What do you do when things get thorny? Pick berries!

Sometimes we run into events that seem impossible to control. How we work around surprises or thorny situations depends on how we see the event.

The first year after we bought our house was full of wonderful surprises in the yard. We moved in during early spring when the cold-weather plants were finished and the spring plants hadn’t quite come in yet.

The azaleas in the backyard bloomed a gorgeous wall of bright pink. The giant crepe myrtles bloomed late with lavender flowers. A large bed full of gladiolas sprang up in an array of color. The two roses bushes showed the most gorgeous, deep red. (Those roses aren’t the thorns I’m talking about. I’ll get to those in a second.)

More than 17 years later, we still enjoy the lavender crepe myrtles every summer. But all the other surprises have gone away–plants that died because they were old when we moved in or ones that we pulled up to do something else. Sometimes I miss the gladiolas.

There is one more surprise that our yard yielded that I haven’t managed to kill (I’ve only recently acquired a greenish thumb). The thorny vines that will not be extricated from my front flower beds no matter how hard I try.


They must have some seriously strong roots because bush herbicide that also kills poison ivy didn’t work. (That was before I went organic a few years ago. Don’t judge me.)

The most I can hope for is to dig up the new plants, down to the roots. The worst are the sharp thorns that can poke through my toughest leather gloves. And yet…

It lives!

What happens when a few of the brambles get ahead of me? This:

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The thorny vines snake through the bushes. And the thorns get sharper, making them even more difficult to pull. That’s where digging for the roots is so important–no thorns!

Get to the root of the problem to put an end to it. That’s the same with problems we face every day, whether it’s over commitment (I’m guilty!) or something more serious.

But sometimes we face problems that also make us better. I find more personal growth when I’ve overcome some difficulty or committed to my over commitment, and, yes, I have wonderful support. And we can look at the problem and see that growth without regret for whatever it was, because now we’re better and stronger (even if we’re not the Six Million Dollar Man).

The vines might have gotten ahead of me this year, but I’ve found a benefit.


Yes, this:

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And this:

Diana Beebe's Blog, Diana Beebe, science fiction, middle grade fantasy, fantasy

The moral of the story is that sometimes thorns scratch your skin and look terrible in the yard, but there’s a reward for the battle:

Blackberries in Greek yogurt!

Whether we’re talking about life or a handful of yummies.

Share your thoughts. Enjoy your day. See you next time. 🙂

9 comments on… “What do you do when things get thorny? Pick berries!”

  1. Dawson

    BlackBerries are a favorite at our house. If they are that hard to kill, I might be able to actually keep them alive. Yum!

    • Diana Beebe

      Yes, you could keep them alive. They will also take over the world your yard. I’ve heard some people keep them in big containers so the roots don’t spread.

    • No no no. I didn’t hit COMMENT. I hit reply. So, On I go. So sorry.

      I’d copied and pasted your sentence above [… don’t judge me] because it made me laugh. I HAD! I’d thought, “herbicide! how could she!” GUILTY. So very glad you saw right through me.

      I love this post, Diana. I too have blackberries running amok over my acres. We moved here to Vermont six years ago because we simply fell in love with the land and wanted to care for it. I had never met a blackberry before. Black raspberries, yes. Blackberries, no. Now I even know the difference.

      I haven’t tried to kill them, but I have tried to control them. Also a lesson in futility. I hacked through a vast bog of them one year, making curvy paths, covered in cardboard and old duck bedding, imaging the bountiful supply I’d read the following year. It was very attractive. But the following year I couldn’t even find the paths; they were again covered in brambly vines. So now i just get out there in early August and pick to my hearts content. So far, however, NONE have made it into the house. Perhaps this is the year.

      • Diana Beebe

        Janet, thank you for not judging me for long! LOL. It is an exercise in futility. I’m so glad someone else understands that. How nice to have a huge, if uncontrollable, patch of blackberries! I would love that. At least, they aren’t growing in your front yard.

  2. What a great post. I needed to read that today. And I love blackberries in yogurt. One of my favorites!

    BTW, I love your new photo! It’s gorgeous!

    • Diana Beebe

      Thank you, Joni! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. 🙂

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