Friday, January 16, 2009

Sea Smoke and Life with a Lab

Sea Smoke

We are more than fortunate to live on an island in the middle of a river. I have been lucky to live on the water a lot in my life. Once, while I was in undergraduate school, I lived in an amazing little red, white, and blue caboose on Bainbridge Island in my home state of Washington. Nearly every morning I would walk out my front door to the beach (just steps away) and quietly sit on a large piece of driftwood, drink a cup of hot coffee and watch the Washington state ferries come and go. The ferries were very entertaining as they would leave Seattle,cross the bay and glide straight towards me turning, in what seemed to me like the very last moment!, sharply to the right as they slide into the dock in Poulsbo . On some days, the fog hid the entire bottom half of the ferry so that the top part looked like it was magically floating through air. It was nothing short of spectacular to witness. Bottomless ferries, floating around in the bay.

Just this chilly, 3-degree morning, as I looked out on the river in my "front yard", I was once again mesmerized by fog, this time by the clouds of fog hovering just above the river. The fog seemed to follow the river as it rushed out to sea. You'd think this was a peaceful, quiet scene but quite the contrary. As I stood out on my deck to snap this picture, the river was rushing, the clouds were racing quickly to keep time with the river, and the cold was biting me all over! Later as I drove over Memorial Bridge on my way to work the fog billowed up and down the river as far as I could see while the rising sun made the horizon blush with a pale pink glow. What a spectacular commute, I thought!

At work, one of my colleagues told me that the fog I so admired was called sea smoke! I love that...sea smoke. Technically, it's cold air that passes over the warm river (or any other body of water) and condenses. But, it seems more otherworldly to me. Sea smoke. I guess years ago it was sea smoke that hid those mammoth Washington State ferries commuting back and forth between Seattle and Bainbridge Island and it was sea smoke that I marveled at, once again, right out my front door. Similar memories separated in time.

Life with a Lab

Early this morning, 2:16am to be exact, I was awoken by my dog, Olivia, making those wonderful little noises a dog makes just before she barfs. Although Olivia sleeps on about 7 layers of pillows and rugs, topped off with a comfy dog pillow, the very top layer is always a towel. Before I could catch her, in that early morning fugue state halfway between sleep and wakefulness, she let loose, all over, (and I thank you, Miss Olivia) right onto the towel. " Nasty little piece of Nylabone, Livy"? I asked her as I threw the towel in the laundry, replaced it with a clean one and went back to sleep.

I was awoken again less than two hours later by the phone. Kind of early for a snow day to be called, I thought. We get early morning calls from our school in the event that snow and/or ice or some other natural disaster prevents school from opening on a particular day. Ken snapped right out of sleep. " Yes, fine, OK", I heard him say. " The sprinkler?" he asked as he hung up and told me that the cold alarm had gone off and the sprinkler system downstairs in our garage was about to freeze up. Twenty minutes later, just as I was falling back to sleep I heard the elevator open and shut. "Joy, can you come out here," Ken yelled. "What do you need?" I whined, hoping he would tell me to never mind and I wouldn't have to get out of bed at the ungodly hour of 4:00 in the morning. "Just come out here, please. I need your help." For whatever reason, Ken had taken the dog out to "do her business" at 4:00 in the morning (he must have been in a fugue state, as well?). The problem was that she returned with a little ball of poop dangling out her back end. Each time Ken tried to grab it, Olivia put her tail between her legs and turned around in circles. If I hadn't have been so tired, it would have been very funny. Ever the helpful wife, I grabbed the paper towel and captured the dangling menace while Ken held Olivia. Problem solved, off to bed we all went. "Go to bed, Livy," I barked as she bounced around the room, fully awake and ready to begin her day. Ken and I still had an hour more of sleep to enjoy. "Life with that dog", I mumbled to Ken, "is like life with a small child"!

No comments:

Post a Comment