Can’t Get Him Out of the House

Dearest Rachel –

In a way, I think I’d prefer to talk to you about my dream from last night, but it was so much of a non sequitur that I wouldn’t be able to make much of a story out of it. Basically, it involved my dad and I trying to sell a litter of fox-like puppies (don’t ask about the breed; I wouldn’t even know if such a breed exists. Sure, there are foxhounds, but they look nothing like the animals they hunt; these dogs did) over in suburban Moscow of all places. In particular, we were having an incredible amount of difficulty finding the address, as apparently (at least, in the dreamscape my mind created) Russian addresses are nothing more than three numbers separated by commas. The second and third numbers are essentially geo-coordinates; what the first number represented, I couldn’t tell you.

We tried for what seemed to be three or four days to find this location at a certain set time in the morning, and finally found the place on our fourth or fifth try – only to discover a huge line of people attempting to sell their dogs to this same buyer, and we had to find our way to the end of this interminable line. And that’s where the dream ended, as I simply gave up the quest. I’m not sure you would’ve given up – especially after having sunk so much time and effort into it already – but given your love of dogs, it’s fairly likely that you wouldn’t have made the attempt to get rid of these dogs in the first place.

Anyway, as usual, I have no idea what brought that on, or what any of it might mean. I also have no way of linking it to the topic I wanted to discuss with you, save for the thoroughly rural nature of the area we found ourselves traveling through in an attempt to locate this buyer.

You see, it turns out that the camp needs more help than just over the women’s retreat weekend. It would seem that a local school district is holding some sort of student orientation overnight events at the camp, and on fairly short notice. Since most of the volunteer (and paid) staff during the summer were high school and college students, and they are as much back at school as the students the camp will be hosting, they need to scrounge up as many volunteers as possible from the church congregation to fill in for the same type of roles as for the women’s retreat.

Now, I don’t recall if your school engaged in this – I’d be willing to guess you might very well have, as your school is that much closer to such a rural venue (although, on the other hand, they might possibly not have bothered, since some of your fellow students would be part of rural life by nature of their upbringing in farm families and whatnot) – but this is something I recall having done back in junior high school, so it doesn’t surprise me that such an event exists. Why they’re suddenly coming to ‘our’ camp is something of a mystery – given how similar operations have been devastated by the economic events of the past few years, it wouldn’t surprise me to find out that the place they used to go to either was forced to close, or has priced itself out of the market – but there’s no sense in turning down such an opportunity for the lack of understanding the ‘why.’ The only problem is that we need to assemble sufficient suitable personnel to handle the sudden influx.

Since I’ve already offered my services for the next weekend (although I’ve yet to hear back from the church about it), and I do have that level of freedom to involve myself without the constraints of an actual job, I probably should sign up for this as well – history between us and the camp notwithstanding. However, my folks thought that the true opportunity to volunteer for this situation fell upon Daniel, and asked him about it at dinner last night.

As much as I might agree with them that he needs to get out in the world – and out of the house, away from the tight tendrils of the internet and those making noise thereupon – I could have told them it was not a suggestion he would take up. To his credit, he seemed abashed when he admitted he was not cut out for camp life, or for dealing with kids directly. The funny part is, I completely understand both of those arguments, and suffer from them myself; I don’t like ‘roughing it,’ and I’ve proven my inability to deal with children time and time again, so I’m more than willing to give him a pass on those, and by extension, this particular request in general.

But I know he needs to get out of the house, even as I admit I don’t have a clue how to get him there. He doesn’t need, financially speaking, to earn a living, thanks to you, your parents and their parents. He knows full well that the house will be his once I finally join you someday (and that I’ve poured too much into the house to simply leave it without enjoying the fruits of my investment in it), so why leave? Besides, I’ve agreed to take on his friend Logan as a roomer, starting after Labor Day, so that’s one more reason to stick around (and a reason that I can’t volunteer over this upcoming week, come to think of it – that, and the painters are coming in on Tuesday as well – although the following week, I will be available, so I might as well offer to stay after the girls have gone home). So, what the incentive to get out there?

This is the sort of thing we would discuss back and forth between us when you were still around. Maybe you would have ideas that I’d never think of; maybe we could come to a consensus about this or that possibility. But on my own, I can’t seem to come up with much, what I do come up with, I’m not confident in, and I still find myself juggling my own commitments too much to really be forceful about backing up anything I might actually decide upon. It’s the sort of many reasons why I don’t understand why anyone would want to hold a position of leadership; I’m terrible at it, and can’t fathom why anyone else would like it.

Anyway, that’s what my morning has been like, honey, and what I’ve found myself thinking about. Wish you were here to help me out, but since you can’t be, all I can ask is for you to wish me luck. Clearly, I’m going to need 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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