It seems that one person’s joy is another’s allergy.  In fact, I once marveled out loud at what I called the heavenly aroma of Russian Olive trees, or was it Honeysuckle, while walking the woods nearby.

I thought it was a benign statement until a friend reminded me that it couldn’t possibly be a heavenly aroma to those massively allergic to it.  Point taken.  I won’t debate the theology of what might constitute a heavenly aroma and/or whether allergies could exist in the spiritual place called heaven.  To me, that aroma was something indescribably beautiful.

I suppose if you’re allergic to peanuts, you couldn’t enjoy the pleasure of smelling them roasting, or eat them in trail mix, or mixed with caramel in brittle or a candy bar.  If perfume is too much for your respiratory system to tolerate, it’s a pity that you can’t pamper yourself with the feeling of luxury and allure that a pleasing perfume affords.

We still own cats even though my husband has been allergic to them his whole life.  He sneezes once in a while.  I’m potentially allergic to dust and, well, you know where I stand on dust.  It happens, daily, allergic or not.

If there’s an allergy season, quite possibly it’s now, late Spring.  Pollen and pollinators are stirred up and frenzied to get their jobs done, and the wind is helping them along.  Hay fever was one of the first allergic reactions identified, thusly naming the respiratory ailment so many millions of us abide, or are threatened by, depending upon their severity.

Some of us are unfazed by allergy season since indoor allergens are just as fiercely attacking our respiratory systems as outdoor ones. And if you’re allergic to dust mites like me, hello OCD because you are what some have called “shit out of luck,” because dust is everywhere.

Just like wind, air circulation, aromas, a vast variety of foods, and furry friends, one will find something to sneeze at, cough over, weep, develop a morning sore throat, tear over and run for the tissue box in a mild or miserly reaction to some such substance either man made or natural.  When did allergic reactions to this, that, and the other thing, become so prevalent?

I’ve been allergic to penicillin since infancy.  I developed hives.  But, aside from that allergy, I was free of seasonal allergies until the last few years and with each birthday they increase in their nuisance-quotient.  Both my spouse and I have been fortunate that our allergies are for the most part an inconvenience and we’ve ignored them.

I was advised in early adulthood by a medical professional not to test the strength of my penicillin allergy as it may surprise me with an accelerated and dangerous reaction, akin to anaphylaxis, compared to the hives of childhood.  I wonder what’s with the acceleration of allergic reactions as we age.

I never used to be sensitive to dust or pollen but nowadays I sneeze, cough, and wheeze through the days, spring, summer, fall, and winter.  I’m thankful, for me it’s not severe and just a nuisance, rarely requiring any medical assistance, just a passing, “God bless you,” or “gesundheit,” which never hurt anybody.  And, during COVID, a stray look of “stay away from me,” occurred when clearing my throat behind my mask.

It is my understanding that allergies begin with a genetic predisposition combined with exposure, over time.  So, it makes sense that the “over time” bit, makes us more allergic to more substances as we age.

From peanuts to perfume, strange and unexplained allergies have descended upon the world along with climate change and wokeness.  I wonder which came first, the chicken or the egg.

I was thinking about the children’s book, “The House that Jack Built,” that always reminds me of my big brother of the same name and profession.  The book flows in a clever verse that I can’t duplicate here, not being that clever.

But, in the context of this tome, it goes a little like this: thanks to the bees which pollinate the flowers, growing on the plants, and which make the honey that can help us through these lovely sneezy breezy days of Spring.  Anyway, gesundheit and God bless you, one and all. 

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