AROUND THE FRAME

Jodi

Jodi (Jan.’20) adds, “I still have my house in Florida and am working on renting out the part of it that is a hair salon.”

***

Hi Fritzie,

It’s been awhile since I wrote. After discovering my cancer was back, I decided to have a bone marrow/stem cell treatment using my own cells.

I started the process in the spring of 2019. It was long, detailed and exhausting!

I could not have asked for a more dedicated, compassionate and efficient group of professionals and fellow patients who guided and supported my care. I am blessed that my son and his wife were with me through doctor’s appointments, scans, lab tests and chemo.

Two sisters came from the north and the west to stay with me when I returned home. Then a friend from the Northeast came. Now, fellow residents of the condo area where I live take turns bringing me supper and checking in on me. My church family has been a steady support through it all.

These folk are angels! As a result I have had a good response to my treatment. I am feeling stronger and am more active. I feel I can still cope with whatever happens in the future.

Mary

Mary (Aug.’19) adds, “I am a firm believer in the power of prayer and good energy whether sent across the miles or across the hall.”

***

Dear Fritzie,

I’ve started a gratitude book. I plan to find at least three things a day to be grateful for. Yesterday I was grousing because my bathroom needed to be cleaned. Then I remembered to be grateful that I have that big, beautiful bathroom!

  My project for the New Year is to make my office/piano room more attractive so that I actually want to spend time in it. Since the piano is black lacquer, I’m visualizing a black and white area rug. I also need some wall art. The furniture is what it is. There’s a free cornerfor a lounge/reading chair. And then there is cleaning out the files in that room ….

  I was watching “The Crown” on Netflix. One episode featured the Kennedy’s visit to Queen Elizabeth. In it, Jackie admits to the Queen that she “is her own best company.”  I relate to that, for better or worse. Maybe you feel the same.

  Love you,

Elaine

Elaine (Jan.’20) I’m grateful to have a friend like you. There’s just no one like you.”

***

Dear Frances,

Your January 2020 Ninepatch cover story about sorting old pictures with your cousin Julie and her husband resonated with me.  Last summer I went through a similar box of photographs and letters that had belonged to my mother.

L to R: 1960, my mother and father

I acquired it over twenty years ago, after she died.  I intended to pass it on to my sister, but she was homeless. I have not heard from her, or anything about her, for over ten years.  I don’t know if she is alive or dead.

        The memory box was an eyesore in my office, and I couldn’t bear to read the letters it contained.  I thought about destroying it, but consulted with my husband and friends, instead.  They encouraged me to compose a letter to my sister’s grown children, asking them if they would be interested in having their grandmother’s memory box.  Both of my nieces were eager to see it, but they live far apart from each other, and from me.

       I divided the contents of my mother’s memory box into three smaller boxes: one box for each niece, and one box for the two of them to share.  I shipped the boxes to them.  They were very excited to open them.  Without any prompting, each niece made a photo collage and shared it with me via email. 

       The story rests there.  

       Love,

       Carol

Carol (Jan.’20) adds, “I am content to have cleared away some clutter, and I am blessed.”

***

Hi Missy,

No books for Christmas this year. Our family has stopped gift exchanges. (Fritzie, if there is something Bob and I really want, we will go get it.)

You say you’ve been reading Pam Jenoff’s books which have a WWII background. I don’t like books about war but this newest book of Anne Perry’s, Death in Focus is excellent.  I think you will really like the new character, Ellen Standish. Looking forward to her next addition to the series.

  The weather here has been crazy.  All week this week it is in the 50 and even 60’s.  Glad for the sake of the homeless and also the ducks that come to dine in our back lot.  They are so funny.  They just chatter and give all kinds of grief.   

  Nice hearing from you.

Going to close now my friend.

   Patricia  

  Patricia (Dec.’19) adds,I found out my troublesome illness is auto-immune and never really goes away.  However, it will get better before it probably comes back and then go away again.  I hate it but at least I am aware what it is and can handle it – so far.”

***

Hi again,

 Busy days here but always time for a note! However, this one will be short as I have some planning to do before going out this afternoon, then again tonight. 

I may have mentioned before that we have a Friday Group of five and we meet at a nearby restaurant for a couple of hours on Friday afternoons. And I have a good friend who lives in the apartment above mine, and the two of us usually go out for a meal sometime over the weekend, and that will be happening this evening. 

But I do have a few things to take care of yet this morning, so I will bid adieu and get on with my day.  Wishing you a great weekend! 

Love from me!

Betsy

Betsy (Feb. ‘19) adds, “Drop a line if you have enough time and energy. I always enjoy mail from you!”

***

Hi Fritzie,

  Hope you are enjoying the warmer spaces in Florida!

 I checked with the folks at this retirement community I like which is located twenty minutes from my son’s home on the East Coast. They are projecting one of the cottages I have chosen should be ready by mid-year.  I am spending much time cleaning out my home, planning on putting it on the market this spring.  

Depending on the sequence of home sale and cottage availability, it could go smoothly or I may be homeless at some point!

I hope this finds you and your partner in good health.

Jim 

  Jim (May ‘19) adds, “Moving from a thirty-five hundred square foot home to a cottage of eleven hundred is challenging. This major transition in my life will be quite consuming.”

***

Hi Frances,

Talking about what is fun – one day during the holidays, three of us wore matching tights at our weekly pickleball games. One of the girls found them on sale. 

We wore them twice. Sort of fun.  (Our picture is below.)

Blessings to you and JK,

Dottie

L to R: Dottie and her friends holding their pickleball paddles.

Dottie (Jan.’20) adds, “Met a new group of girls including the two in the photo above two months ago.  Fun-loving. What a blessing!”

***

Hi Fritzie,

On November 2, 2019, my husband and I went again to the Marion (Ohio) Historical Society’s “Dinner with the Presidents.” It was our eighth year attending the event.

This year the speaking actors represented Presidents Garfield, T. Roosevelt, Harding, and Eisenhower. Others were only dressed as Presidents (and wives): George Washington, (and Martha), James Madison (and Dolley), Zachary Taylor (and Margaret), Andrew Johnson (and Elizabeth), Benjamin Harrison (and Caroline), Harry Truman (and Bess), Chester Arthur (and Mary his sister),and Ulysses Grant.

“Ulysses Grant” sat at our table and talked with us about his life and events of the Civil War. The full dinner foods were favorites of the various presidents. I liked the desserts. Roosevelt’s favorite Sagamore Hill Sand Tart cookies and Mamie’s fudge were tasty. The clove cake, a favorite of President T. Roosevelt, was delicious!

Blessings,

Kay

Kay (Jan.’20) adds, “My husband and I drove from Northern Indiana to Marion Ohio for the Saturday dinner event. On Sunday, we drove on to visit our daughter who lives in Ohio with her family.”

Dinner with the Presidents banner

***

Dear Frances,

When I went to the Senior Center for lunch and bingo, I heard others had been ill with a cold that made them feel tired. Seems there is always something going around – especially this time of year!

In your recent letter, you mentioned memories. I agree that memories are good. Around the winter holidays, I have lots of memories. (I think we all do.) It is nice to look back on the “good times.” Nowadays, I am making new memories!

In your letter you asked if I heard of helpful crystals or stones. Not sure. I have heard of “prayer stones.”

I liked the photo of your husband’s plaid shorts.

Love and Prayers,

JK in plaid

LindaSue

LindaSue (Jan.’20) adds, One of my friends says ‘If you wear plaid, you plan on having fun.’”

***

Dear Fritzie,

You asked where I was living. Here and there for now. I have a little side job in Houston, Texas. It is a crashpad setting near aviation business and the airport. (In recent years, I was a stewardess and flew out of here.) I am in Florida now, with my dad, but am flying out to Texas in ten days. I will likely move out there soon.

I am looking forward to working some. Due to a long recovery after serious back surgery, I have had several years off.

In Houston, I have a boyfriend who works there. It is a reconnection and I am praying it goes well. It is nice to have a companion again. I would like to settle down, but am taking things slowly.

I still miss you and your dear friendship.

Love to you,

Jodi

Jodi (Jan.’20) adds, “I still have my house in Florida and am working on renting out the part of it that is a hair salon.”

***

Hi Fritzie,

It’s been awhile since I wrote. After discovering my cancer was back, I decided to have a bone marrow/stem cell treatment using my own cells.

I started the process in the spring of 2019. It was long, detailed and exhausting!

I could not have asked for a more dedicated, compassionate and efficient group of professionals and fellow patients who guided and supported my care. I am blessed that my son and his wife were with me through doctor’s appointments, scans, lab tests and chemo.

Two sisters came from the north and the west to stay with me when I returned home. Then a friend from the Northeast came. Now, fellow residents of the condo area where I live take turns bringing me supper and checking in on me. My church family has been a steady support through it all.

These folk are angels! As a result I have had a good response to my treatment. I am feeling stronger and am more active. I feel I can still cope with whatever happens in the future.

Mary

Mary (Aug.’19) adds, “I am a firm believer in the power of prayer and good energy whether sent across the miles or across the hall.”

***

Dear Fritzie,

I’ve started a gratitude book. I plan to find at least three things a day to be grateful for. Yesterday I was grousing because my bathroom needed to be cleaned. Then I remembered to be grateful that I have that big, beautiful bathroom!

  My project for the New Year is to make my office/piano room more attractive so that I actually want to spend time in it. Since the piano is black lacquer, I’m visualizing a black and white area rug. I also need some wall art. The furniture is what it is. There’s a free cornerfor a lounge/reading chair. And then there is cleaning out the files in that room ….

  I was watching “The Crown” on Netflix. One episode featured the Kennedy’s visit to Queen Elizabeth. In it, Jackie admits to the Queen that she “is her own best company.”  I relate to that, for better or worse. Maybe you feel the same.

  Love you,

Elaine

Elaine (Jan.’20) I’m grateful to have a friend like you. There’s just no one like you.”

***

Dear Frances,

Your January 2020 Ninepatch cover story about sorting old pictures with your cousin Julie and her husband resonated with me.  Last summer I went through a similar box of photographs and letters that had belonged to my mother.

L to R: 1960, my mother and father
L to R: 1960, my mother and father

I acquired it over twenty years ago, after she died.  I intended to pass it on to my sister, but she was homeless. I have not heard from her, or anything about her, for over ten years.  I don’t know if she is alive or dead.

        The memory box was an eyesore in my office, and I couldn’t bear to read the letters it contained.  I thought about destroying it, but consulted with my husband and friends, instead.  They encouraged me to compose a letter to my sister’s grown children, asking them if they would be interested in having their grandmother’s memory box.  Both of my nieces were eager to see it, but they live far apart from each other, and from me.

       I divided the contents of my mother’s memory box into three smaller boxes: one box for each niece, and one box for the two of them to share.  I shipped the boxes to them.  They were very excited to open them.  Without any prompting, each niece made a photo collage and shared it with me via email. 

       The story rests there.  

       Love,

       Carol

Carol (Jan.’20) adds, “I am content to have cleared away some clutter, and I am blessed.”

***

Hi Missy,

No books for Christmas this year. Our family has stopped gift exchanges. (Fritzie, if there is something Bob and I really want, we will go get it.)

You say you’ve been reading Pam Jenoff’s books which have a WWII background. I don’t like books about war but this newest book of Anne Perry’s, Death in Focus is excellent.  I think you will really like the new character, Ellen Standish. Looking forward to her next addition to the series.

  The weather here has been crazy.  All week this week it is in the 50 and even 60’s.  Glad for the sake of the homeless and also the ducks that come to dine in our back lot.  They are so funny.  They just chatter and give all kinds of grief.   

  Nice hearing from you.

Going to close now my friend.

   Patricia  

  Patricia (Dec.’19) adds,I found out my troublesome illness is auto-immune and never really goes away.  However, it will get better before it probably comes back and then go away again.  I hate it but at least I am aware what it is and can handle it – so far.”

***

Hi again,

 Busy days here but always time for a note! However, this one will be short as I have some planning to do before going out this afternoon, then again tonight. 

I may have mentioned before that we have a Friday Group of five and we meet at a nearby restaurant for a couple of hours on Friday afternoons. And I have a good friend who lives in the apartment above mine, and the two of us usually go out for a meal sometime over the weekend, and that will be happening this evening. 

But I do have a few things to take care of yet this morning, so I will bid adieu and get on with my day.  Wishing you a great weekend! 

Love from me!

Betsy

Betsy (Feb. ‘19) adds, “Drop a line if you have enough time and energy. I always enjoy mail from you!”

***

Hi Fritzie,

  Hope you are enjoying the warmer spaces in Florida!

 I checked with the folks at this retirement community I like which is located twenty minutes from my son’s home on the East Coast. They are projecting one of the cottages I have chosen should be ready by mid-year.  I am spending much time cleaning out my home, planning on putting it on the market this spring.  

Depending on the sequence of home sale and cottage availability, it could go smoothly or I may be homeless at some point!

I hope this finds you and your partner in good health.

Jim 

  Jim (May ‘19) adds, “Moving from a thirty-five hundred square foot home to a cottage of eleven hundred is challenging. This major transition in my life will be quite consuming.”

***

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