Sunday, January 4, 2009

Like a Log Jam on a River

Kind friend Dale Lincoln returns to the Skillin's Garden Log with a story that will make you say "oh my gosh..." and then I think you will chuckle! Then "re read" the last short paragraph and I think you will appreciate the story even more.

For many years people living along the coast of New England have enjoyed many meals that contained fresh fish. People living inland like the wood choppers in the deep woods practically lived on dry fish, potatoes, biscuits and molasses. The men of the logging teams knew the basics for living. They knew how the logs traveled down the river and they knew what to do when a log went sideways and caused a log jam. Back then and in the days of my youth fresh haddock, pollock, and cod, plus dry fish, were plentiful. They were inexpensive and people usually purchased the whole fish.

Before the age of four I loved fish dinners any way my mother prepared them. At meal time there was always warnings: “Don’t eat too fast!” “Watch out for bones!” “Don’t get a bone in your throat!”

I listened to those warnings and to this day I haven’t had a bone caught in my throat.

Fish processing has made fish dinners less hazardous to a person’s health. Today it is easy to purchase fish fillets that have all of the bones removed. Can you imagine what happens if a person swallows a large fish bone? I’ve been in the know of that subject for about seventy years.

One cool blustery day in October I was having fun around the house like three year old kids do. My dad and brother were not home. My mother was tending to my little sister, doing house work, and probably thinking of cooking supper. After the fish dinner the previous evening, it is likely that making fish hash was on her mind when she heard the words: “Haf’ta go poop!”

It was breezy and cool when she put me on the pot in the shed.
Then it happened!

I screamed and hollered!

Mother came running! I pointed to where it hurt. She found a fish bone and knew what to do. It was like a log jam on a river. She carefully bent the fish bone in the shape of a hair pin and removed it. Soon everything started moving down the river, and things returned to normal.
I wish I had saved the bone because in my lifetime there has only been one bone like it. I could have made an ear ring out of it and be wearing it everyday, or something!.

In the future:

Enjoy your fish dinner; Don’t eat too fast; Don’t get a bone in your throat! And take time to think of those good old days!”

Dale C. Lincoln
Perry, Maine
In Zephyrhills FL
January 4, 2009

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