Snow, Man!

Dearest Rachel – There are so many reasons why I wish you were still here. I’ve gone on and on about a number of them throughout the course of this last year; I don’t need to bore you with the details right now, since I’ve been doing that all this time. One of those reasonsContinue reading “Snow, Man!”

Return on Investment

Dearest Rachel – This past week, when the girls were over for our every other Friday get together, Ellen and I were together in the kitchen, talking about old times. She is the one person I can talk to when I want to reminisce about you, as her memory is stronger than mine, and goesContinue reading “Return on Investment”

Fifty-Two Weeks Ago (part two)

Dearest Rachel – I’m not going to go so far as to give Mike credit for remembering; he juggles dozens of volunteers across three campuses, and all of their attendant schedules. I’m sure he’s just slotted me where and when he needed me to be, especially after giving me an extended break after working allContinue reading “Fifty-Two Weeks Ago (part two)”

Heartbreaking Snow

Dearest Rachel – Readers’ Digest was fond of saying that ‘laughter is the best medicine,’ but this story from the regular feature of that name, like most medicines, comes off rather bitter these days. The story goes that an older gentleman was looking out over his snow-covered driveway, and turned to his teenage son toContinue reading “Heartbreaking Snow”

from Rachel: Accepting Your Assignment

Question to consider: What’s holding me back from accepting God’s call to serve Him? “5/18 “I don’t appreciate the implication that I am failing to serve Him currently. This Sunday I actually have three different roles on the platform: choir, ensemble and drama. I am just wrapping a busy schedule of Awana, babysitting, choir practiceContinue reading “from Rachel: Accepting Your Assignment”

Fifty-Two Weeks Ago (part one)

Dearest Rachel – I still remember our first visit to Camp Awana for family camp in the summer of 2019. I hadn’t been there since the fifth or sixth grade, I believe – or maybe it was the just the summer between them. We wandered the length and breadth of the place, discovering it wasContinue reading “Fifty-Two Weeks Ago (part one)”

A Meal in Itself

Dearest Rachel – I try to remember some of the inside jokes we used to share with each other as opportunity presents itself, but sometimes, I don’t have quite what I need to put it together. For instance, this picture is as close as I can get to the particular joke I’m looking for, asContinue reading “A Meal in Itself”

Glitches, Botches, Dreams and Reality

Dearest Rachel – For the last couple of weeks, we’ve been watching several new channels that I’m sure you would’ve appreciated were you still around, hanging out with us in the family room while YouTube was running in the background. We started looking for such channels after watching a video essay on the concept itself,Continue reading “Glitches, Botches, Dreams and Reality”

Passion Endured

The death of ·one that belongs to the Lord [his loyal ones/saints]    is precious in his ·sight [L eyes]. Psalm 116:15, Expanded Bible Dearest Rachel – You’d probably think, based on the title of this letter, that this is going to be another one of those essays where I go on and on about how much I miss this orContinue reading “Passion Endured”

Good Charlotte

Dearest Rachel – It would seem that our resident spider is back again, or perhaps her progeny. I don’t always – or even often – see her there, but she’s something of a fixture in the master bathroom. We have occasionally seen spiders there throughout the time we’ve owned this house. Why the master bathroom,Continue reading “Good Charlotte”

Imagine Storms

Dearest Rachel – Another long night, another dream – or series of dreams – that might otherwise make sense except for the timing, the location, the cast, and the fact that I was constantly looking for my phone to take pictures of it all, only to find that it was nowhere near me (which, asContinue reading “Imagine Storms”

Of Reindeer Skins and Dreams of Summer

Dearest Rachel – I found myself dreaming of summer last night. Nothing special, no remarkable scenes I can remember or tell you about. Just warmth and… yeah, that’s pretty much it. I think it comes from too many reindeer skins. You know what I’m talking about. It’s been a long-standing family joke, ever since myContinue reading “Of Reindeer Skins and Dreams of Summer”

Taking Delivery

Dearest Rachel – This never happens to me. In some other context, that would be the punchline to a bad (and NSFW) joke, I’m sure. Either way, it would seem that the joke is on me. It’s bad enough that I woke up sometime between 3:30 and 4:00, unable to go back to sleep untilContinue reading “Taking Delivery”

There’s No Way to be Subtle

Dearest Rachel – I’ve spun more than a few tales about my misadventures – and misgivings – in attempting to find romance via online sites and apps. Given that I have no idea who I might or might not be dealing with out here in cyberspace, I’m moving at a snail’s pace, because I’ve comeContinue reading “There’s No Way to be Subtle”

from Rachel: It Takes Time

“May 20 “I need to be more patient and persistent in trying to establish a daily routine of spending a few minutes with Jesus first thing in the morning. I manage most days for a week or two, but it doesn’t start to immediately become a comfortable habit or something I miss if I don’tContinue reading “from Rachel: It Takes Time”

A Quiet Cup of Cocoa

Dearest Rachel – Well, for all the food I managed to ply the girls with last night (and some of the stuff that they brought in turn), we never got around to the cocoa. I had been hoping to use some of the stuff that I had gotten for Christmas from ‘Santa’ (ha ha) withContinue reading “A Quiet Cup of Cocoa”

Maple Sugar Club

Dearest Rachel – Well, this is one of those dreams that I wake up from wondering where it came from. I’m almost tempted to just say ‘forget about it,’ but it was so… realistic that I couldn’t seem to ignore it. One of the particularly odd things about it is that I haven’t even seenContinue reading “Maple Sugar Club”

Back On the… Horse?

Dearest Rachel – Usually, after dinner at their house, Daniel and I will follow Dad into the family room to chat for an hour or so. You probably remember those days well enough when we would be invited over, although you’ll understand that it’s on more frequent – and regular – occasion these days. ForgiveContinue reading “Back On the… Horse?”

I Never Dealt with Nightmares

Dearest Rachel – I should tell you upfront that Daniel does not seem to approve of Ruby. Every time the phone ‘thrums’ to indicate a message from her when he’s in earshot, he gives me a sideways glance as if to ask ‘her again?’ even if he doesn’t always say it aloud – which heContinue reading “I Never Dealt with Nightmares”

Dodging Bullets

Dearest Rachel – There are times when I come up with better titles than I do letters. There’s not nearly that much to say about Daniel’s adventures, except that we’ve gotten away with a lot more than I expected we would. I won’t say that I’ve been fretting all week about it, but it’s beenContinue reading “Dodging Bullets”

Muscle Massage Memories

Dearest Rachel – The late Betty White (don’t know if you’ve seen her up there, or if you could find her. While I’d admit that Rose had that ‘faith of a child,’ similar to how your mom was during her last few years, I’d wager that Sue Ellen wouldn’t be remotely interested in religion; andContinue reading “Muscle Massage Memories”

The Payoff

Dearest Rachel – After pondering last night’s dream, I found myself wondering about how, exactly, I would be expected to make good on such a wager in the first place. For that matter, for the other guy – whoever the heck he was – to even expect me to do so would have required himContinue reading “The Payoff”

Betting Our Lives

Dearest Rachel – Well. Thank heavens that wasn’t anything more than a dream. I couldn’t tell you the specifics, exactly. And in fact, it probably doesn’t make any difference as to who the teams were that were involved, other than the fact that they were playing football. All that really matters is that time wasContinue reading “Betting Our Lives”

Felling the Tree

Dearest Rachel – It’s not the sort of thing you enjoyed doing; indeed, it had been left undone at our house at the time of the accident (and as a result, was not dealt with for several months thereafter), but the folks are a little more punctual about things like this, and so, Daniel andContinue reading “Felling the Tree”

Glass Ceilings, Floors and Faces

Dearest Rachel – You hear talk a lot about the glass ceiling, that tantalizing sight above women in the career marketplace preventing them from the advancement they might otherwise be entitled to. You were never much for that, having no desire for a career as far as I could tell. In any event, it’s aContinue reading “Glass Ceilings, Floors and Faces”

from Rachel: Defeating Temptation

Question to consider: Who could I ask to be a spiritual partner to help me defeat a persistent temptation by praying for me? “May 19 “If I really want to be sure to be held accountable and be prayed for, I tell Susie and ask her for prayer. Unfortunately, since I don’t like to feelContinue reading “from Rachel: Defeating Temptation”

Rich Fools

Dearest Rachel – I will always remember the story that you used to tell about your mom‘s father, who worked for the SEC in its early days. It was a fairly lucrative job as I understand it (working for the government often is), and most of his colleagues were both younger than him, and decidedlyContinue reading “Rich Fools”

Moving the Man Cave

Dearest Rachel – It wasn’t that long ago that I thought I’d make a man cave out of the basement; all that space seemed like the perfect place to put a couch and a flatscreen television/computer combination like we’ve had in the family room for ages. Daniel could keep the family room (which for allContinue reading “Moving the Man Cave”

Pictures of Better Days

Dearest Rachel – Sometimes, I don’t know how my folks deal with it. Now, I have photos of you throughout the house; it’s a result of finding them in the process of cleaning the place out (not to mention cleaning off places for them to sit). That should be understandable; in fact, what would beContinue reading “Pictures of Better Days”

Can We Say He Doesn’t?

Dearest Rachel – I know you expressed disgust for him when he was on trial, convicted and ultimately imprisoned; I don’t recall if you were around to see him released on a technicality (as I understand it, the prosecutor screwed up by bringing up accusations that were supposed to be off the table as partContinue reading “Can We Say He Doesn’t?”

The Twelfth Pain

Dearest Rachel – I remember your calling me at some point while I was at the ‘office’ last year on this day. “Do you know what’s going on in Washington?” To be sure, I was keeping up with the news feed, but there’s always a lag between the activity and the written word describing it;Continue reading “The Twelfth Pain”

Spaces In Our Togetherness

Dearest Rachel – These days, Ruby will occasionally ask me whether I’ve spoken to another woman, especially if I don’t contact – or respond to – her on Google Chat quickly enough. Maybe she’s worried that she’ll lose me to someone else too early in the game, in which case I suppose I should beContinue reading “Spaces In Our Togetherness”

Keep the Bar Low

Dearest Rachel – In all the letters that I’ve written to you since I’ve started doing this, I’ve mentioned several times about your parents’ astonishingly low expectations for the two of us; how they were afraid that ours was no more than a ‘starter marriage,’ whatever that is, and how they were pleasantly surprised atContinue reading “Keep the Bar Low”

What Can I Say?

Dearest Rachel – I suppose I really should come right out and admit it: I’m a morning person. I would always excuse myself by saying it was out of necessity that I was waking up as early as I did, that I needed to read and wash up before getting myself out the door toContinue reading “What Can I Say?”

“Drives Through Storms”

Dearest Rachel – I think it must’ve happened while we were still courting; probably after we were engaged, but definitely while you were still living with your parents. I had planned to drive down to see you, despite reports of severe weather between the Chicago area and Macomb. I don’t think it was serious whereContinue reading ““Drives Through Storms””

from Rachel: Growing Through Temptation

Question to consider: What Christlike character quality could I develop by defeating the most common temptation I face? “May 18 “Faithfulness: my biggest temptation and pitfall is not being willing to end the evening at a reasonable hour and go to bed. Then I can’t get up at a normal time and have a fewContinue reading “from Rachel: Growing Through Temptation”

For Future Reference

Dearest Rachel – I propose that New Year’s resolutions are difficult to keep in part because we tend to put the bar way too high for our own safety. We make these grandiose promises to ourselves as to what we plan on doing in the coming year, only to be discouraged as it becomes evidentContinue reading “For Future Reference”

姫初 (Hime-Hatsu)

Dearest Rachel – New Year’s Day in America doesn’t have all that much associated with it, as far as I can tell. Frankly, it’s difficult for most people to engage in anything when they’re just waking up halfway through the day, nursing a hangover. The best most people can manage is to switch on theContinue reading “姫初 (Hime-Hatsu)”

Nothing Worth Celebrating

Dearest Rachel – Well, 2021 is finally over with, and good riddance to bad rubbish. I can’t imagine how a year could have been worse than this. Now, I’ve been admonished not to phrase my observation so, because it’s like tempting fate. Asking “how could things get worse?” is a surefire way to actually findContinue reading “Nothing Worth Celebrating”