Sunday, February 16, 2014

Part One: Trees. Part Two: Allergies.


As everyone knows the weather the past couple of weeks has been unusual so say the least!

 Down here in the lowcountry we had an ice storm on Wednesday, one like I had never seen before.  One like few people had seen.  Within hours the trees were covered with thick ice!  It was pretty but it turned out to also be very dangerous as trees started getting pulled down by the weight of the ice on them, particularly on the always-leafed live oaks, and the tall Carolina pines.

I was home and heard trees cracking and saw large branches fall in my yard and in my neighbors' yards.  Some fell right outside my window.  It was loud - and it was scary!  Even my dog kept barking.   My home sits in a grove of old live oak trees with Spanish moss hanging from them.  They are very "southern looking"and beautiful!   They have been here for hundreds of years.

The power went out all around the area - thankfully, not here at my house.  But, in a matter of just a few hours the lowcountry turned into what some called a "war zone" with trees and limbs down, and debris everywhere.  Others said it compared to hurricane damage they had seen in these parts in the past.

Today I'm blogging about the aftermath - and what it looks like as everyone cleans up their properties and they try to get back to normal.  Everywhere you drive around here along the roads you see broken limbs.  Most have been pushed out of the roads but it will take days or weeks to get them picked up.  In my neighborhood we got an email from our homeowners association telling us the neighborhood lawn maintenance company has offered to pick up debris left curbside.   So now, every front yard has piles of broken limbs and sawed trunks.   Again, we have been told to be patient for it might take awhile for everything to be picked up.

We have a place along the Black River in the county. It's rural and therefore we are on our own in terms of clean up.  The place had even more damage than our house.  We had a whole tree come down, plus we had many large pines lose massive branches. The weight of the ice on the pine needles cracked the branches and sent the limbs coming down like a missile.  Some of the branches stabbed into the ground deeply.  Other branches scattered everywhere, including landing on our beautiful camellia bush.

So, for the past two days Hubby and I spent hours chainsawing, and moving branches, and chopping, and  hauling some of it away.  The rest we hope to slowly burn away in our fire pit.


I enjoy being in the outdoors and getting in some physical labor and burning calories.  You know, working the land!   So, the tree removal was hard, tiring labor - but it felt good being out there.

UNTIL….   the allergies kicked in - and when they did they kicked in big time!

 I was tested many years ago for all kinds of things in the environment that sets off my allergy symptoms.   My symptoms?  I experience cracking, plugged ears, an itchy tongue, a plugged nose - at the same time it runs non-stop, itchy eyes, shortness of breath, and tiredness.    When I was tested I found out that pretty much all kinds of trees and grasses can set me off.   Oh boy.

Over time I have learned to take a Benadryl when I start feeling the symptoms and I have also learned to live with the  effects of the drug in my body.  People think I fall asleep easily… I do, because I often have either the allergy making me tired or the drug.  Or both!!   When I lived in New Jersey I broke down and sought help from an allergist and got shots for about ten years.  I started out with 2 in each arm, twice a week.   I was able to taper back over time and not go as often as my body got used to the allergen in it.

Over all, I think the shots helped me build up a resistance. I don't get allergy "attacks" as often as I used to get them.  But, when I do get myself into an overload situation it can still be pretty bad.

So, that's where I am today.  I'm stuck inside - on a nice day - keeping myself away from the trees and whatever else outdoors is making my body react.  I need at least a day to let me nose calm down, to clear my head, to stop the cracking inside it!

I know it's an annoyance. In the whole realm of things it's nothing life threatening.  I am fortunate that I don't have more serious ailments or diseases.

But today I sit inside - on the computer, reading a book, and blowing my nose…   and complaining.

Thank you blog for allowing me to do it here.  And God bless anybody who has read this all the way to the end.  lol   Perhaps you are an allergy sufferer too and can relate.


  1. Your not son & I both suffer from pine allergies. So greatful pine is not a problem up here in the north. I so love the low country..rice plantations I think, I remember as a kid. I can remember traveling back the long way from Ill. & Mich. to Fl as a kid..anyways..I pray you feel better. Like you, I use to have to take shots..but since moving up here..praytell..nothing. Blessings

  2. Your description reminds me of the year before Sandy when we had a violent October snowstorm while all the trees were in full bloom. It did look like a war zone in the aftermath. We had less damage on our property from Sandy (other than extended power outage) than we did the year before. So sorry about your grand old trees...that is sad. I have allergies, mostly affecting my eyes to the point I'd like to just claw them out of my head. Sounds gruesome but the itching makes me nuts! It's seasonal though and we are a long way from allergy season! Take care...hope it all settles down soon.

  3. Even tho' I don't have anything like you suffer with, but I do know how you feel. I'm allergic to the pollen in the spring. That's all but it can keep me inside when everything is coming to life and turning green after the long winter.
    We've had those ice storms here several times. A couple years ago we lost a huge pine tree. I heard the branches fall. One brushed the big kitchen window on its way down. I couldn't get out the back door because of it laying on our patio. Scared me to death.
    You take care and I hope your allergies settle down soon.

  4. That sounds miserable! I have allergies but they are not nearly that bad. I've been taking a daily allergy pill this summer and it has helped, but even still I have at least one big sneezing fit a day. Hope you start feeling better soon!