Go with the flow 

Published 11:25 am Thursday, September 14, 2023

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Zen pretty much comes down to three things — everything changes; everything is connected; pay attention.
~ Jane Hirshfield 

Nature and everyday life teach us that change is inevitable and everything is connected. You’d better believe, Dear Reader, if you haven’t learned these lessons yet, you will. 

As I watch acorns and leaves start to fall, it’s a reminder of change, despite what the thermometer reads. Wild critters start gathering those acorns and feasting now, storing up supplies for lean times. They pay attention. 

Me too! You learn to not only watch the goings on of nature, you learn to watch the goings on inside your own nest as well. Musty smell? Better find out why and where. Flickering lights or strange smells? Oh oh. Sparks from outlets? Gurgling sounds in plumbing? Oh NO! 

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Luckily, having been around the block a time or two, I know how to fix some things on my own, when to call for help, and when to start praying. 

After bathroom plumbing started moving slowly, I flushed drains with good ole vinegar and baking soda; usually with repeat attempts things get flowing again. By the time the toilet AND bathtub backed up with sewage from parts unknown, and those tried-and-true main drain clog methods obviously had NOT worked, I knew it was no longer a fix-it-yourself project. 

A plumber friend arrived after the SOS signal, disappearing into the basement and out to the front yard to inspect for clues, then basically said UH OH—this IS a problem, and it’s not your fault (well, that’s a plus!); the problem would affect the entire building. I just got it first due to being closest to ground zero. Tree roots at sewer lines cause big problems over time, as well as clean-outs that haven’t been cleaned out on a regular basis. Uh oh. I think this one’s above my pay grade or skill level I told him, speed-dialing the landlords. 

By now you’ve got the picture. By bedtime, I was thinking about borrowing someone’s guest room far away from the hazard zone, yet kept worrying that the moment I left, there’d be more overflow, a horror movie. 

We know Murphy’s Law: when it rains, it pours. At 1 a.m., a storm hit. Rain overflowing from roof gutters poured down, into upper window frames and down to the floor, soaking curtains, furniture, everything nearby, as well as me as I frantically shoved furniture, pulled things to safety, ran for buckets, towels and anything dry to catch water. No rest for the weary! No, I didn’t howl that night. But by the next evening, armed with a carload of bleach, disposable gloves, and other weapons against the evil sewer monster, I went in to do battle. I gotta say, I stood there looking at the tub and cried—even a tough cookie can crumble! 

After that, I went at it–scrubbing, bleaching, gagging, sweating, muttering a few choice words not fit for print, but fitting. Loads of heavy sopping-wet towels went into piles to haul to a laundromat. As ever, “Well, it could be worse” kept me going. Sometimes life gives us changes we’d prefer to avoid, but it also teaches us to pay attention. 


  • Saluda Community Land Trust (SCLT) has a hike on September 17 to Green River Game Lands Wilderness Cove. Meet at Saluda Library’s parking lot at 2 p.m. 
  • Welcome to our new library manager, Amelia Medrano, a familiar face already. Bob McCall is enjoying retirement along with lots of projects, and just came up to hang a new art exhibit for Saluda Library. Rita Owens also retired, many remember her friendly face behind the wheel of the Polk County Bookmobile. 
  • 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, 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 bbardos@gmail.com, (828) 817-6765, P.O. Box 331, Saluda, NC 28773, Facebook, or visit bonniebardos.com