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”

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!”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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?”

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”

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”

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”

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””

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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?”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

Up and Out

Dearest Rachel – You might remember the scene at the end of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, where Willy Wonka presses the button marked ‘Up and Out.’ “I always wanted to press that button, but never had the nerve,” he says – and I may be paraphrasing. And for good reason, as the elevator smashesContinue reading “Up and Out”

They’re Trying to Confuse Me

Dearest Rachel – So, the word has come down; I’m cleared to move about outside, although I’ll probably have to have this letter available on my phone to show to the front desk: Of course, I still have to follow all the masking rules and so forth; don’t know if I’m still shedding viruses (evenContinue reading “They’re Trying to Confuse Me”

Sounds a Little Different

Dearest Rachel – Things sound a little different in a hotel on the weekends. This isn’t exactly the tourist section of Basel; I’m of the understanding that the Pullman is rather closer to the industrial center of town, while the museums and the shopping district sit on the other side of the river. But everybodyContinue reading “Sounds a Little Different”

Last Day on Hold

Dearest Rachel – After nearly a week of sleeping in until (and past) nine, I find myself up this morning at seven, unable to go back to sleep. The streets are still dark (it is December, after all), and yet my mind and body have determined I have spent enough time in bed for theContinue reading “Last Day on Hold”

Still A Pariah

Dearest Rachel – This last day or so have, emotionally speaking, been like riding on a pendulum – perhaps on one of those cuckoo clocks this country is so famous for. Even as news begins to trickle in to me, suggesting that there might be a way for me to get out sooner than IContinue reading “Still A Pariah”

Still A Long Way From Hope

Dearest Rachel – I mentioned how earlier today things were beginning to look up. The Basel-Stadt Health Department have laid out a timetable for me to be able to leave my room sooner than I’d hoped or expected, and just an hour or so ago, I’d received a testing vial from the good folks atContinue reading “Still A Long Way From Hope”

Ringing Off the Hook

Dearest Rachel – Even as I was being escorted off the ship, I acknowledged to my host that, “well, as long as there is Internet where I’m going, I think I’ll be okay.” And so far, what events there have been succeeding that have pretty much borne that out. My Bible app, which requires anContinue reading “Ringing Off the Hook”

Not Quite Soundproof

Dearest Rachel – Last night wasn’t the soundest sleep I’ve ever had in my life. Sometimes I forget that, while hotel rooms are built to individualize each guest’s experience, they aren’t completely soundproof, either. Thankfully, that isn’t to say that other guests have disturbed my sleep. I will hear the occasional knocking about in theContinue reading “Not Quite Soundproof”

Adapting

Dearest Rachel – No, I’m not talking about that EU-to-US plug thingamajig that got half-fried (and fried my surge protector in turn) by the desk-based plug. I’m talking about adjusting to life in stir, especially when you’d been expecting to travel abroad and see the sights. As I’ve said a number of times already, IContinue reading “Adapting”

It Could Be Worse

Dearest Rachel – It was one of those many inside jokes we used to have between each other. Any time we were in a bad situation of one sort or another, we would often encourage each other with Eye-gor’s line. Granted, if it was raining, the effect was lost, but still… I’ve tried to maintainContinue reading “It Could Be Worse”

A Very Different Travelogue

Dearest Rachel – When Alton Brown started his ‘Quarantine Qitchen’ online streaming program with his wife Elizabeth about a year and a half ago, you were tuning in every Tuesday to watch, and occasionally comment, as they tried to assemble dinner and drinks together, squabbling as (apparently?) married couples do. You seemed to find itContinue reading “A Very Different Travelogue”

What Tomorrow May Bring

Dearest Rachel – It’s been an eventful day. Every time the phone rings, every time there’s a knock on the door, I expect this to be the moment when I’m escorted off the ship. The last knock turned out to be one with my lunch. So I’m sitting here eating it, knowing I’ll have atContinue reading “What Tomorrow May Bring”

Confined to Quarters

Dearest Rachel – I mentioned in passing in my last letter how my health issues might pose a problem with regard to this cruise. After all, while I had negative results back from the test I took on Tuesday afternoon, that wouldn’t be good enough for Viking. Even the one from Wednesday would have beenContinue reading “Confined to Quarters”

Switching Goddesses

Dearest Rachel – You’re familiar with the fact that various cruise lines have a certain theme when it comes to the names of the ships in their fleet. Royal Caribbean, for instance, will eventually go through pretty much every single noun in the dictionary, and as long as they stick ‘of the Seas’ at theContinue reading “Switching Goddesses”

Lessons From Tippecanoe

Dearest Rachel – I woke up at what I thought was the morning (actually, it turned out to be eleven something at night here, meaning it was barely four in the afternoon back home) thinking about President William Henry Harrison. I know that sounds silly – and there’s a ridiculous amount of silly to wadeContinue reading “Lessons From Tippecanoe”

Knocking About the City

Dearest Rachel – I had every intention of knocking about the city this afternoon; it’s part of the reason why I arrived early enough to stay the night. I want to look around town, see what Basel has to offer. But with this head cold that I’m dealing with, I feel like I could justContinue reading “Knocking About the City”

Different Directions, Different Speeds

Dearest Rachel – It’s weird to realize it, but the flight from Amsterdam to Basel takes less than an hour, but it’s going to take eight days to get back here by ship. As we landed here, it occurred to me what I had forgotten for today’s trip; a cap to keep the rain outContinue reading “Different Directions, Different Speeds”

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”

An Extra Level of Difficulty

Dearest Rachel – Well, it took a couple of shots of Nyquil to do it (one at nine-thirty when I went to bed, and again at about three-thirty with a sinus cavity that had been filled with rubber cement), but I managed to get at least ten hours of sleep last night. And while I’mContinue reading “An Extra Level of Difficulty”

Traditions No More

Dearest Rachel – I honestly thought I could do it. I thought I could just get through the details and activities of the Thanksgiving holiday without being ambushed by your loss. I kept myself so busy, between the work in the booth for the Thanksgiving Eve service the night before, and the preparations for theContinue reading “Traditions No More”

Leaving the TARDIS Door Open

Dearest Rachel – This morning, as I went to check my itinerary to determine where in Cologne our shore excursion was likely to take us through, I found this in my email, and realized that I had overlooked the fact that this year’s convention was already long-since paid for: Of course, we had put inContinue reading “Leaving the TARDIS Door Open”

They Can’t All Be Gems

Dearest Rachel – I know I have permission to skip a day or two now and again, but that wasn’t how life was like when you were still here. There was rarely a day that went by that we didn’t talk to each other. I mean, there were occasions when you were out of town,Continue reading “They Can’t All Be Gems”

Spooky Stuff

Dearest Rachel – Yes, I know Halloween was over three weeks ago, but the days continue to get shorter, and the nights continue to get longer – and there are still spooky things that come out of the woodwork as time goes by. I woke up this morning with an idea in my head toContinue reading “Spooky Stuff”

The Fear of False Positives

Dearest Rachel – I mentioned to you in a few other earlier letters about how I’m trying not to get too excited about my upcoming trip. For one, although it takes me to a lot of places I’ve never been to, I’m doing this completely on my own, and I can’t say I’m really lookingContinue reading “The Fear of False Positives”

Abt-titude Check

Dearest Rachel – As promised, I went to this appliance showroom this morning to figure out what to get for the to-be remodeled kitchen and laundry room. And I took pictures. When we got inside, dad went to the main desk, and asked for Joe K, the representative that generally works with Detail on theirContinue reading “Abt-titude Check”

Settling For Less

Dearest Rachel – So, last night, the girls came over – probably for the last time for the next month. Since I had fixed a meal last time (well, sort of; I’d heated up a bunch of stuff that I’d gotten from Costco and whatever), I suggested that once we were assembled at the house,Continue reading “Settling For Less”

This Present Tense

Dearest Rachel – I’m sure you know that I want to have a good relationship with Daniel. I want to be able to encourage and praise him for the good that he does (even if it’s not in my presence). But how do I praise him, when I don’t find out about the good thatContinue reading “This Present Tense”

Before I Change My Mind

Dearest Rachel – I keep forgetting whether I’ve told you about this or not. I know I mentioned the possibility, but there are people that I meet that are surprised when I tell them about what I’m about to do. So maybe I haven’t given the specifics to you yet – I can never keepContinue reading “Before I Change My Mind”

Missing a Name

Dearest Rachel – A few deliveries arrived over the weekend for the folks, as I work on the beginning of the holiday-season shopping list. The last quarter of the year includes quite a few extras for the family that not everyone has to deal with, such as Mom and Dad’s anniversary at the beginning ofContinue reading “Missing a Name”

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”

In the Name of the Hairy-Trousered King

Dearest Rachel – Sometimes I find myself shaking my head in disbelief at the things I’ve gotten myself into since your departure. For just one example, I would have never considered even making a go at the marathon were you still with us… and here I am, still hanging out with the long-distance running crowdContinue reading “In the Name of the Hairy-Trousered King”

Seeking Donations

Dearest Rachel – Even with Caller ID, I can’t help it. I was raised to answer the phone when it rang, regardless of who it was. That robotic voice can say ‘potential spam’ all she likes, I’m still going to pick up the phone, and find out what it is they want. To be sure,Continue reading “Seeking Donations”

Sport Seats

Dearest Rachel – It’s a well-established fact that dreams, by their very nature, needn’t be expected to make sense. But some dreams are just that much weirder than others. Some have bizarre psychedelic imagery, with swirls of colors more at home in a bad acid trip than restful slumber. Others just construct strange scenarios, withContinue reading “Sport Seats”

Biden My Time

Dearest Rachel – I’m sure that you wouldn’t approve, I don’t feel like there’s anything I can do about it. Now that the house has been thoroughly cleaned out, there are so many more rooms Daniel and I can use. And use them we do; except it means that we’re rarely in the same roomContinue reading “Biden My Time”

No One Left to Thank

Dearest Rachel – I was going to start out by claiming it has been an ordinary day today, but that isn’t true. It was unusual, but not the sort of unusual that makes a particularly compelling letter. Suffice to say, my time was split between the ‘office’ and church, where I had a meeting aboutContinue reading “No One Left to Thank”

Given A Free Hand

Dearest Rachel – It’s taken the better part of the month, and several miscommunications and missed connections, but we’ve finally gotten a team of landscapers working on the yard. This is the same father and son team that have been working on the folks’ place for years, but it never occurred to us to hireContinue reading “Given A Free Hand”

Friday I’m In Love

Dearest Rachel – One of the nice things about the autumn is being able to coordinate clothes. A plain old sweatshirt can be made to look like business casual gear if you wear a collared shirt (either a dress shirt or polo, it doesn’t necessarily matter – although I prefer the latter, as it doesn’tContinue reading “Friday I’m In Love”

Daddy, Chill

Dearest Rachel – Some mornings, I find myself waking up, wondering what exactly it going to come to me to write you about. There are days when I’ve been dreaming about this or that, and have to tell you about it first thing in the morning, before I forget it all. There are others whenContinue reading “Daddy, Chill”

Small Steps in the Morning

Dearest Rachel – I know I touch on the topic from time to time, but for the most part, I’m loathe to talk about politics in my letters to you. To be sure, that wasn’t always the case when you were around; like with my dad at the dinner table, I enjoyed sparring with youContinue reading “Small Steps in the Morning”

Waiting in Vain

Dearest Rachel – Well, I knew it was going to happen; or more to the point, it wasn’t going to happen. And yet, at the same time, it was necessary to be prepared. I’d gone out shopping a little more than a week ago for some candy to donate to the church for the wholeContinue reading “Waiting in Vain”

Pumpkin Spice Pegboard

Dearest Rachel – You can add pumpkin spice to just about anything these days. Including a pegboard, as it turns out. This will probably need some backstory for everybody else that might be reading this. Since Halloween is on a Sunday this year, our church is holding what they refer to as their Family FunContinue reading “Pumpkin Spice Pegboard”

Asking For Approval

Dearest Rachel – You might’ve been aware of it back in the day, but as it wasn’t necessarily a concern of yours, it was never really discussed, but I always would – and still do – call the folks when I’m on my way to the ‘office.’ It’s not a necessary thing – I haveContinue reading “Asking For Approval”

Steampunk Living

Dearest Rachel – You’ll have to understand, I hadn’t intended to have anyone over today. I left the office early because I needed to drop something off at FedEx (the bank had me sign some papers for the estate) and get a few accessories for my costume on Saturday (the ‘suspicious astronaut’ costume – IContinue reading “Steampunk Living”

As Lazy as the Sun

Dearest Rachel – There is a disadvantage to untethering ourselves from the likes of alarm clocks and whatnot, relying solely on our own circadian rhythms to determine when to wake up. As the days grow shorter, and the sun gets up that much later every day, so we find ourselves sleeping in as well, becomingContinue reading “As Lazy as the Sun”

A Saturday Off

Dearest Rachel – There’s about two hundred guys up at camp this weekend. Neither Daniel nor I are among them. Needless to say, this Saturday seems… off. Normally, at this hour, I’d be returning from the Bible study, probably after running an errand or two in the process. I won’t say that I’ve been thereContinue reading “A Saturday Off”

Nine Whole Months

Dearest Rachel – No, it’s not quite been that long; believe me, I’m painfully aware of each time the twenty-third of the month has rolled around. We’ll be there in a couple of days, yes, but that’s not what this letter is about. No, what’s going on right now is something that just arrived inContinue reading “Nine Whole Months”

If You Laugh at Different Comics…

…If you root for different teams,Waste no time, weep no more,Show him what the door is for.Rub him out of the roll callAnd drum him out of your dreams. Oscar Hammerstein II, “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair”, South Pacific (1949) Dearest Rachel – I mentioned before about the fact that thereContinue reading “If You Laugh at Different Comics…”

Mysterious Magazines

Dearest Rachel – Well, your magazine arrived yesterday, like it always has every month for years on end. We’ve never figured out where they came from, or who ordered them for us… or who’s paying for them. Somehow I doubt it’s Bryan Hamilton. I do have at least one conjecture. In your folks’ waning days,Continue reading “Mysterious Magazines”

Forgetting the Fourth Wall

Dearest Rachel – I don’t know if you ever noticed – if you did, you never commented upon it – but there were occasions when we were out in public, having a conversation, particularly in close quarters, and I would dial up my side of the conversation in recognition of the fact that others wereContinue reading “Forgetting the Fourth Wall”

Good Men and Rules

Good men don’t need rules. Today is not the day to find out why I have so many. The Doctor (Matt Smith), Doctor Who S06E07, “A Good Man Goes to War” Dearest Rachel – In the days when your beloved Doctor was “all teeth and curls,” as a previous incarnation snidely put it, he wouldContinue reading “Good Men and Rules”

Hurry Up and Wait

Dearest Rachel – Sometimes, the stories that I have planned to tell you have to be set aside. Not everything is urgent; not everything is time-sensitive. But sometimes, things come up. And that basically sums up today. So any story having to do with the dating app will need to wait for another day. IContinue reading “Hurry Up and Wait”

Replacement

Dearest Rachel – Well, if it’s here at church, no one’s seen it. So tonight, I bought myself a replacement Grief Share workbook. The few bucks spent on it are of little concern, but I’m none too thrilled about losing four weeks of notes. Still, this ought to guarantee that the old one shows upContinue reading “Replacement”

Ore Wo Sagashite

Anata, Rei-sama – 私は自分が誰であるか、そして人生と愛から何を求めているかを発見する必要があります。 そうでなければ、私は自分が「めぐみ」を見て、彼女があなたかエリンのどちらかであることを願っていることに気付くかもしれません。 Okay… hopefully, I’ve put off all of those who might be scared off by the gratuitous Japanese. We can talk in reasonable privacy. I’m starting this letter I’m sitting on a park bench in Kimball Hill Park, staring at the fountain in the middle of the lake. You and IContinue reading “Ore Wo Sagashite”

That Last Mile is So Much Longer

Dearest Rachel – I have to confess, this title is so true, but I didn’t even have the energy yesterday afternoon to even begin to describe the rest of the day. Especially since I never did find a charge cord downtown, meaning my phone had as little energy as I did. For what it’s worth,Continue reading “That Last Mile is So Much Longer”

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”

Woefully Unprepared

Dearest Rachel – I imagine that this a sensation you were quite familiar with in your day; I woke up this morning realizing I haven’t done my homework for a long time – well, at least for this week. And as a result, I’m going to show up at the Bible study woefully unprepared forContinue reading “Woefully Unprepared”