So, I feel pretty overwhelmed with gratefulness right now. It's not just the Thanksgiving season. I just feel like, lately especially, Jeff and I have had a lot of prayers answered. In some ways that have been surprising. Jeff's parents, sister & boyfriend, sister, brother & wife came over for Thanksgiving. The boyfriend informally sort of asked for permission to ask sister-in-law to marry him, and that was special. Grandma and Grandpa got to see Roo and Loli perform in Sound of Music, and that was special. The dinner was special. There was very little tension. We went to see the Teton Flood museum and the dam, and it was fun to watch Grandma, especially, enjoy all the kids. By the way, I have great kids. (I've mentioned that).
But there's so much more. We have a friend who we connected with and agreed to have him bring his horses to eat down our pasture. And he fenced off the corner of the property that wasn't fenced--just because he's a nice guy, but probably also because it meant more feed for his horses. But it's a huge blessing. My goal: next year, no notes from the city about our weeds. None. I think we can make it happen this year.
Also, the greenhouse.
In our initial post about the greenhouse, I mentioned how glass suddenly became available for an insane price, and that prompted us to start on this project much sooner than we ever thought we could. We thought it was ten years out. But I prayed, and said, you know, Heavenly Father. This would really make us happy. And guess what. Glass.
It's been like that all the way through this project. We found discounted cinderblocks. We found two perfect-sized doors on craigslist that were within our budget, but should have not been. They match our house perfectly, too. So they'll look nice--which I want. Because I want to be a credit to the neighborhood and not a pieced-together not-too-nice looking place.
And most recently, something kind of overwhelming and miraculous happened. All along, I've felt driven by time... deadlines. We knew, for instance, that we could not pour concrete for our footer after the ground started freezing. But plans were taking longer to complete than anticipated, and going to the city meant Jeff needed to find time off work, which could only happen on days where he didn't have very important meetings all day. By the time we finally got everything approved so we could start, the ground was freezing half the days out of the week. Problem is, cement needs time to cure. If we pour it on a good day, we could have two bad days after that & ice crystals form in the drying cement and render it crumbly and unusable.
Jeff was all for not finishing the digging. He had started on the ditch--about a foot deep-- all around our porch, and it was intense work especially on icy days, and I think he was getting discouraged. He suggested we don't finish digging, we either haphazardly do something for a temporary measure this winter, or leave it alone and continue next Spring.
But inside me I felt this urge, or drive, that we needed, and Heavenly Father wanted, us to finish this before this winter. So many things have happened so quickly. It just didn't make sense that Heavenly Father would then want us to wait six months. Plus, we'd have a tiny baby--that's really a stressful thing to deal with. I kind of knew that, if we set the project aside, it wouldn't get done anytime soon.
So I basically told Jeff... please. Keep digging. Finish the ditch. I think Heavenly Father will provide, and we just need to have faith, and I think we'll have some good days next week to pour, if we only finish the ditch and put in the forms. Which we know we need to do anyway, so even if we don't move on until next spring we'll have that step taken care of.
I went off to a book signing after that.
Halfway through my book signing I got a text.
Jeffrey had continued to dig, squaring out what he'd already done, and digging further along the house.
IN the process, he hit cement. He found a footer. Already there. 18 inches down. Perfect for what we needed, already set, already built. All ready for us.
So, Jeff's family was over. And while they were here, they stacked cinderblocks for us (we're not mortaring them until Spring, when the mortar can set, but that is Ok because the design of the greenhouse makes it possible to do this easily even when the rest is complete).
We also got wood. Yesterday, Jeff spent hours going over the building materials we'd need, then comparing all the prices offered in our area. Then he found a source on Craigslist for some of what we needed, for an even better price. We headed over to Lowes to get the leftover stuff he didn't have online, and found it was more expensive there than Jeff had anticipated. He called the guy, and found out he happened to also have everything else we needed, for a better price than Jeff had anticipated. Another small miracle.
And now, this is happening.
I'm getting pretty excited. Something about seeing that first window (actually it's a door) go up is suddenly making it all real for me. We're doing it. We're doing the thing we've both, Jeff and I, dreamed about and talked about since before we married--a greenhouse attached to our house where we can grow our vegetables and herbs year round. A place where we can grow what we want, and have a uniquely beautiful place to be, warm and lush and beautiful during winter, spring, summer or fall.
And with that, the blessing of knowing we're where we're supposed to be, doing what we're supposed to be doing. That's the best blessing of all.