22 May, 2008

Blackberry Memories

As I've wondered once again about the "circle" of life, of the home-goings of another of our family patriarchs (just within this past week) and thinking of my own aging parents and in-laws, I've also pondered the mighty blackberry. What do the two have in common? The life cycle, God, Heaven, and Childhood memories (just to name a few things).

The harvest is abundant this year, and I have had a flash or two of picking berries as a youngster in Oklahoma, or as a teenager in Missouri. I also remember picking them at my inlaws home each spring when our oldest was very young.

We, like everyone, have felt the choking hand of inflation as the prices of goods and products keep soaring whilst paychecks everywhere are being scrutinized or frozen so that companies, employers, and in our case, schools can "cut back" in the name of being practical with their almighty dollar. I can wish all day long that society would reward good teachers and let them know how much we appreciate and *value* what they do. NO we can't do that...instead (and I can't believe that I have joined the ranks of those who always say this) corporate executives make insane amounts of money, hiding some of it in "legitimate" or not-so-legit investments, while the regular office workers barely get by. Something is terribly wrong with that picture.

Most of the time, I like to focus on the better things; the positive things. But just how far can I stretch our dollars? We, now as much as ever, have to trust God's economy. He stretched loaves and fishes to feed over 5000, remember? It is far better that I rely on the Lord and see how He will surprise us. Trusting in His provision for us is not only faith building but exciting. He does not fail! This time his provision has come in the form of blackberries, which I showed you in my previous post. They are little miracles of flavor in a brier patch. It takes a little work to obtain them, I even got stung by a wasp today as I took more friends to the park to pick them, but they are so worth it. AND better that I got stung than the children who were along for our nature walk and field trip.

In honor of all our friends who are interested in knowing what to do with the blackberries that they're picking, I found a well-written article on Blackberries and Dewberries, complete with recipes. Let me know if you try any of these, and if the dish(es) turn out great or not.

I'll do the same. Right now, I'm just freezing them as I go, with the hopes of making some jam to save for a rainy day, when I am needing some Texas sunshine in a jar.

As for gas prices, I'm thinking that a Vespa would be great for those quick little trips to the grocery store for milk and cheese.



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