Getting a tan on the Sun

Today is the day to get a tan. A tan, you say?!?!? Isn’t that bad for the health of your skin? Why, yes…it is. However, since I was a child spending every summer at Fenwick Island near Ocean City, MD, I recall the blistered nose and shoulders that I would get while riding one of those canvas rafts on mediocre waves. You know the canvas mats I am talking about. They left a rash on your belly and weighed 40 pounds. Anyway, I look down at my pasty white legs and think they need color.

So, how am I going to squeeze in a week’s worth of sun into one afternoon? I could spend the day at the next door neighbor’s beautiful new, albeit small, pool basking in the sun while my feet dangled in the crisp water. A minor problem, though, is I haven’t received an invite. In that case, I will sit in the front yard with my feet in son’s baby pool purchased at Wal-Mart. $5 or $25,000? I guess I’ll take my chances.

I watched this movie once about an asteroid hitting Earth. Not Armageddon, but rather Deep Impact, the more cerebral of the two starring Morgan Freeman as President Beck. Toward the end of the movie, an astronaut accidentally gets the full force of the Sun’s radiation on his face and he gets second degree burns and goes blind within a few seconds of exposure. Talk about tanning salons.

Wife and I did a FaceTime chat and she proudly showed me her burn lines. She called them “tan lines” but they seemed more red than brown. She never tanned well. By he end of the Summer every year, daughter and I are at least three shades darker and that’s with high SPF sunscreen applied liberally every few hours. Well, for her at least. I always tough it out and then regret it later when I take on the hue of a lobster steamed to perfection. Mmmm, lobster.

Wife asked if she should bring seafood home from the beach and I wondered if it would be any cheaper. I guess the reality is that it would be FRESHER. In the ’05, we are four hours to the nearest beach, six from where she’s visiting. A good frogmore stew would be an excellent feast on Saturday night after she returns. A good recipe for this can be found courtesy of Bobby Flay.

Ingredients

  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle beer
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoon crab boil seasoning (recommended: Old Bay)
  • 2 bags frozen corn kernels
  • 1 head celery, 1-inch dice
  • 1 large onion, 1-inch dice
  • 7 pounds red potatoes, quartered
  • 2 pounds smoked sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 pounds shrimp, peeled, deveined

Directions

Bring water and beer to a boil in a stockpot. Add peppercorns and crab boil seasoning. Add corn, celery, onion and potato and cook 12 to 15 minutes. Add sausage and shrimp and cook 15 minutes more. Serve in bowls with cooking broth.

As always, try at your own risk.

Once again, I am reminded of the commands that Jean-Luc Picard would give to the replicator in his ready room, “Tea, Earl Grey, Hot…” How great my life would be if I could do that. I had buttered popcorn Tuesday night for dinner. I did cook a steak with sautéed vegetables last night, though. And I didn’t use the microwave.

Wife exclaimed she’d be home tomorrow with the kids so that we could all descend back into the rut of our daily lives. Sometimes, though a degree of normalcy is what we seek after a vacation because it provides us with perspective. Over July 4th, I will get to the beach and go out to the beach early and stay until late in the afternoon in an attempt to make every minute count (and perhaps, avoid in-laws). Truthfully, though, I can’t wait to see the family. Now, on to baseball and beer in the baby pool.

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