Grit Blogs > The Theoretical Farmers Almanack

Minor Irritations

Broadway, VA                                    May 4                                                7:58 am

Be not sick too late, nor well too soon.  –Ben Franklin 

TRF Cullers head shotMy nose is in a tizzy today; it’s all because of those lovely bits of color that are dotting our landscape this time of year. Shenandoah Valley Spring has many floral faces. The velvety petals pop up; tentative at first, and then with increasing energy the purples, pinks, whites and yellows of early May turn to the periwinkles, fuchsias, ivories and ambers of June. Unfortunately for some of us, each lovely leaflet holds its own brand of tiny pollen particles. These groups of spores wreak havoc on nasal passages and sinus cavities, and declare an all out war on comfortable living.  In other words, I’m fighting spring allergies again!

I could probably write the pollen count section of the National Weather Service forecast. My nose is a relatively good indicator of how much of the powdery stuff is invading the air on any given day. The tissue box on my desk also tells tales. I got tired of watching my seventh graders catch their nasal drips on their shirt sleeves, so I made a trek to the store and bought another supply of “extra soft, strong, absorbent, nose-sensitive” paper handkerchiefs. We’re all sniffling together.

I read bits of an empirical study on Atmospheric BioGeoscience of the Shenandoah Valley (the title itself should have warned me), but I wasn’t able to wade through the science-speak well enough to come to a rational conclusion as to why our mountains seem to trap a whole slew of allergy-causing varmints. Maybe they retire here for the same reason people seem to gravitate to this little spot in the world:  an inviting climate, good restaurants and friendly folk. Whatever the case, they’re here for the duration and there’s not a whole lot we can do about ‘em! Except maybe stock up on tissues and allergy pills.