I was just out trying to garden.
I've been trying all "summer" (in Denmark, summer is what happens to other countries because sun and warm, dry weather sure as HELL don't happen here) to take part in garden management, because
a) it's good for a person to get outside and I actually like being outside
b) the DB doesn't have time to do it all himself and hates using any tool smaller than an ax
c) I harbor dreams of being one of those women with a large straw hat, humming contentedly while tending my vegetables
But I've been done in by the weather. And Danish homework. And an ill child.
Finally, the planets aligned. I finished Danish. The child recovered. The weather turned not-thunder-and-lighting. In fact, it turned lovely and warm. They say today is summer. Not today-is-the-first-day-of-summer but today-is-the-only-summer-day-we-expect-to-have-this-year-go-enjoy-it.
Only it also happens to be the height of the grass season.
I have allergies. No surprises there. But this is the first year I've really paid attention to what's specifically blooming during my bad patches. Sure, I could go in and get another scratch test, but since I don't like to voluntarily subject myself to torture and I know I have allergies already, it seems like a waste of time.
AG at the Allergist
AG: I have allergies.
The Allergist: Let me test you.
AG: Really I have allergies.
TA: Well, let's just see about tha- HOLY SHIT YOUR ARM SWELLED TO THREE TIMES NORMAL SIZE!
AG: I *told* you I have allergies.
TA: Don't scratch.
AG: Then give me cortisone, motherfucker.
TA: Let me prescribe you this ridiculous drug that I'm paid by the pharmaceutical companies to promote.
AG: That drug doesn't work. I have tried it. I have also tried these other drugs that I see advertised on your wall.
TA: Don't be silly, it will cost you $2 a pill and you have to take it twice a day, but with your health care coverage, you should be able to use it for two months before running out of your alloted medical co-pay amount.
AG: It won't work, I'll still be miserable. If I take this generic over-the-counter drug, I'll be fine and it's cheaper.
TA: Nonsense, you are allergic to a long list of things, some of which don't even grow near you, but I tested you for anyway. You're welcome, by the way. Obviously, you are dying. Here is a pamphlet on all the expensive equipment you must buy in order to lead a normal life. This mask, for example, not only will make it so you can breathe in your own home, but also will let you look like Darth Vader.
AG: Um, it's not really all that bad except during certain times of the year.
TA: You must under no circumstances be out of doors. Nature is trying to kill you. Also, you can't be indoors, because mold and spores thrive there. You should wear natural-fiber clothing because people like you tend to be sensitive to chemicals and you should under no circumstances wear any natural-fiber clothing because you will be allergic to it.
AG: So I need to be naked all the time and live in a bubble?
TA: Yes, and get one with a very expensive HEPA-filter breathing system. Here's the pamphlet for it, it's sold by another major pharmaceutical company who gives me kickbacks.
Shockingly, I have NO food allergies.
Anyway, I noticed this year that while others were complaining about their allergies, I was doing okay. "Argh," said one friend, "birch season is killing me!" Odd, thought I, I'm not having any problems. Maybe I'm getting better.
I was hit hard last week. Like a small steam engine crashing into my brain-pan. Sinus pain, liquid leaking from every hole in my head, small leprechauns up my nose with feathers... misery.
So I went looking for the pollen counts. And discovered that it was grass season. Now since every allergist I've ever been to has told me that I'm allergic to everything, I knew I was allergic to grass. When the DB was shopping for a lawn-mower, I told him that he had to get one with a bag on the back to collect the grass clippings because I have allergies and grass clippings are my kryptonite. Also, he has to leave his post-mowing clothing somewhere else than the house and take a shower, because I will otherwise sneeze in his food. But I couldn't have told you when grass season was. Grass has a season?
Yes, grass has a season. During June and into July it germinates. And if you start pulling it out of your flower beds, the seeds or spores or whatever it's called leaps joyfully into the air and covers EVERYTHING. Twenty minutes is all it took out in the garden, trying to get the grass out from my wild-strawberry patches. After twenty minutes my eyes were swollen and I was dripping snot out of my nose.
I've retreated to the house, taken MORE medicine, and studied the pollen calendar. I'm screwed for another four weeks at least. Doubly so, because with the weather being so bad lately, I've got to throw the doors and windows open to try to air-out and dry-out the house. All that lovely grass pollen is going to come in and take up residence.
So here is my "note to self": garden in May. In the rain if you have to. Garden in thunderstorms and heavy wind. Remove the grass before it starts to seed. Because in June you will not want to be wading through it to get to your strawberries or your roses.