Frank and Nancy

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  1. This chapter had to be the beginning. I say that for having read a truly familiar account of what seems to lead up to all lasting relationships! The recognition of a person’s unique grace. A statement which is meant to ask you to see the imperfect within us all, followed by an act which forces the the truth of our own feelings upon us! Phew…sure glad to get that out of the way, now we can explore everything about us, honestly!
    I’m unable to explain why I enjoy the way you write. Except to say as a former boyfriend, I appreciate every moment you question or are pleased by the feelings you experienced! It’s a valuable insight to share the workings of the mind from the girlfriends perspective! Especially before becoming one to the other! Of my late grandma Manning, I’d inquire why she never dated or spent time in other men’s company after my grandpa and her husband had passed. She’d say, ” Once you’ve had true love Denny…there’s really no point in questioning it!” Your story, Nancy…might very well be the access which will help so many to look for the elementals of true love, they may already have. Nice work!

    • Thank you so much. I can not tell you how much your comment means to me. My youngest grandson said your exact words, “I like the way you write”. I will bare my heart and soul to you in this book then he will also bare his through the letters he wrote to me. Frank and I became one so quickly that it made my head swim. I have always thought from the moment we met that God had planned our union before we were born. Even now, my heart grows with love for Frank. He lives and experiences life through me now as one heart and soul. Please keep reading and sharing. It only gets more humorous and better through the years.
      God Bless You,

  2. I can hear the bees buzzing in the apple tree.

    • Thank you so much for your comment. There were certainly lots of bees buzzing in the apple tree that day, for sure!
      God Bless you,
      Nancy Lou

  3. A fun story, Nancy. I remember cutting down Chinese elm trees in the yard behind my small apartment. I only had a hand saw. I asked my landlady’s permission before I did it. But those branches were quite thin compared with yours. Not sure I would trust myself with a chain saw. That might just be a recipe for disaster. A jig saw is more my style. Though I am not a widow, I have had to do many things on my own as I have always been single. I laid carpet once. That was a story in itself, too. Maybe I’ll tell you some day.

    • Thank you, Diane, for your comment. I was not very skilled with that electric chainsaw but I learned as I went along which seems to be the way I learn things. Thank goodness, it had a trigger that you had to hold down to keep it running. I really enjoyed our talk last night and I learned a lot from you. I can’t wait to hear your story of laying carpet, it has to be awesome.
      Thinking as a single woman, you have some awesome do it yourself stories.
      God Bless,

  4. I’m actually becoming almost clairevoyant! I knew before I even hit your link this was a caladryl story! Over the years, it was a staple in our home! Mostly because my mom could attract a mosquito from 2 miles away! But also because of what was indigenous to our neck o’ the woods. Poison Sumac. As well as a little poison oak here and there! Great stuff that Caladryl !! Accidentally fed our Bitsy the dachsund mix(she came with our first house in Green Valley) some red licorice and she had some pretty nasty lookin red bumps on her nose the next mornin…a little Caladryl and the bumps were gone by the next day! I look forward to your Chigger story, a friend Ray and his wife settled in Arkansas and had a lot to say about them lil varmints! Til then…keep on keepin on!

    • Thinking maybe that clairvoyance had to do with the picture. Lol! I keep that Caladryl as a staple around here too.
      They actually make a clear stuff like Caladryl but it doesn’t work as well. Pink is the best.
      When we moved to the Gulf Coast not only was there a creepy fog hanging on the ground in the giant trees but things like butterflies were huge along with biggest chiggers I have ever seen.
      Thank you for your comment and sharing your memories of Caladryl.
      God Bless you,

  5. So….you never drank again? What about gettin back up onto the horse that threw ya? Lol. I’m glad you survived! Never did get blasted before I was in the service, and I think I kept it to a minimum even then! I will share one excerpt of a story that goes hand and hand to the part yours regarding drive home. My gf at the time and I had been to an afterparty and I was the designated driver. She on the other hand had too much to drink! On the way home, I had just enough time to get the window down before she began to upchuck…and this was the first time I’d be a witness to this kind of event! Now, I’d been in the medical field for many years and had seen thousands of people upchuck, always with an attendant noise that in many cases could make you experience nausea as well !!
    Well…the window was down and I, of course was expecting the worst! And that’s where I got the shock of my medically oriented life! She laid her head on the sill of the door and I watched he silently release her fluids from one side of her mouth! Not a peep! No gagging, no talkin to Ralph on the big white telephone, nada! The next mornin, I finally got around to mentioning what I observed and I guess that was probably one of the bigger laughs I ever got from her when I said, “You really surprised me ya know!” She asked, “How so?” “Well, let me put it this way…I’ve seen a few people upchuck in my time but you are absolutely the first I wouldn’t stand back from while they were in the middle of it!” “What do you mean, saw me throwin up?” “Yep..I sure did! But I have to tell you something about that.” “Oh please gawd was it bad?” I looked at her and smiled, “….no, let’s just say that when it comes to that sort of thing…you don’t puke ugly!” 😀

    • Lol, now I didn’t say I never drank again. I would also recommend no one ever mix Gin and grape juice, a definite toilet hugger mix but that’s another story.
      Thank you so much for reading, commenting and sharing your stories.
      God Bless you,

    • Always welcome! Hope all is well with you!

    • Yes, all is going well. I am learning new things but enjoying it.
      Thank you again.
      God Bless you,

  6. You are always good for a laugh out loud laugh Nancy loo. My voice recognition always wants to spell your middle name as l o o instead of l o u. I think that’s kind of cute so I we’ll just leave it that way. BTW, loo is the colloquial for bathroom in England and Australia. Just thought you might want to know 🙂

    • John thank you for your comment. I will definitely answer to Nancy Loo. That spell check thangy gets me into lots of editing. Lol! Figures that spell check thangy wants me to be Nancy Potty. I love it! It fits with the way I talk to it.

  7. Gotta love it “NANCY LOO”.
    Thanks for sharing. This password ‘thangy’ as you call is a big pain in the @$$.
    Oh wait a minute, did I just give away one of my passwords?

    • Thank you Chuck. Grammarly has decided that ‘thangy’ is an unknown word now! Thinking it has purposely told spell check and John’s voice recognition to call me Nancy Loo.

    • Chuck, I checked and I don’t think that was one of your passwords. Lol

  8. Your honey’s letters are so touching, I’m sure the memories of those times come back fresh and emotionally strong as when you received them the first time so long ago. I am enjoying your installments greatly, and I’m honored you’re sharing them with us readers.

    • Thank you so much, Carmen. I am honored that you are enjoying our love story. Your opinion of means so much to me.
      Yes, each letter I read and post puts me back in the moment I first read. Writing this book is like entering a time capsule. As, I see, hear, and feel, I become that young woman from so long ago standing beside my young husband, Frank.

  9. Good Lord, what have I fallen into. I love the Southern drawl and all who share it. Thangy perfectly describes anything you want it to. Such as, as I whisper to my husband when we first got home to Michigan….Where is the bathroom ? That would be the thangy out back. Oh Lord help me.

    • Thanking the Good Lord for sending you my way. You betcha, you will definitely get some southern drawl here and a whole lotta humor! Thank you for coming to my website, reading, and commenting.
      I really enjoyed talking with you yesterday. We are kindred sisters for sure.
      God bless you,
      Nancy Lou

  10. It happens. At our local casino, there are two separate restrooms.
    One in non-smoking and one in the smoking area.
    In a hurry, didn’t pay attention to where the ladies restroom was.
    Always turned left in the smoking area. Not so in the non-smoking area.
    In I march in and there was this man right there doing his thing.
    A quick retreat and I hoped he never saw me. No doors but there was a sign on the wall.
    So, it does happen and found that I was a quick learner. Never again.

    • Marion just writing this, could not quit laughing. Life is so unpredictable and so much fun. Thank you for sharing,now I don’t feel all alone in my escapade. I will definitely try to read the signs, especially on bathroom doors. Of course, I can not promise that I won’t do it again but pretty certain it will never leave my mind.
      God Bless you,
      Nancy Lou

    • You are correct, Marion
      At Rolling Hills, the Men’s bathroom is on right in the smoking section and on the left in non-smoking.
      Very confusing for some of us who have short-term memories…

  11. Life’s funny moments are funnier in the rearview mirror. I had a similar experience myself as a very green freshman at Iowa State University in 1964. I’m still embarrassed even in recollection. I think you missed a real opportunity not titling this episode “Nancy Lou in the Loo”.

    • I wanted to title that but I am limited on title size. All I could think about was Nancy Loo. I really fit that name. No doubt that I knew you would love this blog. I even wanted to tell about your voice recognition thinking you said Nancy Loo. I guess you had a premonition.
      God Bless

  12. Interesting how the distinguishing feature for the person in the wheelchair is ??? …I guess being disabled means your over any embarrassment for being… something other than male or female? I don’t know how to laugh at this…clearly, being disabled means either never having to worry which bathroom you wheel into, or maybe gender related signs are designed to make us all feel a bit disabled for our momentary state of being!
    Ha….ut oh, sorry… that was for a completely unrelated sign of dysfunction! 😀

    • Dennis, you are too funny. Thinking they need to put a dress or pants on that wheelchair but I guess they assumed everyone would connect to the stick guy and girl. one thing for sure, it didn’t matter to me because I was just using my sense of hearing. LOL
      God Bless,

  13. Once again you bring laughter to me.

    • Thank you, Marion. I love that it makes you laugh. Lots of thangys and dumafaches. In this one. I could not find some pictures I took when I actually refurbished the porcelain throne but I tried hard to find them.
      Thank you for your comments, they mean the world to me, just like you mean the world to me.
      God Bless you,
      Nancy Lou

  14. So sweet. I wish my letters hadn’t got lost. Only 7 in two years but read them over and over so many times that I should have them memorized.

    • Marion, I am sorry your letters got lost but I know you have them in your memories. I found these letters from Frank only three years ago after he led me to them in a dream. That will all be explained in the book. God works in such mysterious beautiful ways.
      God Bless you and thank you for your comment

  15. Makes me miss my husband. Nancy, did they really have BC pills back then ?

    • Marion, yes there were birth control pills in 1968. I think my Mom was insisting because we were so young but we never ever used birth control our entire married life. God had a His own birth control plan for us.
      These letters really bring back memories and of course, like when you have read them, they make me miss Frank being here physically again. The grief and loss of a true love never go away, it just simmers in the background of our minds until something brings it to the surface. Letter number 11 really affected me in ways nobody but me will understand because it had the answer to a question Doctors asked me when Frank was so sick before he died. Had I remembered or found Frank’s letters before he died, I would have had the Doctors answer but we all have a chosen time when God calls us home and I have found peace in God’s decision.
      God Bless you and love to you, my sweet friend,
      Nancy Lou

  16. The thrill of learning new skills as an “experienced citizen” can be a lot of FUN!
    Remember there are many tutorials on YouTube. ~~smile

    • Yes, Sir! Google is not getting the job done for this “experienced citizen”. I need duct tape to keep the knowledge from seeping out my ears. Lol! For some reason, I was googling trying to Google, Ask Chuck? Is he on Youtube?

  17. You two had something very special. I think it is obvious as Time passed that the depth of your love for one another deepened and matured. The freshness and excitement of new love is something that stays with us for all of our lives. Thank you for sharing these obviously special and tender memories with all of us.

    • John, thank you for understanding how special our love was for each other. So many people still have this same love and commitment. Sharing these letters, our soulmate love, and our life together, I pray reminds others of their memories of falling in love then makes them look across the room at each other, seeing themselves as young Newlyweds but with the knowledge of knowing they are now one heart and soul forever.

      Thank you for your comment.
      God bless you,

  18. Twenty years ago I had some of the finest computer and network certification in the world. After a retirement I didn’t even try to keep up with changes. Now I know what I should be able to do with a computer or network without a clue how to actually do it!

    • Hu, I am with you. I remember when computers filled a room and at that time, I wanted to be a computer programmer. Now, I think they program themselves. Lol! Do they see what we type? Do they deliberately mess with us? I am trying to be kind to mine now and not take harsh action on it. Thank you for reading my blog and commenting.
      God Bless you,
      Nancy Lou

  19. Hello

    • Hello, Big Bro. Thank you for the howdy

  20. Although it’s difficult to appreciate, I will say I’ve begun to gain a better understanding for the interplay between two people who’ve found their desire to begin a life together put at the feet of a decision they had no ability to influence! While some would point to a thing called chance, I’ve begun to see how this story really goes to faith! You’ve done well to recognize the moments when and where one’s faith… in love, in family, or in your God might be tested and I look forward to how you and Frank chose to deal with each other in the moments both together and apart. By the way, I have always always been that line in the song by the band, America…Sister Golden Hair Surprise, ” …I’m one poor correspondent…and I’m way too hard to find, but it doesn’t mean you ain’t been on my mind!” I’m glad that you and your husband were Nancy, it makes for a great story! Carry on…

    • Thank you so much Dennis. God was so important to Frank and I. I really believe that God had a plan before we were born for us to find each other no matter what. Even then God had a purpose for the two of us. Finding these letters has truly reenforced that belief in my heart for that purpose.
      True love, true commitment, true struggles, real separation by war, struggling to have a child and eventually heartbreaking grief at losing a soulmate who shared my heart and soul. You will read about all those things as I type about our lives in this book uninhibited while bearing our life together with you.
      God has a purpose.
      God Bless you,

  21. I’ve done this before too. I won’t do it again for sure as to me those urinals are nasty! lol.

    • Mary Rae, you bet they are! You would think they would be easier to clean than a regular toilet but seems it is not true. I really pray I don’t do it again ever. Thinking, I should use my eyes and not just my ears.
      Thank you so much for your comment.
      God Bless you,

  22. Nancy Lou, mail fun knew no boundaries for my brother and I. While I was a Radio Teletype operator in S. Korea my brother was a teletype operator for the FBI in DC. We would send letters back and forth and occasionally add a handful of the ticker tape punch outs we both had an abundant supply of. It really made my houseboy mad so I let him help me prepare an entire package for John.

    • Walter, I know that was so much fun. How big was the box? I love that you wrote back and forth with your brother. Do you still have any of your letters?
      Thank you for your comment
      God Bless you,
      Nancy Lou

  23. Thanks, sis, I was in Viet Nam from 1968 till 1969 then back in 1969 and home 1970. I was home 30 days in 1970.
    Frank will always be my best friend, my brother in law and my brother in arms. We share a brotherhood that only those who served America in war can ever know. God Bless and Love you.

    • I am so proud of you, Jimmy. Thank you for your service to this country and most of all thank you for being one of the most loving and most kind people I have ever known. I know that God is very proud of you and Frank is proud of you too. I love you with all of my heart. You and Connie are always in my prayers. I am so thankful that you are my Big Bro.
      God Bless you,
      Your Sis

  24. Well…give me just a moment while compose myself. Fair warning Nancy it will not be an English moment…no, that ninety-seconds wouldn’t afford me the time I’d need to acknowledge everything this post of yours has caused me to feel. About the worry we keep within us as though no one would believe we’d ever care for anyone else, or the camraderie shared between brothers, sisters, and family for knowing the what honoring love within family means against any titles as that would somehow make it subject to the law over our own hearts. No…it’d probaly take me a little more time than a minute and half to sort out why at this stage of my life the acts undertaken by a true friend for no other reason but to let them know how important it will always be for any veteran to feel and know that the service they willingly provided on behalf of their love for the life they’d been blessed to live prior to serving in wartime… should never, not for one moment, EVER be confused as an act of self-service against the horrors most veterans choose not to share out of concern for the same love they chose as their duty to protect. I think instead Nancy, I’m gonna stick with an “American Moment” since it is not defined by an exact period of time which allows me the time to catch up to the wonderful pace you set with this story, if only to match your stride long enough to tip my hat and smile as the well deserved compliment you Ms. Nancy Lou Henderson, so rightly have comin!! My hat’s off to you <3 Well done!

    • Thank you so much Dennis. This was an emotional chapter for me to write. I wrote it then came back to add more because there was so much more to say and it all needed to be said. Vietnam Veterans did not receive the gratitude and thank you they deserved to help them readjust to coming home. As with so many others, my Brother, Jimmy does not talk about his time in Vietnam but lives with it in that hidden place that all veterans have locked it away in but he has not let it affected the Beautiful, Caring, Loving Man that he always was. Welcoming Jimmy home after 42 years too late, in no way takes away his horrors or pain but it let him know, (and others who were there who didn’t have a clue about Vietnam) that we loved him, are here for him, we are proud of him, and we will always listen, without talking but true compassion, to him if he should ever want to talk.
      Writing this book has opened up many conversations between Jimmy and I about Vietnam. Jimmy talks and I listen.
      I have a deep love and respect for all four of my brothers and I thank God that the younger three did not have to go to war.
      God Bless you,
      Nancy Lou

    • Yes, it absolutely helps to connect you with me on that level, the way you speak to what was shared with you as by your brother, and also your husband is the compliment to everyone’s ability to get how important it is to our ability to remain ourselves! Especially, for the combat vets whom James cares for, and even for the vets who didn’t see combat but had a brother who did, and loved us too.

    • Dennis, James’ God-given gift of writing with a purpose for Vietnam Vets is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. Even those of us who were not there read his chapters and feel like we are in some small way in that valley of hell with him hiding in that jungle but never actually seeing the horror he is seeing.
      Thank you for your comments Dennis. I really appreciate it.
      God Bless you.

  25. Nancy, I enjoyed this post so much. I love your comments underneath the letters. That adds the depth of meaning in it for me. What a lovely thing to share with the world.

    • Thank you so much Mary Rae. I am glad you like my comments between the letters. Frank speaks to us all in his letters so you will truly get to know him. He also reminds me of what I have written him.
      Praying you keep coming back and reading because soon you will get to watch this amazing person named Frank, my husband, write letters from Vietnam and he will grow into a stronger, wiser, beautiful man. I’m just his narrator.
      God Bless you,

  26. A hectic time but seems you handled it very well. Amazing the maturity shown. I wonder how many today could handle the responsibilities so well.
    Thanks, for sharing these parts of your life.

    • Chuck, Thank you. Back in 1968 weddings were not as complicated as they are now. I thought about this as I wrote of these days leading upto our wedding.As an owner of a Florist, I realized how uncomplicated Frank and my wedding was compared to now
      Today the pressure to out do others weddings and the high expense of it all is astounding. Weddings only take a short time and they are really about the devotion and love to one another. As a Florist, I always tried to calm my soon to be brides down and reminded them of what really was important.
      Thank you for reminding me and your Beautiful Support.
      God Bless,

  27. Nancy, this is beautiful. You are obviously doing the work of your soul. Thank you for blessing us with your stories. I loved hearing the backstory, which instills the depths of your gift. Much love, Mary Rae

    • Thank you so much, Mary Rae. I have always been fascinated with letters from the past. To actually read a letter written by someone who passed long before my time on earth is just amazing but to actually hold that letter in your hand and see the writing on the page opens up a window to the soul and emotions of the writer through the beauty of the grace of their handwriting.
      I see the emotions in Frank’s writing as I have read then typed into these chapters. My plan is to share copied pages of these letters in the book.
      God Bless you,

  28. Agree with you Nancy, seems ridiculous to take on debt to create a social spectacle when the money spent could be used to start the couple off on a firm financial foundation.

    Expensive weddings are no guarantee for successful, happy marriages, in fact there may well be an inverse correlation.

    • Thank you Peter. I think that the main purpose of it all is the Beautiful vows said to each other of commitment, devotion, and love. Marriage is not an easy thing but one of the most Beautiful gifts and total sacrifices a couple makes to one another. It is much to easy now a days to give up.
      God Bless you and thank you again for your comment.

  29. It was “a necessity” for us to be frugal regarding Wedding Costs. Had all the money tied up in new 300 acres of Wheat and harvest was a couple months off.
    Pit-roasted a couple of our 100# pigs, Shirley, sisters and her mother made 100# Potato and Macaroni salad and a close friend “donated” his Country Western Band.
    109 degrees in the shade and everyone had Fun.
    We lived off a major highway and people (strangers) just stopped by to see what was going on. One fellow was dancing with Shirley and asked “who got married”
    Our children followed suit and had beautiful wedding focused on the promise and went down a frugal path.
    Thanks for sharing this post and I hope younger people will take to heart

    • Thank you, Chuck. I love your share about your and Shirley’s Wedding. What a Beautiful Wedding in an Amazing Setting! Your description of your Wedding Day, lets me see it all in my mind. A lot of hard work went into your wedding which you all shared lovingly with others. The use of the resources you had and your hard work not only kept the cost down but also made your memories of your Wedding Day so Special.
      Your children have such great examples instilled in them by you and Shirley. I am so glad they chose to follow your examples.
      My prayer is for all generations to know that the vows of matrimony and commitment should be the focus of their Wedding Day which should be shared with friends and family at a reasonable cost.
      God Bless you,

  30. Hey Nancy,

    It took me longer than I’d hoped to check out this post from the others that’ll follow as I spend at least a few minutes more for every visit I make. I was instantly curious when I saw the title as part of my feed and decided I’d just send it on over to my wall until I’d had the chance to read it for whatever it spoke to, you know? That my friends might enjoy taking a look at…yet, surprisingly it didn’t work out that way!
    The first thing was I’d be startled for realizing exactly what I needed to say! Whoa….wait, that ain’t how it’s supposed to work Den…but it was too late! I’d already shared to my wall with the five words that’d be absolutely ….appropriate! There I go getting ahead of myself! So, as I’d soon notice I couldn’t just leave it there. So I went to my wall and clicked the link. OMG! All I’d done was want to read this one little story from your DIY series! But nooooooo….! Instead I must’ve entered the proper sequence that intantly sent me hurtling around the rings of Saturn, or wherever it is that things you’d just put the finishing touches on end up!! Never to be seen or heard from again. But then , I must’ve clicked another sequence to throw me back only…it wasn’t your blog! This page I’d see just long enough to know , ” Yeah!….No!” A white page that had only a couple of black fonts followed by about as many red ones saying, ” you’ve entered a page which cannot be trusted…it’s been determined that this pages purpose is to mine your data….”Danger Will Robinson! Danger! Now, I knew what X marks the spot really signifies…”don’t bury your treasure here!!” I x-ed out and pretty much I wouldn’t risk it anymore til I ran it by the admin of your blog page. Now…I’m way beyond curiosity!
    ” You May Have the Answer…” were the words I wrote as an introduction to sharing one title of many, andthen only as a spontaneous reflection on whatever you’d written before I’d even have the chance to read it! Made me think that maybe the notes I make to myself sometimes are not necessarily (spooky snare drum roll begins to be heard, quickly rising, increasing in volume only to suddenly end as the report of a perfect rim shot fires!) …my own!!!

    Well, as was predicted by your team, I’d find my way back to your page…phew!! I loved this Nancy…and for good reason!
    I was instantly transported to another time of my life with a man who hired me to take care of his animals while he was out of town. As soon as I read your the name of your husband’s ancestor I instantly heard the most unforgettable sound of one of the animals I’d take care of for a weekend…a gorgeous speciman with all the feathers replete with every color that was part of the majesty of the irridescent blue peacock owned by mr. Stockwell! Steve Stockwell to be exact! taght my brothers and myself a thing or two about how to get along with fowl, as it were, foul as some birds are prone to be! He didn’t give them names that were like your or mine he said, because they were educational birds! The chicken he’d teach us to hypnotize…he called…” Chapter One”!, The Blue Peacock it was best just to keep an eye on because if he did get out of the enclosure it could be weeks of hearing ” Ah AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, Ah AHHHHHHHHHH al over our little valley , day and night, 24/7! He was “Chapter II”. Finally, the foulest fowl of the lot , the meanest bird ever if you paid any attention to him directly…the 47 pound White Tom Turkey he’d call “Chapter III”, but all us boys knew as ” Run for your freakin’ Life!!”
    I just wanted to let you know Nancy, between the time I couldn’t read the story and this morning I finally did, I’d also repost a memory I’d post for the first time last year about my daughters’ great grandmother on my father’s side of the family. She was the first DDH, my father, a combat marine gunny in Korea, the second DDH and then of course…yours truly trying to find his way through with the help of all the history of her family that has come from Grandma Lulu (Dorise Parkes) always in threes…which is pretty significant I think for the number of stories behind the three generations that made the man you married, and for the love that apparently finds three ways into the hearts of people like you and me! What do you think, Nancy? Ware the words I’d introduce your story with…inspired? You may have the answer…

    • Wow, Dennis, you are quite a writer. You have a mystical quality to your writing which has me rereading every word not wanting to misunderstand what you are saying. Thank you for reading this post. We are inspired by so many people, things, and places in our lives.
      I have really enjoyed reading about the three DDHs in your family.
      I am so sorry if you had problems entering this website. I assure you that it is a safe website and up to date on security.
      God Bless you,

  31. Didn’t realize how much clean up I’d leave undone…If you’d like me to edit it a bit I’m ok with that just to save yours a little more trouble than they bargained for.

    • I don’t edit comments on here. As you probably can tell I am not a great editor. Your comment was awesome and I did not notice the need for edits.
      God Bless you,

    • For readers, A Disclaimer: All edits, notwithstanding…feel free to employ the rule of thumb for my errors within… “..the First Shall Be Last and the Last Shall Be First..” – Holy Bible, King James Version


      ” Strike That!…Reverse That! ” – Gene Wilder, in Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory

    • You do not need a Disclaimer, you do not make errors on here. I am the one who needs the disclaimer my typing actually is awful.
      God Bless you,

  32. Hey Nancy,
    It took me just a bit longer than I’d hoped, to check out this post from among the others in your DIY Blog. Wanted you to know as for me catching them all, that’ll follow as I notice I spend a few minutes more on your page, for every visit I make!
    I was instantly curious when I saw your title as part of my feed. Decided I’d just send it on over to my wall until I’d had the chance and the time to read it at my own pace for whatever it spoke to, you know? In hopes that however it is or comes about, the words I’d use to introduce your story would do it service. For you and my friends who might enjoy taking a look see…yet, surprisingly…as I’m here to share with you, it didn’t work out in exactly that way!
    The first thing was I’d be startled! Realizing within seconds exactly what I needed to write to say! “Whoa…wait a sec, that ain’t how it’s supposed to work Den…”, I remember thinking but for the time that took, it was already too late! I’d written the intro already and then shared it to my friends and my wall. So were the five words I’d write absolutely ….appropriate? Well, there I go getting ahead of myself! You see, as soon I shared it, I realized there was no way it was an appropriate share! I just knew I couldn’t leave it hanging there. So I quickly went to my wall and clicked the link.
    OMG! All I’d wanted to do was to read this one little story from your DIY series! But nooooooo….!! Instead, I must’ve accidentally entered the proper number and sequence of cookie acknowledgement as I’d instantly be sent hurtling through a virtual blackhole which would have cruising while trying to catch my breath around the rings of Saturn!! Wherever it is that things you’d just put the finishing touches to make right go… once only to end up in the virtual oblivion we all know!! Never to be seen or heard from again. But then I gues I got lucky. I must’ve clicked another equally random number of cookie boxes for the sequence to throw me back! Only…it wasn’t your blog nor was it my page! Nope…the next page I’d see would only be for a fraction of a second more than just long enough to know , ” Yeah!…. , ….No!” I’d warped onto a white page that’d only use a few Bold black fonts, followed by about the same number of even Bolder, red fonts saying ” Warning…you’ve entered a page which cannot be trusted…it’s been determined that this pages purpose is to mine your data :O ”Danger Will Robinson! Danger!
    Now, I know what X marks the spot might really signify…”Don’t bury your treasure here, let us do it for you!” I immediately x-ed out and pretty much, out of sheer relief decided I’d had enough and wouldn’t risk it anymore until at least, I could run it by the admin of your blog page. Only then to find…Now…I’m way beyond an average level of curiosity!
    Were the words I wrote as an introduction to sharing one title of many, and then only as a spontaneous reflection of whatever you’d written before I’d even have the chance to read it!?
    Made me think that maybe the notes I make to myself, might sometimes… not necessarily be… (spooky snare drum roll quietly begins, quickly rising, increasing in volume, almost too loud before suddenly ending… as the sharp report of a perfect rim shot, fired!) …my own!!!
    Well, as was correctly predicted by your team, I’d find my way back to “your page”
    …phew!! I loved this one Nancy…and for every good reason you’d share! of your history as would be set upon you to learn about. A rea gift, if anyone were to ask how things happen as they often do!
    For as you’ve done before…I’d soon be instantly transported to another time of my own life…this time recalling the man who hired me at twelve, to take care of his animals while he was out of town. I read the name of your late husband’s ancestor, his grandfather Lester Stockwell Henderson.
    I heard the most unforgettable sound in that moment! Of one of the Birds I’d take care of for a weekend…all gorgeous specimans with all their feathers replete with every color that was part of the majesty of their genus All owned by Mr. Stockwell!… Steve Stockwell, to be exact! He would teach my brothers and I a thing or two about how to get along with certain types of fowl as it were, foul as also, some birds are prone to be! He didn’t give them names like yours or mine he’d say because, They were Educational ! The bid beige chicken a Hen… he’d teach us was friendly enough to hypnotize…he called her…” Chapter One”, The Stunning Irridescent Blue-Green Peacock, he’d say we best keep an eye on because, if he did manage to get out of the enclosure… it could result in weeks of hearing ” Ah AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, Ah AHHHHHHHHHH Ah AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! all over our little valley , day and night, 24/7
    He was “Chapter II ”. Finally, the foulest fowl of the lot , the meanest Bird of ’em all…Especially, if you paid him any any attention at all…or dared to look to him directly in the eye…A robust, 47 pound, White Tom Turkey he’d call “Chapter III”, but also the one all us boys had come to know as ” Run for your freakin’ Life….!!”

    I just wanted to let you know Nancy, between the time “I couldn’t read” your story and this morning when I finally did, I’d also repost a memory from my life. I’d posted for the first time only last year as remembrance to my late Aunt. It was about about my daughters’ great grandmother on my father’s side of the family. She was the first DDH, my father, a combat Marine Gunny SGT in Korea, the second DDH and then of course…yours truly the last born Third which is kind of funny…for there never having been a Junior my Dad would name as a son, as the reason why I got his initials! Trying to find his way through his own family history with the help of all history of of her husband’s family, my grandfather Mazel Dean and who’d marry the girl who’d hithiked her way across the country from New York, and who my late Aunt’s children called Grandma Lulu (Dorise Parkes)! Always in threes…my Dad would say, which is pretty significant I’d say for the number of stories behind any one of the three generations that’d made the man you married. Mostly though, I believe… for the love that apparently has the power to find three ways into the hearts of people who think they’d like to write… like you Nancy, and maybe like me! I’m dying to hear what you think, Nancy? And about the words I’d feel honored to introduce your story with…is this what you believe as inspired? “You may have the answer…” Loveyabye!

    • Dennis, my biggest inspiration to write has come from God. The books I have mentioned in my blog I read a few years before finding Frank’s letters and each book includes letters.
      When I found Frank’s letters then reread, I realized that the content which was in them was not just for me but meant for all.
      God has made it very clear to me that He has a purpose for the writing of this book. Do I know that purpose? No, but I don’t need to, I just go to the computer, type, and trust God completely to help me put the words up on the screen that He has a purpose for.
      My Widow’s blogs have always been sharing experiences with others of things I have done while laughing at myself but the last two blogs, including this one, Soul and Inspiration, took me by surprise because of the depth of sharing the more serious side of my feelings.
      I love your words of introduction for my blog.
      God Bless you and thank you for your comments.

    • Well then Nancy, I will claim them as mine! Yet only as long as you’ll also agree that I do so on behalf of “your understanding” of the Who, How, and Why Not? Of What it is… inspires the countless Souls, over the course of existence itself to write of a purpose as opposed to for a purpose. Of the One, the Only, “…Benefit Of The Doubt…”, of an
      eternally curious heart, of Love “!

    • Dennis, I really love your comments on here. You inspire me to think about what you say before I answer you. Thank you for your comment.

    • God Bless you,
  • Your reception sounds a bit more fun. Ours was a party at the ranch and attended by a lot of stranger off the highway who saw the “party”
    It was 109 degrees and people still had fun until the neighbor’s irrigation broke loose onto our property, through the barn and the yard.
    The band had to shut down and the lawn and driveway were 12′ deep in flowing water.
    Obviously putting “DAMPER” on the reception ~~smile

  • What is Going On?
    Over the past 70+ years in my simple life, I have watched an insidious agenda creep into the American Society.
    1. We have developed from being advocates of Character to those idolizing Personality.
    2. Social engineers have done a successful job of convincing the population they “deserve a break today” whether they expended honest energy or not.
    3. Education has been taken from local influence to a centralized bureaucracy, which is more easily controlled by the “power”
    4. And most important Faith has been denigrated as being archaic and not progressive.
    5. We have also reduced the ability of people to think for themselves.

    Can it be changed?
    I believe so but not overnight.

  • I enjoyed reading your post. I’m really behind and need to catch up on your other posts. I don’t know where my time goes. Keep up the good work. God bless.

  • Love your sense of humor, Nancy. Keep up the good work. I haven’t seen a doctor for at least two years. The last one I had for a relatively short time before he closed up shop for health reasons. Before that, I hadn’t been to a doctor for about a dozen years. I really should get some blood work done so I know just where I stand in that department, but it isn’t easy to find a doctor who takes new patients, and especially one who will work with me with natural products rather than drugs.

  • Comment

  • Aww… what a fun and sweet story Nancy Lou. It speaks to your character of making play and fun out of a not-so-perfect time. Thank goodness the money came through!

  • Great post, Nancy Lou. I could feel your concern as your money ran out and your joy when the allotment finally came. I’ll bet those Oreo cookies and candy lipsticks (I’ve never heard of candy lipsticks before) tasted better than ever before or since! I remember the times I did my laundry in my bathtub, but I must admit, I never got in with it. I’m afraid I don’t dance well and I would probably have fallen right in had I tried. And I had the use of a clothesline right outside the door of my tiny apartment. Actually,for several years now I have been doing my laundry, a bit at a time, in my bathroom sink. I hang it in the bathtub (I have a tension rod that fits between the wall and the shower rod) and direct 2 fans on it to dry. It works quite well. Saves a lot of lugging (to say nothing of money) down to the laundry room.

  • Another wonderful, tale, Nancy Lou. I feel the love in the words. Thanks for the video, too. It left me with a good feeling. Cheers!

  • Nancy, I simply forgot the time on Monday night. By the time I thought about the call, it would have been just finishing up. I had a very long, unexpected phone call mid to late afternoon, and I think that put me off my time schedule. I had every intention of calling before that. I do tend to get involved in things and forget everything else for the moment. It is not too hot here yet, but it is supposed to feel like 113′ F by Saturday. I’m not looking forward to that. I like the heat, but there is a limit. 🙂 I have been doing a lot of cleaning and moving stuff around over the past couple of weeks since Robyn moved out, and that has taken a lot of time and a great deal of energy. I have been feeling it in my hip somewhat, but it hasn’t been as bad as it could have been. I still have a lot to do as I hadn’t done a thorough clean-through for quite some time as I did not have the energy for it. But it sure feels good to have done what I have so far. It’s looking more homey, too, as I have made a few very simple changes.

  • Oh, Nancy, you’ve done it again! What a lovely story. I just love how you end with an appropriate video. This one got me out of my seat trying to mimic this fabulous dancer. Hang on Sloopy (Snoopy) was one of my favorite songs of that time too. I can feel the affectionate, deep, abiding, and fun-loving kind of love that you two might have been feeling while singing this song. Thanks for sharing!

  • That is “Hilarious” I wonder if it was a person making the first decision or an AI gadget related to your FitBit?
    Congratulation on following through.
    Most just get MAD and let it be.

  • Most interesting…I’m trying to wrap my head around his walking into your bedroom…

  • Ahhhhh…the memories…I was a member of Bapist Youth Fellowship for a while. Like you we did a few hayrides, shared soft drinks….talked….the memories you have brought to life!

  • WOW!! What a description! Reading this was a great way to begin my day. The vision is one of a wild woman just attacking everything with a pair of scissors, hair flying everywhere! Everyone…Stand Back! Lol

  • Too funny, I remember years ago when I was a kid (that was many, many years ago) I thought I would try and trim the hair that was hanging into my eyes. As you so rightly say, one thing led to another and I created a disaster on my head and a mess on the floor.

    My mother (who did not cut hair) had to take me on the long trip to town to get it tidied up before I could go to school the next day.


  • the memories are uncanny… I once mixed a strong whiskey drink for a new friend who unbeknownst to me had never drank before. She got it all down and passed out. A few of us carted her around for quite a while before she came to….. I could have killed her….

  • as the words to Alabama’s “dixie land delight” run through my head lol…you have a knack for this stuff imho

  • So, so, touching…. I can only imagine what a whirlwind those days must have been….

  • Another beautiful share of a true love story. The world will benefit when this book is available. It could easily be a glue that binds True LOVE for many.

  • Rotfl!! Thinking back to riding on the hood of a car….that could have messed up his whole army experience….

  • Rofl!! A slip and a bit of misfortune could have changed a major part of the future

  • Memories…good bad and sad….

  • My sympathies regarding your son…he’ll be alright?

  • I can remember the feelings….coincidence! My MOS for my first enlistment wad 67N….turbine helicopter maintenance…UH-1 helicopter… my AIT was at Ft. Eustis, Virginia

  • Fire watch, charge of quarters, the seemingly endless harassment…all designed to break us down so they could remake us into soldiers. The drill instructors always had some menial task for us to do, just to keep us from relaxing…..I xan only imagine how hard it must have veen on you and all the other women who sat at home wondering what was going on with their loved ones….thanks again for inviting me to read your posts.

  • GBY

  • 💝

  • Yes, the possibility of being recycled was enough to make most enlistees suck it up and keep driving on….. barbed wire?? LOL

  • Yes…the testing, all the extra duties, all the menial nit picking garbage….and being both sick and homesick. His commitment to you in the midst of all that…..

  • I had that album…lol…just thinking of sitting around the barracks…lonely….I don’t know what was worse, sad songs or love songs when you’re in love and missing somebody..

  • You touch my heart, as you always do with your writing, Nancy.

  • Lovely as usual, Nancy. Having total, unequivocal faith is the key to life. That you have it is evident. How wonderful to have that kind of faith that sees you through all of the challenges that life throws our way. Love and prayers to you and your son, Scott. Hugs.

  • Well, I feel a bit like a voyeur at times lol….still, I know what I missed out on by not having someone love me as you so obviously do him

  • This is beautiful. I have asked God what my purpose is in this life also, and keep moving ahead as I feel led by the Spirit. Keep writing, sister.

  • What a love story. Beautiful, Nancy. I agree with Chuck that many will no doubt benefit from your story. When the book is published, it would make a nice wedding or anniversary gift from a couple, one spouse to the other.

  • Did Frank ever tell you about all the cadence songs? About the legendary sleaze “Jodie?” Thinking back to some of the guys in my BCT company and how they got the notion in their heads about their significant other’s…it truly is a testament to the love you two share that he never mentions that.

  • Lol…the drill sergeants used to use limericks to keep everybody in step when marching…several of them involved a guy taking up with a wife or girlfriend…for example…ain’t no use in going home, Jody’s got your girl and gone…ain’t no use in going back, Jody’s got your cadillac…the DU would call out a verse, we’d repeat it, tben he’d xall out the next verse….there are hundreds of variations…lol

  • Yes, no greater love…..thank you for writing, and thank you Jimfor allowing your sister to add your letter and a piece of your life to her postings.

  • GBY

  • Hot wired motorcycle….now THERE’S a distraction that can de stress all the wedding preparation. LOL

  • Another heartfelt vignetter form a wonderful love story.
    Can you imagine young people today have in to Endure the grueling and almost slave-like duties of being a grocery clerk? ~~smile
    “I worked from opening to closing (twelve hours, including two breaks and a thirty-minute lunch) checking out 243 people and my end cash register money total was exactly correct.
    And OMG:
    “Oh, I forgot to mention, we had to know how to make correct change, there was not a machine telling us how much change to give the customer back. Also if our register money came out short, you were responsible, and the shortage came out of your paycheck.”

  • Great fun to read, Nancy. I used to cut my own hair, even give myself perms. But I have not cut my hair in decades as once I decided to let it grow, that was no longer necessary. The last time I went to a hairdresser for a cut and style was sometime in the late 60s – a very long time ago. I remember as a teenager going to get my hair cut. My hairdresser (who was also my Sunday School teacher and friend) would always say it didn’t need much trimming. But when she finished, there was always a very large amount of hair on the floor. I agree that when you do it yourself those hairs just go down your neck and start prickling, and everywhere else. I’m glad I don’t have to worry about that any more. I don’t even seem to get split ends that need trimming. Love your humor.

  • Thank you for posting this. It radiates love and devotion. We need more of such in today’s world.

  • What a roller coaster of emotions must have been taking place. For both of you. But you survived, and thrived afterwards. Praise the Lord.

  • I’m enjoying getting to know Frank in some small way. I love your posts and am sorry I am so far behind in reading them. I just spent a few hours deleting at least 1200 e-mails from my inbox. It’s hard to deal with that and keep up with everything else. I still have 500 unread, but they are the ones left that I want to read before deleting them. So I will keep coming back when I can to try to catch up soon.

  • Thank you Nancy, your lovely story brings back memories of my national service in the military, my initial training started in June 1969, just a couple of months after you got on that plane to Okinawa. I remember well the grocery stores of that time with manual cash registers.

  • I think the happiness of the day comes through loud and clear in your writing….salud!

  • WOW!! Quite a time! LOL humming the tune “memories”

  • Bless you, too

  • Some of the greatest times seem to come from just being…no plans, just let it take care of itself… 😉

  • least you headed to the great white North in the spring! I know you were excited to be getting back together, but, it must have been more than a little frightening to leave the security of family…

  • No one knows how to count back change anymore. They put the amount the cash register tells them to (or something close to that amount) in your hand. But do they need to count it back if the amount is right? (Though it’s interesting to watch today’s cashiers trying to figure out how to make change when you’ve given them an odd amount and they don’t key it in correctly. In Florida, you could be standing there for days…

    As to responsibility, I think we are less responsible for small things (remembering phone numbers) but maybe that frees us up to be more responsible for more important things. We can hope at least.

  • Were all of your neighbors US Military or was the neighborhood a mixture?
    That concrete house sounds like it was relatively “cool”. Looking forward to more!

  • If you ever do this in a book I will want a copy. Until then I will keep reading.

  • I agree with Barbara that not having the responsibility to know things that a computer can do for us frees us up to do other things – like maybe enjoy life more? Technology may be seen as hindering responsibility but I don’t see it that way. For me, it might even have turned the tables. Working at the computer all day is enjoyable knowing what it can do for me. I can put out a lot more work on it than writing by hand. Research is a breeze now. But… and… it feels great to get off the computer and do something with my hands. lol… I feel like my thoughts are rambling so I will go… thanks for the thought-provoking article, Nancy Lou.

  • Lol….memories of “neighborhood stew” when a bunch of us would clean out any leftovers and share with each other….thanks to those “huge” army paychecks…

  • Ahhhh…crazy newlyweds….lol….so, you were McGivering before it was a thing!

  • Bless you too, Nancy…thanks for sharing

  • Lol….chlorine and ammonia…chloramine gas!! That’s nasty stuff….

  • More memories…not enough money but enough friends to make it all work! GBY

  • Oh… my… goodness… that was hysterical, Nancy Lou. Thanks for sharing that story. The YouTube song is beautiful. Hugs, darling woman.

  • To have such a love is a treasure. My God, I cry with every post you share. To miss what was and can never be again except in memories. I miss my husband so much and Thank God, my children also have beautiful memories. He would be so proud of them. They are an extension of him. Thank you Nancy.

  • WOW…….just….WOW

  • I can well imagine…..all the way around.

  • Sometimes when I read your posts, I smile with memories of discovering my own soulmate, and at others I cry for your loss. This one, however, brings me comfort that despite existing on different planes, you and your Frank are still together. Wow, Nancy, this post leaves me with chills and yet warmth, knowing you and he have still discovered ways to communicate and to bring one another solace.

  • Lol…mI worked at a paper mill in Maine for 33 years. We were part of a group of mills that included the old Riegel paper mills in Fitchburg and Lunenburg. It was always fun to “break in” a new worker…..glad you enjoyed the folks while you were there

  • What a delightful read! $30 for a ‘family’ car, albeit with little no floorboards! I wonder if young couple today can ever experience such wonderful Lack of things and an abundance of Love?

  • Sounds a little like chaos, but much good came out of the chaos! I’m trying to get caught up with your posts, but am so far behind it will no doubt take me a while. I got back from my holiday on Saturday but didn’t turn the computer on until today. There were 830 e-mails waiting for me, so I have just finished plowing through them.

  • Great memories and beautiful pictures.

  • Wow, what a lot of added excitement! I hope your suit fared better than your shoes. Great fun, though. And great memories.

  • I have missed talking to you, too. I guess there is no call again tonight. Maybe next week.

  • We had a wonderful time. Wish it could have been longer. It is absolutely beautiful there. I will be putting some photos on my blog when I get them resized. The weather was great. The only problem was that I had a great deal of pain the whole time and that made walking not so very pleasant. But I survived. I think it was because I didn’t have my turmeric pain tea. There are just too many ingredients, and not all dry, to take away with me, so I had to do without.

  • I have often found that doing something on the spur of the moment is much more fun and memorable than making all kinds of plans. But of course there are times when plans are absolutely necessary. Sounds like you had a wonderful honeymoon – much more fun than some of the very expensive trips many people take.

  • Yes, I agree with Chuck, a delightful read. Reminds me of my first car, an Austin Healy Sprite. The soft top used to fly off if I got up to 60mph. Did many makeshift roadside repairs on that car.

  • Another thing: I wonder how in the world you cashiers were able to memorize the prices of items on sale, when the prices were constantly changing! Also, the plane trip you describe had to have been quite an adventure, and the brawl that broke out truly scary. So heartwarming the way you describe the closeness of your family. Thanks again for this post!

  • You know Nancy, you and I have something in common as it goes to our dogs…my dog is named “Frank”! I wanted him to have a simple name I could yell easily. The story of how he came into my life is kinda cute as well. His mama, a pug/chihuahua mix had somehow managed to get knocked up in doggie jail! My sister was desperate to place the puppies about to be born because she wasn’t even “supposed” to have Diamond in the house she was living in at the time! My sister felt it was important to admit that nobody had any idea who the Daddy was but I knew it could of been any of the usual suspects down at the pound. Well, I agreed to take a puppy on one condition…I would get the pick of the litter! My sister called to tell me when Diamond had her litter which if the last two were any indication, could’ve been as many as six or seven! Nope! Diamond gave birth to one puppy, which meant I got the pick of the litter whether I liked it or not! I’ve got Frank on loan to a friend at the moment, she’s an elderly lady who gave us a place to stay for a minute in all the hubbub of an eviction. I visited last friday and both are doing well and appreciative as I. You’d like Frank I think. He was trained not to lick faces and instead will hop into your lap stretch his paws around you neck and press his little face against yours! A friend forever who knows… if you love me, you love my human too!
    I thoroughly enjoyed your story and appreciate the song you ended it with as well. I didn’t cry but I did have a total recall of the chorus to a song from my youth your story of Ralph, and the song you ended it with conjured up for me… ” Don’t be concerned…it will not harm you…it’s only me pursuing something I’m not sure of…Across my dreams, in depths of wonder..I chase the bright, elusive Butterfly of Love…” Thanks for sharing Ralph, Nancy…Frank appreciates it, and so do I.

  • Oh Darn…we so miss those exciting days of a house full of PrePrepubescenct progeny of wonder. ~~smile

  • ole bondo looks like a chevy corvair….. thanks for the memories, of visiting married friends off post and getting away from the barracks if only for an evening, of driving around in old beater automobiles, of being in a near constant state of broke….. and thoroughly enjoying every minute!!!

  • yup….. the little pleasures, the little things that bring so much joy in remembering

  • Well…if my guardian angel has taught me anything about the most amazing thing, Nancy…it’s to make sure to use the right email address before you hit the submit button! I don’t know if you’ll ever read what your story just inspired me to write, but perhaps that’s the way it was meant to be! I doubt you’ll ever get it yet, have no doubt whatsoever that if you do, it’ll remind you of Lilacs!

  • I wish I could…I spent quite a bit of time trying to integrate the most amazing thing, guardian angels, and the mysteries we experience while by ourselves. I never once used flowers in the context of my comment yet made the mistake of using the email address I use as a privacy filter. You may remember the April Stevens and Nino Tempo song “Deep Purple”, well…a very dear friend started calling me Purple…and whenever I think of those people I love, well…my outlook goes to “all the shades of purple”. In keeping with the mysteries of Love you’ve shared, I suppose I wasn’t meant to tell of my story at all…but only to help you remember… why you want to be reminded of Lilacs.
    This to me, would clear up a lot of mysteries as they relate to Love, and that would truly one of the most amazing things ever, for me!
    This is your story to tell Nancy, and you’ve titled your story well…maybe, just maybe one of your chapters is meant to be called “I Want To Be Reminded of Lilacs”? Write it Nancy…your “why” may allow the rest of us to want to be reminded, as well. Loveyabye!

  • Shows how frustrating life can be sometimes, even when the answer seems so simple! How did things turn out for you? I guess I will have to wait for the next post to find out?

  • Holding my lover, with the other…. 🙂

  • So touching…yes, I know of lilacs, just not in the sense of my own loves. A friend and his girlfriend (also a friend) had to get married. One day, before the wedding we were riding around drinking and saw an old abandoned farmhouse with several lilac bushes around it. They had just bloomed and we stopped and filled the back seat and trunk with white and light purple lilacs. We took them to their apartment and scattered them all around the living room and waited for Roxanne to come home from work….thanks again for yet another memory of a happier time!

  • I didn’t know this about lilacs. I have always loved them. We had a white lilac tree in our back yard for years, but it got too old and was cut down. Perhaps this is why, in another century, when women came out of mourning and wearing black, they often changed into mauve. It was considered acceptable. Thanks for sharing.

  • Funny! Guess I needn’t regret that I wasn’t blessed with children. 🙂

  • I’m starting to play catch-up on your widow’s blog even though I am still not caught up on your love letters posts. I still find mistakes in my cash register receipts though they have scanners and registers that tell how much change is due. I usually use my debit card, so change is not relevant, but sometimes they have even missed charging me for an article. I have been charged wrong prices probably because the either reverse the numbers of the code entered, or have simply not remembered the code correctly. In the grocery stores, they are required to remember the codes for fresh produce. I’m afraid I wouldn’t fare too well in that area. I tend to reverse numbers. So I’m not sure whether things are more efficient today or not. One thing I think is that cashiers back then may have been on the whole a lot friendlier than today. Though I don’t have a lot to complain about in the store I mainly deal with. But I have had some pretty unfriendly people serve me in stores at times. But they are in the minority. Probably if stats were available, the percentages of responsible people compared to irresponsible people might be similar. It just shows up in different areas of life. I think I’m rambling and I had better move on to the next post. 🙂

  • Wow! How creative was that? You sure did find a way to solve your problems. Maybe not very conventional, but, hey, they worked! Good post, Nancy.

  • When I read what you had in the pillow case along with the bleach, I cringed. Thank heaven nothing bad happened. But it did surely leave you with a fun memory and lots of laughs. That car was something else. 4 flat tires. Wow! But you always made the best of things and that is something most people do not know how to do. Loved your stories.

  • Thank you for sharing that Nancy.

    I don’t remember ever seeing lilacs growing in Africa, although I am sure they would have been quite comfortable in the Western Cape province of South Africa which has a Mediterranean climate and is home to a huge wine industry.

    There is a big lilac bush in our garden here in Ontario, it is a medium shade of purple. I did not know that there were red and white lilacs.

  • Two of the advantages of bringing my two boys up in Africa were that a) It was warm all year round except for fewer than 10 days when there might be light frost in the cooler parts. b) It was customary to be barefoot most of the time indoors and out.

    So children and teenagers on farms and any property with a garden, spent most of their time outside without shoes. They did wear shoes for school and sport but because no pairs of shoes were worn all day and with the sanitizing effect of good clean dirt and grass between toes we did not have the green fog problem.

  • Hello Nancy!
    Thanks for your lovely article on lilacs, love, and color. I love purple and magenta. Lilacs are pretty and dainty to look at. Growing up, I always found the smell stifling. I hated their smell. I haven’t smelled one in a long time. I hope my nose has changed its mind after all these years. 🙂
    Blessings, Mary Rae

  • Lilacs have always been a favorite and now I know why. I also like Purple Iris, which we have many in our garden.

  • And thus, he was assured…
    Have you been told you are loved today? I was! Chuck now knows…and now, I do as well. You see, Nancy…Lilacs have been around my life always. The subtle difference in their shades always appealing to my eye, even as I’d learn their fragrance was most appreciated from distance! (about 6-12 inches works for me…)
    Here, I’ll thank Peter Wright of South Africa and Ontario, for helping me to to find assurance regarding the mystery I’d hoped your ” I Want Yo Be Reminded of Lilacs” might reveal. While Lilacs are not particularly suited to a Mediterrainian climate…African Violets and purple Bougainvilla, will always be!
    I’ve heard many times from folks how difficult it is to “keep” an African Violet. Yet, my mom’s violet had thrived in her windowsill for nearly ten years before she and my dad moved to New Mexico! I’ve been told by a trusted friend that my guardian angel is male, yet…now, I’m assured my angel’s a she…Mystery solved! If Soulmates are One cleaved from Two…then my guardian angel are “Soulmates for Eternity” of the deepest purple, fragrantly, flowered love. My guardian angel is both my parents!
    Thank you, Nancy…et al., so much for that!

  • Ah….the adventures….the fun of being young enough to not let a simple thing like a typhoons cause any undue concern….lol

  • I love how you felt so protected by Frank

  • Lol….just when I was thinking Nancylou was going to blow a gasket she showed why Frank was the luckiest guy in the world!

  • Looking forward to reading them…gby

  • the beauty of meeting different cultures and working through the language barriers….meeting and making friends who are thrown together by circumstance…. wonderful memories

  • Delightful stories of true love that stood the tests with which time and circumstances challenge us. You are so blessed, and thank you for blessing the rest of us with your memories, your slices of life, so beautifully penned. I loved the water fight! How much longer before you publish?

  • Your book will touch many lives. So much to identify with and hope for in our own lives.

  • Love how no matter, you two had fun and games

  • Another great memory. That apartment building looks classy. And it was certainly more convenient for you. It’s good to have such fun memories in your home. God bless.

  • What a beautiful, tender ending to what was a very nasty situation. God certainly blessed you with a wonderful husband and you have so many precious memories to think about. Thank you for sharing them. God bless you.

  • I get more and more impressed with your love for each other..,your understanding of a young service man and his need to spend some time with his co workers…..

  • What can I say?
    Again, you have shared an example of LOVE we seem to be so devoid of today.
    If men would get off the concept of False Manhood (the Viagra Syndrome) and learn to be MEN our society would be stronger.

  • Sounds like that job just “happened” to come along at the right time. God does know when we need something and is always faithful to bring the answer. Your pay was pretty good. I started to work in December 1966 at $1.00 per hour. My take-home pay for a forty hour week was $36.00. By the way, there is a typo in the following sentence: It actually looked like mild with a little coffee and sugar in it. I do think you meant ‘milk’, not ‘mild’. 🙂 I have made some pretty funny typos, too. Great story, Nancy.

  • Fun story, Nancy. You did seem to get into a lot of scrapes. 🙂 But you know how to see the funny side most of the time. Except for those drunk bivouac “tramps”. Great story.

  • I am sure God was smiling. And He is still smiling as you share this beautiful story with us. Being so open about your love both to each other and now with your audience is a rarity. I can feel the depth of your love for one another as I read, and it is precious. Thank you for opening your heart and sharing your stories. I think KiKi is right. Your book would make a great wedding or anniversary gift. God bless.

  • Wow! That was some plane ride. I don’t wonder at your being scared. But you had me laughing when you yelled at those soldiers. You certainly got their attention. Good work!

  • Another great story. It’s a good thing the two of you were able to adapt to different situations and places. Some people would find that very difficult. I love the way you just went with the flow and did what you had to do without grumbling about conditions. By the way, that meal looks very tempting. That would be something I would enjoy.

  • Hilarious! I’m glad you didn’t get your feet all cut up. I’m loving your stories as I am getting closer to being caught up with them.

  • Another fun story. That sounds like some car! But it got you where you wanted to go and saved wear and tear on your feet. 🙂 It must have been an interesting place to live.

  • A really funny story. I’m surprised Ralph didn’t have any kind of stomach or intestinal problems. Thank heaven that GI was able to laugh at the situation and especially that he had another pair of shoes to replace those devoured by Ralph. I’ll bet he never made the mistake again of letting Ralph in while the shoes were lined up at your door. I’m sorry about your Bible, though. Shoes you can replace. A gift like that cannot really be replaced.

  • I’m sure thinking you could do anything was the perfect mind set to have that enabled you to actually do those things. I’m glad nothing worse happened than the door coming off – something that could be fixed. Had that snake or those stealy boys got close enough the damage may not have been repairable. Glad you kept safe.

  • It’s funny that before I even started to read this story, I noticed those huge dimples in the photo and planned on mentioning them. Then they became a big part of the story. You were so forgiving, and that comes with the love. Another great story. Just 4 more to go to catch up. That is if you don’t get more posted before I get there. 🙂

  • What a wonderful, memory-making Christmas. I’m sure everyone appreciated your hospitality and open home. Those baskets were a beautiful gift – God’s gift to you for your generosity to others.

  • Never a dull moment! I doubt either of you were ever bored, especially with each other. It is wonderful to see how two people can love each other so completely and openly. You don’t often see this in couples. I remember working with a young lady who was planning her wedding. She made a statement that took me aback. She said if it didn’t work out, they could always get a divorce. Where was the love there? Where was the commitment? I fully expected that one day they would be divorced. I never did find out as it was after that when I got sick and lost my job. It’s wonderful to read your stories and feel the foundation of love that they were built on.

  • Wow! That really was a roller coaster ride. How sad about Ralph. Pets are just like members of the family and when they are gone, they leave a big hole. I’m glad you had the kittens to fill some of that hole. I can’t imagine what it must have been like for you to have to find your way by yourself all the time knowing that your time with Frank when you finally got home would be so short. A very emotional time, I am sure. God bless.

  • That is one powerful love story. The Lord was truly with you. But how do people go through times like that without God? I can’t imagine. And I can’t imagine how it felt to know you would be apart for a whole year. It sounds like an eternity and I imagine it must have felt like one. But the assurance of Frank’s deep love for you held a power of its own coupled with God’s love and made you both overcomers. You have built together an enduring and strong legacy for your son and his family. And I pray that these stories will inspire other couples to love with that same kind of love.

  • So sorry to have to read about Ralph….the memories of how the airlines used to work….lol

  • Chuck and Diane pretty much said it all… touching…..

  • Unchained melody…that certainly fits….Funny how time has erased the memories of the delays involved with written mail and changing duty stations…that must have been rough on you.

  • Your posts and Frank’s letters bring back vivid memories of my own army service in Rhodesia at the same time, waiting, waiting, waiting for letters from home. Although I was only a couple of hundred miles from home, not thousands like Frank, it still took up to 2 weeks for letters to find their way through the system and out to the bush.

  • It must be comforting to be able to read these letters while at the same time sad that Frank is no longer with you. There is no room for doubt as to the fact that he loved you. As Chuck has said, it is very unusual for a man as young as Frank was then to write so openly and sincerely about his love and devotion to you. That is a wonderful memory to hold in your heart. Thank you for sharing. Looking forward to reading more. God bless you, Nancy.

  • It’s not often one gets to see the inner workings of another person’s heart. It is a privilege to read these once private letters. Thank you for sharing them. I pray that they will touch and change the hearts of many who need an example of what a good husband looks and sounds like and what a good marriage should be like. God bless.

  • This chapter Ms.Henderson is…(as you have exclaimed many time yourself, in other posts) just pure “awesomeness “!
    As a matter of fact Lou, I’m thinking you actually may have coined what may very well be anong the best one word expressions, ever!!
    And yes, I’ve no doubt there’s gonna be a million billion people out there claiming otherwise…but, we know better, don’t we? Especially since what they can’t prove, you and Frank can…as I simply say thank you both for the ” beautifulness “, of your love!

    Truly great writing Nancy!


  • What can I say? These are very beautiful letters and I feel privileged that you are sharing these intimate conversations with us. I continue to be amazed that a man as young as Frank was then could express himself so fully. God certainly blessed you with such a husband, and He also blessed Frank with just the wife he needed. You were a team. You were one. And that is beautiful, more than many people can testify to after more years of marriage than you had at that time. God bless you, Nancy, as you continue to share and eventually put your book together.

  • I will do that. God bless.

  • Another exceptional post. Love is all over and through it, and it’s beautiful. God bless you as you continue sharing that which is closest to your heart.

    I just came to the realization (where on earth have I been, anyway?) that I am not following you. I am going to fix that as soon as I submit this comment. How did I miss that?

  • Another beautiful slice of life shared by two people in love. I so appreciate your husband’s ability to share his feelings. That is a trait too few ‘men’ are able today to share with all of the BS about what masculinity is “supposed” to be.
    Looking forward to more.

  • Nancy, I agree with Chuck about Frank’s ability to verbalize freely how he felt for you. We need to see more of this today. If husbands cherished their wives as Frank cherished you, there would be far less divorces. Paul admonished men to love their wives as Christ loved the church. That’s a tall order, but I think Frank did a pretty good job of living up to it. God bless. Looking forward to more letters.

  • Another great example of Frank’s deep love. I never enjoyed the popular music when I was growing up and after, but Unchained Melody was a song I did really like. Not sure who sang it, but what I remember is not the version you have here. I believe it was a woman singing it. But for some reason that song got my attention. (There is an interesting site about the writer of the lyrics here There were one or two others, but very few I liked. My choice was classical, even as a teenager. It was good that music meant so much to both you and Frank. There is something healing and fulfilling in music that can release the emotions like most other things cannot do. Thank you for sharing these letters. God bless.

  • Just remembered that it was Jane Morgan who I remember singing Unchained Melody. I don’t know how that came back to me. Wonder of wonders. 🙂

  • Another winner. It is really encouraging to read these letters and know that Frank did come back to you and you had that opportunity to love each other close up and forever. I pray that others experiencing separation from one another for whatever reason will take comfort and learn how to love even while apart, how to express that love to solidify their relationship. God bless you, Nancy.

  • I guess I will say it again. Frank Henderson epitomizes Manhood. He truly understood what men should be and how to share. You were truly blessed and thanks for sharing. I have directed several young men to your site.

  • If your posts make me any more sentimental, I am going to have to stop reading your blog Nancy.

    When I was doing my army service at the same time as Frank, we had a radio programme called Forces Favourites on a Saturday afternoon. A woman announcer with a lovely voice read messages from wives, girlfriends, children, parents and played songs they requested for us. Her name was Sally Donaldson, she did it for years. Sadly she is no longer with us.

    Some of those songs especially the Beatles one, Scotty, and Unchained Melody that reminded Frank of you had the same effect on me and my fellow soldiers.

    If we were not on patrol, we would huddle around a small transistor radio in our base camp or out in the bush trying to hear our names through the hiss of static and the raucous (and envious) mockery of our mates if our messages were too soppy. A typical ending was …..with licks and kisses from Brutus the dog.

    Your post and Frank’s letters transported me back to sitting under trees in the heat of the Zambezi valley nearly 50 years ago.

    I agree with Chuck, Frank set a wonderful example for young men today. Your blog should be compulsory reading for all high school boys – and girls.

  • AH… the marvels of snail mail! The ability to take a break and return to writing in a totally different mood… the discourse as letters passed each other and reflected different thoughts and emotions. So touching…

  • Lovely letters from a very loving and true man for his loving wife, each suffering from their empty aching arms, waiting for the wonderful time when they holdtheir true love closeto each other’s heart, they are seperated by space, but their mind. soul and hearts and thoughts are constantly upon each other, love , Caroline

  • I still Marvell at Frank’s willingness to be so open with his emotions and his ability to occupy his time. What of you? How did you cope? What was your support system in his absence?

  • Thank you for sharing your heart with us, Nancy, you who were a loving and faithful wife and to us, your readers, a wonderful friend. —-KiKi

  • Beautiful. Like Kim, I am always amazed at not only Frank’s ability but his willingness to pour it all out. He was an amazing man. By the way, I am still not getting e-mail notifications of your posts. I just keep coming to see if there is anything new, and I find 2 new posts. I think I’ll leave the other one for tomorrow as I have to get up at 6:30 in the morning. God bless you.

  • I guess I figured as much. I saw the young guys who were so insecure that every letter they received was used as justification to convince themselves that their wife was being unfaithful….poor kids! If the wife said everything was fine that meant they were not needed. If everything was messed up that meant it was omly a matter of time before she was going to find someone else….there seemed (to me) to be precious few who could simply accept that “she” was making due best as she could and was hanging on until deros day. You were a special one who was married to a special one

  • Nancy, I just re-subscribed, and the thank you page came up, so it was processed. It’s funny as I do get the notifications for the comments. Who can understand technology? 🙂

  • That was a good up-beat letter to end this chapter with. Frank’s letters are filled with so much emotion, something most men do everything they can to hide. I don’t know where this idea came from that men should not show emotion. It’s crazy. I understand their emotions are different than a woman’s and are expressed differently, but my goodness, to keep emotions bottled up is not good for man or woman. It probably saved Frank from becoming more deeply depressed than some of the soldiers. God truly blessed you with Frank and blessed Frank with you.

  • Like Frank I often had run ins with tbe higher ups. Makes me smile to think of his rebellion against the haircut and the monkey on a stick crap of a promotion board. Being surrounded by security allowed the “careerists”the opportunity to play those Mickey Mouse games instead of letting proficiency determine rank….. For his sake Im glad you learned how to communicate in ways that didn’t overly (impossible to completely do it) upset him. It must have also done wonders for you also

  • Hi Nancy,

    Crazy stuff to be dealing with at age 21. He was so lucky to have you back home waiting for him, engaging him, giving him something to hold onto.

    Much love,
    Mary Rae

  • “It amazes me that at his age he could think so deeply.” This says exactly what I am thinking about Frank. It is amazing how deep such a young man could be. We need more like that today. It is so encouraging to hear of that kind of love in a marriage which lasted through the years. You were committed to one another, and you didn’t let anything come in between. I don’t know if I told you about this, but I remember working with a young lady who was about to be married. We were sitting at the lunch table at work, and the statement she made really shocked me. She said, “If it doesn’t work out, we can always get a divorce.” My first thought was that she would probably be divorced before the marriage went very far. That doesn’t show real love, at least not to my mind. Without that foundation, I don’t see how a marriage could last. I have no idea what happened to her, but I often wonder where she is today and what her life is like. Thanks for sharing these beautiful letters. God bless you.

  • I feel the emotions riding high in these letters. You never have to read between the lines to figure out what Frank is saying. Everything is completely open. I have shared it on FaceBook and Twitter. God bless you, Nancy.

  • I am really looking forward to each new post to learn a little more about Frank, and also about you. Those collection agency letters are hilarious. God bless you.

  • What a lovely chapter of a beautiful and undying love between two young people. Thanks so much, Nancy, for sharing these most intimate moments between a husband and his wife. In addition to his love, Frank expressed his feelings in their many dimensions: his depression, loneliness and sometimes anger at things when they did not go his way. There was, however, that common thread of love interwoven throughout. You shared an honest snippet of your lives then, unembellished and not sugar-coated.

    You did not tell us much about the kitty-cat, though. I suppose s/he kept you company, and both you and Frank enjoyed the kitty’s filling a space in your heart till hubby came home again.

    Loved this!


  • A belated Happy Birthday! Hope that ankle is OK. I’m glad you still had a good time with your family, though.

  • Nancy, I have to agree that the first letter is a beautiful letter, and so special to you. So often people say, “I love you,’ with little thought behind it. It becomes so ordinary and loses much of its meaning. But with Frank, it doesn’t matter how many times he says it, you know absolutely that he meant it emphatically. It’s easy to tell that he not only wrote beautiful letters, but that those letters came from a beautiful soul and spirit. You were blessed in having such a husband. Thank you for sharing. God bless you, my friend.

  • I love it! It’s hilarious. I’m so glad that those tasks are done for me as I live in an apartment. But these new-fangled toilets look as though you can’t even take the tank top off with the push-button flusher. I used to be able to at least re-hook the chain when it detached itself, but I don’t even know what it looks like inside the tank now. I haven’t needed to have it fixed as it is a fairly new toilet. They put new toilets in the building often enough they probably never need fixing. They take out perfectly good toilets to put in new ones for no logical reason. But then, we have had three new owners in less than two years–two this year–and there’s no explanation given for that either. Talk about confusing. We have to get our tax receipts from more than one landlord. Crazy! Not sure I would want that outhouse here in winter when you would have to plod through a couple of feet of snow. It would be pretty chilly, too, at below freezing temperatures. It would be OK for you, though. But a four-seater? I’ve heard of two-seaters and even that is questionable. Makes you wonder what they did back then, doesn’t it? Thanks for sharing this light-hearted post to bring a laugh at the end of my day. Actually I should be in bed by now, but wanted to read your post first. And then there’s the problem of trying to shut my computer down when it keeps freezing on me. So I’ll say good night. God bless you, Nancy. Looking forward to your next “fix”. 🙂

  • Well done, Nancy. These letters show a depth of love that many people have never experienced. Thank you for sharing such intimate thoughts and words. God bless you.

  • What a sad thing for Frank’s friend. Like you, I don’t understand how a wife could do that to her husband when he is thousands of miles away fighting a war. I can see how that would shake Frank.

  • Good for you, girl! I can understand how difficult it must be for you at times, but you never wallow in self-pity because of it, and I admire that in you. And you can always find humor in situations that otherwise might devastate you. And the Lord will sustain you, and carry you when you need that, through anything you have to face in life. That is so comforting, isn’t it? He never let’s us down or leaves us on our own. God bless you.

  • Thank you, Nancy. It is a privilege to be your friend. I am so happy to be able to encourage even one person with my writing, and am very happy that you are one. God bless you. Love you. Keep up the good work.

  • Thank you for sharing your letters. Each is so honest and open. I think it is beautiful that two people in love can share their ups and downs. It proves only that one is human. I’m sure these letters from your beloved Frank sometimes stir deep emotions in you of the times when you were apart, and when you were eventually together again as well.

    I think it was very healthy as well as manly that he shared his anger, depression, and yes, sometimes rebellion while in the armed services. It is not a natural state for any person, and to adjust to it from day to day must have been a great struggle for him at times. Thanks again for sharing you deeply personal journey. —-KiKi

  • Oh, what sweet words between the two of you. I love reading the words of your true love for each other.

  • Dang Nancy…squeezed my heart there. My Lovely goes away for a week and I’m a basket case so I know that feeling. When love grows like that she’s taught me that it’s me learning to love me….what a gift…beautiful writing…

  • You have such a talent to describe reality and the wonderful feeling of true love. I have shared your story with several “younger” people and they are hooked

  • Another great post, Nancy. Frank sure was surprised with that pocket watch. Isn’t it fun when you can totally surprise someone with a gift they never expected. Makes you feel you have done the right thing.

  • Beautiful! There is such a wealth of emotion in these words. I agree with you that it isn’t the same in a text, e-mail, etc. Written letters have almost become a thing of the past. It takes time to actually write a letter. With all the short forms in texts, it doesn’t take much thought or time and probably doesn’t carry as much meaning either. You are blessed to have these hand-written letters from Frank.

  • I just realized that I missed this post. I, too, think it most wonderful that you could be completely open with each other, even on paper. Too many people let things fester inside and that leads to all sorts of problems. I don’t wonder at him being depressed at times considering the atmosphere and situations he was in. But you can see just by reading that the fact that you were totally stable in his life and he knew you were there for him was what kept him from falling into a pit of continual depression. God bless you, Nancy.

  • Oh my gosh!!!! I’m tearing up and holding back a sob that wants to burst out!!!!! Ok, now tears rolling down cheeks. Mercy!

    This was beautiful.. Perfect.


  • Thanks for being so honest as you share these letters and your thoughts and memories of that time. It takes courage to do that. What an emotional time. And what a blessing that you were both able to express your feelings to each other. So often people keep these things hidden inside and begin to either withdraw or simmer. You both had a healthy outlet for your emotions and I’m sure that brought healing and peace. God bless you.

  • I finished the post, Nancy, and I am breathless. i was breathless all the way through. Your story, and your words, are magical. I cannot stop reading. I predict that you will touch, before the end, tens of thousands of people.

  • Nice to read your posts again. To read his letters and note he has gone from calling you Lou to Nancy again, and knowing his location and job over there its not at all surprising that the NVA would do anything possible to add stress to their lives

  • Thank you for posting another letter from your dear Frank. Reading your posts, it is as if he is still very much the soldier who cannot wait to get home to his beloved wife. These letters, poignant and honest, reveal his innermost feelings and frustrations, but also his undying love for his wife, which is timeless.

    I can visualize some tears, too, from time to time as you revisit that very special season in your life that you were blessed to share with him.


  • More wonderful insights into Frank’s heart for you. I imagine he was a very conscientious man in all areas of life. It is beautiful that he allowed himself to feel those emotions, but even greater is the fact that he was free to write those feelings down even when he thought his words were not adequate. It says a lot about him. By the way, I finally received a notification for this post–the first in quite a while. I must check to see if I have missed any previous posts. God bless.

  • Frank’s letters show how much he loved you and what a good man he was.

    Reading his letters reminds me of the frustration I felt doing my military service at the same time. I was lucky, after my initial 9 months training I was only away for 6 weeks at a time.

    Thank you for sharing Nancy.

  • BTW… you do know that Ray LaMontagne spent a lot of years in my neighborhood? I used to coach at Buckfield Jr/Sr high school when he lived there.

  • I wasn’t prepared for this. Stunning. So heartfelt. Thank you for sharing.

  • Frank Henderson was a Man’s Man all the way. His ability to LOVE and express that Love unabashedly is fantastic.
    I hope many young men and women will read these letters and learn you don’t have to be a Viagra Guy to be a Man

  • More revealing letters. It must have been really difficult for Frank to keep on working with those hemorrhoids. That takes determined stamina. I’m glad he decided to get help. I find myself doing the countdown thing to when he would come home. 🙂 God bless.

  • It just keeps getting better. 🙂 I believe with Frank that it shows a great strength for a man to be able to convey his feelings of love. And besides that, it is very healthy for body, soul and spirit. There are many people who would do well to follow his example.

  • So many feelings expressed from Frank. His excitement about coming home to you in full privacy is prescious.

  • I’m impressed by what a good writer Frank was.

  • It is hard to hear the depression in Frank’s words, but so good to realize that he was able to overcome by talking it out. His love for you just oozes out everywhere. The ability to see the humor in a desperate situation is a gift from God and no doubt it kept him from completely losing it in those terrible circumstances. I am watching out for that one special letter when he tells you he is coming home. I am sure you are reliving this as you write and share. God bless you.

  • Yes, his descriptions reveal a very caring, sensitive and creative nature. A wonderful thing for a man to possess. I doubt if many men would even think this way let alone unashamedly put those thoughts down on paper. You were blessed to have such a husband.

  • Oh, Nancy…this post is so exquisite and fully bursting with love, emotion, and passion from you both. What a gift to this world! Thank you for sharing this intimate relationship between you and Frank.

  • That’s quite a poem. He knew how to craft with words, and the words flow so well. His feelings come across so strongly in his letters whether he is depressed or happy. Nothing withheld, all in the open. That is a healthy way to live.

  • So touching…glad he got out of the dumps, if only for a while. Breaking 100 days was a milestone! DEROSing became something palpable…… On another note, I’ll be writing about my experience with the same typhoon. 🙂

  • Nancy that was Beautiful! Well told, right from the Heart! I love what you are doing! I think it truly is important to get this out to the world of people to understand the communication that can accelerate love from the heart.

  • Thanks for sharing your Mr. Christmas. Fabulous Man!

  • This is so close to home. We went “artificial” (not intelligence) a few years ago.
    The second year set up was easier.
    They are easier to maintain. ~~smile

  • Don’t you just love ordering stuff online? I never cease to marvel that my cleaning products from Amazon come with the huge air-filled bags surrounding them and my toilet roll and tissues and paper roll all come in nice large boxes filled with aforesaid huge air filled bags. Sigh one would think that in this age of recycling and whatnot that there would be a better delivery system that would not consist of multiple boxes. Loved reading this today and I smiled because I have been there.

  • Yes, Christmas trees have become products or commodities now more than representative of family love and get togethers. I’ve seen the ones advertised on TV that tries to retain family fun and goodwill but it is mostly consumer-related now. I waS trying to understand how you cut yourself on bubble wrap. But I think it was in cutting the bubble wrap that it became a problem. Maybe your Santa will come from Outer Space this year…
    Love,Amy Thank you for sharing youro traditions with your readers!

  • WOW!!!!! ……. just….WOW!

  • So many emotions, so much covered in those letters. I’m so happy he managed to rerurn to you in some semblance of normalcy.

  • Thanks for the laugh. I have had artificial trees for years as I was told when I moved in here nearly 42 years ago that we were not allowed to have a real tree. I had a 7′ tree for quite a few years then decided to go with a 4′ on a table. Two years ago I could not find one of the 3 pieces that fit in the slots to make the stand, so had to improvise with a piece of wood I had, and it worked fairly well except that the tree was a little tilted. I used the same solution last year. But then I found the other piece, so this year, if I haven’t lost it again, I will have all the pieces. I bought my tree from the store and it had only white lights. I already had a strand of 400 colored lights, so I just string that on the tree as well. It is well lit up by the time I get through. I still have that to look forward to this year as I have not started any decorating yet. When I had the 7′ tree I didn’t have anywhere to store it, so I left it up in the corner all year (minus the Christmas decorations of course) and put birds and nests on it.

  • This is a great story. I could envision the whole process. It reminds me of two houses here in London where they used to compete as to which one had the most lights and decorations. They were amazing. Every year there would be more and more lights and displays set up. I don’t know what happened a few years ago but they weren’t there the last time I drove by. Normally the street would be lined with cars stopped so everyone could enjoy the displays. There must have been thousands of lights between the two houses. I can’t imagine the time it must have taken. Almost the whole surface of the houses was covered with something.

  • Is it because we are older that some of these seemingly simple chores are NOT!

  • So human, to have our conversations with and without the focus of our love, being there. Like the lyric from the song Sister Golden Hair by the band America…” I’ve been one poor correspondent and I’m way too hard to find, but that doesn’t mean you ain’t been on my mind…” we try. When I was married, it was well after my time of letter writing.
    Your story reminds those of us who’d rely on the written word how valuable the struggle to share our true feelings will always be for its small moments successfully shared.
    Life is often nothing more than a successful struggle to build something that lasts. Those who really live, I think, have figured out that love is that foundation on which to build. Whether our love is shared with another or with the whole world the struggle is part and parcel to finding out whether or not it’s true. On the road to forever we, everyone of us have only just begun.
    Loved this chapter, Nancy. You and Frank, continued…

  • Many of us are looking forward to the continued story of two people committed to each other and family

  • Fabulous share with provocative questions. ~~smile.
    Appreciate the mention, Nancy. Thank you.
    Year and years ago I used to join a New Years Water Ski (No Wet Suits) in So-Cal.
    I have wrinkles today and….

  • How lovely, Nancy. Your writing is like a warm embrace. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

  • I was in the middle of typing a comment last night when my computer crashed again. I hope I get finished this time. Loved your post. Sounds like something I could get myself into. But I’ll bet you have never been driving down the highway and headed at a 45′ angle to land in a ditch a few feet deep and a couple of feet deep in snow to find yourself facing the direction you just came from. That happened to me because of black ice. And I just sat there holding the steering wheel as though I were still driving, and wondering how I was going to get myself out of there. It was dark and I didn’t even know exactly where I was. I don’t own a cell phone, but several cars stopped and one man had a cell phone and called CAA (connected to AAA in the US). The tow truck was there and had me out within 15 minutes. So you are not the only one to get in a fix. 🙂 It was good you had someone to help you out of yours. Thanks for my laugh for the evening. God bless. Love ya, girl!

  • Frustrating is too mild a word to use for those things. I have had things that didn’t even have written instructions, just diagrams that made no sense at all. When I found the computer desk I wanted a few years ago (a big one with file drawers and a huge hutch) I discovered you had to put that darn thing together yourself. And since the desk was to go in my bedroom, where on earth would I find room to put all those huge pieces and then try to put them together. They are too heavy for one thing. I discovered I had the option to pay the store an extra $50.00 to assemble it for me and deliver it in one piece. It was well worth it. It is so heavy I cannot even move it to dust behind it. It has become a permanent structure. I really don’t think this has anything to do with age. I have had this sort of thing happen years ago and it wasn’t any different than now. I don’t think there are many items any more that you don’t have to put together with “some assembly required”. God bless. Have a great weekend.

  • Thanks you for yet another laugh, Nancy. I love your humor. Since laughter is like medicine and brings health to our bodies, I want to laugh as much as possible. It is good to see the funny side of things and it makes life much easier, especially the harder times we go through. It’s kind of like the difference between an oiled wheel and one that hasn’t been oiled for a long time. God bless.

  • Fortunately my desk has held together well and is very sturdy. The drawers at least are actually made out of real wood. As for the rest, I think a lot of it may be pressboard covered with veneer. It was expensive, but worth it. I have had it for quite a few years now. It looks as though it will probably last for many years yet.

  • Just sitting here thinking back to standing in a sentry tower….trying to find the frame of mind it would take to see the sadness of war on everything it touches. Yes, trying times indeed. Thankfully he had someone to look forward to coming home to. Bless you Nancy Lou

  • Another brilliant slice of Reality. I encourage younger people to read the words and between the lines. True Love and Commitment are fabulous Life experiences.
    And many have forgotten this:
    “Having served a year in the unpopular Vietnam War/Conflict made it hard for soldiers returning home to get a job because of the unfair baggage that the war attached to them.”
    Thank you, Nancy for sharing with us your story

  • Wow! Another great read, Nancy. You make your story come alive. (Just corrected a typo but not sure that I shouldn’t have left it–Instead of “alive” I started to type “alove”.) I can relate to your preference of using the back roads and different routes there and back. If there are several ways for me to get somewhere, I’ll find them and eventually use them all it it’s a place I go to often. It is so much pleasanter and peaceful. The scenery is much better than on the major highways and, of course, the traffic is much less and sometimes almost non-existent. Once again, your love for each other shines brightly through your story. Thanks for sharing. God bless you.

  • Love the humor, Nancy. Keep up the good work.

  • Love it! Are you going to put your Widow’s blog posts into a book too?

  • Quite the ordeal to winterize! Those armadillos sure are strange creatures. I remember years ago when I was in Florida one of them actually walked between my legs. I just stopped and waited for it to get through and carry on. At least it wasn’t a huge snake. Armadillos I can handle, but snakes are an entirely different story. Here we have to be careful of skunks. We seem to have a large population of them in the city. Hope the weather doesn’t get too cold for you. We have been having the same kind of fluctuation of temperatures here this winter. One day it was over 50′ and the next I think it was below freezing. It has been snowing since last night, but not heavily and it isn’t a huge accumulation. Hope it doesn’t become huge. Keep snug and cozy. God bless.

  • I’m still trying to play catch-up and it was good to read your blog again. Love you, too. God bless.

  • That’s a good way to live. The more fun and laughter the healthier and happier we will be. God bless.

  • I understand. Some of my blogs come very easily, and sometimes I just cannot seem to get it quite right. Fortunately I have a reserve from an old blog I had which is still up but I haven’t posted there for years. I just copied and pasted the posts into a Word doc. and draw from those that are still relevant. It’s good when I’m a little crunched for time. God bless.

  • Thank you. I can’t hope for anything better than to inspire others. Thanks for your support.

  • I am so very thankful to have found your blog! I am a new widow of two weeks but I have experienced grief for years as I have watched my husband slowly disappear from me because of a brain disease. He is my soulmate and I do feel his presence encouraging me each day. Thank you for sharing your life. ❤️

  • Our only child was born March 4, 1986. We named her Elise Victoria, which at its root means, ” God’s victory “.
    Thank you for sharing yours and Frank’s story of God’s Beautiful Gift…and the love that continues to grow your family.

  • Another beautiful slice of a Life of Love.
    Looking forward to more.

  • So funny! The kind words about Highway 77 Cafe are right on! We love stopping there and do so every chance we get! From those delicious rolls, to chicken fried steak, to the veggie plate, to ALLthe yummy desserts… cannot go wrong! Throw in the friendly owners and staff and you have real Texas Hospitality! Love your humor….so glad you did not have “a date” for the preacher!!

  • Too much emotion in audio? Not at all when it’s a story of love, Nancy.
    See…love’s meant to be shared.
    I just had a friend write, ” I just came to cry over love’s result.” And after reading it my heart added,”…whether coming or going!”
    Just between you and I…I think it’s clear that when James recently wrote a reply to a conversation we’d saying that he’d love to hear a chapter read by you…he really did mean “you” because while tears are she’d in both love and war, true love is not a war story and the tears that fall for love will always come and go! Keep doing your audios and let the emotions rise and the tears fall where they may…

    Your friend,

  • Beautiful! You had me in tears before you even got to the airport entrance. You did a great job. God bless you.

  • I’m really behind in reading your blog. I’m still not getting notifications. I love your story here. I can feel the excitement in your words. God bless.

  • Great post, as usual, Nancy. The barracks turned into apartments reminded me of the residence I lived in when I was in nurses’ training. Winston Hall was originally a temporary army barracks but still in use in the 60s. Not very temporary. I spent my first six months of training living there until they finished building the new residence building attached to the hospital by a walkway. And being stuffed into a Beetle reminded me of a time many years ago when Mike and Davina, part of our youth group, had a Beetle. They would take the kids home, and I remember one night there would have been at least as many as you had in your car. Maybe a couple more. Those were the days. 🙂

  • A beautiful story. I was an only child, born after my parents had been married for 13 years. Although back then they didn’t have all the tests you would have gone through. But I am so glad that you were given that precious gift of a child. God bless.

  • Love your story. I am trying to get caught up with your posts. I just got a notification for Taking Our Baby Home, but it is getting late and I think I’ll leave that for another day. I am really enjoying your ongoing story. God bless you as you continue to share your love story.

  • Another excellent word picture of your experience. You still had a place for a little humor, too, even through the discomfort and embarrassment. I do love your way of describing your experiences. God bless.

  • Another great story. I have been reminded from your “baby” posts of the time I spent in the nursery caring for newborns when I was in training. An unforgettable time in your life. God bless.

  • Well, it looks as if I have finally caught up on your posts again. I love the part where Frank took the book, ripped it up and threw it away. I’m sure books can be helpful at times, but no two babies are alike, even in the same family, so parents usually need separate strategies for each child they have. It’s so much fun watching babies grow and learn to do different things. They are so precious. God bless.

  • LOL…you are too funny, Nancy. I’ll bet you looked adorable with that rainbow color accordion bow in your hair, like in the photo above. What a strange thing to be disciplined for. I guess because you caused a disturbance to the peace in the classroom. Oh my goodness, to make your classmates laugh, what an offense! Keep tearing it up, Nancy Lou. You’re the best!

  • Great story, Nancy. I love the way you weave the humor in with all the rest. I always love reading your stories. They are certainly never boring! 🙂

  • Omg, such a beautiful post, I could vision the bond between you and Mr. Frank. I pray that I have a love and bond that is strong as yours and stands the test of time

  • This should be read by every young couple starting out on the new venture of marriage. I love the humor and love the two of had mastered.
    “I covered our son’s ears as he talked to that ramp then I cleaned and patched up his leg with gauze pads and medical tape” is CLASSIC

  • Nancy, I must apologise, I haven’t been to your site for a while. I am not sure why I was directed to this post but I am glad I was. I think God wanted me to read yourlovely story about what must have been a trying time for you and Frank.

    Your memory and ability to recall and then write about that period of your life is amazing. Thank you for sharing it.

  • I’m a couple of days late for this, but I’m trying to get caught up after a very full week. Happy Anniversary to you and Frank. I know you had many fond memories to think on throughout the day. May God bless you with everything you have need of from day to day, moment to moment. It has been a pleasure getting to know you through your writing and on the phone, and through you getting to know Frank. I look forward to meeting him and you together in heaven when that time comes. Love you!

  • Wow! I have never seen poison oak, but where I have been going for vacation the past few years and where we went when I was a child it rife with poison ivy. I learned at an early age to recognize it, and fortunately never came into contact with it. My mother, while digging in a little garden at the cottage where there must have been some poison ivy growing at some time in the past, ended up with it on her hands. We ran into a man a couple of years ago on one of the trails up there who had contact with poison ivy in April and in August his limbs were still a terrible mess. I hope you can manage to stay clear of your enemy from now on. God bless.

  • I thought it was time that I came back to catch up at least in part with all the unread posts. Wow! That was quite the ordeal of waiting what must have seemed an interminable time. At least you got to the hospital on time. 🙂

  • Wow! If that had been me, I would have been long gone and never returned. I hate spiders of any kind, but especially big ones. There isn’t room anywhere for me and them to stay together. What a mess to walk into. What would you have done if Frank’s parents hadn’t kept Scotty? What a nightmare.

  • You have a never-ending supply of great stories, Nancy. I love this story.

  • Love it! Your stories get better and better. I think I am finally caught up again until you post more. Except for the Widow’s Blog of course. I have no idea what I have been missing there. But I will be checking it out either later tonight or another day. God bless.

  • Yea! I’m getting notifications again. 🙂 Another great post with lots of laughs. The joys of travelling with a small child. I would have been on your side if I had been in the car with you behind that car weaving all over the road. I would want to stay as far away from it as possible. Thank the Lord everything turned out fine.

  • I got two notifications for this one only the first one was missing the link. There was a link and I almost clicked on it until I read that it was to unsubscribe. Whoops! Not the thing to click on. I did that on another blog once, and had to sign up all over again. I was trying to copy and paste part of your first paragraph here about how your brain works or doesn’t, but I can’t get anything to highlight long enough to copy it. It’s not your blog, but either my computer or the mouse. I am getting really frustrated with that mouse when it doesn’t behave well for me. But I did enjoy reading your post. I’m glad I now know the difference between fiction, non-fiction and memoir. 🙂 If I could get that smiley face any larger, I would make it really big. Gee, I think it’s time I went to bed and stop this rambling. Actually I got that backwards. I would need to stop the rambling before I go to bed. Oh, dear. Have a great weekend, Nancy. Love you. God bless.

  • Nancy, thank you for allowing a glimpse into the heartfelt words used to explain your raw feelings of love for your husband. The use of emotion is frowned upon except within closed family circles. Having listened to this portion of your memoir, I think it puts names to the love shared between two people in a military family. As a Vietnam Veteran, I have recalled many of the past emotions I experienced in leaving the comfort of family – or at the combat loss of a brother in in my unit. I did not have a spouse or love interest when reporting for U.S. Army enlistment, which destined my travel to the Far East. However, I shared discussions with many who left newly married brides at home. (Only some NCO’s and Senior Officers with whom I served, could have held a bond with their spouse your emotional recording displayed in this excerpt.) Truly, you have nothing for which would be considered inappropriate. In fact, this reading adds to the writing – and, makes me want to read the remainder of your memoir. Memoirs in print are the most difficult to have published. Most will not read the memoir written by us ‘unknown commodities.’ Only through personal connection do we have the desire to know more. I will purchase your series solely based on having listened to this recording. Thank you for baring your soul.

  • touching…. I to this day can think of many people who either didn’t or haven’t learned the lessons of teamwork. It is refreshing to read of someone who stuck to his guns and made a difference.

  • I think you are pretty much on. Fiction can range from science fiction and fantasia, in which the writers create their own worlds and sometimes laws of physics, to tell a story, to historical fiction set in the past with fictional characters to such as Maureen McCullough, who wrote a series “The First Man in Rome” in which she viewed Rome from the POV of many historical characters in general historical to occasionally fictional situations, to explore how these different people were motivated, to take them out of the text book and make them real people. Non-fiction can range from how-to books to historical or scientific treatises, emphasis on accuracy. Memoirs are basically recollections of the events and people that shaped your life, and since Frank happens to be the person who most shaped your adult life, he and his letters certainly belong in your memoir. Which is also historical, since it recreates the turbulent years of the 60s and 70s very nicely.

  • Golly Gee Wilikers, dagnabit…what an invasion…just read your blog. Try this to attract dragonflies, who eat mosquitos. Not sure what to do about the other invaders except your trusty Cutters method…lol. I’m cohabitating with the wasps, but their nests are on the rafters of my deck. They don’t bother me and I don’t bother them. I did hose them down last year, but as you say in your blog, they build back fast. We seem to have come to an agreement… smile.

  • Another great story. It’s funny that you are talking about teamwork, and tonight I started to watch a movie about a football coach who instilled in his high school team that the only way they could win was by working together. It is based on a true story. I think it’s called “When the Team Stands Tall”.

    Did you delete something between the last two paragraphs? You have this line: “Frank, Scotty, and I drove to Hico, Texas, to spend a few weeks with her” but I can’t figure out who “her” is referring to. Did I miss something? 🙂

  • OF COURSE the skeeters are huge…EVERYTHING in Texas is bigger…lol….glad you are holding your own against the invaders

  • Your ability to describe reality always brings memories to my mind.
    Thank you.
    This post relates to many past experiences, especially from my days in the Southern Califonia Desert with Crickets.
    Field Cricket Invasion

  • Nancy try these around borders .They are easy to grow.

    Marigolds, an easy-to-grow annual flower, emit a smell that deters mosquitoes. … Marigolds are also a popular addition to borders and vegetable gardens. According to NYBG, not only can they keep away mosquitoes, but they also dissuade aphids, thrips, whiteflies, Mexican bean beetles, squash bugs, and tomato hornworms.

  • Wow! You have been at war. Where I lived years ago I had a picture window with an awning. The wasps used to make their nests up in the corner and they just kept coming back. I also had a clothesline on a pulley because the ground dropped at one point and I had to lower and raise it to use it. The wasps nested in the pulley and drop out when I used it.

    If you get an invasion of ants at any time, I have read that they do not like cinnamon so if you get them indoors, sprinkle some where they come in and they will go right back where they came from. There may be other insects that don’t like cinnamon too. Others don’t like peppermint.

    I remember a couple of different years when June bugs covered the sidewalks and filled the small trees at dusk. It was horrible.

    Here’s hoping you don’t get any further invasions of anything of that sort. But at least it gave us opportunity to laugh. 🙂

  • Thanks for the chuckle. 🙂

    The post about Marigolds was spot on. Another suggestion is to set up some bird houses for Purple Martins. Mosquitoes are their main dish.

  • Another heartfelt memory of a gentleman who knew HOW to LOve. The two of you were so blessed.

  • You have breathed life into a family tradition. Are cedar chests still being treasured as in the past, or are memories just on cell phones or up in the cloud?

  • Good post. As usual, you got me right in the feels.


  • I love the way you have written this from the viewpoint of the cedar chest. I have never had my own cedar chest, but when my mother moved in with me, that was one of the special pieces of furniture I wanted to save. I also have a chair that originally was my grandmother’s and which my mother had had for years. God bless.

  • Hmmmmm….if the walls could talk…. now we know what the chest would say. This was a most enjoyable read. Bless you for saving, and sharing the mementos and memories.

  • This is an intriguing monologue from the keeper of the treasures. What a unique perspective!

    In knowing your story, we now revisit it from an entirely different viewpoint. I love this!

    Your writing has reached depths I’m sure you never expected!… because of your obedience in saying yes to our God when He said….write your story!!

    A great read of a very moving story!

  • Wow! That was quite the house and quite the move. As you were talking about the heat, I was feeling it as it is very hot here today. Have you got any photos of the inside of the house?

  • Is it just me or does a moving van unload a lot faster than it fills up? LOL….. this one brings back memories of the days when air conditioned vehicles were reserved for the ‘well to do’… car too hot? Roll down the windows and open the vents!

  • Oh, Nancy, this is wonderful! How original and creative. Very touching. What a cool vantage point to write a memoir/story. I look forward to reading more.

  • You have made a great start, Nancy. This story has wonderful possibilities. Looking forward to upcoming chapters as you write. God bless.

  • I must simply echo what has been written before me…I think it clunked a bit at first, but, you really got into it in short order. A novel way to hit the high points of your life? I look forward to the next chapter!

  • Love it! It’s a great way to share your experiences. Keep it coming.

  • So many memories in that wooden box. Love the delivery method of sharing life experience.