The View from a Drawbridge

The random musings of a bridgetender with entirely too much time on her hands.

May is a very strange month. Sometimes it gets really warm and you think, “Yay! Time to put away the winter clothes!” But every time I’ve done that, I’ve regretted it, because sure enough, here comes a cold snap. So I think of May as an in-betweeny time, and I try to keep my options open.

There are all sorts of in-betweeny times in life. There’s that uncomfortable stage in your development when you’re not quite a child, but also not quite an adult. Some days you feel more mature than others. (And come to think of it, I still feel that way, only not to such an extreme.)

There are also those times when you take great risks and you feel both courageous and scared silly. That’s how I felt when I drove across the country to start a new life in a place where I’d never been, and where I knew no one. One minute I was thinking, “Dang, this takes guts! I’m proud of me!” and the next minute I was thinking, “Holy cow, what have I done?” I had no idea that adrenaline could pump for 3100 miles and during the first several months of my adjustment to this new life. But it turned out to be the best thing I’ve ever done.

I also experienced kind of a weird in-betweeny time when I started this new job. I mean, I had 14 years of experience as a bridgetender coming in, so being a bridgetender in Seattle came naturally to a certain extent. But there were also new policies and procedures and new nomenclature to get used to. It was like I knew what I was doing, but then I didn’t. That rattled my cage a tiny bit.

Another in-betweeny time for many people is when they find themselves in dysfunctional relationships, and can’t decide whether or not to stay or go. These transitional periods can also be the most dangerous for people in physically abusive relationships, because the abuser can often sense when he or she is losing power, and the violence accelerates. I’m grateful I’ve never experienced that myself. It must be terrifying.

And I hate the in-betweeny time when you suspect that there’s a cold coming on, and yet it hasn’t quite hit yet. You feel kind of bleh, but not so bleh that you have a legitimate reason to don flannel and start complaining. You just have to wait and see. How irritating.

And I’m sure that most of us have experienced the feeling of being on the brink of a major decision. Should I take this new job, or should I stay put? Should I marry this person or stay single? Should I buy a house or continue to rent?

In-betweeny times are when we are the most vulnerable, because we all want to make the right choices, but we will never be sure if we did. To this I say, keep your options open, but end your agony and decide. Because the no man’s land that you find yourself in is not a place that you want to remain for long.


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5 thoughts on “In-Betweeny Times

  1. Angiportus Librarysaver says:

    Yes, and study the situation beforehand if you can. A hardy traveler once said that when you are running alongside the train that is one thing, and when you are on it that is another, but the moment between, “that’s reality.”
    For me, the abusers simply tired of their sport, and I moved off to college. Have weathered many liminal periods since then. But onto better subjects–your bridge will be 100 this July. Some sort of observation is indicated–I’d say run up balloons from the tower, but I hate to use up any more helium. Ideas? At least be sure to say something about it. It’s wonderful that such contraptions can make a century, especially for their fans like me, and considering how the media dropped the ball [so far as I could tell] when it came to Ballard a couple years back, well…I’m sure you can come up with some ideas that won’t break the bank…

    1. Actually, that’s the original, wood bridge. The current bridge has only been here since 1932.

  2. Angiportus Librarysaver says:

    Yikes, I didn’t know that, though we’ve been thru a lot of bridges that are no longer with us. Oops.

  3. Angiportus Librarysaver says:

    …I looked over the article you linked to, and it looks like the charismatic part–the bascules, and what supports them–are original to 1919, even though the towers, the decking and perhaps the approaches, were replaced, as well as expansion of the width–they sure did a nice job of maintaining apparent continuity. I’ll dig into my trove of printed mat’l later, but I think my data sheet said 1919 for Uni. Pictures from 1920 sure look a lot like today–
    [] If in fact the whole darn thing is newer, well, it’s time for you to write that book and set us all straight.
    But if the part you work on isn’t, let’s celebrate. That sort of wood decking is similar to that in the original REI store, which I remember well; it was later a Value Village but I guess now it will be replaced with something of less interest to me.

    1. Looking forward to a full report! I know President Roosevelt dedicated it when it opened, but he did so by phone.

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