Sallie Satterthwaite's blog

Refrigerator woes

Sallie Satterthwaite's picture

If you’ve read this column over the past few years, you might have noted that I vent my frustration with episodes of having to replace every household appliance in the nearly 30 years since we built this house.

It’s easy to forget that actuarials estimate the replacement of household goods to occur roughly every eight or ten years. By that standard, we should be grateful we haven’t had to replace them more often. Read More»

Letters bind us, Part II

Sallie Satterthwaite's picture

If you’ve ever had to equip a lab in a glass factory, from the ground up, while keeping an eye on a house under construction, and staying in touch with your loved ones 700 miles away, you may relate to our lives in the summer of 1971. Dave writes:

7-13-71 Read More»

Family Letters Bind Us (pt.1)

Sallie Satterthwaite's picture

In the rainy summer of 1971, we began to create a new home 800 miles away in Georgia, for our three girls, Grandma, and ourselves. At various times that year, the girls would stay with friends and family, or kept Daddy company in Fairburn, Ga. where he worked 12-hour days and came “home” to eat and sleep at the Holiday Inn in Newnan. With no email, cell phones, Internet, and very few phones of any kind, we managed to keep up with each other by snail-mail.

Here are Dave’s chronicles, starting out alone:
 
Monday 7-5-71 Read More»

Life by the letters

Sallie Satterthwaite's picture

By a quirk of fate, I’ve come upon a cache of letters that tell the story of moving our family from Haddon Heights, New Jersey, to Peachtree City, Georgia.
Payoff for finally cleaning up my office?

For years I have shrugged off the memories of that time as no big deal, thinking that everybody else who moved here had the same experience, and wouldn’t be interested in ours. That may be true, but the time frame has changed a lot since 1971, and people being what they are, I imagine we all have memories of our first pilgrimage to Peachtree City, no two stories exactly the same. Read More»

Goldie's cautionary tale

Sallie Satterthwaite's picture

When we first encountered the little goldfinch, she (?) was on her back on the floor of the screen porch, not moving. As usual on a really cold morning, Dave had taken a kettle of hot water out to thaw the birdbaths, and nearly stepped on a tiny bundle of feathers. He called to me to bring the tissue-lined shoe box we keep for just such emergencies.

The best way to help an injured bird is to do nothing but put it in a dark, warm place for about a half hour. Almost invariably, if it is not seriously hurt, a bird will become alert, preen its feathers, and be on its way. Read More»

Welcome to 2012

Sallie Satterthwaite's picture

As if it could actually happen, I kept expecting the unfinished little stacks of this and that around the house to pack up and go home. Looking Christmas and then New Year’s full in the eye, I’d pass these landmarks in high dudgeon, trying not to see them and promising I’d have them whittled down to five places (from at least 10).

When it didn’t happen, I’d smile and say, “That’s OK. I’ll get it done before New Year’s.” Yeah. Sure I will.

Now I’m saying “before Monday.” What will I say on Monday? Read More»

Pass on Christmas kindness

Sallie Satterthwaite's picture

Would that every week contained more good tales than bad – and that we would recognize and honor them. Perhaps it is the season. We’re obliged to pass on the tiny candle flame of good will when we accept it for ourselves.

I told you recently about a stranger who paid for our meal at Italian Oven. The place was not crowded, so it was easy to see almost every other diner while we were there. We didn’t recognize a soul, and no one we know has hinted about it. Such a nice gift at Christmastime. Read More»

Christmas does not need defending

Sallie Satterthwaite's picture

Every year about now you can just about bet the farm that someone will launch a tirade against Christmas commercialism, the departure of piety, the hypocrisy of business. We are easily distracted by catchy terms, like “The reason for the season,” and we get all offended that Jesus is not honored as he should be. Read More»

Kindness not random

Sallie Satterthwaite's picture

The “little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love” that make up “the best portion of a good man’s life,” as William Wordsworth called them, ought not remain “unremembered.”

A Nineties term – “random acts of kindness” – was coined as a sort of antidote, I suppose, to the horrors we see each day on the evening news. It suggests the importance of responding instinctively to the impulse to do right. Read More»

Nighty-night

Sallie Satterthwaite's picture

This might be the best Christmas gift you receive this year.

Then again, it might look like a scam. Can’t be, because there is no money or response attached to it in any way. Nor drugs or breathing aids.

The usual disclaimer: I’m not a doctor and cannot offer any guarantees about what I am going to prescribe for you. All I know is it works for me and it might for you, too. Read More»