Sallie Satterthwaite's blog

'One Ringy-dingy, Two Ringy-dingies'

Sallie Satterthwaite's picture

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

Sallie Satterthwaite's picture

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.

Sallie Satterthwaite's picture

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

Sallie Satterthwaite's picture

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

Sallie Satterthwaite's picture

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

Sallie Satterthwaite's picture

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

Sallie Satterthwaite's picture

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»

Who could ask for more?

Sallie Satterthwaite's picture

We’ve already received the best Christmas gift we could hope for.

Well, almost the best. Mary and Rainer are coming for Christmas.

I haven’t mentioned it before in case they changed their minds, but our ex-pat daughter has bought tickets and given us her flight details. That clinches it for me.

For most of her years living in Europe, we’ve worked out a pattern of getting together about once every two or three years, taking turns as to who travels. This time, we’ve already been together twice, and come Christmas, we’ll make it three visits in two years. Read More»

Late Autumn musings

Sallie Satterthwaite's picture

Something stirs painfully this time of year. I think it has to do with the conflicting messages autumn sends to the sub-conscious.

In many ways, autumn is a season of new beginnings. Last spring’s 4th grader is now a sure ‘nough 5th grader, ready to take on the world. Television producers introduce their new season. Newspapers carry schedules of upcoming theater and opera seasons. Football reigns. Read More»

A personal note to friends

Sallie Satterthwaite's picture

Hey guys (and girls), but mostly guys,

Would you mind terribly if I bring up a personal matter with you? This will be just between us, and you know who you are. I won’t mention it to another soul.
I worry about you. You have been so kind to me and my family over the years. You don’t know how fond I am of you, and I’m so grateful to be remembered and included in your promotion ceremonies, the annual officers’ banquet, July 4th celebrations, and all the rest.

Let me come right out and tell you what’s on my mind: You’re fat, or getting that way, really fast. Read More»

Recent Comments