Bob & Chris
Bob and I have been married for 18 years and while we started out with 6 children (Bob had 3 and I had 3) our family has rapidly expanded to include wives, husbands, significant others and grandchildren. Although the house is empty of children, we don’t consider ourselves empty nesters–instead we are happily living and exploring our New Normal as we travel along Our Road to Living Well.
Living in Tallahassee, FL for the past 30 + years, I was busy raising and caring for my 3 sons as a young mother. For several of those years I was a single mother (Joshua, Jeremiah and David), and worked in the area of executive management of non- profit agencies. After almost 30 years in this field, including starting new agencies and ensuring quality service provision, I decided to offer my services as a consultant with a focus of helping non-profit agencies succeed. I am now a self-employed consultant (TopShelf Consulting) providing a wide variety of services focused on helping my customers “Reach for the Best! “
I have spent the past few years exploring my creative side and work with watercolors, pastels and charcoals. Right now I am working on mosaics and enjoy the quiet, creative time bringing the images from our travels to life with vibrant colored glass tiles.
I am also relishing our Adventuring trips with our 5th Wheel Trailer (Ricky is the camper’s name as Lucy was the name of our first camper), kayaks and bikes because the experiences take me back to my Girl Scout days. Growing up in Jacksonville, FL, my friends and I paddled on the Suwanee River and other rivers in the area and also camped throughout FL. Spending time in the outdoors can be a peaceful experience and provides opportunities to escape from computers and other technology that seems to dominate our lives.
Jasper is our eight-year old Bijon Frise and from the moment he became part of our family he has been the perfect pet for Bob and I. Both of us have had dogs in our lives and many times they were big dogs who were perfect for a family with children. We decided that we wanted a dog that could travel with us and also snuggle up with us on the couch. Jasper is the ideal traveling companion and his main occupation during the day is snuggling with whoever is sitting still.
Although camping is not his favorite activity, he puts up with us and when he is tired of the great outdoors, he goes into the camper and takes his nap. He is now enjoying (or least we think so) going on bike rides in the bike trailer that Bob attaches to his bike. Another excitement for Jasper is walking around the campground, greeting the campers and meeting all of the other dogs.
I have always been a traveler because my family followed my father whose work took him to many different cities. We lived in Butte, Montana; Salt Lake City, Utah; Seattle, Washington; Chicago, Illinois and Gerrards Cross, England. As an adult, I continued the traveling lifestyle living in Lake Tahoe, California; Seattle, Washington; Tin City, Alaska; Montgomery, Alabama and Athens, Greece and finally coming back to the states to live in Alabama and then Florida. All of this travel is the basis for my love for seeing new places and I am now enjoying exploring the backroads of our country in our camper and sharing these adventures with Chris.
In my first marriage, I had 3 children (Clayton, Katie and Stacey) and they experienced a lot of the traveling because I was a weather man in the federal government for 35 years, first with the Air Force and then with the National Weather Service. As a family, we lived in several places throughout the U.S. and in Greece, and I worked in many different parts of the weather service including observing and forecasting.
I now enjoy golf and photography and work hard to improve my skill and ability in both. I will be on the golf course several days each week, playing with whoever is playing that day. Photography is my creative outlet and I love capturing the images of the many places we travel to.
Our New Normal
We call ourselves living our New Normal since the past couple of years have been exciting to say the least. When you look up the phrase New Normal, the definition provided by the Urban Dictionary provides the following:
“The current state of being after some dramatic change has transpired. What replaces the expected, usual, typical state after an event occurs. The New Normal encourage one to deal with current situations rather lamenting what could have been.”
The reason for my search for this definition was that I was trying to understand how to live well after my Breast Cancer. I was diagnosed in January 2015 and the rest of the year was spent with surgeries, chemotherapy and now I am still working on recovery. But the point of this is that we worked hard during the past couple of years to live our life in the best way possible while all of this was going on.
Bob also undertook a major life change at the same time and has been working with a weight loss clinic to become healthier by losing weight, eating well and making sure to get enough exercise (Golf!) This effort along with my recovery process is important part of our Fooding process. We are now cooking together and discovering new ways of preparing Yummy Food that is healthy and delicious at the same time. All of this has led to our living our life as the New Normal and making sure to keep moving ahead on Our Road to Living Well.