OPINION: I love spring, but it doesn’t love me

I love spring. It is one of my three favorite times of the year. (The other two being summer and autumn. You can guess which one is my least favorite.)

Spring is an immersion in things which envelop the senses. The sound of songbirds in the morning or a whippoorwill at twilight. The sight of flowers and trees budding and blossoming. The intense smell of honeysuckle. It's as if the world is exploding in life. It's wonderful. And I love it.

But spring doesn't love me.

Very soon, when I step out on my front porch, I'll be walking through a thin layer of yellow dust. When I start my truck and pull out of my driveway, I'll have to use my wipers to get that "dust" off the windshield. And nearly every moment that I am outside, which will be a considerable amount of time once I start mowing at Camp Siloam, that dust -- pollen -- will be going up my nose. And my nose will be open for business.

For as long as I can remember, my dad carried a cloth handkerchief with him nearly all the time. I used to wonder why he did that. I don't wonder any more.

Apparently whatever genes my dad carried that caused constant nasal drip got passed on to me. It happens in the strangest places -- inside Wal-Mart for some reason -- and it occurs at the most inopportune times.


A while back I was in church, leading worship with my praise team, when a most unfortunate "nasal attack" began. I had both hands on the keyboard, and was singing with them, when my nose opened up like a high-pressure spigot. I was, in the words of an old assistant principal friend of mine named D.L. Avaritt, "slingin' snot like a slobbering tot." It was humiliating and I desperately hoped that no one would see what was happening. During the offertory prayer that followed the song, hoping no one would be peeking, I snuck down to the mourner's bench and grabbed a handful of tissues. And for the next two songs, I basically played the keyboard with one hand. Embarrassment doesn't begin to describe it.

Now before you ask, I have indeed tried nearly every over-the-counter allergy medication known to man. Some work better than others but none work well enough to completely shut off my nose. So it begins to look like I will become my dad and carry a handkerchief with me all the time.

And that's okay. Life is full of trade-offs and I have no problem trading off my leaky nose for the beauty and wonder of spring. It's definitely worth the annoyance.

Doug Chastain is a retired teacher and is currently a large-vehicle transportation specialist for the Siloam Springs School District. (Okay, he drives a bus.) He is also a grass maintenance technician at Camp Siloam. (Yeah, he mows the lawn.) You can contact him at [email protected]. The opinions expressed are those of the author.