Pollen and allergies, yuck

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Boy, was I happy this past Thursday afternoon.

Mother Nature finally unzipped the clouds and let the rain loose.

Though it dampened my plans to cut my yard, the welcome moisture also washed away pollen that has driven my sinuses crazy. I’ve constantly coughed, sneezed, wiped my runny nose and rubbed my itchy eyes over the past few days.

I’m sure I’ve spent a fortune in Kleenex and eye drops.

But I know there is more of that yellow-green dust to come.

It’s part of spring in North Carolina, which I didn’t know had three pollen seasons — tree (from now until June), grass (ends mid-fall) and weeds (occurs late August until first frost).

The worst pollen, so I’ve been told, is ragweed. There are 17 different types spread across the country and more than 23 million people are allergic to it.

Warm weather is the trigger.

No surprise there, huh?

We all know from our elementary science classes that pollination is needed to help plants, flowers, grass — basically everything — grow during late spring and early summer.

My yard, at the moment, still has large patches of brown grass.

I can hardly wait for my bright red amaryllis and purple-and-gold lilies to come alive around my front door. They’ll need some serious TLC within the next couple of weeks, however.

Guess I need to call my landscaping pal and get some advice.

Once the leaves return, my shade tree in the backyard will provide a cool spot when I take a break from cutting grass on a hot summer day.

I can use the same place to relax and read a book, which is something that I haven’t done in ages.

So, despite the nasty dust, I’m glad spring is here.

It has been nice to get outside and cover softball, tennis, track, golf, soccer and baseball.

Usually when I hop into the car and get some fresh air going after the game, I’ll have a horrible coughing spell that goes away after a minute or two.

I try to keep some water handy.

And tissue, too.

Rudy Coggins is assistant editor of the Mount Olive Tribune. He can be reached at rcoggins@mountolivetribune.com.

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