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The Legend and the Greenhouse

I might have told you before that I am the middle son of a middle son. That doesn't have anything to do with the story, I just like saying it. It sounds a little like a Jimmy Buffet song, and I do like Jimmy Buffet, but not enough to have been to a concert.

My grandfather was a farmer, my father was born on a farm. A few family tragedies and dad moved from the farm to a career in construction. Dad had a pretty good career in construction, but I believe he always missed the farm. If that theory is correct, he might have passed his desire to farm to me. We will get to that in a minute.

My grandfather was born in the Volga River region of Russia, which is now Ukraine. If my grandfather had not moved to the United States, I would have never met Elaine, there would never have been Your Daily Fiber (the online yarn store) and I would not be telling these stories. Incidentally, Grandpa was a German living in Russia. It was that Katherine the Great thing. Get out your World Book Encyclopedia and look it up, I'm not here to educate the masses about world history. My job is to teach people to knit, spin and crochet, and as soon as learn to do those, I'm going to be really good at it.

Ok, I'm going to give you one small lesson in world history. It seems those (construction language) Russians like war and they were forcing the Germans living in Russia to fight in the war du jour. Grandpa's family (and others) dodged the draft and headed for America. OK, that's all you get. Go to your World Book Encyclopedia for more.

Grandpa settled in Southern Wyoming/Northern Colorado and started farming. Legend has it, that Grandpa purchased the first motorized tractor in this county. Again, if the legend is factual, my grandfather and my dad picked up the tractor at the train station in Johnston, Colorado and drove it to their farm in northern Colorado. The tractor traveled at three to five miles per hour. It took days to get the tractor home. How many days? Look, I teach history not math. You figure it out.

Again, as legend has it, Grandpa suffered a heart attack and died before he could use the tractor in the field.

Dad, now orphaned was passed around as a hired hand to neighboring farms, eventually joining the army. I say eventually joining the army, but actually there were several other tragedies in his life before joining the army, that I am not sharing because I do not want these highly addicting stories to become mundane and boring.

Dad started his construction career after returning from World War II. (This time fighting WITH the Russians against the Germans. Who knew? What a world!) Dad built a career operating heavy equipment, building roads, dams, and bridges. In a pre-OSHA world, Dad took my older brothers and I to work with him in the summer. We rode in all the tractors, graders and dump trucks, learning how to drive and operate them. We were kids. Dad and his employers would be in jail for letting us operate that stuff. But it gave us skills most men don't have, and pushed us towards construction.

But you know what? Dad always had a garden, a big garden. Guessing now, I think he just liked watching things grow. I think he passed that down to me. I love watching things grow.

Living in this god-forsaken area, (Don't move here. you won't like it, and I won't like you) is not conducive to gardening. Between the short-growing season and the (construction language) deer, rabbits, voles, and chickens; gardens just don't work.

Elaine and I have discussed for years that it would be great to have a greenhouse. (The neighbor is having his pre-church gunfest exactly right now. Did you hear that Putin, we're ready for you.) Sorry, the gunfire distracted me.

A few weeks ago, I was in one of those membership stores picking up some lotions and cookies. Connie! Sorry, I didn't pick up lotions, but I do have dry skin. TMI? I noticed the membership store had a display for selling greenhouses. They had a display, but no greenhouse for sale.

Yes, a display complete with a price sign but no actual greenhouses. The price on the the sign seemed incredible. I walked over to customer service to inquire about the greenhouse. I was told they sold out. I asked to buy the display.

Customer service manager: We expect to get more greenhouses, therefore I cannot sell the display.

Me: Can I get on a list to be notified when the others get here.

Manager: No, it is first come, first served. Me: When do yo expect to get them

Manager: They will arrive at our distribution center March 3rd. A few days after that. Check back then.

A few days later I noticed the display had been moved. I asked the manager why it was moved.

Manager: The greenhouses came in, we sold all nine in fifteen minutes.

Me: What about March 3rd?

Manager: Sorry

I don't know who was more (construction language) off, Elaine or me. Elaine started calling every membership store in Colorado plus the factory in Canada. Every store in Colorado was sold out......except one. Parker, Colorado had eight of them. According to Boogle Maps eight greenhouses were one hundred twenty-four miles from my house. Five days later Parker Colorado had six.

The factory will ship a greenhouse to our house for a mere six hundred dollars more than the membership price. Elaine decided I will be gardening this summer. Six hundred dollars more or drive one hundred twenty-four miles, it came down to that.

Knowing that if we drove they could be sold out before we get there. Against my better judgement, Elaine decided we were driving. Life isn't easy sometimes. The battery had become disconnected from our "farm" truck before we started out for Parker. I got the truck started and we headed for Parker.

Arriving in Parker we were happy to find the store had three greenhouses left. We got one! Another customer noticed our greenhouse and started a conversation. He/they had driven from Las Cruces, New Mexico for a chance to by one of the eight of nine greenhouses left in the United States. He had called every membership store in the U.S. (his words) looking for greenhouses. One greenhouse was in Florida.

Of course the battery cable was loose again in the parking lot. Oh well, I got the truck started again and we had our greenhouse. Two boxes, two hundred fifteen lbs each. Thanks to Boy Twin and Ted for getting them off the truck.

Dad, I'm a farmer. I don't have a tractor, but I know how to operate one. Thanks.

Buy yarn, support Ukraine, and grow your own food. God bless. Love ya.

Our crazy lives!


PS I am still locked out of social media because I didn't keep track of my passwords. If they didn't make me change it I would know it. My passwords have always been ALLFOURS, until they made me change it. There now you can remember the one that doesn't work also.


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