A place to share my words and ideas

Cherishing my Family and Friends

Cherishing my family and friends

A decade ago, we opened the doors of our small greenhouse to the public.

But first, we invited our family and friends to a “soft opening” where they could see what we had to offer as well as offer their own observations and support for our fledgling business.

They did not disappoint.

From the friends and family members who helped put up our greenhouse, to the ones that worked with us the days and nights prior to opening, the first visitors were those special people who continue to support Penny’s Plants & Pots today.

That weekend, a beloved friend from high school surprised me with a visit. I was blown away by the love and strength I received from her and all my other people when I started in 2012 – a year fraught with hardship at work and at home.

In the years that followed, I continue to receive the blessings of those friends and family members, who often go well out of their way to visit my greenhouse – not only on what has become Friends & Family Weekend, but other days of the year.

Cheryl and family
My dear cousin Cheryl, two of her kids, her daughter in law and grandkids visited in May 2021 – one of the years we didn’t have Friends & Family because of Covid. We wore masks when we weren’t eating or taking pics.

I have cousins and close friends who have made the trip from Upper and Lower Michigan, Wisconsin, California, Kansas and Illinois. Sometimes I know they are coming, and we turn it into another event.

Sometimes, they just show up.

Both happened this past weekend. Two maternal cousins from Illinois drove up for the weekend to visit with us and other acquaintances in Marinette and Menominee, and on Sunday, some very close friends who live more than two hours away, walked through the door.

It gives me goosebumps to remember the feeling in my heart and soul when I turn to the door and see those faces over the years. I don’t cry much, but I get tears just thinking about the effort they have all made to come to my little corner of the world, where I hope they feel the same happiness and warmth I bathe in daily.

I think they do. It is not an overstatement to say that our greenhouse is a special place. It’s not just a business, it’s a destination. There are chairs and benches, inside and out, for people to sit as long as they want to. It is warm and filled with color and life and music and laughter and love.

Two of my second cousins on my mom’s side of the family came to Friends & Family this year. L to R, Katie, Deb, Mum, Tina, Joy and me.

I have often said that all the work (and there was lots of work) to put up and start this business kept me focused and grounded during a difficult time in my life and others and gave us all a beautiful place to gather. The year we opened, a close friend of mine at work died. My father-in-law died. My mother-in-law almost died. Our son was deployed to Iraq. My best friend was forcibly “retired” from her position at the newspaper  and my heart broke to see her struggle. And even though I didn’t want her job, I had to apply for it. I knew I was more than capable of trying to fill her shoes, but I wasn’t hired.

Thank God for my greenhouse.

I do believe there is a God, and I felt his presence in my life that year. He led me to my greenhouse (which my daughter found in an ad), and he opened my eyes to fulfilling a lifelong dream.

But I never saw in my dreams how important the greenhouse would become in my life and the lives of those close to me.

It was truly God’s hands that allowed me to “grow” this plastic and metal building into a small haven for us all.  Now, when it is filled with so many plants that you can’t move without turning sideways, filled with so many people you can’t walk without bumping into someone, and filled with so much conversation and laughter that you can’t hear, I smile from the inside out.

Becky and Kevin
Becky, her Mom and Dad and Paige
Kati, Autumn, Tristan and me

Thank you, everyone, for your love and support – not only for my business, but for me and my family.

And thank you to the man above for leading us along the path to a place to enjoy the beauty of nature and the joy of each other’s company. 


Great grandmas
My mom, Jeff’s mom and all five of our grandchildren

Emily and Terri

Carol Johnson
Tyler and Carol Johnson
Rylynn, Tristan and Gaye
The girls
Riley and Taylor working in the greenhouse
Kansas family
Curt, Me, Carolyn, Aunt Jan and Uncle Gary

11 thoughts on “Cherishing my Family and Friends

  1. I love your greenhouse! I love the smells, the warmth and most of all, how happy you make me feel when I’m there. I feel like I’m in a secret garden where all my worries melt away for a while. I’m so happy you found another special talent and that you so willingly share it with us!

    1. Joy, you are always a bright light in my greenhouse! Your sense of humor and your interest in all the “dirty” work that goes into keeping it alive is so appreciated. I am always happier when I get to spend time in my secret garden with you. ❤

  2. Really nice article, Penny. 😊 You’ve done an amazing job with your greenhouse. Every time I look at my cute planters, I’ll be remembering the awesome the time we had gathering with family. Looking forward to my future visits to your little slice of heaven. 🥰

    1. Carol,
      Thank you for being a regular visitor. I love that you brought your granddaughter recently… the world needs more plant lovers!


  3. The magic greenhouse! I take in some of the magic each time I visit but there is always more! ❤️❤️ Thanks for sharing your thoughts and the magic! ☀️👏☀️

  4. Beautiful post, Penny. You were meant to be a blogger.

    But I was rooting for you in 2012, too.

    1. Mary, It never ceases to amaze me the plan for our lives. All I ever wanted to do is write, and later, to grow things. It was fate that brought me to this point…the path might have been so different with choices made in 2012. Thanks for reading my blog and for your continued support.


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