around the frame jul 2017 – our experiences

On me, Gramma’s sealskin is a ¾ coat.

Hi Frances,

I just finished reading the May ‘17 issue where you wrote about memories of soft things. I also had my grandmother’s seal fur coat and wore it! On me, it looked very similar to the one in your picture. 

The coat was very warm, lush, and heavy! I had no idea seal fur was that feathery in appearance and in time, I became saddened and horrified about supporting anything fur to wear.  

But back then, we were oblivious and happy for the hand-me-down.

Talk to you later, dear. 

Thank you for Ninepatch


Pam S. (June ‘17) adds, “Right now, I’m grieving the death yesterday of my 46-year- old relationship, including marriage, to the man I’ve been bonded to in so many ways.”


People wait in tellers’ lines.

Dear Francabanker-

I just read your June ‘17 recollection about going to the bank on Saturday mornings. As always, I am floored by your recall of so many details!

In my childhood, a jelly doughnut and a milk shake were a BIG deal. 

When I taught middle school in Florida, my prep period aligned with the time that my younger son finished elementary school. With my principal’s blessing, I collected him from school and brought him to our break room which was a few doors down the hall from my classroom.

All went well until one day, he was lying on the couch and somehow managed to kick the TV off its stand and onto himself.

Then, my principal grew concerned about the school’s liability for my son in the break room alone. Thus ended the days of my younger son enjoying himself in the break room! After that, he had to attend the after-school program.

Liz/Moascar (May ‘17) adds, “Frances is right when she says that the last 50s and early 60s were simpler times.”


Dear Frances

In September, my uncle called me to tell me my dad had a bad fall and was in the hospital. He wanted to know if I would like to go and see him.

I hadn’t seen my dad in three years. When he started drinking again, I told him we could no longer share an apartment. I moved to where I am now and he moved in with one of my brothers.

When I heard he was in the hospital, I wanted to see Dad, but didn’t know if he really wanted to see me. My uncle talked me into going to see my dad.

Dad will turn 90 soon. I had not expected to see the changes three years had made in him. He had been a strong, angry man. When I walked into the hospital room I saw a weak, frail, thin old man with no teeth and hardly any hair.

He was full of IVs, but was very happy to see me. I hugged him and we both cried.

I sat with him for several hours holding his hand while nurses and therapists came and went.

Now the hospital had my phone number, I got calls when he had tests. One night they called when he fell out of bed.

At the end of the month, I got a call that he was being transferred to a nursing home.

I was so upset by all this, when my sister-in-law phoned to check on me, I went to pieces.

She and my brother came over and took me out to dinner. We made a plan. She helped me contact my brothers so we can all get together and decide what to tell the nursing home about Dad’s care.

Thank you for listening. I feel OK right now.

Love and Prayers,


LindaSue (June ‘16) adds, “Our family hasn’t been all together since our mother’s funeral in 1999.”


Dear Frances,

            I am thinking again about the Arizona era I mentioned last month. Years ago, I moved from Michigan to Arizona! I fell in love with the landscape and warmer temps in Sedona, Arizona in 1985. I went there  to visit a friend who had moved to Scottsdale. 

I made numerous trips and finally moved there in May of ‘91 when I retired from Chrysler.  My kids moved my stuff in a U-Haul about 3 weeks after I drove out with 2 girlfriends. One of my daughters was attending AZ State and I enrolled my youngest daughter in Mingus High School in Cottonwood.

However, within 5 weeks, I got the call that my mother was in the hospital needing a triple bypass and a mitral (heart) valve replacement. 

I returned to Michigan. She did not recover from her surgery very well at all. Her recovery was long and she developed shingles. 

It was evident that I needed to stay in Michigan with  her.  My nephew and I flew to Arizona in August to bring my car back to Michigan, loaded with “necessaries” for an indefinite stay. It was not until after  

Mother died in late July, 1992 the year I had returned to help her. Meanwhile, I was paying for storage of my “unnecessary” stuff still in storage in Cottonwood. 

In March of ‘93 I flew out, hired a U-Haul, loaded most of my things and drove back by myself.  In the Spring of ‘94,   

I spent 6 weeks hiking in Arizona and exploring New Mexico and Colorado.

I thoroughly loved hiking to the top of mountains, especially in the handsome red rocks of the Great Southwest.

      God bless,


Gail climbs an Arizona rock formation.


      Gail (June ‘17) adds, “My husband completed his 5-day radiation treatment recently for a Stage 1 malignant nodule on his lower left lung.  We are very accepting and satisfied with the treatment chosen and feel he will meet this challenge like a champ, in spite of his advanced age. Of course, prayers are welcome!”

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