We went swimming in Lake Erie on one of those days where the sun is beating down with relentless intensity, but the humidity was low, the temperature stayed in the 80s, and the water was cool. It was a perfect day for swimming, and we floated and back stroked and paddled around on a fine summer day.
I knew I was getting some sun. I could sense it on my back and shoulders, which are the sun’s big targets. By the end of the day, as we enjoyed a beer at the Erie Kai saloon, I could feel the heat radiating off my skin — but it was a good feeling.
In childhood, the first sunburn of the season was an annual rite of passage. Age and wisdom have caused me to get away from that tradition, but having a sunburn still says summer to me.