By Dr. Jim Ferguson One of my observations of life (Fergisms) is that parenthood is a state of constant concern about your children, and intermittent worry. Since I have four grandchildren – and another on the way- I believe the state of concern extends to grandparents. However, the joys of children far outweigh even the […]

Samson in the swamp

By Dr. Jim Ferguson Who do you listen to these days? Perhaps you’ve quit listening all together. Most folks I know stay at least partially engaged in the events of the day, but sometimes I wonder. There is an excuse for being uninformed. Though we live in the Information Age, we nonetheless exist in the […]


By Dr. Jim Ferguson As Becky and I travel, it’s not unusual for people to ask me if I’m from Texas. I don’t wear a ten gallon hat, but apparently I have an accent confused with a Texas drawl. Actually, my accent is East Tennessean with a nasal drawl. I often respond by noting many […]

Across the void

 By Dr. Jim Ferguson A friend and fellow wordsmith introduced me to a new word last week. Apparently in Sweden it has become the rage to pick up garbage along the roadside as you jog. This is called “plogging,” even though Mr. Webster has yet to recognize this new term. Perhaps the Swedes found a […]

The Antithesis of Love

By Dr. Jim Ferguson I wonder if anything you hear is true anymore. Certainly you have to question anything reported in the press or anything coming from a politician’s mouth. But then you’d have to define truth, which is a much higher bar to attain than purported facts. You might be challenged by the notion […]

Incidentalomas and Bezoars

By Dr. Jim Ferguson Medical verbiage can be confusing. I’m told there are 500,000 words in the English language, and then if you add medical, legal and technical language to the base number there may be upwards of a million words in the English lexicon. The purpose of words is to communicate. If a doctor […]


By Dr. Jim Ferguson All writers think their words should be read, if not savored. Well that’s a bit too much, because I’ve been organizing my past Focus essays and I cringe at some of my past prose. Furthermore, I am repeatedly surprised, as I read my weekly essay aloud to my editress wife, Becky, […]


By Dr. Jim Ferguson You never know who you’ll meet at a wine tasting bar. Last week, I met a Roller-Derby gal in what you might think an unlikely place. Becky and I were sightseeing in the Columbia River Gorge and decided to stop at the “best winery in Oregon,” at least as rated in […]


By Dr. Jim Ferguson   A rare disease has touched our family three times, though it would be years before we connected all the dots. First, an adopted daughter couldn’t move her arms. Then, there was a bride who didn’t smile. And most recently a sister in law started choking and couldn’t swallow. To the […]


By Dr. Jim Ferguson Sometimes, it’s hard for me to remember whether I’ve written about something or just thought about it. As a result, I have a new project putting my previous five hundred and thirteen Focus essays in a computer file which I can then easily search. If I had realized ten years ago […]

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