Shifting Fog

Thu, 07/15/2021 - 5:45pm

Last night I went to bed late. The temperature was 64, the breeze damp but cooling from the east, causing me to lower the ocean-facing window to only a few inches. It was blanket-and-light-comforter required sleeping weather.
It was late and I took a screen snap of my phone, lest I forget the details of information by morning. In an earlier technological misadventure I had to update the device — or had thought I had to update the device — and thought I saw a changed weather screen, including longitude and latitude as well as temperature and the latest NWS special weather statement for a dense fog advisory.

Sidebar: Somehow, I did something to my phone that vacated some email accounts on it. I have my first, a account gone over to a Verizon account. Then I have the gmail account which I think I opened only for Facebook but I never used until I got Autumn, then had to use more when that aol operation decided I couldn’t send email blasts, which in my world was only for Harbor Church use — we’re hardly weblasters but still too much for aol. I did Google it at the time, looking for a way around the rules but found nothing helpful, only people like me bemoaning no longer being able to use their account for their Scout Troop or church group or Legion Post, hardly denizens of the Dark Web. Then there is the iCloud which I used for some time because it seemed to be the only account from which I could send photos; and lastly, the not even of my own making, my town account. Four accounts that I make sound like five because it makes for a better tale.
Yes, I know I am someday going to have to give up and go over to gmail but for now I’ll just complain about the hundreds of notifications, a few important emails, every social media comment and reaction and some third category I refuse to understand that fills that inbox.
It was my Verizon account, my via aol account, that gave me the most concern, the one I do use for a handful of important things. It was all still intact on my computer, where it told the answer to the question I ask myself only in passing: “how many emails come through in a day?” Normally, in the course of a day I pick up my phone every few hours and absently delete, delete, delete.

It had been about twenty-four hours and I had, in that one inbox, ninety-seven emails, three or four of which were of any consequence, none of which were life-altering.
So, now, that life-line of mine is on its own app – thank you local Facebook helpers — where, apparently it should have been all along, but I prefer antiquated methods. Easy is what I know.

Yes, my phone and my computer are synced and everything is in the cloud, which I remain convinced is a cloud of some sort, just not one of moisture and dust particles waiting to condense and shed my data all over creation.
That was resolved, it was late, my glasses were on the desk and I was reading a backlit screen, forgetting I was also looking at a Weather Channel production. I have, lovely, lyrical, hypnotic, multi-layered windy and I go to the Weather Channel.
Latitude and longitude turned out to be nothing more than the projected high and low temperatures for the day and while I got the advisory right I was surprised in the morning light to see the status of the air I had felt rolling in that slightly open window had been merely “cloudy.”
Worse, it was only two degrees warmer when I awoke six hours earlier but the sun, faint as it was through the dense fog of that advisory arrived, gave the morning the feel of a potentially humid day.

It was still gray and cool when I went out in mid-morning, the sort of damp that keeps hair wet but helps the greenery that lines Mansion Road stay healthy. It was so wet in town that I closed my car windows but also so changing I left my sweatshirt on the seat.
It was literally one of those days the weather changes from one side of the street to the other, from sunshine to shadow, and most of all by the density of the fog. By late afternoon it felt cooler, again, tolerable, if still damp.

I stopped at my door way when I came home, looking south, wishing I had a camera with a bigger zoom. The front field is the soft July tan of grass gone to seed, spattered with dark milkweed. Beyond it was the bay, pale blue on a foggy day, and on its far shore the southern end of the island, disappearing into the low hanging fog.
I know the view well but early this evening it had a different tone, the big white buildings that usually glimmer, muted, looking more like smaller whitewashed structures along some protected European seaside town of another era. It is pure happenstance but the biggest of the scrub shrubs, nearly trees, fanned out to cover what might have disrupted my little fantasy of having been transported to another time and place. Even the telephone tower, which I will somehow blame for my technological chaos of last night faded into the fog.
It is one of the wonderful things about Block Island I am reminded often, reinforced in summer by listening to people who have been coming here for years: there are always new vistas, new perspectives, be they by relocation or by the changing light, the shifting fog.

And for that moment, the wet, humidity intensifying, airplane grounding fog, the same that makes the boat bellow here-I-am, seemingly in my backyard, shows it has something to offer.