Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Week 28 of 2012 - Burn Baby Burn

I am a week behind again. All these hot temperatures must be frying my brain because I just can't seem to write. It is not that I don't have memories of sunburn. I have pretty fair skin ...the type that burns and then turns brown if it doesn't peel... When I was a child we never worry about getting too much sun. We did not use sunscreen. It was in the days before sunscreen. We probably burned some early in the summer but we spent so much time outside all year round that I think we were rather used to the sun!  Each day as we played, we got browner and browner. And each day our hair got whiter and whiter. As a kid, it was OK to have white hair because you only had it in the summer. These days, my hair is white year round!

As a teenager and young adult, we would actively try to get a tan. Just before Memorial Day, the lawn chairs in Michigan would begin to emerge and so did the tanning babes. By now we had learned a thing or two about tanning. For most people it was bring out the baby oil and fry a few times until you skin got used to it and before you knew it you had a nice tan going. It was at about this time when I discovered Bain de Soleil Orange tanning gel. I used it for probably 20 years and loved it. When my children were small, their nap time was my tanning time.  You could just feel the sun's heat as it permeated through your muscles all the way down to warm your bones...At last, the chill of winter in your bones is gone. And if you relaxed enough, off to sleep you would got too. That's when you got in trouble. You would lay on one side too long and burn, baby, burn. I also learned that apple cider vinegar worked pretty well on a sunburn provided you did not care if you smelled like a pickle and you kept the jar handy for the second and third applications that you would need...

Pool party at the Tietz's summer of 1985 - it may have been for my birthday in August.
Eventually my family and I moved to Arizona and I thought that I was in heaven. There I could get sun for most of the year and the first few years I did. We had a swimming pool, my children were older and weekends were spent by the pool and in the sun after I got my cleaning done. (and sometimes before the cleaning was done!) Until one June when thermometer hit 123 degrees, oh my goodness is that hot. It took your breath away. It was like opening your front door to an oven. The high heat that year went on for almost two weeks straight in the 115 degrees plus range. The summers became unbearable and they seemed to never end.... I kept telling my self that it was no worse than winter in the midwest. And it probably isn't but it became too much for me. Eventually I stuck to the shade of my covered patio.

My Friend Ivy and I at her sister Rocky's house in Texas in August of 1985
Ivy and I at Lake Pleasant in November 1985
I do not actively try to get sun any more. I haven't in many years but I do enjoy gardening which I do obviously during the day in the sun. I still love the warmth of the sun as it warms me to my bones. Since I am back in the midwest, the summers are too short and the winters too long...except this year but I enjoy all the seasons. My favorite day is an Indian summer day in October in the Midwest.


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