around the frame jul 2015 – our experiences

Dear St. Frances,

Two years ago, our summer was cool. There were about three days when the nighttime temperatures fell into the 30s. And, for the first time that I can remember since moving up into the Pennsylvania mountains, last summer I wore a jacket on July 4th!

Yes, it was cold that day. And something to remember!


Malaina (May ‘15) adds,So far, this year, we’ve had a cool May and that ’bled’ over into early June. The morning of the 7th, the temperature at the back door was 32, at the north window 40. The day was so beautiful and pleasant with 76 degrees, 60 % humidity, and a warm breeze. I love this mountain weather. Never know what to expect. My daughter and I are about to leave for the creek. She loves to swim–must be a water baby.”


Dear Frances,

I just got back from my first vacation of the year with my brother and his family. We took walks in the woods and on the beach. I enjoyed the views and picked up pretty rocks and shells. We even did wine-tasting! Evenings we spent sitting around the campfire while kids made s’mores. It was great until we got rained out. Rain, rain, rain!

You say you learn from your dreams. I study my past and my dreams, too. Some of them are strange. I had one about my ex-, and I woke up shaking all over. In most of my dreams, I am in a panic, trying to keep up at work.

I am doing well and looking forward to the fall Truck Show. It will be another little vacation with the family for me.

I try to always remember God will point the way for me in all things.

Love and Prayers,


LindaSue (June ‘14) says, “My sister-in-law brought me another bag of books. Five are Amish stories I like so much and five are mysteries. I enjoy them, too.”


Hello dear Frances,

All is well with me. I’m allowing myself to retire into recovery from emotional hurt: me being happy! Proud of myself and my accomplishments.

One of these days when I get me all de-cluttered, I may be free to do things like write and paint. At least I am singing!

Love you,


Nancyann (Mar. ‘15) adds, “Leaving for three months of vacation. V-a-c-a-t-i-o-n! My husband agrees it’s time to be carefree in our home-away-from-home.”*******************************************


Hi, there,

This afternoon, the weather has been rainy and dreary.

I have spent much of the day going through bundles of old greeting cards. As I read through them, it’s my way of “counting my blessings.” I was looking for the obituary of my best friend Ruth who died in 2003. I could not remember where I put it.

I found it and some of her old letters in with the cards. I read through those and it was like I had a visit with her; I could feel her spirit and “hear” her comments.

It gave me such a lift. She had such a great sense of humor and we shared a lot of laughs. Although we lived miles apart, we kept in touch through the years until her memory failed.

Bless you, my friend,


June Poucher (June ‘15) adds, “She passed away peacefully from pneumonia, for which her family and I were grateful. On my last visit, she didn’t know me.”


China the cat


Dear Frances,

Our little old cat, China, passed last night. She was her normal little character-self ‘til the end. She just lay down on the floor beside our bed and fell into permanent sleep.

She was a joy and a chuckle to us. We are grateful to have had her in our lives for over fourteen of her seventeen years.

Now I have to live through the sadness that results from a big change of routine. Routines are the biggest part of pet ownership. Routines are calming, comforting, stress-releasing and nearly always affectionate. (We all get snappish once in a while, right?)
I’m missing those routines already and I’ve been home less than an hour.



Georgene (Mar.’15) adds, “This photo is from when she was young and presented as a lilac point

Siamese. We thought she might actually be Birman as she also had “laces” up the back of her legs. As she aged, she turned into a torty with a black mask. A true little ‘Heinz 57.’”


Hi Missy,

We are back from The South where we visited my younger son and his family.

My one-and-only granddaughter drew me a picture of our cat, Mr. Gray. I bought a frame for it and have it hung. In my bathroom, I have one wall with several different cat pictures displayed and now hers is there, too.

Hope all is going well with you and JK.

Going to close now, my friend.

Talk to you later.


Patricia (May ’15) adds, “I wish we lived closer to that family, but as long as Bryan is a missing person here, I am not going any where.”



Recently I got to thinking about your desire to make amends with an old boyfriend you hurt years ago. You were struggling with whether to write to him or not.

I wonder if you have ever read the book Unbroken? It’s by Laura Hillenbrand. The story is based on Louis Zamperini, an Olympic champion, who was captured after being shot down with others during WWII. It’s an extraordinary story of redemption and heroism.

The actress Angelina Jolie directed a movie of the same name about the man’s life. The tale is one of the most moving, powerful life stories that I have ever read. I think you would like it.

I think making amends is as simple as passing the peace on to someone else, day to day. Maybe sharing the good fortune of your own grace with someone else is what is needed, rather than the actual amends with the person whom you hurt.

I know I can’t undo all of the unfortunate things that I pulled in the past, I think I’d drive myself mad trying to do that. I do what I can and work to forgive myself for the rest.

Best Regards,


Linda Rosenthal (June ‘15) adds, “Life feels good this evening.”


Jake and the peacocks.

Jake and the peacocks.

Dearest Fritzapelling –

What strength and acceptance Sandy has for her journey. I admire her and hope, too, that I may have some of her grace if faced with such challenges.

My son, Jake, left yesterday after a one week visit. We biked around Mission Bay, danced to reggae and rock at the local street fiesta and walked the beach. We also visited Leo Carillo’s ranch (photo above). It used to be a working cattle ranch and retreat for the actor who played Pancho in the TV series, “The Cisco Kid.”

Now, it’s a nature park.



Liz/Moascar (May ‘15) adds, “How the dozens of peacocks came to be at the ranch/nature park, I have yet to discover.”


Mornin’ Francesca,

I read May ‘15 Ninepatch yesterday and am interested in what is going on in your life. In a way, I’m living vicariously through you. The way you have planned and executed this next phase of your life is captivating.

Small changes are really hard for me. There you are, making a major change in your lifestyle, taking on risks and confronting obstacles head on. (Your mom and dad didn’t raise a lightweight.) I’m visualizing a kind of roadmap of your life with all of the twists, turns, stop signs, and detours that brought you to today. Girl, you are something else.

Thanks for your handwritten note on my newsletter. You asked if I did “spring cleaning.” No. I pretty much deal with things as I see they need to be done–and often long after they need to be done.

I caught on that you are doing these things with JK and remembered the days when sharing household tasks made them seem less daunting.

Changes, changes!



Elaine (June ‘15) adds, “I like June Poucher’s remarks about knowing you. Francesca, that woman really values you and that says so much about you. I wish I could meet her.

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