The Greenhouse Incident

Sometimes my wife Snowball’s projects don’t even sneak up and build slowly, they explode fully grown from the start. An example of this is the hobby greenhouse that we have. Pearl Harbor could not have surprised me more than what happened on a late spring day many years ago. We were sitting on the front porch enjoying a refreshing beverage. As the UPS truck pulls up Snowball says, “Oh that must be the greenhouse I ordered.” This being the first I had heard of any plans for a greenhouse, my mouth opened but no words came out. I just walked over to the truck and helped the somewhat overwhelmed delivery guy haul four 200-pound boxes to the garage.

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The Continuous Avalanche

My wife is a genius. But unlike many geniuses (geniusi?) she has wonderful people skills and most of the time doesn’t lack for common sense. She’s always thinking of new artistic projects, designs and new ways to arrange the house and yard. Me, however, I really don’t care for change in our lives. That’s probably typical of most couples. This dichotomy has caused me to come up with many nicknames for my wife, most of which should probably not be published on a website. But the one that best describes her is “Snowball”.

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Gardening by the Yard

How much responsibility does one spouse have concerning the other’s hobby? Well, I suppose it depends on the hobby.

Among her many hobbies my wife has a flower garden. But I don’t know if that describes it. It’s more like a collection of colorful plants, many in pots, many in the ground. The grandkids call in grandma’s maze. I call it the Land of the Lost.

My idea of yard is a nicely trimmed lawn with no weeds. In our case, about a third of the backyard has grass which edges directly up to the garden. This makes it impossible to use any kind of weed treatment without hitting plants meant for growing in the garden. Mowing is difficult but not impossible if you have the correct philosophy.

Over the past years, I’ve drilled drainage holes and moved pots to their summer locations. I’ve dug holes to drop the plant in and even leveled and landscaped the area around the potting bench. Someday I’ll tell the story of the greenhouse kit I assembled. When she leaves for a couple of days, I water daily. On hot, sunny afternoons I even set out misting hoses. And above all I never ask how much money has been spent on garden supplies. That way lies madness.

But all of the obligatory assistance aside, isn’t it her hobby? I hate yard work. As far as I’m concerned the only reason we have a yard is because it came with the house. So I try not to feel guilty when she spends the entire day in the hot sun deadheading. She must enjoy it or she wouldn’t have planted all that flora, right?

“Say sweetie, those flowers next to you over in sun look gorgeous. Can I bring you another glass of lemonade? Just a thought.”