It wasn’t a pretty picture. Nope, not at all. Handsome Husband and I stopped here to take a driving break. This is how we got our exercise for the day, climbing 188 stairs to the top. Lovely, isn’t it? So here is me, anticipating the climb, still pretty calm about it all.
Oh, I forgot to mention. I’m terrified of heights. I get the whole sweaty palms, knees turning to mush, hyper awareness of falling to my death, thing going on. Which has never, and will never, keep me from climbing up things.
This is what the stairs looked like.
Let me pause here to share with you the plaque that recognized the significance of this monument. Take note of the first part of the first sentence. “You are standing upon land that witnessed a momentous event” Now, I’m not saying that the battle fought by the Patriots and the British wasn’t momentous. But I am saying that climbing to the top of this tower might have been an equally momentous event. And, if not the climb up, then the climb down. But I digress…
All I had to do, going up, was look straight ahead. Not to the side, absolutely not to the side, as there was nothing but air there. (akin to the Grand Canyon, though I wouldn’t want to mislead you as to the direness of the situation). It wasn’t horribly bad. I stopped to admire this beautiful round window. I got to the top. And was able to look out and see this.
Which was okay, but it wasn’t any Grand Canyon. Primarily, my time up at the top was spent contemplating the descent. And, after a few minutes, I took a deep breath, and told Handsome Husband to give me his hand to hold onto, and took the first step down…before fairly quickly deciding that my palms were waayyyy too sweaty for it to do any good. If I were to stumble, or he were to stumble, our hands, forever joined in love, would separate, due to the intense….sweatiness of my palms.
Again, dear readers, let me pause here to further explain that I’m celebrating the joys of menopause. In which the “hot flashes” as I’ve heard them so playfully described, run riot through me. My own choice of terminology for this little physical sensation leans more towards “heat surges” and what happens these days is that the slightest anxiety, (occasions or decisions) that never would have previously impacted me, now sends my synapses firing (much as the constant flash of cannons must have happened at the battle fought in this very place) and, starting with my brain, and rippling outwards, upwards and downwards, heat, the likes of which I’ve never known, envelops me, wraps its’ warmth around me, and strangles me. Secondarily, every nodule of my skin is covered in-it doesn’t even qualify as sweat-wetness, as is only generally experienced only after a shower or coming out of a pool. Are you understanding my description here? Because its necessary for you to know, this wasn’t just a fear of heights going on. It was a fear of heights while menopausing!
So, yes, I gave Handsome Husband my fullest support in continuing on in front of me, while not holding my hand, but not too far in front of me!
This is what it looked like on the descent.
Legs quaking, mushy knees, hitched breath, sweat pouring off every part of me. I couldn’t have looked any worse than those brave soldiers of yore. We got to the 3rd floor landing and paused for a breath. I thought to have Handsome Husband snap my picture so that I could show you what this did to me, but I thought to save you from the vision. But this might assist you in envisioning me, on the landing, about halfway down. Not a pretty picture, is it? And I looked worse.
I suggested to Handsome Husband that he take a picture, there on that landing, of the lovely tiles. And yes, they were lovely, but, more, I was trying to buy myself some time before continuing. See, aren’t they lovely tiles? The remainder of my descent to hallowed earth was as the first half had been. But, brave soldier that I am, I persevered, and am here to tell the tale, as I sit safely in a desk chair. We do want to return to Saratoga-its full of Revolutionary War history, and we’re just suckers for that. And I did love that the bas reliefs of this monument made mention, numerous times, of the women of that time who played such a strong role. Its refreshing to see such a visible display of…my goodness, women who played a part in our history! Who knew? So, if you happen to be meandering along Rt 4 in New York State, stop here- http://www.nps.gov/sara/index.htm – and pay your respects to the men and women who were instrumental in the founding of this country of ours~