Downsizing too much work, thoughts of moving too difficult

Published 10:41 pm Thursday, April 16, 2015

By Bonnie J. Bardos

“Just before the green begins there is the hint of green
a blush of color, and the red buds thicken
 the ends of the maple’s branches and everything
 is poised before the start of a new world,
 which is really the same world
 just moving forward from bud to flower to blossom to fruit
 to harvest to sweet sleep, and the roots
 await the next signal, every signal
 every call a miracle…”

Stanley Kestenbaum ~ excerpt from “April Prayer”

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I admit it. I’m a procrastinator of the worst kind, a dyed-in-the-wool pack rat who has tried to mend her pack rat ways. Around here, nothing happens without thought. Lots of thought, mulling, and maybe a little more thought. And sometimes still nothing happens!

Sunday morning rolled around with sunshine and drifts of bright-bloomed azaleas painting a perfect picture. For some time, I’ve been sorting and sifting (albeit very slowly) through rooms in my old house, thinking of possibly downsizing if such a feat is possible for a stick-in-the-mud pack rat who loves where she is. This, dear reader, is easier said than done.

You might remember the monsoon summer I cleared basements out, which led into more clearing, then sending a truckload of treasures off to Steps to Hope. Well, despite my being slowest of the slow (hopefully not of mind), I hauled out a “For Sale” sign and hammered it up out front before I changed my mind for the 3,082nd time.

Yes, dear reader, it took me all of two seconds to start feeling stomach-churning pangs of angst, wanting to hang on forever to that gracious front porch with flaking paint and serene porch swing…the trickling goldfish pond, the blooming azaleas I’d put out years ago, the pink magnolias blossoming in dance. Are we ever ready to let go of things we love? Those things we’ve worked on with blood, sweat, tears, and years of sore backs? Our happy place?

River dog watches me with a most quizzical expression in his one eye, head cocked, those soft little bear ears intent. No, River, you don’t have to worry little friend. Where I go, YOU go. I’m not sending YOU off to the thrift shop, or selling you on eBay or craigslist. You’re safe. The bag of food, bone and toy collection is too!

We head out to the front porch and sit on the weather-beaten steps a while, sunshine and fishpond, birds and butterflies, flowers blooming and bees humming, hoping to spot our little friend Bat Man moving up to his sheltered spot in the porch eaves. It’s time for him to hang out there after spending winter under the shutters. Our doves are nesting nearby, as are chickadees. There we sit, observe, and think. One more moment savored right here, right now.

Things have a way of working out if we allow. Small steps lead to big journeys. Right? Meanwhile, as all good dogs know, just enjoy stretching out in the sunshine on a glorious spring day.

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 are welcome; donations are accepted.

Kids and parents take note! There’s a fun and free (thanks to Polk County Community Foundation) Saluda Play Day coming up on April 25, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at McCreery Park.

The first fundraiser (a low-country boil and music from the 42nd Street Band) for the Saluda Depot was held last Sunday at the Back Alley Barn and deck behind historic Thompson’s Store. A kind person gifted me a ticket, so it was a huge treat to enjoy a lovely afternoon visiting with local folks along with Irmy’s lip-smacking low-country boil created with authentic shrimp stock she lovingly simmered for seven hours. A delighted Greaton Sellers was regaled with rounds of the crowd singing “Happy Birthday”! A tour of homes and silent auction will be on June 6 (mark those calendars!). If you’d like to help preserve the historic Saluda Depot for future generations, you can send donations or pledges (tax deductible) to Saluda Historic Depot, P.O. Box 990, Saluda, NC 28773 or email


“Walks in the Woods” will continue through November on the first and third Sundays of the month. Meet at Saluda Library at 2 p.m. to carpool. Contact Chuck Hearon at 828-749-9886 or 828-817-0364 for information. Saluda Community Land Trust (SCLT) will benefit from your donations or time as a volunteer for their many community projects. April 22 is Earth Day and SCLT’s annual meeting with speaker Carlton Burke and his rescued owls at Saluda Center, starting at 6 p.m. For information, contact SCLT at 828-749-1560 or visit


Happy April birthday to: Martha Ashley, Melody Gibson, Dave Prudhomme, Kaye Vazquez, Cindy Keeter, Betty Anna Brown, Hope Pace, Diane Pace, Ruth Anderson, Greaton Sellers, Clay Arrington, Bonnie Bardos, Luther Connor, Gary Pace, Dee Owen, Doug Honeycutt and Niece Lundgren.


Thank you dear readers, for reading this column. I love hearing from you! Whether you live here, or just wish you were here, 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, call 749-1153, visit for more writing and art, or find me on Facebook.