By Dr. Jim Ferguson At year’s end, we expect to hear and sometimes make New Year’s resolutions. One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to pay attention and not forget vacation schedules. Each week columnists have editorial deadlines for the Focus. The problem occurs when the deadlines are moved up to allow The Focus staff […]

‘Tis the Season

By Dr. Jim Ferguson I believe you appreciate wellness, when you haven’t had it in a while. I’m on the recovery side of a bad cold for which I can thank my wife Becky. Actually, it wasn’t her fault; she was an innocent bystander of the “kennel cough” our dog Jack brought home from who […]


By Dr. Jim Ferguson For a kid the most exciting time of the year is Christmas; and it’s all about magic. We regularly pick up our “cute-ones” (aka grandkids) from preschool, and last Wednesday they were excited, not just to see us, which they usually are, but because their parents were taking them to see […]

The Lumps and Bumps of Life

By Dr. Jim Ferguson Good storytelling is a practiced art, like writing. My wife’s cousin, Sam, is an accomplished spinner of yarns, and I am a better writer now after penning a half million words. As I work on the second novel in my planned science fiction trilogy, I realized that I gravitate to plot […]

Spiritual Health

By Dr. Jim Ferguson Sometimes I think I’ve figured things out,  at least some things. However, certainty is an elusive, relative and transient thing. As soon as you think you might have it, it slips through your fingers like clutching a handful of beach sand. The harder you grasp the more it slips through your […]

Closed Borders … Open Doors

Every week my stories are made possible by the staff of The Knoxville Focus and my wife, Becky, who serves double duty as my editress. I appreciate strong and thoughtful women, so this week welcome the other half of our team: essayist Becky!   By Becky Ferguson I support LEGAL immigration. I am resentful of […]


By Dr. Jim Ferguson Southerners are generally a friendly bunch, certainly by comparison to, for instance, New Yorkers or Parisians during the late summer tourist onslaught. My son-in-law from Ohio tells the story of our trip to pick up a boxer for the farm tractor. When the deal was consummated we were treated to breakfast […]

Traveling reflections

By Dr. Jim Ferguson One my travel axioms (sayings) is, “Get on a plane, rent a car and you can see the world.” Having visited four continents and after a dozen sojourns in Europe, my wanderlust has dissipated, but not gone altogether. The picture above is a view of snow capped Mount Hood on landing […]


By Dr. Jim Ferguson By the time you read this essay I will be in Portland, Oregon to see my new granddaughter, and, of course, her now big sister, Cleo. It’s hard to be contemporaneous when an essay has to be written the week before it runs in The Focus. However, I’m not complaining because […]

Monsters and zombies

By Dr. Jim Ferguson Fall is finally here and the chill will turn our unseasonably green tree leaves to warmer colors of orange, red and gold. Leaves are green because of chlorophyll a pigment that absorbs and transfers light energy from the sun and transforms carbon in the atmosphere into leaves, stems and tree trunks. […]

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