Sunday, January 22, 2012

Fishing for a sunburn

The pond I fished in as a child looked almost exactly like this one!

My grandfather was my best friend as a child, everywhere he went, he came and got me on his little Ford tractor or in his car and we went off wandering the farm. One day, he decided he'd take me fishing to a pond that was out in the middle of a cow pasture near one of our barns on top of the hill.

Loaded with worms, the tackle box and our fishing poles...mine was a bamboo pole...we crossed through the barbed wire fence and walked the little ways across the uneven ground (pitted with cow tracks) to the pond. Grandpa told me we had to take some of the bullheads out of it, as it was getting too overpopulated and they wouldn't get any bigger otherwise.

Being a young girl, then of about age 13, and wanting to get a tan, I wore a bikini top with my shorts, even against the warning of my mother, as it was not only very hot and muggy out that day, but hazy as well. She told me I was going to get a "bad" sunburn...but did I listen?

Grandpa baited up our I was still at the stage where worms were yucky (and I refused to touch a fish without a glove on) and we threw our lines out. Within minutes, we were pulling in bullheads...about 8-10 inches long. 

exactly like the one Grandpa and I put our fish on!

As we watched the stringer begin to fill with the fish we'd caught, I was getting redder and redder...but I was unaware. My head was filled with thoughts of catching more...and more fish.

We whiled away the afternoon, catching fish and before we knew it, it was getting close to being supper time. So off we trudged, back across the cow pasture, through the fence and to the car, stowing our gear and our catch...and home we went.

It wasn't until I got home and inside the house that my mom was like "Oh my gosh..." and I looked at her questioningly. I knew I was red as a crab, but what I didn't know was that I literally had huge water blisters--about 1-1/2 to 2 inches in diameter--hanging off my back and shoulders. I hadn't felt a thing...until she pointed them out to me.

I didn't cry...not then...and she worked her magic...doctoring me up as she thought was wise (and I am sure cursing Grandpa under her breath for not getting me home sooner). That night though...I did hurt to lay on my sides or my skin felt as if the sun was still beating down on me.

I ended up having to go to the doctor a day later...I was sooo sick. Headache, vomiting and cold chills. I had a big dose of sun poisoning. 

Lesson learned. (This is why I will not spend long hours in the sun.) Fortunately, I was not scarred from that sunburn...except mentally. 

Regrets?  Nope. It was one of the best times I had with Grandpa!


  1. Ohhhh, what a hard lesson to learn! OUCH!
    But so glad you have such good memories of being with your grandpa! That's priceless!

  2. After that ordeal , the doctor said I would always have a sun allergy if I weren't careful. I have had sunburns since then--stupidity on my part--but I learned. It's better to be slightly tan than to be sick as a dog!

    I loved being with grandpa...he taught me a lot!