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I am a person who melts in the heat. I don’t tan; I freckle and burn. Mr. Johns thought I was being a wimp when we first got married, until he saw me burn for the first time. (Mr. Johns was born in Africa, and he’s so beautifully dark that he’d never seen a sun burn up close in his life!) It was one of those really deep burns that required medical treatment. We pale people get them a few times in our lives, right?

Anyway, I’m a person who melts in the heat, and I live in a prairie small town. That means the land spreads out around you in flat fields as far as the eye can see. Without shade. And every day I walk to my son’s school to drop him off and pick him up, and by the time I get home in the afternoon, my head is pounding and I feel a little heat-strokey.

So I have found my solution.

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I look like an idiot, but it does the trick! I use a rain umbrella for portable shade. Those Victorians were onto something with their parasols, because it’s awfully effective. I can walk as far as I need to, and stay in the shade. No burns. No wilting. No headaches.

And while I haven’t entirely made my peace with looking like an idiot, I can just angle the umbrella down a little and hide behind it. Head in the sand. Good enough. 😉

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