Category Archives: The World According to Roo

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Voithos 2.1.1

Journal entry 2022Feb01

gorge Jeff SheldonJanuary in Southeastern Washington is mild compared to the last month I spent with the kids in Chicago. Now settled back into the apartment at the ranch from my two month visit, I’m comfortable and happy.

boyd sans cape

Moving home to the Ranch, so close to my crazy kid brother could have been worse, but it was the best move I ever made. However rough he’s always been a gem.

To be living my dream is marvelous. Royalties from my app already provided enough residual income for all those travel pieces. Aside from my blog, releasing rights as featured spots on my friend’s newspaper blog was a good call. I’m so glad I networked the project out to young Techies that keep my work on the cutting edge of the market place.

telex-vulcanhammmer-infotypewriter-pixabayAnd to think I actually salvaged so many of my old manuscripts. Those ones I keyed from a an old, rented typewriter onto discarded telex paper rolls (so I didn’t have to feed paper sheets). Did I really get through them all only five years after I moved back to the Ranch?

I shake off the chill and voice, “Voithos, coffee please.” In moments I could breathe in the aroma of a fresh mug of brew. “In a few more weeks I’ll enjoy opening the new electronic wall to bring in the fragrance and color of the landscape – and let the dogs in when I call them.” Not realizing I’d been speaking my rambling thoughts, Voithos, in his rich brogue responds, “Acknowledged.”

Heh, heh, I think. The folding, patio doors I installed, replacing the original garage door is now considered old school. I sigh. Dated or not, I love them.

Was it only five years after that first WordPress Blogging U course (fine, the second), I became a paid Technical Adviser for the upcoming YouTube enterprise? And collaborating with Two Are Better than One was a blessing.

I gaze over my office area, past the wood burning stove (the only heat source when I moved here). I installed a solar powered HVAC and water heating systems. Then I remembered the many rejections I printed and papered on my work area wall. I framed the last one, that sits on my old desk. “Lest we forget…” I startled, not intending to say it aloud, Voithos responds, “Acknowledged.”

img_1869 img_1862And to think, I did all of that while working a ranch, daily horseback riding – for leisure, traveling, hanging out with friends, cruising all over the globe with the gang and my offspring who now fly in from all over.

Thankfully my sons and daughters-in-law served more than their fair share in the military and public service so their grand kids aren’t subject to TDY assignments or the terrorist threats we all endured.

I reflect upon the happy years that followed, blogging about my stays around the globe. I met up with Lisa and her gang, Jacqueline, Mitch, J.Gi, Diane, David, Michelle, MescaAmir, Christi, and so many other great friends in the blogging community (what parties those were)! Traveling has certainly been more peaceful since Iran, North Korea, South Korea, Japan and Russia all made nice and the U.S. got out of their business!

How often I once dreamed of this life, and now it’s hard to remember the long, hard nights working. But I recall when the results finally took off. And now, with the wonderful people I’ve met in along the way, it’s hard to believe I ever felt lonely for someone, anyone to remind me life is worth living. God forbid I ever forget.

I must have dozed. What was I thinking? No matter, I’m breathing. “Voithos, start a new chapter, date 2023 November 22, draft title JFK-CSL. ‘With the years of memories I’ve collected, and some considerable loss… [I pause to rethink]’ ”

Voithos softly interrupts, “Roo, Roan is calling. Do you wish to answer or shall I intercept?” I sigh happily, saying, “Voithos, answer now. Hello, this is Roo.” [Momentary silence]… “Voithos, Increase outgoing volume. Hello, this is Roo.” like Roan doesn’t already see me in her holographic monitor. She looks too thin… “Hey…” Roan says with that confused tone I know so well. I wonder, who forgot what. I respond with our usual reply, “Hay hell, you’re old enough for oats.”

Suddenly I realize we had talked about letting the Jeep drive us to the Gorge – today – and her plane from Galveston departs in minutes.

I think, this must be what heaven will be like.

My foot rolling onto the cold, concrete floor shocks me into reality – I actually had been dreaming – a wonderful dream.

Wait, “Is that a trumpet I hear…**”

 

**“I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed – in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” 1 Corinthians 15:50-52 (NIV)

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Two Lights Are Better

After blogging for a few months I am delighted to have met Michelle Malone, a fellow blogger, and WordPress, Writing classmate. She writes with such candor and sincerity, I began following her blog immediately. While I didn’t initially notice Michelle is a Middle School Assistant Principal, I immediately noticed an innate wisdom about her writing.

Among many of her sensitive, enlightening posts, her recent Fear of the Unknown story especially piqued my interest.

I’m a grandmother, a freelance writer and a very humble blogger, but teaching is not one of my gifts. This revelation came to me after volunteering as a teacher’s aide in a private parochial school, and then getting to know a few teachers personally. Therefore I have the utmost respect for educators.

Fortunately for us all, my son’s remedial reading teacher changed his scholastic course. I think of Michelle often when conversing with my now grown son. Because of a single one teacher his academic career turned around that year and he went on with the rest of his class.

This year, in Fear of the Unknown, Michelle writes in eloquent detail about the “Start of the Beginning.” She describes it as “a joint professional development day between our two schools. It was my sneaky way of getting our teachers to connect and build what I hope will be a lasting partnership with teachers in our feeder system.”

In Michelle’s words:

“My greatest struggles and greatest joys are centered around relationships — the desire to build and refine them, but also to repair and resuscitate those in peril. I have not ended any (in my recollection); instead I have tried to repurpose a few for the sake of a peaceful mind and a desire to live a life of exclusivity.”

“In my current role, I primarily work with teachers, students, and parents. Though my response to various issues today differs from my response to some of the same issues over 20 years ago, I’ve noticed that the problems are essentially the same.  Parents do their best to raise respectful children, and they send us their best to nurture and to grow little people into big people who will one day rule the world we live in.”

“One of the myriad challenges we face, however, is a world that values professional athletes more than educators.  When was the last time you stood in line to buy your favorite teacher’s jersey or watched new teachers get drafted on national TV? The answer is NEVER. We don’t need that kind of pomp and circumstance, but we do need to be recognized and regarded as sowers who plant and nurture seeds each year that have the potential to grow into scientists, attorneys, prima ballerinas, designers, and our course — teachers. We need more teachers to continue sowing seeds so that there is never a fallow period in education.”

“I love it when my former students find me on Facebook and tell me what a difference I’ve made in their lives. That’s the reward for the sacrifices, the late night grading, and the second job to make ends meet.”

“I’m humbled when a parent says thank you for “doing what’s best for kids” when she knows that her kid didn’t always do his best. That’s the reward for foul language, temper tantrums, back-to-school nights, and after school help.”

“I’m honored when my former charges become teachers too.  That’s the reward for being a role model (whether I wanted to or not), planning field trips, and selling tons of World’s Famous Chocolates to fund those trips.”

“Ultimately, I’m grateful for the chance to make a small difference in the lives of others and to wake up each day and be granted that opportunity once again.”

In my experience, dedicated, committed people like Michelle and my sons’ teachers change lives in positively unforgettable ways.

Michelle and I are both new to blogging, and we fearlessly put ourselves and our stories out there in the hope of lifting, encouraging others.

About blogging, Michelle says:

“When I started blogging on All Saints Day, I never expected to meet a kindred spirit, but I did.  I met E.V.A. Lambert, author of What’s Next as I began reading posts from peers in my Writing 101 class. I confess that I quickly read through many of the posts, but there are a few that have piqued my interest, and I just can’t start my day without seeing what’s next!”

“Judging from her recent comment on one of my posts, I think she gets me too:  

“I barely know you, only met you this week, but I feel like you’re my new best friend.”

“Guess what, Roo — I feel the same way too.”  

We are both so glad God allowed our paths to cross on this gridlocked cyber super highway. We’re living proof that he’ll find us wherever we are and give us what we need.

I agree with Michelle that we are indeed on the right track . I hope together we help light this world up.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor”- Ecclesiastes 4:9 (NKJV) *

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”  Matthew 5:16 (NLT) **

*Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

**Scripture quotations marked (NLT) 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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Journey

valley Tim Mossholder

Sweet, doe-eyed expectations.
Glaring regret. Disappointment.
Abandoned.
Exhausted. Hopeless.
This is it.

I choose.

This is not the end.
The promise.
I stand strong.
He is able.
Home is my destination.

 

“Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness.” Ephesians 6:14 NLT*

 

 

(c) 2015 E.V.A. Lambert for What’s Next, Div. Rapture Practice! Publications.

 

*Scripture quotation 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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Another Unforgettable Day

ZnD Engagement photo

Among the days a mother never forgets, Homecoming Day, the moment her sons’ feet touch native soil again ranks at the top of the list.

I deeply appreciate the comments and private messages to my One Unforgettable Day post, especially those from people who are only getting to know me. I sometimes wonder if today’s American culture overlooks the genuine sacrifices the entire families of our Military Personnel, Law Enforcement Officers, First Responders and their Technical Support Teams (the most unsung, every day heroes) make on behalf of the common good.

I barely mentioned the rest of the story that began with One Unforgettable Day in a recent exchange:

Michelle Malone dot org: “The connection a mother has to her children can’t be aptly described in words. I offer you my heartfelt prayers, and I applaud your transparency.”

What’s Next.Wordpress.org: “Thank you. …My first son shipped out for the gulf coast as Nathan arrived at Fort Sam Houston for orthopedic reconstruction. [About eleven months later], Nate redeployed to Iraq to finish that tour. He’ll tell you he had to try to find the half of his foot he lost there. Nathan and Iain criss-crossed again; returning stateside unharmed. Since then, Nate served another tour in Iraq, came home to marry. Weeks after the wedding he deployed on another tour of duty in Korea. With 2014 came another tour in Afghanistan. Still in active duty, Nathan now trains our men and women <strong>stateside</strong> so he and is wife (retired, Army 2010) are raising their two children together. Iain recently retired from the Navy [so he’s no longer subject to recall]. He is a firefighter/paramedic, married to a firefighter/paramedic, they have two children together.”

 

"Nathan" and "Iain" as boots

“Nathan” and “Iain” long, long ago.

Neither Iain nor Nathan consider themselves heroes, although throughout their military careers their jobs frequently put them in harm’s way. Iain continues the work he trained for in the Navy and obtained his paramedic credentials in the private sector. Despite tours of duty in several hostile environments, they both sincerely believe they’re “just doin’ their jobs.”

The Army moved Nathan around in different specialties, thoroughly training him in each capacity, so that he likely has the combined education equivalent of a doctorate degree. Having completed two bachelor degrees, he’s literally too busy doing his job and supporting his family to continue formal education.

 

 

 

"Mr. & Mrs. Iain"

“Mr. & Mrs. Iain”

My sons come from a long line of military, law enforcement and technical services. I wish I had access to compile an album of my family’s service-related photos today. Prints of my grandfathers, my father, uncles and most of my brothers are literally out of my reach. Even if I come across as a bumptious old pest, I think we earned our bragging rights.

 

 

"Iain" (left) and his team mate at work

“Iain” (left) and his team mate after diver training.

"Iain" Volunteering

“Iain” Volunteering

"Nathan" (left) 2014

“Nathan” (left) 2014

"Nathan" teaching

“Nathan” teaching

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One Unforgettable Day

As the morning light crept across the floor I noticed black, wavy hair had already collected under the dining table. I took the Swiffer from the broom closet and wiped the floor from the front room carpet to the back door – again. As I tossed the sheet, fluffy with dog hair into the waste basket Hopi, our black, Golden-Aussie dog trotted into the room and stopped. She sensed my anxiety and studied me closely. 
 
I clicked my tongue and extended my hand toward her. She came near and sat beside me, leaning on me. I stroked her head as if doing so comforted her more than me. Hopi somehow knew what we all felt – something was not right. Nobody wanted to think about it. But we all felt it.
 
It was Tuesday, April 14, 2003. My second son deployed for Iraq on His grandpa’s birthday the end of February. By the second week of March, Nathan was able to send short emails every day or so. He phoned a couple of times, briefly reporting that he and his men were all good. But it had been almost two weeks since anyone heard from him.
 
Now, looking through the doorway to the computer monitor across the room, I saw the screensaver still undisturbed – no new email. Unable to sleep I’d gotten up and busied myself by cleaning the house hours before. Exhausted, but restless, I still needed to do something. I reluctantly said, “Walk?” Hopi stood, tail sweeping high and wide as she trotted across the room to take her leash in her mouth from the doorknob, carried it back to me and stood expectantly. Her eyes fixed on me, watching closely.
 
“Good morning.” Kerry called from the far side of the office.
 
“Hey, good morning.” I called back. 
 
The phone rang, startling us all. I spun on my heel, reaching for the handset on the table next to me, sucked in a deep breath and pressed the button. Hopi sat when she saw my shoulders droop slightly. Instead of the static-laced, overseas connection I’d hoped for, the recorded telemarketer squawked for a moment before I hung up. I heard Kerry sigh loudly as he hung up the handset in the office at the same time. Something had to give.
 
I took the leash from Hopi and she trotted before me a few feet toward the front door. As I passed the office doorway, Kerry leaned around his computer monitor, smiling at me – my sunshine. I paused hoping to not see any trace of concern which would increase mine. “Telemarketer” I reported already forgetting we’d both answered our handsets at the same time. We each considered something pleasant to say, but settled for silent smiles.
 
“We’re going to get some fresh air. You want to take a break?” I asked him.
 
“I tossed the ball for her when I got back from the depot. I want to try to finish this by eleven.” nodding to his screen while studying my face. He’d taken my fourth son Quinn to the train so I could stay by the phone. I nodded. Work was good and a healthy distraction. I had surrendered working on my manuscript for the more immediate gratification I get from cleaning.
 
“I need to walk” I reiterated.
 
He agreed, “It’ll do you good, Honey” still watching the doorway. We both sighed, waiting. I wondered if he too could practically see the apprehension in the air. With another sigh I started toward the door. Walking down the hall I lifted my coat from the hook, pulling it on. The newspaper clipping with the names of the troops already k.i.a., taped to the wall fluttered as we passed. The moments seemed longer, each step taking greater effort. At the door I pushed one hand through the sleeve, turned the doorknob with the other and then zipped the coat closed.
 
Stepping outside, Hopi right behind me, I stretched my arms up and then bent down to touch my shoes, amazed at the effort it took. Hopi sat waiting for me to click her leash onto her harness. It’s strange how I didn’t notice the harsh Chicago weather for the last week – it simply didn’t matter to me. Instead I imagined my son and his company finding relief from the average 80 degrees in Baghdad. Closing the door behind us, Hopi and I crossed the street to the park. 
 
As we walked the length of the block I envisioned Nathan and the company playing volleyball in the Iraqi sand, blowing off some steam. Then I realized they would be doing so in combat boots and battle dress uniforms. Scratch that thought. We were almost back where we’d started. I envied Hopi walking calmly, happily alongside me, her breathing slowing steadily.
 
“Hey!” I called, as though Kerry hadn’t heard us banging the storm door coming in. Anticipating I’d ask if there was any news, (like he wouldn’t have found me had there been), he called out, “Hi Babe.” And then, “Nothing yet.”
 
As if someone pulled my plug, my energy drained, exhaustion set in. The fact is, I hadn’t really slept other than brief cat naps for days. Before sunup I’d poured a cup of coffee, realized I’d already finished two, and then I poured it back into the pot. Feeling lost, I mechanically wiped the counters with a towel and then went to the table before I realized I had done that before sweeping. I reflected upon how the bursts of phone calls from friends at church and the rest of my family in other states kept me going like they hadn’t in years.
 
I sat down at the table. A moment later I rose, and stepped to my computer in the office again. Checking my email gave me no relief. I began to key whatever words came to mind: worry, fear, trepidation, war, danger, Nathan, please call or write. After a few more sentences that made no sense I took the keyboard from my lap and set it back on the desk. I stood, announcing more to the air than to Kerry that I was going downstairs. Kerry silently followed me with his eyes. He could see what I felt. There was nothing more to say. He nodded and went back to keying.
 
I started the washer and then realized there was nothing for me to put into it. I turned it off again and began washing the lid and the surfaces. While I wanted to think about times past, wiping grass and dirt from the top of the machine during little league seasons, I shook it off to keep my head in the present. This should not be so hard after raising four sons. But this was different from all his previous tours, even Bosnia-Herzegovina. Everything changed on September 11, 2001.
 
I walked back up the stairs, instantly recognizing the pronounced difference in the atmosphere. Kerry had stopped and stood in the doorway on his way out of the office. “She is right here” he said into the phone. Locking his eyes with mine, assuring me he was not moving, he handed the phone to me. Confused that I hadn’t heard it ring, something else struck a very flat, discomforting chord in me. I thought I felt a shock race from my hand to my feet and back as I raised the phone to my ear. 
 
 
“Hey Mom.” It is Nathan’s weary, reserved voice. But he doesn’t say Ma’am, as he has for some 15 years. The suppressed dread that had been stagnating for days, exploded.
I struggle to speak, “Oh, Nate…” 
“Listen Mom. I’m okay…” time slows. I recognize his voice is controlled – eerily, too controlled. I feel it  – I know what is coming. 
“Uh… I took a hit, Mom…” Again, not Ma’am.
I gasp, but no air flowed in. I glance up to see Kerry hiding his face behind his hands, his chest wretches. I must keep my focus on Nathan. I manage a quick breath.
“You are going to be alright, Natty…” I instinctively use the pet name I called him as a toddler that comforted him when he was sick or sad.
“I am, Mom.” The last time I heard fear in that voice was long ago, but louder than his voice, it screamed at me, mocked me now. I feel like someone shoved a wide blade in my diaphragm. I do not imagine fear in my son’s voice. Talking to his mom, it is real. The gravity sinks in, pushing that blade deeper. I pull myself tight, every muscle hard. Deep inside I find words, 
“I’m right here Natty. I’m not going anywhere. You can tell me. It’s okay.” I want to breathe, but I can’t risk drowning out his voice. He sounds strangely apologetic, 
“I’m gonna be okay, but I’m pretty messed up right now.”
He stammered slightly, “I – uh, Ma’am, my leg’s in a few pieces, an’ my boots are tore up…” 
This is not his usual precise speech, his carefully chosen words. This casual, slurred language coming from my uber-disciplined soldier son is dispersing my last shred of hope. This nightmare is real. I silently bare down again and shove,
“It’s okay, Natty. You’re going to be just fine. I know it. God’s not done with you yet.”
“Uh, roger that, Ma’am,” his familiar tone returns. He continues, “I was in full body armor, so I was pretty much covered, I’m not sure about my junk…” I heard someone very close to his head say, “The family is secure, Sarge. There are a couple of pieces of shrapnel in your glutes. Repeat, Sarge, the family is secure.” 
I hear Nathan acknowledge the corpsman, and goes on telling me, 
“…but shrapnel tore through my other hand. This awesome corpsman offered me his phone so I called you. Uh. I’m gonna be okay Ma’am.”
“I know you are, Son. Where are you now?” 
I am not surprised to hear him reply immediately, “Ma’am, I’m in a field hospital not far from Baghdad on Highway 8. They’re going to transport me to Landstuhl pretty quick here. And hey Ma’am…” 
I can hear a corpsman assuring him. I feel Kerry’s hands gently rest on my shoulders, now aware he is praying.
“Nate, good men have you now and I won’t stop praying until I can kiss your face.”
“Thank you, Ma’am. I know you will and I appreciate… Hey Mom, I’m real good an’ uh, I love you Mom.”
“I love you Natty. I always will.” I could hear him breathe calmly, deeply. I said softly, “I will see you real soon.”
He quietly agreed, “Oh, yes Ma’am.”
And now I hear nothing.
My instincts had been spot-on again. I stand frozen. Silent. Time stops. I do not feel. I do not think. I can not allow myself to feel.

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Catch Up Over Coffee

While I adore the idea of meeting up with you all, I’m too much of a realist. We’d have to meet somewhere public and I don’t know my new area well enough to know some wonderful, quirky place with superior food and drink to meet yet. I will have to arrange to have one of the cars, which doesn’t always happen on anyone else’s schedule easily. Face it, we’d settle on texting photos, on our coffee breaks. Still, anyone in the Dallas-Fort Worth area is welcome to come by. Call first, of course!

So, since we’re planning this date to share coffee together in the not-too-distant future, I can get to the local Starbuck’s which is now also Teavana – yeay! You are most likely aware I cut myself off of any form of caffeine and processed sugar after ten-ish. So tea, especially herbal blends are kind of a big deal in my world. That way you don’t wonder if I’m not a gremlin after midnight, manning the captain’s chair inside the head of a robotic costume.

I don’t give a care about what cups they’re serving around their beverages, I don’t frequent non-fair trade coffee shops enough that I feel any guilt or remorse (again, walking distance), and the atmosphere is almost always pleasant. Not only that, if we embarrass or offend anyone there, no one there will ever recognize us again. Besides, being new in the community and far from other friends and family, my speaking skills need remarkable warming up before conversing. You get to start!

Josey tea Carli Jean

While we share tea together I’ll be delighted to hear what’s new since the last time we talked (Skyped, whatever). I’ve learned (finally) that listening is actually more important than talking, or entertaining as I tend to do. While I have become adept at systematically changing names to protect the innocent in my stories, many of my dialogues and short stories come from simply listening to the people around me – with a little splash of creative drama now and then, just to make it interesting. Besides, I am literally so weary of my story where it is right now, I’ve been writing it in the first person the way I thought it would go starting two years back. It still sucks at times, but I feel better a lot more often in my fiction.

While we share tea together we’ll go over the last week’s global events and the news from each other’s localities. Getting trapped behind my side of my nose makes me forget the many different perspectives on the other side – your side of my nose. What’s more, the world isn’t quite as frightening on your side of my nose as it is in here! Over drinks together we get a better grasp of reality, examine truth for what it is and find better balance in the world today. As Ellen (you remember meeting her) used to say, “we must get together and talk through the world’s problems, fixing it all over a pot of tea (or a bottle of wine) soon. Balance. It’s all about balance in all things and one simply can’t do it alone.

While we share tea together I’ll torture you with the details of building my blog, the amazing things I’m learning about the mechanics of WordPress, the people I meet and the fun I’m having taking the Blogging U. classes. I’ll pester you for ideas to write about and how to promote myself where I haven’t already. We won’t talk about that episode last spring when I put into action a clever promotional idea, but the officer thought I was soliciting. I played the Grandmother card and he let me go. Whatever…

While we share tea together we’ll discuss the latest fitness challenges I’ve tried out and diet discoveries have come to light since our last visit. Surely something there will help me shed another five pounds so I’ll be back to normal body weight six months after I start lifting and boxing again. If I’m still breathing, of course.

While we share tea together I’ll tell you the actual discoveries I tried and work well for me in my overall health care (like coconut oil), especially during the last bout with cancer – ugh. It’s all gone and all good now, “… I said, knowing I gained five pounds the last six weeks. (The physical therapist ordered me to not walk every day). I couldn’t believe she was serious about that until I popped one of the sutures in my calf going down the stair too fast. Note, it was only one stitch.”

While we share tea together I can tell you the secrets to spotting poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac. I never heard of the latter either until I Googled homeopathic treatments, not wanting steroids. I can also advise you (after my second contact – they actually are bigger in Texas) how to treat the rash before it spreads – take the steroids. The End.

While we share tea together I’ll only be dull a few minutes boasting about my thirteen adorable, amazing grand kids, my marvelous sons and my heroic daughters-in-love. I promise only to show photos from my phone if you ask. And you know better than to ask just to be polite.

While we share tea together I’ll tell you the wonderful, interesting new ways I’ve learned to meet new people in Texas (not counting that soliciting thing). We’ll probably even touch on how I found the best church home (third time was the charm). You will be amazed that I’m not on the Worship Team and remember that’s where I served primarily for the last thirty years. We’ll talk about the good old days and we’ll look forward to what’s coming up ahead.

I’ll bet you can hardly wait. Hey! Where are you running so fast?

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My Clandestine, Subversive Mission

I write mostly because I’m a far better person in text than I am when I speak.

Of the many skills I developed that help maintain plausible sanity, I have more confidence in writing and rarely ever tire of it.

I pity the poor things who occupy space with me while my mind spins so fast that even I can’t keep up. I can’t expect anyone else to understand my feeble attempts to orate the vast, intricate thoughts spinning from the centrifuge of my brain; ones that comprehend quantum physics, string theory and Latin, yet I can’t recall if I ate today or how many steps get me to the light switch – and the freezer for ice cream – in utter darkness.

Mostly I write to sound the wee small voice within me, to be a beacon to seemingly hopeless lost souls, desperate to know someone gives a care. While I have failed time and again, forcing me underground, my clandestine, subversive mission is to help guide each lost child toward home.

Of an entire tree, if one piece of the fruit of my labor, a single sentence eventually helps somebody find reason enough to keep living, then I feel my time is not wasted.

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Character? Check Yes or No

It’s been a while since I purchased real estate or a new car from a dealership. Still, I remember the stacks of forms during the process.

I typically annoy busy customer service reps, especially during health care transactions. I have always actually read everything before I sign – and I ask not only what a passage means, but how that’s different from Page x, y and z. Even twenty years ago the paperwork required for major expenditures concerned me. At the time I felt like signing my name somehow compromised my integrity.

In 1983 I drove my brand new Chevy off the dealership lot with only a handshake, my word to sign the loan documents “soon” and a phone call to my insurance broker.

Today it’s hard to remember simpler times when I kept a running tab at my town’s food and liquor store, mostly to spare me time waiting in the checkout line. I also ran a tab at the bar and grill. That was in Los Angeles County – not an obscure hamlet.

bar n grill

As recently as 1999, I presented my driver’s license to rent a moving van and learned it had expired years before. Mainly because the manager was on sight, my oversight cost me a couple of hours at the Motor Vehicle Department on moving day. Needless to say I detested my ID photo for the next few years.

Though we had credit cards even then, consumers commonly wrote paper checks to purchase goods, sometimes we swiped an ATM card, so I hadn’t shown my identification in years. People in the community knew me. But the fact that I never lived anywhere more than three years in my adult life makes that mind boggling.

And don’t get me started about how my hackles rise when doctor’s offices ask about my insurance carrier before they ask my name.

I long for the world where yes meant yes and no meant no; “Will you pay this when you get your check?” “Of course I will.” Once I accidentally bounced a check. The payee first assumed it was an accident and I confirmed it when I resolved the matter with a couple of personal phone calls. Once a victim of a forged check, I entirely recovered, cleaned up and forgot the whole incident in a couple of weeks – without involving a collection agency. Now I grieve for victims of identity theft.

people malled

So, now that we have advanced into the digital age, complete with cyber crime, global cyber espionage, social media stalking and identity theft, we are rarely certain about anyone. What have we gained when we have sacrificed character for the sake of convenience? It’s as if we no longer value character at all – it’s all about credit scores.

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Filed under A Door Ajar, The World According to Roo

Joke’s On Me

Changing routines in our household is like moving the furniture in a blind and deaf person’s space.

Typically in our household I am up and moving about hours before anyone else. With the elevated pollen count and the North Texas autumn’s arrival (our first experience here), I feel like someone moved all the furniture.

This morning, the first Friday of the month, the entire household abounded with entirely too much brain activity, very many words, followed by questions. All this included considerable use of numbers, something I try to avoid at least 25 days each month – this isn’t one of the number days I recall planning. This all set in motion before my brain actually did.

The good news; in this trepid land of three alpha females under the same one roof; all survived with no bloodshed or flying fur – two hours later all funds are allocated and mostly disbursed.

Someone should write this down.

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More For Myself Than Anyone Else I Know:

Thank you Bob Mayer:

“… they had to exchange information. They didn’t have to actually meet…” Bam!

https://writeitforward.wordpress.com/2015/09/18/5-ways-to-jumpstart-creative-thinking/#comment-26499

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Filed under The World According to Roo