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The pollen plague

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Finally, we can see the lush spring green of the budding trees without a yellow haze. We can get in our cars without humming “Yellow Submarine” as we run the windshield wipers to clear the pollen so we can see out. We can bring flowers in from the yard without having to wash off the yellow coating before we put them in a vase.

I still have a pre-air-conditioning mentality that thinks warm weather means sitting on a porch, preferably a screened porch, and as the temperatures have risen, I have been eagerly monitoring the accumulation of pollen.

It took us over 20 years of living in this house before we figured out a way to add a screened porch; opening off the dining room with double doors where windows used to be and giving us something of a tree house feel since it’s on the second floor. It’s several years old now, but I still get excited when it’s time to settle into some serious porch living.

We have a few friends who wince when we say, “Let’s sit on the porch” because they find it either a bit too cool or a bit too warm or something in the air makes them sneeze, but most are agreeable, and off to the open air we go.

One lovely day recently, I wondered if we might squeeze in an evening on the porch between blasts of pollen. I went out and dusted everything at 10 a.m. And I dusted at 4 p.m. At 6 p.m. I could write my name on the glass topped coffee table again, so I gave up and left the cushions covered and waiting.

But now, it is finally time for the annual deep cleaning with the shop vac and feather duster and spray bottle. It’s a pain, but worth it. If I were given a choice between no trees/no pollen and our leafy landscape with its bit of inconvenience, I’d opt for the pollen plague every time.

Jean McCamy is a Wake Forest artist.