Arizona Pinstriping and Melanoma
Tomorrow or the next day I find out if that big freckle thing on my cheek is a Melanoma. For a couple of days after the doc said he thought it was, I was kinda freaky.
But then Yesterday while I was working on my latest mural, the owner of the place, who is a flat lander (city boy from Phoenix) was loudly complaining he’d just gotten a scratch on his brand new jeep. Oh the angst of it all! He was so put out by that scratch that he immediately took his jeep to the body shop to get that scratch out. I had a good self-righteous chuckle with some of the other locals. You see, to us Mountain People Arizonans, scratches on one’s 4×4 are a good thing. A testament to the good times had in it! We call all the scratches on our vehicles ‘Arizona Pinstriping’ and we wear those scratches with pride, like, WaaaaaHooooo!
Then as I was painting, I thought of my face and the probable damage this cancer would cause, and just started chuckling to myself. Ya know, I had a GREAT TIME getting this cancer! I thought of all the times I’ve been fried having fun. Starting from the beaches of Southern California when I was a kid. We strived for that great tan. Though since I’m a pasty white girl with redhead skin, I burned a lot. We even slathered baby oil all over to get more color. Later there were the great bike rides in the Arizona sun. My first century (100mile) ride I blistered big time! Then there were all the trips floating down the Salt River in the afternoon after painting murals in the morning. I even had an arm tan contest going with the owner of one of the video stores I painted regularly. He was a black dude and though I didn’t win, I was a close second! I thought of the hikes I’ve taken into Supai and Phantom Ranch in the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Completely fried each time. Oh and there was the boat and all the hours water skiing and cruising around. I was so fried after one long weekend that the skin under my eyes blistered. Good times with good friends and family! Then there was snow skiing in Flag and the White Mountains. My brother Bill and I used to ditch school every Monday in the winter to go skiing. We had great winter tans! There were kayaking adventures, especially frying myself on that trip we took from Laughlin to Lake Havasu and the one Kate and I took down the Verde. Oh and that hike Kate and I took to that cool watering hole around Sedona or wherever we were. We got major fried on that one!
What great fun and what a great life! And I will wear my scars and bumps and wrinkles and grey hairs proudly and I will continue to seek out the trees and ravines and rocks of life and run my 4×4 and face through them with gusto!