I swear that I was not intentionally dropping hints for somebody to bring me a mess of fish when I wrote the column a couple of weeks ago about wishing I could catch some and how good I figured they would taste. Then a few mornings after the column ran, during one of those days when radiation treatments had me sleeping pretty much around the clock, I heard Loretta talking to someone in the kitchen.
I thought it was my brother, Andy, and that I’d get right out of bed and see what he was up to. That must have been around 9 a.m. and the next thing I knew it was after 1 p.m. and she was trying to get me out of bed to get back to Lexington for another treatment. At some point, during the blurry haze of getting showered and dressed, I asked her where Andy was.
She told me he hadn’t been there and wanted to know why on earth I thought he had. I told her that I I’d just heard them talking and she still had no idea what I was talking about. I told her it may have been Merle Haggard or a stranger but I’d heard her talking to a man before I got out of bed.
She studied on it for a minute before the lightbulb finally popped and her eyes lit up. “Oh that was hours ago, earlier this morning. One of your friends dropped by and left you a present but I didn’t want to get you up because you had moaned and groaned all night and you seemed to finally be sleeping in peace. You’ll never guess who it was nor what he left you!”
Turned out, old friend, former Garrard County Judge/Executive Ray Hammonds had stopped by with five generously filled freezer bags of crappie fillets and I had missed his visit. I have no idea why I thought Ray sounded like Andy unless it had something to do with the fact that Andy is the best hand at frying pan fish that I’ve ever run across.
In the meantime, Loretta has since fried up one bag of them that initially fed three adults for supper and I’ve since made three meals on leftovers. I enjoy a cold, previously fried crappie or bluegill sandwich for lunch almost as well as the ones that came straight out of the frying pan. There is simply not a deli cut known to man that tastes better to me than a cold fish fillet slapped between two slices of white bread, slathered with tartar sauce and a big slice of tomato thrown in if said sandwich is constructed in August and said tomato came straight out of the garden.
Thank you, Ray! I promise you I was not deliberately begging when I wrote the column. However, since it turned out that way, and since I now have enough fish to last me for a while, if anyone runs across any dryland fish (morel mushrooms) this spring and they need somebody to test drive a few, please know that I’m the man you need to get in touch with. I’ll even send Loretta to come pick them up.
In yet another meantime, I only have one doctor’s visit scheduled this week and then it’s off to the University of Kentucky’s Markey Cancer Center for another round of bladder cancer surgery and another to unblock a kidney. My plumbing problems just keep piling up and, at least so far, the radiation treatments have not done anything to appreciably ease my spinal pain.
I certainly have not given up on that front and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your prayers and best wishes. Please don’t stop!