Thursday, May 12, 2011

Fishy Memories

"Try a taste," I urge my granddaughter.

"No, I don't like it," she adamantly replies.

"You'll like it."

"No I won't."

"How can you not like it? When I was your age........"

We grew up loving fried fish. It wasn't that we lived where we could walk out the door and fish from a stream by our front yard. It wasn't that my dad went out on a boat daily for a catch of saltwater fish. We were farmers. Yet, I think maybe we came from a long line of those fishermen who sat on the banks of the rivers, ponds and streams catching food to feed his family. Fish and fishing was loved in the Loxley home.

Dad loved to fish. I might even go as far as to say that he loved to fish as much as he loved to sing. On trips to Michigan, Dad spent most of his time in a motor boat out on Lake Hamlin with Uncle Sam. Fried catfish, sun fish, blue gill, crappie, they all found their way to the table in the kitchen behind the store overlooking the lake. In the winter, Dad sat on the ice fishing with my uncle. Michigan smelt seasonally ended up on our plates, and we were thrilled.

We fished for bass and pan fish by Grandad's pond. Well, we never caught the bass, but we certainly did see them teasingly jump from the water. I learned early on to bait a hook and to throw back the small fish.

I haven't fished since I moved to Oregon. Here the catch is usually from the blue Pacific or the icy streams. Salmon and trout seem to be the main catch. I'm sure my friends here would laugh if I picked up an old pole, a bobber and a tin of worms to go sit on the banks of a stream hoping to catch some pan fish.

I miss that smell of fish cooking in our kitchen. I don't miss the bones, but every morsel pulled free was worth the effort.

I wish my granddaughters had known Dad. They would have cherished those times pulling fish off the hook, landing them in Mom's cast iron skillet.

My daughter went to the beach a few weeks ago coming home with Dungeness crab. I licked the butter from my fingers enjoying every morsel. There are benefits to living in Oregon, but, oh, how I miss that old cast iron skilled and a kitchen filled with the smell of frying fish.

"Come on, just one bite......."

2 comments:

ejdeardorff@aol.com said...

Sorry Pam, I didn't like fish back then. Think I ate bread and butter during those meals. Your sister June

Pamela Loxley Drake said...

Well, evidently, that is a fishy memory as well. Are you sure you're my sister? I always wondered about you. No wonder Mom liked me best. hehehehe