From Farm Girl to Blogger:
7 Valuable Lessons Learned

My name is Lis Nagy, and this is my story. 

Lesson #1. Keep Pivoting 

~Savoring Life’s Moments~ is Born

Over the last three years, there have been many unexpected challenges. In searching for peace and solace amidst the upheaval, gratitude became a large part of my daily mantra. In addition, I began exploring creative outlets to share my passions and interests with the rest of the world. Eventually, Savoring Life was born, and I could not be more excited for this journey. Designing T-shirts, mugs, and prints has given my life the creative outlet I sought. 

Lesson #2. Expect the Unexpected

~City Girl to Farm Girl~

So, here’s my story and a few of the lessons learned therein. I was born into a large family, and as I often tell folks, “I’m #7 out of 8.” Five males and three females made up the ‘Nagy’ clan, and I wore my last name like a cloak of armor during my formative years. The Wallingford District in Seattle was home for the first eight years of my life, and we lived in a three-story house on 1st Avenue NE. A childhood memory that looms large involved an oversized bike and large rings. One afternoon I found myself at the local playground with a friend who lived up the street in my neighborhood. Using my oversized bike, I hoisted myself to grab two metal rings and happily swung away. Unfortunately, my “friend” decided to roll the bike away from underneath me, and my only chances of quickly getting down from those giant rings had just rolled on down the road. I begged with every ounce of my being for that bicycle to magically appear underneath my dangling feet but to no avail. Finally, I jumped. Lis incurred no life-sustaining injuries and learned that sometimes life is unkind, and the sooner one knows to expect the unexpected, the better. 

Red farm house
Nagy Farm

~Transitions Are Challenging~

In January of 1975, my parents moved the family out to a farm on Whidbey Island. The change was hard on my eight-year-old psyche, and when a storm rolled in, and the power went out during class on my first day of school, I made a run for home. Running away from school in a dress on a cold, windy day in January was not exactly a well-planned getaway. As luck would have it, I was about one mile into my “great escape” when an older brother in the 6th grade had been pulled from class on his first day of school to locate his missing sister. Sorry, brother. After a tumultuous beginning, life on the farm brought many great moments, and I spent my days immersed in athletic activities, 4-H, and learning to be human.

Lis Nagy's Goats Sandy and Francis
My Treasured Goats ~ Sandy and Frances

Lesson #3. Dare to Dream

~Keep on Moving~

At age 16, life offered up a series of unexpected challenges, and I attended four high schools in as many years. My parent’s marriage was declining, Mom and Pops moved to Alaska with my sisters and me in tow, and life on the farm was over and gone. Saying “Goodbye” to my prized and cherished goats, Sandy and Frances, was heart-wrenching. This time in my life was the beginning of some very lonely days.  

Eventually, I journeyed to the wheat fields of the Palouse in eastern WA and earned the professional certification needed to become an educator. Along the way, I managed to sustain a broken heart, travel to New Zealand, and secure my first teaching position in a small town in eastern Washington. 

Life in this small town brought me the greatest gifts my life has ever known, my partner in life, two children, my BFF, and more beautiful moments than I can count. Then, as luck would have it, my spouse and I moved our young family to the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State and set up residence in another small town, only this time, I was back to living along the shores of a large body of water and looking out across open waters to the island of my youth. Perfecto!

Lesson #4 Embrace Imperfection 

~Motherhood and the Great Outdoors~

When I look back on these years of Motherhood and constantly changing lives and schedules, there is an ever-present deep and soul-filling gratitude. One memory that lives large in my mind is a camping trip on the Olympic Peninsula. Our children selected their most coveted brand of chips for the outdoor adventure, which happened to be healthy-sized bags of Doritos and Cheetos. With the tent fully assembled and camping gear unpacked, it was time for an afternoon of exploration. Upon our return, we were shocked to discover remnants of chips strewn about the campsite. The kids were in disbelief that their prized chips had been hijacked and quickly found the culprits. A local band of raccoons had joyously dragged the bags of chips into a nearby bush and had a satisfying afternoon snack. This lesson would be one in a long string of learnings in the great outdoors. 

My teaching career has spanned 30-plus years, and it’s been an incredible ride. Early in my career, I started an after school club called “Kids For Saving the Earth.” 

Lesson #5 Always Pay Attention to Mother Nature

~Kids For Saving the Earth Club~

I remember one fateful morning like it was yesterday, even though it was three decades ago. All week long, my KFSE club members had been collecting used paper throughout the school building with admirable intensity. Boxes of used paper piled high in my 4th-grade classroom, and my students were beaming with pride. At long last, it was time to deliver the goods to my tiny, red Honda Civic, which I regularly called, The Hot Tamale. I assigned a few students to oversee ‘Operation Load Car,’ and the assembly line began. Students were shuffling down the hallway and into the great outdoors of that Columbia Basin morning, where a swirling wind had decided to whip up some currents of epic proportion. 

~A Tough Day at the Office~

As I glanced out the window, I wondered for a moment if the snow had begun to fall, but I quickly remembered the snowfall season had passed. Then, alas, I realized what I was viewing. Hundreds upon hundreds of sheets of paper were swirling outside my window, scattered to all four corners of our vast playground and beyond, into neighboring yards and fields. All our hard work and dedication toward saving the earth, thwarted by Mother Nature’s constant need to remind us that no matter how hard we try, we are never in control of the endless variables that keep challenging us daily. 

My students made a gallant effort toward collecting those airborne pieces of paper that had scattered heedlessly and then returned to class for further instruction and yet more lessons on life and learning. The following week there was a short debrief around lessons learned while transporting recycled paper. Always check the weather forecast ended up being Lesson #1.

Lesson #6. It’s Never Too Late to Try Something New

~Guitars, Violins, Banjos, and Mandolins, Oh My!~

In some ways, that windy morning of so long ago feels like yesterday. And yet, there’s been a whole lot of living in between. At age 45, my husband and I wandered past a music store in mid-December. I longingly looked at the instruments strung across the walls like holiday lights and said, “One day, I’m going to learn how to play the guitar and banjo.” My husband insisted we walk through those beckoning doors, and I exited with a Washburn guitar cradled in my inexperienced but excited hands. Ever since that day, music has woven itself into the very fabric of my being. The guitar is my first love within the musical realm, and the violin, banjo, and mandolin make a surprise appearance now and again.

Long Ago By Lis Nagy

I’m excited to share my latest song, Long Ago. If you feel like commenting, I’d love to hear from you. Take care!

Posted by Lis Nagy, Singer/Songwriter on Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Lesson #7. Let Gratitude Lead the Way

~Partners, Friendships, and Patience~

Over the last three years, I have spent much time with my Mother, who I playfully call The Mama. It has been an enormously humbling experience to share in these years of declining cognitive and physical function. In my Mother’s musings, I have learned that life is a tapestry of moments strung together over many years. Some moments cling to us with passion and grace, and others sprinkle regret and despair.

I’ve also learned that one must follow what is one’s heart. And when you listen, the answers to life’s most challenging questions eventually appear. One must only remember to be patient.  

~Wrapping it up~

I have reached a point wherein gratitude reigns large, and I sincerely appreciate all the countless beautiful moments that regularly bring me joy. My life partner is truly the wind beneath my wings. He is stalwart, steadfast, and unwavering in his commitment to our family and the “Us” we have come to cherish. My treasured friendships sustain my heart and soul, and their presence brings unsurpassed joy. Some of these relationships began before I knew how to walk and talk, and I can hear my beloved brother Sam saying, “Those were the days.” Smiling.

There you have it, my life explained in 1,716 words. It’s time to return to living, playing, creating, and savoring life’s moments. Thank you very much for stopping by, and if you feel like reaching out, I will enjoy hearing from you. 

Be well! 


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