel like you’re enjoying a cup of hot tea 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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