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Green Eggs and Ham?

Sallie Satterthwaite's picture

Deadline is looming and I’ve lost this week’s almost finished column. Can’t tell you how often this happens: I fool around all week, suddenly scare up something that has caught my interest, write my fingers sore, proudly punch the “send” button, and voila!


Can’t find my notes, can’t even find where I was writing, and it’s getting dark and Dave has worked himself into a state that I’ll keep him awake if I don’t come to bed RIGHT NOW.

I assure him it will be just a few minutes more and he doubts it, yet five minutes later I can hear his even breathing, and I know he is dead to the world (an expression that no longer has the charm that it did once.) I charge ahead, put a dubious title on it, and prepare to post it via email.

But now I can’t locate the file itself or else the Internet is suddenly taking a nap.... Oh, well, why complain to you? I had all day – all week! – to write this fool thing. I deserve whatever lashes my muse has in mind.

So, since this is going to be balky, I opt to do the least I can in double time, and pray that cyberspace hasn’t chosen me as poster girl for Unprofessional Scribner of the Year.

Desperate, I began free associating and started to see images like the one I cooked up just yesterday. I had flung myself across the bed and started watching what was going on in the trees just behind the house. It was a breezy day and that usual still-life of leaves danced as though electrified.

I very quickly became fixated on the whirling leaves, very dense and perfectly green, and a certain peace came over me. It appeared as though clusters of leaves would crowd closer to each other, seemingly grasping each other as though in greeting. The humidity was low and the sun was bright, and the emeralds were punctuated with pearls? diamonds? reflecting from pond’s surface.

I lay there absorbing green (yes, when I could have been writing a column) until I felt perfectly at ease, and went to the kitchen to make dinner. Eventually the images slowed own and the back lot was still.

After dinner I wondered if the Internet could actually help. In a matter of minutes I had millions of green images, both artistic and scientific, the most startling being red. An early find was a page full of Green Eggs and Ham book-covers in that bold red Dr. Seuss used to enliven his palate for the rest of us.

Yum. There are dozens of green eggs and ham recipes, most of them involving spinach mixed into some sort of pastry and then arranged to look like eyes staring off a plate. Or the front of a human torso.

GE&H had a special interest for my young family as they learned to read. We’d read to them any Dr. Seuss book except GE&H. They had to apply their own competence in phonics to read it themselves. That made the escapades of that goofy cat the first in what must have been thousands of books they’ve read by themselves.

And now we have grandsons who lapped up GE&H with glee and moved on to the Hardy Boys series and National Wildlife Federation magazines and just about anything else they want to read. What a legacy.

Well, there you have it, a full column to fill that slot in The Citizen. There’s good TV on this (Sunday) evening. If email doesn’t fail me, I can still get a little supper put together for Dave.

And he won’t have to worry about sleeping tonight....

[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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