Monday, January 17, 2011

Me? An Entrepreneur?

When life throws you lemons, make lemonade!

Photo ©2010 PK Hawk
My late husband and I did that very thing back in the 1960s. We were married in 1963, and while he had a full time job, he also had some side work that he did.  We turned that into full time, and developed it into a good paying business, with up to nearly thirty employees, until we were both seriously injured in a rear-end collision. We were in process of incorporating, but had not quite completed the process yet.  Since it was still a proprietorship at the time, we did not have workers compensation to cover us yet.

 We tried to keep thing running for about a year, but due to chronic severe pain, and having several herniated discs in my back, I was just unable to continue, and really he could not run the office, sales and the field all at once. He was also still recovering from his injuries.  Long story short, California was also going through severe financial times, and many people were unable to find work.

Once we finally halfway physically recovered, which took about four years, we both opened a store and a small restaurant in Rosarito, B.C., Mexico. That did very well, but it was intended as only a stop-gap to help us stay afloat until we could return to our contracting business.

Then, my mother died, and we left to return to California, to be closer to the rest of my family. They had all left Orange County, and were living in Riverside County. So, we headed there, (now here) then, as well.Of course we no longer had our trucks or equipment, or anything other than our drafting tables and tools, so we decided that until we could again get the needed thing in place again, we would work for other contractors. That initially, went very well. My late husband was General Manager, and ran the field crews, and I was their cost analyst, and contract negotiator, representing the firm in contract negotiations with the likes of the Army Corps of Engineers, and their legal representative.

Once the work there was complete, my husband accepted a position as General Manager again, with a contracting firm much closer to home, and I stayed home to be mother again to our two daughters. The elder one was 21 by then, but the younger daughter was only 12 years old, and still really needed mom to be home after school.

Then, the unthinkable happened. My husband was T-boned in a traffic accident, doing brain damage, and neccessitating two back surgeries, and causing severe depression. He had nearly starved himself, and was in the fetal position most of the time, and eventually became violent, threatening to kill our sons-in-law. He underwent twelve shock treatments, which did get him more mobile, but he was impulsive, and began telling people he was an attorney, and while I had gone back to work, to help us survive financially, he was out doing things which he had never before done, even swindling people out of thousands of dollars.

While I felt things were not right, since I was working, things were going on of which I was unaware. This was eventually brought to my attention, and while he was in a mental hospital for his violent tendencies, I filed for a legal separation, in order to protect myself from being financially responsible for anything he may get involved in matters of which I was completely unaware. He even began taking young women out to dinner, failing to tell them that he was married and had offspring. He was a completely different person, and still prone to dangerous violent mood swings.

When he learned about the legal separation, he filed for divorce, which I did not contest. Our family had for most intents and purposes, been destroyed, with our older daughter leaving home, because her father was terrible to any young men who were interested in talking to her, even though she was legally an adult herself. Our younger daughter was also emotionally scarred trying to deal with her father, while I had to work. She eloped when she was only sixteen, with her now wonderful husband, who was twenty-one at the time. During the divorce, I was so embarrassed to continue using the my married last name, I had a name change, returning to the use of my maiden name.

My husband died of Brain Cancer in August of 1995, leaving a pregnant girlfriend living in Tijuana. That little one was born in October, two months after his death, so she never even got to know who her father was. I still worry about her, but I have had no contact at all. His girlfriend did not know he had been married, or that he had two daughters, who each already had two children.

Still, I am moving on, though I too am disabled, as you may already know, and no longer able to work for anyone. I write at home online, and have an animal advocacy, and an still involved in helping homeless pets, from dogs and cats to pet pigs, and practically everything in between. I would love to work again, but even though I am on a limited income, I still teach people about the Bible's promise of a peaceful and perfect paradise on earth as the Bible promises, and I do what I can, as a public service, to educate the public about the importance of spaying and neutering their pets, and creating blogs, as well as other sites for saving animals from being abused, dumped, and/or allowing them to breed, creating more unwanted pets. As you probably know, I also do photography, and have four wonderful young adult grandchildren as well as two decent loving sons-in-law (Mick and Alfredo), in addition to my two daughters and two sisters, and a great brother-in-law, Jack.

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