Several mornings this fall commuters have had to drive to work in heavy fog. The fog has been especially heavy in the lower parts of the road. This has reminded me of times when my family has had to drive home in the dark in fog so thick that we looked for another car to follow. In fact, when we had that car to follow, we followed so closely that sometimes we turned into the person’s driveway, soon backing up and discovering that we were on our own.

I’m sure you have heard the quip that you can tell a Massachusetts driver because he drives in the breakdown lane. You can tell the out-of-state driver because he doesn’t stop and then, after looking to see that all is clear, takes a right on the red light. You can tell a Maine driver because he straddles the line in the middle of the road when there is fog. My family were straddlers, particularly when the fog was heavy and we were returning from Portland on a country road in the dark.

When I was young, the Portland airport was very small and planes did not have the ability to land in fog as they now do. Instead, the flights would be canceled for that day.

Once my father was arriving in Portland at the end of summer and his flight from Boston was canceled. He ended up on a Greyhound bus that took him from one airport to the next. Fog is not as problematic as it used to be for flights in and out of Portland.

Another experience with fog occurred when my mother came to see the fireworks down on Gooch’s Beach in Kennebunk. When we arrived with our beach chairs, we could see the boats out on the water and we sat down anticipating a wonderful show. Within a half hour the fog had rolled in with huge moist clouds, and we could no longer see the boats or anything more than a few feet in front of us. When the fireworks started, we heard the booms and saw a faint glow in the sky, but that was all. The fog had obliterated the display. The fireworks went on, but it was only boom and glow.

Fog is magical, mysterious and such an interesting part of living on coastal Maine.