around the frame – mar 2021

Hi Fritzie,

I’m sitting at my kitchen table after having eaten a delicious chocolate dessert.  (That was after taking a walk for somewhere around half an hour.  Will get to a second walk after I finish this note.) Nice sky today with lovely banks of clouds.

Guess I should stop there for now.  My daughter is coming for a while, not sure if alone or with children either Emilie or Julien. (They live not far from here, an easy walk.) 

Still thinking of clouds, I’m sending you a recent cloud shot.

Stay well!  Keep up your great letters!

A bientôt!


Betsy’s cloud photo.

Betsy (Nov.’20) adds, “No vaccination yet, not even sure if they’ve begun giving them here in Geneva! My ‘isolated’ time has been lazy days broken up by doing quite a bit of walking.  

The weather has been coopera-ting – for the most part not too cold or rainy.”  


Hello again, Frances,

2020 has been a great learning year. What I missed in 2019, I got it during the pandemic.

  In April of 2020, I entered a contest (100 words or less). Topic: “Describe how to survive the pandemic and remain healthy in mind and body.”

  In October I received a letter informing me I won first prize! It was a shopping gift card for a supermarket!  A wonderful support for my thin budget.

Then I got the job tutoring two kids. Next, I was given a brand-new Google Chromebook so I can start writing again!

  On the sad side of life, 2020 also took away a few colleagues and friends. They all were infected with COVID 19.

(They also had underlying illnesses.)

They are greatly missed.


Lotte (Feb.’21) adds, “Unfortunately, my sister in Europe passed away of COVID. I wasn’t able to attend her funeral. Her country didn’t allow us Americans into theirs.”


Dear Fritzitempsdropping again,

  We are getting some cold after a beautiful warm weekend.

  As always, I do admire your writerly discipline. You are organized and committed.

I need some concept of reward before I start writing. I don’t know what that says about me other than I am apparently reward-driven. That is probably why I am still working five days a week. The pay has been more than doubled!

For health reasons, I try to keep the kids outside at the lunch tables as much as possible. They are working on their virtual classes.

Basically, these students are Special Ed or Sheltered (for learning) English. I give them academic assistance.

The school has a couple of other teachers now so I usually have about ten students.

Not bad!



Liz/Moascar (Feb.21)adds, “I was interested in your account about getting the Pfizer vaccination with JK. I received my first shot – Moderna – a couple of weeks ago and am going to get my second next week., I’ve never been so happy to be vaccinated, so this was quite the experience. I went to the baseball stadium in San Diego. The process was quite streamlined. I put my arm out the window, received my vaccine, then sat in the car for fifteen plus minutes in case of side effects. Now I have a case of the eight-days-after-COVID-vaccine arm: a hard lump near vaccine site and itchiness. (It seems to be going away.)”


Hi Fritzie,

            As you will recall, through the fall, the all too familiar blanket of depression began to creep over me – again. I debated starting medication and finally gave it another try. At the four or five-week point, the depression lifted.

            I have a sense of calm with no anxiety. The downside of this is that I feel flat and emotionless. Naturally, I read up on that feeling and bingo! “Flatness” is an effect the meds can have. 

           I’ll ride this out to see if there is any change. That’s it. Good night.



           Elaine (Feb.’21) “The vaccine situation here isn’t good. I’m trying to get an appointment in two counties. In one, I’m in a lottery with 95,000 others (some of them are Snow Birds). I am waiting for a phone call. My challenge is to remember to carry my cell phone at all times. Tomorrow my city is opening up appointments again. That means thousands of people will be trying to get those online appointments. I’ve elected to be patient.” 


 Dear Frances,

I get my second COVID vaccine this week.  Can’t wait!  I’ve heard as our immune system is lower as we get older, the side effects are lower also. Do you feel safer getting out now? Of course, you have to wait two weeks for the immunity to develop.

Having a home I love has helped me through this pandemic. The birds I feed every day have helped me, too. However, I do get periods of loneliness. 

I feel for the ones working and having to get out in the bad weather and drive snowy roads.

  Hope you and Jim are doing OK.  Not fun being secluded like you guys have been.

  Sending hugs,


  Dottie (Feb.’21) adds, “My thoughts and prayers are with my two granddaughters and their families. Both are dealing with cancer. I feel so sorry for them!”


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