Thursday, April 6, 2006
Ah, springtime -- the itching, sneezing, etc.
Last Thursday was the day I broke out in hives. This is an annual occurrence for me — no not some sort of fidgety nervous condition, but an allergy to pecan trees leafing out! It happens regularly as clockwork, and to me is a sign that spring has surely come.
The first time this happened was when I was a small child. My friends and I were playing in the back yard when I began to itch. It was like a mosquito bite, but it was too soon to have mosquitoes. Then the affected area got larger and itched so much worse than a mosquito. Soon I was covered from head to toe. That time, I was taken to the doctor — always a trauma — but the solution was simple: take an antihistamine.
So, that is what I have done ever since. Fortunately, as I have gotten older, the symptoms have abated, but not completely. So last Thursday night, when I began to itch, I went out and looked at the big pecan tree in my back yard, and sure enough, by the light of the moon, I could see the little shoots appearing on its branches!
The last time I had a severe case, I had taken my little dog out to make the acquaintance of one of Robert Walker’s terriers, with the hope that puppies would be born. While the dogs got to know each other, Robert and I drank a glass of lemonade on his patio, surrounded by tall trees. I paid no attention to what kind they were — but they were pecans, and I had a terrible case of hives when I got home. But that is not the end of the story.
As it happened I brought his dog home so my Lady could have another “date.” The trouble was, that almost as soon as we got home, his dog jumped the fence and was not to be found! I guess a good, country dog like Robert’s thought my little city girl was intimidating.
It could not have happened at a worse moment. It was the week of the Pilgrimage and I had more than I could handle with all those preparations. But Robert loved that dog, and so I spent many hours on foot and riding around trying to find it.
Finally, after about three days, Robert had come by to commiserate the loss of his beloved pet, when out of the corner of my eye, I spied that wretched beast, staring at us from the woods behind my house! In a low voice, I said, “Robert, turn around slowly and look out to the woods.”
The dog heard his master calling him and a happy reunion ensued. That was the last of my effort to raise puppies, and I think it was just as well. I would never have been able to give those little dogs away once I had raised them.
Fortunately pecans and pecan trees do not bother me except for this brief period each spring. But soon we will have those Easter lilies. I am allergic to them as well. I take a pill before the service, but it is only of partial help.
Come to the Kirk and see the preacher who cries all through the Easter Service. It is not tears of joy. I might just go in for some of those plastic ones this year!
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