The turning of fall

Published 1:38 pm Wednesday, September 21, 2022

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The porch swing hangs fixed in a morning sun
that bleaches its gray slats, its flowered cushion
whose flowers have faded, like those of summer,
and a small brown spider has hung out her web
on a line between porch post and chain
so that no one may swing without breaking it.
She is saying it’s time that the swinging were done with,
time that the creaking and pinging and popping
that sang through the ceiling were past,
time now for the soft vibrations of moths,
the wasp tapping each board for an entrance,
the cool dewdrops to brush from her work
every morning, one world at a time.

~ Ted Kooser, “Porch Swing in September”

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At the turning of fall, dogwoods blush purple-crimson, goldenrod gracefully arches near roadside asters as bees hum. A small green saddleback caterpillar with black tassels, so innocent-appearing, is not. Acorns drop, busy-body squirrels start hoarding. 

There is a slowing of pace quietly rippling through coming autumn, yet summer’s flowers bloom as fall’s join in. The old porch swing lazes peacefully on sun-sparkled afternoons, shimmering locust leaves reaching out close by. Spiders hang new webs along the eaves, silken strands over the garden path where I always run smack-dab into one. Without fail. 

As September fleets, and dandelion puffs drift, it’s time for yours truly to take a little break. I’ll be in the south of France with a few art supplies and a grateful, happy heart. Usually, if traveling, I write a column where I am and send ‘er in. This time, I’m going to be like the grasshopper singing in the grass: lazy. But, as the Terminator famously said: I’ll be b-a-c-k!   


Saluda Tailgate Market is every Friday at the west city parking lot located off Main Street, 4:30-6 p.m. The market is open through October. 


Saluda Community Land Trust (SCLT) keeps busy with land conservation, trails, projects and more: visit or call 828-749-1560 for information. Support SCLT with donations, volunteering, and Amazon Smile. Contact “Trail Boss” Chuck Hearon at about hike info, leading a hike, or helping clear trails. The next Walk in the Woods is on October 2 to the Old Home Place with 1-2 miles and 2-3 hours of easy-moderate walking. Walkers will get a glimpse of life 19th century style with an old homestead, fields and streams at the Dart-McCutchen property off Holbert Cove Road. Meet at Saluda Library parking lot at 2 p.m. (Susan Dart McCutchen’s book “The Old Home Place” is available at Saluda Library) 


Potluck/bingo night at Saluda Center (64 Greenville Street) is September 26, 6 p.m. 

Saluda Community Table is September 28 featuring a chili cook-off at McCreery Park’s pavilion, at 6 p.m. Bring your own plates/cups/utensils. The next community table will be on October 12. 

Saluda Pop-Up Pantry is Tuesday from 1-6 at Saluda Presbyterian Church, 54 Carolina Avenue (behind Saluda Library). To volunteer at the Pantry, call Saluda Church of the Transfiguration, at 828-749-9740. The Pantry could use a few strong folks to help with loading and other tasks—get a workout and do good at the same time! You can mail tax-deductible donations to Saluda Pop-Up Pantry, P.O. Box 428, Saluda, NC 28773 or donate online at www.saludapantrycom; or through Amazon Smile.


Happy September Birthday to Wayne Thompson, Courtney Hoots, Merci Weitzen, Dale McEntire, Joni Rauschenbach, Linda Kaye Hayes, Carol Kenfield, Leslie Jespersen, Linda Mintz, Sheila Billeter, Cary Pace, Ross Arrington, Hop Foster, Chuck Hearon, Alexia Timberlake, Jason Justus, Beth Carson, Clark Thompson, Nicholas Edwards, Cindy Tuttle, Don Clapp, Nancy Pew, Marc Blazar, M.J. Parsons, Gina Burnett, and Melanie Talbot. 


Feel free to contact me at, (828) 817-6765, P.O. Box 331, Saluda, NC 28773, Facebook, or visit