Sallie Satterthwaite's blog

Early spring

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A midwinter night’s dream. Could have happened any year ...

Aaaaahhh. The sound of contentment. The sound of a woman who has tasted the fruits of her labors. Literally.

In a pragmatic moment, I dug up a couple of the beds in my vegetable garden and planted seeds: Bibb lettuce, spinach, and turnip greens. Then I went into the house, closed the door, and scarcely thought about it again. Read More»

Catfish tales

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A long-time aficionada of the succulent white meat of Ictalurus Punctatus, I was delighted several years ago to be invited to join the Loyal Order of Catfish Lovers. For $5 I’d get a badge, bumper sticker, newsletter, membership card, and instructions for the secret LOCL handshake from The Catfish Institute (a marketing association, not a school of fish).

What a deal! The packet came promptly as promised. Read More»

Thought you might enjoy this ...

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Everyone I know gets spam like the following and deletes it ASAP. When it has my cousin Dwight’s e-mail address on it, however, at least I look at it. And this one hit my memory buttons spot on, with an authenticity unmatched in the years I’ve been checking e-mail.

Dave and I have ongoing conversations about these very memories. I haven’t showed this to him yet, but I know he’ll feel the same nostalgia. He, and a thousand close friends in Dwight’s address book.

Someone asked the other day, “What was your favorite fast food when you were growing up?” Read More»

'One Ringy-dingy, Two Ringy-dingies'

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All right, class. Today we’ll visit a word that was invented for a purpose, a made-up word you probably use daily. It’s an invented word, according to several sources like NPR Radio, because its creator had trouble settling on a word to use when answering the telephone he just invented.

I brought up a couple of searches and have enough bits and pieces to gather into a column. Many of us word mavens get swept into the dictionary when Merriam-Webster or the OED releases a new edition with new words, and forget to come up for air. Or to make dinner. Read More»

Don't be alarmed

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There are alarms and there are alarms.

Consider the alarm clock. Dave has it ours so low you can hardly hear it. I won’t even tell you how late in the day it beep-beeps. I do appreciate its gentleness: Getting up in the morning is by far the hardest thing I’ll do all day, and my demon would let me sleep until about noon unless I set the alarm.

We tend to stay up until midnight, watching TV, and then reading after we get to bed. One of the perks of retirement, after all, is that you can stay up as late as you want. Well, as long as your bedmate is of like mind. Read More»

Waste not, etc.

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A recent report I probably heard on NPR alleged that Americans waste, on average, 40 percent of the food they buy. We set a dreadful example for our children in this gluttonous country,” I thought. “I’m certainly glad we don’t waste food at our house.”

Having congratulated myself for being so thrifty, I put the report aside – until I started fixing dinner. Then I paid a little more attention to this disturbing report. Read More»

New Year's 2013

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Picture, for a moment, your school-days’ diagram of the earth orbiting the sun, and note that its route has no milestones, no square marked “Go” that signals the beginning of a new year. It was humankind, not God, that divided that endless ellipse into months and years with beginnings and endings, to account, I suppose, for the apparent rebirth of the sun. Read More»

2013 New Year's Appreciation

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If you’ve been reading this space in this paper or the one that preceded it, I hope you have picked up on the character trait I find most attractive in others and most obligatory in myself: gratitude.

When I gripe, it’s often about arrogance, the antithesis of gratitude. And I praise those who respond to their good fortune by contributing above and beyond what is expected of them.

I’ve said before, and will inevitably say again, that I have been blessed in this life all out of proportion to what I merit, and it worries me sometimes that I don’t express appreciation properly. Read More»

Christmas column 1999

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Haven’t heard from Griz for awhile. The thought was all it took. There he was on top the pillows on our bed, and I knew he was listening out for me.

“Well! Don’t you look spiffy? Who tied your bow for you?”

He looked straight ahead, scowling, as usual. His dour expression contrasted with the bright red ribbon cascading from his furry neck.

“I’m a bit surprised,” I pressed on, “knowing how skeptical you are about the whole Christmas thing.”

The little bear’s eyes sparked a warning. Then he let go. Read More»

Christmas Carols 2012

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A few notes about our favorite notes: Christmas carols.

First, let’s consider what a “carol” is. “It’s the song that everyone knows and everyone sings, from aged grannies, babes in arms and all together, thanks to angels, saints, and simple folk,” according to The Great American Christmas Almanac, published by Penguin Books in 1990.

Away in a Manger. Which tune is the “right” one? How old is it, and where was it first heard? Read More»