It hurts, still probably not too sexy for my shirt

Friday, May 21, 2010
During our chilly winters, people around here like to act like we’re crazy for living in such an inclement climate. “Why do we live up here?” we grumble as we pull on our down jackets and stumble outside to plug in our car heaters. We act like we’d rather be in the Bahamas. But when given a choice of getaways, it seems few of us usually opt for some place truly warm and tropical. I’m not sure there’s enough sunscreen in the world to handle the demand if every Minnesotan packed up their bags for Hawaii.

The majority of this week has been warm: sunny with highs in the low 80s. We pretend to like it. “Beautiful!” we gush. But really, it makes us feel like this:

In the heat we wilt like the poor little pepper plant I think I killed on the deck in full south sun yesterday.

We turn into summer refugees. We get cranky, irrational and dehydrated. Deep down, we know we’re programmed for cooler weather.

For instances, last week at trivia everyone was in absurdly good spirits. I should mention that it was about 57 degrees and it had been raining all day. Yesterday, when it was sunny and warm, everyone huddled around the table, looking exhausted and like, maybe, our dogs had all just died.

I once heard that if you’re not exposed to hot temperatures before you turn two, your body limits its development of sweat glands, which is why people from Georgia handle heat a lot better than us cold-blooded Minnesotans. It’s also probably why my feet and fingers swell up like balloons in the heat, making it impossible to remove my Claddagh ring.

When we do travel to warmer locales, like Vegas, we have to strategically plan our warm weather activities so we don’t get sick in the sun.

Please note that the high spirits in this picture can be explained by the fact that it is 10 in the morning and thus, not quite 104 degrees yet. Also note that the sunshirt and big floppy sunhat Donna needs to keep from turning into a tomato required her to check in luggage for this weekend trip.

This Irish skin of mine craves mist and highs in the 60s. It requires a lot of sunscreen. Sometimes, often at the start of the summer, I forget just how much sunscreen is required to maintain my skin’s natural lunar glow. Which explains how this happened:

Who doesn’t like a farmer’s tan, complete with a watch line?

It’s what I get for sitting out in the midday sun for three hours yesterday. From now on, it’s officially sunscreen season.

We love summer around here. We really do. But does it have to be so hot?


  1. Oh, I miss you Ada! This little blog entry was poetry to my Minnesota soul. True and beautiful.

  2. Two words: Aloe vera. Here's to avoiding the post-burn peel ;-)


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