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Think First, Destroy Only If Absolutely Necessary


Ever planted 125 strawberries over the space of two days? I did, last week. And oh, that does not include the twenty-five that I had to plant in our son’s strawberry tower. And that is on top of planting nine fruit trees, seventeen berry bushes, five raspberry canes, two kiwi vines, and ten asparagus crowns the day previous.

Are you exhausted yet? I was – and sore, too – but I’m feeling much better now, thank you for asking. 😉

Things are not always what they seem

Some of you have come on board this blog since last August when we had a miserably hot drought and I subsequently wrote the “My Fried Garden” post. I ended up ripping out my strawberry patch as I decided to start fresh this year. Why? I got tired of watering it by hand. It seemed that every day, I saw more dead, dried leaves, and I thought all my strawberry plants were dying despite my heroic efforts.

And I was so sick of watering the garden! So I solved the problem in the most extreme way, saving about 100 of the healthiest-looking plants (about half of which survived) and ripping the rest out of the ground.

About a month later, I began to find survivors in the large, bare plot in my garden. Baby suckers that had come off the mother plants.


I had destroyed my strawberry patch for nothing. Although the heat was drying up the leaves, making the patch look terrible, the roots below were still viable. I could have had hundreds of strawberry flowers by now.

The power of patience

What took many days, weeks, months, years, even decades to build can be destroyed in a few minutes’ work with a wrecking ball. Or a pair of discouraged, stressed-out (would I have done it had we not been in the middle of building a house?) hands.

That’s the scary thing about building. Building a house, building a cathedral, building a friendship, building a business, building a career, building a family. Any of them can be destroyed in a fraction of the time it took to build them.

Like the song says, “build it anyway.”

But, what if you’re like me and you already destroyed something without thinking, something that you now regret having destroyed?

Start over.

Yes, it will take time, energy, and perhaps money. It will be painful, because you will be full of regrets and kicking yourself for allowing yourself to act so rashly during a period of discouragement. You will be acutely aware of how far behind you are, compared to where you might have been had you not destroyed in the first place.

But you will also work on the project with a heap more wisdom than you had before. You will realize that while the surface of a thing might not look so good, chances are, the roots are still viable and therefore salvageable.

So you will be much slower to destroy the second time around. You will think. You will pray for patience. You will know that feeling so discouraged today that you wish the world would disappear, does not mean that you will feel that way tomorrow.

You will know that the second build is worth it.

125 plants in the ground

For three days, my thighs ached and my feet were sore. One of those days, my old lower back pain came back to haunt me.

If anyone shows me a strawberry crown anytime within the next few months, I will run away from them screaming!

I will not have nearly as many strawberries this year as I would have, had I kept my old strawberry patch.

But all the time, work, pain, and money spent for new plants has been worth it.

And I won’t be making a mistake like that again, any time soon.

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