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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Monday, January 29, 2007


If a person is to be a grower and tender of muscadines, there is at least one important thing that should be done every dormant season. But first let me remind you about this vine, just in case you haven’t heard of them or are not from our area. A muscadine is a grape of the southern U.S., having several colors of thick-skinned musky fruit and being the origin of many grape varieties. As it turns out, there are many varieties of muscadines – I have four different types here on our place.

At one time I had 12 of these vines growing, but it seems that I enjoy blueberries more than muscadines, so 5 were removed and replaced with these more desirable and compact plants. The remaining 7 vines are on the down slope at the garage end of our house. Two varieties of these (5 of the vines) are considered non-perfect flower – they require a pollinator in order to fruit, and the other two are perfect flower – they pollinate others vines and also grow muscadines themselves.

OK, back to the one thing that needs to be done every year for the muscadine to fruit properly – they must be pruned (cut back). It seems that I have approached this subject before, but if they are not pruned, all the sap and energy of the plant goes into growth of vine and not fruit (grapes). The fact that I had been almost totally inactive for about six months because of the back problem didn’t alter the facts of the needed pruning. On Thursday past, my doctor gave me release to do light yard work and this was the first task that needed to be tackled.

With a bit of trepidation, I sallied forth with pruning shears in hand to do this needful job. Now I had been walking some outside so the legs were not too bad, but the lack of upper body activity had taken much of the strength and endurance of hands and arms – and even cut into the range of motion. My mind had the ‘want to’, but everything else in the body was in disagreement. With slow, deliberate movements, I managed to last about an hour and it was all I could do to drag myself back up the hill to the house – much to the consternation of the Spice.

This brought back to mind a memorable saying from an old Clint Eastwood movie – “A man has got to know his limitations”. Next day, I went back out with these limitations firmly in mind – didn’t stay quite as long and felt much better afterward. A couple more short sessions in addition have now been completed and it gets better each time. Seems that it takes a bit of time to regain one’s strength after a layoff like that – I’ll not be so quick to believe the mind the next time it tells me what I can and can not do. Fortunately I still have a bit of time to finish the pruning (end of Feb.) because I have only completed two and part of another of the vines – basically 5 more to finish.

This is just a reminder to me that the years will bring aging and weakness in us all – some more than others – but the weaknesses do not have to rule the soul and spirit. Even though the body might grow weak, we can still be mighty warriors in the spiritual realms for God – of course this is our choice. ec


Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Way to go! I'm impressed that you're so active already.

1/29/2007 09:13:00 PM  
Blogger Granny said...

You seem to be doing well. I think we all have a tendency to want to do more than we should. Our bodies reminds us quickly to slow down.

1/29/2007 09:17:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

AC - Thanks, it seems like a long way to go to get back and way too slow.

Granny - So true, I have been reminded several times - by my body and by the Spice! ec

1/29/2007 09:53:00 PM  
Blogger Brenda said...

I love muscadines. While living in England for 3 years as a teen I'd find myself wishing for muscadines. A glass of cold buttermilk with a piece of my grandma's warm cornbread was another wishful daydream during that time.

I'm so happy that you're doing so well after your surgery ec.

1/29/2007 09:57:00 PM  
Blogger Kila said...

Great post. I enjoyed it. Thank you.

~Kila at momto3cubs

1/29/2007 11:51:00 PM  
Blogger Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

True: one must know his or her limitations. One must also be able to push limits as far as possible. I think that’s what Paul meant by “running the good race.”

1/30/2007 12:01:00 AM  
Blogger Merle said...

Hi Mr. Eddie ~~ Glad you are gradually getting back to living and working, but do take care. We do not heal as quickly as we get older unfortunately.
Thanks for your visit, I had a lovely morning with Sherrill and a talk about
old times and old friends. Take care,
Regards, Merle.

1/30/2007 05:20:00 AM  
Blogger junierose said...


I enjoyed this post and am happy to know you're doing so well. Just don't push yourself to hard-too soon.


1/30/2007 07:44:00 AM  
Blogger Jayleigh said...

Thank you for that, MrEddie!!!

1/30/2007 06:20:00 PM  
Blogger Bonita said...

You are fortunate to have decent weather to do, it is still too cold to do any yardwork. Frost this morning.

1/30/2007 10:31:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

Brenda - I'm with you on the cornbread and buttermilk as well. I remember that my Dad used to eat that to end a meal, almost like dessert.

Kila - Thanks, I enjoyed living and writing it. :)

SSN - My back surgeon told me to let my actions be ruled by 'if it hurts, don't do it' but then go back later and push against that limit again just to see.

Merle - The slow healing is a reality, I just try to do a little more each day - walking and/or working in the yard.

Junierose - That is a constant thing to watch with me, I tend to try to do too much too quick.

Jayleigh - You are so very welcome.

Bonita - It has been pretty cold but that is just the right weather for pruning. We actually might get some freezing rain in the morning - that would be odd. ec

1/31/2007 11:23:00 PM  

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