Mud Season


It’s been almost a month since I left you, descending into the darkness south of Christchurch. In a way, not a lot has happened since then: I kicked around the South Island for a week, then plunged back into “the world out there,” managing a less-tumultuous re-entry than usual. Devon et al and I seem to be getting better at these transitions. Spent a couple of weeks trying to kick the McMurdo lung crud I picked up on the way home and started spinning back up to speed on all those other projects that I’d relegated to the back burner.

Foremost on that back burner (like, “middle burner,” maybe?) is the farm. A lot of things in my life – the research vessel software, the damned novel – don’t mind if you toss them in the fridge for a while. You can put them down and pick them back up whenever you’ve got time. Others – my patient spouse, my devoted children, my friends – are willing, with sufficient negotiation, to work around my capricious distractions and cut me a little slack when I need to go dark for a bit. But things like the farm? Well, the earth may abide, but it’s gonna abide on its own schedule, and no amount of pleading is going to get planting seasons to wait a month or two until you’re ready for them.

The short story is that, if we’re going to get a start on the orchard this year, “now” is about when we’ve got to do it. So I’m back up in Port Townsend to get started on that. And, I’ll admit, to catch up on just tromping around on this lovely bit of land.

To be fair, Logan, Lacey, Shay and a bunch of amazing young farmers are the ones who will really be doing the bulk of the work, and I’m probably going to end up spending most of my time frobbing about making sure that everybody has hot coffee and pie and the right gloves and whatever else they need.

But to demonstrate that I actually have done a thing, here’s a picture of the spigot pipe that had split from the freeze and that I repaired *without even breaking anything else*! Yes, I’m proud of myself, inordinately proud, I tell you. Oh, and I created a website for the farm, too:


Damn, I do love being up here. Yeah, it’s cold and dark and pouring rain and everything’s shin deep in mud ruts, but it still takes my breath away to stroll down the lane and just take in the beauty of this place.

And for as new as we are here, it feels like we’ve already been embraced by the town: three hours after arriving and getting a text from Tom (“You in town yet? Birthday party for Anna at Ft. Worden”) I found myself out on the beach in the darkness, swapping how-you-been tales with old friends around the fire as the lights of Whidbey Island shimmered out across the surf.

Okay – now back to work.


One response to “Mud Season

  1. Hi David. Well glad to see you are back safe and sound from your adventures to the deep South. Yes. You are absolutely right. The beauty of this land up here is hard to describe in mere words. Sometimes, the intense beauty of the mountains and the sea just takes my breath away. By the way, anytime you want me to drop over, let me know. I am only 2 and half hours away by car.

    Right now though I am heading to Las Vegas for a visit with my 96 year old mom who is just doing fine thank you (she is still driving and hiking!).

    Keep me posted next time you come up.



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