At the time, Rachel was still a baby. She giggled and babbled and was enthralled with the shiny braces on my teeth. Now she's almost thirteen, preoccupied with friends, the mall, MySpace, and all the other nonsense one associates with preteens. It was the first time in my life I found myself on the other end of the line, "I remember when you were this big!" It was a profound experience.
Unfortunately Neil, who wasn't even born the last time I was there, isn't in this picture either. He was at the water park for the day with friends.Yesterday I finished the first leg of my summer adventure. I drove from the Kelley's house in Moraga into downtown San Francisco and straight back out again from the Golden Gate Bridge. The fog was heavy - it was the same the last time I was here and probably will be the next time I visit - so driving across the bridge was like passing into another world. To my right lay Alcatraz and the city, while to my left lay the Pacific Ocean, none of which I could see. All I saw was fog.
Staring out into the ghostly ether, I felt a sense of accomplishment that is hard to describe. Nearly four weeks earlier I had set out from the shores of the Atlantic, and here I was at the Pacific several weeks later. I wasn't flown here by an airline pilot or driven here by a busdriver. I was on that bridge due to my own perseverance. I had driven across the country. Fulfilling a life's goal is indeed a profound experience.
And I still have to get back to Jersey...