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When Dreams Collide With Reality

Did you ever have an idea that exploded into something much bigger than you intended? Well, folks, it happens to me all the time. A year and a half ago I had my ankle replaced. At that time, my doctor said I would not be able to work in a press room any more, something I had done for twenty-eight years. He suggested I change professions. I just turned fifty, and the thought of starting over was both exciting and daunting. I had worked on printing presses my whole life.

So, soon after my surgery I started brainstorming new ways to make a living. My wife was and still is very supportive. We didn’t owe anything, no house payments or car payments, so she told me to pick an occupation I would enjoy. I kicked around being a juggler, an airline pilot, and a fishing guide, among other things.

Then I saw it. My neighbor had a greenhouse on his back lot, quite big, and he wanted it out. He had neither the time nor the passion for it. It only took me a minute to decide this was my next venture. So I went home and formulated a plan to pitch this idea to my wife. She was where the money would come from, so it was essential that she be on board with my new plan. She has always taken care of the money, for many reasons. If I were in charge, we would now own two dilapidated houseboats, a worm business, a llama farm, and many other things which are too numerous to mention.

I broke her in slowly, casually mentioning that a “small” greenhouse was up for sale down the road, and maybe we could take a ride down there on Saturday, just to have a look. She said “okay,” and I left it at that. Her dream has always been to grow and sell herbs to local markets in her retirement, so I knew she would be interested.

Saturday morning, as we drove to the neighbor’s, I prepped her by saying “You know dear, ‘small’ is a relative term.” She giggled for a moment, then she went quiet as she figured out what I was getting at. We pulled in the yard, and there it was, in all its majesty. My wife said nothing, and the silence cut through me like a knife. In my mind, I already had this greenhouse set in our yard, with a thriving business making me so much money I would be rich.

As she looked around, she finally spoke. “Its just so big” were her words. The echo in the dome bounced loudly, picking up volume as it repeated her words over and over for what seemed like minutes. Then came all the bubble-bursting analytical questions like “How will we move it?” and “Where will we put it?” and “Do we need a crane?”.

I was ready for this. I had already drug my neighbor into the plan, and he would loan me a hay rack. He would also volunteer to help me tear it down and rebuild it with his loader.

After a few days of my begging and whining, she finally wrote the check, but she had all these stipulations attached to the acquisition.

She would have full control of where and how it would be put back up. Further more, she would be kept in the loop for virtually every decision concerning this greenhouse. I agreed, as I really had no choice.

So we put the big dome up, and it is a beautiful addition to our back yard. In one summer, I have grown enough produce to feed an army, and the floral display in our yard has stopped traffic on many occasions. But, I have yet to make any real money, and that was the original plan-to make money.

So now, as I peck away at this keyboard so I can pay the electric bill, my mind races over how I can profit from my new adventure. I’m sure my wife is having the same thoughts.

See you next week, folks, and have a great week!

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