You Can Check Out Any Time…

Dearest Rachel – While I’m sure you know the rest of that line, I should be pointing out to you that it’s a bit of an exaggeration. This isn’t the Hotel California, here; it’s not that one can never leave when the team is here laying the floor; it’s just that you may just haveContinue reading “You Can Check Out Any Time…”

We Give Time Significance

Dearest Rachel – These days, it seems that you have to have a sense of humor to deal with what’s happening in the world each day. A sick sense of gallows humor, to be sure – probably along the lines of someone who would be an expert at Cards Against Humanity or something like thatContinue reading “We Give Time Significance”

Uncommon Nonchalance

Dearest Rachel – It seems I’m writing you a lot about yesterday’s events, as opposed to what’s going on today. For what it’s worth, today we are starting on a new phase of the project, with a whole different team, as the fellows who specializing in laying tile are going to be working on theContinue reading “Uncommon Nonchalance”

There Will Be Other Chances

Dearest Rachel – Yesterday, the carpenters were supposed to mount the new medicine cabinet in the master bathroom. However, for whatever reason, they were missing the kit that would allow them to attach it flush against the wall, so they had to order that separately today. So, the ‘before’ picture I took in the morningContinue reading “There Will Be Other Chances”

A Quick Change of Plans

Dearest Rachel – By rights, had everything worked out according to the original plan, Daniel and I should be re-packing again today. it’s a quick turnaround from last weekend, sure, but that’s when Memorial Day weekend falls, and we would traditionally drive down to the Nashville area to see Kevin. I’ve abandoned certain traditions sinceContinue reading “A Quick Change of Plans”

Wearing Down the Grindstone

Dearest Rachel – I think that, as long as I continue to write you every day, I’m not going to be able to let the 23rd of the month pass without comment. Much as I’d like to get over it, I don’t think it’s possible for me to do so for the foreseeable future, unlessContinue reading “Wearing Down the Grindstone”

The End of the Road

Dearest Rachel – I’m beginning to wonder if my running shoes should have come with an odometer, or some other means to indicate when I’ve gotten to the end of their useful life. They still cover and protect my feet from the elements, both above and beneath, but I can feel the difference in supportContinue reading “The End of the Road”

Up Too Soon

Dearest Rachel – After two days of mostly threatening – or outright raining – the sun is what comes pouring into our room… at 6:30 in the morning. Much as I’d like to sleep in that much longer, that’s just not going to be in the cards. You’d have probably gotten up this early yourselfContinue reading “Up Too Soon”

from Rachel: God Offers a New Attitude

God can make us new women this week. Are you willing to commit to his compassionate, transforming work? “No promises yet, sorry. It’s Wednesday already, also. Added” (signature) “Thursday after day 5” Write down some other attitudes that belong to the category of “bad.” “Lazy, selfish, pleasure-seeking, comfort-loving, work-avoiding, worldly and pursuing worldly pleasures andContinue reading “from Rachel: God Offers a New Attitude”

It Wasn’t That Important

Dearest Rachel – I can’t remember which year it was – after a certain point, they all tend to blur together, I’m afraid – but there was one other year that we couldn’t get a room in time at one of the four hotels surrounding the convention center (i.e., the Hyatt, the Hilton, the EmbassyContinue reading “It Wasn’t That Important”

No Choice But to Continue

Dearest Rachel – You would probably be pleased note I stayed awake during the entire two hour run of Anime Hell; no need for you to nudge me awake as I nodded off (a good thing, since you weren’t there to do so – I know now how those folks we would always see scatteredContinue reading “No Choice But to Continue”

Nerd Prom

Dearest Rachel – It never fails. You’d think that the convention would fill up the entirety of the Hyatt, where everything is based out of (or at least was, back in the old days. Nowadays, I suppose the convention center proper is the real hub for all the goings-on). Considering that the event books upContinue reading “Nerd Prom”

Milling About of a Midday… Maskless

Dearest Rachel – I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting that Daniel would have a lot of fun here in any event, given the restrictions that they seem to have in their rules and regulations. But so far, that doesn’t seem to have been nearly as bad as we feared. The only real problem he seemsContinue reading “Milling About of a Midday… Maskless”

Life in Escrow

“Do you have any brothers and sisters?”“Well, I have a big sister, a little brother, and we have a baby in escrow.”“In escrow?”“That’s how daddy describes it when it seems like it’s never going to come out.” Art Linkletter and a candid guest, as taken from Kids Say the Darnedest Things Dearest Rachel – Sometimes,Continue reading “Life in Escrow”

Inspectors General

Dearest Rachel – There’s a paradox to having so much going on in one’s life at a time (I was going to simplify that to ‘drama,’ but I don’t know how much of what’s going on really qualifies as such. Plus, I think of ‘drama’ as being somewhat self-inflicted, and while I suppose you couldContinue reading “Inspectors General”

I Should Be Panicking

Dearest Rachel – By this time tomorrow, if all goes well today, I’ll be driving the boys and myself off to Rosemont for the first Anime Central in three years. There are so many things to take care of before hand – both the usual things, like packing and shopping and such, and some not-so-usualContinue reading “I Should Be Panicking”

Travelling in Only One Direction

Dearest Rachel – Lars asked me yesterday, as we were walking through the forest preserve by Oakton College and Beck Lake, how much I’ve been telling you about what’s going on in my life. He suggests I not tell you quite as much as I do, if only for the fast that there are otherContinue reading “Travelling in Only One Direction”

Injudicious

Dearest Rachel – I told you before I’m trying to tiptoe around the subject of your absence with Daniel, even to the point of not sharing with him about Kerstin’s present for you. I’m not sure how and to what extent he feels your absence, especially after all this time. Occasionally I will ask howContinue reading “Injudicious”

Under the Weather

Dearest Rachel – It would seem that, somewhere along the way, Daniel has caught a cold. Neither of us knows from where, but it’s not an altogether unexpected situation; for all our love for the milder climate of spring and fall in comparison to the more extreme summer and winter May and November have neverContinue reading “Under the Weather”

My Fate in Dream

Dearest Rachel – Well, that was disconcerting… and downright terrifying in its plausibility, to a certain extent. What’s particularly strange is how calm –almost indifferent – I was to my own fate. The dream effectively started with my applying for a renewed drivers license (although, to be sure, the place didn’t look a lot likeContinue reading “My Fate in Dream”

This Was Different

Dearest Rachel – We’ve had mysterious visitations at our house from time to time since your passing. Some of them were serendipitous, like the balloon on my birthday. Some were deliberate, but anonymous, like the last couple of May Days. And then there was this: This was left on our doorstep yesterday afternoon. Someone hadContinue reading “This Was Different”

from Rachel: (God is Stronger Than My Struggles) With Stress/Anxiety

[starred for emphasis] “Yep, we can all pretend we’re doing fine with life’s stress, but the body will usually betray you and tell the truth.” How about you? Do you have any little stressors in your life? “Of course. On Monday (10/13/14) I drive to Macomb so that I can leave Chompers with mom andContinue reading “from Rachel: (God is Stronger Than My Struggles) With Stress/Anxiety”

To Think I Nearly Forgot

Dearest Rachel – Were you still here, this wouldn’t have happened, of course. I would have made preparations beforehand. I’d have checked with you as to what you would have wanted – and had it in hand to set on your nightstand when you awoke, along with a card (assuming it was something that wouldContinue reading “To Think I Nearly Forgot”

In Your Stead

Dearest Rachel – I always knew that I could find someone to replace you, but if I find someone to do the things we used to do together, that would be sufficient for the time being. It never occurred to me that I wouldn’t be the only one who needed someone to take your place,Continue reading “In Your Stead”

A Chance to Sleep In

Dearest Rachel – I don’t know about you, since we rarely ever used the phrase, but I always thought the expression ‘thank God it’s Friday’ was just a little shy of blasphemous. Maybe it was just profane. Sure, it could appropriately be applied to Good Friday, but an ordinary Friday? Not so much. And yet,Continue reading “A Chance to Sleep In”

Light Infantry

Dearest Rachel – You would think that I would learn to check what can be done before stating categorically that it can’t. It’s how I avoided conflict with you for the longest time; you would think I would know to do likewise with Daniel. You would be wrong. There are certain aspects of the remodelingContinue reading “Light Infantry”

Late Night Talk

Dearest Rachel – It may have had something to do with our discussion en route to last night’s Bible study. I don’t know how the subject came up but Daniel and I were sharing about how late night talk show hosts just aren’t what they used to be. For my part, I never took aContinue reading “Late Night Talk”

Insurance Against the Heat

Dearest Rachel – I’m sure you can guess, after yesterday’s letter, that I slept with the ceiling fan on. Indeed, I woke up so grateful for it – and for the misadventure brought it to be there. You know, I started this series of the letters as a form of therapy, but also as aContinue reading “Insurance Against the Heat”

Folding the Hedge

Dearest Rachel – Every so often, I come up with a title that needs some explanation; however, this is going to take some time for me to get to. Feel free to guess a little while I try to set the table here. I’ll give you a hint, though; it has absolutely nothing to doContinue reading “Folding the Hedge”

Suddenly Summer

Dearest Rachel – It’s a commonly-held truism here in the Chicago area (and, now that I think about it, throughout the Midwest – so you’d be just as familiar with it as I) that “if you don’t like the weather around here, just wait five minutes.” It’s an exaggeration to make a humorous point, ofContinue reading “Suddenly Summer”

No Substitute

Dearest Rachel – You know, if you were still here, I wouldn’t have anything to do with social media. It’s just no substitute for the real thing. But you aren’t, and I do. It’s not ideal, but you work with what you’re given. I was woken up this morning at twenty to six by theContinue reading “No Substitute”

Define ‘Temporary’

Dearest Rachel – At least it had nothing to do with the construction team. Shortly after noon on Friday, I had brought home lunch for Daniel and myself (well, since mine was a chorizo-and-egg burrito, it might been better characterized as ‘brunch’). We were hanging around in the dining/family room, surfing our various corners ofContinue reading “Define ‘Temporary’”

from Rachel: (God Is Stronger than My Struggles) With Loneliness

Remember your loneliest time? What details made it particularly difficult? “My most alone time was last August (2013) when I vacationed alone for a week, but I relished in almost every minute of it. I think the times I feel loneliest are when I’m surrounded by people, but they are already all in groups conversing.Continue reading “from Rachel: (God Is Stronger than My Struggles) With Loneliness”

I Wish I Had Taken More Pictures

Dearest Rachel – So, last night we met the girls for dinner. I’m not gonna lie, it was a bit of a fire drill; not gonna specify, either, because I’m not sure which nationality applies here – Chinese, Bavarian, or some other – and regardless, it’d probably be racist, or at least ethnist, to doContinue reading “I Wish I Had Taken More Pictures”

That Could Have Gone So Much Worse…

Dearest Rachel – That title pretty much sums up last night’s dream, honey. Don’t know where it came from; as cold as I may have felt, I did sleep in my clothes to mitigate the chill, so I shouldn’t have been feeling it in my unconsciousness. And as for the rest of it, well, IContinue reading “That Could Have Gone So Much Worse…”

Long Term Plans

Dearest Rachel – Well, wouldn’t you know it. Just yesterday, I was saying how I need to be telling you a bit more about Yvonne, and last night, she comes out and asks me some hard questions. So, it looks like I need to talk about her at this point. I will say that timeContinue reading “Long Term Plans”

Why Are We Messing With This?

Dearest Rachel – I suppose I really should’ve seen this day coming. Not so much the dream, however. Let me start with it, as it’s the first thing that I wake up to. I warn you, however, but it’s not a subject matter that really interests you – not to mention, neither you nor IContinue reading “Why Are We Messing With This?”

Pliable v Stubborn

Dearest Rachel – Every day, there is a new member of the team to meet and deal with. The last couple of days have been spent dealing with the plumbing, first in the kitchen, then in the laundry room. Today, I’ve met with the electrician. His news isn’t particularly promising, but these are things thatContinue reading “Pliable v Stubborn”

It’s Never ‘Just Lunch’

Dearest Rachel – I really kind of expected it to be a shorter day, in terms of being out of the house, than most, since all I had planned for the day was to meet Lars for lunch in his neighborhood. Granted, the trip to his neighborhood required budgeting the better part of an hourContinue reading “It’s Never ‘Just Lunch’”

So Much Nonsense

Dearest Rachel – I don’t know what my brain was trying to process last night, but it certainly was working overtime in generating dreams. Mostly, however, the dreams it was creating were both fairly realistic (that is, nothing to psychedelic or dreamscape-y), and at the same time, illogical enough for me to recognize them asContinue reading “So Much Nonsense”

Notes from the (Unplanned) Experiment

Dearest Rachel – I would almost expect that your first reaction would be to read that title, turn to me, and ask “Wait, wasn’t it your plan all along to sleep upstairs in the yellow room during the construction?” Well, yes, that’s true… sort of. You see, I had assumed that the operation would beContinue reading “Notes from the (Unplanned) Experiment”

M’aidez

Dearest Rachel – I’ve been told that the distress code “mayday” comes from an anglicization of the French expression “m’aidez,” literally “help me.” Well, once again, May Day is upon us, and I could use some help. You see, while some events – like the balloon that wound up on the driveway on my birthdayContinue reading “M’aidez”

Are These ‘My’ People? Am I ‘Theirs’?

Dearest Rachel – So, last night was spent online with the group of VIP chatters from PJMedia. It’s another of my many efforts to kickstart a social life, now that mine no longer revolves around you, what with you being gone and all that. The strange thing is, I didn’t get involved in it forContinue reading “Are These ‘My’ People? Am I ‘Theirs’?”

from Rachel: Surrender

If God is stronger than everything, and He is, then why do so many believers still live in tragic weakness? “Some are more comfortable there, others don’t have because they don’t ask, and still others try but struggle with the ‘trust fall’ of surrendering their power and control for His.” Beside each of these… steps,Continue reading “from Rachel: Surrender”