Tag Archives: Texas

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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Filed under The World According to Roo

What’s Going On?

I wonder often about the news media and what they think they’re doing. Today I consider ways they can make the world a better place in the middle of all the madness (spinning off from my theory of doing the next right thing).

Weeks ago, for the first time in too long a law enforcement representative refused to glorify a criminal by speaking his name in the news report. Scant weeks later another law enforcement officer took the same stand. It’s a trend I hope flies high and wide.

I like to believe today’s journalists across the board want to report what’s happening in the world, report events accurately, as they happen as much as they ever have. Conspiracy theories aside, I sincerely pray for the reporters/anchors/bloggers I follow. Theirs can easily become a hazardous occupation. I don’t imagine anybody assigning blame for getting caught up in the ratings, Facebook likes, and blog stats, but let’s consider how those figures weigh in against our need for actual facts as compared to opinion.

I notice often that stories often don’t make the newscasts until months after the fact. That said, I also understand the information highway and especially social media complicate most everything, so that law enforcement is also more challenged to do the job effectively, successfully more than ever before. People randomly circulate rumors, many propagating attitude over actual facts. Less dogmatic individuals read them and adopt their opinions based on that limited tidbit of information. Such can hinder, hamper or otherwise block the actual facts, contributing more to the problems rather than cures.

Today for example, one of the first stories broadcast on this morning’s local news report is about a mid-20’s to mid-30’s aged man jogging in Eastern Dallas who fell to a random act of violence on Sunday (two days ago) and will not return home to his family. In the heartbreaking news coverage the perpetrators‘ neighbor’s comments comforted me too in the midst of the tragic story.

I firmly believe the news media would be far better served if they stopped self-inflating their ratings by making a bigger deal about victims of random acts of violence, rather than fluffing their stories with expansive details about the perpetrators; those that regardless of their motivation, choose to mark the world with bloodshed. The only actual facts I learned about the case in mention are all about the murderer – not much about the victim, his family and his community.

That messed up trend has become too common, especially in the news. Granted, we need to be aware of the violence and dangers all around us, but for people’s sake, we also need random acts of kindness going on as well.

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Filed under Notes from the Apex

What A Ride

Part of preparing to relocate from Southeastern Washington State to North Texas, Roan and I experienced one of the roughest landings of both our lives.

But leading up to that, our brother Seagh, Roan and her almost-twenties daughter, Opal and I talked for months about combining my household with theirs under one roof. We hashed over each facet and question, until a year later we decided to just do it. I’d move away from my sons’ families. Roan and I would move for her new job in Texas. Seagh would keep his job in Boise, spending his weekends in the apartment at the Ranch, and Opal would take an apartment in town close to her job.

In three days including travel time, Roan and I did what often takes months. We located the best home for the two of us for the next two years, signed a lease and then headed for the airport to return and pack it all up.

Before takeoff

Before takeoff

On the flight back to Washington we were road weary and too physically exhausted to sleep when the Boeing 727 began lifting, dropping and seemed to twist before we approached the Gorge. Within a few minutes, I turned my head down to look around my shoulder and noticed white knuckles all down the aisle. Then the flight attendants strapped in too, announcing we were experiencing some turbulence, blah, blah, blah – an understatement.

Instinctively, I began to pray to remain calm. The rollercoaster ride of the past few years flashed a few still shots through my mind. But then suddenly, I saw like a video, scenes from a rodeo years before playing a continuous loop. I understood the heavenly reply immediately.

With the next upward buck from beneath me and a hard dip to the right, balancing on my seat, I lined up my head, hips and heels, I believed I could feel reigns in my hands, close to the mane. Soon I leaned into the turns as I rode around the barrels. Roan caught on, laughed and let out a “whoop!”

Grinning, she lifted one arm up as we lunged and rocked along, not bothering to look at the other passengers around us. Determined to ride it out, all previous drama faded into oblivion. All I could hear was:

“… Life’s a highway
There’s only one way
You’re gonna get through it
When she starts to twist
Be more like Chris
Pull your hat down tight
And just LeDoux it…*

Though we boarded, weary and worn, we walked off that plane onto the Pasco tarmac with our packs slung over one shoulder feeling delightfully revived. Striding along, we glanced at one another and I had to say it, “Good ride.”

There’s been a few times since when sliding off and walking away crossed my mind. Instead, I pull my hat down tight…

* Good Ride Cowboy, written by Jerrod Niemann, Bryan Kennedy, Richie Brown and Bob Doyle, recorded by Garth Brooks in tribute to Chris LeDoux (October 2, 1948 – March 9, 2005). Emi Blackwood Music Inc., Major Bob Music Inc., First Wind Music, Major Bob Music Inc. O/B/o Cowboy Hat Trick Music, Major Bob Music Co. Inc., New Songs Of Sea Gayle, Rope And Dally Music.

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Filed under Notes from the Apex