Along for the ride:

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

This April in California.

I have a bone to pick with Conifers. Evergreen trees have never been my favorites. Give me a nice deciduous tree to enjoy through the seasons; the naked simplicity of bare branches reaching for the sky; hope glimpsed as green leaf buds unfurl; a full architectural presence of a majestic leafy crown and the movement and color as Nature's Cathedrals succumb to Fall.
What do conifers have to offer? The same, same, same, same silhouette and color day in, day out. Lumpy, crusty bark, messy needles that stop anything from growing beneath and an odd whistling response to the wind. Now, to add insult to injury, I have grown allergic to their pollen.
I have come to understand that part of the price we pay for living in sunny California is a short period every year when allergens fill the air and sufferers line up at the drug store to purchase pharmaceutical relief.
I was lucky. It took a couple of decades of living here before my allergies started. The stuffy nose, morning cough and scratchy eyes can mostly be controlled by a daily mini-dose of antihistamine and a prescription nasal spray to open up the clogged head-tubes. My symptoms coincide with the yellow pollen from the pine, spruce, yew and redwood trees that dusts every surface of car, street and home from October to January, or thereabouts.
This is late-April and our intermittent, but unusually frequent and copious, rain has every tree and bush and blade of grass that lay tamely dormant for years awakening; expanding and exhaling great clouds of pollen spores. The in-habitual off-shore winds are stirring up previously settled dust and bringing us more from the great prairies that look so magnificent in a Western movie but are a place that has way too many irritants.
I woke up early Monday morning, glad that my swollen-sinus induced headache of the previous forty-eight hours had dispersed and that the hot iron band was gone from around my brow. The runny nose and wet cough that dominated the first half hour of my return to verticality were welcome alternatives to the pain. I fed the dogs, drank my morning French Roast and hurried to dress in the midst of a bark-fest of excitement. You would think those beasts had been confined for months!
 As I bent to tie my shoe laces a hot wave of coffee flavored mucous filled my mouth and gushed from my nose. I caught it in my hand (white carpets hone one's reflexes) and hastily reached for my morning companion paper towel.
A bold testament to the strength, softness and absorbent capacity of Viva kitchen towels that the public will never see. Well worth the extra pennies; my oozings are so far beyond the abilities of mere Kleenex this little detour into product placement is sincere. For once, I disgusted even myself and returned to the bathroom to rinse and spit, brush mint-flavored and wash my hands.
One last urination before my departure; emptying my bladder so that I will not, in desperation, consider emulating Diva's bitch-squats during our slow rotation around the neighborhood. The wet toilet seat is not alarming when you own a dog. No need to question what moisture is on your skin. Knowing that the W.C. is Diva's favorite watering hole, I scrub the bowl with consideration and flush every time I pass by. Co-existing without judging; I wonder if she questions why I keep peeing in her drinking bowl.


  1. May I recommend nasal rinse? Sounds horrible, not a cure all but it helps.

  2. A blast from the past, in more ways that one. I will never again complain about my far more minor allergy symptoms. *sigh*

  3. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED this. I also love the name of your blog. The white carpet, coffee mucus--MY kind of humor. I am a follower!

  4. Heidi, Hello and welcome.

    Jean, this post was almost left on the shelf. but I needed something half started to get back in the saddle after my last few sad reports.

    Silliyak, when the season resumes I will try anything once. Thanks for the tip. Are we rinsing with 100% proof spirits?

  5. Hay fever / pollen allergies... apparently no-one is safe. As you have found out you can be impervious for years not realizing that the allergy is building up in your body ready to hit you hard when you least expect it.

  6. I didn't even twig to the fact that the title said 'April'. You can imagine the effect the National Enquirer has on me.

    Do hope your sniffles - of the allergy kind - have reduced by now. Laughed at the toilet seat reference. Indeed, they do like their water fresh, and apparently the toilet is usually the cleanest place in the house. Better than the fridge door handle, anyway.

  7. I feel your pain, ma chère, as I regularly have a headache for two days before it dawns on me that I'm reacting to something. You've reached new heights in graphic description here. Bravo! I hope that you feel better quickly with the allergies and I'm keeping you and Sparkles in my thoughts as you ride out the recent loss of your woman's best friend, Diva. A better name was never chosen!