around the frame mar 2010 – our experiences

Hi Frances!

 After reading June’s January 2010 views on the book,  Unfinished Business, What the Dead Can teach Us about Life by James Van Praagh, I’m interested in reading it. 

Right now, I’m reading, The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom – the same author of, Tuesdays with Morrie. Basically the teaching is that Heaven is where we finally learn what our life was about.  There we’ll find answers to questions we pondered, and situations we felt angry about. Interesting, but done in a strange format.

Take care of yourself Frances.  I have the picture of the two of us from this summer in Indiana. It warms my heart.



Dottie (Feb. 10) adds, “I always looked forward to reading your next installment in BUS RIDE and will miss it.”


Dear Frances,

Great February issue of Ninepatch! I loved Devora’s poem, “Full Circle.”

After reading Carol’s letter in the same issue, I have to ask if you are thinking of leaving Ninepatch to pursue your other writing. I was surprised by her letter which suggested that.

I loved reading your meditation on the new starry sneakers. It reminded me of a day some years ago when I watched my wet sneakers drip from where I had hung them on a fence. I was grieving the untimely death of my beloved stepson.  Watching the drops of water being absorbed into the earth somehow gave me a moment of clarity as to the everlasting nature of the soul.

        See you!




Liz/Moscar (Feb.’10) adds, “I’m at that point in the semester where I have a lot of assignments due.  Also, I’ve been informed I will soon be working in a literacy program for young people.”



Dear Frances,

It was hard at first, but I’m getting used to having my daughter and granddaughter gone. I try to visit them weekly and call as often as I can.

I’m also enjoying having my roommate and her dog ‘Monty’ (a pitbull cross) here. Truth is though, my new roommate and I are both so busy that we’ve had little time to relax and enjoy each other’s company. (I’ll write more about this on my Ninepatch web site blog.)

I pray this note finds you well and happy.




LynnTROR (Feb.10) says, “In addition to writing regularly on my Ninepatch web site blog, as our web master, I also recently rebuilt our archives page. I’m always interested in reader’s comments!”



Dear Frances,

Thank you for your letter, Ninepatch and the book ad featuring new releases.  I took that flier page to my library and asked for titles at the information desk.  They had one in and I grabbed it!

I am still reading and writing letters, walking when I can. I go to work, do house-work and attend church on Sunday. Recently an old friend sang at church. It was so nice to see her again.

 Right now I am having some trouble keeping up at my job.  Maybe it’s my age, health problems or even stress. I don’t know, maybe it’s all these, but I’ve been asked to look into applying for a “disability pension.”

        If I do that, I won’t be able to afford the mortgage or caring for this house full of unemployed husband, children and grandchildren. I don’t know what my future holds. Maybe I will take my dad and move out. I’ve done that before, perhaps that’s why it comes to mind.  Time will tell.

In your last letter you advised, “Also, try not to ask Why? The answer is really just, be-cause. You have no power over any ‘because’ except the one that is because I need to… because I want to… and  because God tells me to…”

         I do try not to ask “why.” I so want the answer to be “…because God tells me to…”  That’s why I pray so much. I keep asking God for help and guidance. I pray every day and night like those girls do in the Amish books I read.  (Sometimes I wish I was Amish…) 

        I am still taking “baby steps” toward a better life. Thanks for listening.

        Love and prayers,



LindaSue (Feb.’10) adds, “I know I have to sit tight, wait and see what I can do, what I can handle …see what God has in His plan.  Dad and I talk all the time about God’s Timing.



Hi Frances,

In January you sent us e-Ninepatch readers a reflection about finding a quarter. Your story brought smiles. I find coins, too.

I find money regularly, mostly pennies but also larger coins, and twice I have found ten-dollar bills as well as ones and fives.

When I find money of any kind, I always pause and give thanks. I take the discovery as a sign of abundance in my life. I never spend that money, but keep it in a special place until I sense the time to use it.

I sent over fifty dollars of found money for flood relief in New Orleans. 



Don (Feb.’10) says, “I think I may empty the bank again and send it to Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea, to help build his schools.”        


Dear Francesca,

We were visiting our son in another part of the state when my husband — who is ninety — got sick.  We were at the ER twice in less than twenty-four hours. He had fainted when the ambulance drove him there the first time. They diagnosed “dehydration,” treated and released him. The second time — in the middle of the night — he was in extreme pain.  He was so sick the boys and I thought we might lose him. That time the diagnosis was “enlarged prostate.”  Again, he was treated and released.

He is at home now, convalescing. He has graduated from a wheel chair to a walker. For the first four or five days, I fed him, gave him his meds, sponge-bathed him and emptied the catheter. Since then he has rallied. Not completely, though. He hasn’t changed his clothes in six days. He sleeps in the same clothes he wears in the daytime.

We have a nurse, a physical therapist, a home healthcare worker and an occupational therapist coming in. He likes the attention these women give him, but he is mostly uncooperative. I think he is resigned that he won’t get much better. He might be a little depressed. Although he continues to read the newspaper, finish the crossword puzzle and watch “Jeopardy,” “Seinfeld” and football, his changed personal habits say a lot.  While I’ve struggled with depression most of my life, it is completely foreign to him.

Days ago, he agreed to give up his driver’s license, but I’m not sure he remembers. Giving in to the idea tells me he doesn’t expect to get better.


            Elaine (Nov.-Dec.’’09) says, “For the first ten days or so, I attended to my husband’s every need but when I saw his lack of effort to get better, I became irritated. Fortunately, I made the decision not to act out. What I needed was to get out of the house so out I went. I’m back at the gym, playing in a music group, volunteering and will be starting a tennis clinic soon.”


The more choices one has —

the better the solution.


        James ( Feb. ’10) adds, “Diversification is the key.”

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