The Other Side of the Conversation

Dearest Rachel – For all my talk yesterday about being able to lean over to you and say whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, there is, of course, another aspect to the newfound silence in my life. That is to say, the lack of response to anything I might say to you in the hereContinue reading “The Other Side of the Conversation”

I’m With Stupid (Times Two)

Dearest Rachel – You know, one of the things that I really miss about your absence is the fact that I’m no longer able to just say whatever I want to. If something popped into my head, I could just lean over to you and say it, without too much fear of you judging meContinue reading “I’m With Stupid (Times Two)”

How Long Until You Knew?

Dearest Rachel – Just think, it was only yesterday that I was congratulating myself for having reacclimatized to the local time zone. I really should have known better. But last night, I had already woken up once, at three, so I was mildly disgusted with myself about that. At the same time, my head wasContinue reading “How Long Until You Knew?”

The Thrill of the Hunt

Dearest Rachel – One of the particular advantages of still being far out of sorts, with regard to time zones (not to mention suffering from the effects of the food coma kicking in early on in the fourth quarter between New York and Dallas, not that I had any concern about the outcome of thatContinue reading “The Thrill of the Hunt”

Passing Another Milestone Upon the Verge of Joy

Dearest Rachel – Tomorrow, as you know, will be Thanksgiving. A day where we Americans collectively stop and try to remind ourselves how good we have it, and how we should be grateful for all those blessings in life that those of other places and times could only have dreamed of, as well as certainContinue reading “Passing Another Milestone Upon the Verge of Joy”

Mealtime Moments

Dearest Rachel – While I’ve been writing you mostly about the places we’ve gone, the things we’ve seen (many of which might be at least of nodding familiarity to you, having been here several times before), there are other things going on that have little to do with the trip itself. Or maybe they haveContinue reading “Mealtime Moments”

Let Cooler Heads Prevail

Dearest Rachel – There are so many reasons why I wish you were still here. Some are obvious at any point in time that you look at it; others, only in certain situations that come up so infrequently that even I tend to forget about them. This is one of those latter things, and oneContinue reading “Let Cooler Heads Prevail”

An Ungodly Hour in God’s City

Dearest Rachel – There are many cities around the world that seem to pride themselves on being ‘the city that never sleeps.’ New York and San Francisco come to mind in particular, being celebrated in song to that effect. Jerusalem is not one of those places. On the contrary, part of its pride lies inContinue reading “An Ungodly Hour in God’s City”

Losing Sharpness

Dearest Rachel – I’m not going to claim that this wouldn’t have happened if you were still here with me. You did a lot of the packing for our many trips, to be sure, but there were certain personal things that were left up to me to handle. In fact, I would generally be theContinue reading “Losing Sharpness”

Praise Allah, It’s Thursday

Dearest Rachel – I gather that just by using this title, I’m marking myself as an impious infidel; however, I can’t help but wonder if, since their day of worship is tomorrow, and they party tonight, whether Muslims have a similar attitude toward Thursday evening as we Westerners tend to think of Friday, and thankContinue reading “Praise Allah, It’s Thursday”

Calm Amid the Chaos

Dearest Rachel – Since thus far, we really haven’t had the time for shopping, it would seem that merchants have decided to come to us. I mentioned about Junior plugging tattoos yesterday; today, we had a guy aboard the bus, shilling personalized necklaces and rings. I’m not gonna lie, I was briefly tempted to getContinue reading “Calm Amid the Chaos”

Too Harsh for a Laugh?

Dearest Rachel – You’ll remember staying at the one in Jerusalem; now we’ve gotten ourselves moved into a room at one in Nazareth. And for whatever reason, I can’t help but be reminded (as unfairly as it might be applied to them) by this song: I’m pretty sure you would have shared in the giggleContinue reading “Too Harsh for a Laugh?”

Mercy, Grace and Pity

Good morning, honey – This morning’s visions are going to be considerably more disjointed than most – dreams can be like that, after all – but it’s the sort of thing you’d likely be telling me about if it happened to you, so I think it’s only fair. This letter might also be the sortContinue reading “Mercy, Grace and Pity”

Untouchable

Dearest Rachel – In a few ways, I was actually quite prepared for life on my own. Thanks to our vastly different sleep schedules, I was already used to retiring to an empty bedroom. Similarly, the quiet mornings on my own aren’t that much different than before, apart from the fact that they’re not nearlyContinue reading “Untouchable”

Just to Let You Know…

Dearest Rachel – To a certain extent, this particular letter might seem a bit perfunctory. After all, what’s the point of commemorating something when I’ve already missed a month? It isn’t as if there’s a streak I need to keep up, nor would you hold it against me – or even be aware; I’m neverContinue reading “Just to Let You Know…”

Cringe

Dearest Rachel – I woke up rather a bit too early this morning; while I wanted to get an earlier start on the day because of various errands I need to take care of, five a.m. is a bit too much. But upon attaining consciousness, my mind started rifling through various topics to write youContinue reading “Cringe”

Barely Even Half

Dearest Rachel – On the mornings you would wake up without having had a dream to relate, you would often have a song stuck in your head. Now, you and I had different methods for expelling earworms; if mine was annoying enough, I would usually try to conjure something else up in my head toContinue reading “Barely Even Half”

If You Could Read My Mind…

Dearest Rachel – I think I’ve told you a couple of times about how easy it is to write by dictating to Siri. Rather than bothering to find every letter on the keyboard, I can just talk to her, and everything shows up pretty quickly thereafter. Sure, there are moments when I have to stopContinue reading “If You Could Read My Mind…”

What Do I Miss?

Dearest Rachel – After the past weekend, I realize I’ve been belaboring the fact that I’ve been dealing with a torrent of utterly unsolicited text messages from a surprising number of (alleged) girls online. Please don’t feel jealous; if you were still around, you know I wouldn’t be putting myself in situations where this sortContinue reading “What Do I Miss?”

#NoFilter No More

Dearest Rachel – You may not believe this, but I do have some rules that I try to adhere to with these letters I write to you. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I try to aim for about a thousand words with each letter (give or take a few hundred); enough to giveContinue reading “#NoFilter No More”

Live and In Person

Dearest Rachel – Some time before you left, back when I was still considering assembling some form of YouTube channel, I was reading up on artificial intelligence, and how it was able to compose music. As I had no particular talent in that field, it seemed like a great idea for coming up with originalContinue reading “Live and In Person”

Unable to Hover

Dearest Rachel – I don’t know about you, but there were times in my high school career when I would stay out fairly late. For instance, Friday nights during home football games, we in the band would be there for the halftime performance, and generally stayed around to play something when our team scored orContinue reading “Unable to Hover”

Prickly

Dearest Rachel – I’m wearing shorts this morning. Not because it’s hot out today – although I’m to understand that it certainly will be later on in the day (hey, it’s July, what do you expect?) – but because I’m meeting Lars for a walk around the forest preserve, and I don’t want to disappointContinue reading “Prickly”

I Remember This Time

Dearest Rachel – I’m not sure how it happened that last month I forgot about it – maybe it’s because I was dealing with unforeseen circumstances, maybe it’s because I didn’t have as much time to write as I do this month – but it certainly isn’t happening today. It has now been eighteen monthsContinue reading “I Remember This Time”

Snippets From the First Night

Dearest Rachel – I try to limit myself to no more than four letters in any given day to you; however, there are so many little things that happen at a convention that are worthy of comment, and there’s no one to comment to anymore. So I’m just gonna put together a collection of paragraphsContinue reading “Snippets From the First Night”

Still A Little Too Soon

Dearest Rachel – it’s funny how things work out sometimes. When I wrote to you earlier this morning, I was already concerned that I would not be there when I was told that the registration booth for sponsors would be opening up. In fact, I was late by well over an hour. And yet, whenContinue reading “Still A Little Too Soon”

How the Pendulum Swings

Dearest Rachel – So, I’m on my way to Iowa for this year’s anime convention. Call me pessimistic, but this may very well be for the last time. To think that, back in 2019, we were considering joining the Mindbridge community as part of the volunteer staff in the future for the convention. We nowContinue reading “How the Pendulum Swings”

Ten Thousand Days

Dearest Rachel – Last Thursday, after dinner with the folks, Daniel and I retired to the family room with them as we always do. Mom finished up the washing (yes, that’s her system; it helps that the kitchen counter overlooks the family room, so she’s part of the conversation as she works), and eventually joinedContinue reading “Ten Thousand Days”

It Seems I Have My Answer

Dearest Rachel – It wasn’t until late in the day yesterday that I realized what day it was. The 23rd of June had all but come and gone, and while I’d remembered you and sent a letter going on about the misadventures of the day, I’d forgotten what the date was, and what it signified.Continue reading “It Seems I Have My Answer”

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”

Clearing One’s Sinuses

Dearest Rachel – There really is something to be said for T.S. Eliot’s theory of ‘the death of the author.’ The idea of it is that a work of art can and should be enjoyed without having to consider its creator’s biography or influences. It’s something of a take on the old saw that youContinue reading “Clearing One’s Sinuses”

Nerd Prom

Dearest Rachel – It never fails. You’d think that the convention would fill up the entirety of the Hyatt, where everything is based out of (or at least was, back in the old days. Nowadays, I suppose the convention center proper is the real hub for all the goings-on). Considering that the event books upContinue reading “Nerd Prom”

Milling About of a Midday… Maskless

Dearest Rachel – I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting that Daniel would have a lot of fun here in any event, given the restrictions that they seem to have in their rules and regulations. But so far, that doesn’t seem to have been nearly as bad as we feared. The only real problem he seemsContinue reading “Milling About of a Midday… Maskless”

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”

To Think I Nearly Forgot

Dearest Rachel – Were you still here, this wouldn’t have happened, of course. I would have made preparations beforehand. I’d have checked with you as to what you would have wanted – and had it in hand to set on your nightstand when you awoke, along with a card (assuming it was something that wouldContinue reading “To Think I Nearly Forgot”

Late Night Talk

Dearest Rachel – It may have had something to do with our discussion en route to last night’s Bible study. I don’t know how the subject came up but Daniel and I were sharing about how late night talk show hosts just aren’t what they used to be. For my part, I never took aContinue reading “Late Night Talk”

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”

Family Room No More

Dearest Rachel – As much as I like the setup I have in the yellow room upstairs, and I’m glad for an alternate bedroom to use while the construction begins in the laundry room next week, I’m a little bit concerned about getting too comfortable up there. I fell asleep in the recliner pretty quicklyContinue reading “Family Room No More”

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”

A Private Balcony

Dearest Rachel – I know it was a long time ago, but I’m pretty sure you remember our first cruise. When the folks took us to Alaska, it was a really big deal, even though we had interior staterooms. You had to bring a nightlight for Daniel’s sake, because once the door was closed andContinue reading “A Private Balcony”

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’”

Odds Better Than Even

Dearest Rachel – I was just hearing at lunch from what I assumed to be a family at the next table over about their plans for the afternoon, such as they were. The wife of the younger couple was talking about how she had been so careful about the amount of time she had beenContinue reading “Odds Better Than Even”

Less Eventful Days

Dearest Rachel – So, we are now headed back toward Florida; another non-stop sail of some 1,200 miles or so. Two whole days of nothing but open ocean, as we make our return. This is the dénouement; barring something catastrophic or stupid (or catastrophically stupid), these last two days will be considerably less eventful thanContinue reading “Less Eventful Days”

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”

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”

The Dissonance of a Different Drummer

Dearest Rachel – Morning of the fourth day. We were supposed to have been docked in Aruba by now, but that’s understandably been put on hold. Indeed, even while we were in a holding pattern in Kingston Bay, there was another alert topside, as ‘Alpha Alpha Alpha’ was repeated over the public address system. FromContinue reading “The Dissonance of a Different Drummer”

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”

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”

Memories of Bananas Foster

Dearest Rachel – There are so many things about this trip that seem to be reminding me of our honeymoon trip; maybe it’s just that I’m keeping track for once in my life. Before now, I might have a flash of remembrance – I might even mention it to you at the moment – butContinue reading “Memories of Bananas Foster”

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”

Arrant Nonsense

Dearest Rachel – Of all the earworms to have going through my head, this is the one I wake up hearing? I’ve been Norman Mailered, Maxwell Taylored.I’ve been John O’Hara’d, McNamara’d.I’ve been Rolling Stoned and Beatled ’til I’m blind!I’ve been Ayn Randed, nearly brandedA Communist, ’cause I’m left-handedThat’s the hand they use… well… never mind.Continue reading “Arrant Nonsense”

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”

Amid the Ruins of the Pyramid

Dearest Rachel – Today’s sermon was about being friends with Jesus, using John the Baptist as an example. Interestingly, the main passage centered on the point when John was beginning to doubt as to whether Jesus was Who He said He was, even going so far as to send his own disciples to ask Him,Continue reading “Amid the Ruins of the Pyramid”

Aniki no Yuutsu

Dearest Rachel – So, yesterday morning, as part of the Sunday service, our worship pastor, Jansen, was ordained. It’s something of a requirement for pastoral staff and elders (as you well know, since I went through the same theological training in those last few years before your accident, although I wasn’t required to write aContinue reading “Aniki no Yuutsu”

Floods, Droughts and Equity

Dearest Rachel – There are things you don’t notice when they don’t apply to you. For instance, whenever I go shopping at Meijer, I pretty much ignore everything except for the grocery section; that’s basically dismissing out of hand nearly three-quarters of the store. As far as I’m concerned, the clothing, the housewares, the gardening,Continue reading “Floods, Droughts and Equity”

Shades of Morning

Dearest Rachel – I’ve begun to acclimatize myself to the fact that Daniel is awake and in his rocking chair by the time I’ve showered and gotten dressed in the morning (especially since, these days, I’ve taken to writing to you as I dry off from said shower). I’ve convinced myself that it’s partly dueContinue reading “Shades of Morning”

Fifty-Two Weeks Ago (part three)

Dearest Rachel – I hadn’t anticipated writing a third part to this, but the way certain parts of my life have come full circle – and so many all at once – it’s a wonder I don’t get dizzy. The folks even pointed it out to me as they extended the invite last night. EvenContinue reading “Fifty-Two Weeks Ago (part three)”

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”

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!”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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)”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

‘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”

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”

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”

Last Supper Here

Dearest Rachel – Just to set the record straight, I put the word ‘Here’ in the title because well, it is the last time I’m going to bother with room service, especially considering I’ve gone through basically anything on the menu that’s interesting (okay, I admit to debating about two entrees tonight, but we’ll getContinue reading “Last Supper Here”

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”

Bearable Together

Dearest Rachel – Even as I lay awake, processing last nights nightmare, I found myself wondering what this little adventure would be like had it been the two of us, rather than just me. What would be different about it, and what would be the same? In all likelihood it wouldn’t have even happened, orContinue reading “Bearable Together”

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”

Relaxing the Rules

Dearest Rachel – This is the fourth in our serious on life – specifically, eating – in quarantine. So for today’s story about the things I’m eating, I have to issue a confession. I assumed that, under the American breakfast, I was only allowed to choose one of each category. You know, one of beverages,Continue reading “Relaxing the Rules”

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”

I Can’t Send You Anything

Dearest Rachel – I guess it’s a bit of good news that I managed to sleep straight through last night. I sacked myself in just before before midnight (yes I realize that’s five p.m. ‘our’ time, but I’m getting used to the time zone here), and didn’t wake up until almost half past nine. IContinue reading “I Can’t Send You Anything”

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 Traveler’s Nightmare, An Introvert’s Dream

Dearest Rachel – Morning in Basel, and as it would happen, my window is faced to receive the sun. And the sun, for once, is more than happy to come in. it’s a bright and cheery morning. Were I in worse straits, I might think it was mocking me. As it is, I am willingContinue reading “A Traveler’s Nightmare, An Introvert’s Dream”