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Summer bout with sniffles provides time for rest, solitude and financial planning

By June Mathews

I know I’m stating the obvious here, but allergies are the pits.

Thanks to either the season or the amount of dust we’ve stirred up around the house with furniture rearranging or both, I spent a good portion of last week snorting and wheezing while dealing with a runny nose and watery eyes, not to mention a scratchy throat and an occasionally pounding head.

Seriously, if I had a nickel for every time I’ve sneezed in the past 10 days or so, I could afford to remodel the kitchen by now. Thing is, I’ve yet to identify the person or entity willing to shell out that per-sneeze disbursement. But that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped looking.

Antihistamines provided some relief. But when sinus pressure prompted me to take decongestants one stormy afternoon, my nose started dripping like a faucet. It was a seemingly endless cycle of which I quickly grew tired, and for someone who takes medication only when absolutely necessary, I found the pill-popping routine a huge aggravation. The alternative, however, was worse.

And the associated issues have been no picnic either.

Though everybody knows allergies aren’t contagious, the symptoms give an outward impression of infectious disease. So to avoid being labeled Typhoid Mary by anyone I might come into contact with and being blamed for every cold or flu symptom for miles around, I weathered the symptoms at home alone for the better part of three days.

During that time, I had to bow out of three meetings and cancel two interviews, throwing me behind on work and volunteer commitments. Thus I’ll be spending this week and next playing catch-up. But I didn’t dare fill the off time by stirring up more dust around the house, and out of consideration for my husband, I also gave up cooking (OK, so maybe I used the sniffles as an excuse for laying off housework and kitchen duty, but it seemed like the right thing to do as long as I could get away with it).

Matters grew a bit embarrassing when midway through the pastor’s sermon this past Sunday, I was compelled to make a quick exit out the back door of the balcony when a nasty post-nasal drip tickle in my throat refused to go away, and a coughing fit ensued. And I’m relatively certain my young friend and pew-mate, Robin, could have done without the less-than-graceful manner in which I stumbled over her feet and into the aisle. Since I nearly landed in her lap in my haste to get outside the worship center before disrupting the service more than I already had, I doubt she lets me sit with her again next week.

All in all, though, it wasn’t so bad. I felt yucky for a few days, but I can’t really claim misery. And the forced bit of solitude actually allowed me to do some thoughtful planning for the future.

With all the facial tissue I’ve come into contact with lately, I’m convinced that buying stock in Kleenex would be a wise investment, and now is the time. With the fall allergy season about to be in full swing, boxes will be flying off the store shelves, leaving stockholders well-positioned to make big money. One phone call to my financial advisor, and I could be set for life.

Now I’ve just got to figure out how to keep from blowing any profits I earn on Kleenex of my own.

Email June Mathews at jmathews120@

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