Peering Through The Fog


An eerie fog greeted me when I awakened this morning and peered through my front window. Grabbing my camera, I scurried outside to photograph the event in 18-degree temperatures. My solar lights were still blinking. The fog obscured the fact it was daylight. I took the pictures quickly since it was cold, and then I dashed into the house where the warmth welcomed me. The fog is no stranger since I grew up in Iowa and lived in other parts of the Midwest. Mornings in Pennsylvania frequently began with fog the summers I spent there. Viewing the fog this morning reminded me of some of those classics.

I remember one November about 1973. I was working as a paraprofessional at the College Community School District on the edge of Cedar Rapids while attending Mount Mercy College. Being a paraprofessional sometimes entailed activities no one else wanted to do. I worked at Prairie High School, and the one and only copy machine was located in the junior high school across the way. The trek to the junior high required an adventure across the parking lot–definitely a nightmare when the fog engulfed it. Over the years, I have worked several places where one individual deemed my colleague always took it upon herself to be my boss. I can still remember the sweet smile on her face that morning as she said, “Would you mind running over to the Junior High and copying this?”

Ever taste a fog? I tasted it all the way across the parking lot that morning! It was so thick, I could not tell the direction I was going. Hopefully I wouldn’t end up in Iowa City. And if I took another turn, I would be in downtown Cedar Rapids. The return trip to the high school was no less adventurous. I can still feel that cold fog brushing against my face. Funny that I should remember all of that while photographing the fog this morning!

My favorite encounters with a fog occur when I’m inside watching it through the front window. Occasionally the fog matches my mood at such moments. I worked for an attorney in Cedar Rapids after graduating from high school in 1961, and I can remember one such encounter with a fog. It was a late September afternoon, and I was about to head out for home. I was the only one in the office at the time and had finished typing a number of documents. The office was located in the Higley Building in downtown Cedar Rapids, and we were on the 8th floor. When I carried the papers into the attorney’s office and placed them on his desk, my attention was suddenly drawn to the window. A heavy fog descended upon the town with street lights casting eerie shades of red up into its fingers. I stood there looking at it for a while, and then braced myself for the trek home.

The fog can be a friend sometimes when I’m in the mood. I enjoy walking in fogs when not being told to do so. At other moments, it becomes an audience when I am inside and focusing on other projects. It sometimes becomes an inspiration for my writing. I don’t mind walking in a fog, but I will not drive in one–too dangerous. Other drivers do not respect it.

Glancing through the window, I noticed the sky awakened and the sun broke through, making the fog a brief memory. One thing about fogs in Colorado–they arrive early and lift quickly–a phenomenon probably stemming from our lack of humidity here.

I glanced through the window one last time, wondering why our weather goes “wacky” a few days before Christmas, then only to change for the better and appear like spring on the holiday. Perhaps I shouldn’t complain. I have to admit I prefer a white Christmas. Some snow is falling in the mountains today–but with a forecast of 50 degrees by Tuesday and 49 Christmas Day, I don’t think we’re going to have it this year.

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