Red Sky In Morning . . . .

My grandmother had a poetic saying for every occasion.  UJ and I spent a lot of time with her during our childhood, and heard every one of her sayings multiple times.  They’ve become part of my permanent mental landscape and simply pop into my head, unbidden, from time to time.

Like when I saw this morning’s sunrise, shown above, with its striking red sky.  It immediately made me think of one of Grandma’s weather-related favorites:

Red sky at night, sailors’ delight,

Red sky in morning, sailors take warning.

To my knowledge Grandma never lived in a coastal community.  She didn’t have any close friends or relatives who were mariners, and I don’t remember her telling us any stories about receiving instruction from a grizzled sailor about his rules of thumb on the weather.  She may have been on a boat once in a while on her travels, but being on the open water wasn’t a regular part of her life in land-locked Akron, Ohio. 

Nevertheless, as a kid I believed that Grandma knew what she was talking about.  But these days I’m not so sure.  This morning the lobster fleet chugged out of port as it always does, without batting an eye about that red sunrise.  And my weather app indicates its going to be sunny today, with a high in the mid-70s.  Could Grandma have been wrong?

Or maybe the warning to sailors was about sunburns.

Sunburned


Yesterday, I got sunburned.  It ‘s the first time it’s happened in a while.

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.