"I dream of a day when being allergic to January is recognized by the medical community." - Farmer Dave (photo/Cindy Hadish)

“I dream of a day when being allergic to January is recognized by the medical community.” – Farmer Dave (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Ali Alldredge sent out a reminder about this Saturday’s winter farmers market in Ely: Join us inside the Ely Public Library from 9:00 a.m. until noon for food, crafts, and conversation.  The library’s (free) beginning knitting/crafting group will follow at 12:30–all are welcome.

Also, this Saturday, “Farmer Dave” Miller won’t be making his usual appearance at the Mount Vernon Farmers Market, but other vendors will be there. See the farmers market list for times and places. Farmer Dave did send along his weekly market column, this one with his insight into the dreaded January allergy:

For 47 years I thought I was a wimp when it came to winter’s cold.  I was ashamed and did not understand why I failed to enjoy the wondrous fun of winter activities like cross-country skiing for miles across flat terrain.  Or snow shoeing for miles uphill in every direction.  I’ve never understood the joy that is sweating beneath my clothes while snot hanging from my nose hairs, exposed to minus ten degrees, freezes into tiny icicles.

But it turns out I am not a wimp.  I am actually afflicted with a horrible allergy and that’s why my body is rejecting the cold and darkness in a very visceral way.  I know some people get a kick out of making fun of the weak and infirmed, and it would be easy to keep what might be an embarrassing condition hidden.  But I think it is best for my friends and family, and society in general, to bring awareness to the hardship that may affect many Iowans.  And also bring awareness to those who are not sensitive to the suffering going on all around us.  With that in mind, I have created the following diagnostic tool.

You may be allergic to January if you have experienced at least three of the following symptoms this month:

–You go outside in shorts or a bathing suit on a sunny day and instead of enjoying yourself, you feel as though you may die.
–While scraping ice off your windshield you experience an inexplicable sense of irritability.
–An interpersonal conflict with a snowman leads to a physical altercation.
–You wake up in the morning and experience a sense of darkness, as if it were still night outside.
–You find yourself wishing your electric blanket had a “broil” setting.
–Even though the thermostat reads seventy degrees, you feel a chill as if cold air were somehow magically leaking in under a door somewhere.
–While driving on icy streets, you find a sudden reduction in speed caused by a tree or telephone pole inconvenient or even upsetting.

If you were able to answer, “yes” to three or more above, then you may need to take steps to alleviate the January allergen.  There is no cure.  All you can do is cope and, unfortunately, not all of my recommendations will work in every situation.  Nonetheless, here are some actions that may help:

–Buy a mansion in the Florida Keys.  Don’t forget to move there.

–Help bake cookies at a friend’s house.  And when she isn’t looking, secretly turn her thermostat up to eighty.

–To alleviate stress, try punching a family member who is avoiding gluten but doesn’t need to.

–Inform your family of the situation.  With an explanation and clarity, they will understand why you can no longer walk the dog, take out the garbage or go to the mailbox.

–Make sure your boss knows, or she won’t understand why you have to stay in bed until noon.

–Exercise.  Exercise causes endorphins to flow and, in some cases, people high on endorphins make jackasses of themselves.  It’s fun to watch narcissists parading around, showing off their bodies.  Poking fun at an egomaniac is a great winter activity.  So take some candy to the gym and enjoy the free show.

I dream of a day when being allergic to January is recognized by the medical community.  Someday, there will be an actual diagnosis with a prescription for a two-week stay in Barbados, all paid for by our good friends in the health insurance industry.  But until that day comes, people afflicted by the January allergen will have to cope the best way we can.

And if the people in our lives truly love us, they will support us by showing us their love; perhaps making us pineapple upside down cake or those cookies with the chocolate kiss in the center—not to put too fine a point on it.  Anyway, there remain 55 days until spring.  As you might have guessed, the January allergen often lasts longer than January.  It often continues in February and even March is not unheard of.

I think I have a particularly bad case this year.  It may last until about mid-May.  Those of us fighting this condition are going to need a lot of desserts.  And if anyone says you don’t need more desserts, you stand up and say, “I am allergic to January and I am not a wimp.  And I am not ashamed to accept the love I deserve.”

Stay strong.

Farmer Dave

Note from Mickey Miller: David will not “see you at the market,” tomorrow, as he is currently en route to Ames to attend the annual Practical Farmers of Iowa conference.