Sallie Satterthwaite's blog

Planned spontaneity

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Sometimes it pays not to have a plan when you leave town. Flexibility, spontaneity, surprises abound if you’re not locked into coordinating with someone else’s plans. Air travel is the essence of inflexibility, driving is almost the opposite.

My husband Dave is a chemical engineer by training and happy to have rules, dependable time tables, reliable schedules. To a degree, we are diametrical opposites. I’m less bound by the clock, and he’s learned not to count on an early getaway for a road trip. Read More»

Strange encounter

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Mysterious stories, spooky as well as benign, often rise with the morning fogs, especially at this somewhat scary time of year. And they titillate those among us who consider ourselves above superstition.

Heaven help the gullible

I don’t think Sophie is gullible. She’s 51, happily married, loves to travel and entertain her friends to celebrate, well, even her own birthday.

I promised I would not give her real name nor that of the airline she flies for. Some people might not take her seriously. She is a senior international flight attendant for one of the major airlines. Read More»

Autumn elegy

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The leaves fall early this autumn, in wind.
The paired butterflies are already yellow with August
Over the grass in the west garden;
They hurt me. I grow older.
Ezra Pound

Something stirs painfully this time of year. I think it has to do with the conflicting messages autumn sends to the subconscious. Read More»

Living in the moment

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A reader who responded to a recent column about dealing with Parkinson’s disease gave me permission to use her remarks with her name attached. I’m going to share her thoughts, but I think I will not name her since this is such a personal conversation.

It’s enough to say that she is a Fayette native and teacher, married and the mother of three nearly grown children. She is also a gifted writer, so better you should read her words with no intrusion of mine. (I changed her husband’s name.) Read More»

Mea culpa, mea culpa - apologies

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My apologies all around.

Having so often inspired readers to try something or go someplace new, I’ve pledged to myself that I’ll respond to your comments if I can.

But The Citizen’s recent makeover confused me and I didn’t know how to reach you when you’ve posted remarks online anonymously. In fact, I didn’t even know there were comments until somebody told me I had been savaged for my column on public transportation and how badly needed it is, especially to citizens of a certain age. Read More»

The ultimate in recycling

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Two short stories today, both with happy endings.

Alice was the most maternal of our children. She cuddled her dolls, she fed them and scolded them, and grew up to become the most-wanted babysitter in young Peachtree City. All three of the girls babysat, but Alice was the one people asked for when they called.

Dave’s parents traveled a lot – his father was a travel agent – and his mother (Alice’s namesake) picked up dolls she admired because she knew which grandchild would love them.

Soon there were more dolls than Alice could prop up on her bed. Read More»

Cameras and their wielders

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This was written after an epic road trip to the West Coast in 1994. With cell-phones in every pocket, I don’t know if conditions would be better or worse today….

If Miss Manners doesn’t deal with camera protocol before vacation season gets further underway, I may have to write to her myself. Read More»

Washing machine

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A friend handed me a copy of Mrs. Albert Wiese’s letter to the Kosanke Bros., who sold her husband a new washing machine, circa 1927.

Kouts, Ind.

Kosanke Bros.

Kouts, Ind.

Dear Sirs: Read More»

Transportation is the important topic again

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Dear Mayor Haddix,

I don’t believe we have formally met, and I should rectify that. But I’m writing now to express my hope that you will be taking your place on the regional transportation planning group with enthusiasm and openness to ideas once believed to be unpopular.

There is a knee-jerk response among elected officials here that regional mass transit is not welcome in Fayette County, that we don’t need it, and that it will bring crime to the area. You are in a perfect position to help dispel those notions and show leadership in bringing Fayette into the 21st century. Read More»

Barred owl a piece of work

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Listen. Hear that? These evenings when it’s cool enough to have a window open, around midnight, take a moment and listen for an owl.

Traffic is light and humans are mostly indoors at this time of day, so one may surmise that an owl feels safe enough to come out and vocalize in the quiet darkness. Step outside and listen.

What a piece of work an owl is.

Let me introduce to you one of the really interesting members of the bird family, Strix varia, or the barred owl. Colloquially he is called a hoot owl; I call him a hootie owl. Read More»