This has been the worst summer for my allergies that I can remember. I’ve huffed my inhaler so much it’s nearly out and I still have three weeks to go to get a new one. The insurance company thinks one per month is plenty. 

That’s my fault for waiting until my last one was empty to get the script refilled. That won’t happen again. 

It’s been a rough summer with my allergies and asthma, but I recently took it to new heights (or depths, maybe) with a few bad moves on my part. 

The campground, in general, is my enemy. Too much nature out there for me — grass, trees, leaves, flowers — all allergy and asthma catalysts. Add to that the smell-pretty stuff they put in all the outhouses, and trying to outrun the smoke from campfires, and I just can’t breathe. 

That’s a normal weekend at our home away from home. I managed to one-up that with cornhole beanbags. I started making a new set for the kids last year out of old jeans. I cut out the squares and sewed around the edges, leaving about an inch open. 

I flipped them right-side out, filled them with beans (I couldn’t find any field corn) and sewed up the holes. Ta-dah! Until we used them once last summer. The fact that I don’t have a sewing machine was a disadvantage. My hand-sewing skills, learned when I was in junior high, would have been fine if I was making something to wear. 

But for beanbags that are getting constantly pounded on wooden boards, my stitches didn’t hold up. So I threw the beanbags in a bag to be fixed at a later time, which came a few weeks ago. 

I put them in the Jeep on the off-chance I’d have some time on my hands at the camper to start fixing them. Of course, I didn’t. So I left them in the Jeep for the following weekend. Yeah, not so much. 

The beanbags rode around with me in the Jeep for two whole weeks before I got around to messing with them. They were covered with mold. Did I pitch them right then? Of course not. 

I pawed through each and every one to see if any were salvageable. They’re not. And that’s when my asthma really kicked in. 

And little did I know that was just the beginning. We got home from the camper to discover our coffee table was missing. Not robbed, just traded. Sort of. 

The kids moved to a new house and now have the end tables that match our coffee table. So they piled their coffee table and end table on our back porch, along with a couple of dressers, a writing desk, a kitchen table and two chairs and a random microwave. And took our coffee table.

Of course, the tables we needed were way buried. We dug through a lot of dirt and cobwebs to get them out. We put the chairs out for the trash and watched as two women hauled them away about an hour later. I love recycling. 

We decided to keep the kitchen table. I think my parents got it when I was in the third grade. That’s as far back as I remember it being in their kitchen. 

It’s going to make an awesome puzzle table, replacing our old card table that only has three legs. It think it stood in our living room out of force of habit.

I think Grandma got it right after her divorce in the ’50s. What makes the new-to-us table so cool (besides the fourth leg) is it’s longer than the card table. We’ll be able to do 1,000-piece puzzles without trashing up the table in the kitchen for weeks at a time. 

But a longer table meant we had to move the couch down a foot or so, along with all the junk next to it — the stereo, end table, our Beagle Boy Cletus’ toy box, the bar stools and the stand for the speaker that got hung up at the ceiling a couple of years ago.

And why am I still dusting that empty stand every week? Yeah well, not anymore. It’s on the back porch. The couch move prompted a lot of dust bunny hunting and vacuuming, further exacerbating my asthma and allergies. Great. 

I woke up Monday morning and my eyes were swollen shut. They burned so bad I couldn’t keep them open long enough to brush my teeth, let alone drive myself to work. And what good would getting a ride have done, I still have to see to type. 

So that was my second full day off sick in the past five years. I tried soothing my eyes with a damp washcloth and frequent squirts of eyedrops. Mostly I just kept them closed and laid on the couch listening to whatever show Dave had on TV. 

And when I did open my eyes, the first thing I saw was all the cobwebs hanging from the ceiling. That’s going to have to wait for another day. And may I just add that whoever decided a textured ceiling was the way to go should be slapped. 

Copyright 2017 Laura Nethken