One of the joys of living here in the Mohawk Valley of upstate New York is the ever-present knowledge that my sinuses are alive and well. While taking a first-aid class long ago, my Red Cross instructor showed us data indicating that the Mohawk Valley was the number one area for sinus related discomfort and illness in the entire country. I can testify to that- I never have anything really serious, but it’s a constant annoyance almost year-round. I get a brief respite in the few weeks of actual summer we get here, and the rest of the year is a smorgasbord of drips, sniffles, sneezes, and sinus pressure. When I spend my vacations in Florida, I feel like a different person- and the year I spent living in Salt Lake City and its high-altitude dryness was sinus-free bliss. 2 1/2 hrs of raking leaves today and tonite I’m paying for it. Stuffy and sneezy. Everywhere you go this time of year, you see people coughing and snotting around. I alway begin to question WHY AM I HERE about this time every year, and that voice clamors louder and louder as winter arrives and settles in.
On another note- I’ve begun my contribution to No-Shave November. I decided to try it this year via a request from my niece- she recently saw old vids of me with my beard and went apeshit over them. I do like beards, but shaved mine several years ago when one of her classmates mistook me for her grandfather. It was quite gray then, and I’m sure this time around it’s going to be even more so. I feel more relaxed and laid-back with a beard for some reason. Not quite so uptight and “proper.” It’s a good counter-balance for my intensity and perfectionism- just letting the thing go and do its own thing. I’m sure I’m going to look quite unruly by Nov. 30, but I need the change. And maybe I’ll get a few AARP discounts thrown my way- who knows?