The two best reasons we work from home
Years ago, Katherine worked as a middle manager for a high tech firm in the Bay Area, having moved up rapidly from office management. Long hours didn't deter her. She relished every exacting task she performed.
|Katherine's Drawing, "Sisters"|
When a car accident left her disabled, we looked over our situation and decided to make lemonade. Katherine quickly built a small following for her photo-realistic art, and I developed my talent for stock trading into something I could do at home. Soon, life was better than ever.
After a few years, though, the 70-hour weeks started to wear me down. I couldn't seem to cut down or even take a vacation. Finally, when my brother reported his wife's cancer (she recovered, thank goodness), I wondered "What would I do if that happened to Katherine?"
In my family, there is the story of my grandfather, who promised my grandmother a new house on their Iowa farm. As years passed, he needed a new tractor, a combine, a bigger plow...
But when my grandmother developed a fast moving cancer, Grand-dad put everything else aside and built that house. Grandma didn't have much time to spend in it, but she loved it well.
So, with my brother's call came a realization that, no, we don't know how much time we have together, but we can make every minute count. We put wheels under our empty nest and planned to drive south for the winter, followed by spring, and then summer... for a couple of years, at least.
Lemons have a way of pelting you when you least expect them. The day we left for our prolonged vacation was September 11, 2001. On the way out of town, we actually rushed into a WalMart store to watch on a bank of televisions as the second of the twin towers was struck.
That was not a good omen for our journey.
We were due at my son's house near Santa Fe, so we decided the best thing was to marshall on. We couldn't know that our daughter back in California was to spend her entire second problem pregnancy in the hospital.
That began an seven-year odyssey that took us off the road, then on again and off again, without the hint of a "vacation."
Fast-forward to 2008. With our retirement funds depleted, caring nearly full time for our daughter and two grandchildren, we wondered if we would ever recover.
We had tried our hand at selling on eBay. Quite successfully at first. We sold hand crafted rag rugs, mainly, and a few other made-by-hand items.
We were encouraged by our many repeat customers, who raved about the quality of our products and excellent customer service. While the number of customers was growing, our hourly wage was peanuts. Not enough for the elephant we had to feed.
When our one reliable supplier retired, our income retired soon after. Products from other suppliers continued to fall short of expectations, so we decided to move on. Still, though, we love the idea of giving more than people expect.
That commitment led us to many weeks (months, really) of research into how best to build a website that could exceed peoples' needs and supply us with enough income to care for our family.
Better-Cross-Stitch-Patterns.com resulted from that quest.
Now we can do much better than see the light at the end of the tunnel. We see an even better life for ourselves, and we owe it all to this website.
Katherine loves designing cross stitch patterns as much as she likes stitching them. And I, Allen, love doing everything else having to do with this website. (Okay, so she does all the most important parts.)
Soon I will be able to quit my online job and devote all my time to this site and others.
When this all began, we could not have seen where we would end up. We don't know what little surprises life has in store for us, but we do know that with this website, instead of making lemonade, next time we'll make peach smoothies.
How we built this website
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