Hot summer afternoons are the perfect time to enjoy a good book

Published 12:39 pm Friday, July 5, 2024

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“Summer has filled her veins with light, and her heart is washed with noon.” ~ C. Day Lewis

July arrives in crisp white linen, strawberry ice cream cone melting in hand as she sits under a shady awning downtown. It is the month of crimson sweet watermelon, fresh corn, blue-green pine, simmering days, and dusky leaves begging for rain. Farmers cut fields of hay, itching and sweating under intense Aegean-blue afternoons when thunder rumbles, but no drops come. Yet.  

Summer settles in, and July reminds us the heat is on. Cicadas sing, frogs join in. In our little town, Coon Dog Day brings an early morning 5K run, antique cars, visitors, picnics, and long evenings of square dances. Most raccoons are smart enough to take to the woods that day as coon hounds howl and bay, lining up for judging on the school grounds one more year. 

It’s been a while since I asked you, Dear Reader, what books you have in your summer reading pile. Please, oh, please tell me you have a stack of books for hot summer afternoons, something that takes you away to sandy beaches, mountain breezes, and wide journeys. 

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As ever, my pile goes from one extreme to another. I’m almost finished with “North Woods” by Daniel Mason. “Poetry of Presence II” was a gift from a dear friend—it stays beside my chair for those days when I need a poem (or two). “The Chef” by James Patterson, “How Not To Die” by Michael Greger, “MD,” gifted by a friend I made undergoing radiation at the same time; lighter reading with “Swan Song” by Elin Hilderbrand on loan from another friend. 

For some reason, if I have books beckoning to be read, that’s a delicious day, an “I feel rich” sort of day. Instead of ‘What’s in your wallet?’ it’s what’s in your stack! Ah, summer…so many books, so little time. Read on. 

  • Coon Dog Day is July 6, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; the parade starts at 11. 
  • Saluda Community Table takes place on July 9, 5:30-7 p.m. at Saluda Center; bring your own dinnerware if you can.   
  • Saluda Art Alliance is sponsoring Saluda Art Strolls on the second Saturday of each month of the 2024 season. The next one is July 13, from 4 to 6 p.m.
  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Jr. at Mountain Page Theater runs the weekend of July 13-14 at 2:30. For tickets, visit
  • The next Train Tales at Saluda Historic Depot and Museum will be July 19, and professional photographer Jeffery Stoner will speak about “Photography and Trains.” 
  • Saluda Community Land Trust will take its “Walks in the Woods” on July 21 to the  Lazy Girl Trail. This is a mile walk. The trail crosses a stream and connects Esseola Drive through the woods to Laurel Drive in Saluda; no pets on this walk. Meet at Saluda Library’s parking lot at 2 p.m. For information, contact the SCLT office at (828) 749-1560 or email
  • Saluda Sympathy goes to Cissy and Wayne Thompson and the family of Rodney Thompson. 

Happy July Birthday to Debi Thomas, Rheta Foster, Nancy Weinhagen, Lisa Obermiller, Kathy Thompson, Bill Jameson, Emily Rose Ford, Jeremy Ford, Mike Cass,  Nathen Honeycutt, Melissa Justus, Hunter Justus, Alyssa Justus, Lin Savage, Doug Taylor, Amanda Anderson, Gail Slaughter, Diane Ballard, Amber Grant, Kathy Hayes, Ammie Forester, and Marianne Blazar. 

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