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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Friday’s Five —April 24, 2020

Five very good things from these past few days—

because if I have learned anything in my years here in this realm, it is this: there are beautiful gifts in front of us every day, but we must take a breath and slow down and pay attention.

1–my dear friend Kim enlisted her hubby to help, and they came to my house and created a raised bed garden for me. It has already been a daily delight for the grands and for me…such kindness and generosity. 🌱The bigger gift was paying attention when I mentioned I’d love to make one someday. How rare and sweet to be given an answer to a wish. 🌟 ( Listen to your people. Make a wish come true when you can. ❤️)

2-good music on the radio. As I write this post, NPR is playing a classical music segment. It’s calming. But this week I heard my fave song (Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd) in its entirety as I was driving—windows down, volume up. You know exactly what I mean, I hope. 🙌🏼 🎶 (Know the power of music to elevate your mood. Listen.)

3-cocktail hour with my sis. I kidded with her this week that we did long distance “virtual” cocktail hours before pandemic time made them cool. We are going on six plus years now—once a week and sometimes more—we settle in to create/chat/vent/sip, and I am always happy to hear her sweet voice. 🍷📱🍷 (Make extra “special”time for your loved ones.)

4-children’s laughter. Emma and Sofia are imaginative and happy and their voices reflect that, no matter what we are in the midst of…and this week, when I saw baby Clara, she smiled her slow sweet smile of recognition and then pushed her arms and legs out in what I translate as recognition of the love we already share. She “answers” with her own language and I answer with mine, knowing she already understands far more than people might think. 👶🏼 🥰 (Always talk with children at a higher level than you think they understand.)

5-poetry. It is National Poetry Month, and I’ve made a point to post a poem a day on social media. Usually, I create a project of some sort…this year, it’s a postcard project, which serves multiple purposes: it puts poetry into the world, lifts someone’s spirits, and supports our USPS. Will you join me in a grassroots effort to help our postal service? Will you send an extra piece of mail out once a week? (You have power to change things…use it well.) 🌟✅🧚🏻

Stay strong and well, dear readers. The world is in the midst of upheaval, but we carry on with our heads up and eyes open to the gifts around us. They are our strength. Remember. ❤️🌟🌟🌟


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Friday’s Five

Yes, I realize it is Saturday. 🙂

Somehow yesterday got away from me; even though my life has slowed down in so many ways, I did not manage to sit down and write this post. So, on a cool (for Texas) sunny afternoon I will share some grateful thoughts with you because late or not, I am dedicated to this practice of gratitude.

*cakes in mailboxes (My friend Paula recently delivered a warm lemon poppyseed cake as an afternoon surprise and belated birthday gift–delicious and maybe enjoyed even more, in some ways.) Proof of how we can lift people’s spirits in so many little ways.

*leftover cascarones (Well, just the shells)…multicolored evidence of the joy that transpired in my front driveway less than a week ago on a very different but still love- filled Easter Sunday…and a few hours of sunny time to celebrate between two thunderstorms. I still hear the laughter and squeals as two little girls chased their parents and me around, cracking the eggs and enjoying the time together.

* words from little ones on paper and in voice (Both older granddaughters are writing uppercase letters in their diaries, dictating notes to me, taking orders for food at their pretend drive thru/kitchen center.)Words on post its and scraps of paper fill the tables at my house. Lovely. The infant is not able to write yet, but she makes her needs known by crying if we pass by without interacting. She knows how to get our attention. She is learning from her sisters. “Up” requests Emma and “Come snuggle with me” says Sofia. I am happy to cooperate.

*seeds in cups (another thoughtful gift from Cindy)…one that continues to bring squeals of delight from all of us when we realize that tiny seeds do indeed sprout. Watching and tending to a plant is a valuable use of time.

*handknit socks (my sister Mary says I am one of the few she will knit for…well, lucky me.) If you are ever spoiled by hand knit socks, nothing else will seem to keep your feet quite as warm. Maybe that has something to do with the love used to make them. 🙂

So, there is my roundup of 5 good things from last week. There were many more, but these get the spotlight today.

Take good care of yourselves in these COVID/pandemic days. What are we in, dear readers? I ask that multiple times per day. And then I start looking for the good things to soothe my spirit. I hope you are able to find the good, too.

Be well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Lent 2019–Day 3–3/8/2019 plus Friday’s Five

It’s the International Day of Women. I am glad there is another marker of this day that I can look to because it is also the anniversary of my husband’s death.

And even though the days pass (Google informs me it’s been 1826/these five years), there is still not a day that passes that Sam isn’t on my mind. The days are easier though. For any mourner who reads these words, the days do get easier.

I am still writing about the process of grief, of loss, of all the things that are connected to it.

But today I am also looking out with a firmer resolve to take care of the days I might still see.

So, in honor of women today, my Friday’s Five asks you to do this small thing:

Think of five females who have made your life better. Call them, text them, write to them. Let them know.

And as we journey on in this weird and wacky world, may we make it easier in some way for someone. Today.

Peace. ❤️


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Sunday’s Song: Sadness/ Starting Lent, 2018

Lent this year is already so different than last year. In the back of my mind, I thought I might return to this blog and record some little thoughts, a few reflections…but then Parkland happened.

My mind keeps returning to the thought of the students and teachers at that high school in Florida. The stories they won’t get to tell. The deep scars their loved ones will carry forever. How some of us get to live and tell lots of things. And why that is I do not know.

To know these lives were taken on Ash Wednesday reinforces my belief that there is a level of evil in this world that some refuse to see. We are in spiritual warfare.

I think about the victims and survivors and I wonder what they thought about at the beginning of February 14, 2018. Valentine’s Day. Maybe someone was going to get surprise flowers. A handmade card. Some chocolate. Maybe a dinner was planned, or perhaps an Ash Wednesday service was on the agenda. Maybe someone had started making some plans to have a holier Lent. You know, give up a favorite food. Try to stop cursing so much. Be nice to somebody that irritates you. Pray more.

Then, in a few mind numbing violent and horrific seconds, every plan disintegrated.

My little Lenten lists and plans pale in comparison to the walk of the Parkland survivors. I do not have words of comfort or wisdom for you, dear readers.

I do not want to forget. I do not want to be complacent. I do not want to be politically correct. I do not want children being killed by children. I do not want gun owners to tell me about their rights. I do not want non- gun owners to tell me we have to ban all guns. I do not want to hear Republican vs Democrat.

I want people to look up from their phones. I want people to speak to one another in civil tones. I want people to make eye contact. I want people to receive mental health care when they need it. Quality care. I want gun-buyers to have background checks. I want gun-owners to be responsible and teach their children how to use firearms safely.

I want people to admit we have a problem.

I want people who have differing opinions to respect one another. I want people who are silent to speak. I want teachers to be safe in their classrooms. And children. I want people to stop thinking it’s normal to see police on school campuses or to want that. I want people who died to not be dead. I want too much.


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Friday’s Five

This past week I sat with my friend D who reminded me yet again that it is time to write the book. The book she told me I needed to write when she found out I was getting ready to walk a terrible and tragic path. The book she brings up from time to time, but never more forcefully than this past week. You have the time now, friend. 

And, as most true friends have the tendency to be, she is right. So, in the spirit of internet accountability, I share my intention here. I also ask a favor of whatever  group of humans might read this post: pray for me, please. Pray that I will discipline myself to write daily, that I will write clearly and true, and that one day my words will find the right people and help them.

I know that God has a way of making the most amazing things happen, and I know He has set me up with time to write this year. He continues to put people in my path who show me this book is needed. He is persistent. 🙂

He has shown me that I have a tendency   to sabatoge my plans by letting myself get too busy. He gave me the gift of realizing that, and He keeps showing me in ways that only He can that now is the time. So, I humbly began writing out the first pages of thoughts and outlines and notes. 

I have a long way to go. A lot of word counts to meet. A lot of pages to turn. And rewrites. And edits. I am pretty sure this is not going to come easily. I am almost positive some of the remembering and reconstructing is going to be hard. 

But I am beginning in faith. I know if God intends for this book to be written, it will be written. I have committed to meet Him halfway in this and show up with the pencil. He has been patient on His end, but I know He has a sense of humor. Lately He’s been whispering the reminder that Look, we don’t have forever for this. Get on with it. 

He is the centerpiece of my story, my life, my “one day to be” book. 

I ask Him every day to let others see Him in me. He gave me a love for writing and words a long time ago. It seems He is going to let me use something I love to tell about what He can do for all of us. 

So, I still hope to post my weekly reasons for gratitude (probably the short form–unlike tonight’s bolded words), and I’ll of course let this page take whatever twist and turn seems fitting. One day, God willing, I’ll show up here to tell you the manuscript is ready. Then we’ll pray for a publisher. 

On second thought, go ahead and get busy on that prayer, too: agent/editor/publisher and anybody else I’m going to need. As God reminds me, it’s time to get this show on the road. 

Peace. Love. Action. Amen. 


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Sunday’s Song: Silence

I’m sitting in a favorite spot tonight–home–on my back porch. We have had a ton of rain and the frogs and crickets are competing. There’s a concert happening. 


Just a few seconds of Sunday silence and nature’s song from a TX backyard. 

How can such peace carry with it a sadness? Tonight, it does. 

I think of people who woke a day ago and called a friend or two, gathered some dollar store torches, spewed hate onto the streets of Charlottesville. They are responsible for the loss of life. Humans who won’t get to hear the sweet sounds I’m hearing tonight.

I struggle with the hate some people carry inside themselves. I feel it myself because I want to grab these extremists and shake them, slap them, scream at them. 

How can a human being go so far down a wrong path? How can anyone stand by and let them continue?

My heart is heavy tonight, and that is rare for me. I truly feel the hate in our world. I feel it like a weight upon my soul. 

I think of the innocents who will never enjoy the freedom I enjoy tonight. I think of the ones who hate so soundly they have never been truly free– and will never be. 

Hate is poison. We cannot be silent in the face of it.

My words are not eloquent tonight. I am tired. Hate wounds us all, even when we are far from it. It changes us, and we must fight against it at every opportunity.

No more hate. 


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Sunday’s Song: Renewal

Today is the five year anniversary of this blog. I  just spent a few minutes looking back at previous July posts. I found my former self in the space of those days: the eager exhilaration of beginning something new, the devastation of learning my husband’s cancer diagnosis, the paralyzation of grief filled days, the determined plodding ahead.  

And this brings me to the fifth space. This year. This walk. How do I describe it? How have I changed? What is around the corner? 

Who am I today that I was not five years ago? Well, I am a widow. A grandmother. A theology student. A world traveler. A retiree. A small business owner. An activist. Those titles come fairly quickly. 

Who am I still? A mom. A writer. An artist. An independent woman. 

Who am I yet to be? Time will tell.

I feel a longing, a tugging toward something more. Something that involves writing, art, spirituality, helping a larger group. We will see. 

I know not to discount the power in putting one foot in front of another. I know presence has deep meaning. I know that for all the people who tell you that you cannot do something or be something, you are the one who ultimately decides.

A lot of good has come my way in recent years. I have had three different pieces of art accepted into nationally juried shows. Still, someone laughingly commented: Oh, it’s so nice to say I know a real artist. Truly, I have been an artist for decades now. It was only when my work was accepted by someone other than me that this person accepted this part of me. This saddens me. We limit people. We put barriers up with too many requirements. We don’t make the next move because we allow ourselves to be defined by someone else’s limited view. 

Don’t allow that to happen to you. 

Days pass quickly. I can still remember riding to Louisiana with my family for a summer outing five summers ago. I found a book on blogging that day. It was like a sign. And I began. 

The journey took detours, and I am sure more detours lie ahead. In the meantime, though, I re-affirm my decision to write. To create. To think independently. To live in this world as the person I am. And to witness to those who cross my path. To celebrate all they are and all they hope to be. 

We have power. We must use it. Our day will come. 💫