Sometime Remarkable Goes Unnoticed

By Patrick McNerthney 

I love to fish. Salmon abound in my neck of the woods – five species to be exact. The Chinook show up in Puget Sound in July, with Coho arriving in late August. The Pink swim through in odd numbered years (for real–how do they know??) July through September…plus there are Chum in the winter…and Sockeye in the summer.


Oh,almost forgot–there are “local Chinook” in the winter too! They’re smaller than a normal Chinook, and they refuse to abide by the rules given that when they leave the rivers as youth, they just hang out in Puget Sound instead of swimming all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Rebels!

Indeed, I have a tolerable knowledge about salmon, but I’m an expert on how NOT to catch them. Most of the time, when I fish off the beach near my house (because I don’t have a boat;accepting donations if you’d like to help), I come home empty-handed. Thus,prompting both my wife and my son to endlessly ridicule my lack of success.

(Obviously not me holding the salmon.)

However, when I DO happen upon one of the scaly beasts, even my wife and son agree I smoke the best salmon they’ve ever tasted. It’s an art I learned a few years back. I won’t go into too much detail, but the key is to develop a pellicle on the outside of the filet before throwing it on the smoker (it acts like a little insulator from the heat which prevents the fish from drying out).

So yes, I make the best smoked salmon in town. It’s true. (Now all I have to do is catch more). But there’s a catch (I know I just said that but no pun intended!): even though it’s loved by many, even my most loyal fans (family, neighbors, someone’s in-laws in Kansas) have TURNED ME DOWN WHEN I’VE OFFERED THEM THE BEST SMOKED SALMON IN THE GALAXY. 

Guess why?  There are people who just don’t want smoked salmon that often. I know–but what else could it be? I’m talking about the best EVER. But no–they’re simply in the mood for other delicacies–Doritos or Cuban sandwiches or bananas or who knows what?? But the point I’m trying to make is this:, The fact that people may not feel like eating smoked salmon does not diminish  its greatness. Nor mine.  

This phenomenon applies to all of our gifts. 

Maybe you write a great newsletter, paint incredible scenes with watercolors, lead a choir, or make incredible strawberry pie from scratch. The fact is, just because people aren’t always interested in your gift, doesn’t mean it lacks value. Or that YOU lack value.

(Yep. Still has value.)

It just means life is big, and there’s plenty of room for other awesome things too. Humans simply can’t embrace every good thing there is, all the time. That would be like trying to watch every show on Netflix at once – simply not possible. 

So as a “maker,” it’s important to keep fishing, writing, painting, leading, and baking. Whatever you do, it’s remarkable — even if sometimes it goes unnoticed.

The same rule applies to your work as a caregiver of the elderly, children with challenges, and anyone who simply needs help with tasks of daily living. Sometimes your mission — empowering your residents and loved ones to overcome the depression and anxiety that result from social isolation — goes unnoticed by everyone. But that doesn’t lessen the importance, or remarkability, of what you’re trying to accomplish.

So what keeps you going?  

Fine Art Miracles (FAM)can. FAM provides the tools and resources that leverage the power of creative expression to help others. Art Therapy, Music Therapy, Dance & Movement Therapy, Drama Therapy, Drumming Exercise Therapy, and ART2GO packages foster confidence, self-worth, a sense of mastery, relevance, and connection for the underserved populations you work with every day. But maybe more importantly, FAM is a huge fan of your work, and always in the mood for what you’re offering. They’re your PARTNER on your journey to make life better for others. Which helps a ton in those moments when you may be questioning your remarkability.

So what are you waiting for? Call FAM today, or drop them a note, and they’ll get you started! 

Well, I’m going to go through my shed and get all my fishing gear ready. Soon I’ll be standing offshore not catching anything, to the great amusement of my family. Or who knows, maybe I’ll be throwing a Silver on the smoker real soon! I hope so – if I don’t have any takers for smoked salmon this time, that’s fine by me. I’ll happily eat my very first catch all by myself.



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