Fishing, Families, and…Free Speech?

Blog business is pretty interesting. Sometimes there’s so much I want to write for Highliners and Homecomings that I don’t know where to start. Other times, the well feels pretty dry and I panic a little. I’ve learned, however, that if I just relax, a subject always presents itself.

That’s what happened for this post. Yesterday was a full day that included attending a memorial service and spending an hour at the home of my parents baking a treat, because my own oven was busy roasting the turkey that George was making for dinner. Eva hung out with Grandma, Vincent hung out with Grandpa, and we all met up later on to eat George’s wonderful dinner, which he kept calling “Thanksgiving in April.”

I should have gone directly to bed after kitchen clean-up, but I didn’t.

Instead, I made the mistake of checking this blog one last time.

To my surprise and disappointment, I found that I’d received my first negative comment since starting Highliners and Homecomings. I’ve always sort of expected to receive one, but I assumed it would be from any number of people or groups opposed to commercial fishing. I never imagined it would be one accusing me of a free speech violation.

The comment read, “When you fail free speech, you lose me.”

I may be wrong, but I believe the writer was most likely referencing a comment that was posted and then deleted, or perhaps it was about a different comment that required some small editing. Each of these situations had technical blog-related explanations, which I’d have been happy to explain if given a chance.

Instead, I received the aforementioned comment that I now believe was uncalled for and even a touch snide.

“When you fail free speech, you lose me.” Any analytical reader can see how the words “you fail,” and “you lose,” tend to stand out in the sentence.

Those aren’t words I particularly like to read, especially about myself.

And anyway, I’ve never said this was a blog about free speech, because it isn’t. Most of the blogs that I visit also reserve the right to moderate and edit each comment that comes in. The topic isn’t one that I have the time, energy, or desire to debate.  There are lots of hypothetical comments I wouldn’t post: comments vicious in nature, that contain foul language, or that are elitist, offensive or insulting.

Highliners and Homecomings is a blog that celebrates the life of commercial fishing families. That includes a lot of different things, to be sure–same as in any other life.

Although I take the content and the message seriously, the blog is something I do for fun. When my 2-year old and my 8-month old are fed and sleeping, when my household is in order and I have a moment of peace, it’s something I enjoy working on.

It’s not something that exists to stir debate, create strain, or to offend. I don’t like confrontation or tension. I’m simply someone who’s proud of her multi-generational commercial fishing family, who loves to talk, laugh, tell fishing stories and stories about her family, and to write.

It’s that simple.

And now, I have a dishwasher that requires emptying, a baby who needs his jammies on, and a toddler who needs her dinner started—so this mommy has to get back to work.



  1. Great reply! Your opinion is yours and who cares what others think. Keep writing what you want and don’t let one negative person get you down. Keep up the great work.

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