An ounce of prevention is advice worth taking

Published 11:56 am Monday, October 25, 2021

By Jan Penton-Miller

Panolian Columnist

This season the wildflowers have been absolute showstoppers! I just read and passed on the information that goldenrod has gotten a bad rap, and really doesn’t cause allergic reactions. This information gave me the encouragement I needed to enjoy my ramblings with abandon.

My magnificent wildflower meadow  on our property and this news fresh in my mind caused me to throw caution to the wind. The experts knew best! No allergies for me! I tramped through ditches and sloshed through puddles on the side of the road almost every time I spotted another beautiful specimen to collect seeds for my meadow, all the while glorying in the wonderful bounty of nature.

Anne and I walked the track at Crosby Commons, and I told her all about my seed gathering and plans for my meadow. I could almost see the butterflies and bumblebees floating gracefully from flower to flower. I could imagine them spreading the word to their friends that they had found an absolute paradise to share. 

Recently, Anne and I visited Coastal Ridge Farm in Hancock County, and the butterflies that flitted around the zinnias as we collected our bouquets were gorgeous. This outing delighted and encouraged me to plan and prepare for my future garden even more.

Then… I woke up with a little sniffle. 

That’s funny. I wonder what’s going on? I know that it is just a myth that goldenrod causes allergies. Maybe I need to dust. That never has been my favorite task so perhaps I put it off too long.

After a little while that tired feeling hit me and I began to cough and sneeze.

I guess I had better make a doctor’s appointment even though I have had my COVID shot. I wouldn’t want to spread germs.

So I made an appointment to see Dr. Denney to find out what was going on. Fortunately for me, she was able to see me quickly and rule out COVID, but by some crazy coincidence I seem to be dealing with seasonal allergies. Now, how in the world did that happen?

My wildflower meadow seed scavenging has been on hold for a few days, and I’m doing what I least like to do… staying in. Dr. Denney suggested I wear a mask if I feel the need to walk among weeds and wildflowers. Hmmm. Notice now I decided they might be weeds? 

This morning Anne called to see how I was feeling and said, “When we were walking last week I thought to myself that I was surprised your allergies hadn’t kicked up yet. I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to jinx you, but you know it always happens this time of year.”

Maybe next year I’ll start on allergy medicine early. Ben Franklin coined the phrase an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure in 1736, and I believe I’ll take his advice no matter what the experts say.