I hate to go to town this time of year. I can’t make it through the grocery store without someone stopping me to voice their opinion. "I sure miss your greenhouse, are you opening this year?" NO, I am sorry. " You aren’t open this year either..when will you reopen?" DUH? Never… comes to mind. "I can’t believe you closed, he looks fine, when is he done with Chemo?" Yes, my husband looks just fine, there is no Chemo involved with Trigeminal Neuralgia ( just unrelenting pain and medications). He shaves his face and head..he was tired of just being partially bald. "No one grows plants like you, and they don’t have the plants you used to grow either." Sorry. One old lady just burst into tears. GEEEs LOUISE.
During greenhouse season..I might have to don a disguise.. a dress..sunglasses and a scarf should work.
Last year was the end of nine years in the greenhouse business for us. In 1998 Far Guy was retired from the Military for a little itty bitty stress related heart attack that he had back in 1995. We didn’t know what we would do next. Obviously I could no longer languish around getting my degree in Horticulture anymore..I still miss NDSU, the students and the instructors. I got a job as a grower out in Idaho, chains in, chains out, near a little town called Bonner’s Ferry. On our way back to North Dakota to put things in order, Far Guy said " I am not sure if I can live that far away from home..couldn’t you grow some stuff in Minnesota?" After much prayer and thought, and input from our children "The grand kids will only know you as the airport grandma." We broke ground here among the Oaks on a piece of property that my parents had given me as an inheritance. Far Guy and I made a deal..Minnesota in the summer..Florida in the winter. We would build a SMALL house in Minnesota. Yes!! I would get to sit on the beach part of the year!
The first year we cleared trees, built my "garage" and set up one greenhouse and lived in a Camper..not much fun in Minnesota in the winter..so we escaped to Florida during the worst of the winter. ( Far Guy was fairly miserable, but I had a really good time! ) We came back the end of February and I began to "grow" .. and Far Guy began to learn. I would not recommend to many women that they take their flower challenged military style husband and try to convert him into a vegetable grower..but I did..once he had the basics..he was a natural. So we were a team. A good team. We grew and grew, eventually to three greenhouses, that totally consumed our time every year from March through July. Most days were 14 to 16 hours long, with little time for sleep. We built up the business from scratch and developed a very loyal customer base. We built a house, a bigger house than I had envisioned… sadly we have not been back to Florida.
In December of 2007 Far Guy was diagnosed with Trigeminal Neuralgia, in early 2008, I made the decision to close the business. It was not an easy decision, Far Guys health was just a part of it. Greenhouse supplies had skyrocketed, fuel prices were outrageous, I did a cost analysis and a projection of how much I would have to raise the prices to survive and make a small profit. It was plain..it was time to throw in the hose, shut the doors and get on with life. Windmill Gardens 1999-2007 RIP