Saluda summers are all about family of all kinds

Published 3:44 pm Friday, July 12, 2013

“Wildflowers lift 

faces wide with light — full moons 

risen in a constellation of grass.” 

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– Paulann Petersen,
Poet Laureate of Oregon

Despite rain showers on the 50th annual Coon Dog Day, the parade went on, people came prepared with umbrellas.

Dogs of every kind sniffed the breeze: scents of barbecue, grilled sausages, funnel cakes, hot pavement — a July must. Rain held back enough for folks marching, dancing, twirling, driving and waving. Happy kids scrambled for candy. Beneath Don Mintz’s red and white tent, Saluda folks enjoyed barbecue. Don was smiling over news of a future grandbaby: you cannot beat that glow of someone who loves their family, lighting up the rainy day with a grin of complete happiness.

Summer in Saluda means families having reunions, gatherings, picnics … and those little kids run and enjoy it all, rain or shine. Life in a small town is sweet, watching these things. They aren’t mine, yet they are: I just stand on the edges, savoring the moments, saving them for posterity in words.

Over the past month or two, every morning without fail, I’ve found minuscule droppings deposited right in front of my door. Now, after a few days, I started to take it personally. A rat? A squirrel; it was something small, and something stubborn about territory, maybe as stubborn as me. The fact that the front door spot was ‘the’ spot was rubbing me the wrong way. I tried putting a plant in the offending spot. Nope. Poured water around. Nope. Blocked the steps. Nope.