Unaccustomed As I Am

Dearest Rachel – I’ve mentioned this before, but it is different to give these letters titles. I mean, if I were writing to you directly, a title wouldn’t make it any more eye-catching: you would read it because it came from me. No, the titles are meant to grab the eyes of those you’ve comeContinue reading “Unaccustomed As I Am”

from Rachel: Spring Cleanin’

Jesus Christ must be Lord of our intellect if we are to keep our house in order (Matt 22:34-36; Phil 4:8) A. Study! “Christ must be Lord of my intellect for me to have spiritual order.” B. Dwell on the good stuff! “It doesn’t come automatically; I must deliberately turn my thoughts to these.” JesusContinue reading “from Rachel: Spring Cleanin’”

Moving On Up

Dearest Rachel – Yes, we’re moving on up, to the upstairs of the split-level section of the house. Unlike the Jeffersons’ theme, I think it’s the south side of our house – I was never particularly good at orientation, and determining direction based on a compass: whatever direction I was facing, I always felt likeContinue reading “Moving On Up”

Well, This Sucks (After All)

Dearest Rachel – One of the channels that we would watch on YouTube fairly faithfully on any given weekend was this one Reddit read-and-react segment done by a particularly famous gamer. Over the course of a month or two, he would go through a number of different subreddits, take a look at the photos onContinue reading “Well, This Sucks (After All)”

Cleaning vs. Cleaning Out

Dearest Rachel – So today was pretty much the last day that we will be working on the ground floor. For all intents and purposes, we cleaned out all the rooms on this level. Correction: we have cleaned all the rooms, but not necessarily cleaned them out. There’s a difference between cleaning and cleaning out.Continue reading “Cleaning vs. Cleaning Out”

Nothing Too Out of the Ordinary

Dearest Rachel – So what can I tell you about a day like today? The thing is, some days are… not all that remarkable. They may be eventful, but there’s not much to really say about them. And this has been one of those days. The morning started out with nothing all that out ofContinue reading “Nothing Too Out of the Ordinary”

Wouldn’t Hurt a Fly

Dearest Rachel – As things have been progressing with the entire cleaning out and organizing process that Jan has been doing, I’ve noticed a little change in my own personality over time. I’ve actually gotten sensitive to a certain level of clutter, to the point where I can’t work in a place that’s too crowdedContinue reading “Wouldn’t Hurt a Fly”

These Can’t Be Keepsakes…?

Dearest Rachel – So yesterday, Jan was over, and we continued cleaning out your side of the bedroom. Most of the books under the nightstand are being donated (the rule is, if I don’t see myself reading these books – and they don’t have any notes from you in them, so I don’t, for theContinue reading “These Can’t Be Keepsakes…?”

Never All At Once

Dearest Rachel – As frustrating as dealing with Chompers can be, one of the most difficult has been the fact that he never seems to be satisfied with what he has or where he is. As a result, there are times when all the boxes are ticked – he’s been fed (although that only happensContinue reading “Never All At Once”

Cleaned Out

Dearest Rachel – Here’s something you probably didn’t ever get to see once we moved into this house some twenty-five years ago: That’s it. That’s the corner of the laundry room where all the dirty clothes would be piled up awaiting processing. We (and by ‘we,’ I admit it almost always meant ‘you,’ with theContinue reading “Cleaned Out”

What You Considered Important

Dearest Rachel – I hope you don’t mind too much, but I’ve jailbroken four of the computers you left behind. There was a span of time when I couldn’t get into any of them unless I was listed as a secondary user, and could log in with my own Microsoft password. And the alleged RosettaContinue reading “What You Considered Important”

The Legend of Bryan Hamilton

Dearest Rachel – You already know the bulk of this story, but Jan and I have just written what basically amounts to the final chapter of this story, and I figure I might as well fill you in on it while I tell the full story to anyone else who might be interested. The tooContinue reading “The Legend of Bryan Hamilton”

Jan Would Like A Word

Dearest Rachel – I think I may have mentioned it to you previously, but today’s work on the laundry room – and your closet – have reminded me to remind you that you may need to prepare yourself for when Jan gets up to see you someday. It seems she would like to talk toContinue reading “Jan Would Like A Word”

Empathy… Suitcase?

Dearest Rachel – The “Empathy Doll Shot” is a trope whose name might be unfamiliar, but when you see it, you know what it’s all about. That item left behind that you, the viewer, would recognize as ‘that thing is supposed to have an owner,’ followed by the realization as to why there is noContinue reading “Empathy… Suitcase?”

Things I Never Dreamed I’d Do

Dearest Rachel – I’m gonna nudge the fourth wall yet again tonight, as I wait for Chompers to fall asleep, I’m going to mention the fact that any time I talk about the old boy, I seem to get a lot more people actually reading my post. I don’t know why; this whole series ofContinue reading “Things I Never Dreamed I’d Do”

The Ledger

Dearest Rachel – I’ve mentioned this speech before, and I’m sure I’ll mention bits of it in future, but here it is as we first encountered it, for the benefit of those following us: The reason it came to mind today was because (in preparation for Jan’s visit today) I was going through more ofContinue reading “The Ledger”

Burninatin’

Dearest Rachel – Today’s letter was supposed to be about heading up to Camp Awana for a budget meeting, and my concerns about seeing the place for the first time since the accident. However, one of the guys I was to ride up there with got sick (again, probably just a cold rather than Covid,Continue reading “Burninatin’”

The Joy of Introductions

Dearest Rachel – At the risk of leaning hard against the fourth wall, I’m fully aware that you will never read a word of these letters; they are, rather, a way for me to memorialize you before the potential world that is the internet. Would that everyone had met you while you still walked theContinue reading “The Joy of Introductions”

Postpone-Mints

Dearest Rachel – So I came home early today from the ‘office’ (actually, I wasn’t at the office all that long today, since I was meeting Pastor Scott for lunch. It still takes some getting used to meeting him as a peer and friend, rather than in a pastor-to-congregant basis), because Jan warned me sheContinue reading “Postpone-Mints”

Convention Season

Dearest Rachel – Well, I’ve gone and done it. I’ve booked a room at the Marriott Coralville for the AnimeIowa weekend. Without your help. All by myself. Yeah… all by myself. All… by… myself. I remember you watching the feed on Twitch last year when AnimeCentral did its virtual convention. You were sobbing as youContinue reading “Convention Season”

Ghost in the Machine

Dearest Rachel – Jan can be a real hoot sometimes (and in so doing, she manages to take the most bitter edge off of everything we’ve been finding as we go through the house). Her happy dance when she finds hidden money – and there’s been a lot of it scattered throughout the place; you’veContinue reading “Ghost in the Machine”

The Things We Find

Dearest Rachel – Another day of cleaning the house today, honey Thought we might curve around the wall and dig out the television pedestal (and stash a pile of VHS tapes and DVDs in the process), but it seems Jan would rather we excavate the dining room table instead. Actually, that probably makes more sense.Continue reading “The Things We Find”

Paranoia Over the Perfectly Normal

Dearest Rachel – So last night, I could feel the beginnings of a raw throat as I prepared for bed. And sure enough, this morning I woke up with a cough, sneezing and a runny nose. In a normal year, we would know that this would be the beginning of a garden variety 24-48 hourContinue reading “Paranoia Over the Perfectly Normal”