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Book details
  • SubGenre:Inspiration & Personal Growth
  • Language:English
  • Pages:310
  • eBook ISBN:9781098347789
  • Paperback ISBN:9781098347772

Out Of The Fog!

A Story of Survival, Faith and Courage

by Sandra CH Smith

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"Out Of The Fog! A Story of Survival, Faith and Courage" is Smith's memoir of marital discord, alcoholism and her amazing recovery in a 12-Step program.  With eight years of sobriety tucked into a new lifejacket, she buys a 35-ft. sailboat, tosses out all the fancy electronic equipment, radar and navigational devices ("I'm not a techie," she confesses) and teaches herself to sail.  Spending the next seven years sailing the Pacific alone or sometimes with her rebellious teenaged daughter, and with just a compass, a chart and a prayer, Smith rebuilds her life. Her adventures lead her to a happy, joyous and free life as a fearless independent woman.


'Out Of The Fog! A Story of Survival, Faith and Courage' is the author's inspiring at times painful story of herself as a 35-year old woman whose skid row was a beautiful tree-lined street in the suburbs. She had everything a woman could want...long-term marriage, two lovely children, elegant home, glamorous social life, successful journalism career. And then she was hit head-on by another motorist who crossed over the centerline.

Smith suffered for almost a year as a recluse with long-term retrograde amnesia. A Health Advisor's suggestion that she have a few drinks to ease anxiety was nearly a deadly prescription for a functional borderline alcoholic.Cognac and French wine soon took insidious control and at 35, Smith timidly opened the door to a 12-Step recovery program.

Two years later, to protect and nourish her hard-won sobriety, with a shared custody arrangement of her two children in place with her manipulative and controlling husband, Smith walked away from everything with just $600 in her pocket to rebuild her life. With eight years of sobriety tucked into a new lifejacket, the author buys a 35-foot sailboat, teaches herself to sail, and embarks, mostly alone, sometimes with her rebellious teenaged daughter, on a seven-year spiritual odyssey in the Pacific. 

Smith's book offers a heart-warming, sometimes terrifying testament to triumph over adversity. "Out of the Fog!" provides compelling insights into overcoming addiction as well as solving mother-daughter issues. The book illustrates the power of hope, faith and courage in facing the challenges of recovery and healing fragile relationships.

About the author

Sandra CH Smith, an American-born child of immigrant parents, says adventuring is in her DNA. Smith spent her teenaged years in San Francisco's North Beach as a Beatnik, hanging out with Ken Kesey, Allen Ginsberg, and other Beat writers. (Thirty years later, Lawrence Ferlinghetti would be a regular guest/crew aboard Smith's hot pink sailboat docked at Pier 39 where she lived aboard it.)

After studying International Economics and Foreign Affairs at George Washington University, Smith earned a Master's degree from Grenoble University, France where she spent two years studying French cheeses, wines and Cognacs. She has enjoyed a zillion careers from art school model, actor and chef, to Constituent Liaison for U.S. Senator Wayne Morse in DC, Arts administrator, realtor, lobbyist for the Arts, director of Santa Cruz CA and Springfield MO Arts Commissions, to journalist. While sailing the Pacific or anchored in faraway places, she hosted her own ocean-going "As The Anchor Drags" radio show for 3+ years, reading on air Stevenson's "Treasure Island" and many other books.

When she sold her boat in Puerto Vallarta, the author ended up ("by magic", she says) in Eureka Springs, AR where she bought the towns' first mayor's Victorian house built in 1886 which would become two elegant B&B suites. Smith then designed and built a Victorian replica next door and spent the next few years playing "restoration monopoly" with four historic cottages along the street to create what would become a 5-star B&B inn. After 26 happy years as an innkeeper, she sold the inn to move with her new husband to Bisbee, Arizona.

Smith says her mantra today is, "I can't change the wind, but I can adjust my sails." (Jimmy Dean and/or Dolly Parton). She apparently got quite good at this at sea and continues to improve the same skill on land.

Book Reviews

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Out of the Fog! A Story of Survival, Faith and Courage Review Rating: 5 Stars 2.25.21 Reviewed By Karen Walpole for Readers’ Favorite In Out of the Fog! A Story of Survival, Faith and Courage, Sandra CH Smith tells her life story. Smith, an intelligent, educated, and talented young mother of two begins to rely more and more on alcohol to deal with her unhappy life and manipulative husband. Her husband’s controlling and condescending ways destroy Sandra Smith’s self-confidence and her life and drinking spiral out of control. She eventually finds a 12-step program that saves her from suicidal despair and leads her to a relationship with her Higher Power. To free herself from her toxic marriage, she must start over with almost nothing. The book describes her slow and steady progress toward a courageous and fulfilling life. She deals with relationships with her children and her critical mother and gains strength from each obstacle and success. After regaining equilibrium and establishing herself again financially, she decides to buy and live aboard a 35-foot sailboat. Knowing nothing about sailing, she courageously teaches herself and learns from others until she becomes a sailing master. Throughout her journey, Sandra Smith relies on her higher power, the 12-step program, and her mantra “Everything will be alright.” I found Out of the Fog! A Story of Survival, Faith and Courage thrilling and inspiring. Anyone who has experienced drug or alcohol abuse or lived with an abusive spouse or partner needs to read this remarkable story of pain, recovery, hope, and triumph. There’s a joyous life out there waiting for each of us. Having the courage to try new things and trust that everything will turn out okay is the lesson I took from Out of the Fog! by Sandra CH Smith. Gaining strength from our Higher Power and living without limits will help us find the way to a fulfilled life. Read more