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Mea Culpa in Kitchen

Sallie Satterthwaite's picture

Feel the need to come clean in a couple of borderline deceptive actions recently.

One problem with co-existing with a chronic disease is that you may try to take advantage of it. Not a really bad habit, I suppose, but I’ve got to watch closely the tendency to use it for unearned benefits.

I’ve already confessed that we say “We have other plans” to cover the fact that we just don’t want to attend such-and-such a program, because we’d rather stay at home numbing our brains on TV Britcoms or history shows. Or we say “She’s on deadline” because it is really true – I seem to be forever on deadline for something – even though I have complete control over my time. Or so I like to think.

I try not to offend, honest I do, but there are only so many options one can choose from, and I get tired just thinking about how to escape some obligation. I don’t lie. We do have plans: to watch our British detective shows if they’re on.

Time flies. We’ll get over it, and then some other duty calls. I’m so glad the primaries are over. Between us and thousands more astute voters, I think I’ve said we’re not party voters enough to be believed. I know somebody is only doing his or job, but I’ll sure be glad not to be on the receiving end of those calls, some beginning at 9 in the morning and continuously until 10 at night.

But I didn’t plan to make this some dramatic mea culpa. At least, suffice to say I humbly apologize for all the legitimately missed calls. We got a new telephone system and half the time we try to use it to change TV channels. When that doesn’t work, we run looking for the real handset, usually too late. If we can’t readily turn it up, the phone is declared the winner and the message lost.

P.S. to last week’s column about falling down the short flight of steps between the living room and kitchen in the vacation cottage where we spent a recent week with daughters and grandsons.

Last week I described the poorly designed steps between kitchen and living room and how they finally kept me out of the kitchen altogether, an easy exclusion for this family dowager. But I left out the one casualty of this incident.

Dave took at least two spills to the kitchen floor, with no lasting effects, but that couldn’t be said for the multi-dozen eggs he was carrying in from a grocery shopping trip. About half of them were broken, although not all crushed up and inedible. I’d say we salvaged most of them, so we just planned on everybody having scrambled eggs for breakfast.

 That wasn’t Dave’s only misadventure this trip. When he and the girls went for a walk one evening, dusk was falling, and for some reason they split up. In a very few minutes, Dave was lost.

He knew there was a Publix store in a shopping center very near our cottage, actually within sight-distance in the daytime. But although he turned in every direction and tried to remember street names, nothing looked familiar.

Finally a police cruiser pulled up alongside of him. “Are you all right, sir?” came the question, to which he could say “Yes,” but still didn’t have a clue what his address was. He’d gone out without his cell-phone, of course. They drove up and down the short sandy streets until he saw his own Jeep Cherokee parked in front of our beach house. There was paperwork to do, of course, and an identity check.

When they came to our door, those of us who had not ventured forth didn’t even know we were short a camper.

The cops were nice young fellows who said this sort of thing happens all the time in a town like Holmes Beach, and they were only doing their job.

Nothing like a little confusion to top off a hard day at the beach.

[Sallie Satterthwaite of Peachtree City has been writing for The Citizen since our first issue Feb. 10, 1993. Before that she had served as a city councilwoman and as a volunteer emergency medical technician. She is the only columnist we know who has a fire station named for her. Her email is]

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