I've always wanted a greenhouse, and when a friend offered me a bunch of salvaged windows they'd gotten for a project that they've now abandoned, I decided to try to take on the project of building one this summer, sometime after the garage painting and the bathroom remodeling (what, me? ambitious? or would you call it foolishly unrealistic? I know I would!!).
ANYway, I happened to mention this to a friend who I met through freecycle several years ago, and... well, let me tell you first about B. (B, if you read this, don't kill me for writing about it!!). B is this totally cool guy who I first met when he got a beat up non-working car from me through freecycle in order to turn it into yet another art car. His primary vehicle is an old van that he's painted with everything from giant cat heads (with a huge pink cat tongue poking out the front of the van) to naked people appearing to be in the driver and passenger seats. He lives in the woods and raises guineas, chickens and ducks, and sells the multi-colored eggs through the local farmers' markets. He is truly a "Renaissance man" who knows and thinks a lot about a HUGE range of things, from the intellectual and political to the artistic and creative over to welding, automotive repair, carpentry, and... geez, I doubt I even have a clue as to how much and what all he actually knows. But the best thing is that he's someone who will never fail you if you want to see a friendly smiling face and have some enjoyable conversation, and someone who you just know you could call on if you needed help or rescue.
So anyway, B. found out that I wanted to build a greenhouse from old windows and it turns out that he has had the same plan (and has all of the windows he needs already) but has been procrastinating. He talked me through a lot of things just today with regard to my rather clearly unformed (and uninformed) plans. He then happened to run into a mutual acquaintance of ours later that day and they got to talking about me and the greenhouses, and this mutual friend offered me (through him) the ten thermopane sliding glass doors that he has and wants to get rid of.
To tell you more about what kind of guy B. is, while I was having dinner tonight I was telling Partner about B's help with the greenhouse plans and our acquaintance's offer of the windows. I'd told B. that I appreciated it all but I had no place to keep them and (thinking they were framed sliding doors) no way to pick them up. I mentioned to Partner that knowing B., he'd offer to pick them up and hold them for me, which is exactly what he said in the email that was waiting for me after work. He'll help me design something that works out of those plus the smaller windows I'm getting, and as he said, we can always freecycle whatever is left over!
This is some serious incentive to actually get this done instead of just talking about it and planning it forever, and perhaps a mutually beneficial thing as well since I offered to help B build his if he helped me plan and build mine (since I have a lot more ambition than I have that kind of carpentry experience), and perhaps his being so amazingly helpful to me will give him the boost past his procrastination about building his own.
So this is really about two things: Greenhouses, and good friends who will really step up to help you out if you need it.