around the frame feb 2010 – our experiences

Dear Frances,

Thanks for the Ninepatch!  I love all the stories of different journeys, especially the freedom of the river travel and dancing of Le’s “Canoe Trip.”  I felt like kicking off my shoes and dancing in the sand!

Speaking of rivers, yesterday I went for a hike on the Alachua (Florida) trail. I was amazed to see the sensuous curves of many alligators catch-ing the warming rays on the banks of the canal there. The Sandhill cranes are apparently hanging out somewhere else

this year. I saw some in the sky but none on the ground.




  Liz/Moscar (Nov.-Dec. ‘09) says, “I enjoyed my footloose and fancy holiday freedom. Now it’s back to work and school.”




It is so good to hear from you and about your work. We still have many common interests. As for rewriting, editing, emending or whatever you call it, it is all part of the work of writing. I see interviews with best selling authors who speak of six years, eight or nine years in getting the book written, many requiring much research.

My own book-in-progress moves in fits and starts, many detours and distractions, but weekly progress. The harder I work, the more the ideas flow!

Reading eats up time I could be writing, but I am hooked on books! Currently, I’m halfway through Stones Into Schools, Greg Mortenson’s new book released this month, a sequel to Three Cups of Tea.

I need to go back and skim The Left Hand of God to capture a quote which I partially remember. It’s another great read, and fun to watch it as an old movie with Humphrey Bogart.




Don (Sept.’09) adds, “USA TODAY named The Help by Kathryn Stockett as book of the year … maybe next on my reading list.”



Hi Missy,

            I love winter and yes, it is cold enough for me.  I don’t much like the temperature to go below 30 degrees, though. And, I don’t care for ice on the roads even though it is beautiful when it clings to the trees. 

The cats are doing well.  I’m still giving Merlin and Maggie their daily insulin. I really miss Andrew… but Mr. Gray takes up some of the slack.  He is such a spoiled baby. 

            On another note, my middle son, Keith, is working part time at the YMCA. Since he lives there, his job pays his rent and also gives him access to their gym.  He remains a concern since he still won’t do anything about his mental being. I have to remind myself: can’t do anything about that. 

Talk to you later.



            Patricia (Jan.’10) adds, “The bright side of this cold season is, as of the 21st of December the days are getting longer.”



Dear Frances,

How nice to hear from you! My house is empty for now, my daughter and grandbaby have moved out. I am adjusting to the aloneness and am usually busy enough that it’s bearable. Spare time finds me mostly cleaning and sorting in preparation for my friend/ tenant to move in.  

I’m looking forward to this new year — the year of the Tiger. I’m not conversant with the Chinese astrological system, but know enough to expect big things of the Year of the Tiger because it offers opportunities for prosperity and advancement if you’re willing to “pounce” on them.

Last time the Tiger rolled through was twelve years ago when I grew in leaps and bounds!



LynnTROR (Jan.’09) adds, “I made gifts for Christmas — beaded Victorian decorations and knitted blankets.”



Dear Frances,

            You noticed I was in a sad and gloomy mood last time I wrote.  I am getting that way again today.  I think it’s due to too much time with my husband and the kids. They seem to get on my nerves. I feel like I have no private space.

            When I was trying to write in the dining room, I had your letter laying beside me. My husband stood behind me and read over my            shoulder. He said, “So you feel you have to shut me out sometimes!”

My spouse has gone from paying no attention to me, to following me around. I wanted to listen to old records but he walked behind me and turned the speaker up full blast. That was too much, so I put the records away.  I tried to read and he kept interrupting me saying things like, “Are you comfortable?  Do you want a snack or something to drink?”

It’s either him or my younger daughter. Even the cats follow me! Today I have

retreated to my room and no one has found me — yet.

            Life goes on. Work. Housework. Church. I am still working on my baby steps to a better life, too. I want more peace of mind.

            Thank you for listening.

            Love and Prayers,



            LindaSue (Jan.’10) adds, “I am still reading Amish stories by   Wanda Brunstetter. I have completed two series: ‘Daughters of Lancaster County’ and ‘Brides of Lancaster County.’ I am started on ‘Sisters of Holmes County,’ and now reading the third book”  



Dear Frances,

As I am taking steps to simplify my life, I look at the yin, the circular and sometimes

undefined part of myself and I think of you and Ninepatch. 

I invite other readers to give their thoughts.  It could be a way to spark the Ninepatch community to grow and be more pro-active.  It could also be a way to invite closure to a wonderful journey your contributors have shared. Following are my thoughts.

Have you ever considered retiring from Ninepatch?  The newsletter was a wonderful way for you to stay in touch with your out-of-state friends and build community in Florida when you first moved from Michigan. But that was before email really took off. 

Now that you have strong roots in both Florida and Michigan, is it really so neces-sary for you to stay in touch with us Ninepatch contributors in this fashion? If you were to let the newsletter go altogether, you could focus more on your other writing. As a first step, you could simply discontinue the paper issue.

I am interested in thoughts of other readers.

Love and hugs,



            Carol (Jan’10) says, “As part of simplifying my own life, I have given the Ninepatch Board notice and will resign as Membership Coordinator at the end of 2010. Perhaps that opens the position for another reader.”




Beginnings and endings are

the most memorable.



            James (Jan.’10) adds, “First impressions, like ‘my first day of school,’ and ‘my first date’ are important remembered beginnings. Last impressions, like ‘the last time I saw my mother…’ and ‘the last time I was badly hurt’ are also timeless.”


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