Roy’s Subday Letter for April, 7, 2024

** This week my thoughts were on those around me who seem to primarily see events and interactions with others as a transaction. I also know people who primarily see events and interactions as relational. The results can be positive by accepting the strengths of both or perhaps, help us understand when events and interactions are not positive. We have opportunities for both and at this point in my life I lean toward relational.

This conundrum led me to consider other appearing opposites for this Sunday Letter.

  • Friends near and Friends far: I can feel closer to someone living in south Texas or on east coast than a friend a few miles away. Social platforms provide the opportunity for sharing, to know someone in a different way than sharing a meal or wine on the porch.

** Santa Fe and Fort Worth: Santa Fe retains the feel of a small village. In 10 minutes, we could be on a rural road…a desert environment with beautiful brown as the primary color. Fort Worth, on the other hand, is one city in the never-ending urban spread we call DFW. Concrete construction or a new housing development are replacing the cattle and grasslands…and yet, we still have luscious, beautiful trees in the open land and our primary color is vibrant green.

  • Dogs & Cats: Jazz is a Wired Fox Terrier and our 5th dog. Player was an English Cocker Spaniel, our first dog as young marrieds. Cats are the right pet for many, and often a 2nd cat joining the first. Each are life-giving partners. With our pets, as well as family, loving each and then the grief and the missing is the hello and goodbye of those who give themselves to us so freely. We are blessed by their love.

** Spring & Summer: The spring can bring rain, mostly low winds, and temperatures of 73 – 83 in Fort Worth. Gardening, blue sky, and porch time with friends important in the Spring. At the same time, we also know the lack of rain, humidity, and temperatures of 95 – 110 of July and August. Spring tends to add zest to our daily life and Summer can be draining and physically restrictive. So, we will enjoy this spring day.

  • Print – Audio – E Books: Many readers enjoy turning pages and the look of words on the page of a print book. I have friends with DFW drive time and Santa Fe artist who listen to podcasts. Other friends paint a canvas or create a necklace listening to music. And then, there are E books on your iPad or phone. For me, print book with morning coffee, and E book as last evening read.

** Gym Membership & Going to the Gym: We all get this one…No comment needed.

  • Women’s & Men’s NCAA Basketball: We have watched playoff games of both with enjoyment and admiration for the skills of the young women and men. Each play with the joy and hugs of a team win and the tears and disappointment of a team loss. The same for college softball/baseball, golf, and gymnastics. Thankful that there are lots of options for the talents of young people.

** Engaged Faith & Passive Faith: Being faithful by attending Sunday worship, same pew and pleasant greetings at 12:05 is not the Engaged Faith I seek. Many congregations have a Peace & Justice group, volunteers linked to a local Food Bank, Literacy, Aging, or other community agency. The phrase “Putting legs on your prayers” seems to fit. An engaged faith is connected and responsive… supporter of ministries, causes and the presenting needs of persons within the congregation and/or community.

Roy, appreciating life and it’s differences.


  1. Maurine on April 7, 2024 at 6:58 am

    Good morning dear friend. I attend church because it is engaging to me. Russ’s sermons about service give me immense satisfaction. It helps me prepare for the week at the Closet and connecting with friends I love on the phone, on social media or in person. I had a wonderful companion in Lexi. She gave me a reason to move on every day after Jim died. Animals of any kind give us unconditional love and that is such a blessing. I miss her everyday.

    • Roy Bowen on April 7, 2024 at 9:11 am

      A lovely and meaningful Reply. So glad about the presence of Jim and Lexi in your life.
      Your worship and Russ’s words give you both compfort and moving you to return to the Closet.
      Both wonderful and important.
      You are a thinking, believing, hopeful, and important friend.
      Gratitude for you in every way. Roy

      • Peter D. Kleven on April 7, 2024 at 12:34 pm

        Roy, thank you for you thoughts. Time and relationships seem to transition dramatically as we separate from the former time forged work week to a daily “retired direction and retired presence. Pets? Oh, they have proven to be the “Gardian Angel’s of our soul”. A connection and loyalty, and gifting that has no equal.

        • Roy Bowen on April 8, 2024 at 8:13 am

          As we age we kind of figure out people and relationships more important and vital than numbers and coins.
          Your life, our lives are connected for the betterment of us all.
          Thus, we continue, stumbling and mumbling but continuing still. Roy

  2. FRANK JOHNSON on April 7, 2024 at 9:29 am

    Great thoughts, and VERY well stated. Distance certainly has a different meaning than it did when we were in college. I was away from home for the first time, and we couldn’t afford daily phone calls, so letters were our way of keeping in touch. The hopeful walk to the mailbox is still a memory. Today distance is overcome by every means imaginable. Some face time daily with friends and family from across many, many miles. Makes one wonder the impact that makes on the word “independence” which is needed although dreaded at our early stages in life.
    And now, in these later stages of life we look at independence in a whole different light. Moving toward relational activities are necessary to remain in community. You and Beth are community experts, and it is comforting to know there is no distance between us. One person once said, “stand back and stand by”. That didn’t go so well for his intentions, but it can be a perfect mantra in other ways. Thanks for your offers of community when the time is right.
    Have a great week!

    • Roy Bowen on April 7, 2024 at 11:23 am

      As soon as we of age figure it out….the world of health, world climate or crisis changes, crashes.
      The key is holding hands as we walk to the edge.
      Taking the initiative to stay connected essential.
      Not a time to be passive.
      You both important top we two…..forever connected.

  3. mike davis on April 9, 2024 at 5:50 am

    Good morning Roy, great letter..

    one can’t deny there are benefits of social media and all this connectivity …. however.. just last week, my peewee football coach, former boss and mentor of 51 years passed away. I learned of his passing via text, from someone who saw it on Faceplant, (facebook).. he just assumed I use that platform, ( don’t and will not).. I believe these platforms and new ways to stay in touch are doing just as much if not more damage..

    Loo recovering from a tough neck surgery.. our two dogs have been such a comfort and have remained by her side since she has returned home.. they know she is in pain and healing.. our pets are the best. for years I wondered why dogs don’t live all that long.. I have come to believe their time here limited, so in their passing they help us learn about loss and grieving. This is their final gift to us, to help us prepare for the inevitable human loss we all will and must face..

    lived in San Diego for 20 years.. paradise.. mostly sunny and 72.. not much of a seasonal change.. we are on the way out of our third winter here in Central Oregon.. we have really enjoyed the changing of the seasons.. one helps you appreciate the others…

    hand held and turning the page the best.. still…… no charge needed..

    delivered meals on wheels last Friday, after 3 week pause. As I left Mr. Rudolph’s house, ( last stop), found myself grinning ear to ear, with the joy of lending a helping hand.. the rewards can’t be measured….

    keep writing Roy.. thank you ..

    • Roy Bowen on April 9, 2024 at 8:12 am

      all good and clear words.
      there are times or evenets, like FBook where you may invent evil or ill intent where there is not
      i posted about Sacred moments with neighbor and nation on Monday.
      No football or guns or fat guy yelling
      A nation of respect, saying Yes to life and something larger than themselves
      glad about lou, dogs, ending of winter
      our 3 hr lunch not far awau………

  4. Jerry Nanna on April 10, 2024 at 10:08 am

    Roy – what a wonderful quality of wisdom responses on your weekly letter. Not much to add except appreciation for your sensitivity to life and its ebbs and flow.

    My wife handed me book a couple of weeks ago saying “you might want to read this” I figured it was a touchy feely book and I set it aside; however, eventually picked it up as she knew it might do.
    Parker Palmer (2018) – On The Brink of Everything … about Grace, Gravity and Getting Old. I did enjoy one particular quote “Don’t want to fight the gravity of aging – but – collaborate the best I can.

    A peaceful thought.


    • Roy Bowen on April 10, 2024 at 5:50 pm

      Palmer on my shelf as well.
      He engages, challenges, proclaims.
      Good to share this fine speaker and writer.
      For, I stare at the screen or pad….makes notes…..them, let my fingers do the reat.
      Best to all in all ways……….Roy

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