Summer is suppose to be warm and sunny! Right?
Growing up on the Jersey Shore we had our share of bad weather, but summers were always spent at the beach, or in the pool. We’d pack up our winter clothes in May and wouldn’t need them again before at least October. I remember how hard it was getting use to wearing shoes again in the fall, when school started. I have such fond memories of how summer is suppose to be…
Now I live on an island off the southwest coast of Norway, where summer is about as predictable as the stock-market. This week alone we’ve had two days with a cold wind, one warm day, one day that started terrible and ended nice. That happens a lot, it’s gray and damp all day and then the sun comes out, just as we’re heading for bed… Today it’s raining.
There is however, one sure sign that summer has arrived here in my little corner of the world. The salmon are swimming in from the ocean and up into the rivers to spawn. To do this, they must swim through the sound and directly past my house. For the next month (with a special license) we are allowed to set nets from Sunday night until Thursday afternoon. This is a big deal for the locals, who check their nets several times a day and then gossip over who’s catching the most. I’ve seen two salmon hop through the water, just since I’ve been sitting here writing this post. (There’s a window right behind my computer screen).
Much to my husbands dismay we’re heading for Scotland next week and that means he’ll have to take a break from fishing. My son is enrolled in a week-long bagpiping course at the National Bagpipe Centre in Glasgow. I’m not exactly sure how an American/Norwegian teenager got interested in bagpiping, he just did.
And I doubt we’ll find summer in Scotland either…
If you are a vegetarian who doesn’t eat fish, you may not want to read this post.
Last week the weather was cold but beautiful, with clear skies and plenty of sunshine. The weekend arrived and we were hit with another snow storm, but we didn’t let this interfere with our dinner plans.
Yesterday we took the boat out, set some nets and then returned this morning to collect our catch. There were fifteen Cod fish in the net. My father calls Cod, Norwegian turkey.
I don’t like seeing them jump around, gulping air. So when my husband wasn’t looking, I quickly threw the smallest ones back into the sea.
In less than two hours the fish were filleted and ready to cook. When fish is fresh, it curls and splits as it fries on the pan. It smells like the ocean and tastes like a dream.
Later, when my son asked how many fish we caught, I heard my husband answer “I could have sworn there were fifteen but I filleted only ten, I guess the other five jumped ship…”
The Atlantic Ocean was a big part of my life while growing up. You see, my dad was a commercial fisherman who fished off the coast of New Jersey. My brothers still do.
I can remember driving down to the inlet in the back seat of my parents old Buick to survey the ocean. My dad could tell just by looking whether or not he and his crew should go out. When they did go, weather permitting, they could be gone for many days.
You would think with my dad out to sea we would get a break, but no. Then it was my mother’s turn to drive down and observe the sea. We’d pull up in the car, she’d quietly look out over the ocean and say, “I better get home and start peeling potatoes, because he’s coming home.”
And she was usually right.
I live on the other side of the water now and through my window, beyond the sound there is an opening. On one side of the opening is the Norwegian coastline, on the other an island. And through that opening is the North Sea. I’ve seen this view thousands of times and yet it always looks different…
Don’t be fooled by the beauty, it’s usually quite cold and windy out there.