Cuttings

The Raspberry-Life Question

ILLUSTRATION BY LINDA COOK DEVONA

My favorite member of my husband’s family was his grand-mother, Marjorie Faerber. She was an adorable petite grandmother type with short curly gray hair and the spunk of an 18-year-old. She had a backyard of red raspberry bushes that she meticulously cared for and the entire family cherished.

One day Grandma got it into her head that I should continue her raspberry tradition. So we gathered shovels, gloves, and buckets and set to work. I became a raspberry afficionado in no time.

I grow my raspberries in a square about as wide as my reach. I pick around the square. When I complete the square I’m done.

Grandma’s patch was almost like a maze. You started around the outside and wove your way in, picking until you reached its end. Then you turned and picked your way back out the other side.

My own father’s raspberries grew in a long single row that he kept in strict order. You picked down one side and up the other.

I recently realized that, for each of us, our raspberry patch has been a reflection of our outlook on life. My father lives life on the straight and narrow, and that is his approach to growing raspberries. Grandma approached her patch with an open mind and allowed her raspberries to meander. That was the way she lived, dealing with obstacles as they came. Me, I don’t take many chances. I stay pretty much close to home and enjoy what is within easy reach.

Which method is best? Who’s to say? They all seem to work.

—By Wilma Faerber of David, IL.


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