OK the blog talkers question for this week is: "Do you tan? If so, how many hours a week do you tan? If you don’t tan, why not? Do you tan easily? Do you burn easily? Tell us about the worst burn you’ve ever had. How many hours, in the summer, would you say you spend in the sun? What sort of sunscreen do you use?"
My answer goes deep in my heart. The short answer is I never used to tan at all as a child, just burn and it would go away, now as I age I am finding that I tan more, still burn easily though. I do not ever intentionally tan. I stay covered with my large, geeky looking, sun hat and shirt and pants when I am working in my garden. I avoid going out at peek sun times during the day and when I do go out at the beach or to the pool I use the highest sub block I can find, yes I am the pasty looking 42 year old you see at the pool who reapplies sun screen every couple of hours. That is me. I do love the beach, and the warmth of the sun. But am well protected, as best I can.
The long answer. Growing up as a child in Maine my grandmother worked outside much of her life. Farming, gardening...working. She NEVER laid out in the sun like women do today, but worked outside. She found, mid-life somewhere, that she had spots on her face. Had them checked out and sure enough they were skin cancer. I remember her having regular visits (like every 6 months) with her oncologist and dermatologist. They would check her over and cut away any early signs of skin cancer. She had treatments, which I don't remember. But I do remember her coming home from appointments with scabs on her face from the removal, and have special creams she had to apply etc. From then on you would never see her out in the sun without the full, geeky looking, cover. Big floppy hat, long sleeves and pants. Covered from head to toe. She would try to talk to my cousins about skin cancer. You could see them lying outside in their bathing suits, back in the day where you would put mineral oil or baby oil on your body to increase the sun damage, improve your tan.
Me I have never liked sun bathing. I was too antsy, I couldn't sit still long enough, 5 minutes and I had to do something else. So for me it was really easy to listen to my grandmother and heed her words. I had no interest in tanning anyway.
So that is the long answer. My grandmother has since crossed over, lived a very long life. With at least one lasting impression on my life.