Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Sleeping Beauty's House? No, but Grandpa's blackberries. Summer 2016

Grandpa's blackberries have blockaded the house
When he was in his eighties, one evening on the beach at the cabin in Idaho, Grandpa told me the story of his life. This was a spontaneous event, I didn't have a tape recorder. And I wasn't smart enough to think of going inside afterwards and writing down everything I could remember.

But I was listening very carefully, and I remember some of it.

One of the stories he told, as a joke upon himself, was that he had planted some blackberries when he was a young man. Way down at the edge of the property, near the road. (Sold long ago). I haven't told this story locally, because I didn't want the neighbors to blame him.

These blackberries are called Himalayan. Definitely not native; they have taken over large areas of the West coast. (If they were native, there would be a natural control on them.) When I came here in 1981, they had at least 3 of the remaining 7 acres. And now they've surrounded his house. I and a friend have finally started cutting and digging them, a couple of hours a week.

So in his story, everybody told him not to plant the blackberries. And he told them he was young and strong, and he could "grub them out".

And now I'm not young and strong anymore, but I get to try to get them under control...

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