Sometimes you get the exact right thing at the exact right moment and life just somehow feels exactly right. That is what happened to me on the night I ate “The Best Crab I Have Eaten in My Entire Life.” We had just gotten back from a fantastic visit back East where we were fortunate enough to have spent 10 wonderful days pumping our own gas, enjoying the bare trees and brown grass, and taking Abigail around to see her long lost family and friends. I hadn’t felt this good in a long time. Although maybe it was all the Vitamin D I was getting. I couldn’t go outside without my eyes instantly tearing up which resulted in a lot of eye rubbing, squinting, and looking down. Note to self: Pack sunglasses next time.
But it seemed that somewhere between Atlanta and Portland all of the sunshine was just sucked right out of me. We were back and who knew when our next trip East would be. Ryan went back to work and I was alone. Well, as alone as one gets with a baby and a dog. With Abigail playing on the floor and Hank pretending to be mad at me for his extended stay at Dogport my brain power was freed up for all kinds of negative, Oregon hating thoughts. I was having a grand ole time wallowing in self-pity when I heard a knock. Hank woofed and ran to the door. Oh boy! Nothing is better than a morning visitor when you are still mourning in your pajamas. I opened the door a crack as Hank’s huge head came barging out behind my legs. “Oh hi, I’m your neighbor. Wow that’s a big dog. I was just out in my driveway and noticed you had a flat tire.” (Super!) “Sorry I haven’t been over here to introduce myself, but I’m a fisherman and I just got back in town. Would you like a crab? I just brought them in last night.” I thanked him for the tip about my tire and told him that a crab would be awesome. He promised to bring it over later in the afternoon. I called Ryan right away and told him about the tire and the crab. I spent the rest of the day unpacking and slowly getting used to the fact that talking to my family on the phone is no where near as fun as being with them, but hey, at least I didn’t have to send a letter with the pony express to get in touch with them.
Ryan came home early to deal with the tire situation. It seemed the tire was so flat it had come off of the rim and we needed to take it to a shop to be patched. Ryan got back with a repaired tire and the crab.
Now if you have never had a Dungeness crab before let me just say something. They are delicious. There is no question about that. The thing that is rather extraordinary about them is the fact that there is SO much meat inside! We have had Dungeness crab many times in many different forms while we have been here, but the crab that we got from our neighbor was definitely, “The Best Crab I Have Eaten in My Entire Life.” It is crab season around here and I knew it would be good, but as I sat down next to Ryan with our butter warmer, mallets, and Oregon wine I had no idea that this crab just might turn my life around. Okay. I know you think I am going a little overboard here, but hear me out. The crab really was the most delicious crab with the jumboist meat I have ever had in my life, but it was also a lesson in appreciation.
Take a walk on the bayfront and you will most likely travel over the Memorial Walk. Stones come at regular intervals with the names of fishermen, a date, and even sometimes the words “lost at sea”. Leaving your family behind for weeks and even months at a time to harvest and fish cannot be easy and is often dangerous. That is what our neighbor, Rick, does. I thought about that as I enjoyed “The Best Crab I Have Eaten in My Entire Life” and I felt appreciative. For my family, my life, and even good old Newport. Home Sweet Home.