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Wednesday, July 28, 2010
This April in California.
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.