Sunday, September 30, 2012


Fall has arrived here in Ohio, and it is a beautiful one. Today, my family and I took a day to drink in its beauty. The leaves were falling gently to the ground, creating some crinkle noises under our feet and gentle ripples in the creek next to us. The water rippled by quietly, and it was a pleasure to stand in stillness some moments and just breathe in the beauty of God's creation. We took a hike (about 2.5 miles), we enjoyed eachothers company, and then we finished off our fall morning with lunch at a local favorite-Youngs Jersey Dairy, where I enjoyed very much a cup of hot apple cider.
 It is good to escape to doing things like that. Hiking is an activity that brings me much joy. I love the nature. I love the peacefulness. I love God's creation. I love fall. It was good to get away briefly and be able to bring some quietness to the mind. Even though we chatted as we walked, it was still so peaceful.
 Fall is my favorite season for many reasons. I love the heat of summer, but as far as seasons go, Fall wins my heart. I love the colors of the leaves. I love the farmland, and watching it all be harvested. I love apple cider and football and wearing jeans and sweatshirts. Fall also holds some of my favorite memories of growing up. I suppose fall is just one reason why I chose the 5K to take place in October. Growing up, a favorite fall memory was riding in the combine with my dad. It was a busy time of year, so those were special moments with my dad. I also loved raking leaves with mom-that is something she and I did together frequently in the fall. We used to always make scarecrows growing up, too. We'd take some of dad's farm clothes and stuff them with straw and put it up outside on our lamp post. I loved making the scarecrows with mom. We had mom's chili on Friday nights after the football games. Now my husband makes the chili for our enjoyment. Now I get to make fall memories with my kids.This is our first fall owning a home. I wish mom could see it and enjoy it with us. I miss her very much when I recall the memories. But making new memories with my kids and telling them about mine is fun, too. We will rake leaves and jump in them, as I used to. We will carve pumpkins and put them out. We are already enjoying the apple cider and football, and of course my husband's chili. We haven't made our own scarecrow yet, but perhaps we will this year.
  there is a season for everything. Every time the seasons change, I am reminded of how God does that with our lives....changes them naturally. It is more painful for us, and we fight it more than nature does, but it is so similar. God allows seasons in our lives. Seasons of joy, seasons of pain, seasons of grief, seasons of remembering, seasons of laughter, seasons of tears, seasons of children growing and in each season, He is teaching us something new. Growing us, as we grow older. But it's up to me how I handle that and how I allow Him to mold me. One day at a time, I am learning to do this more and more. As seasons change, He is showing me new things. About myself. And about others. Our family is experiencing a season of new discoveries as we move into some better times. Through my grief season, we had some dark days. Now, we are making new memories and laughing more and rediscovering new peace. It's very exciting. One day at a time....
 I was 3 in this picture, with the scarecrow I built with mom
  pictures of us today, hiking.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Baker

Yet another favorite memory of mom that I've remembered recently is how much baking she did. I don't think there were many days I came home and there weren't fresh baked goods of some sort. Browines and  chocolate chip cookies were 2 of the most popular, of course. But there was also bachelor button cookies, crescents, no bake cookies, crazy cake, rhubarb cake/pie, and our family holiday favorite-futtimuhns ( a sweedish cookie, as my grandfather, mom's mom, was full sweedish). The list goes on, but it is something I remember being in our home almost always growing up.
  I am not a great cook (ask my family, they will agree, and that is ok!), but I do enjoy baking. It had been a long time since I'd done much baking. I'm not sure if it was because of time, or that I didn't want to eat it myself, or that it was a memory of mom hard to re-enact some moments, but I've been on a baking frenzy lately. I've been really enjoying those moments with my kids. Over the course of the last  3 weekends, we've made chocolate chip cookies from scratch, a few batches of brownies, and rice crispy treats. It has been a lot of fun, mixing and teaching and eating and enjoying moments with my children. It's also been good to return to doing something I really do enjoy, and had almost forgotten about.
Crazy cake was always my favorite cake growing up. Below is a recipe of it , and a picture of a cake mom baked me in high school (Snoopy, of course, as I've referred to in previous birthday posts).
  It is a chocolate cake, by the way.

3C flour                    3/4 c. oil
2 c sugar                    2 tsp. vanilla
1/3 c. cocoa               2 Tbsp. vinegar
 2 tsp. baking soda    1/4 tsp. salt

Mix together. Pour 2 C. water over all mixture and mix well. bake at 350 for almost one hour.

By the way, the 5K is moving along quite nicely. By next week the website will be up (for real!). We have just over 50 registered for the event, and I am hoping for 100 total when all is said and done. To the glory of God, we are building this scholarship one day at a time! This event is just a part of growing the foundation of Linda A. Ferguson, my mom....the baker (just one of her many talents).

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Singer

My mom loved music. She was not a vocalist in the choir or an instrumentalist, but she always had a song on her lips. If you said a paragraph of words, she'd often start into song with one of the words from your paragraph. Sometimes they were songs she'd written or made up; sometimes they were silly songs you'd find on a children's cd; sometimes they were hymns of praise. It really just depended. I remember many road trips where (much to my dad's dismay) we'd be having sing a longs. I remember one particular trip-I was 5, and it is my first memory of a road trip. We went down to TX to visit my mom's parents. And about half the trip, we were singing. Songs like "I'm being swallowed by a boa-constricter", "There's a hole in my bucket", "One dark night", "Amazing Grace", "I have decided to follow Jesus"....there was a realm of songs on that trip. Maybe mom sang them sometimes to distract the normal sibling fights on a road trip; maybe she did them because she loved songs. But regardless of why, it's a beautiful memory I have of my mom, and likely one reason why I love music so much myself.
 My co worker, Tiffany, and I often come up with silly games to play in between customers to just laugh. One day she said, "Let's play a game. I'll say a word, you break out in song based on that word. Go. Foot. " And I broke out into the song "Footloose". It was quite humorous, especially because she thought she''d found a word for which I'd never come up with a song . I thought of my mom in that moment and how she had a song for every thing.  It is quite fitting that my mom's favorite Psalm in the Bible had to do with singing. And it fits for so many reasons. My mom was full of joy. She was always laughing or smiling. It was natural to see my mom smiling even when she was just doing simple tasks such as dishes or picking up toys. In fact, she even had songs to go along with those, to help us do them with good attitudes. She was so joyful and always praising God. Or singing to bring laughter. Here are thewords to her favorite Psalm. Pslam 96
      1-Sing to the Lord a new song. Let the whole earth sing to the Lord!
     2-Sing to the Lord; praise His name; Each day proclaim the good news that he saves.
     3-Publish his glorious deeds among the nations, tell everyone about the amazing things he does.

The Psalm goes on to talk about the heavens and the seas and the fields and the trees and the animals all  bringing forth a song in some way to "sing to the Lord". And that is what my mom was always doing.  My mom knew her time was drawing near and for her funeral she chose her own songs. The titles she chose were: "I know Whom I have Believed" and "God Hath Not Promised." Both have beautifully written lyrics that describe just a piece of what was in mom's heart.
The 5k in mom's memory is just one event in the scheme of what is the larger object: to raise funds for mom's scholarship.  It is exciting to watch it come together each day a little more. In light of mom being "The Singer" as my title goes today, we have a band this year for music, and I am so excited about that. It will be a new thing, so we'll see how it goes.
 Some may say that my blog is weird, and that I might be "stuck" in a need to always write about my mom. But this is just one of the simple ways to keep her memory alive. My mom was my hero, and I love remembering all these little things about her-they inspire me still. So I'll keep writing. And I'll keep the 5K going. And we'll grow her scholarship fund. One day at a time. In memory of the  most wonderful woman I've ever known: my mom.