Tag Archives: vignettes

An Ode to Fog

Big Ben in foggy London

Big Ben in London, of course | Copyright Siri Paulson, 2007

I’ve always loved fog.

I’m not even sure why or when it started. (I remember a beloved book from my childhood, Fog Magic by Julia L. Sauer, but I’m not sure which came to me first, the fog-love or the book. But I digress.)

It’s funny, because I’m not keen on grey skies or rain — give me sunshine any day. (Though I quite like snow, if it’s not accompanied by too much wind or cold. (Famous last words. It hasn’t snowed here yet this season.)) I was not impressed to discover, in Ireland, a sort of arrested rain, where the cold air was so heavy with water that you’d get wet walking through it. But fog…ah, fog is another matter.

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Memory Lane: Learning to Swim

The pool where I learned to swim was a small L-shaped pool attached to a high school, nothing special. Except that I spent so many hours there, working through the Red Cross swim competency certifications — yellow, orange, red, all the way up to white — that the pool is still lodged firmly in my brain.

Even today I can tell you the layout, where the lanes ran, the side of the L where we learned to hold our breath underwater and made our first shaky attempts at the flutter kick. Later we graduated to the other side of the L, the Deep End, to master treading water and the harder swim strokes.

My best friend was in many of those classes. We had an imagination to rival each other’s, and at any opportunity we would play mermaids. The Deep End held the evil sea queen, Ursula from The Little Mermaid. (We knew it wasn’t true, but on some level, we believed.)

One of my proudest accomplishments was scaling the climbing rope. I was a skinny kid, but I did it, knot by knot, all the way up to the high ceiling, where I rang the bell hard, then dropped into the waiting water.

Where did you learn to swim?