Published on March 16, 2021

Memories are made of this

What all lurks in the morning fog?

By Jan Edwards
The Bulletin

I woke up and could not go back to sleep. The morning light through the blinds indicated that it was not time yet to get up. But the pups were ready for their morning regiment. So, I pried my eyes open, slipped into the kitchen and left Roy sleeping.

The clock indicated that it was time to get up. But looking out the patio door, I realized that the sea fog had rolled in last night. It was not the kind of kitten-gray soft fog that twirls and dances with the breeze like fairies vanishing with dawn’s first light.

No, this was the kind of hearty fog that sneaks in and disguises everything. The changing of the seasons. Mother Nature hasn’t decided whether or not to hang on to winter or let spring commence.

I made coffee – Buc-ee’s ground coffee that you make at home. It is a sort of blonde coffee, smooth and tasty with a finishing taste of chocolate on a clean palate - if I sweeten it with Stevia. The “girls” (our dogs) were ready for their morning belly rubs, followed by their salmon and sweet potato treats. With the belly rubs out of the way, I grabbed the cup of coffee and the dog treats, and we stepped onto the deck and into the mist.

I didn’t recognize the world outside my door - the fog obscured everything. The other side of the river wasn’t even visible. But I could hear the morning baths of the White Pelicans and the grievances of the Snow Geese, grounded due to fog.

Hmm, was that a Purple Martin I just heard? They probably will be running late, returning after the freezing weather, and they will need shelter and food. This year’s migration will be hard on them, as it will be on the Snow Geese, when they decide to move on. I’ve never known the Snow Geese to still be across the river in March. Mental note to self: get Martin houses out.

Nothing much was moving on the Intracoastal Waterway – barges and push boats waited for the fog to lift before getting down to business. The heartbeat of a diesel engine could be heard in the distance, as it held a barge into the bank of the canal, waiting until it was safe to continue its journey. Fog turned the Intracoastal Waterway into a wide, white tunnel, disguising the dangers of the passage during these conditions.

The fog enhanced the silence of fish activity in the river; there were no jumps, flips or splashes. If the fish were awake, they must have still been in bed. My thoughts were interrupted by a pup begging for a treat. I accommodated both babies and sipped some coffee.

In this kind of fog, voices of the past come to call. I could hear Jean La Fitte instructing his pirates where to bury the treasure on Music Bend in the river. I hear Theodosia Burr entreating the Karankawa Indian chief to get news of her demise to her father and the ghostly sounds of a fiddle warming up. Then there’s a myriad of disembodied voices of countless settlers, slaves, soldiers and revolutionaries hanging in the depths of the murkiness.

The fog creates a world just outside our regular boundaries that allows the humdrum to disappear and my mind to explore things that I would leave on the wayside on a typical morning.

I heard Roy stirring. End of reverie. I think we’ll have bacon and eggs this morning – that sounds good.

(Write Jan in care of The Bulletin. Email: john.bulletin@gmail.com. Snail mail: The Bulletin, PO Box 2426, Angleton TX, 77516.)