(if you’re looking for the Tom Roush who makes Civil war music, that’s not me. But I’ve contacted him, and if you’re looking for him, his response is: There are 3 places on the web where folks can find me. I can be found on YouTube, Facebook, and at my incomplete website, tomroush.us)

Tadaa…  Regardless of which Tom Roush you decide to look for – welcome.

So about me…

Well, I’m a husband, a father, a Christian who wonders often about God and how He makes Himself known in some of the weirdest places.

I’m an observer of life, sometimes telling stories with pictures, sometimes with words.

On top of all that, I’m currently a computer geek with a degree in photojournalism who’s been told I should be a writer.

So… I’m writing.

If anyone were to ask me why I’m doing this – gosh, there are a number of reasons…

It brings me happiness – and some of the stories literally make me laugh as I’m writing (often on the bus on the way to or from work – people look at me funny when I do that).

And some made me cry – both as I experienced the event, and as I wrote about it.  (The story about my friend Betty was exceptionally hard to get over).

I find the writing brings me peace – sometimes coming to terms with things, finally learning a lesson and using the stories to share them, sharing the faith that I hold onto to get me through some of the rough spots in life, but also reliving and sharing the laughter of events both recent and in the past.

Some of the stories have lessons in them – where 30 years after the fact, I’ve had that “Aha!” moment and finally “get it”.

And some don’t… Some are just fun.

If the stories touch you in some way – let me know.  Just comment on the story – if you don’t want the comment published with the story – let me know, I’ll respect that. I’d love to hear from you.

Oh – one other reason I write…  My friend Francis felt so strongly about me writing a book that he told me, and this is as direct a quote as I can remember: “If I die before you publish your book, I’ll come back and haunt you until you do.”

So Francis – consider this my attempt to keep you off my back. 🙂

Take care…

Tom

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Oh, about the pictures.

The main one, of the lighthouse, is up at a place called Fort Casey, on Whidbey Island, in Washington state.  It’s officially called the Admiralty Head Lighthouse .  I’ve gone up there for years, starting off with college, then family, then with our scout troop, and most recently with our church group.  It’s become a special place for me, and every time I go up there, I get a lighthouse picture.  The first time was in 1983, and I climbed a tree to take the picture, so the water was directly behind the top of the lighthouse. That made it special, and also made it into both the yearbook for the university I was going to (SPU) and the Christian Science Monitor a bit later when I was freelancing.  It became a tradition, every time I went up there, to climb the tree and get a lighthouse shot.  The one you see now was taken more recently, and that tree I climbed for the other images, while still there, is no longer climbable, so one year when we were up there in the summer, I saw the beginnings of a good sunset, and positioned myself for this image, and then, as I’ve done with most pictures worth anything, I waited for the right moment.

And what you see is what I got.

The portrait, the smaller picture, came about in a weird way…

I was speaking for a database conference and found they needed a picture…Now, given that I’m a photographer,  we’re officially into the ‘the cobbler’s children have no shoes’ territory.  As in – I didn’t have a picture of myself.

At all.

So, given the thousands of images I’ve taken in all sorts of conditions, I clearly needed to come up with something very complicated and highly technical.

So I asked my son Michael if he’d help me out and do the honors.

…and he actually got a couple of good ones – he took a picture of me one evening with my face lit up with the light of the laptop (a not uncommon occurrence).  The reflections in the glasses were a little too much, and he was hand holding a ¾ second exposure, which, while possible, (He is my son, you know…) was a touch on the fuzzy side (he did quite well though, I must admit)

We tried it the next night, a Friday, and I was exhausted after a long week, and it showed.  I hadn’t shaved that morning and looked out of focus as a result (weird)…

So I figured, what the heck, I’ll do it myself, so the next morning (Saturday) I tried again and sat down at our kitchen table to do it…

Now since I didn’t have a studio, I took the clock off the wall and hung a black coat there.

Tadaa… backdrop.

I looked out the 4 x 5 foot kitchen window at the clouds and realized I had the world’s largest soft-box out there (large, soft light source).

Tadaa… Main light. (coming in from the left of the picture)

I grabbed a box of Rice Crispy treats and a box of Oreos, stacked them on a chair and put some tinfoil over them.

Tadaa… Fill light. (filling in the shadows from the right of the picture)

I velcroed a little tripod to a swiffer handle that I leaned up against a kitchen chair, I put on a blue shirt, put the Nikon on the tripod, set the timer, and took a couple of pictures.

And there you have it…

PS. if you have questions about using the stories, please see the copyright page.

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