clichéd spring

Spring begs me to be outside, but sometimes I get more than I bargain for!

Spring begs me to be outside, but sometimes I get more than I bargain for!

Tis' the season, all! Everywhere I look, spring has taken hold. It is breathtaking in every sense of the word - especially as I navigate some seasonal allergy issues! (!!) Although I know it isn't true, I've been feeling like I am the only allergy sufferer out there. It's high time for me to embrace this season and the myriad of clichés it brings forth. 

Spring Has Sprung

Spring has most definitely sprung in these parts. Everything seems to be in bloom, from the cherry blossoms to the dogwoods, to every other beautiful flower for which I don't know the particular name. Our 'winter view' of the horse pasture, river and distant mountains is slowly being shaded in by leaves emerging on the many trees in our backyard. And the birds, oh the birds! Takk has filled his days by watching the bluebirds, robins, chickadees, thrashers, cardinals, titmice, and array of other songbirds at the feeders and in the yard.  

Gone are the dark, cold, winter days, and here are the warmer, brighter, wetter days of spring. It is my favorite season of the year (well, at least until fall arrives!), and in this household we couldn't be happier. 

Don't Put All Your Eggs into One Basket

Okay, the happiness is a little dampened by one thing - allergies. I have never, in all of my five years in Appalachia, experienced the torment of spring allergies the way I am feeling them this year. Anyone else in the same boat?

It came on suddenly. One day, I went out for a glorious walk in the Arboretum, the next day my throat was sore and scratchy. The day after that, I went out for another sweet stroll, and the next day I couldn't stop coughing. I stopped going outside, but the allergies kept getting worse. I couldn't sleep, I coughed day and night, and eventually I lost my voice.  

Because it didn't make sense to me - how I could be so negatively impacted by all the beauty around me - I went to the doctor. I needed confirmation that what I had was in fact allergies and not some communicable disease. (Or a cold... sometimes I go into extreme thinking mode). Our Easter plans included a quick trip down to Florida to visit family and the last thing I wanted to bring with me was a highly contagious virus. Doc looked in my ears, nose and throat, listened to my chest and told me to go to the drugstore for allergy meds. 

I don't typically take meds for things like this. When we got Takk and I had itchy eyes, runny nose and congestion for a couple of weeks, I braved it without taking anything to alleviate the symptoms. But this time I was desperate. I bought everything he said - Claritin, Flonase, cough drops, throat spray. I took everything immediately, then waited. 

I guess I was expecting miracles, that after one dose, I would be outside rolling in the grass, taking deep, cough-less breaths. I put all the eggs of my hope into the basket of meds to get me better. Yet here I am, nearly a week later, and I've still got my cough. Slow and steady wins this race, I reckon.

Sun, warmth, breeze: the perfect elements for knitting outdoors (in theory).

Sun, warmth, breeze: the perfect elements for knitting outdoors (in theory).

Catch-22

Despite the lingering cough, the allergies have subsided a bit. Whether it was the medicine or the respite from breathing in the Florida air for two days that has diminished my symptoms, I have no idea. What I do know is that I was able to sleep two nights in a row after four sleepless nights, and I have my voice back.

So now I am caught in a major catch-22. Spring, as noted previously, is my favorite season. The daytime temps are nothing but perfect. The slight breeze brings delightful birdsong and sweet spring aromas. This is typically the time of year when we have the windows open and eat meals on the porch. When we take a daily trip to the Arboretum for a walk. Usually, during spring, I would be practicing yoga in the crisp, quiet dawn, and stitching away the hours of dusk outside.

But I can't go outside. It's hard enough stitching a complete row without spraining a muscle in my chest from coughing so much. And don't get me started about stretching. I can't even begin to imagine taking a full, deep breath in a yoga pose without the reflex of my throat constricting.

So I sit here and wait. 

April Showers Bring May Flowers

Today, thankfully, it's raining. (I can't remember the last time I was happy to see rain!) I can gaze outside without the impulse to go stitch or stretch in the spring sunshine, hoping all the while that the rain is washing away the offending allergens. I can appreciate spring and all of its many blessings from where I stand at the window. 

In light of this optimistic thinking, here are the 'flowers' that I am anticipating from these 'April showers.'

1. Stitch Like Crazy

If you don't know already, I am a terrifically slow stitcher. (No, I didn't say terrifyingly slow, although some may think that word is more applicable.) I have been working on knitting the same tee for a long while. A couple things to note - it is my first ever tee, everything about the tee is new to me including the two stitches I had to learn, I am terrified to make a mistake (there, used the word), I have had to rip out half of a panel to start over, and I have one panel bound off - although just before doing so, it started to unravel (and so did I). Now, with all of this indoor time, I can stitch away without getting distracted by the spring sunshine on my face. Consequently, I should have this tee done in no time. (Insert fingers crossed emoji)

2. Spring Break

While I am not taking any official time off of work for a 'spring break,' I can take a little recess every day to meditate. It's lovely, really. From where I sit indoors, I can hear the birds almost as well as I'd be able to from outside. And, knowing my habit of freaking out if I feel something crawl on me, indoor meditation just feels right these days. 

3. Daydream

Okay, so there is little better than daydreaming whilst laying in a hammock with a light blanket on, drifting in and out of consciousness on a fine spring day but (!) I can still daydream from inside! We have a couple of cozy spots in our home where the sun dances on the floor, that I can become equally mesmerized and drift into joyous thinking. 

4. Sew

I can't really bring the sewing machine outside to stitch. Plus, I have a project in mind that I have been meaning to start, so this is the time that I can do that! 

5. Takk Time

Takk is an indoor kitty, (he's actually a little skittish around open windows and doors, even) so spending time inside means that I immediately have a friend to play with. He probably cannot wait for the allergy season to pass so that I will stop taking a million and one photos of him everyday! 

While it's easy to let something like allergies rain on my parade, it's a lot more fun to flip the situation on its head and look for little positivities that result. While I'm a little crestfallen that I cannot spend more time outdoors right now, I can see that nature is giving me the opportunity to think outside the box about what I can spend my spring time doing. What is everyone out there doing with spring time? Any outside the box thinking? I'd love to hear!