Friday, May 7

Blackberry Bliss

It is that time of year; when young hands and faces are stained with purple sticky juice and mothers are pulling huge blackberry thorns out of little finger tips with their teeth. Yes, it is Blackberry Season here in Texas.

Once we got rid of our cows
 (the bull had a death wish toward my husband and we decided growing hay was easier and safer than growing cows) the unintended consequence was horribly overgrown fence-lines. But the blackberry bushes are now thriving and we have sweet organic blackberries stretching for what seems like miles. Yes, organic is easy when you are growing thorny weeds. :-)

So today was our first venture this year to the back pasture to pick berries. Visions of cobbler, homemade jam, and fresh berries and cream danced through our heads while we were standing in the hot afternoon sun getting stabbed by thorns and praying that we wouldn't get bit by snakes or spiders. I told the kids to put two berries in their buckets for every one they ate. I now know my kids can't count...

Imp was saying over and over again "I LOVE blackberry picking" and Duke replied "I love blackberry eating"! Honestly, times like this define my life. It was a beautiful day, we were out in a sunny green field, the boys were laughing and drooling blackberry juice, and I wasn't worried about working on the computer, cleaning, or editing photos. I was living in the moment, something this often stressed-out overworked mom needed.

We picked for about two hours and I have 5 pounds of berries in my freezer and the boys have 5 pounds of berries in their tummies. We have bug bites, small scratches all over our arms and legs, poisen ivy juice all over our exposed areas, and the shared joy of picking our own fresh food and spending time together.

When we walked back to the house we had a little berry picnic.  I know we ate quite a few bugs (they are quite bitter), had a few fire ants stings (they love the berries as much as we do), dropped many of our berries on the ground (the chickens jumped our back fence and were following the boys around like hungry dogs), and put butterfly nets on our heads (this one I don't get, but it was Imp's idea and we went with it).

Duke picked a few "past their prime" blackberries and named them "Blackberry Prunes".  He said he wanted to make some Blackberry Prune Pie.  Nothing in life is as funny as your own kids. 

Life does not get better than this my friends.  I know it is trite, but the best things and times in life are usually free. And messy. 

Today the stock market dropped almost 1000 points in a few minutes, we saw all of the damage and destruction from flooding in TN, there was a possible bomb threat on a bus, and oil is still pooling in the Gulf.  But I was picking blackberries with my boys and everything was fine. 

I know I say this all of the time, but take time to smell the flowers, enjoy your loved ones, and pick some berries.  When it all is said and done, it is those moments that really matter. 

I write this to also remind myself.  Life is rushing by faster every year; my babies are now little boys and my husband and I are decades older (and wiser) than the two young kids who met in a deli of a small town grocery store. 

I don't care about money or fame or academic achievement.  Happiness and success in life for me would be being remembered as a loving wife and mother.  Maybe that is not politically correct these days, but that is what is important to me.

Funny how something as simple as picking blackberries reminds you of the meaning of life.


  1. Beautiful! Great shots and meaningful post. I get so busy with life and even taking the pictures that I forget to enjoy.

  2. Really beautiful and meaningful post Rita. And so true. Life move so fast, we forget to savor the little pleasures.
    Loved the photos to go along with your story.
    But seriously, blackberries in May?? Here in the PNW, we get them in August!

  3. blackberry season already! in my neck of the woods, we MIGHT see them in July, but probably later. Thankfully no spiders, fire ants or poison ivy!
    congratulations on a day well spent Ü

  4. I agree wholeheartedly with you Rita. Money sure can't buy you happiness...but memories and feelings can. You are so blessed and happily bless us, making us blessed. We all really appreciate your kindness and beautiful heart. xxx

  5. The meaning of life is not found in fame, success, or fortune. I think you have found it, right there in your Texas blackberry patch. Enjoy those boys and your crazy hectic life with them now (I know it's trite, but they grow up soooooo fast!)

  6. Beautiful post :) We all need to be reminded to take life slower and enjoy each moment!

  7. Applause, Applause.....I love this post. I use to pick blackberries with my grandfather on their farm many, many years ago ~ those are some of my best memories from my childhood. It has been far too long since I thought of those days. Thanks for reminding me of them today. :)

  8. This is beautiful Rita! As a mom of 3 grown children (21-26) I understand the importance of capturing those moments! They quickly pass....But new moments come!!! One day I'll have grandbabies!!!

  9. That looks so fun...I LUV blackberries!
    Funny thing...when I read the title of this post I thought you were going to be talking about your newest piece of technology...a Blackberry phone!

  10. Loved this post, Rita! Reminds me of (way) yesteryear as a child myself in South Georgia picking blackberries every summer and enjoying their bounty in jams and jellies and blackberry cobbler all year long!

    Enjoyed it with my children from time to time (when we found them in ditches or visited Granny in Georgia), as we lived in a residential area of a big city.

    The pics are so cute!


  11. Berry picking in May? Hahahaha. I was shovelling snow yesterday, here in southern Alberta, Canada. It looks like you had more fun than I did. I look forward to saskatoon berry picking in August. Yum.

  12. Indeed a wonderful day!!! I can't wait for MN to be that far along in food production...we just are getting some green leaves on our plants....ahhhh sweet summer!!!

  13. Precious pics!

    Life moves too fast sometimes.

  14. I love his facial precious!
    I've been picking up mulberries in my back yard, hard work for my back and I get messy fingers just like your son!
    heartwarming post, Rita!

  15. We are going strawberry picking tomorrow, I can't wait!
    Great photos, great post.

  16. I loved this post! Thank you for sharing.

  17. I love this post! I am going to bookmark this exact page and when I'm having a particularly stressful moment with the kids I hope I will remember it is here, take a moment, re-read it and then go have fun instead of stress.

    Thank you.

  18. When you get to experience simple moments like this and celebrate when they happen, then you are a very rich woman indeed.

  19. I have raised my family, started a business and now living in Turkey with my husband. Reading your story truly does express what is important to every mom and family! Thank you!

  20. Thank you for the beautiful post.

    I live in a big city with no berry picking around unless I go for a long ride. So my evening, after a very stressful day at work, was putting dinosaur stickers all over my arms and legs, with the help of my little one. When we were both completely covered in stickers, we ran around the house chanting "Sticker Power!".

    It was so silly but feels so good to just have fun with no worries other than how much your sides will hurt from laughing so much.


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