Saluda News & Notations: Attitude of gratitude not always easy

Published 4:14 pm Thursday, November 16, 2017

“The cricket doesn’t wonder

if there’s a heaven or,

if there is, if there’s room for him.

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It’s fall. Romance is over. Still, he sings.

If he can, he enters a house

through the tiniest crack under the door.

Then the house grows colder.

He sings slower and slower

Then, nothing.

This must mean something, I don’t know what.

But certainly it doesn’t mean

he hasn’t been an excellent cricket

all his life.”

~ Mary Oliver, “Nothing Is Too Small Not to Be Wondered About”

Here it is mid-November, almost Thanksgiving. Always, I tell anyone who’ll listen how grateful I am for getting up one more day (ain’t that the truth!). Dogs have taught me that lesson, to jump (in my case, it’s more like ease/ooze slowly) out of bed, and head outside to greet the sun, rain, or whatever is waiting. It’s morning, and there’s one more to embrace. Cricket songs embroider summer days, then November brings stowaways in the house, a ritual of life.

I find myself struggling to scoop out a bowl of gratitude lately. Dogs don’t tend to worry about yesterday or tomorrow like we humans do. No, they’re delighted to be here right now! I’m watchful over River, worrying over his upcoming blood tests in the morning over at the vet’s office. I know River has no clue, although he’s not going to like this surprise. I’ve already followed him around the yard with a cup, trying to get a urine specimen for the vet. (Let’s just say I’m glad no one had a camera pointed at this scene.)

It’s hard to dish up gratitude when you start thinking about friends fighting the Big C — the one who’s made dog treats for all your dogs over the years is now struggling after surgery/chemo/brain radiation — and another friend who went into Hospice care this afternoon. Where’s fairness in that? It’s a struggle some days to find the sun warming front porch steps, to stand in it and bask a moment, sniffing the air in delight. Oh, to be a dog on these days, in these times.

River curls nearby, another gift of warming my nose upon those soft ears. Crickets show up less and less in the kitchen, a couple late fall roses bloom in a glass bottle beside my favorite chair. Thanksgiving is right around the corner, something to be grateful about—perhaps there IS a bowl of gratitude in all things, in some way that we have to find.

Saluda Welcome Table is each Tuesday at Saluda Methodist Church from 5:30-6:45 p.m. This is free and open to all; donations appreciated.

Saluda Community Land Trust (SCLT) needs volunteers; donations are always welcome. Contact SCLT at 828-749-1560 or visit 

Saluda Historic Depot, 32 West Main Street will have Saluda Train Tales on Nov. 17, 7 p.m. with the granddaughters of E.M. Patterson who was an engineer on the Helper Train. Museum hours are Monday- Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday 12-4 p.m.

The Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration’s third annual Holiday Bazaar is Nov. 18, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Parish Hall, 72 Charles Street.

Saluda Tailgate Holiday Market is at the city parking lot on Nov. 25, 1-3 p.m. 

The annual Polk County Toy Run parade starts at 2 p.m. Nov. 25 from Saluda Fire Department on Greenville Street. Registration begins at 11 a.m.

Saluda Get-Well Wishes go to: Melia Bradley, Ruth Anderson, Rita Igoe, and Mary Ann Asbill.

Happy November Birthday to Rich Igoe, Rita Igoe, Karen Johnson, Nancy Barnett, Dawn Pearson, Charles Pearson, Dusty Jespersen, Gwen Garren, Stoney Lamar, Jim Boyle, Tom Ellwood, Wendy McEntire, Aaron Burdett, Jane Thompson, Candy Oakes, and Bruce Hunt. 

Thank you, dear readers, for reading this column. You can contact me at, 828-749-1153, or