I have a confession to make: I've always really loved fog. I know fog is bad for windjammers and campgrounds and all sorts of Maine businesses, and so I feel guilty about liking misty weather. But to me, fog is mystery. It's Sherlock Holmes and the "Wolf in the Fold" episode of Star Trek. It's lighthouses and ghost stories and the smell of the sea. But most of all, fog to me is quintessential Maine. Fog reminds me of places I have lived here: Scarborough and Portland and Rockland.
My wife considers this a mild perversion. The idea that anyone can prefer a foggy day to a bright sunny one is beyond her comprehension. I'm sure it is to most people. But I also suspect there are fellow fogophiles out there who share this weird appreciation but are afraid to admit it.
Having said this, I should also confess that recently my love of the fog was tested. Last week, my wife and I were scheduled to fly out of the Owls Head airport for a Colorado vacation (heresy, I know). It never occurred to us that the fog could be so thick here that our plane wouldn't be able to take off. Or that we'd have to rush to Boston by car and bus - and even then miss our flight. Eventually, we did get off. But I spent some hours over my vacation feeling betrayed by my formerly favorite weather.
Last night we returned to Boston. As our plane approached Logan we noticed how foggy it was. "Oh, no," was our reaction. Would our return flight to Owls Head be canceled? Would we face another long haul by land back to midcoast Maine? We watched the depatures board nervously, but our plane was listed as being on time. And sure enough, it boarded right on schedule. We both breathed a sigh of relief as we took off, knowing we'd be home in less than an hour.
But 45 minutes later, just as we should have been landing, the plane began to circle. And circle. And circle. Over the intercom the pilot said that the weather was too bad for us to land. My wife and I looked at each other in shock. But then amazingly, the pilot came back on to say a "hole" had opened up. Quickly we began to descend. The runway was masked by dark clouds. It was only when we were literally feet above it that the tarmac came into view. I still can't understand how the pilots made it down. If anything, the fog seemed twice as thick as the day of our departure, and night was coming on, too. At the gate, my mother-in-law was teary-eyed, she was so worried for our safety.
So we got home without incident. And outside it's another gray afternoon. But there's a light mist falling and the smell of the sea is in the air. The fog hasn't rolled in yet, but I find myself hoping it will.
Ed in Chief, fogophile