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”

Have You Seen Him?

Dearest Rachel – You probably remember how, with every year end, I would make a habit of picking up the year-end wrapup from Life magazine (and later, after that one folded, Time magazine), covering ‘the year in pictures.’ Some of them may have been thrown out in the course of the purge, but I thinkContinue reading “Have You Seen Him?”

Keep Me Warm ’Til Then

Dearest Rachel – So, I was going to tell you about this yesterday, but I got distracted by the events of the day. Somehow, Resurrection Sunday seemed more important to talk about than my latest acquisition. I think you’d be fine with the delay. Besides, I’d gotten the notice from UPS on Friday that itContinue reading “Keep Me Warm ’Til Then”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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?”

The Finnish Reindeer Coat

Dearest Rachel – The other day, I saw Mom getting a few old coats out of the cedar closet in their basement (from the room under what used to be my own, back when I was growing up). Admittedly, I didn’t think much of it, but took the moment to fill her in on theContinue reading “The Finnish Reindeer Coat”

One Last Laundry

Dearest Rachel – They’ve been sitting around in the folks’ basement, and I’ve been meaning to do something about it them for some time. But every time I think about it, I’m away from my computer, and by the time I come back to the computer, it’s completely slipped my mind all over again. ButContinue reading “One Last Laundry”

The Mockery of Billboards

Dearest Rachel – I forget if I read much of his stuff before you were a part of my life – I don’t think you introduced me to his work – but you seemed to have an affinity toward the poetry of Ogden Nash. His series on ‘Animals’ was one you favored, but the mostContinue reading “The Mockery of Billboards”

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”

Not Just ‘Someone Else’s Car’

Dearest Rachel – I want to start this letter off by saying there’s nothing more uncomfortable than driving someone else’s car, but that’s not exactly true. I suspect that, given enough time, and pointed where all of the necessary (and some of the extraneous ones, like the sound system) controls are, I can get usedContinue reading “Not Just ‘Someone Else’s Car’”

Guess He Needed Another Hug

Dearest Rachel – Long ago, in my late teens or early twenties, I came to the conclusion that suicide was essentially a very selfish act. Those who did so, did so without taking into account how others would react to it. Each of us has an effect on the lives of others, and to cutContinue reading “Guess He Needed Another Hug”

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)”

from Rachel: Shaped for Serving God

Question to consider: In what way could I see myself passionately serving others and loving it? “5/19 “I doubt I could feel any more passionate while serving others than when I sing in choir, especially with certain songs. I also feel a genuine love of the job in the two PTA tasks I do atContinue reading “from Rachel: Shaped for Serving God”

Picking at the Wound

Dearest Rachel – You would think that, because I’m writing you every day, I’d be constantly marinating my soul in the sensation of having lost you. Even as I’m chatting with others – even with possible candidates to fill the empty spot in our house and lives – when they ask what I do, IContinue reading “Picking at the Wound”

Fifty-Two Weeks Ago (part one)

Dearest Rachel – I still remember our first visit to Camp Awana for family camp in the summer of 2019. I hadn’t been there since the fifth or sixth grade, I believe – or maybe it was the just the summer between them. We wandered the length and breadth of the place, discovering it wasContinue reading “Fifty-Two Weeks Ago (part one)”

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”

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”

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”

The Twelfth Pain

Dearest Rachel – I remember your calling me at some point while I was at the ‘office’ last year on this day. “Do you know what’s going on in Washington?” To be sure, I was keeping up with the news feed, but there’s always a lag between the activity and the written word describing it;Continue reading “The Twelfth Pain”

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”

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”

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”

Eleven Months Home

Dearest Rachel – I had to save the most painful secular song for today, since it’s been eleven months since the accident. You didn’t think I’d forget what the twenty-third of the month was so soon, did you? It’s hard to think about it that way, since none of us on this since think ofContinue reading “Eleven Months Home”

A Tourist in Toyland

Dearest Rachel – Since I’ve either a.) been out of the country, or b.) shopping from home (or c.) both a. and b., thanks to the fact that I can shop online from anywhere, including a hotel in Switzerland), I haven’t been hearing a lot of Christmas music this year. It’s a bit of aContinue reading “A Tourist in Toyland”

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”

Knocking About the City

Dearest Rachel – I had every intention of knocking about the city this afternoon; it’s part of the reason why I arrived early enough to stay the night. I want to look around town, see what Basel has to offer. But with this head cold that I’m dealing with, I feel like I could justContinue reading “Knocking About the City”

The Fear of False Positives

Dearest Rachel – I mentioned to you in a few other earlier letters about how I’m trying not to get too excited about my upcoming trip. For one, although it takes me to a lot of places I’ve never been to, I’m doing this completely on my own, and I can’t say I’m really lookingContinue reading “The Fear of False Positives”

from Rachel: Restoring Broken Fellowship

Question to consider: Who do I need to restore a broken relationship with today? “May 11 “Today, no one (as far as I am aware, anyway). “Tomorrow, next week, or next month – Sally – definitely my EGR (extra grace required) friend, but praise God, his grace is sufficient for me: plenty left to share.Continue reading “from Rachel: Restoring Broken Fellowship”

Triple Feature

Dearest Rachel – It was so good to see you last night, and so many times, and through so much. If only I could convince anybody that you were there. Everything started off with a rather kinetic, video game feel to it. You and I were trying to get through a maze, and sort ofContinue reading “Triple Feature”

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”

At the Scene

Dearest Rachel – From the very first moment this trip was planned, where the team would run from church to camp, I had no idea whether I would be able to stand here. Once I was here, however, it seemed inappropriate for me not to come here. There’s no indication from the way things lookContinue reading “At the Scene”

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”

Do You Miss Anyone?

Dearest Rachel – One of the reasons you were so concerned about your folks as they gradually moved into their twilight years was that – as far as you could see – their lives gave no indication of the salvation they supposedly had. Sure, they were in church every Sunday, and put their few bucksContinue reading “Do You Miss Anyone?”

“With,” Not “To”

Dearest Rachel – When we were ‘courting,’ for lack of a better term (it wasn’t quite dating, when you were at college and I was working some 150 miles away), we would send music back and forth to each other. It was a way of keeping in touch, sending each other messages that some lyricistContinue reading ““With,” Not “To””

Adhesiveness in Anytown

Dearest Rachel – Last night, after a few hours of gaming with Kevin, I found myself in conversation with another individual on the dating app. She’d sent me a smile, and while I generally tend to limit my connections to those residing here in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs, I couldn’t quite figure out whereContinue reading “Adhesiveness in Anytown”

Friday I’m In Love

Dearest Rachel – One of the nice things about the autumn is being able to coordinate clothes. A plain old sweatshirt can be made to look like business casual gear if you wear a collared shirt (either a dress shirt or polo, it doesn’t necessarily matter – although I prefer the latter, as it doesn’tContinue reading “Friday I’m In Love”

The Sands of Ho-Na-Lee

Dearest Rachel – There are some days, darling, when I admit that there isn’t much to write to you about. Nothing much is happening, I don’t find myself inspired, and I find myself forcing myself – rather against Jan’s advice – to send you something simply for the sake of sending you something. This isn’tContinue reading “The Sands of Ho-Na-Lee”

Costumes

Dearest Rachel – There are so many things to say on this Halloween; so many memories to call up. It was a Halloween I am which I first sat with you in the cafeteria at breakfast, decked out as a denim clad mime, but unable to keep silent. Since I’d made up my face toContinue reading “Costumes”

Love & Marriage

Dearest Rachel – Happy Sweetest Day, honey. It’s weird; we never observed this holiday together. We considered ourselves fortunate enough to remember Valentine’s Day and our anniversary for each other. So why am I bothering now, seeing as I don’t have any sweetest to make a day out of this? Well, since the anniversary ofContinue reading “Love & Marriage”

Twilight Memories

Dearest Rachel – The nights are getting longer; well, they’ve been getting longer since Daniel’s birthday nearly four months ago. But now that we’ve passed the vernal equinox, and the hours of darkness exceed those of light, it becomes that much more obvious… and painful. October, even out here on the internet, is a monthContinue reading “Twilight Memories”

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”

Woefully Unprepared

Dearest Rachel – I imagine that this a sensation you were quite familiar with in your day; I woke up this morning realizing I haven’t done my homework for a long time – well, at least for this week. And as a result, I’m going to show up at the Bible study woefully unprepared forContinue reading “Woefully Unprepared”

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”

Going Buy-Buy

Dearest Rachel – I let the first of the month get past me, but I was otherwise occupied with a houseguest, after all. Indeed, it wasn’t until last Thursday that I realized I had missed my Monday appointment at the mechanics for your car. Oh well, we can try again later this week, I guess.Continue reading “Going Buy-Buy”

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”

Qualified to Suffer

Dearest Rachel – It seems like a very long time ago since I last felt this way, but there was a time when I thought life was good… too good. We were happy together, both as a couple and as a family. We had plans to enjoy this or that, and whatever problems we wereContinue reading “Qualified to Suffer”

Never Knew I’d Need Notes

Dearest Rachel – At some point in last night’s Grief Share meeting, the video session was going over certain emotions and attitudes we might have within the first few days and weeks. Honestly, I’m not sure why I was told earlier that my grief was ‘too raw’ and it was ‘too soon’ to go throughContinue reading “Never Knew I’d Need Notes”

Surprises

Dearest Rachel – I’ll tell you, this year thus far has been absolutely full of surprises. Which means that it’s probably a good thing you’re not around to deal with them, as you hated surprises. This was particularly evident when it came to birthdays and holidays – anything having to do with gift-giving. The longContinue reading “Surprises”

Broken In

Dearest Rachel – I can’t seem to find a letter to you that tells you when I bought these running shoes, so you’ll have to take it on faith that I did, probably late in April or early in May. Scott and I went to that Runners’ High shop just outside the ‘alfresco’ section ofContinue reading “Broken In”

The Most Important Hour of My Life – On An Insignificant Day

Dearest Rachel – I feel like I should apologize for the poor quality of this video. But the tape is, after all, twenty-nine years old, and it hasn’t been played in maybe ten, fifteen years; it can’t be expected to hold up all that well for all that time, especially on such an outdated andContinue reading “The Most Important Hour of My Life – On An Insignificant Day”

A Day to Remember

Dearest Rachel – Twenty-nine years ago today, we were simply hanging out at the hotel, waiting for family and friends to arrive and greeting them as they did. Only one story stands out with me at this point – most of the others, I’m afraid, have faded into obscurity. It was some of your mom’sContinue reading “A Day to Remember”

Grateful

Dearest Rachel – You’ll remember that, on thanksgivings at the folks’ place, we would offer a handful of things we were thankful for during the year. Well, it seems that Luke has assigned as homework along those sort of lines; before we roll out of bed in the morning, we are to come up withContinue reading “Grateful”

The Box of War

Dearest Rachel – I don’t think you performed this before I was aware of you; at least, not when you performed it for the BASIC group as part of a talent night. If I recall, you had also recited this as part of a similar talent night on the educational cruise you took with yourContinue reading “The Box of War”

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”

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”

The Day You Said ‘Yes’

Dearest Rachel – It’s hard to remember sometimes, but there was a time when the idea of ‘us’ wasn’t a foregone conclusion. On the other hand, as of this day, thirty years ago, it was, for all intents and purposes. It was but a question of when. After all, you had spent time with usContinue reading “The Day You Said ‘Yes’”

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”

The Day of Surgery

Ten years and five months to the day before the accident… 9:35 a.m. I’m writing everyone from Lutheran General Hospital. Rachel was wheeled into surgery just over an hour ago (at 8:30 a.m. – about an hour later than originally scheduled). As most of you know, they’re going to be removing a tumor that’s wedgedContinue reading “The Day of Surgery”

Music For Staring at the Axe

Dearest Rachel – Eleven years ago tomorrow, you went in for surgery to remove a tumor from your brain. At the time, we didn’t know what was going to happen to you; the fact that it was not within the brain was a relatively good sign, and the doctor was fairly certain it would turnContinue reading “Music For Staring at the Axe”

from Rachel: Hi, Ellen

“Hi, “We ate lunch here yesterday, but we didn’t get to see the goats because it was raining again. We’re having a great time, in spite of cool, wet weather. “Despite a lot of thunder, we only got a little bit wet at the Renaissance fair, Saturday, but Sunday we waited three wet hours forContinue reading “from Rachel: Hi, Ellen”

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”

Sleeping In Denim

Dearest Rachel – It seems there are a few memes out there about people who sleep dressed, specifically while wearing jeans… Not sure I understand what the fuss is all about. Between showering after walking home, and therefore changing afterwards (look, it’s August in Chicago – why should I stay in those sweaty clothes anyContinue reading “Sleeping In Denim”

The Things Mine Eyes Have Seen

Dearest Rachel – I never got around to telling you about this, but when we were down at Kevin’s over Memorial Day weekend, I broke down and got a copy of Minecraft. Somehow, he figured out how to set up a server, and the three of us just started digging around (in survival mode, noContinue reading “The Things Mine Eyes Have Seen”

Digital Cache

Dearest Rachel – I keep wondering when the time will come when I’ve found the last remnant of your memory. After all, everything in life is finite, and you were here for only a limited amount of time. Surely at some point, I will run out of photographs to ruminate over, music or other recordingsContinue reading “Digital Cache”

Waiting for a Table

Dearest Rachel – Since I woke up this morning with little to no memory of last nights dream (which, come to think of it, is more how things used to be when you and I were together nights), I figure I might as well instead relate the events of last evening to you as partContinue reading “Waiting for a Table”

Hide And Seek as a Contact Sport

Dearest Rachel – This is gonna be one of the more elaborate dreams that I’ve dealt with in a long time, and I don’t have a lot of time to put it together before it evaporates on me. Besides, that we’re coming after me shortly. It’s taking place on the Wesleyan campus as we rememberContinue reading “Hide And Seek as a Contact Sport”

Il Faut Manger

Dearest Rachel – This letter is running concurrent with the previous one, because there are that many impossible things to do at the moment. All I’m doing at this point is waiting for the marketplace to open, and then I’ll be going to breakfast. ‘One must eat,’ after all… The contrast between last night andContinue reading “Il Faut Manger”

The Thirty-First of the Month

Dearest Rachel – I never really gave much thought to the thirty-first of the month. Yes, certain things occurred on the last day of the month – bills to pay, income transferred, that sort of thing that was more or less routine – but nothing that could be considered upsetting in any way. But theseContinue reading “The Thirty-First of the Month”

A Pallet of Pop

Dearest Rachel – You know, I’m a trip to the supermarket really shouldn’t wreck me, especially not after all this time. And yet, here we are from time to time. The thing is, I almost never went to Meier on my own. While I’m sure you went by yourself more often than not, I almostContinue reading “A Pallet of Pop”

Walking Him Home

Dearest Rachel – I have just woken up, and am lying in bed, dictating this. This morning’s dream was nothing particularly special. If anything, the scene seemed almost realistic, at least, in appearance. In it, I was walking Chompers home. Not on the return leg of whatever circuit we might be taking; no, I’m talkingContinue reading “Walking Him Home”

The Last Will and Testament of Sir Silk Cerise

“July 26, 2011 “Sir Silk Cerise – Last Will & Testament “I bequeath unto my family: a tear on their cheek, a hollow in their hearts, and my thanks for over thirteen years of love and kindness. “At 8:45, Dr. Barclay gave Sir Silk his shots to put him to sleep (He watched us, waggingContinue reading “The Last Will and Testament of Sir Silk Cerise”

Self-Indulgence and Survivor’s Guilt

Dearest Rachel – Among the many reasons why I wish you were still here, you could remind me of some of the things we did together back in the day. I have mostly vague recollections, and the occasional sharp image or phrase, but that’s about it. Sometimes, the only way I can remember when somethingContinue reading “Self-Indulgence and Survivor’s Guilt”

A Single Nuke Can Ruin Your Entire Day

Dearest Rachel – I know we never got into the show (which is weird, considering how many shows we did get into), but I do feel like I could’ve benefited from binge watching Rick and Morty at some point. I’m pretty sure that Rick would’ve had an answer for the problem I encountered in myContinue reading “A Single Nuke Can Ruin Your Entire Day”

Tetris Skillz

Dearest Rachel – “Use your Tetris skills!” Jeff says. You have no idea how much I miss you right now. There must be about a dozen of us here, guys coming straight from the Saturday morning Bible study, to help a couple move out. All this stuff is going into storage, at least for theContinue reading “Tetris Skillz”

It’s Only Property – But it’s All We Have

Dearest Rachel – Since I was awoken this morning by the dog whimpering (he’d pooped in his sleep on the blanket yet again – I do sometimes wonder why I wash it every time he does this, as this means I’ll wind up sticking it in the laundry almost every day at this rate), thisContinue reading “It’s Only Property – But it’s All We Have”

Part Of Each Other’s World

Dearest Rachel – Years before I met you – indeed, before I even graduated from high school (although after my relationship with Chris fell apart) – I had come up with a name for my hoped-for “someone,” much like I have done these past few months with the concept of “Megumi.” While I gave itContinue reading “Part Of Each Other’s World”

Left Over From the Move

Dearest Rachel – Rather than talk to Daniel about the people he listens to, I figured we might as well work on the stuff in his room. After all, we’re down to his room as far as the cleaning process goes. It will make more sense, and be less painful, if he’s involved in theContinue reading “Left Over From the Move”

For the Briefest of Moments

Dearest Rachel – It all felt so real. You were there, in my arms. I could touch you; my arms were around your neck, and draped over your shoulders. You seemed so bewildered as to why I was sobbing so, and holding onto you like a life preserver, as if I would die were IContinue reading “For the Briefest of Moments”

Birthday Plans Gone Awry

Dearest Rachel – There are times when I wish I was better at writing at certain hours. The early mornings, in particular, are fairly conducive to the process, as there’s nobody up but me and the dog. Even on our busy thorough fare, cars are few and far between at this hour. I have theContinue reading “Birthday Plans Gone Awry”

The Sullen Little Girl and Her Raggedy Ann

Dearest Rachel – This photo hung on the wall – along with a collection of other family photos, but this and the one of their last dog took pride of place, due to their size and prominence – in the hall leading from the family room of your parents’ house to their bedroom, passing byContinue reading “The Sullen Little Girl and Her Raggedy Ann”

Can’t Recall The Verse

Dearest Rachel – I don’t often set my alarm these days, but it’s necessary on Saturdays, in order to ensure I’m there on time for the men’s Bible study (not to mention the fact that, on the first Saturday of the month – because last week was a holiday – the guys organizing it fixContinue reading “Can’t Recall The Verse”

Dreams of a Fast Food Breakfast

Dearest Rachel – One of the many books that you left behind was a reissued copy of Windsor McCay’s “Dreams of a Rarebit Fiend,” wherein aficionados of the titular grilled cheese with mustard sandwich who’d eaten it too late at night would suffer from bizarre nighttime visions not unlike those of his later, more famousContinue reading “Dreams of a Fast Food Breakfast”

Never Mind The Professionals

Dear Rachel – So yesterday, Jeff and Julie invited the two of us over for a Fourth of July cookout (yes, I know it was on the third, but you know, Saturday versus Sunday). I warned Jeff that I would be late, because I was working in the booth this weekend, and as it soContinue reading “Never Mind The Professionals”

Yet Another Goodbye

Dearest Rachel – It seems the 2021 has been, is, and will be the year of losses for me. Your departure would’ve been more than enough to make it so, but of course there are all these littler ones that follow, or that are expected to follow. You’ve certainly heard plenty from me about Chompers;Continue reading “Yet Another Goodbye”

A Fondness for Funfairs

Dearest Rachel – Pulling into Melas Park, where I usually meet Erin to walk together on Tuesdays, I noticed that the parking lot we both usually use is unavailable. Turns out, while my village and Erin’s city have both canceled their annual Independence Day festivals, the town located between the two (which is why weContinue reading “A Fondness for Funfairs”

from Rachel: Letter to Oprah

“Dear Oprah, “[I love your show… blah blah blah] I also love your new song. I think that was so terrific of Paul Simon to write that for you. The song is running through my head at the moment because as he sings about you ‘A story in your eye / Well, speak until yourContinue reading “from Rachel: Letter to Oprah”

Gallagher’s Happy House

Dearest Rachel – There were several things in our lives that we both had knowledge and enjoyment of, but never quite shared as we could have. One, of course, was the nation of Japan (and its attendant culture), which we both visited and fell in love with before we became a couple – you asContinue reading “Gallagher’s Happy House”

Dreams of Summer

Dearest Rachel – This letter is going to be shorter than most, more’s the pity. But I have to move fast and thank you before the sandcastle in my mind loses shape and collapses. Yes, I said thank you. I’ve complained before some times about how Daniel claims to have seen you in his dreams,Continue reading “Dreams of Summer”

Fear Of Failing Memory

Dearest Rachel – People sometimes tell me I have an impressive memory. And I suppose, for the things I learned in childhood, that’s not far from the mark. I would memorize Bible verses and the like for Awana, and many of them have stayed with me just like some of them actually advertise: “Train upContinue reading “Fear Of Failing Memory”

We’ll All Be Skeletons

Dearest Rachel – Today was too cool to walk around in thin white cotton, so I decided to wear one of my black shirts. Not sure why I picked this one: I’m actually thinking this might be the first time I’ve worn it in public. I know you thought we might all wear it togetherContinue reading “We’ll All Be Skeletons”

ただいま! (I’m Home!)

Dearest Rachel – For all my talk about my being an anime otaku (although these days, Daniel and Logan have me well beat in terms of actually watching anime), you were the first of us to actually sample Japanese culture. Starting from the middle of your high school career you would make a habit ofContinue reading “ただいま! (I’m Home!)”

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”

The Lord Never Spoke to Me (part five – Dena)

Dearest Rachel – While I tried to reinvent myself with a more outgoing persona at college, I still wasn’t the type to seek out any actual relationships. Still, the close quarters environment was pretty nice for more casual friendships, and those I had plenty of. Indeed, I learned early on in college that I gotContinue reading “The Lord Never Spoke to Me (part five – Dena)”

The Lord Never Spoke to Me (part four – College)

Dearest Rachel – For all the momentous decisions I had to make in my life, they should’ve been one upon which everything hinged. Had I not gone where I went, I would not have met you, we would have not become us… everything depended on this moment, on this choice. And while I’m sure IContinue reading “The Lord Never Spoke to Me (part four – College)”

The Path to the Park

Dearest Rachel – So I must say, the wheelchair affords both Chompers and I a little extra freedom. He can wander about the front lawn as much as he wants for as long as he wants, while I sit here on the porch and take in the sights and sounds. And yes, even as emptyContinue reading “The Path to the Park”

The Lord Never Spoke to Me (part one – Introduction)

Dearest Rachel – Looking back over a number of these entries, it’s somewhat embarrassing to see how often everything is peppered with first-person pronouns. “I,” “me,” “my,” and the like are spread all over the place, when this is supposed to be about you. And yet, just about everything I know about you comes fromContinue reading “The Lord Never Spoke to Me (part one – Introduction)”

A Game We’ll Never Play

Dearest Rachel – It’s true that, thanks to the likes of Amazon and online shopping, you can come home nearly every day to find a package on your doorstep. After all, I just found the box with Chompers’ wheelchair on the front porch just this past Tuesday. However, that was the last order I’d placedContinue reading “A Game We’ll Never Play”