from Rachel: Developing Your Friendship with God

“May 5, 2004 “I will try to remember to pray often, ‘Dear Jesus, more than anything else, I want to get to know you intimately.’” “I need to remember that it is very important to grow closer to God, even if my main reason to want to want to is self-preservation – I would ratherContinue reading “from Rachel: Developing Your Friendship with God”

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”

Not the Worst Way to Make an Impression

Dearest Rachel – Another day, another walk to the ‘office.’ With a stop or two along the way; there are always things that need to be done, after all. First of which was to stop by the bank and drop off my payment for property taxes. I know they’re not due for another week orContinue reading “Not the Worst Way to Make an Impression”

You Can Put Away Your Sunscreen

Dearest Rachel – Well, another season has come and gone. Summer is officially over. Amazing to realize that the passage of time is not an arbitrary concept, but there are physical conditions that we can observe here on earth; day and night, and the length of each defining the season of the year, even ifContinue reading “You Can Put Away Your Sunscreen”

The Only Thing That’s Never Empty

Dearest Rachel – While I’d be more than willing to admit there are so many things I’d like to have back, I would settle for being able to hear your voice, and converse with you back-and-forth. I’ve mentioned not so long ago about how I wish I could compare notes about how you dealt withContinue reading “The Only Thing That’s Never Empty”

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”

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”

This Is Only A Test

Dearest Rachel – So this morning, as I finally set out to walk across town to the ‘office’ at my folks’ place, I was mildly startled by the slowly rising wail of klaxons in the air, eventually surrounding me on all sides until I was very nearly at the (all but deserted) downtown area. It’sContinue reading “This Is Only A Test”

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”

In Defiance of Entropy

Dearest Rachel – When I was a kid, I collected some book about the ‘Official Rules.’ I don’t recall if that was what was titled, but I think it may have been. These weren’t rules for a game, or instructions for anything in particular; just observations on how life worked, or didn’t. Stuff like Murphy’sContinue reading “In Defiance of Entropy”

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”

from Rachel: Planned For God’s Pleasure

“4/24 “I could and should start doing house work as if I were doing it for Jesus. Especially the jobs I don’t like and generally procrastinate; washing dishes, hanging up clothes, and sorting and cleaning up messy piles.” Dearest Rachel – Interesting to see this entry now, just as I’d been learning about ‘secondary losses’Continue reading “from Rachel: Planned For God’s Pleasure”

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”

Not Feeling It

Dearest Rachel – As characters in our own dramas (or, more likely, sitcoms – has it ever occurred to anyone that those experiencing life within those sitcoms doesn’t find what’s happening to them to be funny? We are, as audience members, more likely than not laughing at their pain), we are generally oblivious to ourContinue reading “Not Feeling It”

Talking to Thin Air

Dearest Rachel – There are some days in which I have to confess I’m not all that motivated to write you these letters. Sometimes it’s that I’m distracted by other things that require me to respond to them, so I spend my writing energy on something – or someone – else, thus causing what IContinue reading “Talking to Thin Air”

Red Tape

Dearest Rachel – Last night was the Bible study on Zoom, as per usual for the last year and a half. One of the regulars generally start things off with a joke. To give you an idea of the level of humor, here was this week’s offering: Question: How do bureaucrats wrap their Christmas presents?Continue reading “Red Tape”

Leave Behind a Morsel

Dearest Rachel – Back in the 70s and 80s, my great aunt Belva participated in a ministry for international students attending Northwestern; inviting them over for a home-cooked meal, introducing them to our church community, that sort of thing. She had a great knack for keeping in touch with ‘her students’ after they graduated andContinue reading “Leave Behind a Morsel”

Poor Impulse Control

Dearest Rachel – And this… is why you never shop hungry. There’s a lot of things I’ve been doing with more frequency now that I am the lone adult in the household. Yes, yes, I know Daniel is officially an adult, but he is still a dependent child as long as he lives here, IContinue reading “Poor Impulse Control”

We Are All Hikikomori… Again

Dearest Rachel – We acknowledged it between the two of us, but rarely spoke of it outside of the home. The convocation when he first enrolled at Judson spoke of their mascot, the eagle, and how the adults made their nest less and less comfortable over time, so as to encourage their eaglets, as theyContinue reading “We Are All Hikikomori… Again”

A Touch of Nervous Energy

Dearest Rachel – What with having woken up before six o’clock on a Saturday to shower and tend to the dog (although in fairness, I actually managed to do the former without waking up the old guy! Huzzah!), making a point to attend this morning’s Bible study, followed by running about on errands until aboutContinue reading “A Touch of Nervous Energy”

Late for Dinner

Dearest Rachel – “You can call me anything you want; just don’t call me late for dinner!” It was probably one of the first jokes I was ever told by my grandfather as a little kid, and one that I never really got at that age (“what kind of name is Late For Dinner, andContinue reading “Late for Dinner”