I never understood why people carried umbrellas on sunny days until I moved to the South. They used to be called parasols and were quite the fashion statement. Made of cloth and edged with ruffles, parasols served a purpose beyond style. They protected a woman’s skin from the damaging effects of the sun and kept her body from overheating.
I’ve never seen someone carrying a parasol, but I do occasionally see someone carrying an umbrella when the sun’s shining. I totally get it. The summer sun in South Carolina can be merciless. It can be pretty intense in the fall and spring too. Shade of any kind (even the Mary-Poppins-black-umbrella-type) can make a 10-degree difference in body temperature.
I thought about parasols, and umbrellas, and shade recently as I drove south on I-77. The sky was clear and blue, and the sun shone brightly. The temperature gauge read 71, but the interior of my car was toasty. My left arm, resting in a patch of sunlight, felt like a marshmallow roasting on the end of a stick.
Then….. To read more, click on this link: Shade and Sweet Baby Ray’s