Almost Caught Flat-Footed

Dearest Rachel – Before I start on the topic at hand, I need to show you this, apropos of absolutely nothing else. This was the entirety of the mail today: Needless to say (did you ever notice that any time someone says that, they go ahead and say whatever it is anyway? Not that I’mContinue reading “Almost Caught Flat-Footed”

Morning Un-Routine

Dearest Rachel – The Army used to have a slogan about how “we do more before 9am than most people do all day.” Considering that I’m sitting in the veterinary parking lot, and it’s a quarter to nine, while I have to confess that while I’m not Army material, I’m at least getting started onContinue reading “Morning Un-Routine”

Spot Macbeth

Dearest Rachel – No, this does not refer to some Shakespearean take on Where’s Waldo, although the idea of Martin Handford drawing a crowd in the Globe Theatre into which the actor portraying the Scottish usurper is trying to blend while being pursued by Macduff and Malcolm makes for an interesting image. Considering Handford’s BritishContinue reading “Spot Macbeth”

Catching Up And Running Ahead

Dearest Rachel – For all the Bible studies you went through several times a year… I know you were rarely one to keep up with the every day assignments. I remember you sprawled out on the bed or the couch in the family room, catching up on the daily questions the evening prior to theContinue reading “Catching Up And Running Ahead”

Credit Where It’s Due

Dearest Rachel – The girls communicate with each other at the weirdest times, it would seem. It probably shouldn’t surprise me when I see emails back-and-forth at around one in the morning, considering Erin’s graveyard shift schedule, but the fact that Ellen responds at roughly the same time comes as a surprise. Still, if that’sContinue reading “Credit Where It’s Due”

Intermittent Chaos

Dearest Rachel – It wasn’t precisely a nightmare, as such, but it was one of those dreams that you wake up from feeling quite glad that it wasn’t reality. Well the bulk of what was happening has faded from my memory, I vividly recall a mushroom cloud of fire and smoke erupting at a strangeContinue reading “Intermittent Chaos”

Trying to Think at Three a.m.

Dearest Rachel – There are some questions in my life that I can no longer give a straight answer to. “How are you doing?” Well, do you just wanna exchange pleasantries, or would you like an actual answer? “Can I help you?” Wow, do you really mean that? “Do you always respond to a questionContinue reading “Trying to Think at Three a.m.”

Resisting Resuming Responsibilities

Dearest Rachel – So I open my eyes this morning, and look at the alarm clock: it’s a quarter to seven. And I have to admit, I do not want to get up just yet. I won’t go so far as to say it’s been a grueling weekend, but I’ll allow that it wasn’t exactlyContinue reading “Resisting Resuming Responsibilities”

If You’re Wrong…

Dearest Rachel – I sort of knew it was going to happen. I arrived at the airport before one in the afternoon, and Luke advised me to try and get my name on the ‘standby’ list. And in fact, there were two flights scheduled to ORD before mine, one at 3:45 and another at 5:50.Continue reading “If You’re Wrong…”

How Great Thou Art

Dearest Rachel – So, this morning was the final session for the weekend’s retreat. Luke drove us up a hill (because the YMCA of the Rockies is an absolutely vast campus – we’d never have time to walk to the place), and delivered his message with this behind him: With the backdrop such as itContinue reading “How Great Thou Art”

Shooting Elk

Dearest Rachel – Don’t worry; even though I’m probably the only non-hunter in the entire group, we’re hewing to the current dictum when dealing with nature: “take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints.” So, photographs it is. Assuming we can find any elk to shoot. The last couple of days, we’ve only seen aContinue reading “Shooting Elk”

Jester-Philosopher, Rather Than Philosopher-King

Dearest Rachel – I feel like I should be sleeping the sleep of the dead up here, like everybody else in the lodge. I’ve exerted myself in ways that I haven’t in a very long time, and I believe my body knows it needs rest. But while it tries to get that needed rest, myContinue reading “Jester-Philosopher, Rather Than Philosopher-King”

Knowing Your Limits

Dearest Rachel – So the better part of today was spent hiking one of the trails up here in the Rocky Mountains. We started in Glacier Gorge, with the intent of going to Sky Pond. Sounds like a plan. The only thing is, that plan involves hiking 4 1/2 miles in either direction, and toContinue reading “Knowing Your Limits”

Disc Golf

Dearest Rachel – It’s a little hard to keep up with these letters to you out here in the mountains, especially when we’re outside doing stuff all the time. It’s why I tried to prepare a few letters beforehand to go out to you while I’m out here. Yes, there’s Wi-Fi at the lodge, butContinue reading “Disc Golf”

Into Thin Air

Dearest Rachel – I think I must be way too used to living near the largest city in flyover country. As is the plane started its descent, I was looking out the window and seeing nothing but farmland and other empty space. And I couldn’t help wondering, “Where is the city? Where are the suburbs,Continue reading “Into Thin Air”

Limpiar

Dearest Rachel – You’d probably be able to confirm with me as to the French, but I do know that in Spanish, the verb ‘to clean’ is ‘limpiar.’ Which, while having absolutely no connection to our word ‘limp’ (Since that comes down to us from the German through Old and Middle English), is strangely appropriateContinue reading “Limpiar”

Unsatisfying Vengeance

Dearest Rachel – It wasn’t all that long ago (as recently as the wee hours of Sunday morning, in fact) that I would take Chompers out at what I considered to be late at night – which is, as you know, anytime after 10:30 – and prepare him for bed, with all the usual bedtimeContinue reading “Unsatisfying Vengeance”

Do Nothing Slowly

Dearest Rachel – When my dad retired about ten years ago, he quoted the legendary pitcher Satchel Paige as to how he was going to spend his time: I’m going to do nothing, and do it slowly. That has summed up a number of my days since quitting my job, too – especially in thoseContinue reading “Do Nothing Slowly”

A Tourist Barely One Town Over

Dearest Rachel – So here I am, wandering around this park in Schaumburg; I’ve been invited to SeptemberFest by someone I met over the app. Unlike my dinner with Ellen, I guess this is something of a date – at least, once she’s done working the bingo booth for the Lions Club. Assuming I canContinue reading “A Tourist Barely One Town Over”

The Need for More Patience

Dearest Rachel – I really didn’t want to write this letter to you. This feels like airing my dirty laundry – and yes, it’s more “my” than “our,” because it’s gotten considerably worse since you left, and the fact that I don’t know how to deal with it has probably only exacerbated things. But today,Continue reading “The Need for More Patience”

The Sunset Isn’t Here Yet

Dearest Rachel – At the end of many a classic Western, the hero adjusts his white hat, declares “My work here is done,” and rides off into the sunset. It’s always the sunset; he never takes a break to sleep all that hard work off, and ride off in the morning, when he’d have moreContinue reading “The Sunset Isn’t Here Yet”

Thousands of Hours to Go

Dearest Rachel – I went through three VCRs trying to figure out what was going wrong. It turned out that the reason there was no adequate picture was because I shouldn’t have plugged the connection in all the way. I think I’m gonna have to go back and explain this to you. Let me justContinue reading “Thousands of Hours to Go”

Permission to Skip

Dearest Rachel – This may seem inappropriate, but I feel the need to address this. Less than a week ago, I admitted to you that there were times when I just didn’t feel inspired to write you, but did so nonetheless. Which, I suppose, resulted in what an editor (were I to have one) wouldContinue reading “Permission to Skip”

Group Therapy

Dearest Rachel – It’s surprising to consider how busy my weekends are, especially when I’m getting questions from strangers about whether or not I’m free, and I have to answer ‘well, no, not really.’ Today has been a little bit more than usual, however. For what it’s worth, Pastor Joel seems to think I’m readyContinue reading “Group Therapy”

Not the Best of Hosts

Dearest Rachel – Well, the girls came over last night. It’ll be the last time for the better part of a month, as Ellen will be out of town visiting her mom next week, and then I’ll be in Colorado on this men’s retreat the next. So, three weeks until next time. Clever me, IContinue reading “Not the Best of Hosts”