Walking Out the Door

Dearest Rachel – It really feels weird to simply walk out the open door and keep going, but that’s how things are this morning. The tiling team is in today to work on the backsplash, so they need to keep going outside, where they’ve got their table saw out to cut each piece to fit.Continue reading “Walking Out the Door”

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”

Muzzling the Help

Dearest Rachel – Well, it’s almost time. I’ve gotten word from the installers, and they’ll be out to begin work in either two or three weeks from now. With that in mind, I need to pack everything up from the kitchen and the laundry room. That means enlisting Jan’s help, and getting together as manyContinue reading “Muzzling the Help”

The Wit and Wisdom of Strangers’ Shirts

Dearest Rachel – Since you expressed yourself so much through the clothes you wore (particularly, your T-shirts), I probably should tell you about a few that I’ve been seeing as I’ve gone about the ship from time to time. Most of them are fairly straightforward, with favored bands, sports teams and alma maters, but everyContinue reading “The Wit and Wisdom of Strangers’ Shirts”

Makin’ My Way Downtown

Dearest Rachel – I’m sure you’ve picked up by now the fact that I feel like a man out of place. For the last thirty hours or so, I’ve been a man out of time as well. For whatever reason, when we were paused outside of Kingston, my phone switched over to what I presumeContinue reading “Makin’ My Way Downtown”

A Perfect Day?

Dearest Rachel – Do you remember this place, honey? Well, I’m back here. Hadn’t actually planned to be – originally, the itinerary had us docking in Nassau today, but some of the passengers were sent an incorrect itinerary, and the cruise line discovered (not sure how, as I don’t recall being asked one way orContinue reading “A Perfect Day?”

A Call From Out of Nowhere

Dearest Rachel – This is why I answer the phone, regardless of whether i recognize the number or not. You just never know… This afternoon, the phone rang, and while the number didn’t look familiar, it was a Chicago number, so it wasn’t as if it was from just anywhere. To be sure, I didContinue reading “A Call From Out of Nowhere”

And So It Continues…

Dearest Rachel – It’s tricky writing to you from the A/V booth, especially during rehearsal. Never mind the fact that dictating to Siri is basically impossible (and even if I tried to do it, it would still be kind of rude); I basically need to be reacting to the band’s needs at any given momentContinue reading “And So It Continues…”

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”

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”

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”

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”

Falling Night, Rising Wings

Dearest Rachel – Between the time we board the plane and the moment of liftoff, the sky fades from the edge of twilight to nearly pitch darkness. This is how things are as we approach winter, after all. The cabin steward, noticing my coughing (although at first he confused it for a sneeze and offeredContinue reading “Falling Night, Rising Wings”

At the Scene

Dearest Rachel – From the very first moment this trip was planned, where the team would run from church to camp, I had no idea whether I would be able to stand here. Once I was here, however, it seemed inappropriate for me not to come here. There’s no indication from the way things lookContinue reading “At the Scene”

NYC It Ain’t

Dearest Rachel – It’s one of those things you don’t necessarily think about while planning, but is absolutely imperative. In fact, it almost goes without saying, although by doing so, one runs the risk of forgetting just how necessary it is to bear in mind, so I might as well point it out: much asContinue reading “NYC It Ain’t”

Restless Leg Syndrome

Dearest Rachel – The others tell me that this is perfect weather for this kind of running. And while it’s quite true that whatever form of precipitation the heavens might see fit to drop upon us has finally ceased, I continue to question their definition. I do understand the desire for cooler temperatures when exertingContinue reading “Restless Leg Syndrome”

The Foggy Dark

Dearest Rachel – It’s barely 5 o’clock, and it’s gone completely dark. We’ve just reached the next checkpoint; the first one where people riding in my van will be taking up the baton. Well, not literally… As it turns out they’re using several snap wristbands to pass on from runner to runner as each legContinue reading “The Foggy Dark”

NOW I Remember

Dearest Rachel – It turns out that one of the runners – or maybe he was just from the place where the group rented the vans from – was from the place we donated Daniel’s old used VW just a week or two before the accident. He was telling Jim and me about he hadContinue reading “NOW I Remember”

Doing It His Way

Dearest Rachel – Not all of my trips across town are terribly interesting. Certainly this mornings wasn’t, unless you count the fact that I had to deliver some mail to the folks that share our address. I didn’t recognize the name on the envelope, and whoever sent it didn’t bother to specify whether South orContinue reading “Doing It His Way”

And I Say, “It’s All Right”

Dearest Rachel – Well, after two whole days of barely acknowledging us, it seems that the sun is back, and it’s nice to see him. Even if he is in my face in either direction that I walk. Not that that’s a complaint I’m ever going to take up with my grandchildren: “You kids haveContinue reading “And I Say, “It’s All Right””

Peripatetic Plans

Dearest Rachel – It’s five o’clock in the morning. I have absolutely no idea what might be going on in Erin‘s head right now – or in any of the other runners. For my own part, even as I’m sitting on my bed in the pitch dark, wondering whether to begin the day, I’ve gotContinue reading “Peripatetic Plans”

Gotta Go Slower

Dearest Rachel – It’s been about a week and a half since the last time I walked to the office. Most of last week, of course, has been because Kevin has been over, but it isn’t as if I walk every day when I actually cross town, either. Yesterday, I was concerned about the threatContinue reading “Gotta Go Slower”

Not the Worst Way to Make an Impression

Dearest Rachel – Another day, another walk to the ‘office.’ With a stop or two along the way; there are always things that need to be done, after all. First of which was to stop by the bank and drop off my payment for property taxes. I know they’re not due for another week orContinue reading “Not the Worst Way to Make an Impression”

Losing Track

Dearest Rachel – It was probably a bad call on my part, but I decided not to walk to the ‘office’ this morning. Well, there was a reason behind it: I had assumed I’d be walking this evening with Erin at Melas Park. But you know that old saying about what happens when you assumeContinue reading “Losing Track”

The Return Trip

God, grant us strength todayAs we go our separate ways.Though we do not know quite when,Shield us ’til we meet again. me, this morning Dearest Rachel – And so it goes, as they say in Tralfamadore. It’s time (and past time, compared to almost everyone else) to return to life as usual… whatever that isContinue reading “The Return Trip”

Observations Along The Way

Dearest Rachel – Depending on when I leave the house, I can (and do) run into a number of people along the way. And I have to admit, I can’t seem to prevent myself from commenting on some of the things I see. To borrow from the legendary Yogi Berra, “you can observe a lotContinue reading “Observations Along The Way”

Early Morning in a Strange City

Let’s go up on the roof beneath the neonPretend we’re foreigners and drink the city inSomewhere between the stairwell and the starlightI find myself holding your hand Mark Heard, “Love is Not the Only Thing,” from Second Hand, 1992 Dearest Rachel – I’d kind of like to start this letter off like a conversation: youContinue reading “Early Morning in a Strange City”

A Fondness for Funfairs

Dearest Rachel – Pulling into Melas Park, where I usually meet Erin to walk together on Tuesdays, I noticed that the parking lot we both usually use is unavailable. Turns out, while my village and Erin’s city have both canceled their annual Independence Day festivals, the town located between the two (which is why weContinue reading “A Fondness for Funfairs”