Love Your Potato Friday Round-Up

It appears that the airbag for the passenger seat of our truck is “off.” So, either this means that the little indicator is wrong or the airbag will actually not deploy if we hit something. Of course, it can’t be ‘diagnosed’ for weeks and it’ll be weeks after that before it’s fixed. But we won’t actually know if it’s been fixed – beyond the little indicator saying the right thing – until we run into something. Another trust challenge.

At the town hall on the county budget last night, the moderator announced the next speaker’s name like she was opening an envelope at the Academy Awards. Well, not really, but it felt like that. As I was waiting to speak, each name-calling brought an echo of the dread I felt in 4th grade waiting for the teacher to call on me to give my report on the Greek God Janus. The year ended without my ever being called on – it was day after day after day of dread. Last night wasn’t that bad, it just made me remember 4th grade.

A story I wrote, “Snow Door,” placed third in The Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters Fiction Contest. It’s a story about a woman, recently widowed, who finds a teenage girl living in her cabin on Lake Superior in deep winter. The story came from some other planet, landed on my keyboard, and wrote itself. So, now I’m wondering if that’s how fiction works – you just begin and the story grows like vines on the side of the garage, out of control, going where it goes. I’m working on another story right now but it is stalled on the U.P. side of the Mackinac Bridge and I’m at a loss as to fire it up. No vines in sight.

Today is National Potato Day. This has great significance to those of us for whom peeling potatoes was the first step to every supper (dinner being a modern word). Boiled potatoes, mashed, scalloped, fried, very occasionally baked. Butter and salt. You might not know what’s for supper but you could get started anyway. The peeling, the slices of raw potato, the boiling water, the steam in the air, the start of supper, home, table, we’ll eat and it’ll all be fine. Potatoes really deserve a special day.

We buy fresh shrimp from a big truck parked at a gas station. They drive up overnight to Wisconsin from Louisiana or Texas with a ton of shrimp and red snapper. It’s like the guys who sell watermelons out of the back of their trucks after having driven from wherever. The stuff is real and fresh even if the selling circumstance – the ambiance – seems dicey. We had a heap of shrimp tonight in a boil with corn and sausage and potatoes.


Photo by Rebeca G. Sendroiu on Unsplash

10 Comments on “Love Your Potato Friday Round-Up

  1. Congratulations on Snow Door! I remember the story and am glad it was recognized for the well-told tale it was. Re: the potato… It looks like a heart to me and reminds me of loving meals with family. (not necessarily healthy meals, but loving ones)

  2. Congratulations! Potatoes – you can have them for breakfast lunch and supper and they are always delicious. I have arthritis and had my knuckles replaced and the op was a huge success, except for peeling potatoes. I can hardly get a grip on the potato or the peeler and while they offer no harm to the person peeling, I often find bits of skin amongst the peels – I’ll understand if you give the potatoes a miss at my house. XXX

  3. I had just such an anxiety-inducing experience in 8th grade, except the teacher finally called on me, and it was a complete nightmare. Kudos on your Wisconsin Academy win for your short story!!!

  4. Congratulations on your award for “Snow Door”, I remember reading the story and enjoying it. I wish I could remember the actual story but I struggle to remember books and movies.

  5. so much packed in here. I totally understand the build up of anxiety waiting to get called on, at any age. I noticed that the light for my air bag on the passenger side was off, but only when no one was sitting in the passenger seat. yours must be all of the time for you to notice it and that is worrisome, hopefully you can get an appointment before long. congrats on ‘snow door’ that’s a great accomplishment, and the shrimp…perfect.

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