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Latarski: All the pollen isn't such a bad thing
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Spring is now officially upon us, although the weather we have had lately makes it feel like spring came and went around 2:47 a.m. Tuesday morning, and we headed straight into summer.

Normally we accept this with good grace because we know that our Northern friends are still digging out of snow, but that has not been the case this year.

The vilest indication of this sudden change has been a pollen count that looks like Bill Gates bank balance.

Pollen is a little like a political campaign-it shows up too soon, lasts too long and is a nuisance while on the scene.

The only thing good about any of this is if you always wanted a yellow car you now have one.

Those who do not have issues with pollen should count themselves lucky, but according to the experts it has already been so bad this year even people who have never had problems before are experiencing the aliments.

The basic symptoms are coughing, runny nose, stopped up head, watery eyes and scratchy throat-pretty much the same feelings a lot of Republicans are having when they decide to vote for Mitt Romney.

I actually went to a doctor once and my practicing physician said, "Well, you're getting older so it may be something you just have to learn to live with."

I said, "Thanks, Doc," and handed him $100. I could have gone to an Apache medicine man a lot cheaper and got the same advice.

I tried to take Sadee, my Yorkshire Terrorist, out for a walk and she took one long sniff of the air and looked at me as if to say: I'm not going out there and get my fuzzy little fur covered up with pollen you moron. She retreated to the comfort of her house while I was in the middle of a coughing fit.

While the mild winter was wonderful in many ways, along with the early pollen is also the early onset of yard work. I am not a slave to lawn care and the reasonable person should do just enough to keep the code enforcement man away and work under the notion if it grows and lives or dries up and dies it is the will of Mother Nature.

Watering grass only makes it grow and then you have to cut it. Realizing you have to change the oil and get your lawnmower ready for summer on the last weekend of winter will dull your enthusiasm for the weekend.
Another drawback of our mild winter will be that this summer we are going to be covered up with mosquitoes and creepy-crawlies.

After successfully defeating the lawnmower in hand-to-hand combat I decided to relax on the patio and enjoy a cocktail, whereupon I was accosted by a mosquito that looked like something from a Japanese science fiction movie.

It wasn't that I was afraid it might take a pint of blood but I was fearfully of being toted off and shared with the rest of the family.

I killed it with a can of mosquito spray; not the spray, the can.

It is also likely we will have more than the usual share of roaches, fire ants, gnats and various and assorted other bothersome creatures. You can almost hear them cheering the weather.

So be prepared to accept this challenge and shrug it off. This is the price we pay, and for more years than not it is a good trade-off.

I had much rather fight pollen and a balky lawnmower in March than iced-over windshields and a balky snow blower.


Ric Latarski is a freelance writer who writes on a variety of topics and can be reached at