With both hands 'n heart wringing (? ringing?), I'm finally putting down (some) information so that this "web log" process can be initiated!
I very acutely remember my 8th grade teacher, Sr. Sally White GNSH - - that's "Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart" - - saying to me "Toni, You have a gift with language, with writing." And she smiled at me. It was a lifetime ago but I have never forgotten her kindness. Now this was at Christ the King, a parochial school in Atlanta. I also attended St. Pius X HS, and was graduated from North Fulton HS.
After graduating from St. Joseph's Infirmary School for Nursing (edited the hospital newsletter "the Coronary"), I attended Barat College as a full-time student majoring in Philosophy, spending evenings and nights working in the college infirmary. I did enjoy traveling with the Barat Singers both as a participant and as the health care provider for the college students and Dr. Platon Karmeres, the Director.
Both music and other pursuits went 'on hold' for a while when Ed and I married, 47 years and counting. Occasionally a rhyme or two, or an idea would pop into my head and if I could and materials were handy, I would scribble them down --- thus "The Brown Bag Pomes", so called because often all I had available to write on were used leftover not-yet-thrown-away off-springs' lunch bags. (Now those were the prehistoric times when children actually took their lunches made at home to school, but not only that, some of those children did NOT have special character school lunch boxes, or even a plain school lunch box.) But JUST a BROWN SACK - - my poor knee-gleck-ted chilluns! Ah well. At least I remember I would occasionally write -- to include inside the sack lunch -- on a sheet of paper saying at the top: BILL of FARE. Then I would list the lunch ingredients, using as many adjectives as possible, trying to make that day's lunch sound exciting, scrumptious, delicious... (funny the things remembered...)
Anyway, on to the imPORtant stuff:
In 2003, (thank God!) I experienced a spiritual re-awakening - - after a period of being -- for all intents and purposes -- areligious -- I was, as I characterize it, "knocked off my horse!". The Lord God, in His unending Mercy, looked at me and helped me to understand -- to 'know' -- exactly what and how His Son Jesus had died, for me, for others -- the Holy Spirit breathing the breath of life upon me.
And that is the big deal. Really.
After that, just a few days after that, I woke up with a tune in my head, and a sentence that went along with the tune. Not much later, the rest of the sentences came, and "The Message is Jesus" happened.
"Burn Bright the Flame" came soon after that, then others.
I resumed full-time participation, first at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Lawrenceville and more recently, at the Catholic Church of St. Matthew in Winder GA. Besides enjoying the choir at St. Matthew's, I sing for memorials/funerals, usually in the greater Atlanta area.
In October 2012, I was professed as a Secular Franciscan (after several years of formation). "...going from gospel to life and life to gospel." That is not merely a (Franciscan) axiom, but a description of "The Way". Sometimes I veer off the path, often falling -- but for me, this is The Way, The Truth, The Life.
Peace and All Good!