We look forward to the all the great sunshine spring and summer provides us. It is important for the growth of beautiful flowers, green grass and quality crops. It also  makes us feel good and of course gives us that lush tan that says, "Healthy," or is it healthy?

Yes, we do need some sun. Vitamin D is an important part of our life but how much, when and how is another question. My mother never gave it a thought in regards to how much sun she was getting until the doctor informed her that the red spot on her nose could be cancerous.

Now, when I look at my mother, or she looks at herself in the mirror, we are reminded that just casual rays from the sun can be a threat.

Cases of melanoma, skin cancer, which is the deadliest form of cancer, have doubled since the 1970s and are continuing to grow. Yes, we think that tanned skin is beautifu,l but it can also be deadly. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States and one in five Americans will develop the disease.

You’re smart, you've read all the information about cancer and many have worked hard to help friends who have acquired the disease.  But do we really worry about what it can do until it attacks us? Pay attention to your skin.

Sunburn is more than a momentary misery one may suffer from too much time in the sun. Even a tan damages our skin. The least of ones worries is that the UVA rays can penetrate to the skin’s second layer, damaging callagen and creating wrinkles. Even brief UV exposure can lead to the most common form of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma. What starts out looking like a pimple may be the start of something much more dangerous.

So what do we do? Sunscreen, good sunscreen with ingredients like Avobenzone and Oxybenzone, or zinc oxide, can help protect us from UVB and UVA rays. Most people don't put on enough sunscreen, and as a result, they don't get the SPF coverage that is listed on the product. Picking a sunscreen with a higher SPF rating is a good idea.

Don't think that applying sunscreen once or twice a day, like brushing your teeth, is enough. People need to slather it on every couple of hours, or sooner, especially if you are sweating or are in and out of the water frequently.

If you use the type of sunscreen that you can spray on, you will need to hold the bottle close to your body when spritzing it on, and then rub it in well. Your skin should look as if it is wet after it is applied. 

It is also important to remember to protect your ears and neck areas too, as well as the backside of your hands, which are easy to forget.

If possible, people should try and avoid being out in the sun between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. As much as you would like to stay out in the sun, it is important for your health to spend at least part of the day in the shade or indoors.

In short, pick a good sunscreen, use plenty of it, and reapply often. It is also a good idea to take some breaks from the sun’s rays and find a nice shady area for a break.

My Grandmother wasn't so dumb when she wore my grandpa’s long-sleeved shirt and a wide brimmed straw hat while she was outdoors working in her flower and vegetable gardens or mowing the lawn. 

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Some of our Star Eagle readers have commented they like to read about events such as family and school reunions, birthdays and anniversaries, and birth and wedding announcements.  In order to read about these important things we need our faithful readers to pass along the information to us.  Also if you have an idea for a story that you think would be of interest to our readers, please contact me. 

If you have birthdays and anniversaries you would like include, or news to share please contact me via e-mail, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; by postal mail, P.O. Box 192, Geneva, MN 56035 or telephone, 507-256-4405.

This week’s birthdays and anniversaries include:

• Thursday, April 30th: Nancy Williams, Jeff Misgen, Paul Moen, Dawn Cooper, Kevin Cooper, Jonathon Lein, Karey Dufresne, Judah Ashton, Jonathon Lein, Rick & Melonie Miller

• Friday, May 1st: Carter Levi Titus, Jim Hanson, Shirley Pichner Helgeson, Christopher "Critter" Johnson, his 13th; Luke Dobberstein, Gene Budach, Sandi Otto Glenn, Richard Helmers, Sue Kasper Anderson, Tim Kasper, Norma Long, Cari Jensen, Thomas Van Riper, Veronica & Jim Graif, Heidi & Ryan Baldwin

• Saturday, May 2nd: Shayna Kress and Tyler Kress, their 5th; Jack Benjamin Owen, his 6th; Diane Smith, Ted Radke, Jill Goodnature Kubicek, Bonnie Shaunce, Stephanie Corey, DeWayne Farr, Nolin Joe Simmons, his 10th; Joshua Nicholas Paulsen, his 12th; Roger Anderson, Gerald & Mildred Flugum, Dean & Carolyn Wangen

• Sunday, May 3rd: Jase Dean Knudson, his 6th; Cassidy Worrell, Fern Possin, Justin Robertson, Dale Dulas, Wayne Dobberstein, Anthony Brandt, Merle Bartness Leah (Ruth) & William (Bill) Scott, their 5th

• Monday, May 4th: Joyce Wayne, Angie Worrell Aaseth, Daniel Knudson, Kenneth Schumacher, Charles Wangsness, Keith Miller, Shirley Draayer Anderson, Dean Heskett, Thad Tuttle, Leslie Ray Farr, her 12th; Jessica Marcus, Julia Elizabeth Rye, her 7th, Brooklyn Cecila Strand, her 10th, Melonie Butler, Lexi Jo Brandstad, her 13th

• Tuesday, May 5th:  Mckenzie Lynn Jensen, her 14th; Alexis Janning, his 14th; Jeff Draayer, Shirley Jensen, Melody Krenke, Ron Langlie, Ryan Larson, Shirley Swearingen, Amber Obermoller, Dennis Sauke, Martin Whelan, John & Lucille Nechanicky, Tim & Jolene Sorenson, Kevin & Annie Avery

• Wednesday, May 6th: Amelia Elizabeth Peterson, 2011; Caleb Scott Harpel, his 15th; Brad Borchert, Tracy Haddy, Cheryl Nelson, Iris Jensen, Brandon Wallace, Bill Vavra, Tim Wilker, Jennifer & Michael Vetsch, their 15th, Bill & Judith Hatch, Everett & Marian Camp

• Thursday, May 7th: Brody Hanson, Brian Jensen, John Snyder, Nancy Swearingen Grant, Brian Johnson, Heidi & Jason Owen, their 10th, Bryan & Diane Brighton, Heidi (Crabtree) & Jason Owen, their 10th

• Friday, May 8th: Grace Carol Jean Riskedahl, her 3rd; Olivia Kay Smith, her 9th; Kristina Follien, Marguerite Christensen Nelson, Ronald Wangsness, Elizabeth Bremer, Sandy Neubauer

Wishing you sunshine and flowers and many, wonderful days ahead.