It’s not easy being green

Published 9:45 pm Thursday, April 18, 2019

I know Kermit the Frog was talking about something entirely different when he said, “it’s not easy being green,” but he’s right in another way, too.

I’m green with pollen that seems to have taken up seasonal residence in my lungs and on my skin, and no matter where I go, I can’t escape it.

All the showers in the world can’t seem to wash it off of me, and there’s not enough rain to keep my blue car from turning green.

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And while I have my go-to allergy medication, even that hasn’t been enough to dissipate the pollen cloud in my lungs. If you’ve seen the photos of pollen haze in North and South Carolina, that’s what it feels like I have trapped inside me.

Even with that, I’ve refused to listen to my wife’s advice over the 12 years we’ve been married — take a spoon of local honey every day during allergy season — until now.

Every year she’d tell me to do it, and every year, I’d ignore her advice and continue to suffer until spring had sprung, because, unlike Winnie the Pooh, I don’t like honey.

I’d hack my way through it and suffer my wife’s glares, and occasionally, the allergy medication I’d be taking would actually help.

But this year, it’s been worse.

Not only has the buildup been bad for my breathing, but I also have coughing fits strong enough to give me headaches, and I have to stay vertical in order to have any hope of getting through the night. I don’t need to tell anyone that staying vertical isn’t a good way to be rested for another day of the green haze.

So I’m finally taking my wife’s advice, which, as she will tell you, isn’t something I’m in the habit of doing. But when she’s complaining — justifiably I might add — about my nighttime coughing fits and rendering me to the couch, it’s time to overcome my distaste of honey and swallow.

And the results so far?


I’m still coughing, I’m still stuffy and I sound a bit like Kermit.

But the coughing fits through the night?

They may not yet be extinct, but I’m hoping they’ll qualify for the endangered species list soon.

That’s a good thing, since driving all over Suffolk in the warmer weather without air conditioning in my car forces me to keep my windows rolled down.

I’ve been fortunate that my coughing at home has only bothered my wife, as my daughter sleeps through it all, though when she is awake and hears me coughing, will ask if I’m all right, and then pat me on the back and give me a hug.

It’s still good for all of us that my coughing spells are shorter and quieter, especially for my wife, as she normally has to wake up at 5:30 a.m. to get ready for work. She’s able to get a little more sleep by not having to listen to a five-minute coughing fit, followed by a pause, and then another one.

When I tell her how much the local honey has seemed to help, you can hear the “I told you so” sneer in her look, followed by the actual words.

Mother Nature might not love me back after all the time I spend outside, but my wife will, especially now since she can claim yet another breakthrough on my stubbornness.

It definitely isn’t easy being green, but it is the color of spring, and like Pooh, the honey jar is never too far away.