Small town wonders: pizza, memories, stars

Published 9:59 am Friday, December 16, 2011

“Life isn’t long enough to do all you could accomplish. And what a privilege even to be alive. In spite of all the pollutions and horrors, how beautiful this world is. Supposing you only saw the stars once every year. Think what you would think. The wonder of it!”
~ Tasha Tudor

Colorful lights glow in December’s chilly nights, overhead a blanket of bright stars rise toward the winter moon. The countryside is quieter now, the resting time of year, stubble rows of cornstalks in fields, stark branches embroidering a pearl gray sky… a time to seek shelter in the warmth of home and hearth.
One evening, tired from a long day at work, I picked up groceries, then a take-out pizza for dinner. Warm, delicious scents filled the car as I drove in the cold night up the star-spangled Saluda grade shadowed by dark mountains to home.
With several bags, pizza box and purse, there were two loads to haul in. Of course, being stubborn, I tried to haul it all at once: a recipe for certain disaster.
Along the rock walkway in the dark, I struggled. Up, up, up back steps to back porch: almost, almost. It was not meant to be. The pizza box sailed, bouncing down steps, bags crashed: and I’m sure my neighbors’ ears are still ringing from oaths roaring to the night sky.
The worst case scenario had happened: the pizza had escaped the box, strewn down the steps. Oh, no! The wreckage was terrible. Sudden determination took over – that was my dinner, I was tired with no plans to cook and most of the slices had landed crust down. Yes, I was hungrier than proud at that point.
Carefully, I gathered slices, brought them in, dusted off a maple leaf or two: and there it was. Dinner. It ended up being quite delicious. (Thank goodness for absence of sand!)
Once upon a time, in less-wise years, I might have thrown it out with a sneer. Now, no way I was wasting good food. It’s a probably a relief that no one was a guest at my table that night!
We learn as we go through life to celebrate small things with a sense of humbleness and joy, to find gratitude for life and living of the days we’re given. In this holiday season, that means having a sense of gratefulness for getting up in the morning, keeping a sense of humor about pizza accidents and making the most of things. It also means being thankful to see a pileated woodpecker up high in an oak tree and stars clear and bright overhead on winter nights, as Christmas tree lights and winter stars bring memories of those we love and remember in our hearts.
Please remember Donna Potruski, who is recuperating from foot surgery, and our wonderful library volunteer Connie Woodruff, who is settling in to new digs.
Thank you to all who came out and enjoyed Saluda’s Hometown Christmas; and especially a big thank you for the volunteers who made it happen. Events like this don’t happen overnight, and it takes a huge amount of planning and hard work!
It was a treat to see Martha Anderson showing her knitting, Clark and Pam Thompson up from Florida, along with many other Saluda folks in town.
Drop by Autumn Care and visit; folks there would love to see your smiling face!
Another big thank you to Saluda Community Land Trust for community work. SCLT would appreciate donations of time or money.
Happy December birthday to Holly and Theresa Wilkes, Perry Ellwood, Donnie Hunter, Jeff Bradley, Preston Mintz, Carolyn Morgan, Cas Haskell and Josh Lindsay.
Thank you for reading this column; as ever, the goal is to make you, dear reader, feel like you’re enjoying a front porch visit with me and you’re a part of Saluda and small town life. You can contact me at; or 749-1153. Visit my website at for more writing and art, or find me on facebook.

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