May May’s Birthday

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Happy, Happy birthday to our daughter Aimee

Aimee was born in Denver Colorado 28 years ago today. It was a very happy day for Lucy and I as well as Aimee’s three sister’s Charlotte, Alicia and Amanda. She is all grown up now with two wonderful daughters of her own. She has always been one of our roving girls, never content to stay in one place for to long. Must be hereditary… She is currently building a new business in Hartsell, Alabama, with her fiancee Chad… I took these photos during a cold weather camping trip to Cayo Costa Island State Park… Aimee’s smile kept us all toasty warm in the unseasonably cold temperatures…

Always a happy smile…

Since she is the “Baby” of the family she is spoiled rotten. I had nothing to do with that, of course.It was all her mom’s fault…

Aimee’s mom Lucy let her get away with murder. I was always firm. I never let the “Superintendent’s Daughter” wrap me around any of her fingers. Especially not her little finger…

She has always been our dare-devil daughter. Whether jumping out of a car window at thirty miles an hour or wading waist deep in alligator infested water- she knows no fear… Well, she is not to fond of “bats”… Aimee is strong and tenacious, with a very playful feminine side. I am so happy that she turned out way more beautiful than her mom. . We are very proud of the incredible woman she has become. Aimee possesses so many of her mother’s wonderful, loving traits and only one or two of my bad ones.


Thank you Dad. A cow horse changed my life


Now that I am an adult, I look back at the time my dad gave me my first horse. I was in the fourth grade. Ballet and gymnastics had been my passion. As a preschooler, I would mimic the 1940-50’s female movie stars by dancing and singing in front of the TV. That changed. All my time and energy went into horsemanship. When I was an adult, before dad died, I wrote him a letter telling him how much that one gesture meant to me. I never begged for a horse nor expected it, but oh the life skills and lessons I learned.

I trained, cared for and competed in barrel racing from that time until I was a Junior in Clearwater High School. Dad was a Real Estate Broker, specializing in ranches and large acreage. I am sure that is how it all came about. The cowboys named my sweet natured, spirited, seven year old buckskin mare “Baby”. We lived on five acres on the outskirts of Clearwater before Belcher Road and Drew Street became highly developed. There were still open fields nearby with plenty room for practicing figure eights, change of leads, or straight barrel racing, quarter rollbacks and full spins in preparation for the cloverleaf barrels.  the Cow Horse technique with a hackamore references what I described.

Life Skills Learned

When I fell off or was afraid to try something new or unknown with animals or nature, my parents would not allow me to feel fear and say, “Lucy, of course you can do it” so matter-of-fact that I would not hesitate. If I could carry that positive attitude to other life skills maybe my “Five Spoke Wheel” would be in balance.

My Baby Loves Western Movies

In my preteens all of my girlfriends were reading “Seventeen” magazine. I was reading “Western Horseman”  and dreaming of living on a ranch with cowboys, or on the rodeo circuit. It seemed that all the articles, pictures in the magazine and the movies, were always out West. The old Western movies added mystique and adventure. If  Roy Rogers rode his horse down a twenty foot mountain slope, or jumped over a steep gully, I had to do it too. If he allowed “Trigger” to swim him across a roaring river, I would try it. I would imagine the outlaws were after me. So many times Baby became my Western Adventure wonder-horse. One of my favorite things was allowing her to pull me through the cool waters of a beautiful lake, as I held on tightly to her tail. I know she enjoyed it too… All of these imaginary adventures, stretched me to my limits…

Let’s Pretend

To this day, David will say to me when we are doing some sort of an outdoor challenge, “Let’s pretend”.  We make up a scenario like; the only way to get back to save our daughter, is to paddle non-stop, in a short space of time. Maybe on a bicycle trip; I might say- “The world will end if we don’t pedal fast enough to make it back by a quickly approaching deadline”. Each of us created an increased sense of urgency in the other, as we added new imaginary obstacles to our fantasies. We always beat the deadline. The world has been saved again!

As I posted previously, in the “The Unspoken Law”, meeting David must have been Divine intervention. Marrying three months from the time we met, we had no clue how in harmony we were. Amazing.

I still like to say “Let’s Pretend”. How about you? What do you do to make it easier to complete your most difficult physical challenges?

Warm wishes – “Spokes-model” Lucy

You never forget your first time…


Lucy and I set out to meet the goal suggested by my new Dominatrix and Dietician, Jaymie. Turns out it was just plain enjoyable. Next time we will aim for an earlier start to take advantage of the cooler temps. If you factor in the extra calories burned by Nordic walking we probably left around 1000 calories along the side the road. Back at O.O.C. neither of us feels hungry. Maybe just a small bowl of cereal to even out glucose levels. Can’t wait for tomorrows walk…

You never forget your first time… by dacro at Garmin Connect – Details.

Half way there…


It was a great ride, but only half what Jaymie ordered. We are going to have to switch back to Nordic Walking to give our “soft parts” time to toughen up a bit.  ;o(

Half way there… by dacro at Garmin Connect – Details.

An Unwritten Law


My Love of Nature

I have spent most of my life in nature. When I was in third grade, my dad bought me aQuarter Horse “cow-pony” fresh off a working, Florida cattle ranch. That beautiful well trained mare, changed my life. I spent all my free time riding in the palmetto and scrub pine tree woods… alone. Sometimes, my explorations lasted an entire day. I often rode back as the sun was setting. Perhaps napping in the saddle as my faithful steed brought me safely home. These solo adventures were the birth place of my respect and love for nature, that continue to this day.


When I married David, he introduced me to tent camping on the numerous Florida rivers. There was divine intervention in our meeting. Three short months after we met, we were married. God must have been in control as our passions were and have been in continuous harmony. The first two years were “Just the Two of Us” and then Charlotte, our first daughter, was born.


The late 60’s, early 70’s began our love for canoe and kayak camping. “Roughing it Smoothly” was our motto and challenge. We were both very competitive. Not as much with each other, but as a team. It seemed the majority of outdoorsmen knew The UNWRITTEN LAW.  Leave No Trace Behind. It was respect for the land and our fellow man. Campsites were cleaned and left in better condition than they were when we arrived. It was an unspoken courtesy to leave a gift of firewood for the next weary camper.

Bless the Beasts and the Children

What brought this subject matter to mind was what my grandson Kaden said to our daughter Alicia. He just became a Wolf Scout. “I would not ever litter to save the environment!” He started to throw a wrapper on the ground; stopped and thought “No!” :0). “No trace left behind,” Alicia smiled as she told me of his conversation!

It made my heart sing to think my teaching is understood and being taught to the next generation through the Boy Scouts of America, “Leave No Trace” program.

I see the banks of the beautiful rivers we paddle; the launch sites, etc., and like the Indian in the commercial, a tear comes to my eye. Trash everywhere.

Then I am bashed with wave action from speeding boat wakes as I relax on shore. I feel a Oneness with the habitat and angered by the annoying disruption. I wonder if the loud, careless boater would feel differently if he was near the shore? Would he have been more cautious if he had been in one of the small boats that he caused to capsize? Would he be more aware of the damage his wake causes to the shoreline, aquatic plants and wading birds? Maybe, just maybe he would feel respect?


Truly, I understand that in most cases it is ignorance. Obliviousness. I ask myself how many times have I done wrong, purely out of ignorance and how ashamed I was after I learned. Proverbs 4; Understanding comes with wisdom. I continue to ask for it, so I can receive understanding and pass it on to the children.

Any ideas of small ways to educate “The Unwritten Law”?

Then there were TWO…


Jaymie Kukowski of Internal Medicine Associates is my newest Dietician.

As most of you know I have had Chronic Kidney Disease for the last ten years. Up until a month ago I had received no treatment. My new Nephrologist, Ganesh Shenoy, took immediate action. He immediately set up a consultation with his Renal Dietician, Andrea Olds. I have been following her protocol since May 2, 2912… Wonderful doctor and dietician.

Doctor Shenoy revealed – for the first time – that I am diabetic. Huge shock for me. He called his associate Doctor Victor Luna and arranged an emergency Saturday appointment. I am so blessed to have found these dedicated medical professionals. Definitely an answer to my prayers. Once Doctor Luna completed our first consultation he referred me to my second Dietician, Jaymie Kukowski. I am just home from my initial meeting with Jaymie and I now feel a new empowerment and much increased hope for my future.

Dietician Kukowski made several adjustments to my previous nutritional plan (Renal) and told us to increase our daily exercise to a minimum of one hour. In the past we thought thirty minutes a day was sufficient – we were WRONG! I also have a new glucose testing regimen, that will provide much more helpful information.

If you too are dealing with the special requirements of diabetes, I would love to hear your success stories and learn of any special recipes that you enjoy. Please share in the “comment” area or email me direct. Thanks

I am not treating this subject as “Healing”. I am choosing to keep firmly in my brain the following: “I am an elite athlete, under the supervision of four licensed personal fitness trainers. Everything I do in the future is training to increase my level of fitness”… Please pray for my continued improvement. What the heck. I just started this BLOG and I want it to be a long one.  ;O)

Lucy speaks… “Been there done that.”


“Been there, done that”

Intro: Lucy Crook

“Gypsy blood must run in my veins”… During the past 44 years of marriage, I have jumped at every opportunity of spontaneity David has offered. I lost count at eighteen moves, twenty years ago. We were meant for each other. Raising four daughters did not deter moves to unknown, exciting places. In fact, it was thrilling involving the children in our new experiences. Through them, we were quickly connected to community. We have lived in a wide variety of domiciles from; apartment complexes, farms in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee (heaven on earth), peach orchards of Georgia and raised horses in Parker, Colorado. Lived aboard motor-yachts in: New Orleans, Fort Myers and St. Petersburg as well as several other unconventional habitats. In the past twenty years, changes have been less frequent, four in total. As a team, there was nothing we couldn’t do.


My point to this introduction is, I feel complacency setting in now that I’m recently retired. In the past, we held: press parties for marketing events, bicycle camped on a 200 mile trip with 18 month and seven year old daughters, lived in a 25’ motor home with a brand new baby, a two year old and an eight year old, in the dead of winter in the Rocky Mountains of Granby, Colorado. We have also enjoyed the big city art gallery scene, toured the finest museums, and on several occasions, I rode my cowpony twenty miles to compete in horse shows. I have enjoyed playing the lead role, in plays and musicals all over the country. I frequently relax with my beloved Martin guitar, accompanying myself in a wide variety of my favorite folk and blues songs to the delight of my ever appreciative spouse.

NOW, when friends invite us to participate in some special social event, I often reply… “I’d rather stay home – already been there, done that”…

Social Dilemma:

So, friends stop asking. I ask,is it healthy to be “Just the Two of Us”?

Thoughts of another New Adventure – Haunt Me!

Should we sell everything and go on the road in “Voyageur”, our Roadtrek, Class-B, RV and experience the unknown? David brings me back to reality and reminds me the modest home we live in, surrounded by beautiful natural surrounding (our land is zoned agricultural) is everything we hoped and prayed for. Within a five mile radius, we can enjoy; off-road and road cycling, paddling picturesque, old Florida creeks and rivers, camping on various outer islands and secluded beaches, enjoy the camaraderie of our close-knit urban community of neighbors and friends and revel in the peace God has granted us. We had to start over, after loosing everything to Hurricane Charlie. We have accumulated all the comforts of life and all the “toys” we need, to participate in any activity we choose.  We are truly enjoying life “Within Our Means”…

We are at a cross roads again:

Sound familiar? How did you get your answer? Prayer? Counsel of friends and family? Self-help books? We are still pondering all the possibilities…

Feed the Beasts… by dacro at Garmin Connect – Details

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Feed the Beasts… by dacro at Garmin Connect – Details.

“Out Nice Each Other”


I fell madly and completely in love with Lucy Francis, the first time I saw her. Turns out… it wasn’t even near “completely”. I have spent the last forty four years discovering new reasons to love her and enjoying and accepting the love she feels for me. Our philosophy is simple. We live each, day trying to “out nice each other”

Everyone enters into marriage with the belief that it really will be “till death us do part”. It is certain that we all believe the burning passion will not diminish due to; job demands, diaper changing, old age or changes in appearance. Wonderful it would be… if the dedication we all feel for our spouse’s was as strong as that portrayed in the well known movie, starring James Garner. “The Notebook”. For many love remains as strong and ardent as ever. For others- not so much. I wish to demonstrate, through my blog, that the most certain way to assure the success of the marital union, is to strive to achieve a well-balanced life for each partner.

My “Well Balanced Wheel” will only remain so if all five of the spokes are equal in importance and priority. Spiritual, Physical, Intellectual, Social and last but not least – Financial. Too much focus on any of these integral parts will cause the symbiosis to collapse….. I submit it may be time to “Rotate and Balance” your lives…

Lucy and I will be postings frequently about; our current life situation, recollections from our past and expectations for our future. Some posts will be informative, others purely recreational – we love to laugh at ourselves and encourage you to do the same. We have four daughters who have made the trip with us and added greatly to its enjoyment. In a few situations- its challenges. We expect them to be frequent “Stars” on Five Spoke Wheel.

We welcome questions and comments on anything that interests you. YES anything…

Cheers, David

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