Friday, June 05, 2009

Summer Is Here!

Erev Shabbath Qodesh B'ha'aloth'kha 5769

If you're in the U. S., the official start of the summer season began two weeks ago with Memorial Day weekend. If you're in Israel, you know that the summer season fades in very gradually, in several stages. Then all of sudden, it's hotter than heck, and there's no denying that summer is here. This year it took it's own sweet time to get here.

The onset of summer to me, and countless other Israelis, means it's time to hit the beach. Whether you live in Tel-Aviv, and can walk to the beach, or live farther inland and have to tremp or bus it in, those of us of with tanorexia have already begun working on our tans. I got a late start this year. I usually begin as early as March. Here is a tip from yours truly, a former California lifeguard:

When applying sunscreen, do not forget your nose, ears (how many of you thought of your ears?), under your eyes, cheekbones, shoulders, and collarbones, areas receiving direct sunlight. If you're sitting in a chair at the beach all day, don't forget the tops of your thighs and knees. Wear a hat, and apply lip balm. After sun exposure, shower with soap, to keep your skin clean. After patting dry, apply (color-free, scent-free) body lotion. I suggest something with aloe. Consult your dermatologist, dermatological nurse, pharmacist, or herbalist (preferably those who live in beach cities) about the right skin products for you.

Also, don't forget your UVA/B protective sunglasses, and for goodness sakes, drink plenty of water, adult men at least five liters on beach days.

Here's another friendly beach tip/reminder, wherever you live.
Don't just clean up after yourselves. Pick up two of three extra pieces of trash, and if you see that that trashcan is overflowing, pack up your trash and take it with you. Dump your old charcoal into an appropriate receptacle. Don't just bury them. Someone still might end up burning his feet on your coals.

If you're an artsy, nerdy environmentalist like me, you'll also be on the look out for sea glass, to line the bottom of your fish tank or Shabbath candle holders or what have you.
NEVER go into the water without someone with you or watching you from the beach. It doesn't matter how strong a swimmer you are, or think you are, or how well you know how to navigate currents. All it takes is a bump on the head or getting tangled up in seaweed, for your strength and know-how to become virtually useless.
And, here in Israel...
Watch out for meduzoth.

Enjoy the summer, and stay safe!

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