Category: Journal

What a wonderful Thanksgiving

This had to be just about a perfect Thanksgiving. The only thing that could have made it better would have been the presence of my oldest son and my son-in-law, but their responsibilities kept them away, so that is something to be thankful for, as well.

Here’s a list of good things from the day:

— Wonderful, wonderful food. Way to go Trese, Kathy, Tiffany, Tabitha, Mom, Sharon, and probably others.

— A great, big crowd of people I love, including the Louisiana crew.

— Beautiful weather so everyone could spend a lot of time outdoors.

— A double rainbow in the sky late in the afternoon.

— Kids running this way and that and having fun around.

— Laughter, laughter, and more laughter.

— Football, with wins for the Texans and RG III.

— Both of my parents are feeling well.

— A new, used lawn mower — the zero-turn-radius thing makes fun driving.

Thanks, everyone who was a part of this day. You make my life sweeter. Here’s the roster, just for posterity’s sake:

Trese, Tiffany, Tabitha, Meredith, Cameron, Gene, Hilda, Sharon, Shawn, Savannah, Skyler, Madison, Tristan, Kathy, Thom, Katherine, Avery, Lydia,聽Rick, Kathy, and Luke.

Proud of my children and oldest grandchild

Art from Time for Kids.

For the first time, four of our children and our oldest grandson are voting today. I think they are voting for different presidential candidates, and that is fine with me. I’m just glad they are interested in the process and the outcome. Concern for our nation’s health will have more long-term impact than one vote, even if they go against their dad.

I suspect the younger ones will want to follow in their footsteps. In 2016, all of my children will be age-eligible, as will another grandchild. Of course, they’re not children any longer.

Sunday in Washington

I’m sitting in the Smithsonian “Castle” on the mall in Washington, drinking coffee, and reading Bonhoeffer while my daughters explore the Air and Space Museum next door. The sun is shining through the window next to me. The cherry blossoms can be seen out the window making their annual display for the 100th time. (They were planted in 1912.) This is a little bit of heaven.

The setting is wonderful, and the words from Bonhoeffer’s Life Together are compelling. He writes about Christian community, and I’m thinking about the Bible study group I’m a part of in Athens and the broader Texas Baptist community, which I serve as my vocation. It is truly a blessing to be part of a Christian community.

I hurry back to my reading, but I had to stop and share.

Words from my mom: ‘Give while you live’

Today, my 83-year-old mother fixed lunch for my youngest son, Cameron, and me. She served up fried salmon patties, fried turkey ham, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, cream peas, carrots, and broccoli, with some frozen fresh peaches thrown in for dessert. Wonderful!

I wonder how many meals she has fixed for me and the various parts of our family through the years. Innumerable.

A year ago, she could not have fixed such a meal because her health was bad. She changed doctors and is now much more healthy. Still, I find myself wondering how many more such meals my mother will be able to cook. My wife, Trese,聽is a wonderful cook, but there is something about your mother’s cooking that anchors you to your past, that reminds you of when you were young and she was the center of your world.

Meal time as a child are indeed memorable. My earliest such memories are of sitting on Sears catalogs and phone books in order to be tall enough. I sat by Mom. Eventually I moved to the other side of the table opposite Mom and with my back to the wall. About then is when my sister and my dad began to argue a lot during dinner, often about the racial tensions; this was the 1960s. At some point I moved to the end of the table, opposite Dad.

So very, very many meals–all prepared by my mother. My sister and I would help wash dishes, but mother was a constant. What a gift she gave us! She is a woman who loves her children deeply, and it’s as if a bit of her love has been wrapped up into each of those countless meals. I pray we have injested into our lives as much of the love as we did of the food.

As we were leaving her house today, she slipped me a ten dollar bill. I protested. She responded, “You can only give while you live.” Beautiful. I am blessed.

In pursuit of feral hogs

Feral hogs are destroying our pastureland, so Cam and our on the hunt on this cool December evening. We are in the truck, hunkered down in the cab in hopes that sometime during the night the swine will venture into area.

It’s probably not the most effective way to hunt, but I hate to spend the money for gear that would increase our odds. So, we wait. At least it’s nice to be with my son, even if don’t kill ant hogs.

Of course, we can’t talk much since the windows are down, so we’ve pulled extra coats over our heads and retreated to our iTouch and iPhone. Technology cannot be escaped.

The little things

(Originally posted to Facebook. Responses below.)

I’m sitting on my tractor, engine off, cool breeze blowing, listening to the snap, crackle, pop of a brush pile fire as it begins to die down. It really does sound like Rice Krispies, just louder.

    • Ferrell FosterThe snap, crackle pop is not so loud now. Needs milk, or maybe just a stir. Tractor tim again.

      November 16 at 3:03pm
    • Angela Robinson VanderlindenMaking me miss country life.
      November 16 at 4:05pm
    • Cindi Moore CossI was totally taken in with your beautiful word-smithing at the beginning of your post–then you launched into the Rice Krispies analogy. C’mon, Ferrell!! Don’t lead me on like that! 馃槙 Love ya!
      November 16 at 8:59pm
    • Ferrell FosterIt’s all in the same brain and kind of flows out in weird combinations.

      November 16 at 9:38pm
    • Cindi Moore CossTrust me–I understand! From one quirky brain to another!! :->
      November 16 at 10:36pm
    • Cindy Moore WilliamsWe love burning our trash pile and have lots to burn this weekend. Benefits of living outside city limits. (I wanted to comment so you would have consecutive comments from a “Cindy Moore ______”.
      November 18 at 8:49am