The Sunset Isn’t Here Yet

Dearest Rachel – At the end of many a classic Western, the hero adjusts his white hat, declares “My work here is done,” and rides off into the sunset. It’s always the sunset; he never takes a break to sleep all that hard work off, and ride off in the morning, when he’d have moreContinue reading “The Sunset Isn’t Here Yet”

Thousands of Hours to Go

Dearest Rachel – I went through three VCRs trying to figure out what was going wrong. It turned out that the reason there was no adequate picture was because I shouldn’t have plugged the connection in all the way. I think I’m gonna have to go back and explain this to you. Let me justContinue reading “Thousands of Hours to Go”

Permission to Skip

Dearest Rachel – This may seem inappropriate, but I feel the need to address this. Less than a week ago, I admitted to you that there were times when I just didn’t feel inspired to write you, but did so nonetheless. Which, I suppose, resulted in what an editor (were I to have one) wouldContinue reading “Permission to Skip”

The Day You Said ‘Yes’

Dearest Rachel – It’s hard to remember sometimes, but there was a time when the idea of ‘us’ wasn’t a foregone conclusion. On the other hand, as of this day, thirty years ago, it was, for all intents and purposes. It was but a question of when. After all, you had spent time with usContinue reading “The Day You Said ‘Yes’”

from Rachel: Planned For God’s Pleasure

“4/24 “I could and should start doing house work as if I were doing it for Jesus. Especially the jobs I don’t like and generally procrastinate; washing dishes, hanging up clothes, and sorting and cleaning up messy piles.” Dearest Rachel – Interesting to see this entry now, just as I’d been learning about ‘secondary losses’Continue reading “from Rachel: Planned For God’s Pleasure”

Group Therapy

Dearest Rachel – It’s surprising to consider how busy my weekends are, especially when I’m getting questions from strangers about whether or not I’m free, and I have to answer ‘well, no, not really.’ Today has been a little bit more than usual, however. For what it’s worth, Pastor Joel seems to think I’m readyContinue reading “Group Therapy”

Not the Best of Hosts

Dearest Rachel – Well, the girls came over last night. It’ll be the last time for the better part of a month, as Ellen will be out of town visiting her mom next week, and then I’ll be in Colorado on this men’s retreat the next. So, three weeks until next time. Clever me, IContinue reading “Not the Best of Hosts”

Not Feeling It

Dearest Rachel – As characters in our own dramas (or, more likely, sitcoms – has it ever occurred to anyone that those experiencing life within those sitcoms doesn’t find what’s happening to them to be funny? We are, as audience members, more likely than not laughing at their pain), we are generally oblivious to ourContinue reading “Not Feeling It”

Talking to Thin Air

Dearest Rachel – There are some days in which I have to confess I’m not all that motivated to write you these letters. Sometimes it’s that I’m distracted by other things that require me to respond to them, so I spend my writing energy on something – or someone – else, thus causing what IContinue reading “Talking to Thin Air”

Red Tape

Dearest Rachel – Last night was the Bible study on Zoom, as per usual for the last year and a half. One of the regulars generally start things off with a joke. To give you an idea of the level of humor, here was this week’s offering: Question: How do bureaucrats wrap their Christmas presents?Continue reading “Red Tape”

Leave Behind a Morsel

Dearest Rachel – Back in the 70s and 80s, my great aunt Belva participated in a ministry for international students attending Northwestern; inviting them over for a home-cooked meal, introducing them to our church community, that sort of thing. She had a great knack for keeping in touch with ‘her students’ after they graduated andContinue reading “Leave Behind a Morsel”

Poor Impulse Control

Dearest Rachel – And this… is why you never shop hungry. There’s a lot of things I’ve been doing with more frequency now that I am the lone adult in the household. Yes, yes, I know Daniel is officially an adult, but he is still a dependent child as long as he lives here, IContinue reading “Poor Impulse Control”

We Are All Hikikomori… Again

Dearest Rachel – We acknowledged it between the two of us, but rarely spoke of it outside of the home. The convocation when he first enrolled at Judson spoke of their mascot, the eagle, and how the adults made their nest less and less comfortable over time, so as to encourage their eaglets, as theyContinue reading “We Are All Hikikomori… Again”

Sunday Rush

Dearest Rachel – After a couple of days of relative quiet upon enrolling on this dating app, starting this morning, things went somewhat crazy. I’m not complaining, exactly, but the ‘feast or famine’ situation – if this is what the typical experience is like – is a bit disorienting. As I mentioned previously, for theContinue reading “Sunday Rush”

The Day of Surgery

Ten years and five months to the day before the accident… 9:35 a.m. I’m writing everyone from Lutheran General Hospital. Rachel was wheeled into surgery just over an hour ago (at 8:30 a.m. – about an hour later than originally scheduled). As most of you know, they’re going to be removing a tumor that’s wedgedContinue reading “The Day of Surgery”

Music For Staring at the Axe

Dearest Rachel – Eleven years ago tomorrow, you went in for surgery to remove a tumor from your brain. At the time, we didn’t know what was going to happen to you; the fact that it was not within the brain was a relatively good sign, and the doctor was fairly certain it would turnContinue reading “Music For Staring at the Axe”

from Rachel: The Reason For Everything

“May 2” “Lately I think I’ve been doing better at this. The dog walking gets me out into nature and, more recently, I’ve begun singing a few hymns as we walk along. “As the weather warms, I would like to go out on the deck first thing every morning for a quiet time. “I shouldContinue reading “from Rachel: The Reason For Everything”

A Touch of Nervous Energy

Dearest Rachel – What with having woken up before six o’clock on a Saturday to shower and tend to the dog (although in fairness, I actually managed to do the former without waking up the old guy! Huzzah!), making a point to attend this morning’s Bible study, followed by running about on errands until aboutContinue reading “A Touch of Nervous Energy”

from Rachel: Hi, Ellen

“Hi, “We ate lunch here yesterday, but we didn’t get to see the goats because it was raining again. We’re having a great time, in spite of cool, wet weather. “Despite a lot of thunder, we only got a little bit wet at the Renaissance fair, Saturday, but Sunday we waited three wet hours forContinue reading “from Rachel: Hi, Ellen”

Sending Smiles

Dearest Rachel – Well, it’s been done. I’ve created a profile, with Jan’s input and assistance, and it’s out there online for people to see. I don’t know how accurate it is, or whether I’ve shown too much or too little of my hand, but well… that’s how it is. What’s also ‘how it is’Continue reading “Sending Smiles”

The Last of the Crawl Space

Dearest Rachel – You probably remember that scene from Who Framed Roger Rabbit. That harrowing bit when Judge Doom announced that he would “try, convict and ex-ecute” Roger, all while nonchalantly lowering an otherwise inoffensive (and subsequently terrified) clown shoe to its death in a barrel of ‘Dip.’ That was the sensation I felt whenContinue reading “The Last of the Crawl Space”

Late for Dinner

Dearest Rachel – “You can call me anything you want; just don’t call me late for dinner!” It was probably one of the first jokes I was ever told by my grandfather as a little kid, and one that I never really got at that age (“what kind of name is Late For Dinner, andContinue reading “Late for Dinner”

Sleeping In Denim

Dearest Rachel – It seems there are a few memes out there about people who sleep dressed, specifically while wearing jeans… Not sure I understand what the fuss is all about. Between showering after walking home, and therefore changing afterwards (look, it’s August in Chicago – why should I stay in those sweaty clothes anyContinue reading “Sleeping In Denim”

When the Veil Pulls Back

Dearest Rachel – I wonder if, at the moment of your passing, you are exposed to all the answers. Does the Lord sees fit to, at the moment which you can no longer do anything about it, release to you the wisdom of the ages, and the minutiae of how His plan is meant toContinue reading “When the Veil Pulls Back”

No Such Thing as Forever

Dearest Rachel – Today is the first time all week I’m walking. And to tell the truth, I feel a little guilty about having delayed it this long. Not that I’m particularly concerned about how much exercise I get (although I’m quite sure I should be), but that I might be disappointing someone. You see,Continue reading “No Such Thing as Forever”