Monday, April 24, 2017
Welcome to my Monday Blog, Friends!!
Ever been Blackberry pickin’? Well, if not, you just don’t know what you’re missin’!! We had a long holiday over Easter weekend and spent several days with our daughter and her family at their farm in Houston.
Now we’ve been to the farm several times but this time was the best of the best! There’s just so much to do out there and we never seem to have enough time to take full advantage of all the “stuuuuuuf”:
Fishin’, swimmin’, Gator ridin’, Longhorn chasin’ (actually they chase us!), tree swingin, star-gazinn’, grillin’, Bad Mittin’, poole, Easter egg dyin’, sippin’ our favorite beverage as we rock back ‘n forth in the rockers out on the big ole’ front porch – mornin’, noon or night – takin’ in the awesome views of God’s Big Sky and the incredible landscape of the Farm!!
Oh, I left out Blackberry pickin’!! Have you ever been Blackberry pickin’? Well, I have and let me tell you a few things about that! The first Blackberry I ever picked was when I was about five years old. I was with my two older sisters and brother. We lived on an old farm, quite different from my daughter’s farm in Houston, however Blackberries aren’t too particular about what a farm looks like, they just grow wild all over the place, but do require Mr. Sun and a lot of it.
Growing up on a farm in the South, my siblings and I all picked Blackberries every summer in late May through June. As soon as school was out, we went to work in the Blackberry patches—That was our J O B!! I can remember my Daddy dropping us off in the fields/pastures by 10am and picking us up several hours later. It was a pretty big deal, too! We took plenty of water, picnic baskets filled with our lunch…usually PB&J, “Balogny” & cheese and some kind of fruit, Bananas, mostly. It wasn’t the lunch of champions, but we sure picked Blackberries like champions!!
Now, Blackberry pickin’ is a serious business and if one doesn’t dress properly for the occasion, one will be dreadfully sorry. First you must wear long pants…preferably jeans, as the Blackberry thicket is basically just giant areas of patches of small, red-flowered vines made up of 99.9% thorns, and are scattered all over various areas …if there’s a water line, say like a creek, stream or pond, near by, then the Blackberries will be quite plump in those areas…however with the water, then ya have the issue of snakes…did I say snakes?! Yes. Which brings me back to the wardrobe issue…Jeans, then boots w/long socks-up to your knees —for the snakes. Next, one wears a long sleeved shirt, preferably a tee shirt underneath that, to keep the Chiggers off you – you do not want Chiggers — Trust me! Plus, Chiggers are so bad they deserve a whole Blog of their own, and today is not the day. Finally, the Blackberry pickin’ wardrobe is complete when you top it off with some sort of straw hat or wide-brimmed hat to shield you from the sun.
Now for me, all that was just fine, however, the biggest problem I had was the pickin’ part. I can remember saying to my Mother how much fun it would be to pick Blackberries if it wasn’t for all those thorns in the briar patches! She reminded me of the story about Uncle Remus, Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox, which I knew very well, and I reminded her that I wasn’t like Brer Rabbit, ’cause I wasn’t born in a briar patch, I was born in a hospital! (I never made friends with the thorns in the briar patches).
That’s it. You dress properly for the occasion, pack your lunch, water and berry buckets—you’re off to the briar patches!! The one who picked the most Blackberries always got a surprise too and since I was the youngest, I was always paired up with one of the older kids, so I got a lot of surprises – I was so lucky!!
These were the fond memories I was revisiting as I sat out in the middle of the briar patches picking over two gallons of Blackberries with my son-in-law, on Easter weekend, knowing full-well we were gonna take those Blackberries back to the house and make Blackberry Pies for Easter Sunday…
“Hey, ya know this Blackberry picking would be so much more fun if it wasn’t for all these darn thorns?!!”, I yelled across the field.
“Ha…remember the story of Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox?”, he yelled back to me.
Oh…the simpler side of our gift of Life, my friends…we truly must “stop and pick the Blackberries” whenever possible. Amen!
My prayer for all of us this week is that we’ll take things a little easier, stop and notice the splendorous beauty all around us, the gifts He gives us every single day…on top of the greatest gift of all—our Gift of Life—because of Him. Let’s not only count our blessings, let’s start counting what we do for others…an understanding heart, a smile, a small gift of our time, a trip to the store for someone who is unable, whatever…but most of all BE KIND TO EACH OTHER.
God is Good!God is Great!!Always!!!
I love you,
“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” —Mark Twain