Of Canned Salmon

Who knew a can of salmon could hold so many memories? I don’t remember the can clearly enough to know if Aldi has changed the label in past 12 years. It’s not until I open it that the smell, the feel and especially the bones, remind me that I’ve done this many times before.

My mother decided we should eat more fish, because it had good fats in it. On a limited food budget, and with my father not liking fish, this meant canned salmon.

Once a month at Aldi we added four cans of salmon to our shopping cart, one for each week.

Once a week we would open a can of salmon. We always crushed the bones into the meat of the fish. They had calcium, my mother said. They were good for you. I’d pop a couple of vertabrae into my mouth as I crushed the bones, trying to decide if I like the strange soft-crunchy and slightly gritty texture or not. I never quite decided, but I never missed a chance to eat a few.

And then, we turned them into salmon patties. I didn’t know you could do anything else with canned salmon.

Who knew years later I would stand in my own kitchen many miles away, open an Aldi can of salmon and crush the bones as I drop the salmon into a sunshiny pot of chowder? (Who knew that I could possibly add a handful of the despised mushrooms to my already near-sacrilegious chowder?) And who knew that canned salmon was a reliable and unchanging presence in a world that never stays the same for long?


More than a quarter of my lifetime ago (about seven years) Seth typed in ‘sharppointythings’ in an effort keep Gabrielle and me from becoming terminally indecisive about a URL address and it stuck, even through a blog server change.

A Road Less Traveled aka sharppointythings started with the label ‘a record of our non-college adventures’. After four or five years of ‘not being in college’ we removed the label in recognition that we were drifting down a less defined path of being cultural rebels. We wrote a lot about doing laundry, nieces and nephews, dirty dishes and being single. We wrote about figuring out life and being confused about life and really not wanting to be single. Sometimes we even wrote about giving up on ever getting married. We had our trajectory down pretty well.

Then, almost two years ago, Gabrielle and I split blogs. I kept A Road Less Traveled, and she became Patches of Sunlight. We joked about breaking up and who got to keep the blog, but really, it just felt the time was right. Sad not to be continuing our five year tradition of being completely interchangeable, even on the internet, but about time that we got to pick our own blog templates.

Perhaps we should have split blogs years earlier, because by the end of that same year, I got engaged and Gabrielle was seriously dating. As you might guess, and as long time readers will testify, I got distracted from posting and posted even less than previously during engagement and the first year or so of marriage. Happiness is distracting from serious writing projects.

Over the past couple of months I’ve been feeling the urge to get back to regular writing. (Yes, I’m still very happy, just slightly less distracted than at first.) I’ve been intending to write more blog posts, but every time I start I get distracted by the state of the blog. The categories don’t fit any more. The About page still says I’m single. The Frequently Asked Questions are still hanging around from when Gabrielle shared the blog. In short, A Road Less Traveled is a lumbering behemoth which has lived past its time.

I’ll be transferring some of the posts over to A Day In The Life of The Duct Tape Valkyrie, but A Road Less Traveled will no longer be updated, and as is the way of the internet, will eventually cease to be. ¬†A lot of good times were documented there. So were a lot of heartbreakingly difficult times, but ones that shaped who I am now. When you come down to it, it’s hard to say goodbye.

But without endings, how could there be beginnings?