Monday, March 7, 2011

Twelve Truths...

(...about life and greenhouses).
When the customer service guy tells you that it will take two adults two weekends to build the 12 x 20 greenhouse you just ordered...multiply his estimate by 10. Remember, his job is to sell you an expensive pile of metal, screws, and plexiglass. He doesn't care if it takes you two years to build the thing while your tomato babies languish in the basement, begging for natural light.
If your husband or significant other decides to take vacation to finish a large outdoor project (like a greenhouse), Murphy and his law will make certain it rains.

Lowe's will become your second home. Cashiers will know you intimately.

You will spend your children's college funds at Lowe's, buying all the parts that didn't come with the all inclusive greenhouse kit. (But that's OK. You're building a business that the kids can inherit, so who needs college...right?)
Backing down a steep driveway in a borrowed truck filled with lumber is a quick way to unload.

When you build or garden in a forest, you will find many, many rocks...and roots. And roots wrapped around rocks. You will feel like a pioneer woman, conquering the wilderness. And then your wimpy suburban self will ask your husband to help you move the rocks, which really means that you'll watch him while he moves the rocks.

If you need a 2”x 10” x 12' board...the actual measurements are 1.75" x 9.75" x 12'. Who knew? And why?

If you drop a 1.75" x 9.75” x 12' board on your finger, you may find yourself crying in Lowe's.

While the greenhouse goes up—life continues. You will run to craft stores, farms, and school because your fourth grade child created an Egg Dispenser for Invention Convention. While she came up with the idea, you have to gather supplies, take her to test it, and force her to sit in a chair long enough to finish the project the night before it is due. And then you will take her to the Humane Society, where she will pick up supplies for a service project. There will be a dozen cat condos cluttering the living room, as well as cat blankets and dog toys that she made. Add to this the piles of papers that arrive home from kindergarten every day, plus the general mess that accumulates while you obsess with greenhouse construction, and soon you will qualify to star in an episode of "Hoarders."

Your cat will want to help.
Your heart will hurt for your inventor daughter, who won an award at school—and had high hopes to win at the Invention Convention. And your heart will be proud of her while she cheers for her friends who won instead. 

Daffodils are lush, forsythia is blooming, cherry trees are popping, and you remember—in the midst of the insanity of building a greenhouse, running a business, and caring for your family—why you love spring. And you remember why you started the business. And you're thankful—even with greenhouse traumas and sore muscles and panic attacks when the business' website server goes down—how lucky you are to do what you love.

XO ~



  1. I would love to have a greenhouse. Thanks for the honesty about building it! Very nicely written. Hope it does great for you.

  2. I enjoyed your post...I can relate to the length of time to build a greenhouse. My boyfriend started out 6 months is his own design and everything has to be perfect! I amy miss this spring planting season but I shoud be ready to go for next year!
    Enjoy yours!

  3. This post made me giggle! Think I'll pass on the greenhouse construction!

  4. Bless your heart! I would love a greenhouse on the farm but now I'm scared. Especially since my husband travels and is rarely home. And I am NOT 10 people!