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Leah Ferguson

On Showing Up

My cousin Joe passed away two weeks ago–he was 80, and had been in diminishing health. Joe and his wife, Ro, are some of my favorite people in the extended family: funny and smart and to me, growing up, the epitome of class. Ro was gorgeous and always put-together, and Joe was friendly and interested. They were loving, funny, Ro dry and sarcastic, Joe silly. She’s Italian and petite, he Irish, tall and lanky. They made me feel comfortable, even when I was young girl quaking with discomfort in large gatherings of strange relatives. But here’s the thing I always admired most about both of them: Joe and Ro were “show-uppers.” Joe and Ro were the distant cousins who come to everything, surprising us every time, even though we shouldn’t have been: all the family events, big and small, no matter the distance. When we threw my mom a surprise birthday dinner in Hershey last December, they were there, despite the late hour, the dark roads from Wynnewood, and Joe’s declining health. When my father died nine years ago, they drove out not only to my…

It’s a Fish Update: You Knew This Was Coming

Do you remember my fish post from last week? You know: that one? Well, friends, meet Finn and R2. They recently moved in to replace–yep, replace–Gilbert and Rey. Gilbert is currently residing in a small tank at a local pet store in what will be a lifelong time-out because our beloved Rey is currently residing in, well… Gilbert. Fish are fun. Our cute little active Gilbert turned out to be a homicidal crazy fish. After we discovered that Rey had been forced to merge with the Force, if you know what I mean, thanks to Gilbert’s sudden and horrific Hannibal Lecter tendencies, we tried to replace her with another goldfish. But the instant we placed the new fish, Finn, in our tank with Gilbert–we tried, we really tried–Gilbert started chowing down on him like Finn was the day’s sashimi special. The tiny psychopath had to go. (I thought about throwing the sadist fish in the creek. It seemed the most, er, humane way of getting rid of Scary Fish. But on our pre-creek-dumping trip to the pet store, Quinlan announced our plan to Kind…

Stubborn

My dog likes to tear apart the throw rug we keep in our front hallway, right in front of the door. I’ve replaced this rug three different times. Each time, she chews it up within a matter of months. She starts at one corner, grabs hold of a thread, and starts pulling. We never see her do this–we’ll just walk down the stairs in the morning to find plastic threads and twisted yarn scattered all over the place, little pieces of fabric thrown around like unwanted confetti. Oftentimes, it happens right after we’ve just vacuumed and mopped and everything looks so calm and perfect, and, well, intact. This dog does not enjoy a clean floor.The rug matches a longer one I have in the hallway leading to the living room. You see one, you see both. So each time Riley does her damage, I dig through the internet until I find it, the exact replica, though it’s getting more and more difficult to do so, but still better than replacing both. I really like the pattern, too. I don’t want to find a new one entirely. And…