Trying Not to Break the String

Dearest Rachel – I think it was somewhere between eight and nine o’clock that Lars called me last night, in part to wish me a happy new year, and also to decide what day this week to go walking together (for the record, we’re going tomorrow, as today is apparently threatening rain). At some pointContinue reading “Trying Not to Break the String”

When You’re Deep in the Weeds…

Dearest Rachel – There were plenty of days when I would come home from the office (both when I was actually working at my job, and after I had set myself up with a desk in my folks’ basement after retiring), and you would ask me about my day, and I would have a certainContinue reading “When You’re Deep in the Weeds…”

As Normal as the Sky

Dearest Rachel – For all that is said between us as we walk through Harms Wood, the conversations that I have with Lars are generally like whatever happens proverbially in Vegas; everything is meant to stay there, not to be repeated. But when the topic turns to the relationship you and I had – andContinue reading “As Normal as the Sky”

Preoccupied With the Same Old Things

Dearest Rachel – I already wrote nearly a thousand words to you this morning, only to be forced to accept the fact that I could never post it as it was. It was the sort of dream that might be taken as a good omen had it been on New Year’s Day (although it containedContinue reading “Preoccupied With the Same Old Things”

The Difficulties in the Dark

Dearest Rachel – Yesterday, even as she arrived and got started on cleaning up the house, Kris commented on how much she hated the fact that things were so dark and gray that morning. And to think, she was so much more motivated than either of us would be on a day like that; howContinue reading “The Difficulties in the Dark”

When Nothing’s Happened Yet

Dearest Rachel – I have to assume that the concept of time is meaningless to you at this point. There is no night, as I understand it, since God Himself is everywhere, and lights up heaven wherever He is, so there is no differentiating between days, or even from any one point of time toContinue reading “When Nothing’s Happened Yet”

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”

Christmas in the Pest House

Dearest Rachel – You might remember it from one of your parents’ books of old New Yorker cartoons. There was a particular artist in the magazine’s early days, one John Held, Jr., whose style tended towards old fashioned woodcuts, as opposed to the typical line-and-shadow drawings one thinks of. Whether that’s what they really were,Continue reading “Christmas in the Pest House”

Sick Day

Dearest Rachel – The only bit of good news when I woke up this morning at 4:30 (yeah, I guess I still haven’t gotten used to the time difference yet) was that my temperature was only 97.2°, so at least I know there’s no fever. That’s not even taking into account the fact that lastContinue reading “Sick Day”

The Lengths Gone To

Dearest Rachel – I don’t recall the family ordering Thanksgiving pies from Baker’s Square before, to be honest. Or maybe it’s just that I was never tasked with picking them up before. In any event, it never crossed my mind as to what to expect when I got there. I’d planned on picking up lunchContinue reading “The Lengths Gone To”

The New Saturday Routine

Dearest Rachel – I think you might remember me telling you back in the day how odd it was that, once I was able to retire, I only ever had to set my alarm on Sunday mornings. Of course, that’s to be understood; when we volunteer to work at all three services on a givenContinue reading “The New Saturday Routine”

Tapped Out (for the Moment)

Dearest Rachel – There are days when the slightest thing can trigger a flood of memories for me to write you about. Like Marcel Proust going on for pages about the shape, texture, and mouthfeel of a madeleine cookie, there are days when I could write for ages on the smallest thing, if I feltContinue reading “Tapped Out (for the Moment)”

Not Suited for the Season

Dearest Rachel – Halloween was never celebrated much at our place, was it? What with it being on a major thoroughfare, our house was only ever visited a handful of times at best on any given year. and that was before we were dealing with things like the pandemic and social distancing and the polarizationContinue reading “Not Suited for the Season”

The Pull of Responsibility

Dearest Rachel – While you spent much of your life trying to maintain a certain level of childhood (and fairly successfully, I might add – certainly in comparison to myself or nearly anyone else we knew), there are certain aspects of that station in life that leave one longing for the joys of the imaginedContinue reading “The Pull of Responsibility”

Preparations and Purchases

Dearest Rachel – You were instructing me to help you out in finding a protective screen for your touchscreen computer, as you were planning on taking it with on our travels. You seemed to be looking forward to the trip. For my part, I didn’t know how to react to your request. I hadn’t intendedContinue reading “Preparations and Purchases”

Cold Open

You know how it goes; you remember how the episodes began when the revival fired up. It’s the top of the hour, and what you’re watching is too good, too professionally produced to be a commercial. The visuals are stunning, and the action has you already hooked on what’s going on. But there’s been noContinue reading “Cold Open”

More Nothing Than I Know What to Do With

Dearest Rachel – For the most part, yesterday was my own fault, so I really have no right to complain about what happened – or rather, what didn’t happen. To be fair, I enjoy my retired life; the lack of deadlines and responsibilities to a boss, the (admittedly somewhat theoretical) freedom to do or goContinue reading “More Nothing Than I Know What to Do With”

Like a Drunken Sailor

Dearest Rachel – Most people would rather not be thought of as profligate when it comes to their spending habits; I certainly don’t. Sure, my family raised me to be generous with regard to giving (and I’ll get to that later on), but they also taught me to be prudent with what money came myContinue reading “Like a Drunken Sailor”

Bolt From the Black

Dearest Rachel – It was half past three; I checked almost immediately after it happened. My mind was just wrapping up a dream about a flight that was forced to land in the packing lot of our church’s Des Plaines campus when there was this thunderous explosion, as if it was coming directly from ourContinue reading “Bolt From the Black”

Girls and the Golden Cocoons

Dearest Rachel – This letter will have to wait for a couple of days; as I mentioned in the last one I wrote you, I had to do some shopping for my sister’s birthday present, so this needs to wait until I’ve actually given it to her, lest I run the risk of spoiling theContinue reading “Girls and the Golden Cocoons”

Hadn’t Heard Your Voice in So Long

Dearest Rachel – Wouldn’t surprise you to know that I’ve started to forget what your voice sounded like? For all that I’ve kept your cell phone – and still continue to pay a nominal fee for it – it’s been ages since I’ve called it to hear you say how you ‘can’t come to theContinue reading “Hadn’t Heard Your Voice in So Long”

In No Mood to Get Up

Dearest Rachel – It’s six in the morning, and for whatever reason, I’m awake. It’s not quite pitch black, but it’s pretty thoroughly dark out yet. Several muscles surrounding my Achilles’ tendon are still screaming at me, despite my attempts to stretch them ex post facto. And I’ve just woken from a dream in whichContinue reading “In No Mood to Get Up”

Running from Responsibility?

Dearest Rachel – I woke up this morning, wondering why I might be imagining myself as a runaway staying at some halfway house on the outskirts of an actual city, rather than as I am, a homeowner in the suburbs, supposedly in charge on my own destiny. I know I have this mental picture ofContinue reading “Running from Responsibility?”

Status Quo Ante

Dearest Rachel – Monday morning. A new day, a new week, a new month – for all intents and purposes – and, for those who bother to keep track, a new quarter. Just about everything is new today. And yet, it’s back to the same old, same old. After a week away from the ‘office,’Continue reading “Status Quo Ante”

Forgoing Breakfast For Going to Breakfast

Dearest Rachel – There are mornings when I don’t know what to tell you about. Not for lack of things to talk about, necessarily (although there are some days like that), as much as what to focus on – and in some cases, what not to focus on. There are mornings when I stand inContinue reading “Forgoing Breakfast For Going to Breakfast”

A Milestone Missed

Dearest Rachel – There’s not much for me to do today, in terms of commemorating our thirtieth anniversary. I’ve already posted our wedding video, and that game show we participated in on the cruise we took to celebrate our twenty-fifth (it’s shocking to consider how much has changed in the span of less than fiveContinue reading “A Milestone Missed”

More Like The Painting

Dearest Rachel – After two or three hours of rinsing off pots and pans to be put through the sanitizer (using nothing but cold water, since otherwise it wouldn’t be enough hot for the sanitizer, so… that was fun), I joined the rest of the guys in setting up the dining hall for some kindContinue reading “More Like The Painting”

The Freedom in Work

Dearest Rachel – “Work makes [you] free.” So the saying goes, most notoriously and deceptively on the iron gates of Auschwitz. Personally, I was never one to believe it; you recall how grateful I was to be freed from my job when your parents passed away, and you were pleased to be able to letContinue reading “The Freedom in Work”

Way Too Soon

Dearest Rachel – I know I deliberately retired to the bedroom early last night in order to get up with enough time to get ready and be at church by seven, but I meant to wake up at five. Two a.m. is way too soon. And yet, that’s when I found myself awake, mulling overContinue reading “Way Too Soon”

Inverted Day

Dearest Rachel – I suppose that title might be overstating things a little bit. From the sound of it, you might gather that this is going to be a day in which I conduct my business at night, and sleep during the day. And while there are plenty of people who do that for aContinue reading “Inverted Day”

If The Lights Are On…

Dearest Rachel – I’ll be honest, the thing that pulls me away from work today (and it does so earlier than yesterday, so my working window is that much smaller) isn’t nearly as unusual as yesterday’s visit from Lisa to finalize the remodel. Although, now that I think about it, the reason I’m coming homeContinue reading “If The Lights Are On…”

Broken Guardrails

Dearest Rachel – So, this morning I was out walking to the ‘office’ for the first time in longer than I’d care to admit. Not only had it been a long time since I walked, the weather first thing in the morning was ideal for it, being bright, sunny and with temperatures in the midContinue reading “Broken Guardrails”

So, ah… What’s This Button Do?

Dearest Rachel – Did I mention about this when Kris was over on Monday? She tried to plug the vacuum cleaner into an outlet in the kitchen, so as to clean up what few crumbs I’d dropped on the floor since the protective cardboard had been peeled up… and nothing happened. She tried several differentContinue reading “So, ah… What’s This Button Do?”

Shoeless Day

Dearest Rachel – Yesterday, since Kris came over to clean the house (for the first time since both the kitchen and laundry rooms were completed), I stayed home from the ‘office’ in order to be there. As you well know, I don’t like having to owe people for extended periods of time – it’s oneContinue reading “Shoeless Day”

An Absurdly Short Day

Dearest Rachel – I suppose that, technically, the very idea of a ‘short’ day is absurd. Every day contains the same amount of time – twenty-four hours, no more, no less. Of course, some days will seem longer than others; ironically, sometimes for the exact opposite reason. One day will seem like it goes onContinue reading “An Absurdly Short Day”

Filling Null Time

Dearest Rachel – I don’t know offhand whether it’s an actual scientific concept, but the idea of null space should be familiar to you, given your affinity for science fiction, particularly as a Whovian. For a budget-conscious show such as the original Doctor Who, it was an easy thing to represent; all you needed wasContinue reading “Filling Null Time”

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…”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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?”

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”

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”

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”

Fearing the Echo

Dearest Rachel – I never met the dogs you grew up with: Crispin, who was your mother’s when she met your dad while teaching at university (Their story was an interesting ‘meet-cute,’ and one rife with all manner of battles for employment rights within the academic field and what not, but they’re not particularly relevantContinue reading “Fearing the Echo”

Forecasting Follies

Dearest Rachel – Aside from the fact that I don’t want the responsibility – and cannot fathom why anybody else would – I have certain… ideas… that probably would suggest that I shouldn’t be trusted with the reins of any sort of power. I’m not a big fan of the psychic community, for instance. Personally,Continue reading “Forecasting Follies”

A Question of Timing

Dearest Rachel – So often in life, things turn on a matter of timing. We are in the middle of the Olympics at the moment – not that anyone’s watching, as it seems to have been determined that neither China nor those that kowtow to it are worthy of support – where the difference betweenContinue reading “A Question of Timing”

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”

Steering Me Wrong

Dearest Rachel – I’ve been driving for almost forty years – I probably should pull over and get a cup of coffee now again. But what’s been happening to my car is something I’ve never experienced before, and it’s getting me a little bit worried. I’ve been able to manage for a couple of days,Continue reading “Steering Me Wrong”

Bluffing With Cards in Hand

Dearest Rachel – Well, sometimes these things resolve themselves. It turned out that, while Erin and Ellen weren’t going to be available, I got a text from Kerstin asking whether we were getting together Friday night – guess she was getting used to it being a weekly thing, for which I don’t blame her. SinceContinue reading “Bluffing With Cards in Hand”

Define ‘Okay’

Dearest Rachel – The other night, I received one of those regular emails from Nightelf. You know the sort; the kind of elaborate narrative that inspired me to begin writing you – although what I lack in erudition, I try to make up for in quantity. Between a career in academia in certain other lifeContinue reading “Define ‘Okay’”

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!”

Return on Investment

Dearest Rachel – This past week, when the girls were over for our every other Friday get together, Ellen and I were together in the kitchen, talking about old times. She is the one person I can talk to when I want to reminisce about you, as her memory is stronger than mine, and goesContinue reading “Return on Investment”

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”

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”

from Rachel: It Takes Time

“May 20 “I need to be more patient and persistent in trying to establish a daily routine of spending a few minutes with Jesus first thing in the morning. I manage most days for a week or two, but it doesn’t start to immediately become a comfortable habit or something I miss if I don’tContinue reading “from Rachel: It Takes Time”

Betting Our Lives

Dearest Rachel – Well. Thank heavens that wasn’t anything more than a dream. I couldn’t tell you the specifics, exactly. And in fact, it probably doesn’t make any difference as to who the teams were that were involved, other than the fact that they were playing football. All that really matters is that time wasContinue reading “Betting Our Lives”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

from Rachel: Created to Become Like Christ

“May 14 “Just when I had almost caught up, I come to two days too full to do more than read a page or two. Wednesday included a trip to the DMV and finishing my last BSF lesson. Thursday was my next-to-last BSF day, and then getting ready for the weekend because ACen begins today!Continue reading “from Rachel: Created to Become Like Christ”

Three Hundred Days

Dearest Rachel – Upon sending you my last letter, about the man yelling at the intercom outside the police headquarters, I received a ping from the WordPress application. In some ways it wasn’t much different from those that I get every day, complete with the standard ‘keep up the good work’ encouragement. But today wasContinue reading “Three Hundred Days”

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”

from Rachel: I Am Thankful…

“I am thankful… “7/21/97 “that I am a child of the King “that He has forgiven all my transgressions (Psalm 32:1) “that I’m finally keeping one of these (silly) journals Oprah keeps promoting “that I am laid back enough to not get stressed out if I miss a day sometimes (/often) “for a break inContinue reading “from Rachel: I Am Thankful…”

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”

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”

Words, Words, Words

Lord Polonius: What do you read, my lord?Hamlet: Words, words, words. Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2 Words, words, words!I’m so sick of words!I get words all day throughFirst from him, now from youIs that all you blighters can do?! Eliza Doolittle, “Show Me.” from My Fair Lady, (1956) Dearest Rachel – As a matter ofContinue reading “Words, Words, Words”

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”

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”

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”

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”

The Power of the Ping Compels Me

Dearest Rachel – I promised myself that I wouldn’t be suckered by these ladies. But I have to confess, I’m almost incapable of leaving anybody on ‘read.’ I try not to start a conversation, but if someone addresses me, I almost always feel the need to respond, even if it’s only out of sheer courtesy.Continue reading “The Power of the Ping Compels Me”

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”

Is It Really ‘Just A Number’?

Dearest Rachel – In my continued adventures in online dating, I’ve noticed that ones who have been responding to me have tended to be younger than myself. Coming from a cultural background where that’s more the rule than the exception (sure, there are plenty of couples where both are more or less the same age,Continue reading “Is It Really ‘Just A Number’?”

Open Door Policy

…As I told you, the door to my office is always open. I think you know why it’s always open – that was stolen, I’d like that returned. Bob Newhart, Captain’s remarks from “The Cruise of the U.S.S. Codfish,” The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart (1960) Dearest Rachel – I used to think that oursContinue reading “Open Door Policy”

And I Say, “It’s All Right”

Dearest Rachel – Well, after two whole days of barely acknowledging us, it seems that the sun is back, and it’s nice to see him. Even if he is in my face in either direction that I walk. Not that that’s a complaint I’m ever going to take up with my grandchildren: “You kids haveContinue reading “And I Say, “It’s All Right””

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”

from Rachel: What Matters Most

“I feel the need to disagree with the author to a certain extent. I agree that relationships are very important and should be a top priority. I agree that in every situation the best way to treat everyone is with love. However I am a very social creature already and do lots of things thatContinue reading “from Rachel: What Matters Most”

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”

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”

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”

Public Cake

Dearest Rachel – Let me start out by saying that this is not a love story. And I feel like I should be apologizing for that. This whole collection of letters to you were supposed to be an outpouring of love and reminiscences about our time together and what you meant to me. And whileContinue reading “Public Cake”

A Kiss Atop the Lid

Dearest Rachel – I don’t know if you remember that scene in Tim Burton’s Batman Returns where Serena Kyle enters her apartment with that stock line, “Hi honey, I’m home!” followed by a quick beat, whereupon she adds, “Oh, yeah. That’s right; I live alone.” That’s what it’s like to come home these days. ItContinue reading “A Kiss Atop the Lid”