Sally GracieBy Sally Gracie

A late flight from Omaha led to my missed connection in Denver; hence, Southwest Airlines arranged a detour and an eight-hour layover in Boise. I was lucky — or so the airline representative told me — to get out of Denver when I did on Tuesday. The drive home from Spokane on Wednesday was beautiful — fields of winter wheat and big, blue sky.

I felt as if I’d won the Lotto when Wendy Braden called to tell me my name was drawn for the Twisp Valley Grange gift basket at the Christmas bazaar. The wicker laundry basket is filled to the top with goodies from the grange ladies’ kitchens.

The grange was nice to me earlier in the day as well at their annual Santa and pancakes event. Despite Judy Brezina Camp’s taking a class in “grill-top management” (or so she says she did), the griddle couldn’t keep up with the steady line of guests.

None of us minded and as we waited, I had a nice visit with Hans Smith and his darling little boys, Quin and Eldon. Just a toddler and not so familiar with Santa, Eldon surprised me as he went to Santa on his own, and stood a few feet away to study the jolly old elf (played by Gordon Camp).

The pancakes were worth the waiting – Judy added blueberries and there was the yummy pear sauce to top them with. Other grange members hard at work were Kathryn Eisenhauer, Billie Somerville, Bruce Morrison, Terry Dixon, Wendy Braden and Lily Stoothoff.

Visitors who made a cash donation to the Methow Valley Community Center at the bazaar were offered one of artist Joan Lasse’s prints. Joan’s ’tis-the-season generosity prompted people of all ages — from kids buying gifts for parents to art collectors — to take an original work of art home with them.

Sales of Christmas trees to benefit the Community Center will continue at the tent on Hank’s Harvest Foods’ parking lot until every tree is sold. Volunteers John Doran and Keith Rowland man the tent from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. every day. Noble and Grand firs are available. Once again, Larry Smith made the drive to Oregon to pick up the trees.

(An aside: The National Christmas tree is an 18 1/2-foot Douglas fir that traveled to Washington, D. C., from the Colville National Forest in eastern Washington. A website allowed tracking the tree as it made its way across the country The lighting ceremony on the Ellipse in D. C. took place Dec. 1).

There will be two more Tuesday story times at Twisp Library before Christmas Day, both at 1:30 p.m. On Dec. 16, kids will decorate Terry Dixon’s homemade gingerbread men; on Dec. 24, they will make pinecone bird feeders. For information, call 997-4681.

Salyna Gracie’s collages will be part of a group show called “Scissors, Paper, Glue” at the Cloud Gallery on Capitol Hill in Seattle. Should you find yourself on the west side on Thursday (Dec. 12), the opening reception will be held as part of the Capitol Hill Blitz Art Walk from 5-9 p.m. at 901 E. Pike St. The exhibit continues through Jan. 5.

Please email or call about your best books of the year. This means they should have been published in 2013. So far I’ve heard only from Kathleen Hirschstein. Can’t write the column without you.