For those who don’t know, I am a natural red head.
I have the pictures to prove it.
Now red heads are notorious for burning when out in the sun to long.
I have never in my life sunbathed, really.
That is not to say I have never experienced sunburn.
All my life, my father drove a pickup.
Some of us rode on the back of the truck at any given time.
I have been burnt, wind blown, rained on and frozen.
Sleep walking in a moving vehicle can be hazardous;
especially if you are in the back of a pickup.
Just ask my brother, G L.
Although he was asleep and probably doesn’t remember.
But I digress.
My college roommate would rather lather herself with a concoction
of baby oil and iodine to tan.
My brother was somewhere in Africa and tried the same things.
His legs peeled. In case you did not know,
it is a court martial offense to be so stupid to burn.
Good thing he was on vacation and had time to heal before reporting back to duty.
If you have never seen my brother, let me tell you that his
ears stick out. To protect the ears from the sun,
the military issued berets. You heard me, berets.
How is that for smart protection from the sun!
The worse burn I ever got was swimming at Heber Springs.
It was the Fourth of July.
After the fever went down, I shed three layers of skin.
NEVER made that mistake again.
Working for Dad one summer, I spent hours in the car.
Sum beaming through the windshield burnt the front
of my legs, my arms and my face.
Then bad went to worse; I broke out in freckles.
I had never had freckles until then.
In this day and age when you are reminded to put sunscreen
on your lips, don’t forget some other vulnerable places:
tops of your ears
back of your legs
the bend of your knees (imagine not being able to bend your leg)
and stay in the shade when the sky is overcast.
The water was freezing. (Its not called spring for nothing.)
Day was overcast and suffocatingly hot.
I stood in or near the water most of the day.
Results: water blisters.