As much as I love fall in Austin, there’s still one part I never look forward to: the ragweed/fall elm gauntlet that gets me every year. Just as the weather turns nice and I’m ready to get outside and enjoy it a little, the autumn allergies have me running for the indoors. Some years it’s not so bad, but this year has seen especially high counts. According to the Statesman, yesterday’s count was the highest it’s been since they started keeping records in 1997.

It was back in the late ‘90’s that the Austin allergies finally got me. They get most everyone eventually, but for most people it’s the December/January cedar that gets their noses running and their eyes itching. I typically don’t feel the cedar unless it’s especially high. Still, live here long enough and you’ll develop allergies to something.

I visited an allergist about 10 years ago and got the full battery of tests. I asked, “What would be the most effective thing for me to do?”

He pulled down a map and pointed to Alaska. “Move,” he said. “Your allergies won’t give you problems in Alaska or…” He considered it a moment and then pointed to Florida. “Key West.”

I’m still in Austin, obviously. It’s only a month. Mid-September to late October and then just as fall really hits, my nose will clear, my eyes will dry and all will be good. I can’t win these battles with Mother Nature and so I just hibernate, limiting my outdoor time to short walks with the pups. And, of course, ACL Fest for which I will pay a hefty price next weekend when the ragweed gods will claim their pound of snot.