around the frame may 2014 – our experiences

Nancyann skating

Dear Frances,

Way overdue, but I’m finally getting comments on the March 2014 issue to you. First, driving in ice and snow. Been there. Hope to never do it again! You bring back memories. And, ice skating. I never managed to stand up on ice skates. What a precious memory of your father.

Liz’s letter reminded me of Rosamunde Pilcher’s The Shell Seekers and other writings that describe living in London through (and after) WWII.  As a youngster, I read a lot of WWII stories. Living in The States, I also remember going with my mother to get “ration” stamps for food, gas and other war shortages.

Mary Coin by Marisa Silver looks like another must read for me. I should have known the review would by signed by June Poucher!  She gave me a copy of the book you made for her, June Poucher in Ninepatch. It’s a joy. I read it with my morning coffee.

Great reading list and I enjoy reading the friendly exchanges.

I love you.



Nancyann (Dec. ‘13) adds, “I love all the crazy names for you –and funny words, too, like thing-a-ma-bob and what-cha-ma-call-it. (Chuckle) St. Frances! Wow!”



Hi Fritzie,

I’ve been thinking of you over the past month since the March 2014 Ninepatch came out.  I really enjoyed what you wrote about ice-skating.  Meant to write before, but you know how life goes.

My four daughters are planning my “birthday trip” to Rome. (Their gift to me.) Yesterday at lunch, we ate in shirtsleeves on a terrace with the sun shining on us.   Love that kind of weather.  But, I’m sure that we have some less pleasant days awaiting us this season, too.

Enjoy your spring – al-though it’s not as though you’re recuperating from a long winter of snow!

Wishing you good days ahead!

Peace, love, joy!


Betsy (Jan. ‘14) says, “This time last year I was in Florida, like you.  Seems like long, long days ago.”   



Hi Missy,

I received April ‘14 Ninepatch.  Your story really brought back some childhood memories.  The three “T’s” (Temperature, Tea and Toast) must have been practiced for sickness by all of us!

My husband, Bob, remembers the toast and tea. He said he loved it.  His mom was a nurse.  He hated being sick, but loved the toast and tea.

My mom took good care of me the same way.

Bless you,



Patricia (Apr. ‘14) adds, “It is getting warmer here in the North.  I am looking forward to  working in the yard with Bob and his garden.”


Dear Frances,

 As my 2014 birthday draws near, I want to thank you again for my 2013 gift. I appreciate all the work you put into compiling my Ninepatch articles and book reviews into the book, June Poucher in Ninepatch.

Also, I am grateful for your arranging with the publisher for my purchase of extra copies for my family and friends.  I have had good response from the recipients. In fact, one friend says she reads a page every day and meditates on it.

Recently I received an e-mail from my daughter who is herself a published author. She said, “I really enjoyed your book. It was nice to read all your contributions together. You come across as wise but humble, as someone who’s been thru a lot but has grown from your experiences and is likeable also. Cool to be the hero of your own life!”

As you can imagine, her comment means a lot to me.

Bless’d be,



June Poucher (Apr.’14) adds, “I am blessed.” 



Dear Frances,

Since you ask how long it took my “knowing” to become reality, I have a few impressions about your “waiting” state.

My biography includes eight years of college studying technical subjects and twenty-two years of professional experience in the practical, linear, logical thinking.  I met you as I began my journey of developing my intuitive side. I would jokingly describe myself as a car with two over-inflated tires (doing and thinking) and two flat tires (feeling and being.) I needed to balance things out or it was going to be a very bumpy ride.

I laugh when I re-read some of my letters to Ninepatch filled with my talk about phases of the moon and medicine wheels and meditation.   Reading that, I would be the LAST person I’d peg as an engineer! What can I say except that was my path!

Nevertheless, I put on my newly acquired “woo-woo” hat and intuit “The Next Step of Frances.”   You definitely have a change approaching.  I personal-ly believe your waiting state may have as much to do with your

community as it does with you. When the time is right for your change, it will appear and will be best for you and all those around you.  I truly believe you will know it when you feel it.




KarenLouise (Apr. ‘14) adds “I feel at home in Portland.  The winter rains have brought us cherry blossoms and daffodils.

Oregon’s April color.

Oregon’s April color.



Dear Frances,

At last. I am here in my new one-bedroom apartment!  But, my brothers and I did not find a place for Dad.

My brother, Bill, said, “Maybe God wants him to sit alone for a while. Think about what he had done with his life and wonder why is it no one wants much to do with him.”

I couldn’t move all in one day. (I had to work.) But, for three nights, I went back to Dad’s and made him dinner.

My brother said, “What do you want to do? Live half here and half there? Dad is stalling. He thinks you will give in.”

I didn’t know what to do. I have an uncle who told me to call if I ever needed him. So I called and said, “Uncle Curt, I don’t know what to do. I am supposed to be out of the apartment today, but I don’t know what to do about Dad.”

He said, “Linda, go make a life for yourself. Give your dad time to think.”

Three more days passed. I was working and busy, busy. On my day off, Dad had a doctor’s appointment. My brother took us. We were hoping he would qualify for a nursing home. But, no!  Dad’s too healthy.

After being alone several days, Dad was desperate enough to agree to rules for living with another of my brothers and his wife. (That included no drinking.) We moved Dad in. For a change, he was thanking every-one and being pleasant.

Bill doesn’t believe he will keep his promise.   He said to me, “No matter what, it’s not your problem anymore.”

Now it’s a week later. So far, so good! I have been to the Walmart. I can walk there–it’s right across the street. My brother is still taking me to work and picking me up, and I don’t have a phone or cable, but I am doing great.

Please pray for me. I still need all the help I can get.

God be with you.

Love and Prayers,



LindaSue (April ‘14) adds, “I still wonder about Dad every day. Is he keeping his promise?  Will he finally quit drinking?”



Dear Friend:

Now that it’s April, winter looks to be loosening its grip. Temperatures reached sixty this week. Snow is slowly melting away in the yard, but the fields are still covered.

Our maple sap flow is picking up steam and we are anticipating a good year for syrup production.  Another season is turning, thus begins the year’s first harvest.

We will be moving forward in the ham radio antenna sales we did with a friend who died. His widow wants to keep the business running, so we are taking over the retailing part by going to ham radio shows.

I had hopes of going to Bermuda when a friend sailed over with my husband. The little new ham radio business likely won’t make up what we need to get there. Still, I’m not giving up! I’m going to take care of updating my passport today.

I’m handling winter and the ups and downs of going/not going on the Bermuda trip with-out going over the edge, but the ride is not fun.

I hope all is well with you.




Linda Rosenthal (Mar. ‘14) says, “The weather is still on everyone’s lips.  Here in The North, we’re all so burnt out by it that we grab onto any warm breeze like a castaway who sights a distant sail.”


 Gradualism and life

are related.



James (Apr. ‘14) adds, “Life is a series of small steps.”

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