Mother Knows Best

My mom is a smart lady. She was encouraged by her parents to attend college in the early 60’s, just before encouraging young women to go to college was something many parents did. She received a degree in Education and enjoyed teaching fourth grade for a couple of years before moving to be near my dad, who was temporarily stationed in Hawaii as an officer in the Navy.

My mom has devoted her life to my dad, sisters, and me as a commercial fishing wife and mother (and now grandmother). Although Mom is an intelligent and capable woman of many opinions, she refuses to enter into any real political or religious discussion. With anyone.  Mom has a vested interest in keeping the peace within her household, and never could see the point in wasting her energy going around and around in circles.

After all, Mom always had more immediate concerns on her mind.  For example, the many late nights she spent alone in our childhood home, wondering how the winter King crab season was going for Dad. Like, if he was still hanging on while boats to the right and the left were sinking and crews were being lost.

Mom answered the phone many an afternoon and tried to alleviate the fear of my worried grandmother, a nurse and college graduate herself, who had already spent a lifetime worrying about her own fisherman husband. Mom also had three children in front of her to take care for, bills to pay, gutters to clean. 

When I told Mom that I was struggling with how to address the “election issue” on my blog, her advice was to “stay neutral.”

“Just touch on it and move right along,” she said.

She did have a point. After all, my blog is not even a political blog. It’s a blog about commercial fishing and commercial fishing families. The only reason I brought up politics on Highliners and Homecomings to begin with was the connection that Sarah Palin had to Alaska and commercial fishing. And, yes, while I don’t agree with Palin on a couple of things, I am a big fan.

“But,” I thought, “I have so many more things I want to say about each campaign and the election itself. So many points I want to address, questions I want to raise.” In fact, I want to call my opinions from the rooftops and ask the bloggers and writers about just how much joy they found in—how they seemed to relish—being so vicious the past six months.

There was much I wanted to write about the aftermath of the election, and many witty adjectives I wanted to use. I wanted to write about how so many people (friends included) honestly surprised me with reactions that seemed beyond reason.

I had to think, however, about whether it would be worth it. At this point, the only thing I’d succeed in doing would be to sound as mocking as the people, writers, and bloggers I’ve described, and I’m not going there.  

The Dungeness crab crew is already here. My husband is getting ready to go do a dangerous open-ocean winter fishery, and I’ve got two little ones who depend on me. I’ve got to keep my energy focused right here, because I don’t have any extra energy available with which to keep going around in circles.

So, I’m going with Mom this time.

But—don’t worry. I can’t ever keep quiet for long.



Lunch, conversation, and a few laughs with the crab crew.



  1. Wow – You and your mother are amazing women. I applaud both of you for staying strong and supporting your families. The jobs you gals do keeping hearth and home together are incredible.

    I agree with you about the viciousness of the attacks against Sarah Palin.

    I describe myself as a conservative, but one of my sons describes me as the most liberal person he has ever known, so I hope that shows that I’ve got an open mind about most things. Never would I ever even think about attacking someone in the way that Gov. Palin has been attacked since being named McCain’s running mate.

    And the attacks have come from so-called liberals… you know, the ones whose motto used to be “I disagree with what you are saying, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it”. Apparently now that only extends to people who agree with their point of view.

    Anyway, this is your blog, not mine, so I’ll get off the soap box. I very much appreciate the insights I’ve gained into the lives of fisherfolk and their families from reading your blog. Thanks for taking the time to write it.

  2. MC is spot-on…as are you Jen. KB has had to endure a long, painful lashings at the bar this year for his lone republican position. It is ridiculous how personal and mean people can get in their attacks at different opinions.

  3. Great job of writing and keeping it nuetral this time when everything is too fresh in everyone’s minds. But I can only imagine what will be in the works for the future.

  4. Sometimes it is best to look toward the future with hope than worry about the past…just this mom’s thoughts. I think we’re all hoping things turn out well. But I’m also hoping Palin will gain a national spotlight and prove her critics wrong.

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