Newsletter: March 2014

Life with Lydia


It’s been a while since I sent out a newsletter. I get asked all the time “How is your health?” It is just fine. No complications other than Charles and I have more aches and pains.

Puddle of Butterflies

I missed telling you about seeing a puddle of butterflies during a spring migration. A bunch of tiny yellow butterflies kept lighting around the same spot, resting for a while, popping over to the flowers, and coming back in a swirl. It really was similar to a yellow puddle with ripples of activity.

Hot, Hotter, Hottest

The summer of 2012 and 2013 was plenty hot, but not like the >110 F (43 C) in the summer of 2011. There have been drought conditions in that particular area of Texas for seven of the last ten years. Long term forecast turn the area into a desert.

Move to Vancouver, Washington State

Charles and I made a major move. We had planned to move to Australia a few years ago. We knew that we had accomplished what we needed to do in San Marcos and were ready for a change. Somewhere in the past three years, we think that we got too old to make that move and find work. We were waiting for the right circumstances which never occurred. Having been defeated on one front, we tried another variation. We downsized last Spring and, last Fall, took the household to the Pacific Northwest to Washington State, just across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon. We are using cell phones and Skype. The numbers are Texas numbers so the time frame is two hours earlier. So, it is early rising to business phone calls. If you want an address, send me email. I don’t want to broadcast in a newsletter.

Fiftieth High School Reunion

In summer 2013, we attended my fiftieth high school anniversary. It didn’t seem possible. I had reviewed my reference book, “Calhoun High School Sand Crab Annual” prior to going. The women looked beautiful; the men looked old. Yes, we had the ferocious Sand Crab, Dolphins, Pirates, and Sand Fiddlers for mascots, and played the Victoria Stingrays. Can you guess that we are on the Gulf Coast?

Did I recognize people? Nope, not unless we had seen each other occasionally in the interim. We each see ourselves in some period of time that doesn’t age. During the evening, there was a mass phone call to a classmate who couldn’t travel to Port Lavaca. He was the first person I ever had a date with, in junior high school, although we didn’t date except that one time so far as I remember.

This past month, Charles and I visited with him and his wife. This was a remarkable re-acquaintance. We knew his health was bad as we had been trying to get together for months only to have him email that he was back in the hospital and we should come later. Finally his wife emailed “come now.” We didn’t wait. We visited them in a rehabilitation unit. We found him in wheelchair with legs amputated, and various port devices and bags hanging off. He reports that his physical deterioration arises from exposure to chemicals during Viet Nam. His comment: “The doctor told him that he could travel to the reunion, but he wouldn’t come back.” I don’t want to get this wrong; he looked wonderful considering the seriousness of his condition, and he is very optimistic. He is in the thick of social email- much more so than I am. When he is at home, he is on the computer blogging. He served five enlisted tours of duty all over the world. Charles and he traded computer software stories. He invented military personnel and equipment inventory systems that are still used today. They both laughed as they both said “We didn’t know that it couldn’t be done when asked to tackle and solve problems. We just made it happen.” Charles related an ancient incident back in the “good old days” where we needed two printers and called two different companies with whom we were working. Bill Gates sent out a 4.25” floppy with software quickly. The other company said “No one would ever want more than one printer in the system.” So Charles wrote the executive software, and set up the system. That’s what you did in that time frame when main frames were being supplemented and displaced by personal systems. Three hours went by in a flash; we still had more ground to cover. He was tired; we knew that we had a two hour drive back. It was raining and near freezing in one spot on the interstate so it was time to shut down and get back to Vancouver. He will be released soon. We will get together again with him and his wife, perhaps for Chinese food.

Charles and I talked about it on the drive back. We have friends who died, who went to Canada, who opted to serve; some made a career of the military until retirement. It was our privilege to meet with a person who had served in perilous times as an enlisted man, and his wife. It was a humbling experience. Somehow it was different from other friends and families who were captains and not in combat. Many of them opted for a career in the military and retired around 50, but were not in harm’s way, and not exposed to defoliation chemicals.

Novel Writing

Charles and I are writing the fifth volume of the Lunaria Epic adventure series. We have eight books on Amazon along with Charles “Nuclear Gnat” poetry book. Look for L.C. Frenzel. Charles is on Facebook; he twitters; I don’t. Our author friends chastise us for the paucity of publicity on social media.

We published 6 books for other authors. Check out-Valerie Dickison- four short stories for children, Jan Strickland- a fictional account of an oil Company psychology- very loosely based on Enron, and Roger Kidd- who loves printing and produced an historic stamp book. We are always looking for excellent stories to publish. You will hear more about the stories in the future.

This has gotten rather lengthy. It won’t be a year between volumes of “Life with Lydia.”

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