HOT, HOT, HOT. No, I’m not sitting in some tropical lanai soaking up glorious afternoon rays. It feels as if I am from time to time, but only momentarily. Instead my internal thermometer has gone awry sending heat searing through my body on one hand then urging me to pull on a parka and heated gloves fifteen minutes later. Heeeeeeeeeeeelp! Apparently menopause has dropped upon me like a plague from the heavens, and I’m feelin’ the heat, brother, feelin’ the heat.
Remind me again how wonderful it is to be female. Site verse if you have to. Several other times in my life, both during hard labor, I had to be reminded of the glory of being a woman. This, it would appear, would be the appropriate time to hear it again.
Not only do I light up like a Christmas candle with no notice leading people to ask me if I’ve taken up bobbing for French fries, but I shed clothes and add them at such a furious pace it must appear as though several personalities are fighting for supremacy beneath my blond roof. In the space of five minutes my temperament might fluctuate from sunny to dark to silly and back again. Rick keeps asking where the real Susie went, and I have no definitive answers. If you see me, please send me home.
Certainly I have seen evidence of the effects of this phenomenon before. Women in the mall sweating in mid-January looking as if they’d recently competed in the Boston marathon suddenly stripping down to their skivvies behind the Tupperware kiosk. It isn’t pretty I’m here to say.
Asking my doctor if there was anything to do about it she replied in her usual helpful way, “time and patience, time and patience, dear girl”. Really? Dear girl? If girl was the correct adjective most likely we wouldn’t be engaging in this particular conversation. Fortunately for her there weren’t any sharp objects immediately within my reach.
There are pluses to aging, truly there are. Wisdom, hopefully, arrives in one form or another, and an acceptance of oneself with all the fine attributes and less desirable traits making up who you are as a person. The mirror is less kind perhaps, but all the wrinkles and irritating creeping lines come from years of living, smiling, lying in the warm sun, and bouts of sadness which encompass what makes up the average life. When you reach this point adult children, if such is the case, are generally on their own, or at least living independently. Missed are the days when their little hands held yours tightly but grandchildren perhaps are in the picture adding yet another dimension to your world. Time previously tied up with the day-to-day interactions usually present when children inhabit a household, is suddenly freed up to allow exploration into those things put off since first announced their impending arrival. It’s a double-edged sword, as many things in life are. Loss often shares company with gain and thus the balance of life continues.
My daughter is feeling the pain incumbent with children growing up and looking past their front door to the world beyond. There is no pill for it. They are going to go someday, and this is something you should celebrate. In the job description for parents pushing our offspring out of the nest is an integral part of the program. Encouraging them to fly alone with us encouraging them on their way is as it should be. I grew up in a household with my mother and maternal grandparents. At nine my mother remarried. Suddenly I was whisked out of my familiar life in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Placed in the back seat of a new Buick I was carted half way across the world (to my mind at least) to Southern California. Had they taken me to Jupiter, it couldn’t have been more alien then from where I came. Naturally my grandmother, who really served as my second mother, was devastated to see us go. My grandfather had passed on when I was six, so our absence would leave the large house unoccupied except for her. My mother says my grandmother never uttered a word of discouragement but she could see the sadness in her eyes as we packed and went on our way. All of us with children who grow up and consequently move out or away share that pain at one time or another.
Multigenerational family units exist in many cultures, perhaps more common in Asia or Mexico. New members are introduced, children added, and numbers culled due to death or divorce, but the core family remains intact. If it works for you, then it works I would think. There are times when I wonder if I’d enjoy this sort of arrangement. Other times after a loud family get together, I question whether I have the inner strength to survive such an experiment.
Each decade as it approaches opens a new chapter in my life, offering new opportunities to learn and grow. This one I am occupying at the moment can at times be challenging, but “if you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen”. I’m sure this too will pass and the hot flashes will subside. Just another bump in the road.
These potatoes are the best. The little bit of lemon added to the crunch. Yum. Note these can be changed up for red potatoes, just don’t peel them.
5 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut in large chunks
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chicken broth
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup melted butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. chopped chives
1 Tbsp. parsley flakes
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Salt to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Spray a 9 x 13″ casserole dish with cooking spray. Place potatoes in dish.
Mix together all remaining ingredients except cheese and salt. Pour over potatoes. Toss to mix well.
Cover dish tightly with foil. Cook for 45 mins.
Remove foil and stir to rotate potatoes. Sprinkle with cheese. Place in oven for additional 40 mins. (or until browned and crunchy) stirring several times.
Season with salt as desired.