Saluda has a special little one who needs our help

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, February 11, 2016

“…Dinner simmers on the stove. Glass bowls wait to be filled Dinner simmers on the stove. Glass bowls wait to be filled with gold broth. Sprigs of parsley on the cutting board. I want to smell this rich soup, the air around me going dark, as stars press their simple shapes into the sky. I want to stay on the back porch while the world tilts toward sleep, until what I love misses me, and calls me in.”

~  Dorianne Laux, excerpt from “On the Back Porch”

There isn’t much better than a simple bowl of steaming homemade chicken soup on a winter night; the fragrant richness of golden-yellow goodness warms the spirit and tummy. River dog eagerly awaits a bit poured on his dinner. It’s delicious, this soup that has simmered all afternoon.

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We talk of feeding the soul, of savoring each bite, a symbol of life and life’s little moments of gratitude, yet too often take for granted those we love will be here to share a bowl, a meal we’ve made with our heart, with us one more time. The little things are indeed the most precious.

On a February snow-feathered morning, I’m thinking about a guy (other than River). Now, dear reader, before you start hoping to hear wedding bells, I have to tell you this special guy on my mind, tucked warm in my heart, is a little boy named Jackson (who looks just like his mom Stella and his grandmother Nancy) in our small town, facing cancer treatment for the second time. His sweet eyes still round and innocent, you’d have no clue.

Son of Stella Barnett who works down at the Purple Onion, little Jack’s got another long road ahead along with those who love him. As for Stella, well…she’s being Stella about it: laid back and strong. That’s just Stella and how she is, as her friend Chambli Dawn says one morning at the restaurant.

Life’s not fair as most of us have figured out by now. Cancer hits young, old, and those in between. It has no heart. But we do. There’s a gofundme page ( to help Stella and Jackson with medical expenses. It’s the month of love, of hope, of what we love calling us in.

Saluda Welcome Table is every Tuesday, with dinner served from 5:30 -7 in the fellowship hall of Saluda United Methodist Church. All are welcome; donations accepted.

Saluda Community Land Trust (SCLT) will benefit from your donations for this year ahead, or your time as a volunteer for their many community projects. Mark your calendar for the annual meeting scheduled April 13. Contact SCLT at 828-749-1560 or visit

The Historic Saluda Committee meets Feb. 12, 2 p.m. at Saluda Library.

Saluda Garden Club meets Feb. 15 at 10 a.m. at Saluda Library.

Ward’s Grill will host a free veteran’s breakfast on Feb. 18, from 8-10 a.m.

Social Singles (men and women 40+) will have a potluck dinner Feb. 18 at 5 p.m. at Saluda Center.

Enjoy Saluda Train Tales with Ray Rapp, “How the West Was Won: Trains and Transformation of Western NC” at Saluda Historic Depot, Feb. 19, 6:30 p.m.

Saluda Center Potluck and Bingo is Feb. 29 at 6 p.m. Everyone welcome; bring along something delicious to share.

Happy February birthday to: Wylie Rauschenbach, Wesley Pace, Biddie Dawson, Amy Beeson, Ginny Jones, Jenna Igoe, Suzanne Igoe, Pam Thompson, Catherine Raymond, Eva McCray, Ellen Rogers, Margaret Miller, Paul London, Ward Sandahl, Bill Klippel, Pat Bares, Dwight Smith, Ingrid Sandahl, Fred Baisden, Duane Bateman, Jim Crowther and Ragan Thompson. Happy 135th birthday to the City of Saluda!

Thank you for reading this column, dear readers. As ever, the goal is to make you feel like you’re enjoying small town life in a friendly little mountain town called Saluda. Feel free to contact me at or 749-1153. I always love hearing from you! Or visit for more writing and art, or find me on Facebook.