When I moved to San Antonio waaaaay back in 2001 (hard to believe I've stayed in one city this long), Oak and I got along just fine. Yep, Oak as in the tree, with pretty leaves that change colors, and the guy that develops dangling caterpillar thingys every Spring. And, for many years, we continued in our happy, uncomplicated relationship.
But, like some of my other relationships, things started going bad after four or so years. I can't remember when the relationship started falling apart, but one year, during Wednesday night Zoo Run (which begin in April) in Brackenridge Park (home of Oak), I began having uncontrollable sneezing episodes - it was just the beginning.
Soon, I was hitting the drugs. First, the ones that are actually on the shelves and apparently cannot be cooked up in a trailer to make meth. And, for awhile, Oak and I got along again. But, then Oak hurt me so bad that my eyes were permanently bloodshot and scratchy from February - May. So, I hit the hard drugs - the ones you have to buy one package at a time from the pharmacist, signing that you are not a meth dealer. And, even though the medications dry me out and make me a little whacky, Oak and I made it work.
But, in the past two weeks, we've hit some record levels of pollen counts, and I am now seeking a hitman to kill Oak - which will be a big job, since, in San Antonio, there's Stone Oak, Oak Hills, Rolling Oaks, Oak Ridge, Oak Creek - you name it. Luckily, I live in a neighborhood of pecan trees, but I know all that Oak is surrounding me, dumping those caterpillar thingys that cling to my eyeballs and sinuses. So, like any bad break up, I'm trying to just pretend Oak doesn't exist or affect me - but anyone who sees me crying knows the truth - I'm not getting over Oak. Until May.
So, just to prove that I don't care about Oak, I ran Donovan's St. Patrick's Day 5K on March 16, with Oak on my back - and it was pretty bad. I pretty much felt every footfall in my head and snotted my way toward the finish. Not very pretty, but I'm pretty sure a cold beer always helps me forget that dang Oak. (See how I lulled you into thinking anything hereafter will be 'pretty?')
Thanks to Scottydog, IAAP, Ceci, and Bertha for the pics!