Define ‘Okay’

Dearest Rachel – The other night, I received one of those regular emails from Nightelf. You know the sort; the kind of elaborate narrative that inspired me to begin writing you – although what I lack in erudition, I try to make up for in quantity. Between a career in academia in certain other lifeContinue reading “Define ‘Okay’”

A Little Piece of You

Dearest Rachel – Good friends will help you move; Great friends will help you move bodies. I suppose this means that my sister Jenn and Lars could be considered to be great friends. Now Jenn, as counterintuitive as it might be, should not come as any great surprise. Yes, as siblings, we were – andContinue reading “A Little Piece of You”

Dakimakura

Dearest Rachel – I don’t know if you remember it, but even before we were separated, I recall looking at websites that offered to create a custom dakimakura, or body pillow. You know the type I’m talking about; there’s always at least one or two vendors in every anime convention dealer room hawking these things.Continue reading “Dakimakura”

On Being ‘The Grenade’

Dearest Rachel – I’ve spoken to certain people who find themselves amused at some of the stories I tell you about my life lived after you, particularly those having to do with finding a successor to you (if you’d want to call her that). It offers a measure of comfort to me that, if IContinue reading “On Being ‘The Grenade’”

Picking at the Wound

Dearest Rachel – You would think that, because I’m writing you every day, I’d be constantly marinating my soul in the sensation of having lost you. Even as I’m chatting with others – even with possible candidates to fill the empty spot in our house and lives – when they ask what I do, IContinue reading “Picking at the Wound”

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”

A Prayer For Daniel

Father God – First of all, thank You for being willing and desirous for us to call You that. The idea that the Creator of the Universe is willing to consider us His children when we, as a rule, do little more than bring You embarrassment and regret that You even thought to create us,Continue reading “A Prayer For Daniel”

What Was So Important, Anyway?

Dearest Rachel – You might remember how, back when the magazine still existed, I would buy myself a copy of Life at the end of the year as a sort of memory refresher; their “Year in Pictures” issue. This is what happened in the world during the year, the important stuff, the important people, theContinue reading “What Was So Important, Anyway?”

It Ain’t Carnegie Hall

Dearest Rachel – The weather can be particularly perverse at times. Just yesterday, I’d heard that the New Year’s event to be held up at camp starting today had to be canceled, due to a lack of snow and the lake not having frozen over. This morning, I wake up to a blanket of snowContinue reading “It Ain’t Carnegie Hall”

The Summons

Dearest Rachel – So, for the first time since the pandemic and the lockdown took effect, we’ve gotten a notice from the county: a summons for jury duty. Actually, that’s not entirely true; you received one back in the spring, but I had to call them up and inform them that you would not beContinue reading “The Summons”

Real Life Rickrolling

Dearest Rachel – I would like to think that I wouldn’t have to explain the concept of the rickroll to anyone on the internet. Anyone who’s been out here any length of time has probably been conned into clicking a link that took them to Mr. Astley’s music video, and those who haven’t, really justContinue reading “Real Life Rickrolling”

Quinn the Eskimo

Dearest Rachel – I have probably got to stop trying to find any deeper meaning in my dreams. This one had to be one of the most elaborate ones I’ve ever had, but it didn’t seem to really ever go anywhere. Well, that’s not entirely true: it went places (if you want to be literalContinue reading “Quinn the Eskimo”

Slip Slidin’ Away

Dearest Rachel – So it finally came today – the first measurable snow of the season. Just three days too late for all those dreams of a white Christmas, when it would actually be considered welcome. I was picking up dinner for Daniel and myself, stepped outside onto a snowy sidewalk, and skidded for aContinue reading “Slip Slidin’ Away”

Making the Most of Last Call

Dearest Rachel – So this is it. Effective the beginning of next week, the law comes down, not only in Chicago itself but throughout the entire county: no one may go out in public unless they have proof of vaccination. What that means is that Daniel will not be able to go out to aContinue reading “Making the Most of Last Call”

The Tomato in the Fruit Salad

Dearest Rachel – Well, I have no idea where that came from. Obviously, our university experience wasn’t nearly so unpleasant, but there you are. I literally just woke up from chasing down a professor, who made it abundantly clear that anyone who arrived at his classroom later than he did would be immediately locked out,Continue reading “The Tomato in the Fruit Salad”

Grains of Rice

Dearest Rachel – What with Christmas day having come and gone, I suppose I ought to set aside any talk about painful Christmas music. But if you’ll indulge me for just one more day, I have a few things to say about this one – and its composer. For one thing, Chris Rice just seemsContinue reading “Grains of Rice”

from Rachel: Transformed by Trouble

Question to consider: What problem in my life has caused the greatest growth in me? “May 17 “I feel completely stumped at this moment, and I only hope that doesn’t mean I will have to have more problems very soon to bring about some growth. “I can think of a number of trials and temptationsContinue reading “from Rachel: Transformed by Trouble”

Present People

Dearest Rachel – I’ve mentioned before to you that I’ve had some difficulty with regard to the traditional gift exchange that is a part of Christmas: what do I want, or more to the point, what can they get for me? Materially speaking, I have pretty much anything I need, and if Daniel or IContinue reading “Present People”

It Takes More Than Just Me

Dearest Rachel – I mentioned last night about how I needed to get this written down in some way. For whatever reason, I can’t seem to find the book in which this recipe is written, and it is one of those few responsibilities I have with regards to cooking as part of our family traditions.Continue reading “It Takes More Than Just Me”

God Bless

Dearest Rachel – Another day of the season, another song to talk about. But this isn’t just any day; it’s Christmas itself. The day of Our Lord. The day when, as my dad often puts it, “the complaint department is closed.” So I will just talk about a song for whom my only complaint isContinue reading “God Bless”

Time and a Half

Dearest Rachel – Back when I was studying calligraphy in junior high, I drew up a motto for my great-aunt Belva that read “Keep serving the Lord: the pay may not be good, but the retirement plan is out of this world.” I’m sure it was lost in the cleanup after her passing (amazing toContinue reading “Time and a Half”

A Cinnamon Roll for Christmas Eve

Dearest Rachel – I mentioned yesterday about picking up a little more than dinner at the mall the other night. And yes, it made the whole trip there that much longer, what with there being a line there every bit as long as each other place I stopped (including twice at the pretzel shop, asContinue reading “A Cinnamon Roll for Christmas Eve”

Bit Insulting, Innit?

Dearest Rachel – Today’s song is a bit of a paradox. I’ve never actually listened to it until today (I mean, we’ve heard it a number of times, but actually listened to it? Hardly). In any event, let’s get it out of the way before I start in on it: As I understand it, itContinue reading “Bit Insulting, Innit?”

Getting Malled

Dearest Rachel – I suppose it serves me right for trying to play Postmate for Daniel and myself. You’d probably have compared my little excursion last night with the time we were on our way to choir practice before the service, and I decided to stop in at a place we rarely bothered to visit;Continue reading “Getting Malled”

Eleven Months Home

Dearest Rachel – I had to save the most painful secular song for today, since it’s been eleven months since the accident. You didn’t think I’d forget what the twenty-third of the month was so soon, did you? It’s hard to think about it that way, since none of us on this since think ofContinue reading “Eleven Months Home”

The Plans That We’d Made

Dearest Rachel – I’ve already talked about a couple of Christmas-adjacent songs that talk more about staying inside and avoiding the worst of the weather, that either leave me envious of the couple that can do just that together, or make me worry if I have to become some kind of creep in order toContinue reading “The Plans That We’d Made”

That’s What I Want

Dearest Rachel – You used to tell me that one of the things that appealed to you about me was the fact that I resembled your dad in a number of different ways. I mean, not so much in looks or in age (thank heaven for that!), but in a playful sense of humor andContinue reading “That’s What I Want”

Funny False Alarms

Dearest Rachel – I won’t go so far as to say there is nothing funnier than a false alarm. I’ve stood outside the dorm room at three or four in the morning with a cold and a then-ineffective dose of Nyquil in my system after spiders apparently got into the fire alarm system at Wesleyan,Continue reading “Funny False Alarms”

The House Without

Dearest Rachel – I hope you don’t mind, but you know this was never something I thought was worth bothering with, since we never really celebrated the holidays at our own home. Maybe, if we intend to do more hosting in our renovated place, that might change, but for now, we aren’t really going toContinue reading “The House Without”

Happiness and Cheer?

Dearest Rachel – My objection to the today’s song is not the typical complaint about misery-inducing lyrics; in fact, quite the opposite. What words I can make out through simply listening, are perfectly in line with the festive season: “Christmas time is here / Happiness and cheer / Fun for all that children call /Continue reading “Happiness and Cheer?”

from Rachel: Transformed by Truth

Question to consider: What has God already told me to do in His Word that I haven’t started doing yet? “May 16 (late Sunday night) “(Sure enough, ACen kept me busy all through Saturday and Sunday) “What God has been trying to drive home to me in BSF, just as in chapter 24, is theContinue reading “from Rachel: Transformed by Truth”

Muddling Through

Dearest Rachel – I have to confess that, as I was putting together yesterday’s letter, I was finding it paradoxically more difficult to write and complain about the songs the more I tried to do so. I was getting somewhat self-conscious about the self-pitying tone of my essay the further along I got. Between tryingContinue reading “Muddling Through”

Don’t Snow Me In

Dearest Rachel – For all the problems that I have with the secular version of Christmas, particularly the music that invokes thoughts of loved ones (who are, of course, no longer with us), I am always reminded that it could be worse – I could live in Japan. There, as you know, Christmas is aContinue reading “Don’t Snow Me In”

Officially Cleared

Dearest Rachel – I suppose it’s a sign of the times to say something along the lines of how there’s nothing so relieving to see than a chance to rejoin society… because your Covid test came back negative. I’ve made no secret of the fact that Daniel is noon too keen about the Covid vaccineContinue reading “Officially Cleared”

A Tourist in Toyland

Dearest Rachel – Since I’ve either a.) been out of the country, or b.) shopping from home (or c.) both a. and b., thanks to the fact that I can shop online from anywhere, including a hotel in Switzerland), I haven’t been hearing a lot of Christmas music this year. It’s a bit of aContinue reading “A Tourist in Toyland”

The Wind Has No Answer

Dearest Rachel – I wonder if you ever bother to look down on the earth from wherever you may be. How fast is it moving, from your perspective? They say that the spin is a thousand miles an hour at the equator, but what is that on a sphere of 24,000 miles in circumference? CanContinue reading “The Wind Has No Answer”

Mischief Managed

Dearest Rachel – I was just reading the other day something about J. K. Rowling; I think it was somebody admiring her political stands in the face of, how shall we say, rather rabid opposition. The author of the piece actually commented how they weren’t a big fan of the Harry Potter series (being moreContinue reading “Mischief Managed”

In Need of a Jump Start

Dearest Rachel – You’d think, that after nodding off in the recliner sometime between nine and ten last night (I don’t remember exactly when; after all, I was asleep), I wouldn’t have any problem getting up early this morning. you think I wouldn’t have the need to slap the snooze button three times in aContinue reading “In Need of a Jump Start”

When Wheedling Won’t Work

Dearest Rachel – When I first joined this dating app, Jeff (who’d met his wife on one a year or two back) warned me that I should prepare myself to face a hundred rejections or so before finding anybody. Surprisingly, that hasn’t happened thus far. But what has happened has pushed me very nearly toContinue reading “When Wheedling Won’t Work”

A Time to Show Up, A Time to Take Off

Dearest Rachel – So, last night was the final Awana club meeting for the calendar year. There was also a get together of the Grief Share group that Cheryl was hosting at her place, and I didn’t want to miss that. So after checking with Daniel as to how he felt about serving at SparksContinue reading “A Time to Show Up, A Time to Take Off”

Staring at the Ceiling

Dearest Rachel – Even now, it’s almost too early to get up, but I’ve been awake for almost three hours, just staring up at the ceiling that we woke up to for the past twenty-five years. The sun has begun to show its face and shine its light after I’ve been lying in these hoursContinue reading “Staring at the Ceiling”

The Quiet of a Sunday Morning

Dearest Rachel – I know the number of letters that I’ve written you have started to drop off since my return from overseas. Part of that is because I don’t consider things here to be all that interesting (or unfamiliar to you), and therefore worthy of comment. Part of it is because there are thingsContinue reading “The Quiet of a Sunday Morning”

from Rachel: How We Grow

Question to consider: What is one area where I need to stop thinking my way and start thinking God’s way? “May 14 (or 15, because it’s 1:00 a.m.) “ I can’t think of a specific area right now.” “(Later) I suppose the area (which I really hate to admit and don’t want to surrender) wouldContinue reading “from Rachel: How We Grow”

More Sabbath than I’d Intended

Dearest Rachel – Considering I’ve been silent since the first thing this morning, you would think that nothing happened all day. And to a certain extent, you wouldn’t be that far wrong. At the same time, there’s a sort of thought that’s what we’ve been asked to do, to take some time and rest. ThatContinue reading “More Sabbath than I’d Intended”

Too Early on a Saturday

Dearest Rachel – I don’t know if it’s that I haven’t acclimatized myself to the time zone, or just that I fell asleep too early while Daniel and Logan were in the family room watching this or that. Maybe it’s just the wind, whipping around outside the bedroom; since there are windows on three sidesContinue reading “Too Early on a Saturday”

Where’s the Lavender Soap?

Dearest Rachel – I’ve been told that the above expression, when mouthed, is indistinguishable from the phrase “where there’s life, there’s hope.” Beyond that, the title is only meaningful only insofar as its misreading. After venting my frustrations about what Daniel was or was not doing for himself in my absence, I think I managedContinue reading “Where’s the Lavender Soap?”

Found

Dearest Rachel – You’ll recall me mentioning the other day when I was wandering around Basel how you’re never truly lost; that it’s just a matter of not being where you want to be. As a consequence, being ‘found’ isn’t the opposite of being lost; it’s just a matter of someone else realizing where youContinue reading “Found”

His Lifeline

Dearest Rachel – When I left on my trip nearly two weeks ago (has it only been that long? It seems like it’s been ages), I felt bad about leaving Daniel behind. But I’ve told you about his opinions toward the various Covid protocols, and that he wouldn’t be allowed into the airport with hisContinue reading “His Lifeline”

Missing the Clicks

Dearest Rachel – I don’t mind telling you, now that I’m home relatively safe and sound, I find myself wondering what to write to you about such that I’ll get the kind of attention that I’ve had for the past week or two. I’m not going to make any secret of the fact that IContinue reading “Missing the Clicks”

The Devil in the Details

Dearest Rachel – Yes, I told you I was going to continue to make that pun every time the folks from Detail Kitchens work with me on the remodeling of the kitchen and the laundry room. Consider yourself lucky I didn’t make such a pun that time we went shopping for appliances. Besides, it’s aContinue reading “The Devil in the Details”

Culture Stunned

Dearest Rachel – Over the last week and a half, I’ve said a number of times about how ‘what’s mundane for one person is exotic for another.’ Naturally, it stands to reason that this situation goes both ways. What’s particularly weird is how it’s happened to me in both directions. I can’t say that IContinue reading “Culture Stunned”

No Great Surprise

Dearest Rachel – So here it is, three in the morning, and I’m lying in bed awake. Considering that I nodded off in the rocking chair yesterday, and then went to bed at a quarter to ten, this really should come as no great surprise. Of course I should still be adjusting to the timeContinue reading “No Great Surprise”

Getting My Ten Cents Worth

Dearest Rachel – I probably shouldn’t do this, but boredom – and the ability to move about – can cause one to make some, let’s say, questionable financial decisions. Of course, they weren’t particularly big deals, especially in comparison to all the spending that I’ve been doing in the last two days (not all ofContinue reading “Getting My Ten Cents Worth”

More Than You’ll Ever Have

Dearest Rachel – I don’t know when I first heard it; probably from someone leaving a bad movie at a theater. “Well, that’s two hours of my life I’ll never get back.” It seems the sort of thing I could get away with saying at the moment. Sure, I have travel insurance, and that’ll coverContinue reading “More Than You’ll Ever Have”

In Darkest Night

Dearest Rachel – It’s almost funny. I finished my dinner in darkness, returned to the hotel in darkness, settled my bill and went to bed in that same darkness. All fairly normal. But in that self same darkness, I’m waking up, taking a taxi, flying to Amsterdam, and will land there in that same darkness.Continue reading “In Darkest Night”

One Last Walk Around

Dearest Rachel – When I got back to the hotel yesterday, after standing, exhausted, in the middle of Marktplatz, and settled in to update you on my travels for the morning, it was at that moment the sun deigned to stick his head out. I swear the old boy was mocking me. But it justContinue reading “One Last Walk Around”

Cheap Eats, If You Need Them

Dearest Rachel – So I’m back to the hotel yet again this morning, and it’s barely ten. This time, at least, I’ve gone through the antigen test (there was nobody in line! It pays to wait!) – turns out, they only needed to swab one nostril rather than the two we had to do backContinue reading “Cheap Eats, If You Need Them”

‘Lost’ in Basel

Dearest Rachel – It’s a bit of a misnomer to say this about myself. Especially in the daytime; the old city isn’t that big that you can truly get lost in it. You just aren’t where you want to be. I determined that I wanted to check out the Cartoonmuseum; the Kunstmuseum is just aContinue reading “‘Lost’ in Basel”

Winding Up for Winding Down

Dearest Rachel – Monday morning in Basel, and I think I’ve had the most solid sleep of my time here; went to bed around eleven, and didn’t wake up until seven-thirty. May have dreamed about solving some problems back at the old workplace, but it’s hardly worth commenting upon. I’m feeling like I should takeContinue reading “Winding Up for Winding Down”

St. Nicholas’ Day

Dearest Rachel – In our phone calls to each other (actually, I’m forced to admit that he’s been the one calling me every single time to check on me throughout this whole ordeal), Lars tells me that today is the day that the feast of St. Nicholas of Myra is celebrated throughout much of centralContinue reading “St. Nicholas’ Day”

Basel Street Food

Dearest Rachel – So this isn’t really part of the series as such; but, since one still needs to eat, I might as well tell you about the food on the streets. It’s not as if I’d gotten ravenously hungry over the course of my wanderings this morning, but, with all the passing by thisContinue reading “Basel Street Food”

No Longer Barefoot

Dearest Rachel – It is the weirdest thing to realize this is the first time I’ve had socks or shoes on since last Sunday. I’ve had no reason to wear them. I’m also having to put on more than just a T-shirt or a polo, for once. Hey it’s in the single digits Celsius outContinue reading “No Longer Barefoot”