Frances Ellen Speaks!

Ideas, Thoughts, Memoirs, and News
October 9th, 2013

Philadelphia Airport

Have you ever been to the Philadelphia. Airport? It’s huge!

Can you believe I remember when it was a big (as opposed to huge) airport and there were rocking chairs on the roof so you could sit and watch the planes come in and take off. My friends, both guys and girls, would pile into a car, whichever one happened to have enough gas to get us to the airport and back, and when we got there, we’d buy a coke out of the vending machine (cokes came in green glass bottles) and head up to the roof. Summer and spring nights didn’t get much better than a night high up in the sky seeing the planes going and coming.

Another highlight of spending time at the airport–going down to watch the people who had just landed. You could get up close and personal back then. No terrorist threats. We’d try and guess which couples were crazy in love, which ones were married and who was probably coming for a visit.

It doesn’t sound like much, I know, but it was great fun.

Rocking chairs on the roof of the Philadelphia Airport! Can you believe it?

October 6th, 2013

Clippy the Paperclip

Do you remember Clippy?

Jimmy Fallon mentioned him the other night in his monologue. And I got to wondering just when did Clippy disappear from Microsoft Word and from my life. Not that I’m complaining because he was nothing but a distraction.

Every time I started to type a letter, he’d pop up and ask “Do you want to type a letter?” Duh!? I ended up deleting him constantly until I figured out how to make him evaporate permanently. But like many things in life, once they are gone it’s too late to think maybe you sort of miss them–just a little.

Mmm, goodby forever, Clippy.

September 29th, 2013

Croquet, The Wicked Version

For two glorious summers in the early 70s, every time I had a barbeque for friends, we got into the habit of setting up nine wickets and two stakes in my backyard and we played a wicked game of croquet. I say wicked, because that’s the only word I can think of to describe the mayhem. The USCA (United States Croquet Assoc.) would’ve never approved.

The truth is, I had the perfect yard to set up a croquet course. It was long, about 100 feet and about 50 feet wide–perfect for croquet, except for one small detail. Running completely across the width of the yard, was a rolling hill. I’m not too good with measurements, but I’d say it was a foot and a half high.

Trying to get a ball successfully up or down that hill while at the same time trying to aim your ball through a wicket was, as I mentioned, wicked. That first Saturday, when husbands and boyfriends, who were inside playing cards, heard the raucous commotion coming from the backyard and realized at once that the ladies weren’t playing an ordinary game of croquet, they issued the challenge–guys against gals. Once that happened, as you can imagine, the game became even crazier.

Oh, to relive those sunny afternoons when icy beers flowed, and the burgers and hot dogs tasted so, so good.

August 5th, 2013

Dead Body in the Living Room

Mrs. Dollarton’s body was in the living room. She was my friend, or rather, she was my friend Bobby’s mother.

It was the 50s. I used to knock on their door and ask if Bobby was going to come out. On days when he was running an errand, like walking to the grocery store or something, Mrs. Dollarton would stop whatever she was doing and sit with me on the top step of the porch. She talked to me like I was a grown-up. I guess that’s what I liked best of all about her. But she was awfully pretty, too.

Then suddenly she was dead. Her body was laid out in Bobby’s living room. That’s what they did back in the 50s, can you believe it? And I went to see her one last time.

There were so many people milling around. No one noticed me come in and walk up to her casket. I kind-of remember her reddish hair, but time may have skewed my memory. Anyway, I wanted to touch her, but I wasn’t sure if you were allowed, so I just stood and looked at her and wished her alive. I don’t know how long I stared at her, mesmerized how alive she looked, but I knew she would never sit up and smile at me ever again.

I walked back to my house and climbed the stairs to my bedroom. I picked up the pillow on my bed and used it to muffle my hysterical cries.

I don’t remember if I said, “Sorry” to my friend, Bobby.

November 13th, 2012

Solar Eclipse

Tonight there will be a Full Solar Eclipse/New Moon. It will be the last one of 2012.

If you believe, as some people do, that the planets are lining up so that they will be in complete alignment by 12/12/12–the Solstice–┬áthen tonight is the evening that you should stop for a time and think about your intentions.

What! Intentions? What the heck does that mean?

It is time to open yourself to all possibilities. It may sound insane, but try it anyway, especially if life, this year, has beaten you down. Don’t worry, no one is looking. There is no one to stop you, but you.

So, let’s get started. I personally am going to send out my intention to heal myself. I AM going to feel better overall.

Yours might go something like this. Ask that all that has been done against you, now will bless you in the fullness of time. Your intention will be to create your new life and shake off all things that have troubled you through the year.

That’s a short explanation of what your intention should be tonight. Some will just take a moment to relish the smell of the roses. but do stop to at least take an honest look at your life–take stock.

Make your intention.

November 7th, 2012

Congratulations Ladies

Susan B. Anthony (standing) & Elizabeth Cady Stanton

I’m so proud of women today. They got out there yesterday and voted en masse. It doesn’t matter who they voted for–only that they voted.

It never ceases to amaze me that more women don’t feel an obligation to get themselves out and into the voting booths on election days. After all, so many brave women in the past suffered immensely to fight for our right to vote.

Yesterday ladies, you did us proud!