The joys of small town life in Saluda

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, June 5, 2014

“Think on the way
That the stars fall
Out of the skies
And into the deep blue sea,
Where they ease themselves
Into the scales of fishes,
Cast themselves on the sand at sunrise.”
~ Lee van Laer, Think

Up in Saluda, May breezed through quickly, and June arrived with summer promises on the doorstep. Around this old house there’s always a not-so-fun chore to tackle: and one warm morning, I got myself worked up to go out to tackle the fishpond filter. Now if you have a fishpond with all the pumps, filters, etc., you know the pump filter is a pretty easy clean up project. Hose it, reattach, you’re done. The main filter is a whole other beast: for someone with a simple mind, someone who knows better than to take things apart she has no clue about getting back together.
Yes, I did it, went against better judgment and unscrewed this, removed that, unhitched that. All the while, noting to self to pay strict attention to how things connected, I got the mess apart, thoroughly splashed myself and it with the garden hose, cleaned and rinsed, all of us, River staying at a safe distance from flying water.
Then…started putting it all back together. This goes there, that goes here…black gasket thingie must go here. No, there. OK…metal band thingie goes around. Wait a minute, something’s wrong. This is not fitting right. About then, sweat starts breaking out.
By now, the ole back is strained and I need glasses to see what I’m doing. I tote the whole contraption to the porch steps so I can find glasses, sit and configure. Nothing is working quite right—how did that fit together in the first place? After struggling for a long, very long time, more time than I care to admit, it’s time for an emergency call to son’s geek support down in Atlanta. Good morning, son, I say…sorry I woke you up, but I can’t get part A to connect with part B, and I don’t know where part C goes. Help!
After several rounds of technical advice I say I’ll send a picture and let him figure out what I’ve done wrong. I hang up frustrated, take the glasses off, and start meddling.
All this has taken an hour by now, so I’m both determined and frustrated that I cannot seem to solve such a simple problem. At this point, Dear Reader, you probably have figured my years of math were probably a nightmare for math teachers when I walked in the class. You’re right.
So, finally…the good news is I finally monkeyed my way to success by trial and error: the fishpond fountain is running once again, perfectly. The bad news is the clamp is as tight as I can get it, but with a drip, drip, drip…drip. Next time, I think I’ll just leave it alone.
​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.
Saluda Tailgate Market is open Friday from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the city parking lot off Main Street.
Saluda Community Land Trust appreciates your volunteering or donations. ‘Walks in the Woods’ have begun, as has highway trash pick-up dates: these are listed on the SCLT website. Visit for more info or call 828-749-1560.
Top of the Grade Concerts at McCreery Park will be from 7-9 p.m. on June 13 and June 27.
Saluda Small Town Main Street monthly meetings are the third Thursday of the month, 9 a.m., Saluda Library.
Congratulations to Patti Grochowski (Mrs. G), Saluda School’s 2014 Teacher of the Year!
Happy 8th 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, Terry Arrington, Julie Arrington, and Jeremy Edwards.
Garden Tips: don’t forget to save used coffee grounds, eggshells, grass clippings and other organic matter for your compost heap. I add every thing but the kitchen sink to mine, minus bones or meat scraps, and mix it now and then over the summer. Earth worms love the black, rich soil this makes.
Thank you dear readers, for reading this column! As ever, the goal is to make you feel like you’re enjoying a front porch visit and small town life in a friendly little mountain town called Saluda.
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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