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Despite this we stay for February 24, 2011

by Carol Dunn
Note: Due to the graphic nature of this article, reader discretion is advised.
HUERFANO- If there is one thing that you become aware of almost immediately after moving to Huerfano County, it is snot. If you previously lived in a humid climate, you may have been slightly inconvenienced by a booger now and then. In Huerfano, boogers are a way of life. It’s the dry air. It dries out the snot into boogers as hard as obsidian. Oh, I know, there are some among us who will claim they have never had a booger in their life and don’t intend to start now. Well, good luck with that.
If you are fortunate, you will only have a perpetually runny nose. Your sinuses are fighting back; don’t try to stop them. Snot is like your nose’s maintenance crew, carrying away dirt, molds and bad yukky stuff you don’t want to know about out of your head. The alternative to a runny nose is quite often a sinus infection. If you’ve never had one of these, it’s like having your sinuses filled with concrete and then having an elephant stand on your head – for two weeks straight. Sinus infections make for some pretty spectacular snot.
Most little kids have snotty noses once in a while. They deal with it much better than adults. Adults will pull out a handkerchief or a tissue and try to blow their nose while not attracting too much attention. Little kids skip the tissue. They usually just swipe at their nose with their coat sleeve, which effectively paints the entire side of their face with the booger. Or they will stick out their tongue and swipe it away. Easy as pie – snot gone.
Babies aren’t as lucky. They can’t do anything about snot, so their parents have to use a miniature turkey baster to suck the snot out of their nostrils. Babies HATE this, but not as much as the parents, who then need to figure out what to do with a miniature turkey baster full of snot – while they are trying to hold down their recent breakfast of yogurt and kiwi fruit.
We have seasonal snot problems around here. The wind in the summer kicks up dust that causes runny noses and not-so-repulsive snot. It becomes more viscous, and yes a little more repulsive, in the winter. And when the temperature goes below zero, the snot in your nose will actually freeze. You can feel it crystallizing within minutes of going outside. And for the first time since you lived here, you think, “Hey, I don’t have a runny nose!” This changes of course when you come back into the house, at which point it’s a nasal spring thaw.
Like it or hate it, snot is our friend. Most of us deal with it pretty well. And if things get really really bad, there’s always the turkey baster.