While my cousins in the Midwest are still erecting snowmen, spring has crept up our front walk and is knocking on our door. I truly wish there was a creative way to recycle the little squiggles that fall from the oak trees coating our world in a greenish-yellow hue. They are softer than down and would be great as a fill for pillows. However, if the pillows were in my home, my husband and a couple of my children would cease to be able to breathe. I guess I’ll sweep them off the porch as I do this time each year and then do a rain dance to coax the rain to cleanse us of this  greenish-yellow blanket.  

Life goes on, even through Mother Nature’s oak pollen attacks. So, I waded my way through the squiggles to pick up some groceries. The cashier rang up my skim milk and then proceeded to explain that while he was sure it was the better choice nutritionally, he just couldn’t stomach what he called white water. I explained that it was fat free and full of calcium. He agreed, and then said he couldn’t understand how anyone could drink such a watered down version of milk.

I smiled and asked for paper bags after he began packing things in plastic. The smile was overshadowed by my icy stare. Next, I really threw him for a loop by paying with cash. As I pulled two 20s out of my wallet, he was so nervous as the recipient of my “don’t mess with a 40+ woman and her skim milk” stare that he asked, “Debit or credit?”

I replied, “This is cash. You do take cash from skim milk drinkers, right?”

Clearly the interpersonal filter in my brain must have been clogged. It must be all that oak pollen debris.

Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, daughter & writer is the author of Thurston T. Turtle children's books.  
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