agnestirrito

"Whatever you think you can do, or believe you can do, begin it, because action has magic, grace, and power in it." Goethe


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Open Your Eyes: A Lenten Journey 3/29/17 (Wednesday)

Today I found something I’d misplaced a couple of weeks ago–a little plastic box of knitting supplies. A friend I frequently knit with gifted it to me in her ongoing efforts to get me organized (!!!) 

We meet weekly to knit and I was so ashamed to admit I’d lost it. She immediately offered to replace it, kind soul that she is. But I knew it was somewhere on these premises. But where?

I searched my vehicle, under the furniture (where I often slide things when grandbaby hands get too curious), in the art room. I tried to retrace my steps…thinking when I had it last…that did not help.

Then, today on my way out the door to go meet my friend for another week where I once again would show up without that little box, I stopped and looked at what has been in front of me for several days now. 

Now it’s all clear. I recently moved winter jackets from hooks near the door and replaced them with spring jackets, hats, etc. I added a cloth bag memento from Amsterdam so I could see it more often. I decided that would be the perfect place to keep my supplies: out of reach of baby hands and just steps away from where I often knit. 

Trouble is I forgot all about that. And the bag is opaque, so who would know what was in it? Not me, obviously. 

What is it about having things where they belong that is such a challenge? Do tell.

Anyway, I happily revealed the found box and the story behind its location much to the happiness and laughter of my friend. 

Why this story today? Because I’m really trying to organize during this Lenten season. And something as simple as a plastic box had me searching and self talking (and not in a positive way) for days. 

And I see with new eyes that 40 days probably isn’t going to be enough to get myself where I’d like to  be. But I also see that that is OK. 

And I also saw how my friend treated me when I’d lost something that she gave with kind and good intentions. Instead of sighing or showing me she expected that or was irritated, she said something so kind: no worries, I can get you another!

Who does that? Who acts that way? People who see people as humans. That’s who. People who understand that kindness and care and love can make every journey easier…even journeys to find plastic boxes.

🙂 
 

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Friday’s Five

Five blessings from the week:

Lunch out with my son today. It is a gift to live to see your children at all ages and stages. He adds a lot to this world.

A wonderful day of laughter with one of my closest friends. We went on a road trip and were laughing before we even turned on the main highway.

My husband’s friends. They call. Text. Check on us. You learn the definition of caring.

Bobbles. It’s a new knit stitch I learned in my class of three. Two other women learn with me and we share a lot of laughs every other week. It was supposed to be every week, but we need more time if you get my drift.
It seems you’ve migrated to knitting continental. When did that happen? asks my knitting instructor. Why, I have no idea. I wake up in a new world every day. 🙂

Talking to a young (twenty something) quilter at a flea market. She was hand sewing binding on…the part one usually sews with the machine before hand finishing. Something in that gave me a lot of hope. I keep thinking there’s this wonderful resurgence of vintage needle working taking place. Maybe…

And number six because it’s been a very creative week:
A loom is on its way. It’s my next artistic venture. I know… 🙂
Thankful for the gifts of family, friends, and art. And the Giver.
He’s always with us.


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Saturday’s Snapshot: Possibilities

So, the art studio is changing locations. Life has a way of throwing us curves. Like cancer. Turmoil. Loss. We cannot live there forever.
Am I through grieving? No. I’m pretty sure there isn’t an endpoint. I’m almost positive we learn to live with this new visitor, no matter how unwelcome. But, in the process we can choose some things. Make some choices.
Decide an art studio will be a nice element of this existing home.
Start a new space.
Post a happy sign. Let it be a welcome guest. (Thank you darling Avery…I’m so glad it’s my first piece of art hung here today!)
Gather the colorful yarns and think about what they are still destined to be. With some care and thought, and yes, action, those fibers will be transformed. Like us. Works in progress. Possibilities are waiting. This is just phase one.

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Sunday’s Song: Connections

My sister Mary and I met up in Little Rock a couple of years ago in October 2012 to commemorate what would have been my mom’s 90th birthday. We ate, visited, celebrated. We didn’t worry about work because we knew then what was most important. Family. Relationships. We also stopped by a yarn shop.
“Yes, I can teach you this stitch” led to more purchases and a night of laughter and good memories. Tangles and restarts. Unique fibers. New ideas.
Stories of our mom and how she loved us, encouraged us, believed in us.
That led to new energy and excitement. Then it led to friends ordering scarves back home. Trails of fibers throughout the house. Sam saying, “Would you like an art room?” Compliments from strangers. Then a couple of successful local craft shows.
At my retirement celebration this past December, my friend Kim made a sign with the unofficial name we were using on it. My husband smiled.
Fast forward to waiting rooms in Little Rock hospitals where I was stopped more than once and asked about my knitting projects as I worked on them.
Watching Sam smile as Sara and I created and sold more pieces.
And this past Friday, we have an “official” opening of Eylau Lane Creations as a small business. (kind of neat it was on a day I try to reflect on the good)
And, as life often reminds me, there’s more.
I went to the main branch bank to open an account and waited quite awhile, but they were understaffed and busy. I decided I’d come back later. By the time I thought of it, it was 5:30 pm.
I knew better than to walk into a smaller branch of the same bank at that hour, but sometimes we do as we are called. When we listen.
It was on my way home anyway.
The associate that set me up was helpful and friendly. As she started typing information, she paused.
“Do you know [mutual friend] ?”
“Yes,” I answered, “and you prayed for my Sam, didn’t you?”
“All the time.”
And then both of us were quiet.
Her eyes filled with tears and she said that she’d need a minute.
“I never thought I’d meet you, especially here.” But she had prayed anyway. And she still does.
And as she sat there, I did what I do more and more, day by day. I thanked my God for yet another message. Another sign. Another Keep going because you’re on the right path. Another connection.
He sends them all the time through people, circumstances, decisions we make. He helps us sort out our stories.
When we are ready to see.
Hear me clearly: these days are hard.
I can tell some true stories even I would not believe, except for the fact that I’ve lived them. But I’m here to tell you, some days the sun breaks through. It all becomes clear. And you smile and give thanks. And you keep walking.
What’s next?
Well, the art room Sam wanted me to have is taking shape in our old master bedroom. Day by day, a new section is planned. It’s going to be perfect. It has windows that he looked out of everyday. I look out of them, too. He’s near.
Sara and I will set up Eylau Lane Creations for one day next Saturday as part of my hometown’s effort to show citizens how downtown could look again. It’s not lost on me that my grandfather’s old and now vacant tailor shop will be a few blocks away. Or that my mom’s favorite place in the world was downtown. And it just happens to be Mother’s Day weekend.
Then, maybe etsy. Then, we’ll see.
Celebrate it all, dear readers. All the good you are given…it is there for us all, in just the shape that’s right for us.
Sometimes we stop and recognize the years and people for what they really are. Celebrate your journey, too.


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Friday’s Five

It’s a week for new yarn: a boxful in the mail from my sister (that was a perfect welcome home gift–a box of TLC), bags full from Tuesday Morning and Michael’s (well, there was a sale…and coupons) and yes…etsy order has shipped. Two scarves made, several planned.

It’s a week for old love: a poster sized blow up of my wedding day: there’s my mom and me…and Bernard, my cousin “in-law” who gave me away that day, but never stayed away for long. He calls me LL and cusses like I do, and held his real daughter’s hand–and head–during her chemo. He misses her. But he still emails me, calls me, sends me German bar music and memory photos. Because he knows this walk. He knows what I need. I love him.

It’s a week for poetry: my friend Doris copied a poem in her beautiful handwriting and mailed it to
me this week. I saw this poem and thought of you. It’s uncanny the feeling that gave me–a reminder that the time we take matters. I’ll always keep that poem: The Rainwalkersby Denise Levertov. Have you ever written a poem for someone–copied someone else’s and mailed it? I highly recommend it. Trust me.

It’s a week for happy texts and miracles: a friend, Holly, received a No Evidence of Disease message from her oncologist today; this after 2 1/2 years of fighting Stage 4 colon cancer and being told Get your affairs in order. She gets to keep being a mommy to her three little kids. We all get to feel her joy and know there’s always hope. Her husband sent that text to dozens (more likely, hundreds) of us. Collective prayers of thanksgiving today.

It’s a week for living: hearing one another’s laughter, smelling the cookies baking, watching Andy Griffith and Pawn Stars, sharing pizzas a couple days in a row–because we can–, and holding on…to hands and hearts and love.

Blessings, dear readers. That’s what we have every day. Fridays I just try to settle on five.
Your five are every bit as beautiful. Don’t forget them.


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Of Fibers and Other Good Things

A good start to a week off: finished a scarf today out of fibers for a friend who loves green.

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I remember buying my first skein of multicolored fibers last October,
and my sister and I laughed as we bought knitting needles to take back to our hotel room so she could teach me the steps for knitting with this new material.
Now, five months later, I’m making my own skeins, designing and selling my own scarves.
Our lives take so many twists and turns. Most days, we don’t have time to stop and track back to see the connections.
But today is the first day of spring break. I have time to think.
It’s nice to be able to spend a day cutting fabric, sewing it back together in my own way, creating something new.
I think farther back to a day in July when I promised myself this year would be different. This year I would make time for creativity.
So I took an extra day off here and there. I bought some new materials. I listened to the voice in my heart that said You can.
I’m here to tell you: when you make the decision, doors fly open. Take the next step, whatever it is.
My next step looks like an etsy shop. A book is whispering to be written, too.
I remember my mother’s dear way of saying,
Why not, I say?
And I answer: Indeed. Why not?
These days are meant for us, dear readers. Do the things you dream.


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Sunday’s Song: Progress

Today I’m surrounded with yarn, and I’ve learned a very important lesson:

When the nice lady at the yarn shop asks Would you like me to wind this for you? Say yes.

For heaven’s sake, say yes.

Or, spend many many minutes with a tangled mess…

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…and many little balls like this

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Looks can be deceiving. Doesn’t it look like this skein would wind into a nice neat ball?

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It does not. I repeat. It.does.not.
However, I learned another lesson. I will take skein #2 to the nice lady tomorrow and watch as it transforms into something that I can easily use.

Even with this diversion, I made progress. Several scarves are ready and will be delivered to their destinations starting in the morning.

It’s been a creative weekend.

I’ve recalled many memories while untangling all that yarn, and even thought of a few more projects.

So, here’s to tangled yarn…now and then. 🙂