Approaching the End Game

Dearest Rachel – You might remember my talking about the delivery of all the appliances from Abt back… how many months ago? Heck, I think about it been late last year, in fact. Well, over the course of the past week, the construction team has been clearing all of this out of the garage, asContinue reading “Approaching the End Game”

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”

Primary Concerns

Just remember when you step into your voting boothHe’ll never lie, he’ll just ‘embellish the truth’ Steve Taylor, “Whatever Happened to Sin?” from I Want to Be a Clone (1982) Dearest Rachel – It’s that time again. No, it’s time to spin the Wheel of Amorality, otherwise known as ‘our civic duty,’ or, more toContinue reading “Primary Concerns”

Let’s Try This Again…

Dearest Rachel – I’m fully aware of the fact that most of the things that are happening to me these days that I keep informing you of are fairly little things, when looked at dispassionately. A swollen thumb is as nothing compared to the loss of a limb, say, or (more to the point) theContinue reading “Let’s Try This Again…”

Bad Charlotte or, When Do I Get My Superpowers?

Dearest Rachel – I’m not entirely sure when it started; I’m thinking it was early this past week, either Monday or Tuesday. It might have been earlier, too – I just don’t remember. Whenever it was, I assumed it was just a mosquito bite on my thumb, right alongside of my knuckle. Nothing particularly unusualContinue reading “Bad Charlotte or, When Do I Get My Superpowers?”

A Weekend in a Day

Dearest Rachel – It’s weird to realize how little of what I’d had lined up for this weekend would have happened were you still with me. It’s even stranger to realize how few of the plans that I thought I had actually managed to pan out. And yet, there was plenty else to rush inContinue reading “A Weekend in a Day”

Between Comedy and Tragedy

Dearest Rachel – It’s been years since I’ve been here at Walker Brothers’ pancake house. I’m pretty sure that the last time we were here (and yes, it was definitely ‘we’ at the time), it was for a similar reason; we had taken my car in to have it looked at. That’s what happens whenContinue reading “Between Comedy and Tragedy”

Palm Tuesday

Dearest Rachel – So, I stayed home yesterday in order to be with Daniel, and to make his day special. Far be it from me to claim that was a mistake; while there were still times that he seemed to need his space – and let me have mine – I think things worked outContinue reading “Palm Tuesday”

Making Sure He’s Remembered

Dearest Rachel – Some days, I find myself focusing on myself – actually, that’s most days. I doubt it’s unique to me. For all that we’re forced to admit to being self-centered and blinkered when it comes to our perspective in life, the fact of the matter is that it’s the only perspective we have.Continue reading “Making Sure He’s Remembered”

Would You Rather…?

Dearest Rachel – It would seem that, despite the fact that the power is supposed to be shut off again today as the electricians do their work, Daniel will be staying home. It’s not an act of defiance or anything; it’s more one of hospitality. It turns out that, for whatever reason, the water atContinue reading “Would You Rather…?”

Out With the Old

Dearest Rachel – Thanks to the drive down to Nashville and back, I’ve discovered that my iPhone contains a number of songs that I wasn’t really even aware of. When the two of us are listening to them on an infinite random shuffle, it’s interesting to hear something where one of us would comment howContinue reading “Out With the Old”

If You Can’t Take the Heat…

Dearest Rachel – Of course, the standard follow-up to that proposition is that you need to ‘get out of the kitchen.’ That, along with the expression about the buck stopping with him were among the most quotable lines from President Harry Truman (partly because much of what he said had to be sanitized for publicContinue reading “If You Can’t Take the Heat…”

The Old Way Home

Dearest Rachel – For all my talk about taking a different way down here, you might think it’s strange that I return to our normal course of action for the trip home. After all, there’s no more reason for us to leave in a hurry than there was for us to show up down hereContinue reading “The Old Way Home”

The Enchanted Box

Dearest Rachel – It’s the kind of day that makes one not want to head outside. Oh, it’s not raining buckets like it was last year, when I found Chompers on the opposite side of the driveway, toppled over in his wheelchair in the gulley. It’s actually perfectly sunny outside; too much so, in fact.Continue reading “The Enchanted Box”

A Whole Lot of Nothing Going On

I’m going to do nothing, and I’m going to do it slowly. Leroy ‘Satchel’ Paige, when asked what he planned to do once he retired from baseball Dearest Rachel – It was a quote that my dad always liked to repeat about what he planned on doing with retirement, and it was something that I,Continue reading “A Whole Lot of Nothing Going On”

There’s A First Time For (almost) Everything

Dearest Rachel – So much has changed, even since the last time we drove down to see Kevin. Sure, last year already had so many things different about it, between your departure and Chompers in a wheelchair. But now, the old boy is gone, and suddenly, there is so much more space in the car,Continue reading “There’s A First Time For (almost) Everything”

A Wish For Autonomy

Dearest Rachel – I know I used to joke about how many of their cars we could buy with the shares we owned in the company, but it was always a bit of a concern as to how for one could actually travel in a given day in a Tesla. Really, it’s a disadvantage thatContinue reading “A Wish For Autonomy”

Nowhere Near “In Control”

Dearest Rachel – After drifting through a dream in which I could control the flow of events much like the art director from “Duck Amuck” (although rather more violently, as one of the individuals in this dream Twitter video was chucking grenades at whoever was filming it, and I was simply pausing the video toContinue reading “Nowhere Near “In Control””

Too Much Emptiness

Dearest Rachel – Well, the boys just left for the convention as I got home from Bible study this morning. In fact, they were literally getting into Logan’s car as I reached the driveway, so I went around the block in order to allow him to pull out using the turnaround, rather than forcing themContinue reading “Too Much Emptiness”

Very Nearly Giving Up

Dearest Rachel – I’ve occasionally lamented that, unlike the letters we exchanged between each of our graduations from college – between the time I acknowledged that you would have been the one I would have chosen to spend the rest of my life with, had I been offered the opportunity (the window of which IContinue reading “Very Nearly Giving Up”

The Weekend That Just as Well Wasn’t

Dearest Rachel – Friday, May 27 I don’t know what it is; maybe it’s just the fact that I’m holing up in the man cave while Daniel and Logan watch anime together downstairs; maybe it’s that I’m watching a channel we used to view together (and, to be honest, you seemed to enjoy more thanContinue reading “The Weekend That Just as Well Wasn’t”

Would That It Had Meant Something

Dearest Rachel – This isn’t the day for me to be dwelling on having lost you – at least, no more than any other day. There are others who are supposed to be honored today, none of whom I know –or rather, have known – personally. It’s only recently that the difference between today andContinue reading “Would That It Had Meant Something”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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’”

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”

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’”

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’?”

Have You Seen Him?

Dearest Rachel – You probably remember how, with every year end, I would make a habit of picking up the year-end wrapup from Life magazine (and later, after that one folded, Time magazine), covering ‘the year in pictures.’ Some of them may have been thrown out in the course of the purge, but I thinkContinue reading “Have You Seen Him?”

An Approach to Stress

Dearest Rachel – After a dream in which I’d had a near screaming match provoked by Mohinder for – as far as I could tell – absolutely no reason (which, as bad as he could be, never happened in real life, thankfully), I woke up glad to be where I was, but knowing this wasContinue reading “An Approach to Stress”

Hard Reboot

Dearest Rachel – I know you would consider me as such, but I would deny that I’m really a ‘morning person,’ except by default. That is, I’m clearly not a night owl – I would rarely stay up past midnight, even back in college, and would usually be in bed by 10:30. But that wasContinue reading “Hard Reboot”

Comic Timing

Dearest Rachel – They say the difference between drama and comedy is mostly a matter of timing. If that’s so, it would explain why I tend to be the straight man amongst our friends, despite being the ‘weird’ one among my colleagues. The day has been a series of mis-timed misadventures, so I figure IContinue reading “Comic Timing”

Too Timid to Talk

Dearest Rachel – This past Sunday was a bit unusual for me, and yet, at the end of the day, it really didn’t make all that much difference. I mentioned that Daniel wasn’t with me, you might recall. He’d gone with Kerstin to the Saturday service (and met the folks there as well, who wereContinue reading “Too Timid to Talk”

A Strange Slow Morning

Dearest Rachel – Well, it so happened that my concerns about the end of silence were a little bit premature. I’ve been slow-walking the day, since I’ve nowhere to go, and nothing to do until my doctor’s appointment just before noon. Daniel’s been asleep the whole time, despite my rattling about in the kitchen, polishingContinue reading “A Strange Slow Morning”

It Won’t Be This Quiet Again

Dearest Rachel – I’m actually overstating things. There may yet be a couple of more days when I’m home and Daniel is off doing his own thing. And once the rooms are done, and the contractors are gone, I expect we may go back to our typical routines, leaving the house fairly silent from timeContinue reading “It Won’t Be This Quiet Again”

Where You Don’t Want to Go

·I tell you the truth [L Truly, truly I say to you], when you were younger, you ·tied your own belt [dressed yourself] and went where you wanted. But when you are old, you will put out your hands and someone else will ·tie [dress] you and take you where you don’t want to go.” JohnContinue reading “Where You Don’t Want to Go”

If I Could See My Way Clear

Dearest Rachel – Well, it could’ve happened at a worse time. Barely an hour before Jenn was supposed to pick me up so that we could drive to cousin Jim’s memorial service in the Twin Cities area, I get the bright idea to clean my glasses. Just as I start to rub the lens withContinue reading “If I Could See My Way Clear”

Ready Or Not

Dearest Rachel – There are days when life comes at you fast, like a tree at the bottom of a hill. Other days can just seem to creep along, like the one when the remodeling crew is supposed to be arriving – it’s been pushed back yet another day, wouldn’t you know, to Tuesday (edit:Continue reading “Ready Or Not”

Room for Emergencies

Dearest Rachel – It isn’t as if I write these letters as a call for help; I’m just telling you exactly what it is I’m dealing with (with a few names changed for security’s sake). Still, every so often these things happen. I’ve heard of folks being diagnosed with rare diseases due to an eagle-eyedContinue reading “Room for Emergencies”

How Close the End?

Dearest Rachel – It is taken as axiomatic truth that, from the moment we’re born, we begin to die. Indeed, there are times we can sense it through our own aches and pains. If we’re lucky, we begin with all of our cells holding perfect copies of our DNA (and even that isn’t guaranteed –Continue reading “How Close the End?”

Cheap and Cheerful Children’s Chocolate

Dearest Rachel – For the longest time, All Souls’ Day and Easter Monday were holidays for us as an immediate family. Not as a religious observation, of course, but more as a shopping event. Assuming we – and by ‘we,’ I mean you – could remember to do so early enough in the day, youContinue reading “Cheap and Cheerful Children’s Chocolate”

Empty

Dearest Rachel – One of the problems with relating someone else’s story is that you can’t always expect to get all the details right. Indeed, if the characters involved are too far removed, you can’t even be necessarily sure that the interaction even happened. But sometimes, as the saying goes, you can’t let facts getContinue reading “Empty”

When the Wind Blows…

Dearest Rachel – It’s a literal situation out there today; a fairly bright, sunny day made uncomfortably cold by the fact that the wind is blowing like crazy out there. I’ve even been forced to order a supply of zip ties, as the sign on our light post has snapped one of the ones thatContinue reading “When the Wind Blows…”

They Don’t Break All At Once

Dearest Rachel – So, I’ve just done three loads of laundry and run the dishwasher, all in a single afternoon. Not out of some sense of nostalgia for appliances that will soon be pulled from the house and discarded – odds are, I’ll still need to do a load or two yet between now andContinue reading “They Don’t Break All At Once”

So Much For That

Dearest Rachel – It’s amazing, how fast things can change from one day to the next. One day, you think you have a whole lineup of plans for the foreseeable future; the next, so much of that list has been delayed, postponed or gone by the boards altogether. I don’t know when I first realizedContinue reading “So Much For That”

It’s Just Dinner…

Dearest Rachel – I’ve been led to understand that there is a dating service in the area called ‘It’s Just Lunch’, which is pretty much exactly what it says on the tin – a means for singles to get together with each other and just have lunch, without necessarily anything else to be behind it.Continue reading “It’s Just Dinner…”

If It’s Northbrook, Forget It

Dearest Rachel – I think I should feel sorry for the good citizens of Northbrook, Illinois. If my experience is any indication, they will never be able to call someone out of the blue and get a willing response. That’s because so many of these stupid robo-call emanate from their town. What’s even crazier isContinue reading “If It’s Northbrook, Forget It”

Cleared For Takeoff

Dearest Rachel – It was one of those silly things that we would occasionally quote at each other when the circumstances warranted it – which is to say, when we were completely prepared and ready to leave on a trip: And it would seem that we finally have clearance (Clarence?) once again. As close asContinue reading “Cleared For Takeoff”

Stuck With It

Dearest Rachel – It’s one of those things that you used to keep on top of because I couldn’t be trusted to do so myself. And sure enough, I botched it this year, just like you might expect. In my defense, the window is so small, I could hardly be expected to squeeze through. Although,Continue reading “Stuck With It”

It’s Just Another Day, Innit?

Dearest Rachel – I still have that balloon that Our Father allowed to drop on our driveway last year at this time, and let me pretend was from you. It’s long since gone flat in a bin in the basement, but I can’t help but treasure it, as I don’t think I can expect suchContinue reading “It’s Just Another Day, Innit?”

Messages in the Morning

Dearest Rachel – It’s six-thirty in the morning; I need to get up and prepare myself for the day. It’s ironic that it’s the weekend in which I have to wake up and be somewhere, while during the week, there’s never any rush (although I always feel the need to let the folks know whenContinue reading “Messages in the Morning”

Boxing Day

Dearest Rachel – I know next to nothing about where December 26th gets its name. I suppose that’s partly because I don’t live in a Commonwealth nation, where it’s even celebrated. But it seems a very strange name indeed. It would make sense if it had something to do with boxing up gifts that youContinue reading “Boxing Day”

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”

Filled With DeTERmination

Dearest Rachel – Last night, we were over at the folks’ for dinner, as we are most every Thursday night. It’s one of those things that’s a regular part of our weekly schedule, like club on Monday, study on Wednesday, and so forth. I wonder if some day it might interfere with the possibility ofContinue reading “Filled With DeTERmination”

Some Days Are Just Like That

Dearest Rachel – Way back in the early 90s, when we were still able to – and inclined to – go out to the movies, there were a number of films that stuck with us, however average and unremarkable they might have been in retrospect. One of them was a film called Mermaids, which featuredContinue reading “Some Days Are Just Like That”

Birdsong and Burglar Lights

Dearest Rachel – It’s still quite dark when I’m woken up by the sound of the birds in our backyard yelling at each other to stay out of their territory. It’s a welcome sign of spring, to be sure, but there are sometimes when I wish it wouldn’t be so loud so early. Don’t knowContinue reading “Birdsong and Burglar Lights”

Taking Delivery

Dearest Rachel – This morning started with a confusing jumble of images and story. It’s probably why it’s so hard to relate dreams to someone else; it’s hard to unravel the storyline, even for yourself. Had I gone back in time, or was I running through an alternate universe where the accident hadn’t happened? WasContinue reading “Taking Delivery”

It Shouldn’t Be Slower At Home

Dearest Rachel – You know how, after some vacations, you’ve been places and done things such that you’re worn out from the exertion of going on that vacation? The sort where you come back thinking, “Gosh, it’s kind of ironic to admit it, but I need a vacation after my vacation?” Yeah, this wasn’t reallyContinue reading “It Shouldn’t Be Slower At Home”

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”

Blowing Up My Phone

Dearest Rachel – You’re probably confused by that title, aren’t you? Yesterday I made a comment about the compulsion to throw my phone overboard, and today, it sounds like I’m talking about detonating it. What gives, you might be asking? Well, honey, that’s not what it means when your phone ‘blows up’ these days. ItContinue reading “Blowing Up My Phone”

To Everything…

Dearest Rachel – So much for the need for a wake up call. My mind is going through this past week, and as I’m lying here trying to get another hour or two of sleep, it’s coming up with a few rules for future reference. Much of it sounds a lot like the third chapterContinue reading “To Everything…”

Towel Critters

Dearest Rachel – I probably should’ve known better. When I didn’t see one on my bed the first night when I came back to the room after dinner, I concluded that the cabin staff no longer folded towel animals. Either that, or they no longer did so for rooms that didn’t have kids in themContinue reading “Towel Critters”

Closing Night

Dearest Rachel – And so, the curtain goes up on the curtain going down. Last full day aboard ship. After taking care of some bills and an email (which may become important later on, we’ll all have to tune in and find out), I decided to add upstairs, and see if I had better luckContinue reading “Closing Night”

Breaking ‘Basel Syndrome’

Dearest Rachel – I wonder if, after November’s fiasco, whether I haven’t developed a mild case of what one might call ‘Basel Syndrome,’ where I’m simply more comfortable in my hotel room (or in this case, cabin – everything has a different name at sea, for whatever reason) than I am out wandering around andContinue reading “Breaking ‘Basel Syndrome’”

Let’s Try This Again

Dearest Rachel – There’s only so long I can go, just sitting around doing nothing while my feet heal. With about half an hour before I’m supposed to meet the group, I decided to head down, but I’m torn between getting a beverage first from the Diamond Lounge. Just as I get out of theContinue reading “Let’s Try This Again”

Only A Test

Dearest Rachel – I’ve already told you about the alarm that actually went out a couple of days ago regarding health emergencies. This morning, while I was writing you, the call went out again; this time, it was ‘Bravo, Bravo, Bravo’: a fire aboard ship. I had to catch myself and recall that, barely tenContinue reading “Only A Test”

Stuff Before I Go Ashore

Dearest Rachel – I was told by friends and family at home that, well the port of Curaçao itself was literally nothing much to write home about, the homes and businesses we would pass on the way in might very well be. However, considering how close Aruba and Curaçao are, even with an 11 o’clockContinue reading “Stuff Before I Go Ashore”

Trivial Rewards

Dearest Rachel – When it comes to favored activities onboard, you had your swimming, of course. As for myself, I guess I have my trivia. It’s not exactly something I would go out of my way to bother with in the past, but given that I don’t know what else to do with myself theseContinue reading “Trivial Rewards”

Poolside Puzzles

Dearest Rachel – It’s probably not something that you would consider to be an issue, or at least you would figure out a workaround. After all, you were determined to swim as often as you possibly could, whereas I’m not sure why I’m bothering. So if I run into a situation poolside that I considerContinue reading “Poolside Puzzles”

Out On the Open Ocean?

Dearest Rachel – It’s not quite seven in the morning, and I’m awake early again. It’s not exactly a complaint, but you think it wouldn’t be necessary, as there is nothing much to see when you’re out in the open ocean. Except, apparently, we aren’t. I was actually woken up, in fact, by a textContinue reading “Out On the Open Ocean?”

Adventures on the Odyssey

Dearest Rachel – The darkness eventually begins to clear as morning breaks, and the sun comes out in full power before I’m finished with my meal. Granted, I take my time with it, but I’m willing to claim that half my time is consumed with finding an open – and sanitized – table to sitContinue reading “Adventures on the Odyssey”

The Darkness of the Morning

Dearest Rachel – For all that I claim to like it as dark as possible when I’m trying to sleep, this is really something else. When I take the key card out of the little slot by the room door, all the lights go out – and I do mean all the lights. Were atContinue reading “The Darkness of the Morning”

Heights Above the Depths

Dearest Rachel – I’d like to hope this wouldn’t make you jealous, but I’ve just gotten back from swimming. Although, it wasn’t so much swimming, as hanging around in one pool or another and chatting with other people doing pretty much the same. I don’t know why, but I keep running into people from NorthContinue reading “Heights Above the Depths”

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?”

If You Could Only Feel It

Dearest Rachel – I’ve been wondering around top side for the past hour or so. To be honest, I stopped for about half of that hour, as they were showing a movie above the pool; one about souls (in fact, I think that was the film’s name), and one’s trying to get back to earthContinue reading “If You Could Only Feel It”

A Momentary Flash of Panic

Dearest Rachel – Well, honey, I made it this time. Admittedly, I was over prepared this time; the QR code didn’t seem to work with their check in procedures, so I had to show them the previous screen from the pharmacy, showing a negative Covid result. But before that, there was a slight matter regardingContinue reading “A Momentary Flash of Panic”

What I’m In For

Dearest Rachel – It’s just about nine in the morning, and I’m back to wandering around that strip mall I talked about last night. I have a little bit more purpose in this morning’s walk, as I’ve realized what I’ve forgotten to pack (and which you would have taken care of, so I would neverContinue reading “What I’m In For”

Rubbing It In

Dearest Rachel – I’ve said more than enough times how weird it is to be traveling on my own these days. Yes, you have the freedom to go wherever and whenever you want to at any moment, I’ll not deny it. But it still doesn’t feel right, especially since leisure travel, in particular, seems toContinue reading “Rubbing It In”

Off My Feet in Record Time

Dearest Rachel – I don’t know that I’ll ever get used to the process of checking my way into an airport – until such day that travel itself becomes boring and routine (may that day never come – it’ll be time to come home and stay home at that point) – but today’s ordeal hadContinue reading “Off My Feet in Record Time”

Preparing for Takeoff

Dearest Rachel – Were this any other morning, I would probably be making a big deal out of the fact that this is the four hundredth day in a row that I’ve written to you. That’s right; I’ve been letting you know what’s been going on with me, and what’s been happening on the planetContinue reading “Preparing for Takeoff”

Cleaning Out and Stocking Up

Dearest Rachel – I left the house this morning to the sound of the dishwasher firing up; I stopped at the local wholesale club to fill my tank (despite the high price tag – it’s the first time I’ve ever put $60 worth of gas in the car at one go – because I’m sureContinue reading “Cleaning Out and Stocking Up”

Preparing in Spite of Myself

Dearest Rachel – You know well that, even when you were around, I rarely took packing all that seriously. While you would put together lists of all the things you thought we would need (granted, that list was considerably longer for a ‘get away from everything’ type trip like the island, as opposed to anContinue reading “Preparing in Spite of Myself”

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”

Government Efficiency

Dearest Rachel – I know, I know, you’re looking at that title and murmuring something to the effect of “here he goes again, on about the idiots in power,” or some such. And I don’t blame you. My cynicism toward those in authority over us is well documented – even by me, despite having aContinue reading “Government Efficiency”

Spring Thaw and Mardi Gras

Dearest Rachel – It seems blasphemous to say it, but sometimes, I’m convinced that the Proverbs I read every morning ought to start with the phrase ‘as a general rule…’ Considering that the man who was inspired to write them was also later inspired to write Ecclesiastes, which, while not directly contradicting some of hisContinue reading “Spring Thaw and Mardi Gras”

Yes, It Is; No, I’m Not

Dearest Rachel – I’ve known about this for the past two weeks, although I haven’t really bothered to actually watch it. But there it is; or more to the point, there I am. When Dinu saw me after the service Saturday evening, he had to ask whether that was really me or not, and IContinue reading “Yes, It Is; No, I’m Not”

Peering Through the Fog

Dearest Rachel – I promise to keep comments on current events to a relative minimum going forward, but right now, that’s most of what’s going on. This is bigger than much of what we’ve dealt with personally throughout our lives: to not address what’s happening, even though it’s on the other side of the world,Continue reading “Peering Through the Fog”

Brilliant Unconcern

Dearest Rachel – Well, it’s on. I feel like I was keeping you out of the loop, dwelling on my own problems yesterday, rather than focusing on the big picture as tanks roll into Ukraine and explosions rock the country from Kharkov to Kiev, and so many unpronounceable places in between. Of course, in termsContinue reading “Brilliant Unconcern”

Painful Repairs

Dearest Rachel – For what it’s worth, I didn’t spend a lot of time at the ‘office’ today. After talking about it for some weeks, the day is finally here, and Dad is going to have his cataract surgery. Surprisingly, he’s not all that nervous about it; personally, I’d be an absolute wreck. The mereContinue reading “Painful Repairs”