Sallie Satterthwaite's blog

Apologies and travel

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Today I come to you with apologies in hand, for both my colleagues and my readers. Before we went out of town, I thought I’d get a few columns ahead by alternating “oldies” and new pieces from the road.

That didn’t work, of course, and by the time I realized that I had to put fingers to keyboard or at least call Mike-my-editor with apologies, I couldn’t even get up the gumption to explain. Read More»

On becoming a beekeper

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When I was about 8, we moved from city to country because life in the city was becoming crowded and unpleasant. Every morning we had to sweep the porch clear of soot from the coal-powered railroad two blocks away, and some days my mom couldn’t hang sheets out to dry.

Both of my parents had country childhoods, and they wanted me and my younger brother to have the same memories, to cook their home-grown fruits and veggies, and to let us kids ride bikes on the little-trafficked asphalt roads. Read More»

Odious changes

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Change. I hate it.

I know, I’ve groused about change before, but it sure is getting worse with old age.

Do you know what the U.S. Postal Service has went and done to the simple task of holding mail? You may have heard that they’ll keep your mail safe for only 30 days before you have to come claim it or they deliver it all at once. Read More»

Sweet victory

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Inquiries.

Homologated.

Autodidactic.

Tintinnabulation.

What do these words have in common?

Nothing whatever that I know of. Except that they are English words and mean something to me.

The first is simple enough, and represents victory over the longtime Scrabble champion of our household. Daughter Mary and I have been Scrabble antagonists virtually since she could say the alphabet. And about junior high (an early term for middle school), she has won nearly every game we’ve ever played. Read More»

More letters from daughters

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With little editing, this is from Alice traveling South with her dad and sister Mary, in August, 1971. She was our middle daughter, then 11. We could spot her letters a mile away – a round open script, usually on neon notepaper.

Hi, Y’all!
Really, it’s silly to write so soon. But you told me to! A rain has been following us, and I guess it makes Dad a little nervous. Grandma’s car has been acting good, and we haven’t had to stop for it. Read More»

Mary's view from the South

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Found a goldmine of letters the girls wrote back and forth to their parents while Dave was helping start the production of fiberglass insulation in Fairburn. I was at home in New Jersey, readying the house for sale, while they spent the summer swimming or wishing they could. It’s interesting to see their perception of their new home in Georgia.

Aug. 3, 1971, from Mary, 13, to me:
How’s everything up north? Things are fine down here, though slightly boring. The house really looks great. Hope it gets finished on time. Read More»

Honeybees, houses and such

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When I was about 8, we moved from city to country because life in the city was becoming crowded and unpleasant. Every morning we had to sweep the porch clear of soot from the coal-powered railroad two blocks away, and some days my mom couldn’t hang sheets or blankets out to air.

Both of my parents had country childhoods, and they wanted me and my younger brother to have the same memories, to cook their home-grown fruits and veggies, and to let us kids ride bikes on the little-trafficked asphalt roads. Read More»

Alice

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Someone stopped me recently on the cart path, confirmed that I was who she thought I was, and told me she enjoyed my work.

Then, hesitantly, she asked me about the monument in the city green area off Willowbend Road. She had noticed that the name on it was also Satterthwaite.

When I told her it was a memorial to our daughter Alice, she apologized for having brought up what she supposed was a painful subject.

It is not, of course, and I told her so. I’m always grateful for an opportunity to share memories of the sweet child who blessed our lives for 17 short years, so long ago. Read More»

Once upon a marriage

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A glimpse inside close friends’ marriage stirs in me a desire to tell the world about it, and they agreed, under the condition of anonymity. Maybe their story will mean something to another couple struggling with life, then again, maybe not. See what you think.

He was the first guy she met in college that she didn’t try to impress. For one thing, he was all but engaged and, for another, she was painfully aware that her plain features were not enhanced by chlorine-soaked hair and an old sweatshirt, so why waste the effort? Read More»

More letters

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Readers, you surprised me by telling me you liked reading the letters Dave wrote when he was here in Georgia on a new plant-startup. Only the US Postal Service connected him with me and the girls, waiting in New Jersey for the completion of our new home in Peachtree City. He writes:

7-23-71
Dear family,
Just getting ready for bed when I realized that I had not written to you all.

I’m so tired! We are working 12-hour shifts 8 to 8. So far I am on the daylight shift. We are working the extra 4 hours really to help keep the hourly Q.C. people out of trouble…. Read More»