Musings from up the mountain

Published 12:44 pm Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”  ~  Anne Lamott


The summer solstice is here as we endure a week of a seemingly endless Great Flood. Some of us have lakes now; some have new rivers and creeks in our backyards. 

For a couple of weeks, I’ve taken time to unplug a bit. After all, school’s out, zinnias and tomatoes are planted— it’s time to slow down for tomato sandwiches and roadside peach stands. 

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Today, as a loved one rests in a Hospice room, my phone is glued to my side for once. I worry that I won’t be able to get there if roads are flooded. What if? Bluebird babies are ready to fledge. What if incessant rains don’t let up? What if? What if zinnias and tomatoes rot? 

There are methods to soothe those ‘what if?’ worries. I head out into a drizzly morning with a yellow rain jacket and pruning loppers to work quietly and steadily at trimming rain-soaked branches. They’re bending down, easier to reach thanks to the added weight of water. Of course, that means getting soaked even more, but the task gets done. Not much time for worrying. 

One thing I know, when I go out and wrangle branches in the rain, silly woman that I am, is that all things will be OK in this life. I understand in my heart that my loved one is in the best of care. Hospice folks are angels. They know what to do. It is quite possible that roads will flood and I won’t be able to get there. That’s life. Love is not stopped by floods. Or death. You cannot stop Nature. 

Those bluebirds I worry about know what to do. They’re wise to the elements. There are thick evergreens nearby for fledglings to shelter in. Those parents are on the ball, completely efficient, and don’t miss a beat. Let me trust them; and I’ll remain on watch, after all, I’m an honorary grand-mama. 

Things resolve if we let them. Near the bluebird house, I pick a green tomato off the heirloom Brandywine to carry inside with a few flowers. Gardens will rot during a week of solid rain. Yet one can have flowers and a green tomato to promise sunshine ahead. 

Murphy’s Law remains the rule for a good laugh though. Last week I’d finally potted up a yellow patio tomato with a small (new!) diaper tucked in the bottom of the pot to keep the soil moist. That’s a trick learned from professional gardeners who manage hanging gardens in downtown Hendersonville. Diaper + flooding isn’t a good mix!   

Dear Reader, I’ve also given a tweak and trim to this column to see how you like it (or not). Sometimes a refresh perks things up! There’s nothing sweeter than when you call, write, email, or walk up and say.  “I feel like I’m sitting right there with you on the porch!” or “Thank you for saying that!” or “Atta girl!”  Thank YOU. 

Happy June Birthday to Nancy Barnett, Bubba Dawson, Peggy Ellwood, Anna Jackson, Charlie Jackson, Amy Violet Ford, Terry Arrington, Julie Arrington, Susie Welsh Hearn, Jeremy Edwards, Eleanor Morgan, Mary Lu Price, Sigi Hendrickson, Edna McKee, Lucinda Pittman, D.J. Gaskin, Susan Matthews, Lisa Duck, Kasey Watkins, Elena Robson, Karen McGee, Jane Mann, and Chambli Dawn Stuber. It’s a long-time promise no ages are mentioned unless you’re under 2 or over 100! 

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