I love the springtime, but I really hate pollen

Is it just me, or did pollen season come early this year? Now, y'all know how much I hate to complain. Well, maybe I don't exactly hate to complain. OK, I'll confess. Nobody gets more pleasure from complaining than I do. But this dad-blamed pollen is something to complain about.

Now, I purely love springtime in Georgia - for the most part. I mean, what's not to love? Temperatures go up - not to mention hemlines - and, truth be told, I am happy about both. Flowers and ornamental trees begin to bloom, the fish begin to bite a little bit better and baseball season will be here before you know it.

Life is good in the North Georgia Piedmont once we say goodbye to winter, and according to the calendar and the weather, spring has, indeed, sprung.

But there's still that awful pollen, and it's killing me this year.

I'm serious. We are just getting started with pollen season, and it's already about to drive me to distraction.

Let me give you a for-instance or three so you'll understand what I'm talking about. We had company over last weekend, so I had to tidy up the yard - which meant I had to cut the grass, pull the weeds, trim the walk and blow off the deck. You know, all those things that have needed doing since Christmas that I put off doing because of illness and fatigue. (I was sick and tired of working in the yard, in other words.)

Bottom line - I spent all day Saturday in the yard. My yard happens to be located outdoors, which is where most, if not all, of the pollen originates.

When I woke up Sunday morning, my head was pounding, my eyes were red and swollen, and my sinuses were draining from my temple clear down to my toes, and I couldn't get three words out in a row without sneezing. There wasn't enough Sudafed in the world last Sunday to combat the effects of 12 hours in the pollen-infested great outdoors on Saturday.

Now, I know what you're thinking, and I agree. There are a lot of folks who wake up like that every Sunday morning, but they earn their condition - and you know how. But I don't even drink! The only liquid refreshment I imbibed Saturday night was an Ale-Eight an old boy brought me back from Winchester, Ky. - and that's a soft drink.

It wasn't bad enough that I felt like the backside of three-day-old ugly all day Sunday, but by Monday morning, the deck and walkways that I had spent so much time cleaning off over the weekend were colored green and yellow again - and it wasn't from St. Patrick's Day confetti, either.

I mean pollen is everywhere! It is all over the driveway and all over the cars and the patio furniture, not to mention the dog and cat. My lovely wife, Lisa, fell asleep in the hammock Sunday afternoon. By the time she woke up, she was covered with the stuff, too. When you try to wash it off the driveway with a hose pipe, you get ugly little green rivers running across the yard, and every speck of pollen you wash away is quickly replaced by 17 more.

There was a nice breeze blowing a couple of nights this week, but we couldn't open the windows because it would look like a yellow snowstorm had blown right through the house - and I hate it when the pollen gets so thick on the carpet that the mice and insects make little tracks.

Yeah, I know. For somebody that started out saying they hated to complain, I have done a lot of it - but you would too if you were as allergic to the air you breathe as I have become. I wish some of those political activists would take a break from saving the whales and cooling off the atmosphere and concentrate on how to help with the pollen problem. That or start a government fund to supply Kleenex and Claritin - at least until Easter.

Easter! Now there's a thought to get your mind off pollen. It's almost Easter - and Easter marks the end of Lent. I will be almost as glad when Lent is over as I will be when the pollen season is done, because for the 25th straight year, my lovely wife, Lisa, gave up sex for Lent.

I gave up chocolate ice cream.

Well, Lisa's great spiritual sacrifice notwithstanding, when the preacher says Hallelujah on Easter morning, I'll be the guy in the front pew shouting Amen - and it won't matter what the pollen count happens to be that day!

Darrell Huckaby is an author and teacher in Rockdale County. E-mail him at dhuck08@bellsouth.net.

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