Inspiring Moment: Mussels

Written by Braiden

A Southern Gentleman and Woman

Written by Renie on December 15, 2011

The young Fergusons

James Thomas Ferguson, my Daddy, passed away in 1996 at 96 1/2 years old. (Only people six and under and those over 90 used the ‘1/2’.) Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, he was a southern gentleman all his life. Ran a cotton business, buying from the farmer and selling to the people or the factories who made the cotton merchandise.

He married my American beauty California Mom, Lorene Denton, in 1935 while on a trip to Santa Diego and Santa Barbara to consider retiring. Fell in love, married, and had to go back to work at Ferguson Cotton Comapany in Shreveport.

Sixty-one years later on July 24th, we held to his southern actions and attitude in our tributes at the graveside funeral service. Had a confederate flag draped on the casket, and a three-piece jazz band play “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “When the Saints Come Marching In,” “Dixie,” and other beloved New Orleans music.

It was a fabulous, appropriate celebration of life. We danced under the small white tent on artificial grass on July 24, a very, very hot mid-summer day, smiling and glowing with perspiration.

The “vintage” Fergusons

Ten years later, we did this again, also in July, for my Mom, without the Confederate flag, but with the same music. She was 97. The only difference was that there were fewer people, and an older generation of grandchildren. We did dance…….and I think I saw her looking down through the holes in the floor of heaven with her eyes twinkling and a big ‘ole smile on her face.

With affection,

Renie Ferguson Steves

Inspiring Moment: Harbor Buoys

Written by Braiden


Inspiring Moment: Wine Wall

Written by Braiden


Thanks for Worrying

Written by Jill on December 12, 2011

On Father’s Day (June 15, 2008), my Dad shook my hand and told me what a great daughter I had been for the past 27 years.

A week later, at 11:30 a.m., on June 22, 2008, I went towards our backyard to swim. Dad warned me to be careful, as it was 90 degrees outside and very humid. About 15 minutes into the swim, Dad instructed Mom to walk into our dining room to check on me. She snapped a picture of me, floating around the pool and fine. Dad was comforted.

At 3:30 p.m., that same day, Dad–who had begun feeling ill–walked to our living room, sat on a stretcher, laid back his head and died, a mere four hours after worrying about me, one last time.

If I could say one more thing to my Dad, I’d say, “Thanks for worrying, from day one–when I was a preemie–and all the way to the end.”

More stories from: Featured Story,With My Dad

Inspiring Moment: Macy’s Holiday Star

Written by Braiden

The Telling Detail

Written by Braiden on December 8, 2011

In journalism, there’s something called the telling detail. It’s what professional journalists do when they observe the person they’re interviewing and writing about, or the place where a crime or fire has taken place, or a restaurant they are reviewing.

So if the person you are interviewing has a photo of President Obama in a frame on her desk, that might be a telling detail about the power and importance of the interviewee. Or if a 20-something sports an antique ring, that might be her telling detail. Or if a middle-aged man’s hair is dyed purple, that might be a clue as to their personality.

Today I’d like to invite you to start seeing the world through its telling details. Really look into a person’s face. . .study his or her eyes. . .remember the hair color and the way their hair is parted.

Smell the air as you walk the city streets. Notice how it changes from sea-salty to grease-trap to whiff of cologne, all within a block or two.

Look at the sky and watch the ever-changing colors and cloud patterns.

I guess I’m saying, just BE MORE AWARE of the people and places that surround you.

More stories from: Featured Story

Inspiring Moment: Downtown Seattle Carousel

Written by Braiden

Dear Mom, Sweet Elaine

Written by Tom on December 5, 2011

What would I do if we had five more minutes together?

Part of me feels as though I would want to hold you and comfort you, but perhaps that would simply be returning to our final years together, when you were slipping away and all I could do, in my helplessness, was to keep you as comfortable and as carefree as I knew how.

But I think the truer desire, if I had five more minutes in your presence, would be for you to comfort me.

Tell me that you are okay–no, tell me more than that.

Tell me that you are experiencing a peace and joy unknown to humankind, that you now understand the entire structure and meaning of existence and that it is beautiful beyond understanding.

Tell me that there is a loving God, that you are blissfully happy and that someday, I will understand all of this, as well, and that everybody that I have ever loved will understand it, too.

Give me five more minutes of what you spent a lifetime giving to me: a sense of safety and a sense of purpose. And an unflagging belief that I was loved completely and without condition.

You were and are and will forever be a blessing to me, Dear Elaine, Sweet Mama.

May my gratitude ring throughout time, to the farthest edges of the cosmos.

I love you, Dear One. Now and always.

More stories from: Featured Story,With My Mom

Inspiring Moment: Grilled Octopus and Asparagus

Written by Braiden

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