Category Archives: The World According to Roo


On Love



I believe in living by example; doing everything in such a way that what I believe is clear to all. Even when people misconstrue or they just don’t get it, God does.

I believe Jesus said it best:

“So now I am giving you a new commandment. Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” John 13:34 (NLT)



Filed under The World According to Roo

Back Home Again

Two particular things stand out from my recent trip for a family funeral.

dawn val of sun 28jan2016

Stormy Daybreak, Valley of the Sun


First is the astounding amount of time I need to resettle after such a trip.


CA-AZ 1981 001CA-AZ 1981 001Not long ago we’d take up any opportunity to hit the road. Regardless of my boys’ ages we thought little of grabbing our packs on the way out the door, not knowing when exactly we’d actually walk back in. We’d cross a state line or two for a weekend adventure if for no other reason than because we could. What’s more, I recall only one instance where an eight hour drive through the night rendered me incapable of working my first shift. In all fairness that was the day after my niece took her sweet time being born – 355.7 miles from home at the time. Maybe that was long ago. That niece is in her thirties married over a decade ago.

Greens 001

Now, days after returning from the last trip I am amazed at how much time has actually passed.

This morning, thinking I had a pretty good handle on things, latte in hand, I sprang to work and immediately felt blindsided by the bulk of email awaiting me, some now six days old. I slouched leaned back in my chair, sipping my steamy, comforting mug contents, listening to the uproar in my head:

  • The Nano-Organized Micro-Manager Voice screamed End-of-the-world-NOW prophesies,
  • The Artist Voice called for blues, greens and reds all to be mixed with black,
  • The Comptroller Voice demanded we audit all accounts immediately,
  • The Editor-in-Chief voice demanded I post something, anything, NOW
  • Suzy Sunshine’s Voice feebly interjected about how popular we’ve become…

This took place mere nano-seconds before I noticed the figure “3” next to the Gmail Drafts folder (meaning something most likely did not go out as I thought before I left for the airport).  A loud scream, initially remote, rapidly pierced its way to my frontal lobe, nearly breaching Central Dispatch before I arrested it, saying instead, “Voithos, where are you?”

Though I actually had internet access the entire time I was away – time away with family being the operative term. Such occasions happen rarely in our circles, so they’ve moved up the priority scale dramatically. This morning I sipped, calculated and reminisced events of the past two weeks. I determined to break tradition, and not stay at the laptop until all two-hundred and some-odd items were opened and sorted, and then take time to catch my breath. That memory alone made my neck and shoulders stiffen.

Instead. I. thought.

I decided upon the well-considered, conscious choice to sort all email into three categories (four including the Drafts folder) to address after I returned from a walk and shower with  a fresh pot of tea:

Absolutely First: Check Draft folder,

Folder 1: Stuff to open first to avoid apocalyptic catastrophe (stuff that could cost me money),

Folder 2: Stuff to deliberate over after sorting through Drafts and Folder 1,

Folder 3: Put other stuff here only if doing so won’t cost me money,

Folder 4: WordPress notifications. Get strong coffee, and then proceed.

Greens Dec 1960 Sdale 001The second thing that stands out is the very many gatherings with my siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews where we all emphatically agreed we must get together before another funeral summons us. At our advanced age, as approximated by no sign of our elders (until passing a mirror) and the horde of young people that look only vaguely familiar now, we should not press our luck as to when that gathering will happen.

So, dear readers, this post is not only me checking back in, but is also my figurative gauntlet landing solidly in the dust, a cloud billowing gently on the grass before my dearest relations. I shall again attach a link to this post in another round of family emails reminding us all that tomorrow is not promised. We must set a date.

I’ll get back to you on that.


“You know the saying, ‘Red sky at night means fair weather tomorrow; red sky in the morning means foul weather all day.’ You know how to interpret the weather signs in the sky, but you don’t know how to interpret the signs of the times.” Matthew 16:2,3 (NLT)


Filed under The World According to Roo

Every Single Sparrow – or Starling

During my recent trip out of state I especially noticed news broadcasting everywhere. People are talking about terrorism from numerous sources, genetically modified food organisms, health and environmental issues and global financial crisis that were unimaginable when I was young. With all our advancements it seems the roots of greed and the lust for power also corrupt faster than ever. We can honestly say the world has changed.

starlings RMP​Home now, I walked through my local park again when a typical scene caught my attention. Hundreds of starlings. ​I can’t stop thinking about them, especially the way they noisily they cover trees or the ground, their chirping rising until not much else can be heard. And then suddenly the chirping would abruptly pause and the birds would all take wing – all in the same direction and then all turned sharply into another direction. Together.

Captivated, I stopped and waited. I watched hoping to catch some video of the flocks as they took off. Not a great photographer, that didn’t happen. Even so, I clearly recall the sounds, the images and the feelings I experienced. I can’t stop thinking about those birds.

A little farther on I noticed a couple of older gentlemen also enjoying the unseasonably warm, sunny morning. Soon I realized they were arguing until they stomped off in different directions from one another. Moments later, a loud “boom” sounded from the highway nearby. I jumped at the sudden sound and looked around carefully. Almost immediately I also noticed the same two men hurrying toward one another again. Reaching for one another, they grasped each other’s hands, did the man-hug and then walked toward the park wall – together – perhaps to investigate. Whatever had upset them seemed to be forgotten.

I wondered again about the starlings. Whatever set them to flight as they chirped away, they flew together. Not one bird bumped into another. None screamed to be the leader. There were no stragglers, I didn’t see one bird left behind. They moved like a large black cloud – together.

I wonder what if people imitated the starlings more.

I’ll certainly continue praying that mankind realizes how we need one another, that we learn to not let disagreements or upsets drive us apart. I’ll keep hoping that we stop dividing over ignorance, fear and hatred. I shall keep believing in God’s perfect creation. I am certain I will continue to marvel over human behavior, the starlings – and the sparrows as long as I live.

“​What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” Matthew 10:19-31​


Filed under The World According to Roo

More Change is Inevitable

Typically I like to post on Tuesdays and Fridays. It’s been working for me, however this week is a challenge.

I’ll be hanging in the air most of tomorrow with lots of running around and catching up when I land. Because of the most recent changes in my part of the world, I especially appreciate Michelle Malone’s wonderful series recently published on Two is Better Than One – The Malone Zone. Michelle’s slant on how we manage change has encouraged and empowered me throughout this particularly challenging week. Iron sharpens iron, so I’m passing these excellent posts on to those who haven’t yet discovered the deep wisdom Michelle offers.

michelle malone

Source: Change is Inevitable; Attitude is Everything

…The best part of all this is realizing that my whole attitude has changed.  A few years ago, all of this upheaval so early in the morning would’ve had me frazzled. Though on the outside, I may have appeared unflappable, that wouldn’t have been the case in my mind. Today, very little can jolt me. I don’t worry about my job, finances, others’ perception of me, or anything that is beyond my control. My job is just that — a means to earn money to take care of my family. My finances are adequate and fueled by the revenue I take home as well as how I manage it. Others’ comments about me — whether negative or untrue, are not my business. All I need to be concerned with are things that are in my purview.”

“Philippians 4:6 reminds me not to worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.”

Read the entire article at The Malone Zone


“The seeds of good deeds become a tree of life; a wise person wins friends.” Proverbs 11:30 (NLT)


Filed under The World According to Roo

The Flicker and the Fish

It’s been another roller-coaster week. Beginning on an even plane today, having stepped into my routine, coffee gone I made a pot of tea. At my desk, I pulled a file from my trusty drafts folder and dove in.

As I worked something began flickering somewhere on by mind’s periphery. Static images don’t easily distract me, but I can’t ignore a flicker. After a few minutes, still unable to keep my mind in my work I laced up, stretched out and hit the trail.

Returning refreshed, invigorated and focused I wrapped up the task, set it aside to cure and headed for the shower.

Back at work, after starting a new file I noticed the flicker again. Something intangible seemed to be vying for my attention. I checked my calendar and confirmed I hadn’t missed an important date. I turned to the white board to keep focused.

Satisfied with my outline I returned to my text. After some time that nagging feeling I couldn’t identify was back. The file was ready to rest, so I closed it for the time being and sat quietly to meditate and clear my mind.

rocks-on-stream-2592x1936_99622Before very long thinking of nothing turned into pleasant memories; a stream, Poppy and my Uncle, wet rocks and the exhilarating air among the pines that filled the landscape surrounding my grandparents’ cabin. We were fishing. I would cast my line and happily watch the lure disappear into the water.

swimming-trout-on-water-3648x2736_93672I felt the pole in my hands jerk. I pulled the rod back in the opposite direction as I had watched Poppy and Unc do often. Wheeel! Whizz! bzzzz… Splash! A trout. My very first catch. I didn’t care that the sun was burning my face. I was so mesmerized by the life pulling and tugging back and forth at the end of my line.

Unc stood there with the net still at his side. “It’s a keeper. What ya wanna do, Girl?” My arms frozen, one hand gripped tightly around the cork pole grip, my other hand reaching for the line. Sunlight set the colors of the fish dazzling as it swished and bent back and forth across the water. As I reeled it in closer and lifted it, I felt its desperation to return to the water.

I glanced at Unc’s face. That wink – assuring me he’d be proud of whatever I wanted to do. I heard Poppy some yards farther up, urging Unc to net the fish. I wanted Poppy to be proud of my catch too. I wanted everyone to be impressed as we walked up to the porch like they were when my brother brought in his first catch the summer before. I wanted to feel that way badly. Then I saw the fish’s eyes. And Unc saw into mine.

Six foot tall, Unc’s long-legs easily stepped around blocking Poppy’s view of me, he never took his eyes from mine as I gazed at “my” catch. Pocket knife already in his hand he snapped it open. It felt like hours flew by while the fish struggled against my line. I couldn’t put my all into reeling and pulling it closer. Still watching me carefully, Unc cut the line and just that quickly the fish was gone from sight. I felt instantly relieved.

the-clean-stream-4320x3240_63085His smile bright as the sun, he bent and splashed the water with the free hand, bringing the net close between us and then called over his shoulder to Poppy, “Aw, the line broke.” Poppy fussed under his breath as Poppy sometimes did. Still smiling, Unc straightened and responded, “We should’ve used that other reel.” Catching the end of my line, he quietly said to me, “We needn’t mention the knife. Hamburgers sound better to me anyway.” Again, that understanding wink.

And in another instant I could feel my breath again exactly as I felt it way back then. Relieved. I remember gathering pine cones on the way back, our arms free of any fish. Unc would point to bare spots teasingly to send me where there were no pine cones and we’d laugh.

I took a deep breath, gazed out the window to the giant pines across the street and imagined I could smell them through the closed windows. Unc had always been my hero but there is so much more to tell about him.

I returned to my desk…

To be continued.


Filed under The World According to Roo

Day Three – Three Day Quote Challenge


My nominees for the Three Day Quote Challenge are:

Debbie at Butterfly Ramblings
Paul at A Christ Led Journey
Amir at World of Horror

Third only to God and family I love my country. Volumes of quotes come to mind with the thought. Hours later the most prevalent quotes may not be the most well-known today:

“…In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shank from this responsibility — I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it — and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.

And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.

My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man. Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you.” John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961

I was a child at the time, but I clearly recall the following months, the mounting atmosphere of trepidation, air raid drills in school, and then the global sigh of relief.


I simply must also add:
“Ladies and gentlemen, I was warned to be out of here in plenty of time to permit those who are going to the Green Bay Packers game to leave. I don’t mind running against Mr. Nixon, but I have the good sense not to run against the Green Bay Packers.” JFK quote 

Go Packs!

My personal favorite, which also grieves me most on many levels today:

“We in this country, in this generation, are, by destiny rather than choice, the watchmen on the walls of world freedom. We ask, therefore, that we may be worthy of our power and responsibility, that we may exercise our strength with wisdom and restraint, and that we may achieve in our time and for all time the ancient vision of ‘peace on earth, goodwill toward men.’ That must always be our goal, and the righteousness of our cause must always underlie our strength. For as it was written long ago, ‘except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.’” John F. Kennedy, Undelivered luncheon speech, Dallas, Texas November 22, 1963




Filed under The World According to Roo, Writing and Blogging

My Strongest Conjuration

Driveway Matt JonesI can’t tell when the stirring began again, but I’m somehow encouraged to find the same theme popping up around the blogosphere – Home.


snow bridge Aaron WilsonI suspect Winter raising its head about the northern hemisphere has many residents longing for the comforts associated with home; good company and sufficiency.


While I enjoy reminiscing, I want to take some time to examine the actual concept of Home. To begin this pursuit of my ‘strongest conjuration,’ Today I reflected upon a few literary masters and some fellow bloggers:


Sunset in the rear view; heading home

Sunset in the rear view; heading home


“O my heart! O tender and fierce pangs—I can stand them not—I will depart;
O to be a Virginian, where I grew up! O to be a Carolinian!
O longings irrepressible! O I will go back to old Tennessee, and never wander more!” Leaves of Grass, Longings for Home, by Walt Whitman


“I’ve been building a lot of things lately, but I don’t think home is one of them… …but what I do know is that this life of mine must be made for more than this.” Pebblestone Steps, New Horizons, by John Chon


“… just a bit further, and then retire for the night … with my home being their final destination.” Two Are Better, Homeward Bound, Michelle Malone


“But charity begins at home. And justice begins next door. Martin Chuzzlewit, Chapter 27, by Charles Dickens


Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; stronger than magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration.” Martin Chuzzlewit, Chapter 35, by Charles Dickens


“The more you explain it, the more I don’t understand it.*” Mark Twain


Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:8 (NLT)


*any inference to home with this particular quote is mine. EVAL


I would appreciate your thoughts – what you think about home.



Unless otherwise indicated, (NLT) Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


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My Strongest Conjuration Part 2

Foundation Issues*


“You can never go home again, but the truth is you can never leave home, so it’s all right.” Maya Angelou

For what now seems too long, I want more than ever before to go home. My greatest challenge, as always is that my entire concept of home is tricky.

367px-A_Christmas_Carol_-_Mr._Fezziwig's_BallTypically, like Ebeneezer Scrooge’s happier visitations with the Ghost of Christmas Past, when I ponder home, warm feelings of Family Past flow into my fore thoughts. For me, however, debris and sometimes rusted car doors also flow in those treacherous waters. While I mastered those waters long ago, after years of “dealing with it,” it’s now a stale, old happenstance. I typically choose to move forward.


But I’m writing about my concept of home, so I’m going to remain in this stream for a moment.

Truth: My early life actually began in Pleasantville, U.S.A. The middle child of my parents’s first three offspring, we were blessed with three generations of a closely connected, devoted, loving and attentive family. After we all migrated to Arizona, we remained close. And then Quinn, my fourth sibling perished from a cold. Though my parents had three more children over the next five years, they never really recovered from the loss or the remorse and guilt that lurk silently in the shadows of such tragedies.

broken houseBy the time I realized something about anything, my parents were no longer like the Cleavers or even the Conners. We slept, kept breathing, ate regularly, people came and went, so nothing was different. And yet nothing was the same. Gradually boarders and nannies replaced grandparents and aunts. Our new, extended family branched out in so many directions, my brother and I were prematurely independent – far too unsupervised for children our ages. In our family unit’s complexity we became more like a grove than a tree.



Truth: my siblings and I, naturally all true survivalists, have maneuvered around the globe longer than we’ve lived in the same states. For me, the concept of home has often been incorporeal, not too unlike those who endured migrations during the Great Depression. For the brief time I was an average schoolgirl, home was where I went after classes – when I didn’t play hooky. Home was dry, nobody was hungry, we knew where to find what we needed – and where to hide when we should.


“Love begins by taking care of the closest ones – the ones at home.”
Mother Teresa

“*Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.” Matthew 7:24 (NLT)


art: “A Christmas Carol – Mr. Fezziwig’s Ball” by John Leech – Licensed under Public Domain via Commons –



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My Strongest Conjuration – Part 3

Image Viktor Mogilat

The Story Within; My Greatest Agony


Storm Julia Revitt“This is a great idea,” I thought. “I’m a home body. I’ve been a home maker most of my life, so writing about home will be a breeze.” After outlining and then drafting My Strongest Conjuration, Parts 1 and 2, the breeze quickly developed into an emotional thunderstorm. Telling myself, “Heh, No worries, I like to dance in the rain” I shook off the drama.

thunderstorm Iren PetrovaAfter some days work a squall developed. Frustrated with my keyboard, taking pens and tablets, a pile of ripped or crumpled paper soon surrounded me. “What was I thinking?!” I’d dismissed my outline and ended my previous post abruptly. Oh yeah, Divine intervention. Right?

The next days flew past, while I poured myself into volumes of text. And then yesterday I deleted the entire week’s work. Shockingly captivating, it missed my point; while my journey to here has been marvelous, this is not home.

heartbreak Melissa AskewTruth: Home is where my heart breaks. In my actual history, however dramatic, my early life is a suspense thriller and at some points a horror story. You name it, I probably experienced it. And then, after feeling comfortable that the worst possible seasons were behind me, the past eight years became another series of losses.

Yet, in retrospect my prevailing theme so far has clearly been victorious against all odds”. Much of “it” happened in or close to home, so it’s no surprise my attitude about home had become corrupted lately.

Now, weeks into this project, there is no escaping the concept.

Leaving my father’s house, an image of home was solid in my mind. With my ‘beloved’ and our children we would live happily ever after; “Where Thou art – That – is Home -*”

While that may work out beautifully in some stories, it didn’t in mine. Ten years and four sons later I had become a broken, single, working mom. After a while, and some ego mending, home was any four walls that enclosed the right person**. Or in our case, the right persons, my sons and me.

2014-05-09 09.15.39

While we share excellent memories with my family and friends in several different places, their curb appeal, their aromas and their colors faded away long ago. Later on this unmarried, unattached woman with no conspicuous resources was proud buying my first houses. They were nice while my sons were close by, but once they’d all left my nest, they became buildings to be visited while not working. As Daddy often said, they were where I’d hang my hat.***

Years later, still hopeful, I married again. Convinced that God joined us together, the right persons between four walls, we set out building a life together and home. While some of the following years with my best friend were lively, spontaneous and occasionally rewarding, the marriage ended with a thud seventeen years later.

lagoon Kate TandyHome then became a brand new apartment with an eastern balcony overlooking a lagoon. However picturesque, it was cold and uninviting. And yet, living there taught me to fully understand that,

To be with the right person, one must first be the right person.

God loves me as He does everyone else; and to complete that circle, loving myself has now become a higher priority. For the past several years, my mission has been to be me, and not merely settle for whatever is left of me. While working through the mire, this new focus promises to lend to a far better concept of home.

“I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.” Maya Angelou 1928 – 2014

“How priceless is Your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of Your wings” Psalm 36:7 (NIV)

Title reference: “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” Maya Angelou 1928 – 2014

* 724 by Emily Dickinson 1830 – 1886
**“Home is any four walls that enclose the right person.” Helen Rowland 1875 – 1950
***”Any old place I can hang my hat is home sweet home to me.” William Jerome 1865 – 1932


Filed under My Strongest Conjuration, The World According to Roo

What About Home?

I began writing about home, what defines it, what it is and what it might be. For weeks I have been staring down my past, how I arrived where I am. I stared so hard that I overlooked the present for a while. The present ended my query.

People all over the globe face devastation and uncertainty; stark, horrifying statistics filling headlines. While doing perfunctory tasks, I tried to imagine my family; trudging along, minuscule elements in a flood of humanity, swept away with the debris of war.

Masses of people endure hardships, fleeing death or worse, uncertain where they’ll be when the sun sets. What is worse, those necessitating their flight hide among them.

I am thankful to be home – today. I am not comfortable, not for myself, not for my family or friends, and certainly not for more than 60 million souls. God help us all.


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