Here’s another weekly potpourri of thoughts and observations about breaking news and Valley things both great and small . . .
Recently I woke to the realization that I had contracted a bad cold. Not only that, but I also had another insatiable desire for fog. They don’t always happen together but I have been getting colds and longing for real fog most of my life. Speaking of which . . .
Not long ago (archeologically speaking) I and my little family took a Globus Gateway (bus) tour of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. I thought that we needed to get away from the much too hot and then much too cold tan and brown and dry and crisp desiccated Upper Mojave Desert. See, at that time (and on many other times) my soul yearned for thick moist luxurious fog. And not just some insubstantial errant little low-flying cloud that may have slipped-down from, say, Tehachapi on its way to, say, Trona. I want a traffic-stopping, voice-muffling, cool but not cold, long-lasting otherworldly pea souper that you can taste in your mouth like peaty scotch and feel deep in your lungs and that places you in a solitary cosmos-connecting place in the universe. I wanted that. Still do.
So where does one find a place that’s cool and green and (hopefully) foggy? Great Briton, of course! So off we went. It was a good tour partly because the tour guide was a young fellow who was guiding his very first tour and we were a bus full of practical jokers. Imagine Hugh Grant being told his zipper was open.
It was somewhere in Ireland that I found myself in that place my spirit had been longing for. I was very far away from the tour bus and standing alone on a heather-laden hillside which overlooked an ancient Irish village which hadn’t changed much since Hadrian’s Wall was built. It was a cool overcast midmorning and a glorious thick mist (a bit too grainy to be a proper fog) was settling on the moist green knee-deep heather and gorse all about me. I even heard an Irish cock crowing in the hazy distance.
Just off to my left was a country barnyard (stone walls and thatched roof) where some pigs were quietly rummaging through some poor soul’s garden and an old Irish gentleman in patched tweed was milking a slumbering cow into an oaken bucket. Oh, how my spirit reveled in the atmosphere of that wonderful moment! So I just stood there breathing deeply and soaking it in as long as I dared to charge my soul’s battery with the hazy cool moist green glory of it all.
I broke the spell though, when I approached the farmer and asked him if he could please tell me the time as I really should be getting back to our tour bus, after all. I almost immediately regretted that, see, because it was obvious from where I was standing behind the farmer that he happened to be “old country” by definition and probably did not own a watch. Moreover, because of the dense overcast, the sun was not at all visible and thus he couldn’t otherwise impress me by estimating the exact time by gauging the sun’s angle in the sky like farmers are sometimes wont to do.
But without even looking around at me (a wayward American tourist in his barnyard), the old fellow cooly stopped milking his cow and cradled her ponderous udder sac in both hands. And then he lifted the sac high up so as to heft it for weight and announced, still without looking around at me, into the broadside of his cow, “It’s nine twenty-six, almost nine twenty-seven,” (all in a thick Irish brogue). Well, I was flabbergasted!
So I said, “Thank you, sir. But if you don’t mind, could you please tell me how you did that, exactly? See, I’m not from here and I don’t know very much about your Irish cows.” Finally the farmer looked around at me and almost smiled. And once again taking the cow’s udder sac in his hands, and lifting it up, he said, “No problem, me darlin, see, if I lift this thing out of the way, I can see the village clock from just between the legs of this cow.”
Now, I think that if we in the Indian Wells Valley were suddenly visited by thick substantial fogs on a seasonal basis, I may just become a believer in Global Weather Change. Shucks, sign me up! Long ago, I once asked a co-worker on Base, who happened to be an ardently prayerful Christian, to please pray for fog. It was during one of my spells of desperately wanting to be in fog, you see. Many years later, in testimony to his good memory and God’s strange ways, we actually had an ephemeral spate of real fog hereabouts and it hadn’t fully dissipated before the phone rang and my prayerful friend just crowed! God bless him anyway.
That has been this week’s AudioBlog and this is Skip Gorman (firstname.lastname@example.org) returning you all back to a quieter and gentler place.
The views expressed are those of the columnist and do not necessarily represent the official stance of the Daily Independent.