Skip to main content

I Hate Mountain Cedar

My son and future daughter-in-law invited us to go see some cabins up in the Texas hill country. The campsite had a rustic, little gazebo that overlooked the valley and a lake below. They thought it would make a romantic, scenic spot to exchange wedding vows. 
We dressed nicely since we were going to meet her family for the first time, and we enjoyed the winding Sunday drive as we left behind San Antonio and approached the panorama of Canyon Lake. 
“Juniper trees,” said my husband as he parked the car.  “The place is covered in mountain cedar.”
I looked at a copse of trees.  They looked like Christmas firs, the kind one sees in cowboy movies or Little House on the Prairie.  A light breeze hit my face as I climbed out of the car. They did not look threatening at all but I knew my husband was allergic to mountain cedar.
“Will you be all right?”  I asked. He nodded.
HoneyBunch is one of the sturdiest men I know.  He is rarely sick. Few things affect him.
Except for Mountain Cedar. 
The fine, yellow pollen the trees give off during the winter months makes his eyes turn red and water.  They itch like fire.  His nose runs and he gets chills.  It knocks him off his feet and it is the only time of the year he will let me dose him with OTC meds - allergy pills twice a day.
We had to walk through the middle of the trees to go look at the cabins, the main hall, the gazebo.  We took pictures and everyone discussed the pros and cons of renting this place for the upcoming wedding.
My eyes started to burn.  My nose started to itch.  Both my eyes and nose started to water.  My husband warned me not to rub my eyes and to keep my hands away from my face.  Neither one of us had a tissue.  I swiped at my eyes with the long sleeve of my shirt and I heard my husband object but I ignored him.  I had tears and snot streaming down my face.
I was making a great first impression in front of the new in-laws.
A few minutes more of this suffering and I no longer cared about the discussion. I was blinded by the burning coals the blasted trees had poured into my eyes. I moaned to HoneyBunch and the kids that I needed to get away from the juniper.  I needed to get home.
I needed a tissue.  I needed a Zyrtec.  I needed out of this inferno. 
They wanted to go eat somewhere.  They wanted to go see another two possible venues. 
I wanted none of that.  Couldn’t they see I was dying?
Blinded by the pollen, I let HB lead me back to the car. He found me a wrinkled, fast food napkin I had stowed in the glove compartment. I moaned again, vowing to never, ever again go any place without a box of tissues in the car and a bottle of Zyrtec in my purse.   
Those harmless looking trees are sneaky little bastards and I think we should pull up every, single, evil, juniper and burn it at the stake. Downwind, of course.
That would show them who is boss of this ecosystem. (Don’t worry.  We could find a tree to replace it that wouldn’t send 80% of the population every year into allergic reactions.)

The kids chose a different venue for their wedding.  My allergic reaction had nothing to do with their decision, but had they ended up saying I Do among the junipers, I would have found a way to mainline Zyrtec.  At least my tears that day would be of joy and not because of mountain cedar.  


Popular posts from this blog

Finding My Muse

1)Because my muse has a wicked sense of humor and visits me at odd times and in inconvenient places, I have learned to record inspirations/ideas immediately before I forget them or they dissolve into nothing. I carry small notebooks, own a digital recorder, and have been known to text messages home. I will scribble on anything – old napkins I find in my glove compartment or old receipts. I even pop out of bed in the middle of the night to jot things on sticky pads. 2)Calendars are great places to find topics. I use important dates, seasons, and upcoming holidays to plan blog posts. I can also go back into my work calendar to refresh my memory about meetings, conferences, or books I have read that might be worth sharing with others.   3)I will sit with a good cup of coffee, pen and paper ready, and read the newspaper searching for topics, interesting characters, or modern trends.  News channels and other newsfeeds are just as good.   4)I love to read the TV and movie guides for titles and…

The Girl Who Eats Canned Spinach

I went to a Catholic elementary school run by strict Belgian nuns, and we could not leave the cafeteria until we ate everything served on our food tray. Once a week, they served warmed, canned spinach with our meal. The spinach tasted nothing like the way my grandmother made it, but I ate it. I gulped it down in three or four bites and it amazed my table mates. I told them we ate it at home so I was used to the taste. Now, my real problem began the day I ate the spinach off my friends’ trays so we could go play outside. As soon as the nun monitoring the cafeteria turned her back, my friends ate something off my tray I didn’t want, and I ate their serving of spinach. I only did it for two of my table mates, but the word spread. On the next Spinach Day, kids followed me to my table.I was suddenly very popular, and as soon as the nun marched off to the other end of the cafeteria, my friends and an army of others who only knew me as The Girl Who Eats Spinach, begged me to take their servin…

Facing My Fear of Guns

With the ownership of firearms comes responsibility, so I had asked HoneyBunch several times to teach me how to shoot and to help me get my License to Carry. I got my wish two weeks ago. HB and I signed up to take a LTC class. He bought me a gun, one similar to his, that would be the type we needed to show shooting proficiency, and for one whole week he tried to get me to become familiar with it, but I was hesitant. I read the booklet that came with the gun. I practiced loading and shooting it in what is called dry shooting (no bullets), and since the flyer said I would have to shoot thirty shots at different distances, I finally tried with it loaded. I was a nervous wreck. The class of twelve turned out to be close to forty people. We were of all ages, colors, and genders, and I was glad I wasn’t the only woman my age. The shooting test came first, and we were separated into two groups. Those who were proficient (or thought they were) would shoot first, and those who were novices wou…