around the frame july 2014 – our experiences

Land of Lakes sign

Land of Lakes sign

Hi Frances,

Thanks for the little “extra” about signs of life! I enjoyed “A Cheese Sign.” That Indian maiden in the center of the sign certainly confirms your interpretation of the sign.




Gail (Sept. ‘13) adds, “Your signs of life intrigue me and I’m making a mental note to notice signs henceforth.”


Dear Frances,

I enjoyed reading “A Cheese Sign.” From what I know, your childhood was blessed with that wonderful cottage by the lake. You’ve mentioned “the lake”

so many times. I know it brings fond memories. Interesting how signs of various types can bring back memories or start creative ideas to flow.



Dottie (Feb. 14) says, “My happy Florida memories go to visiting St. Augustine and peaceful walks on the beach as well. Happy times!”


Holmes Beach, Florida

Holmes Beach, Florida


Just opened Ninepatch over my first cup of coffee. (I will come back to it later.) First, I want to tell you that Holmes Beach, Florida, pictured in your “Postcard,” is the beach I visited about four times last year when I was in Florida. I agree with you. It’s a lovely beach!

Now, about Ninepatch. I’m always amazed about how industrious you are, pulling ideas together from all over the place and putting them in one cohesive project. Bravo.

A la prochaine!  ( “Till the next time!”)



Betsy(May ‘14) adds, “There’s a music festival this weekend in a nearby park. I’m headed there tomorrow evening for music and a meal with a longtime friend. She lives in the apartment building where I used to live. It’s about a minute’s walk from here: across the parking lot of the grocery store that is located probably about twenty-five steps after I walk out of our building.    

People are always around, with the pharmacy, hairdresser, butcher shop, bakery and eyeglass shop all located in the large building where I live. I certainly am happy in this neighborhood!”


Dearest Fritzajacaranda,

Your story of the dual Easter processions is so powerful. I can perfectly see it in my mind. It helps too that I am a little familiar with your church. It’s a comforting vision to experience in the stillness of a trea-sured sanctuary.

Do our sacred spaces bring us closer to our dear departed? Often, in the quietness of my spiritual home, I feel a connection to my people who have gone before.

I am glad to hear that you enjoyed your beach trip with David. Wow! He sure looks different now from that tow- haired youngster in your earlier photo. Also loved seeing the younger Frances and your father. Your dad looks glad to have you there. Holmes Beach is a connection with your family of origin.

I’m attaching an image of a beautiful tree which is presently in bloom in my neighborhood.

Hope this finds you in the best of all health, Francafriend. In divine



Liz’s  California Jacaranda Tree

Liz’s California Jacaranda Tree

Liz/Moascar (May ‘14) adds, “I am in the process of having an old and funky trailer (in the park where I used to live) renovated. So I will be moving back there some time this summer.”


Hi Frances,

I am at my desk and just finished reading the June ‘14 Ninepatch. They get better and better!

Just thinking about Barbarajean who wrote about living with pain. My husband is in that situation as well. It is awful. I am sorry for both of them and will hold them in my prayers.

Today was our Osher Institute day, our next to the last for this term. In one class, we are reading Richard Ford’s Independence Day with only one more class to go we are almost to the end of a long book. It is the second time I have read the book and find myself caught up in self- incrimination. I personalize the main character’s lack of parenting skills. I struggled through two divorces, putting my own needs over my children’s. It is a difficult book for me to read even though it got many prizes.

My second class of the day is Opera. We have watched DVDs of five operas of the Bel Canto, or, beautiful music style opera. It has been a wonderful experience.

Love to you Franny Banany,


Louise (Apr. ‘14) adds, “The weather’s been good and my garden’s growing. Maggie, my eleven- year-old Border collie mix is beginning to calm down. I love her so much. Life is good.”


Dear Frances,

I finished theJune ‘14 Ninepatch this morning. Enjoyed it as usual. A couple of really hair-raising stories this month!

This time of year is always busy for me. I am used to cramming up the spring and fall so I can spend time with my partner Ed in summer and winter. That’s how my life has been up to now. I miss him.

I found I was feeling very down a couple of weeks ago. It was about the time Ed usually came north for the summer. Grieving will work its way out. It’s a process I need to go through.

So, I keep busy. I volunteer on the schooner, Madeline, tune pianos, play my concertina with a couple of groups, garden, and visit “Tredway’s Fen,” my property in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Our weather is still chilly but we are seeing the sun more and we’ve had a few warm days.

Talk to you later.





*(June ‘14) adds, “I also do my laps at the pool and pick up my adopted grandkids from school–their last week. I’m happiest when I’m busy.”


Dear Frances,

I am getting used to my new life. I love the peace and quiet. With time to myself and time spent with my brothers again. In fact, they gave me a surprise birthday party!

You ask if I have been to the library again now that I am back in the county where I belonged before. No, I haven’t. My sister-in-law brings me books: women’s issues, self-help, mysteries–anything I want. She gets them at garage sales and thrift stores. She goes to lots of places and sometimes I go along. She has become my best friend. She had a hard childhood, too. We share a lot.

My phone and cable are finally straightened out. I am back in touch with the world!

Love and Prayers,



LindaSue (June ‘14) adds, “I like taking walks around my new neighborhood and visiting Walmart, across the street.”


Space Station (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

Space Station (Courtesy of Wikipedia)


All is well here. I watch a favorite show on Saturday evening and then go to bed about 9:00 P.M. I love getting up early!

Last Thursday morning, I looked out the back door, like I always do, to check the flag at the car dealership behind us. I like to see which way the wind is blowing. It was about 5:00 AM when I happened to look up and saw the space station.

I really like to look at it. We used to have a schedule of the times it flies over. I’d go out and watch it. It is so bright. So graceful. At first, it looks like a large airplane, but the difference is, no blinking lights and the brightness of the space craft is something like the brightest, large star (North Star?) except it just cruises along.

I won’t be able to see it again until later in the month.

Going to close now my friend. Talk to you later.



Patricia (June ’14) says, “If you are interested in seeing it, search ‘’ It will guide you through the times you can see it in your area.”


Dear Frances,

I am awake at 4:30 AM, unable to go back to sleep. I’m here in “my space” the Florida room, sipping a cup of tea. Looking around my comfortable space, I spy my yellow writing pad and think, “I’ll write to Frances.”

Good news. Our fifty-fifth wedding anniversary is coming up and this one I will celebrate! My husband is–at last–my friend, Mr. Nice Guy–not only to others, but to me, too. I don’t spend time trying to figure out what happened, I’m just enjoying a loving, considerate relationship. (Thank you, God.)

Tea’s done and I am sleepy.

Before I close, I want to tell you how much I appreciate your communication, caring and sharing your stories with me– over these last difficult years, especially.

I love you.



Nancyann (June ‘14) adds, “Our improved relationship developed over the last winter.”



Bill and I took a ride in the Corvette this past weekend. The weather was gorgeous, just lovely. We took off the “targa” top, which makes the car like a convertible. It was a thrill. A simple thrill. I felt like a young woman again. That car is very good for me.

After I wrote the above bit, I got bad news. The fellow who was taking a sailing crew, including my husband Bill, across the Atlantic to Bermuda, backed out. The trip is off. Long story. I’m bumming.

Bill and I are talking about alternatives, I’m just too hurt right now to formulate much.

The Corvette ride is only a dim memory.

Hope the sun is shining where you are right now.




Linda Rosenthal (June ‘14) adds, “I think this situation is what folks in Twelve Stepcircles call a high class problem.”


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