from Rachel: I Just Want Everyone to Love Me

Anyone else want to join me here? “Yep, I have belonged to the ‘just love me’ club too.” Looks like you agreed with the author that you are conflict-avoidant, risk-averse, and easily pushed (although you preferred the term ‘manipulated,’ for all the difference it made). You did not consider yourself easily-bullied, work-yourself-into-oblivion, or a bigContinue reading “from Rachel: I Just Want Everyone to Love Me”

There Will Be Other Chances

Dearest Rachel – Yesterday, the carpenters were supposed to mount the new medicine cabinet in the master bathroom. However, for whatever reason, they were missing the kit that would allow them to attach it flush against the wall, so they had to order that separately today. So, the ‘before’ picture I took in the morningContinue reading “There Will Be Other Chances”

Injudicious

Dearest Rachel – I told you before I’m trying to tiptoe around the subject of your absence with Daniel, even to the point of not sharing with him about Kerstin’s present for you. I’m not sure how and to what extent he feels your absence, especially after all this time. Occasionally I will ask howContinue reading “Injudicious”

Under the Weather

Dearest Rachel – It would seem that, somewhere along the way, Daniel has caught a cold. Neither of us knows from where, but it’s not an altogether unexpected situation; for all our love for the milder climate of spring and fall in comparison to the more extreme summer and winter May and November have neverContinue reading “Under the Weather”

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”

Light Infantry

Dearest Rachel – You would think that I would learn to check what can be done before stating categorically that it can’t. It’s how I avoided conflict with you for the longest time; you would think I would know to do likewise with Daniel. You would be wrong. There are certain aspects of the remodelingContinue reading “Light Infantry”

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”

Pliable v Stubborn

Dearest Rachel – Every day, there is a new member of the team to meet and deal with. The last couple of days have been spent dealing with the plumbing, first in the kitchen, then in the laundry room. Today, I’ve met with the electrician. His news isn’t particularly promising, but these are things thatContinue reading “Pliable v Stubborn”

Cleaning Out and Stocking Up

Dearest Rachel – I left the house this morning to the sound of the dishwasher firing up; I stopped at the local wholesale club to fill my tank (despite the high price tag – it’s the first time I’ve ever put $60 worth of gas in the car at one go – because I’m sureContinue reading “Cleaning Out and Stocking Up”

Déjà Vu

Dearest Rachel – This weekend is going to be considerably quieter than the last few. After two weeks in a row, the girls won’t be coming over tonight (or next Friday, for that matter, if I recall correctly). It’s how scheduling goes, and that’s fine. I can’t expect them to be here every single week,Continue reading “Déjà Vu”

Dodging Bullets

Dearest Rachel – There are times when I come up with better titles than I do letters. There’s not nearly that much to say about Daniel’s adventures, except that we’ve gotten away with a lot more than I expected we would. I won’t say that I’ve been fretting all week about it, but it’s beenContinue reading “Dodging Bullets”

What Can I Say?

Dearest Rachel – I suppose I really should come right out and admit it: I’m a morning person. I would always excuse myself by saying it was out of necessity that I was waking up as early as I did, that I needed to read and wash up before getting myself out the door toContinue reading “What Can I Say?”

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”

The Summons

Dearest Rachel – So, for the first time since the pandemic and the lockdown took effect, we’ve gotten a notice from the county: a summons for jury duty. Actually, that’s not entirely true; you received one back in the spring, but I had to call them up and inform them that you would not beContinue reading “The Summons”

Officially Cleared

Dearest Rachel – I suppose it’s a sign of the times to say something along the lines of how there’s nothing so relieving to see than a chance to rejoin society… because your Covid test came back negative. I’ve made no secret of the fact that Daniel is noon too keen about the Covid vaccineContinue reading “Officially Cleared”

A Time to Show Up, A Time to Take Off

Dearest Rachel – So, last night was the final Awana club meeting for the calendar year. There was also a get together of the Grief Share group that Cheryl was hosting at her place, and I didn’t want to miss that. So after checking with Daniel as to how he felt about serving at SparksContinue reading “A Time to Show Up, A Time to Take Off”

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”

Where’s the Lavender Soap?

Dearest Rachel – I’ve been told that the above expression, when mouthed, is indistinguishable from the phrase “where there’s life, there’s hope.” Beyond that, the title is only meaningful only insofar as its misreading. After venting my frustrations about what Daniel was or was not doing for himself in my absence, I think I managedContinue reading “Where’s the Lavender Soap?”

His Lifeline

Dearest Rachel – When I left on my trip nearly two weeks ago (has it only been that long? It seems like it’s been ages), I felt bad about leaving Daniel behind. But I’ve told you about his opinions toward the various Covid protocols, and that he wouldn’t be allowed into the airport with hisContinue reading “His Lifeline”

This Present Tense

Dearest Rachel – I’m sure you know that I want to have a good relationship with Daniel. I want to be able to encourage and praise him for the good that he does (even if it’s not in my presence). But how do I praise him, when I don’t find out about the good thatContinue reading “This Present Tense”

Problems With My Parenting

Dearest Rachel – So the folks have developed this routine of inviting us over almost every Thursday night. It’s really not unlike back in the days when you would be visiting your parents for a week, or those times you would go on women’s retreats, or any other point in which you were away fromContinue reading “Problems With My Parenting”

No Ticket to Oz

Dearest Rachel – It was storming terribly last night, dear. Our home security system by the front door was beeping like a combination alarm clock and a forklift stuck in reverse, and no amount of money going forward and typing in the password which shut it up for more than five minutes, before it wouldContinue reading “No Ticket to Oz”

Defiance and Discipline

Dearest Rachel – You know that I never liked being the disciplinarian in the family. I would get frustrated when Daniel wouldn’t – for whatever reason – comply with our requests (I got particularly upset about homework, as I had always wanted to get it out of the way when I was a student, andContinue reading “Defiance and Discipline”