P.O. Box 668
Saluda, SC 29138
Phone 864 445-2527
Fax 864 445-8679
Email sentinel@saludasc.com



  I guess there are all kinds of miracles this time of year.
  Friday, I awakened to discover my gold chain had come unclasped and was hanging loose around my neck.
  Missing was the gold nugget Joann Keeler gave me just a few weeks before she died. It had been made for her by the late Klaus Roesner, another friend.
  I had been wearing the nugget around my neck since December 1992, the month and year Joann died. Now, it was gone.
  I didn’t have time to trace all my steps. I had to get to work.
  One of the first things I did Friday was take the chain to Tidwell’s to get the clasp fixed.
  I  began to strategize on how I was going to find the nugget. I would use my metal detector and walk my path at home from the day before.
  With the chain still hanging around my neck when I work up, however, I just had the feeling the nugget was still in my bedroom.
  When I got home, I picked up the T-shirt I had slept in the night before from the back of the chair, where I had laid it that morning. I heard something fall.
  I looked down,  and inside a penny loafer I saw the gold nugget!
  Was it there all along? Did it fall out of the shirt? If so, how did a gold nugget get stuck inside a T-shirt? There was nothing on which it could get hung. If not, then how did it get inside the shoe?
  No matter how it happened, I found my precious prize within five minutes of getting home Friday afternoon.
  Sunday at church, Stephanie McCary asked the congregation to be on the lookout for her diamond ring. She thought she might have lost it while she was working on a decoration at the church Friday.
  After church, I told Stephanie to look in her shoe.
  She had  been looking for her ring all weekend, and she finally decided it was somewhere in the decoration. Taking the decoration home required some disassembly, but Stephanie said  it was going home with her after the cantata Sunday night.
   Monday, Stephanie announced on Facebook she had found her ring.
  Someone asked her where?
  Stephanie answered, “Where the beginning of true happiness and love was found .... the Manger.”
  Yes, Stephanie lost her ring when she was putting hay in the manger.
  A gold nugget in a shoe, a diamond ring in a manger - two items that can be duplicated, but never replaced.
  They don’t have to be.


  There are Christmas miracles, then there are Christmas “Whats?!!!”
  That was my reaction when I was told that two of our featured singers in our Emory-Nazareth cantata, David Harris and Kathy Miles,  were sick and could not sing Sunday night.
  That cut our trio to a solo by Linda Harris. Kathy is an alto and David is our only tenor.
  Kathy did double duty, singing with the Newberry Community Choir and us. She came down with bronchitis the day after the Newberry show.
  If I had known 15 members of the Newberry choir got sick and couldn’t sing in their program, I would not have been surprised about David and Kathy.
  We sure missed them, but the rest of the choir did well. The church was packed and the choir appreciated that and the great food and fellowship that followed.


  Saturday was typical for this time of year.
  That morning I attended the first birthday party for my great-niece Skylar Coleman at the Chickfila in Five Points in Columbia.
  Of course, I took pictures.
  I got home at 1:30 and took a nap. I awakened at 3:00, posted those pictures, and at 3:45 I headed to the Saluda Christmas Parade.
  After the parade, I came home, posted those pictures, and at 5:45 I made my way to Randy and Angie Rita’s Christmas drop-in, where everyone enjoyed great food and fellowship (Yes, I used the phrase above, I know).
   Being out the 702 area, I decided to make my fourth stop of the day, Bennett’s Country Christmas light show.
  John Bennett has been asking me for years to visit, but I have always had conflicts.
  The place is beautiful, and I know John and his family do a lot of work to set up the displays.
  He said the look on a child’s face makes it all worth it.
  I can understand that. This “child’ enjoyed it and I had my photo made with Santa!
  That was the second time I had seen Santa in four hour period. Throw in the Chickfila Cow, and I had a day filled with the celebrities.
  When I got home, I went straight to bed. I’d had as much fun as I could stand.


  Saluda native Evie Boswell Evans put photo of her fallen Christmas tree on Facebook Sunday.
  I told her to get some nails and some fishing line.
  Evie’s experience inspired me to write a poem, which I shared on Facebook:
  Two nails are in the ceiling,
  And fishing line hangs down,
  And when our mother saw them,
  It was greeted with a frown.
  For fifty years they’ve been there,
  The sight always brings glee,
  For it was Shake’s solution
  To hold up the “#@%& tree!”
  Yes, those nails are still in the ceiling.
  There are two things in life that can test your religion - hand cranking a lawn mower and putting up a Christmas tree.
  Every person finds this out for themselves - the hard way.
  I’ve heard from several people who also used the fishing line trick.
  There is a foot pumped tree stand advertised this year that guarantees a straight tree in a matter of seconds. It costs $100, but anyone will tell you it’s worth it.
  It’s the experiences, good and bad and funny, that make Christmas so special - from nails in the ceiling to reindeer on the lawn, to family food and fellowship (Yes, I used it again!).
  May you all make special memories this year.