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Leah Ferguson

Considering That I’m Still Finding Sand Everywhere, Yes

So much has happened this summer, and at the same time…so much hasn’t happened. I had a list a mile long of everything I wanted to to do with the kids the past 10 weeks or so: trips to the lake. Hiking the Appalachian Trail. I vowed that we’d spend so many days at the pool the kids would actually become bored with it. And then, as it usually does, summer happened. We did, though, we did, go to the pool. No hikes, though. And no lake trips, even though we have three within forty-five minutes of us. Can’t explain that one. But we went to the beach and touched dolphins and we rode on an airplane. The kids drew and played and drew some more and hardly ever, ever, watched an electronic device. They stayed up late and slept in and rode roller coasters and saw sharks and ate raw oysters and ran in the rain. They played in sand and jumped waves and ate funnel cake still hot from the fryer. They decided that they want to live in Florida, but only if they can stay close to Winter…

U2 and Love and Death and Hope

I once had a friend I’d like to tell you about. Actually, he was my brother Paul’s friend–one of his best–and, in that cool space of time in my and my brother’s late teens and early twenties, when a lot of our interests and friends mingled and bounced off of each other, when we hurtled back and forth to each other’s cities in South Orange and Philly and Carlisle and Baltimore, I guess his friend was mine, too. I only knew him for a little while–and certainly not as well as my brother did–but the memories of this friend have stuck with me for years. I have snippets of memories of him: the way all seven of his siblings jumped on him when he came home, for instance: they actually came RUNNING out of rooms and through doorways and leapt on him in absolute excitement to see him. The way he was unapologetically enthusiastic in his faith is something that made a huge imprint. I remember talking with him one day–we were sitting in my ancient ’88 Accord outside a restaurant…

To Be Brave (No Water Ice Required)

There was a fundraiser held at my daughters’ school last week. The kids were supposed to run around a track with their classmates, trying to get in as many laps as they could within a certain period of time, essentially “earning” the money that their sponsors had donated to the school in support of them. We parents stood beside the track yelling “Mush! Mush!” in their faces in order to get them to go faster. No, I’m just kidding at that last part. We didn’t heckle them. This was a school-sanctioned event, after all. No, we cheered like good parents, and distributed water ice as a reward (cotton candy flavor! Swedish fish flavor! Mango flavor, but who wants orange fruit when you can have COTTON CANDY!) and took their pictures and told them what a good job they did. Sheesh. Saoirse was so excited for race day–she loves to run, and this fundraiser is one of the big events the school kids get to do for fun each spring. For them, it’s basically 45 minutes of happy running followed by dessert (“Mom! The cotton candy…