Sue Spitulnik

Writing, Sewing, Travel, and Thoughts



First Impressions – Flash Fiction

I was late picking up my new out-door enthusiast girlfriend to take to dinner at my parents and never noticed something on the front of her wool jacket, but my mother did. On the way home I asked what the small opaque disks were.

“Oh dear, they’re fish scales. I helped Dad clean the fish we had for breakfast.”

“I want my parents to welcome you back if you’ll go with me again, please be more careful.”

“I’ll do that but you should know welcoming a red-neck like me and accepting me is two different things in my book.”


Written in response to Charli Mills April 26, 2018, prompt from Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a fish tale. It can be about fishing from any angle, about those who fish, or what might be caught. Go where the prompt leads.

April 26: Flash Fiction Challenge


Everyone’s Favorite

It’s National French Fry Day. I can’t think of a single person in my circle that doesn’t like the finger shaped deep fried potatoes. I do know a few people that choose not to eat them because they are greasy and all carbohydrates, but those people have more will-power than I do.

In the early 1970’s as a young military wife, I had the privilege of living in England for three years. The first time I heard talk of going to the “Chippy” I thought they were talking about the flat slivers of deep fried potatoes. You find out what a big world it is when the same words have different meanings. Of course, they were talking about French Fries. I have fond memories of the Rock fish and chips wrapped in the large sheets of paper that looked like the paper you pack your dishes in when you move. I can still smell the aroma that was noticeable a few buildings from the shop.

When I moved to Washington state in 1979, I had another lesson in how to eat fer-fer’s as my son called them when he was little. It was very common in the restaurant I worked at to be asked for tarter sauce to dip fries in. I couldn’t see dipping something greasy in more fat, but once I tried it I was hooked.

In Mississippi we ordered potato wedges. They took a baking potato, cut it into four quarters lengthwise and fried those big pieces until the outside was almost crunchy and the inside was hot, fluffy and very white. That’s where I learned to eat my hot fries first and the rest of the meal after because cool fries just aren’t as pleasing to the mouth as hot ones are. There we sprinkled on white vinegar and chased it with ketchup.

Today my grandchildren dunk everything in ranch dressing. I guess dunking French Fries in something has been around as long as French Fries have been. If you want a healthier version you can coat your potatoes in olive oil and bake them, or use sweet potatoes. No matter which form, or what you dunk them in, I think most everyone will agree, hot and fresh is best.

The Bald Eagle is both the national bird and the national animal of the United States and appears on its Seal. If you think about it, there is often a decorative “head” on your American flag holder that is in the shape of a Bald Eagle. For me, the bird and the flag bring on the same emotion of patriotism whenever I see them.

I have had the good fortune to live in Washington state and New York state near where Bald Eagles live. I have seen the huge bird swooping the lake to grab a fish and it is a sight like no other. It makes you wonder how such a big bird can do such minute movements.

The name “Bald Eagle” derives from an older meaning of “white headed” as the bird is actually not bald. The adult eagle is mainly brown with a white head and tail. Their nests are the largest nests of any North American bird and the largest tree nests for any animal species. The biggest recorded eagle’s nest was found in St. Petersburg, Florida.  It measured 9.5 feet in diameter and 20 feet deep.  It weighed in at nearly 3 tons. (That’s a lot of sticks and mud. I wonder how they weighed it.)

At one time the Bald Eagle was on the endangered species list, but is no longer due to conservation and their ability to adapt to loss of natural habitat.

If you haven’t, I hope you get the chance to personally see a Bald Eagle fly over a lake. It’s one of those things that to be seen in nature is so much more impressive than seeing it on television. The size of the wing span will take your breath away.

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