Little Dollops of Catch-Up

Dearest Rachel –

I’ve been amazed some days about how often I’m able to come up with a topic – or two, or three! – to talk to you about. It’s gotten to the point where, if I can’t come up with anything to relate, I get a little concerned.

This is one of those empty headed mornings, I’m afraid. Oh sure, I do recall a dream, but it was simply a case of having to balance two interminable stacks of numbers, and finding the one number that was was putting them out of balance by being in the wrong stack. Ah, the nightmares that accountants have; they’re enough to put anyone else to sleep, even though they already were.

And while I’ve gotten permission from others to skip a day here and there, I don’t feel like I can give myself that same amount of license. We rarely ever went a day without talking to each other; even when one or the other was away, whether for business or visiting friends or family. It just doesn’t seem right not to talk to you every day, even though I remind myself that you’re not there to hear (or rather, read) what I have to say – and I’m painfully aware of the silence I get in return. At least I know that the silent treatment isn’t out of anger or malice.

The best I can do for you is to tell you about the little things that have been happening recently, that never occurred to me to try and write to you about, because they were all tiny little things. Consider this a plateful of little dollops of catch-up.

For what it’s worth, last night’s filming went reasonably well for a first attempt, despite dropping one of the cameras a couple of times. Even Erin didn’t object to being filmed; or at least, she gave the excuse that she didn’t want to pull her mask down to eat within breathing range of the rest of us. So she would run into the sunroom, and then opine from there. Everyone had some pretty interesting opinions and thoughts, but I’ll leave it at that until I can get this edited and uploaded. I will say there wasn’t any unanimous consensus as to which one was better, but that’s the beauty of getting a bunch of people together to try these things out.

Interestingly enough, the Hershey’s spread didn’t fare very well, compared to many of the other options; several of us claimed we could taste the age of the stuff. I wasn’t one of them, though. I was right, however, about the fact that some of us, after trying seven different varieties of chocolate spread, would get sick of the stuff. What I hadn’t expected, however, was that I was the first one to do so.

Yesterday, I got a call at the ‘office’ that I was expecting, but not so soon. Michael from the mechanics was letting me know that the new steering frame (well, new for me, anyway) had been received and installed, and the car was ready to be picked up. I hadn’t expected them to be done until the end of the week. But I’m certainly not about to complain. I sent a text to Daniel, letting him know that I would need his help (he responded enthusiastically – guess he’s looking forward to getting your car back for his use, after all), and quickly closed up shop. I left in such a hurry, that I forgot about the hazelnut spread I’d left in the folks’ pantry, and had to go back for it several hours later (but that’s another story – and any other day, it wouldn’t have made a lick of difference).

Daniel dropped me off and headed home, while I paid for the repairs – it was less than I imagined, because I thought the price I had been quoted was just for the parts car rather than the whole process. Another pleasant surprise. And a good thing to, because I needed the extra money to pay for an oil change – I was halfway home before realizing that my idiot light was on, stating that I was down to 5% of my oil life. So I turned around, and headed to the local Jiffy Lube to get that taken care of (and wound up sitting behind a couple of people in the process – which sort of belied their name, but these things happen).

When I got home and pulled into the driveway, I was surprised to see Daniel still sitting in your car. Evidently, he didn’t have a house key with him, and the key ring I was using for your car that I turned over to him didn’t have one attached. Thankfully, he was enjoying listening to your beloved K-LOVE, so he wasn’t all ‘where have you been all this time?’ although I wouldn’t have blamed him had he been.

As the leaders were gathering before Sparks this past Monday, to go over the plans and directions for the evening, Stephanie crossed through on her way to the program on doctrine being held at the Des Plaines campus that night.

“Hey, did you know that you’re in the World Vision promo video?” Apparently, I’d been filmed while waiting for Erin and others to run past the Chinatown checkpoint. I vaguely recall being asked by a guy in a camera if I could allow him past me to take pictures of the runners; I don’t remember him pointing his camera at me, but I’m less surprised than I probably have a right to be.

Speaking of being less than surprised, I had to inform Stephanie that yes, I’d heard already. Luke had emailed me about it, and Erin herself had texted shortly thereafter. Stephanie seemed disappointed to not have been the first to tell me (and in retrospect, I should have let her know that she was the first to tell me in person), but she cheered up when I pointed out that “you still got the bronze.”

And speaking of the study of doctrine, last week covered a section on hamartiology (the study of sin), with a particular focus on the brilliant summation that can be found in I John 2:16. The verse breaks down the root cause of most sin into three simple parts – the pursuit of pleasure (what John refers to as the ‘lust of the flesh’), the pursuit of possessions (‘lust of the eyes), and the pursuit of achievements (‘pride of life’). In our Saturday morning discussion, I don’t recall who mentioned it, but it was observed that none of these pursuits are inherently bad, but when they take precedence over God Himself, then they become an issue. Also, they aren’t necessarily separate concepts, either – once the last was pointed out to be the pursuit of achievement, I found myself thinking of the achievements I’m collecting (like possessions) on Steam for various video games.

Heck, I may just try for a few achievements later on today, if I have the time to call up Civilization once I have a few assignments taken care of. The question is, is this a sin?

Ruby is still texting me, even last night, much to the girls’ (and particularly Daniel’s) dismay. And while I know what everyone else thinks of her, I still respond, rather than ignore her – there’s no sense in leaving her hanging out there, thinking I just haven’t gotten to her. I do make a point of putting periods at the end of my texts, if you’ll pardon the pun. I’m of the understanding that doing so is meant to indicate anger or irritation with the other person – normally, one doesn’t bother with a final punctuation mark. It’s subtle, but as she didn’t respond to my response, it’s entirely possible she took the hint. Whether she took it just for the day, or if this becomes a permanent arrangement, time will tell. It always does, after all.

And before I let you go for the day (or at least, until inspiration actually strikes me – and there’s no guarantee of that), I might as well mention that I’ve been asked about adding someone to the household. I won’t go into details, as I’m asking for advice before committing to a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ (and I do have some time to think about it yet before making a firm decision), but you’ll hear about this eventually. It’s not a replacement for you, just understand that, but it might be a chance to do someone some good for a little while. Who knows?

Until later, honey, keep an eye out for us, and wish us luck. We could always use it.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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