From the moment my family and I moved into our home, a converted stable in the rocky hills of New Canaan, we fell in love with piecing together its’ special story. One of our favorite charms was the single apple tree left over from the apple orchard that once sat on the property. When the kids and I first settled in, this majestic tree was in terrible shape. After a few years of hard work, we were able to restore it to what it once was. And we learned a few things along the way.
1. Good things take time, of course
The process wasn’t easy. It took years and a bit of elbow grease to produce anything worth taking a bite out of. Like any journey of change, we first had to remove the unsalvageable elements to make space for new growth. Winters were spent pruning and prepping, until the third spring when the healthy shoots finally showed us the money. The first round of fruit was unimpressive, but we couldn't be more proud of those tiny sour apples.
2. Apples from your own tree taste better than anyone else's
By the next season our tree was blossoming, providing plenty of apples and plenty of reasons to smile and spend time together. This was a steady theme throughout our entire home-renovation process. The massive efforts it took to convert that charming old barn into our home-base, felt infinitely sweeter once we pulled it off because we were reaching our goals as a team.
3. Sometimes you have to laugh
The winter of 2017/2018, infamous for several late-season Nor'easters, provided our farmhouse property with an array of discouraging challenges. Perhaps the most disappointing was the toll the snow took on our little apple tree. The snow was too much weight for tree's newly healthy limbs to support, and it toppled over under the pressure. Once the smoke clears, we will figure out how to treat this project, but for now, it's much more fun to focus on the good times our little tree offered us. Some stories don't end the way we think they will, and some stories aren't really finished at all.
4. It's not about where, but whom.
Our daily reminder of the property's original apple orchard brought plenty of opportunity to make fresh, forever memories. Backyard weddings at the barn wouldn't be complete without a vintage chandelier hanging from the branches. From a mother's pride in watching her children reap the benefits of their own hard work, to the smiles on friends' faces as we finally make time to sit back and catch up over a couple of juicy apples, the moments we shared under the shade of our apple tree, will stick with us forever.