Getting into the groove when tackling big projects

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, October 20, 2016

“…the sky in front becoming pink and soft, then slightly blue again, as though it could not stop going on in its beauty, then the land closest to the setting sun would get dark, almost black against the orange line of horizon, but if you turn around, the land is still available to the eye with such softness, the few trees, the quiet fields of cover crops already turned, and the sky lingering, lingering, then finally dark. As though the soul can be quiet for those few moments.

“All life amazes me.”

~ Elizabeth Strout, excerpt from “My Name Is Lucy Barton”

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On sweet October afternoons, I’ve been chipping away at a painting project outside. Anyone who knows me knows it’s usually painting on canvas. This time around, it’s deck railing and two million pickets—you paint one, then there’s 50 more waiting! Truth be known, I’d rather have another root canal than paint those bloomin’ pickets. Unlike Tom Sawyer, I haven’t resorted to a quick whitewash job, but consider it often.

Time-consuming and detailed, I’ve tackled the endless task an hour or two at a time as long as hands and back allow, a lesson in patience. Once you get into the groove, it’s almost pleasant to work peacefully, brushing white paint over wood, a certain River dog basking nearby, light glimmering soft through trees, a brushing of leaves falling to earth. A Buddhist saying comes to mind: “Chop wood, carry water. Chop wood, carry water.”

The brush keeps going steadily, back, forth, up, down. Sometimes, the most dreaded tasks become not-so-bad when the sky’s blue, a good dog keeps company, and paint makes a bit of magic as the job gets closer to done. Such is life.

Saluda Tailgate Market is open on Fridays through Oct. 28 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the city parking lot off Main Street.

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

Saluda Community Land Trust (SCLT) benefits from your donations or time as a volunteer for their many community projects. “Walks in the Woods” are on the first and third Sundays each month. Contact SCLT at 828-749-1560 or visit for more information.

Saluda Train Tales are held at Saluda Historic Depot ( on the third Friday each month through October. The Depot is open Thursday through Sunday,  noon-4 p.m.

Saluda Railroad Day is Oct. 22, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. in downtown Saluda.

The City of Saluda and Saluda businesses will host a Halloween Stroll on Main Street, Oct. 28, 3-6 p.m. Our police department will be on hand to help make this a safe and fun event for families!

Saluda Center Potluck and Bingo is Oct. 31, 6 p.m.

Saluda United Methodist Church’s annual turkey dinner is Nov. 12, 5-7 p.m. at Saluda School cafeteria.

Saluda’s Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration’s second annual Holiday Bazaar will be Nov. 19, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the parish hall, 72 Charles Street.

Saluda get-well wishes go to Anita Ogden Moore.

Saluda sympathy goes to the family of Thomas Monts. Please keep Sonya, Henry and Clara in your hearts. Thomas loved his family and he was a big part of Saluda’s United Methodist Church and our community.

Happy October birthday to Cissy Thompson, Patricia Case, Joan Barker, Gary Corn, Aaron Bradley, Amanda Burrell Anderson, Lisa Orr, Marilyn Prudhomme, Bubba Dawson, Kirby Jackson, Mary Ann Asbill, Sheila Billeter, Carol Thompson, Mildred Hipp, Dean Bradley and Susan Wheeler.

Thank you, dear readers for reading this column. It’s my goal to make you feel as if you were enjoying a ‘Saluda Time’ visit watching drifting leaves and blue sky. Please feel free to contact me at or 749-1153. You may also visit for more writing and art, or find me on Facebook.