Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Sunshine and Skin

This winter of 2018 has been a new one for the books.  I have found myself living with a retiree, my dear husband, Bruce.  We have decided to become Florida residents and I'm now in the middle of a cliche!

The idea came to him when he realized that we could avoid paying New York State income tax.  The hitch is that we spend 6 months plus one day in Florida.  Now, this was never on my bucket list.  I love the winters down here but I think myself much too young to be down in the land of old folks.

I may be in denial of my age as I am having a big birthday in 3 short months.  The denial is genetic.  My mom, Margo, never wanted to grow old and ended up dying at a relatively young age to avoid that.  However, she loved the sun, cigarettes and her wine.  All have a detrimental effect on both the body and the skin around it.  She Nivea-ed and oiled and took vitamins that advertised a "youthful complexion" but, alas, nature had its way with her.

A week after coming down to Florida, I found a dermatologist.  There were some bumps and lumps that weren't there before.  Of course, the doctor gave me the line "I see you got a lot of sun as a kid"; one that I've heard often.  She scared me to the point that the sun is no longer my friend.  I cover up with lotion and make sure my face is pasty white with some zinc concoction when I open the door in the morning.

This doesn't seem like a great way to spend 4-5 months in this tropical climate.  I am a golfer and love to walk in the fresh air.  There has to be a happy medium so I don't end up with a face that looks like an alligators grandmother.

I can still enjoy my sports and swim in the Gulf but the sunblock must be reapplied several times a day, not just in the morning.  This is a small price to pay to save my life from skin cancer.  I got plenty of sun as a kid, anyway.  Baby oil and iodine all over my lily white, sensitive Irish skin, making it sizzle like bacon.  Ouch!  Although I can't rewind the clock, I can prevent one or two wrinkles.  You've done enough damage, Mr. Sun!

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