The Time Daddy Smashed the Van Window Building Garden Steps

Randa and her Mom took the kids to Dollywood last week so I stayed home and smashed the van windshield while building garden steps.  


​I'm sure none of you came to this post to learn about how to build simple and economical garden steps so let's just cut to the chase and talk about how I shattered the van window.  

It all started with Mexican food.  

We were all out for supper our our favorite restaurant, La Caretta, when Randa and I were sharing chips and salsa discussing what I should do with myself the next day when she took the kids to Dollywood.  

I was in the mood for a project but I couldn't decide if I should mulch the gardens or try and build the garden steps that have been in my DIY backburner for a long time. 

I was hesitant to build the steps because I didn't have my father-in-laws truck to pick up the supplies I would need...most notably, very long pieces of pressure treated lumber.  

That didn't stop me.  I wanted an all day project so I decided to let Randa and the kids go home in the SUV and I would take the family minivan to Lowe's and get what I needed.  

On my way to my favorite home improvement store, I was surveying the back of the van in my rear view mirror wondering if 12 foot pieces of lumber would fit?

Yup, they definitely will.  

I got inside and loaded all the lumber on the trolley and stepped back to survey the length and again wondered if they'd fit in the back of our Dodge minivan?  

Ya...I'm pretty sure they'll fit?

I paid for the supplies and pushed the trolley outside towards the van and realized there's just no way these massive pieces of wood are going to fit in this tiny van!  Not even close.  

So I did what any responsible DIY Daddy would do, I opened the back of the van and started loading the lumber. 

In my defense, it was probably around 8 pm and dark outside so my depth perception probably wasn't what it should be when I was cramming the wood in the van.  All I remember is pushing a length of wood up onto the front dashboard and then hearing what sounded like an egg cracking.  

Oh &*%$#!

I barely touched it!  The 12 ft plank cracked the passenger side window and the cracks were already spreading like spider legs all the way across to the ​driver's side window.  

Oh &*%$#!!!

​Not only did I crack the windshield but the back door wouldn't close so I had to go back inside and buy bungee cords to keep the back door shut!  I should have decided on the mulching.  

I eventually MacGyver'd the van door secure and texted Randa the news...

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Me: plan on taking the SUV to Dollywood tomorrow, I smashed the windshield.  love you.  ​

Randa:  I hope you're kidding

Me:  Not sure why I would joke about something like was dark outside and I couldn't see anything and I pushed too far and cracked the front window

Randa:  how bad is it?  is it driveable?  can i still take it to dollywood tomorrow??

Me: Umm...the diameter is about 1, maybe 2 ft and the cracks are spreading across the windshield.  we can discuss when i get home

Randa:  If you have to mention diameter it must be bad...Oh &*%$#!!!

It was bad, very bad.  

The drive to Dollywood is about 2 hours from our place and the minivan is always the best mode of transportation for long trips because the kids car seats are far apart and they can't reach other, meaning a far less tormenting drive for all involved.  

I felt awful she'd have to take the SUV.  

About 20 minutes into the drive to Dollywood the next day she texted...the kids are driving me insane!

Sorry, honey.  

garden steps

i bought all the supplies for these steps at Lowe's, but I paid my $100 windshield deductible to Geico.


Husband | Daddy | Writer | DIY Wannabe