Prepare Yourself for a Sunny Fourth

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Tom’s farmhouse on the Fourth of July

Anyone who’s spent a summer in Seattle, knows the season really begins the fifth of July, when the sun begrudingly shows up for its abbreviated run.  A sunny Fourth is rare. In fact the last time I pondered it was 2001, when I wrote a letter to the editor, providing my tips for a sun-safe Fourth of July. Eight years later, I’m able to dust it off and share it again (with a few modifications).

The Seattle forecast calls for a sunny Fourth of July with temperatures in the mid-to-high 80s. (Take time to compose yourself.) For newcomers to the Northwest, we liken a sunny Fourth of July to a moon landing, a Bigfoot sighting, an easy commute; it’s a very rare occurrence. A sunny Fourth requires preparation, take heed:

• The sun can be bright; wear sunglasses and don’t look at it directly. Your eyes will compensate with a natural reflex called squinting.

• There is a product called sunscreen that will protect your skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays. (If found in medicine cabinet, dust off lid before using.)

• Potato salad, chicken salad and macaroni salad are not friends of Mr. Sun (or Mr. Locked Car).

• Don’t be frightened by clearly visible fireworks; it may take practice to adjust your “ooh” and “ahs” to the sight of the actual explosions.

• You will not need to wear flannel-lined jeans, wool socks, hiking boots, polar fleece, turtlenecks, ear muffs, Hefty garbage bags or snowmobile suits this Fourth of July. (Read slowly and several times.)

• Beware ice cream can do a funny thing called melting when eaten too slowly.

For those who may scoff and say, “I’ll believe it when I see it,” we politely respond that is your choice, but we’re marking our calendars: July 4th sunrise is at 5:18 a.m.; sunset, 9:09 p.m. (Clear skies all day.)

Happy Fourth of July!

Tom, Boz & Gracie

Boz and Gracie contemplate a sunny Fourth, a sunny porch

Boz & Gracie contemplate a sunny Fourth…a sunny porch.

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