5/26/03 Columbia County, NY As

5/26/03 Columbia County, NY

As afar as birthday celebrations go, it’s going to be hard to compare to last year, when I dragged half my known universe up here to the Berkshires for a fabulous festival of red meat and basketball, but some years require a bit more solace than others. Besides, I don’t think one of my friends could have come this year: Chip just shot his NYC wad on a bachelor party, Scott has a huge CPA test, Salem is in Ohio, Dana & Lindsay are in North Cackalackie, even my own brother is in a play this weekend.

Besides, if you do any kind of meteorological research, you will find that wherever I am for my birthday, it is guaranteed to piss down rain. I think it has been ten years in a row, and that includes an early hurricane in 1995. Today it was twenty-three degrees below normal with a steady downpour all day long. If I’d had friends here this year, it would have just pissed me off.

As it is, we had a shitload of gardening to do before we leave for a few days – Tessa was hell-bent on getting all the annuals in the ground so that they are in full bloom for our wedding in ten weeks. If you’re coming to our wedding, be sure and tell Tessa how nice the flowers are, because she and Michelle slogged in the freezing mud for five hours today.

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As for me, I had to plant my vegetable garden, but after an hour of being caked in wet cow shit and my fingers numb with cold, I decided that This Was Not How I Wanted to Spend My Birthday. I threw in the towel, postponed the planting until next week, and my sister, fiance and I went to Great Barrington to eat salmon and watch A Mighty Wind. A good, subdued time was had by all, and even when Tessa was upset that I might not “have had a good birthday,” I quietly reminded her that any birthday with her in my life outpaces those of Big Wheels, Millennium Falcons and any festival of red meat and basketball.

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