Tuesday, March 19, 2013


I don’t or advocate any particular belief system; I’m pretty solidly agnostic. But, I have had some odd things happen. You’ve heard people say that something made them question their faith? Let’s just say that I’ve experienced a few things that have made me question my lack of faith.

I have occasionally had readings, generally tarot cards. I don’t really know much about them, and wouldn’t say that I do or don’t believe in their power (is that the right word?), but it’s fun to have the readings.

Ten or so years ago, I was read by a lady who didn’t use cards. I sat down and she said she sensed three women all talking at the same time, talking over each other. They were really excited to talk to me. One of them was talking about the peanut butter fudge she served on a blue plate. They were all worried about my grandma. One of them, said the reader, was even more excited to talk than the others because while she was here, there had been something that made it physically difficult for her to speak.

I realized that she was talking about my grandma’s sisters. Three of them passed away within a year of each other, leaving just my grandmother still living. Aunt Almy did make peanut butter fudge; while I don’t remember the blue plate, my sister does. Aunt Tille had died a week before Aunt Almy, at the age of 100. The third, Aunt Ada, towards the end of her life, had a cancerous tumor in her throat which would grow up into her mouth and press against her tongue; she was 95 and too old for treatment, so she just kept getting it cut out each time it got too big. HOW WOULD THAT READER KNOW THAT?!?

Then I remembered their sister, Aunt Onie, who had died of cancer 20 years earlier than the rest; she is the one who relocated to Wood County. Because I still have some suspicion of readers, I don’t tell them if I recognize what they’re talking about, so I just asked the reader, “Where’s the other one?” She didn’t understand, so I said, “There should be four of them. Where is the other one?”

The lady listened/thought (whatever they call it) for a minute and said, “She’s not with them. She came back and is now a little girl about 4 years old.” I just stared at her, like she was crazy. Then, she said, “She’s living somewhere out near Luckey, Ohio.” WHAT? Luckey is about 3 miles from where my Aunt Onie lived!

Yep, there have been a few experiences that have made me question my lack of faith.

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Frank Sisters

     Elnor (my grandma), Leona, Alma, Tillie and Ada

My grandma was one of five sisters. All but one of them stayed in their hometown to raise their families, which made for a big, extended family with plenty of parental figures. Luckily for my sister and me, my mom stayed there, too. As the children of these sisters started having kids, we gained even more caretakers around town.

The families of the sisters spent a lot of time together; they played a lot of euchre and had lots of family dinners. By the time we were old enough to run around town by ourselves, we were comfortable enough to pay unexpected visits to all kinds of relatives in town. Most I knew well enough to help myself to the cookie jar or refrigerator.

Because my mom worked, all of the sisters and many of their daughters or daughters-in-law watched us at one time or another. Regardless who was our actual mother, there was always a nurturing female relative ready to minister to our needs. If we got sick and couldn’t go to school, someone would always be there to take care of us.

We were lucky enough to spend time with the fifth sister (who left town), too. My sister and I spent three summers living with Aunt Onie (Leona) in the fertile farmlands of Wood County, Ohio, where she relocated after her marriage. She, like the rest of Mom’s aunts, cared for us as if we were her own.

I guess you don’t realize it at the time, but now I feel so lucky to have been a part of this big, idyllic familial joy ride. Families don’t always exist in this manner anymore. I’m so fortunate, too, for the influence these five women had in my life.

Monday, March 11, 2013


I’m taking a class to become certified by the Red Cross as a lifeguard. I spent the weekend drilling all the rescues over and over; it’s quite a workout. I did take this class nearly 40 years ago and I am struck by how much safer lifeguarding is now. The fact is, when you approach someone who is drowning, they will use you to stay afloat, so being held under the surface is a big danger. Now, guards always carry buoyant “tubes” which are kept between themselves and the victims. We are also taught how to “escape” from victims who may injure us.

I am at least twice as old as anyone in the class, but I can manage. My intention is to be a little more qualified to spend a couple weeks each summer working at a YMCA camp, so it will all be worth it.