Sallie Satterthwaite's blog

SOS on the Water

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This column was originally published April 5, 2000.

Mariners in trouble at sea. This could have been us, but wasn’t.
“There’s an emergency in progress.” The tone of Dave’s voice was one of interest, not panic, so I knew it wasn’t us. “First real emergency we’ve picked up in years,” he mused.
I came forward from the stern to listen, the ex-paramedic in me paying close attention.

As the law requires, we were monitoring emergency Channel 16, but switched to 24 when Coast Guard Group Mayport asked the captain calling for help to do so. Read More»

A Tale of Two Arteries

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While looking for an already-published column worthy of repetition, I came across this one.I think it may bring some relief from readers who are agonizing over decisions. I hope so…. This column was originally published May 24, 2000.

We were on our morning walk, passing the pond below the house, when, in a moment of rare prescience, Dave said, “Whatever happens tomorrow, I have a feeling things will never be quite the same again.”
It appears that he was right. Read More»

New Cameras

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If Miss Manners doesn’t deal with camera protocol before vacation season gets further underway, I may have to write her myself.
Dear Miss Manners: I like to think I am a patient person, well-versed in the courtesies expected of individuals in crowded places. I am, however, at wits’ end in the matter of amateur photographers at popular tourist spots, and how to balance their needs with my own sight-seeing enjoyment. Read More»

Walking sticks

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Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
I have for years been an aficionada of the companionable walking staff, striking out for woodsy walks as a child with one of my father’s tomato stakes in hand. Later I became an admirer of the stout sticks for sale in souvenir shops, but their absurd price tags put me off.

I’d rather pick up a fallen branch when the path underfoot turns uneven, or do without, muttering and grasping Dave’s arm for assistance. Read More»

Memory Lane

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Several summers back our Jean made a trek down Memory Lane to where it turned into Eighth and Green in Haddon Heights, N.J. Her childhood there, in hindsight, appears idyllic.

Family photos affirm this. Here she is in her Brownie uniform, her sisters dressed as a Junior and a Cadet, her mother togged out as a troop leader. Here she is being held aloft on roller skates between her sisters. Here she skips down the brick sidewalk on her first day of school. Read More»

Hey, Cousin!

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Don’t you just hate it when someone else takes your idea for a column? I started this one after reading an article in the AJC, but then I noticed the same subject in an out-of-town paper as we were traveling.

In hopes that local readers stayed home that day, I posit the following – breathlessly, perhaps, because I am neither mathematician nor statistician.
Fact #1: All of us earthlings are more closely related than we thought we were, and,
Fact #2: We have a better chance of being descended from royalty than we thought we had. Read More»

More on Walking Sticks

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A recent column about canes and walking sticks has generated comments from people I meet, all favorable, of course. I still get around without one, although there are days when I wish I’d brought it along. Read More»

Who will say goodbye?

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It was a rough week, last week, when the tribe gathered several times to say goodbye to recent members of the clan. Those left behind look around furtively, wondering, “Who‘s next?” as another generation realizes: They are.
I‘m an obituary reader. Can’t say I read every word of every obit, but I do read enough to recognize a neighbor or a church member. And I‘ve been rolling a thought around in my brain. Read More»

Jean in Florida

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Here’s an account of a few days in the life of U.S. Forest Service fire spokeswoman Jean Satterthwaite in July 1998. She is retired now, but has her name on reserve to manage the complexities of accounting for firefighters on the fire-line, potentially thousands of them when a fire grows as dangerously as this year in Arizona.
She phoned breathlessly from Juneau where she lived, to tell us she was on her way to Orlando.
Orlando? Why in the world would anyone leave Alaskan summertime highs of 76 to go to where the lows start out above 76, and the landscape is on fire? Read More»

Woodsy Neighbors

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It’s been three years since we last saw an armadillo and there they were, three of God’s most homely children, exiting that no man’s land under our back deck.
Those we saw last week could be the same trio, but I think they’d have matured more. This year’s models were a pale leathery brown; I described the 2010 versions as about 12 inches long, with a tapering nine-inch tail. I said they wore a pinkish tan-colored leathery shell, but Dave saw it as gray-brown. Read More»

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