I will date myself when I tell you that I can remember my mother and her friends lathering on the iodine laced baby oil as they prepared to quite literally bake themselves in the sun. Yes, I have to admit that I love the sun and have always considered myself to be lucky that I don’t burn despite being a blonde. I can remember thinking I looked pretty sexy in my little bikini top and jeans on the tractor as a teenager getting all bronzed up. No summer was complete without a golden tan and sun-bleached (remember “Sun In”?) hair.
My lifestyle affords me more than average exposure to the elements. I must admit that I no longer aim for a tan (probably because the best I can hope for is a most unbecoming “farmer’s tan”) and use skin care products throughout the year that afford a minimum of SPF30 protection. When I work in the garden, I wear a brimmed straw hat (I have to admit that I don’t own a baseball cap) and have very little tolerance for direct sun on my face.
Why am I telling you this? Well, I want to draw your attention to what happens when you get sun damage. It is worse than leathery, wrinkled skin. Late last summer, I noticed a scab on the tip of my ear. At first I thought it was a scab from an insect bite but before long, I knew what I was dealing with…basal cell cancer. This wasn’t my first time. A few years ago I had a lesion removed from my temple. This time the procedure was a wee bit more invasive and quite uncomfortable. My ear has been sliced & sutured (and may I say brilliantly by my very able physician Dr. A Lozinski; a Michelangelo of ears!) not once but twice this spring to make things right. You can bet that I make certain to lather on the SPF50 lotion every morning…part of my morning routine just like brushing my teeth. My collection of hats has grown and I avoid the midday sun whenever possible.
I still love being outdoors in the sunshine. I can’t escape it. It’s part of my life and profession. What has changed is that I am far more careful and cognizant of taking care to protect myself from the damaging rays of the sun. My staff are tired of me nagging at them everyday to ensure that they have sunscreen on. We have sunscreen on hand at the winery for anyone in need of it. So…when you come down to the Good Earth please make certain to wear your best summer hat and lather on the sunscreen. This season is too short not to enjoy…carefully and prudently. You will be glad that you did.
Let’s all practice some “sun sense” this summer!