walls of fog

my dear british friend lorraine has a thing for bridges. and seeing the golden gate bridge (the bridge of all bridges?) has been a dream of hers for years and years.

as far back as he can remember, lorraine's husband graham has had california (and san francisco in particular) on his bright hope list of places to visit. 

graham and lorraine flew across the ocean and across the wide united states and landed in the bay on saturday excited to finally lay eyes on our iconic orange bridge. 

what could be more perfect for these two than gliding along on a bay cruise boat right under the ggb, to marvel and wonder at this spectacular landmark from many angles and sides? we boarded the boat on a lovely saturday evening and noticed that the fog had just started to roll in...

...we left the pier and found that the bridge was shrouded. we swept past alcatraz and the wind blew and the horizon turned into a white wall. we sailed on and on as the tour narration told us to notice certain elements of the bridge that we couldn't distinguish one bit through the cloud. we pushed onward and forward and were wrapped up in mist and continuously saw nothing but white. 

then, in a ripple of change, something appeared over our heads. it was the bottom of lorraine's dream - the roadway of the golden gate bridge. 

under and around we went, and this was our very best view:

i have to admit it was quite cool to see the bridge pop out of the fog in its muted vermillion. it was a unique experience, a memorable adventure. but graham and lorraine needed to see the bridge in all its glory! they'd come all this way with all these hopes and having spent all this time and money...

so after church on sunday i drove these two back up to the city to catch a real glimpse of the bridge. the fog was perhaps thicker than the day before. we drove across the roadway that was above our heads on saturday and could hardly distinguish the towers and we went under them. we got to the other side and drove up to the lookout point, and here was our view:

not even a peak of golden gate red. just a foggy haze. to use some british slang i picked back up from having my english friends in town, we were absolutely gutted

believe you me, i am all for making the most of less-than-ideal situations. i am often quite overly optimistic and cheerful about things that don't work out very well (it's all part of the adventure). but that wall of fog after about 5,000 miles and 50 years of envisioning the spectacle of the golden gate bridge? that just stinks. bad.

sometimes things just don't work out. and it stinks, and we are gutted. yes, those times remind us that pretty much nothing is a big deal, that relationships are what life is really all about, that we can find joy and love and goodness even in a big fat cloud over the golden gate. but also those times are just kind of really crummy.

i feel like i'm trapped in fog in my life right now. there's a spectacular bridge - a feat of engineering and a work of art! - right in front of me, but i can't see it and figuring out how to see it seems so difficult. the fog just keeps gathering! moving, moving...but not leaving. i'm overwhelmed. i'm struggling to keep my head above the water i'm treading. i know what the view looks like and i know i'll see it again...but for a while i have to endure and work through the heavy wall of fog. 

okay -- debbie downer is almost done now -- lots of things didn't go very well this weekend, but notice the smiles in the photo above. here in my cloud, stunning scenic overlook or not, i have so much to smile about. and it was such a treat to have graham and lorraine in town. next post is about some of that good sunny stuff...views like these:


  1. Shucks! Sometimes things just don't work out as planned. This reminds me of when we first went to Switzerland to see the Alps and even though we stayed an extra day, the fog was very similar. We never saw above 100 feet of those beautiful Alps! The thing is, that we eventually got to go back and see them I'm not Lorraine and Graham will have that opportunity. Still, the other pictures are sterling! Thanks for taking your weekend to show them a great time. They SO deserved it!

  2. I apologize for this having nothing to do with your recent post (excecpt remind me how long it's been since I visted the bay area!) but I read your parents article today in the DesNews and couldn't help wondering what your thoughts might be.
    Do you feel like you "have it all"? because I just read (and smirked) my way through Betty Friedan's "Feminie Mystique" and couldn't help but notice the startling contrast to our new 21st century way of thinking. The lifescript for women back in Friedan's day looked like this: (dating>courtship>marriage>kids with a maybe career worked in) and today this lifescript no longer exists especially for women like you and me. Sure we have great relationthips with nieces and nephews, careers, church callings, opportunites to travel yet how many of us wake up one day to ask the Betty Friedan question, "Is this all?"
    I can't help but wonder if I'm the only one who feels this way.
    Anyway, you don't have to respond to this. Just thought I'd throw it out there. Have a great day