Dear Frances,

Thank you for Ninepatch and your letter. Two things hit me in the April ‘20 issue. First was your story about your wedding day.

I got married the first time to my husband (who I married more than once!) in 1969. Like you, I was not excited. Something was just not right. (Bride’s jitters?)

I was afraid to call it off. I didn’t want to be an “old maid.” I worried no one else would ask me.

My mother said, “Wait a year. Get to know each other better.”

I wish I would have!

Also, Gail (Jan. ‘20) who wrote in April is a very wise woman. Her words on the issue prove it: “This present Corona-virus re-quiring ‘social distan-cing’ is very good for us. We need to step back and access our values, our purpose and our hap-piness. It’s such an imposed but empowering gift to us.”

She is right on!

God bless her.

Thanks again for Ninepatch. You always show me something I need to know.

Love and prayers.


LindaSue (Apr’20) adds, “Now, I wait, think, walk, journal and pray a lot. As Frances wrote in April, try to ‘Be open to what comes.’ God’s timing is better than mine.”



I have an update on my baby beaver! I got a call from a warden who laughed at my des-cription and stories. He said, “What you have there is a muskrat!”

He told me the only difference in looks for these two animals is their tails and their adult size.

The tail the muskrat has is thin – more like a rat. (They are related to the rodent fam-ily.) And this “baby” is not a baby at all! He is full-grown!

The warden said, “They are really a fun animal to watch … and entertaining.’

(I agree with that!)

What really is neat is the way the geese just stand back and let him eat. He runs right up in the middle of them. He seems to like to eat with them. He seems to only come on land when the geese are there and he, as I said, he wants to be in the middle of them. Strange.

And so funny.

When I am in the yard and the little fellow in not on land, he stays in the water and just shows his nose and eyes. But when I walk away, he runs into the yard as fast as he can to get some food!

The warden told me go to the internet and pull up info on “muskrat.” I did.

He is an interesting animal. I guess they go from place to place, too.

Will keep you posted.

Take care my friend.


Patricia (Apr.’20) adds, “I don’t know what muskrats do in the winter. I will have to find out!”


Dear Frances,

I have completed pasting the cut corners into my daybooks through September and am waiting for the Covid-19 lock-down to be lifted before com-pleting October through December.

In the meanwhile, I have been copying my favorite quotes into the first nine months of daybooks.



Carol (May’20) adds, “Thought you’d like to know that I copied your mid-month re-flection called ‘Grass.’ You published it in December 2013. Thank you again for that reflection on your spiritual growth.”


Hi Frances,

Am I isolating? Yeah. I’m not going nuts or anything, I’m basically doing the same things I normally do when I don’t drive out to a meeting or go shopping.

Mostly, even though it’s Monday … or Wednesday … or Friday, I have to tell myself, “Do NOT get in the car!! Stay home!”

About the only thing I really miss is going to Sewing Circle on Fridays. There, the women solve a lot of the world’s problems while we weave a world-wide-web of gifts and donations … or even Christmas presents!


Malaina (May ‘20) adds, “As far as inspecting my acres and wild things, I do the same amount of walking around as I did pre-COVID19. Nothing more or less, just the … {yawn} … same.”


Dear Fritzie,

I live in a community where my younger neighbors are having driveway parties on the weekends.

I’ve been invited, but often I don’t know when the gatherings take place. Truth-fully, I forget about the invites.

Last night while walking the dog, I came upon one of the parties. I stood outside the cir-cle of socially-distanced beach chairs and talked to two people for about ten minutes.

This morning I got an email from a neighbor who was not at the party. She lives next door to the party and had no-ticed me chatting. She warned that I should be careful around gatherings that size because I am in an at-risk group.

There were probably ten or fewer people there, but she was right. I think she was right. It was risky.

Sometimes I just don’t think.


Elaine (Apr. ‘20) adds,

I am being very careful when I go out. I’m using disposable masks and I sanitize them with alcohol after each wearing. I also put them out in the sun for a few hours. I’ve been sharing my stash with friends who are much appreciative. In addition, I’ve ordered a ‘gaitor mask’ from Amazon. If it is too warm in Florida to wear it, I’ll save it for trips North to visit family.”


Dear Frances,

I have been so busy! I’m one of only three people on the church staff (besides the priest) working forty hours again. (Three days at the church and two at home.)

I thought I was exhausted before! Trying to communicate with my new boss with this kind of work set up is crazy. We text a lot, talk a lot, and have Zoom meetings a lot. (I find using online Zoom more stressful than being in the same room with people.)

I’m very discombob-ulated and feel schizo working both in the office and at home. Wherever I work I’m always missing

something that I should have brought along. Soon I’ll be set up on “the cloud” and I can access what I need from any-where. Till then – ugh!

When at the church I work alone with only having to social distance from Father, when he is in his office. At home I don’t have to worry about distancing from my husband.) My little Miata gets good gas mileage and I’m only six miles from work so I don’t need to stop for gas much.

In these times, I hardly go anywhere else.

Georgene Georgene (Apr.’20) adds,

John and I are doing well, eating well, feeling well.”


Hi Hun,

In answer to your ques-tion, no, I haven’t lost my job yet. (Thank goodness!) How-ever, both my kids are out of work because they’re in res-taurant work.

The bakery where I work is classed as a ‘grocery store’ so we should be good for work even though there may be changes in hours and such.

Otherwise, in Canada we are seeing similar issues with closures and changes in the ways we get products and services. We’re also having to adjust to ‘social distancing.’ I’m just grateful I was in a fairly good position financially going into this!

We’ve had a strange winter with almost no snow and fairly mild temperatures. More importantly tho, it’s been more consistently overcast for the past year or two than I’ve ever seen before.

So, between that and be-ing stuck inside, everyone here’s starving for sunshine and vitamin D!

I pray you and JK will be well though all this!


Lynn D. (Apr. ‘20) adds, “While I’m still worried about getting the virus or it affecting someone I love, I hope to come out the other end well.”


Hi Frances!

I remember those milk cans from outside your house. They look wonderful with a new coat of paint!

Here, too, COVID 19 projects are happening. My younger son patched holes and painted the roof. I weeded the areas around the trailer that aren’t planted with flowers or succulents and put down mulch. Next, I cleared out the Califor-nia rooms and cupboards in kitchen. today

Social distance hikes with friends have become an almost daily event. A few beaches have been reopened for exercise only – walking, jog-ging, surfing and swimming. No lollygagging on the sand!

Moonlight beach re-opened just in time to be able to enjoy the bio-luminescence that is created by plankton. what an amazing sight – neon blue surf crashing from cresting waves. It looks like magical lights from another world!

Peace and love <3


Liz/Moascar (Apr.’20) adds, “No sooner was Moon-light Beach open, than a boogie boarder had a shark encounter and the beach was closed down again. Thankfully both fish and human are ok.”


Hi Fritzie,

Days go on. Now, I’m in the midst of qualifying for a research trial at Emory University. Lots of testing is required to make sure I can handle the treatment. I should know by end of next week if I am a candidate. The CAR-T cell therapy is still rather ex-perimental. It’s a months-long process. It’s worth a shot and a last resort to prolonged chemo to hold the cancer at bay.

Knowing the lymphoma was resistant to the last two treatment regimens I’m working at staying optimistic. I’m gathering lots of prayers, good energy. Meditation helps to keep me going.

Glad the two of you are maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Stay strong, take care of each other and stay in touch!

Much love,


Mary (May ‘20) adds, “I was shocked to hear they open-ed Jacksonville beach! Money is more important in this country than compassion and health and caring for the stranger. It’s heartbreaking.”


Dear Frances,

Yesterday was a scary day for me. My granddaughter had a birthday party for herself and a young relative. She invited me and asked if I’d make my potato salad.

I hesitated about going but decided to take the salad and then see how I felt. My daughter wanted to ride with me. I picked her up, gave her a mask to wear and asked her to sit in back. (Social distancing.)

When I got there no one was wearing a mask! (Seven of them.) I tried to keep my dis-tance and stay outside but had to use the restroom at one point.

Anyway, I ended up leaving and worry I have a chance of getting infected if one of them is sick or is a carrier. I shouldn’t have gone.

I think part of the reason I took the risk to attend is I was missing family and contact with them.

I was in tears as I drove home.

Blessings to you and Jim.


Dottie (May ‘20) adds,

I’ve been enjoying preparing, planting and fertilizing my back and front yard gardens.”

Hello Frances!

Good hear from you about your isolating. My hus-band and I have a business – mostly outdoor work. We have not been out since the first order came down in Michigan at the end of March.

We know that one of our competitors ignored the order and has some of his help work-ing. We chose to respect the order and stop work on the advice of Bill’s professional surveyor’s state society.

The time has been

financially stressful, but as I told Bill, I know how to “do” poor. It’s one of the gifts of having to negotiate past pover-ty. I learned to budget and recognize when to and how to ask for help.

That said, we fall under the construction bailiwick and that part of the governor’s order will be rescinded on Thursday, May 7th. I’ll miss not working, I was able to do many things that I don’t have time for or am too tired to do at the end of workdays.

Even though we work outdoors when we’re in the field. That hasn’t stopped clients or others from approach-ing us. I have begun telling people not to approach us while we are working on their prop-erties. If they have to do that, I tell them that they must use social distance and wear face masks. If they can’t respect that, I told them we will leave the worksite.

Bill thought I was being a little harsh about all that, but neither of us can afford to be sick. (Who can?) The clients I have spoken with understand.

Take care and be safe!


Linda Rosenthal (Apr.’20) adds, “By the way, I finished your book, Finding the Blackbird. What a thoughtful and inspirational work! Travel does change you in unseen ways. I wish that everyone had the opportunity to do it. It opens the eyes and heart much wider if you can accept it.”

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