What follows here are just my thoughts and words. No fact checking, no spell checking, no promises of great insight or good grammar. Just me dumping the words in my head to words on the screen. Bear with me... sometimes it's a bumpy ride.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

A Fevered Bit of Moaning & Complaining....


Oh, I remember sleep.

There was a time, not so very long ago, that I could climb into bed at a reasonable hour, snuggle under the blankets, read my book for 5 or 10 minutes and then fall fast asleep until morning.  Alas, no longer.

Now I find, after fighting to keep my eyes open while sitting on the couch watching TV at some ridiculously early hour, I finally take myself off to bed.  I plop down, more on top of the covers than under, and read for a few minutes.  So far, so good.  Drowsing, I put my book away and plump my pillow just so, and drift slowly off.

Just before that lovely plunk into dreamy oblivion, I am suddenly aware of a rising heat.  The covers are unceremoniously thrown to the side, a leg flails out to be thrown on top of the covers and  away from touch of any other potentially warm thing (far from the blissfully sleeping dogs and husband taking up valuable real estate - damn them, on so many levels).  I have to pull my hair off my neck, spreading it across the pillow and away from touching any portion of my face.  I reach for the flamenco-style fan I keep close and begin fanning.  My brain, just seconds ago so quiet and sleepy and drifty, is now in sharp focus, wide awake and all too aware that I'm hot and wide f----g awake.

Sometimes I'm lucky, and the heat passes fairly quickly.  But I'm left slapped awake by the onslaught just the same.  If I read now, I will read for an hour or more without a single droop of the eyelid.  (Where were these hot flashes when I was in school and trying to stay awake to read homework assignments?)  If I don't surrender to the written page, I will toss and turn, flopping around like a fish out of water, trying to get comfortable, find a cool spot, turn my mind off, regain that floaty, feathery, drifty sensation of imminent sleep.

Finally, it comes again.  An hour or three later (I know, because against my better judgment, I keep checking the clock.  I want to have accurate, quantifiable facts when I do my complaining the next day.  Poor me, I was awake for hhhoooouuurrrss), I drop off once again.

This time, I awaken more slowly.   Swimming gradually up into conscious thought, "Do I get up to pee, or can I make it until morning?"  Shifting to glance at the clock, I realize I am an oil slick of wet, sweaty, sticky skin and sheets.  Oh, ugh.  I actually slept through the hot flash (oh, hot flash is a woefully inadequate term to describe what happens; more like seared and basted), and have now awoken in the post-perspiration state, like a sponge that's being wrung out.  If I move, I will have to contend with the body shaped wet imprint in the bed.  If I'm lucky, I can stay perfectly still (except for once again freeing my leg from the covers to get some cool air relief) and simply fall back into a soggy sleep.  All will be dry again by morning (disgusting? don't judge it until you've woken, exhausted, in a stew of your own sweat.).  If the water I drank the night before proves to much for my now conscious bladder, I have to come back to the bed with a towel to lay on, because my side of the bed is now swampish.

If you are a woman, and of a certain age, you may read this and say "Yeah, been there, done that." Amen, sister.  Testify.  For that whatever percentage of you who instead shake your heads and say "Oh, how awful.  So glad I never had to deal with that", I am envious and pettily jealous and hateful.  If you are a younger woman, not yet anywhere near the joys of this stage of female physiology, I say, fear not, it apparently doesn't happen to everyone.  (Altho, to my daughter, apologies in advance.  My sisters are doing it, I am doing it.  I fear it is in your genes to also succumb when it's your time.  Unless they finally come up with safe & effective drugs by then.)

You'd think there could at least be a silver lining here, like with all that sweating and interrupted sleep, there would be some commensurate weight loss.  But, nooooooo.

I have to say, this is pretty compelling support for the concept that God is a man.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

And the Wind Cried... KONA

There are monsters outside of my window.

They roar and loom, shaking their shaggy arms at me, throwing menacing shadows and gusting blasts of their breath through the windows.  Sometimes they are still and quiet as if frozen or asleep.  But lately, they have been awakened and they claw at the window, trying to get in.

Sometimes I can close my eyes and sleep without a care.  But sometimes, it's too much for me.  And I run to my Mom, pawing her and trying to get as close to her as I can.  The monsters don't scare her. Nothing scares her.  I feel better when she calms me, and when I can lie near her and keep an eye on her.

My sister is afraid of the monsters too.  I know she is.  She gets all quiet and small, and sometimes goes and hides in the bathroom.  I only go in there when I'm really really scared, and even then, only if Mom goes in there first.  It's better when all three of us are in that small little space.  Sometimes it makes Mom laugh, sometimes she just sighs.

It's worse at night.  The monsters multiply and their numbers make them strong and more frightening. It's hard for me to breathe.  I feel anxious and panicky.  I don't know what to do, so I circle and pant and climb as high as I can, close to something warm and safe, like Mom or Dad.

Luckily, I have my buddy to help me through.  I go & find it and keep it close by to calm me down.  It's good to have a buddy to help me feel better, to focus on, instead of the noisy monsters outside.  Everyone should have a buddy like this.  But this is my buddy. You've gotta go find your own.

- A Guest Posting from Kona

Sunday, April 13, 2014

From the Land of There and then Not There...

The longer we are here, the more it is revealed to me that this is the Land of There and Then Not There.  Perhaps a bit like this blog...

Trade winds are here one day, blowing like a gale, showering our lanai with abundant and somewhat bothersome Monkeypod leaves.  Then the sun sets and the winds calm to but a breath of movement.  And the beaches shift and change with the tides and storm surges.  One day there's a wide swathe of delicious sand on which to romp and play.  Next time, it's reduced to a tiny ribbon while the surf pounds higher than you've ever seen it before.

There are a gaggle of tourists strolling the sidewalks in their not-nearly-enough-clothing for civilized society.  Yes, this is a beach town, but come on.  Fellas - put your shirts back on.  And ladies, barely clad bodies are for the beach, not the streets.  Oh well, what's to be done?  But then comes a time when there's no more line at the restaurants, and its easier to get a table at the bar for happy hour.  And suddenly the beach isn't teeming, Coney Island style, with rim to rock umbrellas and towels and bodies just begging for more sunscreen.

Friends and acquaintances come and go, with surprising regularity.  Snowbirds arrive in late fall, early winter, stay through their season only to depart again come spring.  See you in six months.  It is sometimes hard to keep track of who you can count on to be here from week to month.  The question is often not so much "Do you live here?" but "Do you live here full time?"

Harder still are the newly connected friends who have decided after so many years, it's time to move back to the mainland.  Really?  But wait - we just got here!!   And the happenstance folks you run into here and there, sharing stories of new arrival and what was left behind. Then the questions becomes "How long have you been here?" and "How long do you think you'll stay?"  We recently met some folks (and their dogs) just two months off the boat from Montana.  Michael and I share a small look of surprise and, dare I say, superiority, when the answer to the first question is "About two and half years" (already??).  And we stick steadfastly to our party line in answer to the second:  We are here until we're not.

Oh, and there was our favorite, most delicious, best treat ever - the Mango Sorbet stand that used to set up just outside our favorite beach.  He made the most refreshing, deleriously tasty chocolate sorbet with peanut butter chips, coconut sorbet, and of course, mango.  A trip to the beach was made all the better with the quick stop after to say hi and partake of the treasured sorbet.  Then one day, gone.  Just like that.  Pau.  Where oh where did he go?

And its not just the people and the places that ebb and flow like the tide.  It's even "things."  There is a rule here on the island, if you are shopping and you see something you want - buy it.  It may well not be there tomorrow.  Great deals on the box of popsicles at Costco that could treat an army battalion.  There for several trips, now mysteriously gone forever from the freezer case (so sad, those same popsicles are prohibitively expensive at Safeway).  Or some necessary tool or interesting gadget at a store.  Here today, gone tomorrow.  Christmas wreaths - poof.  Gone by Thanksgiving.

Well, I'm hoping to carry on the theme, and bring back the blog, at least for a while.  You know, until it mysteriously disappears again.  Like that damned mango sorbet.  Sigh......