The day before our granddaughter was to visit, I was outside gathering the large thorny bougainvillea branches that I had cut down a few days earlier.

In order to make them fit in the trashcan, I had to use a commercial size branch cutter to cut them down to size so that they would be ready for trash pick-up day.

I talked my wife into being outside with me and she worked to regret that day.

She started helping me pick up a few of the branches as I cut them down to manageable size to place them in the trashcan. Before you know it, 90 minutes had passed by.

Talk about feeling whatever age we are supposed to be at this writing. Hello muscles.

As daunting as that task was, like anything that one endeavors, there is a start and there is a finish. To all good and bad things there is an end.

We completed the bigger-than-thou chore and we were both looking for the exit door.

Actually, the end was very satisfying due to the fact that the basketball hoop was thorn-free. The fine looking pine evergreen is now safe from harm, too. This tree will have Christmas ornaments and lights in December.

Now Cadence is here and she wants to enjoy the swing now that the dry thorny branches are in the trash bin. But wait. "Grandpa, I can't use the swing. There is dirt there and I'll get my shoes dirty," she said.

I had the best answer, or so I thought. "Just take your shoes off, Sweetie."

Her response as she gently giggled and laughed sweetly was: "Grandpa, I can't take my shoes off here."

Since grandpa is supposed to provide solutions, I couldn't stand by and let my granddaughter's shoes get dirty. I remembered there was a 3-by-6 foot outside carpet in the back entry to the house that seemed like it would do the job just right.

I brought it and placed it under the swing area and my granddaughter said: "That's good. Thank you Grandpa."

Honestly, as simple as that task was, it was priceless.

Now my 4-year-old granddaughters and 5-year-old godson can use the swing without any danger of those pesky overgrown bougainvillea thorns. The bougainvillea has been replanted near the corner of the yard away from harm's way for the children.

The rain that Hurricane Dolly brought was good for the bougainvillea, because the leaves are not sad looking anymore and it will survive to be the fittest thorny plant in that corner of the yard.

My oldest granddaughter and only grandson will have easy access to the basketball hoop without fear of deflating the basketball with the huge thorns from the bougainvillea. All is well that ends well.

Grandpa will again be able to enjoy playing basketball while grandma will be able to enjoy the beauty of the gorgeous bougainvillea flowers by next bloom without worry of those thorns doing any harm.

Joe-Santos Medina is a resident of Robstown. Readers may contact him via email at