Back From the Shadows

Back from the Shadows again !
Out where an In-jun’s your friend!
Where the veg’tables are green,
And you can pee into the stream!
Yes, we’re back from the Shadows again!

—-Firesign Theater,I Think We’re All Bozos On This Bus


Every year, in the brief interlude between Christmas and New Year’s, I get sick. Really sick. Like clockwork.

For a long time, I didn’t understand. Then I realized it was the Cedar Flu. You see there are these cedar trees in the hill country and south Texas and in the winter they give off pollen – a lot of pollen.

Amazing. Sickening. One certain days the air itself feels like it is full of razor blades.

The last two years were particularly hellish. The congestion spread to my lungs and led to pulmonary and sinus infections. That isn’t good for anybody. The worst every year is the lack of sleep. If you start coughing uncontrollably every fifteen minutes it’s impossible to get a decent amount of rest. As I get older it all seem to be getting worse. Where I could just tough through it before… it lays me out now.

I looked all over the internet and found one women that suffered like I do and had found a solution. In January every year she went to the Bahamas for a month and a half. That sounded good, but I didn’t think I would be able to pull it off.

So this year, I decided to fight the thing. Starting at Christmas I:

  • Claritin and Ibuprofen every day
  • Stayed out of the cold
  • Extra Sleep
  • Neti pot twice a day
  • Humidifier by my bed and by my desk (this was new this year – worked great – don’t know why I didn’t think of it earlier)

And hardest of all – no bike riding. That was tough, but that’s a lot of exposure to the pollen and the cold.

So January felt like a lost month. Basically going to work and going to sleep and not much else. But it worked. It’s February and I’ve been doing pretty well. The last few days I’ve felt almost human. I went for a long bike ride today and felt my lack of fitness, but otherwise it was glorious.

So February is the start of my new year. When I wrap this up I’m heading down to Deep Ellum for the annual For the Love of Kettle competitive shopping event with fifty dollars of Christmas money clutched in my fist, ready to get a piece of art.

Back from the shadows again.

Flock in Space, Ruben Ochoa
Trinity River Audubon Center, Dallas, Texas
(click to enlarge)