You probably think I’m speaking of my writing that I’ve fought like a mad dog for, but in this instance I’m referring to my beloved garden(s). After learning I rank in the top ten percent of allergy sufferers in the nation, which explained a lot and has led to 30 plus years of allergy shots (four at at time), daily meds, inhalers, etc, I can be outside much of the year, although ragweed season remains a challenge. My allergist declares I’m the only patient extremely allergic to spring who revels in it anyway. And definitely the only one who gardens as I do despite my inherent intolerance of all pollen.
Before making strides with my shots, allergies drove me indoors from August through late September, with bouts in between. This is actually how I ended up writing novels. I called that time ‘being under house arrest’ and gazed longingly out the windows. It occurred to me that I could focus on my love of literature, history, mystery, romance, and yes, the out of doors, in my books. My passion for herbs and herbal lore is woven throughout many of my stories, and I’ve even written an herbal. If I didn’t have allergies I’d probably still be making dried wreaths and arrangements, potpourri, raising and selling seedlings…Now, my gardening is strictly for myself and whoever else enjoys entering in. Daughter Elise is my right arm. The grandbabies take a keen interest, and those who drive past our farm enjoy seeing the garden(s) visible from the road. When allergies surge, they grow neglected, but my many hardy perennials, reseeding heirloom flowers, and herbs have a way of hanging on. And there’s always next year.
With spring around the corner, my thoughts turn, as ever, to the garden. My beautiful valley I call, ‘The Shire’, is known for being quite inhospitable to allergy sufferers, but nothing would compel me to leave.
Never give up on anything you love.