Saluda News & Notations: The best kind of birthday gifts

Published 8:00 am Friday, April 27, 2018

“It is not from ourselves that we learn to be better than we are.”

~ Wendell Berry

It’s a good thing no one but River and Pikachu listen in to my conversations-to-self some mornings.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“Where IS my diaper?!” I asked a few days ago, finally rooting out a Tena adult diaper from a pile in the kitchen. Cackling at my own humor, I toted the diaper out to the front porch to tuck into the bottom of fern baskets, a trick learned from the folks who do the downtown Hendersonville hanging flower baskets.

Yes, last fall, I’d sent off for samples of extra-large adult diapers, never intending them for myself (at least not YET), but for future flower baskets. I did not admit to the generous diaper company when requesting samples that I wanted those diapers for plants because I was too cheap to buy a pack. The secret’s out.

Now, on this evening of my 59th (whisper) birthday, I sit here writing you, dear reader, while steady rain falls outside with more to come.

I find myself smiling about the diaper escapade and about good people in this small town who make another birthday a sweet one, despite flood watches and more monsoons to come. Usually I get sunshine every April birthday, but not today.

Yet I have held back from complaining, grateful to get another trip around the sun.

More like a trip through the rain forest today, though!

Sunshine comes in other ways: a heart-shaped chocolate brownie cake, chicken-butternut pie, asparagus soup from Catherine Ross — a birthday feast! I stood overwhelmed by the love in her warm kitchen as she loaded me up with goodies. We look after one another in this town she said, smiling.

The day of rain continued, sun in big hugs, calls, emails, cards and more hugs. Lots of River Dog ear rubs. A birthday check from Aunt Sally in Maine — even at my age now, I am thrilled just as I was as a child when she remembered my day.

A “wine” card that brought a laugh. Invitations for a Blind Pig event and celebrations for this week. Fragrant iris and arm-loads of azaleas perfuming the house.

Friends stopping by over the weekend to sit a spell in the garden. The Turtle returning home after a week of being laid up: sporting a new brake rotor, master cylinder and wheel bearings. A “Happy Birthday” from Patricia at the bank window as she cashed Aunt Sally’s check, wet from rain.

People still look out for one another in this small town with a big heart, and even if I go around talking to myself about diapers and such, people still make me feel loved. You can’t ask for better gifts than that.

• Saluda Welcome Table at Saluda Methodist Church is every Tuesday from 5:30-6:45 p.m.

• Learn about Saluda Community Land Trust by visiting or calling 828-749-1560. The next “Walk in the Woods” is May 6, Palmetto Trail to Blue Wall. Meet at Saluda Library parking lot at 2 p.m. Sunday to carpool. For more information on walks, contact Chuck Hearon at 828-817-0364 or

• Community potluck and bingo night at Saluda Center is April 30, 6 p.m.

• The 15th annual Saluda Arts Festival is May 19.

• 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, Doug Honeycutt, Niece Lundgren, Julie Roy, Tommy Williamson, Rhonda Corley and Taylor Staggs.

Thank you for reading this column; as ever, the goal is to make you feel like you’re enjoying small town life in a friendly mountain town called Saluda. Feel free to contact me at, 828-749-1153 or visit