Peripheral umbrella. 

From a young age my mom would have me help her fold the laundry. When it came to anything that might have a stray string sticking to it, she would have to get rid of the string before giving me the item. She did this after so many times of seeing me shriek at the string and run from the room. I had the same reactions to bunched up yarn (for example the hair of a Cabbage Patch doll).

My reaction to string and yarn has mostly calmed down, though it still happens when I’m overly surprised by the appearance of them. What has never calmed down is my reaction to evergreen trees as I pass them. 

I love nature. Time in the woods invigorates me. However if I am surprised by an evergreen tree or if I catch it in my peripheral in passing, I have an even stronger reaction than I ever have to string and yarn. 

This really complicates things at times when I haven’t had a car. Sometimes the only plausible route walking to a place involves passing one or more evergreens. Last fall I figured out something I can do. 

I was staying with a friend, and from his place to Walmart involved a stretch with pine trees on each side and after a brief respite from that a seeming wall of huge cedars that angled toward the road on one side. By this time in life I had gotten pretty good at using my hand to block my peripheral but somehow I didn’t do it right one night. I wound up falling off the sidewalk and straining my ankle. As I laid there waiting to be able to stand up, I thought I have to figure out a better workaround. 

I made it back to my friend’s place and after some thought I decided to carry an umbrella everywhere I go. So now if I see evergreen trees ahead when walking somewhere, I open my umbrella and get ready. The umbrella makes an excellent total peripheral block. It makes some drivers shout odd things at me, but they can shout all they like. My umbrella and I get along just fine.  

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