Saluda News & Notations: We don’t always get what we want, but …

Published 4:05 pm Thursday, December 21, 2017

“This Christmas mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a letter. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. Try to understand. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love, and then speak it again.”

~ Howard W. Hunter

Can you believe — as the old Andy Williams’ song goes — “It’s the holiday season!” I admit without shame to putting the Christmas tree up before Thanksgiving, breaking my Scrooge-worthy, iron-clad rule just because comfort from glowing lights on chill evenings is needed this year. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or in other ways, or not, you have to admit those lights warm the spirit.

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After that, River was diagnosed with kidney disease, a dear friend was slipping away, and others keep battling the C-word—it was indeed a huge comfort to take solace in those lights. Makes you think long and hard about what matters in life: it’s not ‘things’. Here are thoughts about that I wrote for you, dear reader, a few years ago:

Somehow as years have slipped by, I’ve lost my longings for those treasures in the ubiquitous Sears Wish Book. As a little kid, I spent hours poring over those wondrous pages full of everything and anything you could ever want—and then some. Oh, look at that E-Z Bake oven! I want! Oh, look at those Madame Alexander dolls! Oh, look at that guitar! Look at that ballerina costume! Oh, cowgirl boots! I want! I want!

Of course, I’d mark each wish item with a star, just in case parents or Santa were looking through the catalog and needed to know exactly what I was hoping would be under the tree, and I’d write it on a Christmas list, too, as backup. I’m pretty sure I underlined the entire description and price too, just in case they missed the well-worn pages, dog-eared edges, the stars and markers. I want!

Well, I never got that magical E-Z Bake oven, symbolic of that wondrous present that would have made life worth living, the answer to everything. (At least to a 9-year-old.) We don’t always get what we want, as the Rolling Stones sang, but we get what we need. At this point around the sun, I just want those I love to be OK. To have a good day, to come in the door to their loved ones, to get hugs from them. That’s my Christmas wish. When we do get that, we have everything. (No mall was involved.) That’s something to think about.

(But I might not turn down an E-Z Bake oven if it appeared under the tree….)

Saluda Welcome Table at Saluda Methodist Church resumes January 9.

Saluda Community Land Trust can use your generous holiday donations or volunteer help. Contact SCLT at 828-749-1560 or visit 

Saluda Historic Depot, 32 West Main Street, is open Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday 12-4 p.m. and online at

The annual Saluda Center Gala is rescheduled to January 7.

Saluda School will be closed for the holiday break from Dec. 22-Jan. 1; students return to class on January 2. 

A Community Christmas Potluck at Saluda Center is Dec. 25 at 1:30 p.m.

Saluda Get-Well wishes go to Cissy Thompson, Rita Igoe, Mary Ann Asbill, and Judy Ward’s mom Jo.

Happy December birthday to Judy Ward, Holly Wilkes, Theresa Wilkes, Perry Ellwood, Donnie Hunter, Jeff Bradley, Preston Mintz, Carolyn Morgan, Susan Casey, Jeff Jenkins, Nikki Ammerman, Cas Haskell, Mary O. Ratcliffe, Laura Fields, Lord Blanton,  Beth Brand, Jim Carson, and Tom DeKay.

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