Being allergic to the outdoors stinks. I say that in a flowing statement as if I am “allergic to the universe” but somedays it sure seems that way. I have always had seasonal allergies since I was a child. I used to get Benadryl syrup when it was a prescription every spring and most of the summer. I was not only allergic to pollens and trees and grasses – oh no- I was also allergic or rather “highly sensitive” to any sort of insect bite. Mosquito bites in particular were so big that I would be covered in silver dollar or larger sized welts. This led to a life of “indoor” activities or “screened in” activities. I was not the active outdoorsy person I wish I could have been.
This brings me to today (where even after 5 years of allergy shots which I got as an adult) I am itchy. I get annoyed with my circumstances. I hired a lawn guy to mow because when I mowed for my superbly busy husband for Father’s day last year I was confined to the couch covered in sweat and the oh so sexy after-glow of puffy face and arms and hands from a reaction to the grass. On a Benadryl super-coma- my dear husband came home to a “Happy Father’s Day!” card and he was less than pleased. Since his work travel and schedule have gotten even busier I resorted to the lawn guy.
Now- this should mean that I would be smart enough to ask said lawn guy to trim the bushes (which mind you they will do in the fall) except- NO- why would I do that. It’s sunny out and I want to SEIZE THE DAY! “CARPE DIEM!” I exclaim as I leap off the couch and exit my safe and allergen free A/C house. I get the loppers and start chopping away at the rose bushes and this tall and gangly thing in the corner which has grown too high over the past 18 months. Little did I know there are nasty and biting ants (I didn’t know they did that!) in the dang bush. After shouting and a few choice words I left a pile of clipped branches and my pride and came back inside. This ONLY after the prodding of my 10 year old who said “Mom- you are in sandals. You have nothing to protect your feet. These things are going to eat you alive. OH MY GOSH- they’re crawling out of the lawn bag. RUN!”
Fudge- here I am bringing my kin- the child who is equally or even more allergic than I was as a child into the wild. What have I done? Mind you our wild is Chicago-land suburbia and it’s not that WILD and yet for us allergic folks it couldn’t be any more truthful. We need to be in areas without bugs, and if out at night in a good strong breeze to avoid mosquitos and …the list goes on. The best part (insert sarcasm here) of being so allergic is we are even sensitive to the ingredients in the bug sprays and the sun screens. I am still sporting a rash on my neck/upper chest from a mineral sunscreen (none of the bad stuff) I put on the other day. Like seriously- I get a rash from Zinc. I was practically painted white. COME ON.
So- you will see me at the pool (although not in it much- yeah I am sensitive to Chlorine as well) but in the deep shade of a tree. I will go out walking but probably on the tracks in the wide open at about 5:30pm when it’s breezy but before the bugs have come out. I get out there. I walk the dog. I do my thing. I just do it less than most of you. Oh and wait- I can’t forget to take the kiddo for his allergy shots this afternoon. May this help him more in his youth than me waiting til I was an adult for them. If I can spare him I will be happy (or rather happier). I’ll go read my book now….inside.