The Year is Complete!

Please feel free to look back through the 365 days of 2010 sunrises, but "a year of getting up to meet the day" is officially completed. There will be no more new posts.


Thank you so much for visiting.
A one year blog project in which I share a process of transitions: emptying of the nest, reacquainting with my rusty intellect, plowing onward with my first full length book, entering the second half of my first century, and generally reflecting on life.

(see Dec. 29th, 2009 entry for further explanation)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

the company of hot women

sunrise:  5:00

Two birds enjoying today's morning light:

T. and I watched a movie last night –“It’s Complicated” with Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin.  Pretty good film.  There was one small detail that I especially appreciated.  The character played by Meryl Streep, a mid-life divorced woman with college and post-college aged kids, experiences two hot flashes during the film, though nothing is ever stated about it.  It was handled so subtly that I wonder if most viewers don’t even notice.  It came through loud and clear to me.

“Is it hot in here?  Or is it me?” is the title of a terrific book about menopause that I read cover to cover a couple of years ago.  Inevitably it returns to my mind whenever I feel that rush of heat to my face and the bloom of lava that starts in my chest and flows out over my body.  This time of year especially, when sometimes it really IS hot in here, I don’t always know the answer to that question.

As I expect is the case for most women, I am alone in my household as a menopausal woman.  The rest of the family is sympathetic; they help me laugh about it.  My Dad called my mother “Flash Gordon” for years.  But no one can really get it like another menopausal woman can.

I do not spend a lot of time with women my age – probably not enough.  I definitely have strains of the introvert.  But now and again I am filled with appreciation for the company of women who are my peers in age and experience.    The subject of hot flashes, menopause, adolescent children, empty nest, or shifting body parts can set off of a cascade of anecdotes.  It is usually a descent into hilarity, even as it is sharing the misery.

My friends knew before I did that my turtleneck days were over.  You have to be able to get to exposed skin in a hurry.  “Layers, Honey, always have layers.”  Everyone’s husbands have been awakened by a wife who is hot with something other than passion in the middle of the night.  Off fly the covers.

There are amusing hot flash “first time” stories, and extreme hot flash events.  My most memorable was waking up with that panicky feeling of escalating heat while I was tightly bound inside a sleeping bag at the base of Mt. Katahdin.  Another particularly inconvenient one came while I was accompanying the show choir during the district competition.  My page turner deftly jumped into the job of valet as I frantically tried to shake off the sleeves of my jacket between measures.  A woman at a tennis gathering recently moved to Maine from the southwest “just in time.”  “People ask me if the cold weather is hard for me, but I LOVE it!!  A hot flash in Florida could kill you!”

As we edge our way toward summer I look forward with some trepidation to the hot weather, already planning to spend as much time as I can near cool water this July and August.  Rumor has it that some women continue flashing for decades, so I’m just going to learn to live with it.  Enjoy my early morning walks.  And always wear layers.


  1. I recently completed a road trip- farthest point from home was the Maine coast- where I was driving during a number of sunrises. I saw very little of color-drenched skies, but a fair amount of morning fog. While not as spectacular as a color-drenched sky, fog has its own beauty. I viewed the end of a morning's fog with some sadness, as it meant the cool part of driving was over for another 12 hours.

  2. You are so right. Fog is very common along the coast. Sometimes weeks go by without sun breaking through, but usually it appears later in the day. I agree with you - it can be very beautiful, with a character all its own. I expect to have some pictures of foggy mornings later this summer, when I'll be staying out there for a while.

    Then - when the sun DOES come out, it is quite spectacular.