around the frame mar 2011 – our experiences

Dear Fritzoyota,

I resonated with everything you wrote in your email about spiritual answers and the February ‘11 9patch. I know I always want spiritual answers to be clear cut, precise and blind-

ingly obvious! However, it’s not been my experience that they are…

You said you felt like you were treading water, using energy to stay in place and keep

breathing. My image is of the path — trudging along, one foot in front of the other, seeing only the road under my feet and no glimpses of the destination. That’s living in the now!

And you wrote of wearing your grandmother’s wedding ring. As I type this I can see the flash of the diamond from my mother’s engagement ring. I wear it with her wedding ring, on my right pinkie. I was holding her hand when she died. Afterwards I slid these rings and her watch from her. I put the rings on my finger right then, but the watch was too small for my wrist. Wearing the rings was my way of keeping a connection with my mother.

I can empathize with CaTs adventures and misadventures in rebuilding her home. My house in Key West was flooded during Hurricane Wilma in 2005. My son and I lived in a FEMA trailer for over six months while our home was rebuilt. It was a devastation to lose my refuge — the place where I felt secure.

I am glad that life is improving for CaT and Buzz .

Namaste <3


Liz/Moascar (Feb. 11) adds, Oh, the turmoil in Egypt! It’s hard to imagine such rioting — the Egyptians seemed so mellow when I was living there. But that was a generation ago and Sadat was alive. A generation before — when I was born there — there were uprisings against King Farouk. Among my de-ceased parents’ belongings, I found photos of burned cars and dead bodies in the street. Those photos were taken from the windows of my parents’ flat where we lived during my first year.”


Dear Frances,

My body is certainly quivering! All tests and blood work have come back negative. I am accepting that it’s all grief/ stress/anxiety related due to my son’s recent death and changes that brought.

I am powerless, not “in charge” anymore. I’m on an anti-anxiety medication and that seems to be helping. But best of all, my husband has been taking LOVING care of me. A wonderful gift.

We’re going on a cruise and I’m looking forward to pampering and relaxation. AND I’m

looking forward to going WITH HIM.



Nancyann (Nov.’10) adds, “After years of his sharpness, feeling ‘easy’ with my husband is all new territory for me.”


Dear Frances,

I am sorry I didn’t write back right away. I am not thinking straight lately. I was planning to leave my husband. That would bring many changes in my life. I had an appointment with a lawyer who told me my rights concerning the house I never wanted.

From work, I called about an apartment for Dad and me near one of my brothers — in case Dad needed anything when I was at work. Friends offered to help me move. It all seemed perfect.

Then I tried to talk to my daughter and son-in-law (who live in our basement) about what the lawyer said. My son-in-law got mad and said, “You can’t just take your dad and leave! What about us? We will lose everything. What about your grandchildren?”

I felt selfish. Was I being too focused on my own happiness?

When I called back about the apartment to say I had the first and last month’s rent, it was filled. Guess the Lord didn’t want us there. Or maybe, it wasn’t time yet.

Suddenly I realized I hadn’t seen my counselor in over a month. When I went to see her, I hardly knew where to start. The hour ended fast.

She said, “What’s the hurry?” She advised me to start a journal and write my thoughts. She also said it’d be good to get my dad’s health back on track. (He’s been in a lot of pain late-ly.) Maybe Dad and I are not ready to be on our own.

So, I am right back where I started. The changes I made were only in my heart and mind. I have to slow down and work harder on changing one of the things I can — my attitude.

Love and prayers,


LindaSue (Feb.’11) adds, “You wrote about TTT — Things Take Time. My dad always says, ‘Important things take time — more time than we might like.’ I need to learn to live that idea.”


Dear Frances,

I just read parts of the newsletter … will read the rest … all kinds of interesting stuff in this issue!

You say your dreams are interesting. Mine are definitely interesting. Lots of Freudian symbolism among other things I’m sure. Sometimes I think the mind just randomly downloads and things get all mixed up. But even the weird ones are good, because I feel purged when I wake up.

I think about your writers. I used to keep a journal for my English classes, but it was all too much to save when I got married. Deepest and darkest thoughts kind of thing. Back then, I didn’t want it around!

I like the way someone in the issue put their “thoughts” in italics. Might try that. I always have them … for instance, the neighbor lady called and even though I was pleasant on the phone, I was mentally giving her “the finger.” Like: I’m fine. Shut up, dip.


BarbaraJean AKA Laughing Girl

BarbaraJean (Feb.’11) adds, “Reading other people’s writing helps me.”


Hi Frances,

Sorry I haven’t been keeping up with you. Life has its way of consuming every minute of a day. Nothing monumental has been happening, just “STUFFF“! I am busy working on a reunion for those of us from my home town area who live in Florida during the winter. Somehow I find myself once again in charge. I am very good at getting involved and then before you know it, I seem to get way more than I bargained for.

We usually have close to two hundred people and it includes placing ads in several newspapers, taking reservations for a sit down dinner, doing a multi-page program, coordinating meals with the restaurant, name tags. A lot of work, but so gratifying when you see how happy it makes guests.

I have been doing this for about eight years now. Each year I say I am going to give it to someone else but when I ask if anyone would be interested in doing it they all respond, “You do it so well, please continue.”

Oh well, I have to do something so I may as well continue with this.

Hope all is well with you, Frances.

God Bless,


Judy (Aug ’10) adds, “It has really been spring like here on Florida’s Gulf. I love it. Pretty soon it will be gardening time again. My poor yard really needs a lot of work. I keep trying to plant things that won’t be affected by the cold but I still manage to lose some of my treasures every year.”


Hi Frances,

You wrote you’d been trying to simplify and make more time for reading and writing, but had not been very successful. I certainly can relate to your quest for simplification. This past summer, I moved to a smaller apartment that was closer to work. I cleared out a lot of old papers and dust collectors just to make things simpler.

With that out of the way, I planned to slowly work my way through a college algebra course so as to better tutor my clients. It ended up being another “THING TO DO” that “I NEED TO FINISH“. I felt consumed by a bunch of little projects over the winter break. I did not do any reading in December. Now that the semester has resumed, I’m back to my routine. I have a list of books to go through — books on science, current events, and spiritual topics.

I believe you when you say that writing your own tale is heavy. Editing and polishing your work is yet another level of heaviness. It’s so easy to just rely on our same old stories–the narrator in our heads who comments upon the events of life. Writing from a perspective that is open to seeing and experiencing things in a new way takes concentration and focus and emotional vulnerability. It’s difficult, but is worth it.



KarenLouise ( Dec.’10) adds, “I just finished Where Men Win Glory” by Jon Krakauer which is excellently written and thoroughly researched. He writes of the Afghanistan conflict and the death of Pat Tillman, the NFL star who was killed in the war. I also finished The Spiral Staircase by Karen Armstrong. She’s the best.”


Dear Frances,

Thanks for reminding me that ‘pushing’ oneself can be a blessing — one I too often take for granted.

Truth is, my life’s often busy because I choose it. At times like this when others push back, I’m learning to say, “Sorry, no.” I know I’m the one to blame for my pressure. Wouldn’t want it any other way! I spend time with my family and friends and doing things I enjoy. Life is good.

Oh, and yes… I do miss the bike rides on Big Red with the boyfriend, but that time’s a comin’. Lately, it’s light for a while after I leave work. While we’re still buried in snow and freezing, we’re already planning our vacations.

I haven’t given up hope.



Lynn/TROR (Nov. ‘10) says, “I’ve had just about all I can take of winter, so hearing you’ve seen robins headed north from Florida, helps.”


Essence may get lost in the forest of details.

James (Feb.’11) adds, “It is best to keep things simple.”

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