it doesn’t like being called dwarf orchard


On Thursday morning, Tessa woke up to a surprise: she was to pack her things and get on a plane with us to New York for her birthday. Waiting to meet her were 30 people at the farm, eight of which (your humble narrator included) all have birthdays within the same 2-week period.

Any of you who know my wife will realize this wasn’t an easy task. She schedules events the way lizards lick their eyes; she needs it for moisturizing. She would plan an event for the weekend in LA, then I’d go behind the scenes and get everyone to reschedule. Within minutes ANOTHER EVENT would take its place on our shared calendar.

Finally, I got everyone to pretend a big dinner was happening, just to give me some cover – and even then, there were new plans popping up on our GCD7000 clear until Wednesday night. That all ended with this:


Lucy designed the card and I cut together the quotes, partly for the theater of it all, but partly so I could ameliorate any potential Tessa freakout by showing her the people she’d soon be seeing. But it was all good, and 24 hours later, we saw this:


entering driveway at farm

We hadn’t been at our li’l farm during this particular early May time period in 8 years. The last time was this. And though I often deal in superlatives, I don’t think our place has ever been so fecund, verdant, and spell-binding.

Just in case the bees weren’t doing their job, Marlena and Lucy took little paintbrushes to pollinate the two apple trees with one another:


Here’s the kicker… after seven years of putting up bluebird boxes, I wasn’t very hopeful. The tree swallows usually move in first, and there’s not much you can do to dissuade them. But ever hopeful, Lucy, cousin Barnaby and I marched up the hill to look inside:


…and for the first time, there sat a bluebird mom keeping her eggs warm. I admit, I was incredibly giddy, and I believe I can say It Was My Least Rock ‘N’ Roll Moment. But fuck it!


It’s really the people who make any moment, and we were joined by so many. I know I sorta canceled a lot of things Tessa had planned in Los Angeles, events like assistant-directing a short film, writing part of our book, and skating her pair routine. But I hope this little out-of-time, out-of-mind, stolen weekend – far away with some of her favorite people – was the perfect distraction. Because she’s awesome, and she deserves it.


I really hope the spring proves profound and fertile to us all. I mean it.


peach blossoms from my dwarf orchard


7 thoughts on “it doesn’t like being called dwarf orchard

  1. jersey

    Hopefully news has not yet reached NY that Andrew Wiggins selected Kansas over North Carolina. There is no God.

  2. CM

    Wow, beautiful photos, beautiful surprise. Thanks for sharing it with your humble readers. Happy birthday to all!

  3. Claire

    marry me in your next life, or at least have a chat with my current husband! What a great thing to do for her and all of you!


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