Friday, July 12, 2013

Honeymoon Bridge, by Paula Rose Michelson

Since Ron and I will be making reservations at ‘our place,’ which is The Best Western Chateau in Big Bear Lake that looks like a castile, for our 45th anniversary on August 20th it seems fitting that I post my true honeymoon story today. As you read this, I’m certain you will see that at 19, my new hubby and God already had ahold of my heart.

Honeymoon Bridge
Planning our honeymoon was like a dream come true. When we decided to make Carmel in Northern California our destination, Ron and I poured over all the pictures and information we had gathered about the area. Together we circled the places we planned to visit during the week. One adventure both of us put on our “must do list” was to drive down famed highway one. As much as I wanted to do that, I worried about making this drive without being frightened. You see, I had a terrible fear of heights and the pictures in the literature showed an expansion bridge that seemed several miles high. Since I did not want to make a big deal about my concern in front of my soon to be husband, I worked to bring my uneasiness under control. I told myself that the drive would be no problem. When the time came, I simply needed to keep my eyes away from the edge of the road, which if the pictures were accurate dropped off into nothingness. Attempting to make everything go as we planned; I convinced myself that I would be fine. All I needed to do was trust my husband and focus on the scenery. 

The wedding was beautiful. Friends and family wished us well as we waved goodbye and headed up the coast toward our new life together. We were having a wonderful time. Our honeymoon was turning out to be everything I had hoped. Eventually we arrived in Carmel. When the day scheduled for the scenic drive arrived, I never gave my fears a second thought. I am glad I didn’t because it was one of those rare days when even the air feels like silk and we couldn’t resist putting the top down on our convertible. The sun was out in all its glory, the birds were singing and we were in love. As we slowly meandered around the turns and switchbacks of route one, we realized that the drive was as lovely as the pictures had promised. The beauty of the drive seemed to obliterate all the fears I was pretending I wasn’t experiencing as I marveled at God’s creation.

Our car turned a bend in the road and the suspension bridge came into view looming like a steel monster. My husband and I were staggered by its size. Yet being courageous, he refused to be intimidated as we began our crossing. I took courage from his reassuring smile. A moment later, everything changed. The fog, which until now had been like a fleecy cloud playing tag with the surf far below us suddenly engulfed our car obscuring our vision. Neither of us was prepared for this, I lest of all! Ron pulled to the side, stopped; we got out of the car, and stared into the fog. It broke and we saw foggy tentacles wrapped around the furthest half of the bridge. No one had told us that there could be fog at noon in the middle of summer. We turned toward each other and were surprised when we each uttered in awed surprise, “It’s beautiful, like an oriental painting!” As we got into our car and began to cross, we shared that we felt as if we were driving into a piece of fine art. Suddenly we hit a wall of thick fog. It was like driving blind. We could not see anything - not even each other.

Ron stopped the car. I heard the door open, felt the car move again, and began to panic.
       “What are you doing?” I asked my husband of two days.
       “Looking for the white line.”
       “What will you do then?”
       “Continue to drive,” he said his voice strained. We were moving at a snail’s pace. My husband’s door was open, and it seemed to me that his head was bent as far down as possible, while his eyes searched for that elusive white line.
       “Couldn’t we stop and wait until the fog clears?”
       “No other cars will want to drive through. If we stop in the middle of the bridge we could create an accident.”

I mustered all of my courage and vowed not to scream. Panic would not help. As the car inched forward, I prayed. Following the white line, Ron drove down the center of the bridge until suddenly we drove out of the fog bank and back into the bright sunlight. That is when he confided to me how scared he had been for our safety. 

As the years have passed, I have gotten over my fear of high places. However, I have never forgotten the lesson I learned on what we now call Honeymoon Bridge. When faced with difficult obstacles today, I follow my husband’s example of opening the door and looking for the white line, which for me as a believer in Messiah means I trust my husband for he is the covering God has provided for me!

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