Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Hot Fun In The Summertime


Hazy, hot day in Ocean City, Maryland

At 4:00 p.m. yesterday I saw 95 degrees on my car thermometer. Hearing Sly & The Family Stone on the radio took me back to summers when I was in love with the heat, beach, and sun. (Many won't remember Sly...I'm dating myself.)

“End of the Spring, and here she comes back,
Hi Hi Hi Hi there,
Them summer days, those summer days…

Hot fun in the summertime... (4 TIMES)

How foolish I was back in my teen and young adult years! My foolishness continued into the 90’s, too. I probably started using a #4 sunscreen after I turned thirty but before then, I thought, “Come on, sun, bake me!” I made my own recipe of Johnson’s Baby Oil and iodine for cooking. My itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka dot bikini (yes, I wore one) didn’t cover much and I burned badly. Honestly, I had a few whopping burns during my life. The top of my nose was raw often. Solid masses of water blisters on my chest and shoulders turned into dried up skin that I’d peel off in long strips for the fun of it. I’ve been burned so badly that I’ve shivered under the bed covers and winced in pain to simply move an arm. A few times in my life I had that perfect tan! But was it worth it? A deep tan looked odd on a blue-eyed, fair skinned person like me.

I’d sit in a beach chair for hours until I became deliriously hot, got up and waded in the water for a while, then turned that chair to follow the rising and setting sun. Oh, those were the days. There’s nothing better than placing my chair at the edge of the surf, sinking in the low waves, while the sea mist cooled me. The fragrance of Coppertone is in the air. The sand serves as a free pedicure when I bury my feet in it.
The beach wasn’t enough for me. For ten years, our swim clubs saw me every day of the summer from 12pm until 4pm, mainly due to the fact that Gina was a mermaid. It was too much.

I used to look at women many years older than myself and think, “Ewww…another dried up sun goddess – how pathetic.” Well, look at me now! I have sun damage but not that severe.

If I should find myself on the beach or at the pool today, I'd look different. I am wiser now. First of all, I’d be fashionably outfitted in shorts and t-shirt over a swimsuit and complete sunblock lotion. I’d wear a wide brimmed hat and polarized sunglasses with lenses the size of grapefruits. I’d pitch a shade tent and sit under it and have a colorful beach towel cover my exposed legs. Hey, I wouldn’t be embarrassed at all since I’d be so camouflaged that no one would know it’s me! I’d drink my Diet Lipton Green Tea and snap pictures of women who shouldn’t even think about wearing a two-piece swimsuit and plump old men flaunting their thongs. I remember seeing older folks on the beach, all wrapped up like mummies in the shade and I’d wonder, why bother?


It’s too hot to be outside lately. We are crunching in the grass again in this drought. This basket was lush and green two days ago after a rain storm. The air quality was labeled “code red” yesterday. I stay inside.


“Chloe! STOP THAT DIGGING!” The heat makes me gripe.


Bella never gets enough action. I allow her five minutes in this heat then back inside we go!


The name of this dragonfly is “Dragonfly”. I don't know...

What is this? The librarian (media specialist) gave this plant to me. It had one four-inch tubular purple flower but fell off before I planted it. Now something is about to burst. What she called it sounded something like this: “delphffffinphmff”.


Very large bug with tweezers on its face. How’s that for an ID?

Just before sunset lately, I spend my time outdoors tending to the birds and fish and trying to keep everything alive with the garden hose. During this time, I usually work on a post for my journal. I miss posting more often but the heat is making me long for bedtime at a decent hour.


We share some “cool fun” in the summertime. We meet in the sunroom after dark for ice cream.

“County Fair in the country sun
and everything, it’s true, ooh yeah!

“Hot fun in the summertime...”

There are so many songs that remind me of glorious summer. How about you?


NatureWoman said...

"hot fun in the summertime. . ." I love it Mary! I love "dragonfly" and "tweezer face" - ewww, that is a nasty looking bug, isn't it? Your girls are so sweet looking.
Hmmm, summertime songs, the one that pops into my head first is Elton John's "Philadelphia Freedom" because my friends and I loved Elton's songs (and we still do) and played that one, among others, over and over again one summer, ahem, outside, baking our near naked skin in the hot summer sun while playing seven up or bicycling. . . you're not the only one Mary!

possumlady said...

Although I'm not as fair as you, I, too, have had my share of shivering after a severe burn. In 1988 a group of 15 of us rented a 3 bedroom unairconditioned beach house in Rehobeth Beach, DE. Fun times. If you got their too late on a Friday night, lord knows where you would sleep! That is the summer that sticks in my mind for some reason. That and the song by Squeeze "Pulling Mussels From a Shell"

Dorothy said...

Mary....great post!!! I'll share..."Red Rubber Ball" - Remember that one?..I think the year was 1965. And "So In love are we two that we don't know what to do...." ..that song.. when I was in high school in the 60's.
I was young and foolish in the sun as well..used the silver sun reflectors..coppertone, and loved loved LOVED sitting in the sun!
Five years ago, I discovered my first little bit of basal cell carcinoma on my lower right leg. I NEVER used SPF on my legs, even after I was older and should have known better. My dr. removed it and I'm fine..and have had no other spots. But I'm always looking and I'm extra careful now.
I had one bout of very severe sun poisoning on my face when I was 14.
I have some wrinkles now......all due to my being a sun worshipper.
Oh if I only knew then what I know now....
PS...if you put a nylon stocking from that parched pot..into your pond...it may wick up some moisture and not dry out again. Do you think you can save it?

LauraHinNJ said...

Mary I'm so pale it's embarassing! I had one really bad burn that taught me a lesson - the morning after my senior prom I fell asleep on the beach at Cape May after being up all night. It was really painful - think I almost had sunstroke! Stupid - I'm much more careful now and prefer the beach in winter!

I think that dragonfly is called a whitetail - or at least something similar. Nice pic!

Your mystery plant is almost certainly a Datura - sometimes also called Jimson's Weed. Be very careful of your dogs around it if they are inclined to eat plants - they are VERY POISONOUS! We grow their relatives here in big pots - Angel's Trumpets, also poisonous - and Moon Flowers, also poisonous. They get very thorny seed pods - be mindful of them especially as they would fit nicely in a dog's mouth and make a nice tennis ball substitute.

I hope your heat lets up some!

nina at Nature Remains. said...

Delfffinphumpfs! My favorites! I really snickered all the way thru this, Mary--sometimes the naming of things just bogs me down--I get blogbog.

dmmgmfm said...

I so remember Sly!!

I used to do the same thing, bake in the sun to get that bronzed goddess look (goddess in my own mind only).

I remember once when some of the carpenters my dad employed were working on the roof of the shop by our house.

I reached back to untie my swimsuit top and one of them happened to look over at me. He lost his concentration and stapled his hand to the roof.

I felt SO BAD and all of the other guys teased him for years about it.

KGMom said...

Well, Mary--let's see--sunburns. I do NOT sunbathe (red hair!) but I have been burned. The worst--once in Calif. on a cloudy day. Who knew you could burn on a cloudy day?

Summer songs--well, I will be much older than Sly--Bobby Vinton:

Though we gotta say goodbye for the summer
Baby, I promise you this
I'll send you all my love
Every day in a letter
Sealed with a kiss

Oh, that song said it all for me!

Susie said...

I think many of us sort of worshipped the sun in our younger years. I also remember the baby oil used to tan better.
Your sunbirds sound really painful!!
Loved reading all the summer time old songs. I love the Beach Boys "California Girls"

Susan Gets Native said...

Okay...all of you have given away your age.
But I know all those songs because my Mom would crank them up on the radio and embarrass the Hell out of me.

That Tweezer beetle is a stag beetle. Keep him around and feed him, and maybe he will do your eyebrows.

I am going on Laura's plant expertise here...But if you want a thrill: Datura can be steeped in vodka for 2 months and it turns into an aphrodisiac. Please don't ask how I know that.

My Summertime song:
"Life is a Highway" (Tom Cochrane)

I was dumb in the sun, too, Mary.
Baby Oil.
CRISCO. Seriously.
How I didn't end up looking 99 years old in my thirties, I will never know.

Naturegirl said...

Ah yes I can relate to the baby oil and iodine but I did get the darkest tan on the skinniest body!!Oh how flat my tummy was before the days of babies and menopause!!I am looking down at
~my spare~ as I type this :(
Sundamage is cumalative so we all get
wiser as we get older. We did not take precautions as we were NOT educated re: sun damage and it's effect.Nothing but SPF 30 and higher for this gardener these days.
I know the temp. is high but I don't want to go back to winter freeze so airconditioned comfort is
fine with me these days.Great post
good memories for we ~60's beach babe broads~ hugs NG

Larry said...

I remember Sly and The Family Stone as their record was one of my parents favorites-They had quite a few parties in the early 70's. Every Day People was another big hit on there.-I used to peel my skin like pagges in a book off of my shoulder too-passed out in the shower once when the cold water hit my sunburn-I guess I'm on the outer fringe of a generation.

Mary said...

Pam, I still listen to Elton John; he got me through my teen year!

Possumlady, I remember those days at the beach with friends. We rented some real dumps, ran out of money in two days and ate spaghetti w/butter. It's all we could afford.

Dorothy, Yes! I remember Red Rubber Ball. I'm glad you are wiser and taking care of those legs.

Laura, sometimes it takes only one case of sun poisoning to learn! After work today, I'm going to move the Datura out of the back yard...thanks for the info!

Nina, it's easier to say "bug" than to look it up... :o)

Laurie, LOL! He'll always remember you when he looks at the scar on his hand.

Donna, that Bobby Vinton song is a classic and I still sing along when I hear it. Those rays do sneak through clouds to get ya!

Susie, it wouldn't be summer without the Beach Boys!

Susan, I want to know how you know about Datura steeped in Vodka.

Naturegirl, I'm a summer lover, too. You can cool off in the A/C but in the winter it's hard to stay warm...

Larry, Sly was really big in the late sixties and seventies - good dancing music. I hope you never need to peel again - I know I won't!

Q said...

Dear Mary,
I giggled so much reading your post! I was a teenager in the 1960's.
I learned to spell from the Top 40!
"V-a-c-a-t-ion in the Summertime, R-e-s-P-e-ct.....sock it to me!
"Sitting on the dock of the bay...
Hot Town Summer in the City..."
Everyplace I went my transistor radio went too.
I remember sunbatheing...
I always did wear a hat, I thought they were cute! I also always wore sunglasses, thought they were cool...
Sunscreen??? no-no I wanted the darkest tan a blonde, blue eyed could get. I would start laying out in March! Lots and lots of baby oil...
I did have heat exhaustion once as a teenager so I can not do the sun very well.
I like cloudy days!
Fun post.
"Dragonfly" works for me!
Stay cool,

Jayne said...

Oh yes... baby oil and iodine...(now it's SPF of 70 and sitting in the shade if I am not in the pool.) Summer song was Hotel California as we baked all day long.

Love the "dragonfly" dragonfly... we have the same ID skills dear heart! ;c)

Anonymous said...

Mary - It was great to see the picture of Ocean City! I have very fond memories of OC as a girl, sunbathing with the baby oil and iodine mixture and the redder the better. Now I am much more careful about sun bathing and usually take my umbrella with me when I go sit and read on the beach. In fact, last weekend I went by myself and fell sound asleep while reading...woke up and looked around to see if anyone was laughing at me since I was probably snoring, lol. My favorite summer song was Doby Gray's Drift Away - "Oh give me the beat boys and free my soul, I wanna get lost in your rock and roll and drift away" Great stuff. Thanks for the memories :-)

Anonymous said...

I have had a few burns in my life also! Looks like the dragonfly is a common whitetail! I think its great you don't let the dogs out in this heat for too long!

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Hot town summer in the city
Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty
Been down, isn't it a pity
Doesn't seem to be a shadow in the city.

All around you people looking half dead
Walking on the sidewalk, hotter than a match head

But at night it's a different world
Go out and find a girl
Come on- come on and dance all night
Despite the heat it'll be all right

And babe, don't you know it's a pity
The days can't be like the nights
In the summer, in the city
In the summer, in the city

The Lovin' Spoonfull with John Sebastion- love that song.

Susan's comment about the tweezerbug doing your eyebrows was too funny!

Mary said...

Sherry - Hot Town, Summer in the City is a good one. I love the sun but a cloudy day is welcome, too.

Jayne, we still hear Hotel California a lot! And yes, we do have similar ID skills :o)

Sandy, oh, I would have laughed like crazy at your mouth open, catching flies. LOL!

Mon@rch, my dogs have short muzzles and don't breathe as easily as most dogs - I keep them exercised outdoors very carefully in the heat.

Mary said...

Lynne, you would be a prize-winner on NAME THAT TUNE! You always rock on Larry's quizzes. Hot Town, Summer in the City was a favorite of mine, too. I just sang it softly with your lyrics :o) That Susan is definitely weird.

Chrissie said...

Oh Mary, I think we have a lot in common :-) I'm very fair and burned so many times in my teenage years. Somehow it seemed cool to be red! I rarely tan and if I manage a slight change of colour I return to pale after only a few days out of the sun. I can identify with peeling! Good heavens it still happens if I'm not really careful! To my shame some friends and I once giggled at the sight of some young mums showing their 'tummies' on the beach and said we would never do that :-) How the years change us :-) Great post!

dguzman said...

We have those big powder-blue dragonflies at my house too. That beetle is scary!

I grew up a half-hour from South Padre Island, so I burned almost every summer! Somehow I don't have skin cancer yet... I fell asleep in the sun once; I couldn't wear any clothes for about three days! I still don't use enough sunscreen, though....

My great summer songs:
--Magic Carpet Ride
--Sunshine Superman--"Superman and Green Lantern ain't got -- nothin' on me!"
--definitely Philadelphia Freedom and the B-side, Island Girl!
--Margaritaville--my big sister played that record OVER AND OVER

Deb said...

Hi Mary
I've enjoyed reading this post & all the comments too :-}. Loved the song "Hot Fun In the Summertime" (I'll be singing that all day now :-})and also did the baby oil lotion - AND never got a tan! Saturday mornings were always spent watching "American Bandstand" ... Great memories :-}

Mary said...

Chris, I thought it was cool to be red, too! I went to a senior prom looking like a red pepper.

Delia, I like your song choices, too. Magic Carpet Ride was a long time ago... I was burned so badly I couldn't wear real clothes for days, too.

Deb - Now I'M singing it...

Anonymous said...

I rememeber every one of those songs!

The dragonfly is a male common whitetail, Mary.

RuthieJ said...

Sly & The Family Stone....didn't they also sing "Thank you for letting be myself?" I remember watching them on American Bandstand (in black & white)

When we visited my grandparents in Chicago when I was little, my aunt took us kids and our cousins to the beach at Lake Michigan one hot summer day. It looked a lot like your picture. I remember I got a bad sunburn that day.

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