Sallie Satterthwaite's blog

Ghost story

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Several years ago we were on another long-distance trek, when we heard a traveler’s ghost story on a two-day train ride from the Canadian west coast to Jasper, Alberta.

After the first 10 hours or so, not even the spectacle of the Rockies’ snowcapped peaks could keep us entertained. We struck up a conversation with a slender lad across the aisle, who had been hunched over the little tray-table, catching up his delinquent journal.   Read More»

Montserrat visited

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Montserrat, Barcelona, Spain

We debarked from our cruise ship eagerly, glad to be back on dry land and to see what Barcelona was all about. We met Mary there; she had flown in from her home in Germany to spend a few days with us before we all flew on to our next stop.

Barcelona is the best example we’ve seen of an Olympic city that got it right. Outdoor statuary, foot bridges, green parks – they’ve maintained most of the more interesting Olympic legacies. Read More»

Life on the water

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What do you do for 14 days in the middle of a really big ocean? You eat and sleep, read and sleep, eat and go to shows you’d never bother with at home. You unwind, you chat with other travelers, you stroll the decks, buffeted by wind and sometimes rain. Read More»

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»