Roy’s Sunday Letter for July 7, 2024

** Sunday Letter readers live coast to coast. Each of you bring a unique perspective and background to your comments and email follow-ups. One observant reader responded via email: “There are Land people and there are Ocean people.” It seems to me that Ocean people see different colors of green, brown, ocean and sky blues, sunsets, and incoming storms than I do as a Land person. Southwest Land people talk slower, need more time to tell a story than most living on the east coast. Readers remind me there are also Plains, Artic, Lake, Mountain and Island people. In summary, we are all the same; we are all different…both true.

  • July 4th naturally brings forth the story of The Statue of Liberty as an example of strength, compassion, and hope. In her book “Real Change,” Sharon Salzberg points out the right foot of our Lady of Liberty is raised. She is in motion, to quell fears, to embrace the lonely and fearful strangers. The action step of the raised right foot is best seen from a rear photo. This is an amazing reality that makes our Lady of Liberty even more respected and wonderful in my heart and mind.

** “Nobody who has lived a long life remembers everything.” From my current morning fiction read.

  • Have your recently read or heard the word Latinx, the name for those persons of Latin America or Spanish heritage? Spanish is a gender specific language with Latina for female and Latino for male. Latinx is a gender neutral a non-binary identification. The plural of Latinx is Latinxs.

** One of the secrets of an aging memory and long-term marriage are sticky notes.

  • This Sunday, I offer the wisdom of Wendell Berry, poet and farmer. “We have lived our lives with the assumption that what was good for us, was good for the world. We were wrong. Now, with all we have learned, we know what is good for the world is also good for us. Which means we all have to make the effort to learn what is indeed good for the world.”

LIFE’S LIMITATIONS: Toby Keith sang, “I’m not as good as I used to be, but I’m still pretty good.” Parts of my “used to be” would be 5K runs, mid-day playing 18 holes of golf or 3 sets of tennis, and long walks with Beth, (Player and Georgia our first wonderful Cocker Spaniels.) Today, I move slower, read more and seem to achieve less. Last week, I took a hard fall. I was entering a side door at Westside church. I was carrying a water bottle, a book, looking at and speaking to my friend holding the door, not paying attention to the step-up in front of the door. My lack of mindfulness on what I was doing (i.e. walking) resulted in my tumble. Yes, I can still achieve much and believe I will. I also accept and live within the limitations of my now life.

Roy, next Sunday writing about public libraries!


  1. Nancy Tuttle on July 7, 2024 at 6:15 am

    The good news, you got up!
    I fell several weeks ago with a hard landing on my tail bone. Ouch!
    That sent me to physical therapy. I’m going Monday to work on balance and strengthening my legs (essential for standing up from a chair (or toilet).
    Thanks for the comment about Lady Liberty. I never noticed that.

    • Roy Bowen on July 7, 2024 at 7:47 am

      PT can be helpful. When I did ny sessions I found out my walk had become narrow, shorter than needed for core balance.
      On longer walks I now use a walking stick. The stick helps my side to side balance.
      I was not paying attention to my steps. So, being Mindful important.
      Good thoughts your way of health, family, and your unique creative spirit.

  2. Dave Steward on July 7, 2024 at 6:16 am

    About your fall….You got up!

    Onward, through the haze.

    From your East Coastie bud.

    • Roy Bowen on July 7, 2024 at 8:02 am

      I have learned the art of “fall and roll.”
      My onsite frustration was I did this to myself. Not paying attention.
      Why do we need to be reminded to be mindful, no longer doing 10 things at once.
      Regardless we do, I do.
      Always good words with you.
      I inserted “Artic people” in honor of your good self.
      Onward (but carefully)….

      • Dave Steward on July 7, 2024 at 8:24 am

        I fell once, while crossing a crevasse, and dropped roughly 20 feet. Per protocol I was roped-up to two others – one ahead and one behind. Reminding us all that connection to others important and sometimes vital. Carry on!

        • Roy Bowen on July 7, 2024 at 11:17 am

          and in our digital world our being connected is different, even more vital.
          and, we are!!

  3. Sandra on July 7, 2024 at 6:22 am

    I was pleased to see you and Beth at The Freedom Meal, and enjoyed that new tradition between July 4 and Juneteenth. I plan to attend again! Sorry about your fall, but such is the physical existence in our earthly vessels. Hope you do not have lasting soreness.

    • Roy Bowen on July 7, 2024 at 7:33 am

      A big yes on the evening at Grace Methodist. This was a big effort by the planners, cooks, and servers.
      The fall was quick, no injury. Frustrated that the fall had to happen. Not paying attention, carrying too much.
      I “used to do” all this and more. No longer. Adjust. Accept. Continue on….We do so together.

      • Jen Hudson on July 7, 2024 at 10:16 am

        After a lifetime of madly multitasking, I am trying to develop joy and peace in doing one thing at a time. It’s a difficult habit to break for those of us that enjoyed having multiple projects, commitments and a fast paced life.
        I look forward every Sunday to read your reflections on life. I will enjoy my gardening time mulling over your thoughts on ocean and people. I am not sure where I fit.
        I am glad you are okay from the fall.

        • Roy Bowen on July 7, 2024 at 11:15 am

          Yes, we all learn to multi everything.
          Yes, single out our lists, narrow down
          yes, I can do so, but not as comfortable as a multi
          We can support each other to drift away from our “used to be.”
          I have learned how to fall….no injury.
          Side note: afternoon hummingbird feeding at the garden blooms; forget the handing feeder.

          so good to have you in our world/s…..

  4. Paul Warren on July 7, 2024 at 6:33 am

    I would say that the “good as I used to be” hasn’t diminished, but has transformed into something more golden and truly valuable to the good of the world. Let the young run their marathons. You, Roy Bowen, share your wisdom.

    • Roy Bowen on July 7, 2024 at 7:26 am

      Someone recently told me my words were “experienced.” The edges a bit worn, rust showing here and there…..but, somewhere in the middle of all that is a determine heart, spirit, and always hope. Thank you for your encouraged and being your own experienced healthy self.

  5. Cameron McRostie on July 7, 2024 at 10:03 am

    Like a human chain in the rip tide in the sea of aging, we can pull others back from the brink of no return. Be Love in all its mysterious ways.

    • Roy Bowen on July 7, 2024 at 11:21 am

      A joy to read your words and encouragement.
      One comment from a reader on our same block
      Comments also coast to coast.
      I have learned how to roll with tumble, so far
      Best to you dear friend…..

  6. Peter D. Kleven on July 7, 2024 at 11:14 am

    Roy, we all need to help cushion each other’s missteps as we continue on our life’s journey. You certainly have been there for me. I am thankful that you report you suffered no major damage. My “heating pad” has become one of my “best friends”. This Sunday literary connection certainly identifies that we can benefit from the spirituality of the joining of and the healing of our body and our souls. Thank You Roy………..

    • Roy Bowen on July 7, 2024 at 11:26 am

      Is the hiking stick adding to your safety??
      I will use mine Tuesday AM as I approach that same side door.
      Glad you have social neighbors around you.
      Continue to enjoy Minn. All well earned and deserved.

      • Peter D. Kleven on July 7, 2024 at 12:37 pm

        My new walking stick is one of my new props to stabilize and enhance my mobility as I strengthen my core.

  7. Maurine on July 7, 2024 at 2:38 pm

    It took me a while to realize I had not received your Sunday letter. I kept refreshing my feed to no avail. I finally checked my junk folder and there you were. I told the powers that be that you are not junk and don’t make that mistake again. You might check on your end, technology escapes me. You know I am a land person, specifically mountains. The ocean fascinates me on a cruise, but I have no desire to play in the sand or swim with dolphins.
    Falling is one of the scariest things about aging. Most of us went about life at warp speed never concerned with the consequences of being unaware. I am much more aware of my surroundings and my footing.Thanks for reminding us.

  8. Jerry Rekow on July 7, 2024 at 8:38 pm

    Roy – be careful. From personal experience I can see that my reflexes and balance are not as sharp as they were when I was younger. Some laugh at Biden’s tripping on the plane stairs and having his wife help him from the stage after trying to reason with Trump for 90 minutes. I’m finding that I have a hard time with tiered seating, as in an auditorium, especially on the balcony level. This is all real and major concern is for one’s hitting their head in a fall to cause a brain bleed – serious and highly preventable if we take precautions. Walking sticks or canes are perfectly acceptable after the age of 80 or at any age when one feels “wobbly”.

    • Roy Bowen on July 8, 2024 at 10:28 am

      Dear wise one……Your experience matches well to mine. We of age learn our ways the hard ways, not always in the right order.
      I listen and learn from good ones as yourself.
      For now, carry less, be mindful of my steps and where I step.
      Also important not to isolate, not let fear take over.
      Clint Eastwood says, “Don ‘t ley the old guy in.”

  9. Roger on July 8, 2024 at 11:17 am

    So sorry to hear about your fall! Physical limitations increase but, thankfully, mind still OK. Grateful.

    Not everyone is comfortable recognizing our limitations. There is one major example at the moment. We have wisdom to offer just not everything is possible physically! Wise and kind to ourselves and others when we can recognize that and be compassionate.

    Snail mail in the works.

    • Roy Bowen on July 8, 2024 at 12:31 pm

      Well said
      And yes, “we” have major furure challenge O(actually a prfesent challenge.

  10. Roger on July 8, 2024 at 11:28 am

    The quote is great!

  11. DeWayne on July 9, 2024 at 7:20 am

    Good morning friend, glad you didn’t break any bones with your fall. I have had occurrences a couple times with being preoccupied and losing my balance. I suppose we are getting older and still thinking we are invincible. Thank you for sharing the tidbit on Lady Liberty. Definitely a fitting description. Tell Beth hello for us!

    • Roy Bowen on July 9, 2024 at 8:09 am

      So very good to read your words, especially on Lady Liberty.
      Yes, walking, writing memos, everything but paying attention to walking.
      Learned (relearned) my life lesson,
      You 2 always special.
      Beth concerned with her dear friend Tricia. These two a life connection.
      Good to read…….Roy

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