By Jen Bakken
MAPLE PLAIN, MN Ruth Cummings will be turning 90-years-young in December, and over the years, she has kept her imagination and creativity flowing through her writing.
A visit to her Maple Plain home reveals many notes scattered about with her ideas on them.
Cummings has written many compositions, poems, essays, news articles, has had her works published in Guidepost Magazine and other magazines, but admits she didn’t make a lot of money, and did it simply for the joy of writing. She now has two books published and available for the world to read.
In 2007, Cummings’ book, “Christian Short Stories of Then and Now” was released. The paperback book includes 16 short stories to read, enjoy, and remember.
“‘Christian Short Stories of Then and Now’ is a life work of a woman who sees God in everything and everyone about her,” said Rev. Dave Garwick of Christ Lutheran Church of Maple Plain, where Cummings is a member. “Through 16 stories, God’s grace seasons 80 years of Ruth Lerdal Cummings’ experience and imagination. Mother Teresa once described herself as a pencil in God’s hand. Ruth Lerdal Cummings is another one of those pencils.”
Her second book was recently released, entitled, “I Love You Still,” the fictional story of a woman torn from her homeland by her heart. Though the story is fictional, it is loosely based on her Norwegian background, her upbringing, and her memories.
“When I write, I write longhand on a tablet,” said Ruth Cummings. “Then I transfer it all to a typewriter.”
Raised in South Dakota, Cummings went from a one-room schoolhouse to the University of Iowa, where she earned her bachelor of arts degree, maintaining and developing an interest in writing.
She also took a course in home teaching of the adult blind, and has taught handicapped pupils in the states of Connecticut, Iowa, and Minnesota.
In 1948, she married Gordon Cummings, a poultry farmer who switched to computer programming because as Cummings puts it, “We had a farm, but couldn’t make money on eggs.”
The couple adopted two daughters from Seoul, South Korea, Carla Marie and Robin Lee. Cummings is the proud grandmother of four boys and two girls.
“I lost my husband in 2007,” she said. “He didn’t get to see my books published. The books are dedicated to my husband, our girls, and our grandchildren.”
Cummings recently visited the Delano Senior Center to share and discuss her book, “I Love You Still.”
“People have been very kind,” said Shawn Stout, who is acting as Cummings’ publicist. “They have been very receptive, and though she has no other books planned, people are encouraging her to write a sequel.”
At home, Cummings is kept company by her two little dogs, and chances are she will keep writing.
“I have always known my grandma had written stories,” said Stephanie Liesch of her grandmother. “She wrote me many letters while I was in college, too.”
For more information about Cummings’ books, to purchase a copy, or schedule a book event, call (763) 479-2155.