Friday, February 23, 2024

Foggy Road


I was in the driver’s seat heading down the road with Grandpa Truman on the passenger’s side of the car when he noticed the dense fog overhead. He said, “If that fog settled, we’d need radar.”

“Or at least a compass and a good map,” I said remembering the classes he once taught to high schoolers on how to navigate a boat through rocky narrows in the fog or in the dark. He taught in the day light but he’d cover the windows of our boat, the Shelly Too, with paper maps to keep the students from seeing outside then teach them how to use a compass, a map and the passage of time to get where they needed to go. (Of course, one of the maps over the windows had a small flap he could flip to view outside as a safety measure.)  “Compass wouldn’t do any good,” Grandpa informed me. “Yep, you’re right. We’re traveling too fast.” I replied. I looked up; considered the density of the fog and said, “if the fog settled, I’d pull over, get well off the road, and wait for the sun to shine through. I don’t like to be on the road if I can’t see at least two car lengths ahead. When I can’t see I pull off.”

 “I agree with you there.” Grandpa Truman said as he nodded towards the sky, “it’s that kind of fog that makes for a 60-car pile-up if it gets down on the road.”

“Well,” I replied, “I can’t see staying on any road no matter what speed I’m traveling if I can’t see what’s ahead of me.”

He nodded and we traveled in silence for a while. I got to thinking about fog. On the paved highway I can pull my vehicle off to the side and wait in relative safety. On the water with constant currents there is no pulling a marine vessel over to wait for better weather conditions once the boat leaves harbor. As a captain of the boat, responsible for souls on board, not only did Grandpa have to make the decision on when to leave harbor he also had to have the skill to guide us safely through rocky waters when the weather conditions enveloped us in fog. And he did.

 Grandpa Truman is happily retired. Now Uncle Larry is the captain and Sonny is one of the souls aboard his boat. I am glad Grandpa Truman was there to teach Uncle Larry; glad that my brother was humble enough to learn; glad that the Good Lord allowed Uncle Larry to become Captain Larry; glad that my son is now learning from Captain Larry. It is good to have solid captains who model solid behavior for the next set of souls who will become guides on these shifting tides of life.  My son is heading out into the sea of life. His journey beyond the stability of my land locked highway has begun and pulling off the road isn’t going to be an option for him. Yes, radar would help but only if the captain is willing to teach and knows how to operate it… and I don’t… but Captain Larry does and he’ll teach Sonny the things I can’t.

Tomato Based Captain’s Stew

Cup or 2 of the catch of the day (salmon, crab, halibut, clam) cleaned and ready to cook.

1 to 2 Tbsp. oil or fat

32 oz canned tomato product (about 4 cups),

A couple 15 oz. cans of veggies (canned potatoes even)

Water (optional)

Salt and Pepper to taste.

Sauté the catch of the day in a Tbsp. or two of oil. Add the 32 oz. can of tomatoes (or two 15 oz. cans) product. This can be diced tomatoes, stewed tomatoes, salsa, tomato sauce, spaghetti or pizza sauce, even canned tomato soup. Then add the cans of veggies, liquid, and all. Stir; heat; eat.

Note: this recipe works with canned fish and other meats like tuna, sardines, chicken, Vienna sausage, whatever is on hand in the galley and fresh veggies can be substituted for canned ones.

If the tomato product of choice is tomato paste it needs to be diluted about 1 to 1 with water or another liquid to be used for this stew.

In 2000 Michele Priddy left the work force to become a stay-at-home mother and wife. Being a one-income family in today’s society meant she had to learn to budget quickly. Food became a priority early because she wanted the children to have the best nutrition, she could offer them even on a budget. She also taught cooking classes on how to stretch the food dollar with simple ingredients at various churches in her community. Michelle has put her kitchen strategies and recipes in booklets, her church newsletter and also in her hometown newspaper, The Goldendale Sentinel. We hope you will enjoy her strategies, stories, and recipes. You can contact the Leavenworth Echo at or 509-548-5286 if you have any questions or comments for Michelle.



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