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In Focus

by Trinity Gruenberg

I never had allergies until I moved to Minnesota.

Over the years I have become allergic to hay, pollen of all kinds, dust, cats and dogs (I know, ironic because I have both) among other things. I think I can add artificial Christmas trees to the list.

After Thanksgiving dinner was done and our guests had left, I drug all of the trees out of the basement and began to assemble them. One of the “new” trees was an eight foot, big bushy tree. Each branch had to be placed on the tree.

I had no idea how long this tree had been boxed up. We picked it up at a garage sale for $3. Each branch was completely flat. The day after the trees were assembled, I went back to this tree to fluff the branches. The pine needles kept poking my hand. After the first branch I has several scratches and red, swollen dots all over my hands. Mom took over the project.

I took several allergy pills, went through a roll of toilet paper for the never ending runny nose, and constant watering eyeballs for most of the day. I was miserable. The hives on my hands started to subside around dinner time.

I don’t know if that tree was extra dusty or what the deal was, but that tree was the only one I couldn’t touch.

I also inherited a smaller white tree that had a little bit of a yellow tinge in some areas. I soaked the tree in bleach water in the bathroom overnight. I can’t say I have ever bleached a Christmas tree before. It turned out alright, but we had to keep the bathroom door shut because Mocha loves bleach and kept trying to get into the tub.

Now I’m thinking that big bushy tree needs a soaking before getting stored again. I know it’s not good for metal, but oh well, it will hopefully be good for me.



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