May 2012

Tue May 01, 2012 - National Edition
Craig Mongeau


Early spring. Hasn’t that been wonderful? We all got a surprise respite from the shivers and the snow; there was less plowing and shoveling, less salt and sand usage. I thought it was great. As I get older the winters feel colder and longer. Summer seems to pass in a whirlwind. So this year so far, we got a break. Unless, of course, your immune system goes Braveheart over grass and trees.

I suffer from seasonal allergies, which as the winter whimpered away, came storming in with the uncharacteristic March and early April greenery. I don’t experience the commercial-like symptoms with the exaggerated stuffy nose, itchy eyes, sneezing and so forth. Oh sure, there’s a little bit of that every now and then, but mostly it’s a daily malaise — just a general feeling of unrelenting un-wellness.

Working outside as all of you do certainly doesn’t make dealing with allergies easy. Yes, there’s an abundance of remedies to cope with allergies. The best antihistamine as far I’m concerned is the long-time over-the-counter one. I won’t name it, but you know it; it’s the one that has the same ingredient as sleeping medication. Perhaps not a great one to use when operating heavy equipment. Then there’re the other newer ones that don’t seem to work as well. Then there’s always the weekly trip to the allergist for shots that if you ever stop going to receive will stop working. Then there’s one prescription medication whose side effects include panic attacks and vivid, scary dreams. Also perhaps not good to use in a work setting.

I can’t help but think of Longfellow’s line, “Into each life some rain must fall.” Such is the way with all things. Bad never lets Good get all the attention. This year’s early allergy season has reminded me why I like predictability to a large extent. That way at least I know what I’m in for. Just a few weeks more of winter (OK, without the snow) and there would have been a few more weeks without reacting to the lovely yellow film on my car windshield. But I suppose it’s better than shoveling. Oh wait, that’s right I have to mow my lawn.

This story also appears on Superintendent's Profile.




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