I'm greeted by nature's chorus as I step out into the inky darkness to start the day. The eerie howl of coyotes, the mournful hoot of a lone owl, and a group of bullfrogs attempt to drown out the others with their song surrounds me. I take a moment to appreciate the darkness; no artificial light to drown out the star filled sky. The whinny of a horse startles me into action; it's time for breakfast. I need to make a trip to the lumber yard early; my supplier is an Amish farmer and I'll need to get there before he heads out to the field with his team of horses.
Rural Missouri is a great place to raise a family. Our two daughters grew up on the back of a horse and working for our business to earn some extra money. My wife, Susie, has always been the anchor of our business. She handles customer relations, design concepts, and office management. She also works full time at our local elementary school in the reading program. She always manages to find time to keep us on schedule while taking great care of her family.
Our girls spent their early years reading, swimming in our pond, exploring the surrounding timber and vacant homesteads, and training horses. They learned that a quiet, consistent approach was effective in horse training, and later learned that these same qualities also make a good team. Our oldest daughter has nearly finished law school, and our youngest daughter is getting close to graduating with a degree in advertising and graphic design. We use this same team approach that our daughters learned at a young age in our business relations; we know it's important to be still and listen to the customer.