Sallie Satterthwaite's blog

See Grace

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This column originally appeared in The Citizen in 1999.

Like a song you start humming in the morning and can’t get out of your mind, one word comes to me over and over again to describe events in my life.

Grace. Pure grace. Disposed as I am to want to look beyond church talk — journalistic habits die hard — I went to my dictionary to see what it offers besides a theological definition of grace: “The unmerited love and favor of God toward mankind.” Read More»

A gathering of spirits

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This column originally appeared in April, 1998.

As we headed home, in 1998, from that surprising region of glaciers, waterfalls, forest and sea, starry nights and long, long days that comprise Alaska, we made a final stop in Sitka — for one more surprise. Read More»

From 'Appearances' to 'Foyle'

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I’m finally of an age that I should be allowed to watch whatever television program(s) I wish without apology or explanation.

Yet here I am trying to figure out why I am delving into what feels like a visit to the confessional. “And the envelope, please?”

It takes a little time to build up a “must-watch” list strong enough to make me say with a straight face, “I’m sorry, we have plans for that evening.”

Smile.

Sorry. Read More»

Mary's Letters in Spring

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Found a few letters I had filed away in case of column depravation. So many of you tell me you like to read of Mary’s adventures in Europe. Permit me.

In case you are relatively new to town, let me introduce you to our elder daughter, Mary, an opera accompanist in Dusseldorf on the Rhine River in what we used to call West Germany. She works an irregular schedule hinging on rehearsals and personal coaching, and gladly gets on a bus to help with a distant venue and a company of mixed nationalities. Read More»

Some Thoughts about Time

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This column originally appeared in The Citizen in July, 1999.

Time is money, they say, but no, it isn’t. Time is not money, and cannot be measured in the way money can.

You can earn money and spend money and keep track of money. While you may not know exactly how much money you will have at a given time in your life, you probably know whether your paycheck will cover expenses, how well your investments will do, how much a pension plan will pay — and you can amend income or reduce outgo.

Money is predictable, trackable. You know how much is in your account. Read More»

Being a matriarch is hard

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We’re looking forward to a gathering of the clan this summer, on a smaller scale than this one in 2001. Good to review sometimes.

Breathes there the mom, with soul so dead, who never to herself hath said, “This matriarch stuff is not all it’s cracked up to be”?

If you’re a reader of op-ed pages and letters to the editor, you’ve surely been following the controversy Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen ignited when he wrote that rearing a child is not the world’s most difficult job, as parents who leave the work force often claim. Read More»

The Summer of '99

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The Summer of ’99 will go down in our personal history as one of the best we’ve had together.

We didn’t travel to speak of. Didn’t do much boating. The weather was not especially pleasant.

But 1999 was the Summer of the Boat. This was the summer we refurbished, added to and made a 25-foot Nimble Nomad trawler our own.

Two previous owners had loaded her with toys that would have taken us years to add. Life jackets for more people than the boat would comfortably carry. Electronics Dave had only dreamed of. Pots and pans, plates and tableware – even a tinkly little set of wind chimes. Read More»

Losing it

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I remember promising not to regale you with pitiful complaints about how this, the last portion of my life, is playing out, but since I’m in charge here, I’ll do what I please.
It’s this thing of losing stuff. Losing one’s car in a parking lot: that’s irritating but usually very brief.

Last time it happened to us, right here in the Kroger lot, a man who recognized me for what I have become: a ditzy old lady floating along in space and time,not knowing what the day or date it is. In spite of Dave’s skewering a hollow “golf ball” to the antenna of our small Toyota. Read More»

Under the clear green leaves

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An amazing springtime this year, what? The perfect blue sky, the emerald curtain of fresh green drawn around our little bit of earth, clouds like vanilla ice cream comes.

And time to gasp as vista follows vista, banks of azaleas, each trying to shock the senses once again.

One of those little gems in time appeared in front of City Hall Sunday afternoon, as the Founder’s Time Line was unveiled and applauded. And how often do you get to dedicate a historical dateline with plenty of the original cast included? Read More»

Blockade ... part 2

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The great Alaskan Ferry Misadventure, a fishermen’s blockade in Canadian waters, continues....
Before the end of the first full day, Mary and Rainer opted to fly on to Juneau. With a limited vacation ticking away, they booked flights to Ketchikan by Taquan Air, where Alaska Air took them on to Juneau. We’re not sure yet how much of their suddenly soaring expenses they’ll be able to recoup. Read More»

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