around the frame – feb 2021

Hi Frances,

I loved your story about your father the soldier (Dec.’20). Very touching. Then, your January ‘21 newsletter containing so many different letters resonated with me on many fronts. First, your account of the little CVS house in the drug store’s parking lot make me think of the vaccine. I’m hoping to get the shot before the end of January, but have to make an appointment.  Today, it’s not available. (At 84, I have no compunctions about getting the vaccine.)

             Loved Leigh’s stuck on note with the sticker of the covered bridge in snow. It re-minded me of my home state of Vermont. There are more covered bridges in Vermont than any other state.

               Gayle Bluebird’s poem and NancyAnn’s letter about moving late in life certainly “hit home” with me.  I just moved last June, after my husband’s death the year before.  I’m flabbergasted that June Poucher is ninety-two! Loved her World War II story.  I was five when Pearl Harbor was struck. 

Afterward, we had air raids in Springfield, Vermont and had to keep our lights out and stay away from the windows.  It was scary.  We learned later that our machine tool town was seventh on the list to be bombed by the Nazis.

                DVL’s book report about Roosevelt reminded me of a couple of books I’ve read in recent months:  Erik Larson’s The Splendid and the Vile and another fictionalized book, The Eagle Has Landed by Jack Higgins.  (I love all the Ninepatch book reports!)

                Malaina’s “Refrigerator Soup” was fun to read!  I spent more time in the kitchen during the months leading up to Christmas than before.   Being alone and wanting to get “in the Spirit,” I baked and made treats for family and friends. 

I enjoyed Georgene’s letter about taking the ride to see the Christmas lights with her husband.  The lights seemed to be prevalent everywhere as we tried to overcome the darkness we experienced with the pandemic’s isolation.  LindaSue talked about her senior center being closed.  I identified with that too.  As a new senior in my small town, I look forward to when our senior center opens. I’ve talked to the folks who manage the activities and am told it has a very active program.  I’m looking forward to it.

           I’m doing my best to spread the word that letter-writing should make a comeback!  I congratulate all you letter-writers and wish you a Happy New Year!

  Hugs to you,


Gail (Jan.21) adds, “Young students are beginning to penpal. Years ago, I wished I had a foreign student for exchanging letters.”


Hi Fritzie,

I never imaged how the Christmas Holidays would turn out this year – the worst I ever had! My husband came down sick on Dec. 24 and was ill on the 25th. The next day he tested positive for COVID 19. (I was tested, too, but was, and have remained, negative.)

He had to go to the ER for treatment and tests. On Dec.30, he qualified for the “infusion” developed by Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals. He is doing better, but there are aftereffects.

For two weeks I was quarantined and unable to go out. Walmart delivered groceries and my daughter in Ohio sent me books. I have been going to bed earlier. I don’t need to become ill!

Food, rest and reading are my necessities in this time of 2021!



Kay (see her article in FABRICS) adds, “The books my daughter sent are The Crown, volumes one and two, and Ninety-nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret.”


Dear Frances,

Learning to love myself has been an on-going journey. I’ve been doing Christian Counseling with a younger woman. It’s been two years of digging deep and also learning to let go! I’m doing the “work: but she’s wonderful to bounce ideas and thoughts off. One thing I learned is to MYOB (Mind My Own Business) and not look to my husband so much. Another thing I learned to apply is QTIP! (Quit Taking It Personally.) Sometimes he is just blowing off steam.

Love, you,


Nancyann (Jan.21) adds, “My husband’s dementia is progressing. Thanks to God, he is calmer and more appreciative than ever before! I have made progress with my issues, too.



          I left Indiana two days after Christmas.  I wasn’t certain how many were planning to go south, but one son, his wife and two daughters went down with me. My they switched off the driving responsibilities and we drove straight through.  

My sons devised a “safe” plan for exchanging gifts this year. We dropped off gifts on our way south. They will pick others up later on the way back. That way we did not drag everything with us in an already full vehicle. (I was masked in the car and I had a trove of disposable gloves for any necessary restroom or gas pumping needs.)

          I wish they could have stayed longer!  It’s cooler this week, but still nice in the sunshine!

          New Year’s Blessings to you!


          Chantal (Jan.’21) adds, “I took only the book-for-the-road on my way down to Florida. Now I am here, I either buy used books or read some my sister has saved. Sometimes there are new books left behind at the condo and there is also a nice library at the community where my sister lives.”


Dear Frances,

We finished more holidays under the virus! My daughter Anita stayed with me a few days. Our family doesn’t get together anymore. That ended when our mother passed away in 1999.

Life is still the same. The only time I go out is to run errands. (Of course, I bought extra this and that for Christmas…)

The news drives me crazy: lockdown, then come and go, and lockdown again. Who was listening? Not all those people who traveled to see families over the holidays! What were they thinking?

I think this is a wait-and-see time, a good place to use “One day at a time” philosophy!

Best to you in the New Year!

Love and Prayers,


LindaSue (Jan.’21) adds, “When our church closed again, I went to my brother Bill’s house to watch the service on Zoom! He and his wife didn’t go to Florida this winter so I am able to see them more often. (One good thing in this whole COVID mess.)”


Hello Frances,

  Happy New Year! It has been a long time since you heard from me.

  2019 was a sad year. I was in a car accident. A few days later I checked myself into Emergency. I had excruciating headaches. The Chief Vascular doctor did many tests and it turned out my right carotid artery was 90% blocked. The doctor operated. Afterward, the doctor checked my right and left side again. He said, “The blood flow is excellent. Don’t want to see you until the end of 2021.”

During my recovery, I went from being a vegetarian now I am vegan. I feel better.

  Then I started my new job in a new school. I was just getting settled in, when in March ‘20 we all were let go due to Covid 19.

I am now doing remote teaching. I am also a private tutor to two kids. (The mother doesn’t want them in school).

Sadly, the mother has Covid 19 for a second time!

Now, what?


Lotte (Sept. ‘19) adds, “The doctor tested me for Covid 19 and the test results: NEGATIVE.”

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