Dull Docket

Dearest Rachel – This letter may be shorter than most of the ones I’ve written to you lately (although you never know; I might be able to stretch it out into a thousand words all the same). I hope that’s okay with you. The thing is, there’s not much to tell you about today thatContinue reading “Dull Docket”

On My Own To Decide

Dearest Rachel – I’ve mentioned to you before the ambivalence I have toward the fact that I (theoretically) can decide for myself what to do at any given time. There is something nice about being able to go out on a whim, like I did this morning, and grab breakfast without worrying about needing toContinue reading “On My Own To Decide”

Just My “Luck”

Dearest Rachel – I’m not entirely sure what prompted it; I think it was some comment on the possibility of an impulse trip this autumn (despite already having lined up this immensely long cruise next spring). I’d probably gotten the idea in my head after inviting the girls over to, among other things, share inContinue reading “Just My “Luck””

Only Myself to Blame

Dearest Rachel – Last night, just as I was about to go to bed, I realized that I had forgotten to do something. I’d meant to make a run to the supermarket yesterday, after working out, showering and hanging out with Daniel for a bit. But after doing all that (and Logan got home particularlyContinue reading “Only Myself to Blame”

Passing Thoughts

Dearest Rachel – After writing you yesterday’s letter, I was surprised (although perhaps I shouldn’t have been, given how my mind works sometimes) to find myself coming up with possible scenes that could go into a story about the two of us as well as my attempts to cope with being on my own –Continue reading “Passing Thoughts”

All That Matters

Dearest Rachel – One of the peculiar effects (I’m not sure if they should be considered advantages or drawbacks; I’m sure it could go either way, depending on one’s perspective) of my making a point of writing you as soon as I can on any given morning – so as to “get it out ofContinue reading “All That Matters”

Irreplaceable

Dearest Rachel – On the drive to and from camp yesterday, Brian and I (and occasionally Scott, but he’s quieter and more reserved – plus, he was sitting in the rear seat of the truck) did a lot of talking together. Some of the conversation was about the business at hand – the camp andContinue reading “Irreplaceable”

The Song That Fits

Dearest Rachel – So last night, Kerstin came over. It was all we could do; getting all the girls together just wasn’t in the cards. It’s part of why it’s taken so long to arrange your final send-off – Erin needs her schedule together for the following year by the previous November, while Aaron (theContinue reading “The Song That Fits”

Dreams of Netless Flight

Dearest Rachel – Well, we made it home. In fact, we landed at O’Hare only about an hour after we took off from Narita – all that time change, stuff you know. That, in fact, was one of the reasons why I’d decided to stay home today from the ‘office’: it was basically assumed byContinue reading “Dreams of Netless Flight”

Shimizu – 清水

Dearest Rachel – Our trip is just about to wind down, and we’re down to our last stop before returning to Tokyo, and from there to Narita and home via Denver (which no, I am not going to bother writing about. I’ve already told you plenty about having been there). I’m not sure how muchContinue reading “Shimizu – 清水”

Hiroshima – 広島

Dearest Rachel – For all that Hiroshima has a certain singular claim to fame (if nothing else, it is the yardstick by which all nuclear devices are measured against, usually in terms of dwarfing it), there is so much more to this city than that one terrible moment. Indeed, the fact that it still standsContinue reading “Hiroshima – 広島”

Kitakyushu – 北九州

Dearest Rachel – So, after that brief sojourn on the tip of the Asian continent proper, we return to the islands of Japan. And I use the plural deliberately, since this is our first visit to a city on an island other than the main one of Honshu. Kitakyushu is a city located in theContinue reading “Kitakyushu – 北九州”

Enforced Rest

Dearest Rachel – We had planned on taking a shore excursion today in Busan – a Korean cooking class, believe it or not – but when we got aboard the ship, there was already a card on what would up being my bed, informing us that regrettably, it had been cancelled due to the lackContinue reading “Enforced Rest”

On Both Sides of the Border

Dearest Rachel – With every stop we make along the ancient shipping route around the perimeter of Honshu, we get the same announcement from the government of Japan: we’re not allowed to bring meat products ashore, lest we run the risk of bringing potentially infectious items into the country. Setting aside the question of whereContinue reading “On Both Sides of the Border”

Bittersweet Uncertainty

Dearest Rachel – As recently as a couple of days ago, I pretty much had an outline for the letter I was going to write you this morning. Most of it, you might imagine, would have to do with the fact that this was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime – multiple lifetimes,Continue reading “Bittersweet Uncertainty”

Just… Disappointed

Dearest Rachel – I don’t know if I ever used the stock phrase uttered by television and movie dads throughout history: “I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed.” I know one of the stories you told of your dad at his funeral went along those lines when he overheard you curse for the one and onlyContinue reading “Just… Disappointed”

Anticipation and Preparation

Dearest Rachel – So. The time is pretty much upon us now. After a week of Daniel and I warning various people about our upcoming absences, we have to actually start making preparations to fly out Thursday evening to meet our ship that will take us around Japan. This is not going to be aContinue reading “Anticipation and Preparation”

Silent at the Gates

Dearest Rachel – I’m grateful for the fact that I didn’t wait until you left to compare you to the literally proverbial ‘good wife’ of chapter 31. You knew how highly I thought of you; you didn’t have to wait until you were gone for me to say nice things about you. It’s one ofContinue reading “Silent at the Gates”

Not What I Intended

Dearest Rachel – You just never know the sort of things that will stick with you; the smallest throwaway line heard in childhood may nestle in the back of your mind and serve as a guide from time to time whether you want it to or not. I don’t know how your parents kept youContinue reading “Not What I Intended”

The Wolves are Never at the Door

Dearest Rachel – For the last couple of days, the folks have been watching the news and listening to the weather report. Actually, that’s not quite accurate, as they’ve been doing this fairly consistently all my life. Indeed, one of the last things I would do with them every night when I was a kidContinue reading “The Wolves are Never at the Door”

Out Of Nowhere

Dearest Rachel – The thing about writing to you as opposed to a face-to-face conversation is that – apart from the unfortunate fact that I’m the only one doing the ‘talking’ here, of course – is that there’s a sort of unspoken requirement for everything to mesh into a coherent whole. An actual conversation canContinue reading “Out Of Nowhere”

Lost in Transit

Dearest Rachel – Since I’m well aware that I’m both quite impatient and forgetful, I try to use those flaws of mine in tandem to offset each other. For any long-term plan or project – especially one with a set date (like travel plans) or requiring others’ contributions – I do my part, set theContinue reading “Lost in Transit”

Scraping By Without Patience

Dearest Rachel – Life is something of a whipsaw between having seemingly all the time in the world and suddenly running out, and having to transition from dawdling to running full pelt in the blink of an eye. What happened to you was an extreme example, of course, but it’s a situation we all dealContinue reading “Scraping By Without Patience”

Wants vs Needs

Dearest Rachel – This morning found me awake before five, for reasons unknown. While I could stand to shed a layer of bedding, and perhaps use the facilities, nothing seemed so urgent as to demand my consciousness at such a ridiculous hour. Still, once awake (however reluctantly), I felt that I needed to take careContinue reading “Wants vs Needs”

Where Did I Expect to Be?

Dearest Rachel – I don’t have to keep track of the days; I just keep writing to you, and the computer does it for me. Just a few days ago, it sent me a notification, congratulating me on another anniversary on this site. Given what spurred me to start this, I’m not sure that IContinue reading “Where Did I Expect to Be?”

I Still Need to Get Out More

Dearest Rachel – I hear the occasional comment about how unusual our weather is this winter, but I can’t say that I’ve seen any real evidence of it. For instance, I’ve heard that last month has the least amount of sunlight for January since we’ve been keeping track of that; I have no idea howContinue reading “I Still Need to Get Out More”

Preparations, Questions and Imaginations

Dearest Rachel – There’s something strange about driving back from a workout, and needing to stop and prepare for the next one before going home. It’s not unlike finishing up lunch, complementing the chef, and wondering immediately thereafter where and what one would be having for supper that night – a scenario that I’m muchContinue reading “Preparations, Questions and Imaginations”

The Gym Can Wait (But Not for Long)

Dearest Rachel – January is the month for resolutions, and as everybody know, although in all honesty, we were never much for them ourselves. Not because we thought we had everything together – far from it – but that we were realistic enough to know that we’d end up breaking them in the same monthContinue reading “The Gym Can Wait (But Not for Long)”

The Illusion of Choice

Dearest Rachel – I’m not entirely sure how it is that my mind found itself pondering this concept throughout the course of the last night. Quite possibly, it was due to the video I saw that was reviewing Kurt Vonnegut’s book Slaughterhouse Five. I had read the book (and watched the film, for that matter)Continue reading “The Illusion of Choice”

Seventeen and Other Tunes

Dearest Rachel – I have to confess, I’m trying to find a style of music that I can listen to without being reminded of the many mix tape memories that we shared throughout our college and courtship days. Even stuff that grew on us by way of anime music videos can take a psychic tollContinue reading “Seventeen and Other Tunes”

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”

from Rachel: Steps to Take as You March On

Read Exodus 14:16,21-22. What happened before the Red Sea parted? “Moses raised his staff and stretched out his hand.” Read Joshua 3:8,14-17. What happened just before the water parted? If you were one of those priests, how do you think you would have felt about stepping into the rushing water? “nervous, uncertain” When you areContinue reading “from Rachel: Steps to Take as You March On”

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”

Not All Together

Dearest Rachel – I know that I used to rely on you a great deal back in the day to keep our calendar organized. You knew what we were doing on this day or that, and we rarely had to worry about double-booking ourselves thanks to you (of course, our relatively limited friend circle, andContinue reading “Not All Together”

Who Knows You

Dearest Rachel – There’s a cynical saying that’s gone around for generations that “it’s not what you know, but who you know.” Essentially, all the education in the world won’t necessarily get you as far as having certain contacts. And, depending on the field you’re trying to break into (and your definition of success) thatContinue reading “Who Knows You”

Five-Year Plan

Dearest Rachel – I’m gonna preface this later by admitting that I really don’t feel like doing anything today. Even something as small as dictating to Siri feels like a herculean effort. So you’ll understand if it turns out that this letter is rather short. The thing is, however, that it’s the moments that areContinue reading “Five-Year Plan”

Club Megumi

Dearest Rachel – Another early morning, another thing to write you about before I go back to sleep and forget all about it. Don’t know how far I’ll get before that happens, but I might as well try and see where this goes. Anyway, this is about a dream, which have been fewer and fartherContinue reading “Club Megumi”

Not Going South Just Yet

Dearest Rachel – It’s 8 a.m., and we’re underway – to some applause, as we actually pulled out at 7:59. Considering that I felt like I was being order to be ready to go by 7:45 (and I know, I shouldn’t take it personally if I’m not the one guilty of being late) I don’tContinue reading “Not Going South Just Yet”

Gobble, Gulp and Go

Dearest Rachel – A week or so ago, I finished transcribing my notes from our first trip here back in 2014. I had meant to use them to compare what we’d seen and heard then versus now, but also as filler, under the assumption that I wouldn’t be likely to be able to write fullContinue reading “Gobble, Gulp and Go”

An Unexpected Choice

Dearest Rachel – Well, that serves me right for trying to draft a letter to you while waiting for things to shake out. It’s amazing how much things can change in a matter of a few hours. I’ll start at the beginning, as best I can, since it’s not really my story – I’m justContinue reading “An Unexpected Choice”

The Fortress With Two Open Doors

Dearest Rachel – Evenings at the house, if they weren’t falling into something of a routine, and thereby likely to be considered to be ‘normal,’ are, I suspect, anything but that, when observed objectively. While it’s understandable that the boys would hang out together – and that I should stay out of their way, muchContinue reading “The Fortress With Two Open Doors”

A Second Adolescence

Dearest Rachel – It’s been long said that senility and dementia result in something that is referred to as a ‘second childhood’. You no longer know the things you used to know, so you’re about as ignorant and helpless as you were as a little child. You remember how this was, especially with your mom’sContinue reading “A Second Adolescence”

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”

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”

Battle Plans

Dearest Rachel – I can’t guess as to how much you still remember of your past life on this plane – especially things from so long ago (although, for all I know, you might be able to see the distant past just as well as the relatively recent, from your perspective), but I’m reminded today,Continue reading “Battle Plans”

Back to the N.C.E.R.

“You don’t know how lucky you are, boys…” Dearest Rachel – This morning, there was a bit of a change in plans. I had originally intended to walk to the ‘office,’ in order to get in my ten thousand steps (which is the subject of another letter I’ll have to owe you for later), butContinue reading “Back to the N.C.E.R.”

A Hole In Space

Dearest Rachel – Well, honey, I got my assignment in my email yesterday evening, and it turns out I’ll be spending most of the weekend in the kitchen just as I expected to. What I hadn’t expected (but probably should have) is that most of my time there will be spent handling cleanup rather thanContinue reading “A Hole In Space”

Can’t Get Him Out of the House

Dearest Rachel – In a way, I think I’d prefer to talk to you about my dream from last night, but it was so much of a non sequitur that I wouldn’t be able to make much of a story out of it. Basically, it involved my dad and I trying to sell a litterContinue reading “Can’t Get Him Out of the House”

When the Beings on My Shoulders Both Agree

Dearest Rachel – You’re familiar with the trope, most commonly used in cartoons and comics, of the angel and the devil on a character’s shoulders, each persuading the character toward right and wrong, respectively. We would recognize them as the pulls of conscience and desire, if not specifically sensing separate entities arguing with our ownContinue reading “When the Beings on My Shoulders Both Agree”

The Things We Meant to Watch Together

Dearest Rachel – Between our collection of anime and television shows, I used to joke about how we were gathering up enough entertainment to see us through a long, debilitating final illness – or at least, an extended period of time without internet. Only, your last day was just like every other day; everything wasContinue reading “The Things We Meant to Watch Together”

So Why Make the Offer in the First Place?

Dearest Rachel – For all that I’ve been saying that every day this week was going to be a little unusual – at least, insofar as none of them have been a typical ‘9 to 5’ day at the ‘office’ – that hasn’t proven to be quite true. Today is actually likely to be aContinue reading “So Why Make the Offer in the First Place?”

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”

Wobbly Wake-up

Dearest Rachel – I think it must be a symptom of old age – or at least, of the aging process itself. I either wake up hours before the sun does, or I find myself sleeping in past what I would consider to be a reasonable hour. And some days, like this morning, I manageContinue reading “Wobbly Wake-up”

No Footprints

Dearest Rachel – It seems that I should write you about today’s (or rather, this weekend’s, since I get to listen to it three times over) sermon, because it hits fairly close to home, especially for the two of us. Not that it isn’t common to all mankind, but given where you are, there’s aContinue reading “No Footprints”

Accountability

Dearest Rachel – I confess that I’ve never really been a fact of this particular topic. Oh, don’t get me wrong; I know it’s a useful and necessary tool to keep a oneself on the straight and narrow. It works. It’s just that it’s no fun, admitting when you screwed up, and having to constantlyContinue reading “Accountability”

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”

Still A Little Too Soon

Dearest Rachel – it’s funny how things work out sometimes. When I wrote to you earlier this morning, I was already concerned that I would not be there when I was told that the registration booth for sponsors would be opening up. In fact, I was late by well over an hour. And yet, whenContinue reading “Still A Little Too Soon”

How the Pendulum Swings

Dearest Rachel – So, I’m on my way to Iowa for this year’s anime convention. Call me pessimistic, but this may very well be for the last time. To think that, back in 2019, we were considering joining the Mindbridge community as part of the volunteer staff in the future for the convention. We nowContinue reading “How the Pendulum Swings”

Primary Concerns

Just remember when you step into your voting boothHe’ll never lie, he’ll just ‘embellish the truth’ Steve Taylor, “Whatever Happened to Sin?” from I Want to Be a Clone (1982) Dearest Rachel – It’s that time again. No, it’s time to spin the Wheel of Amorality, otherwise known as ‘our civic duty,’ or, more toContinue reading “Primary Concerns”

from Rachel: My Broken Dreams

How about you? Ever sing along, hoping the song (‘When You Wish Upon a Star’) might be true? “I’ve sung the song, but I’m not sure I had any particular dreams in mind. If I did, they were probably outside of the natural order of possibilities. My favorite fantasies involve portals to other worlds: policeContinue reading “from Rachel: My Broken Dreams”

Between Comedy and Tragedy

Dearest Rachel – It’s been years since I’ve been here at Walker Brothers’ pancake house. I’m pretty sure that the last time we were here (and yes, it was definitely ‘we’ at the time), it was for a similar reason; we had taken my car in to have it looked at. That’s what happens whenContinue reading “Between Comedy and Tragedy”

Making Sure He’s Remembered

Dearest Rachel – Some days, I find myself focusing on myself – actually, that’s most days. I doubt it’s unique to me. For all that we’re forced to admit to being self-centered and blinkered when it comes to our perspective in life, the fact of the matter is that it’s the only perspective we have.Continue reading “Making Sure He’s Remembered”

Would You Rather…?

Dearest Rachel – It would seem that, despite the fact that the power is supposed to be shut off again today as the electricians do their work, Daniel will be staying home. It’s not an act of defiance or anything; it’s more one of hospitality. It turns out that, for whatever reason, the water atContinue reading “Would You Rather…?”

A Whole Lot of Nothing Going On

I’m going to do nothing, and I’m going to do it slowly. Leroy ‘Satchel’ Paige, when asked what he planned to do once he retired from baseball Dearest Rachel – It was a quote that my dad always liked to repeat about what he planned on doing with retirement, and it was something that I,Continue reading “A Whole Lot of Nothing Going On”

The Whimper of Chance

Dearest Rachel – It’s not exactly axiomatic, but it should go without saying that it’s the misadventures in life that make some of the best stories. This wasn’t the kind of misadventure where the worst possible thing happened, so it won’t be the most ripping of yarns. And yet, it had all the potential toContinue reading “The Whimper of Chance”

Very Nearly Giving Up

Dearest Rachel – I’ve occasionally lamented that, unlike the letters we exchanged between each of our graduations from college – between the time I acknowledged that you would have been the one I would have chosen to spend the rest of my life with, had I been offered the opportunity (the window of which IContinue reading “Very Nearly Giving Up”

Dismay For But A Moment

Dearest Rachel – Another day, another change of plans. Thank heavens that I’m adaptable, but it does make one’s head spin. And that’s without factoring in my morning congestion, and the stuff I take to combat it. It wasn’t even at this time yesterday – more like fifteen or so hours ago – that TimContinue reading “Dismay For But A Moment”

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”

A Quick Change of Plans

Dearest Rachel – By rights, had everything worked out according to the original plan, Daniel and I should be re-packing again today. it’s a quick turnaround from last weekend, sure, but that’s when Memorial Day weekend falls, and we would traditionally drive down to the Nashville area to see Kevin. I’ve abandoned certain traditions sinceContinue reading “A Quick Change of Plans”

Up Too Soon

Dearest Rachel – After two days of mostly threatening – or outright raining – the sun is what comes pouring into our room… at 6:30 in the morning. Much as I’d like to sleep in that much longer, that’s just not going to be in the cards. You’d have probably gotten up this early yourselfContinue reading “Up Too Soon”

It Wasn’t That Important

Dearest Rachel – I can’t remember which year it was – after a certain point, they all tend to blur together, I’m afraid – but there was one other year that we couldn’t get a room in time at one of the four hotels surrounding the convention center (i.e., the Hyatt, the Hilton, the EmbassyContinue reading “It Wasn’t That Important”

Life in Escrow

“Do you have any brothers and sisters?”“Well, I have a big sister, a little brother, and we have a baby in escrow.”“In escrow?”“That’s how daddy describes it when it seems like it’s never going to come out.” Art Linkletter and a candid guest, as taken from Kids Say the Darnedest Things Dearest Rachel – Sometimes,Continue reading “Life in Escrow”

No Substitute

Dearest Rachel – You know, if you were still here, I wouldn’t have anything to do with social media. It’s just no substitute for the real thing. But you aren’t, and I do. It’s not ideal, but you work with what you’re given. I was woken up this morning at twenty to six by theContinue reading “No Substitute”

Long Term Plans

Dearest Rachel – Well, wouldn’t you know it. Just yesterday, I was saying how I need to be telling you a bit more about Yvonne, and last night, she comes out and asks me some hard questions. So, it looks like I need to talk about her at this point. I will say that timeContinue reading “Long Term Plans”

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?”

They Don’t Break All At Once

Dearest Rachel – So, I’ve just done three loads of laundry and run the dishwasher, all in a single afternoon. Not out of some sense of nostalgia for appliances that will soon be pulled from the house and discarded – odds are, I’ll still need to do a load or two yet between now andContinue reading “They Don’t Break All At Once”

So Much For That

Dearest Rachel – It’s amazing, how fast things can change from one day to the next. One day, you think you have a whole lineup of plans for the foreseeable future; the next, so much of that list has been delayed, postponed or gone by the boards altogether. I don’t know when I first realizedContinue reading “So Much For That”

Cleared For Takeoff

Dearest Rachel – It was one of those silly things that we would occasionally quote at each other when the circumstances warranted it – which is to say, when we were completely prepared and ready to leave on a trip: And it would seem that we finally have clearance (Clarence?) once again. As close asContinue reading “Cleared For Takeoff”

Stuck With It

Dearest Rachel – It’s one of those things that you used to keep on top of because I couldn’t be trusted to do so myself. And sure enough, I botched it this year, just like you might expect. In my defense, the window is so small, I could hardly be expected to squeeze through. Although,Continue reading “Stuck With It”

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”

Stuff Before I Go Ashore

Dearest Rachel – I was told by friends and family at home that, well the port of Curaçao itself was literally nothing much to write home about, the homes and businesses we would pass on the way in might very well be. However, considering how close Aruba and Curaçao are, even with an 11 o’clockContinue reading “Stuff Before I Go Ashore”

Out On the Open Ocean?

Dearest Rachel – It’s not quite seven in the morning, and I’m awake early again. It’s not exactly a complaint, but you think it wouldn’t be necessary, as there is nothing much to see when you’re out in the open ocean. Except, apparently, we aren’t. I was actually woken up, in fact, by a textContinue reading “Out On the Open Ocean?”

If You Could Only Feel It

Dearest Rachel – I’ve been wondering around top side for the past hour or so. To be honest, I stopped for about half of that hour, as they were showing a movie above the pool; one about souls (in fact, I think that was the film’s name), and one’s trying to get back to earthContinue reading “If You Could Only Feel It”

Preparing for Takeoff

Dearest Rachel – Were this any other morning, I would probably be making a big deal out of the fact that this is the four hundredth day in a row that I’ve written to you. That’s right; I’ve been letting you know what’s been going on with me, and what’s been happening on the planetContinue reading “Preparing for Takeoff”

Preparing in Spite of Myself

Dearest Rachel – You know well that, even when you were around, I rarely took packing all that seriously. While you would put together lists of all the things you thought we would need (granted, that list was considerably longer for a ‘get away from everything’ type trip like the island, as opposed to anContinue reading “Preparing in Spite of Myself”

Spring Thaw and Mardi Gras

Dearest Rachel – It seems blasphemous to say it, but sometimes, I’m convinced that the Proverbs I read every morning ought to start with the phrase ‘as a general rule…’ Considering that the man who was inspired to write them was also later inspired to write Ecclesiastes, which, while not directly contradicting some of hisContinue reading “Spring Thaw and Mardi Gras”

Before Going South

Dearest Rachel – I’ve already recently bemoaned the fact that, despite every intention to avoid discussing it, politics informs more of my life – and everybody’s, for that matter – than I’d like it to. We are shaped by the circumstances around us, regardless of how much we might insist otherwise. Our impression of GodContinue reading “Before Going South”

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”

Little Dollops of Catch-Up

Dearest Rachel – I’ve been amazed some days about how often I’m able to come up with a topic – or two, or three! – to talk to you about. It’s gotten to the point where, if I can’t come up with anything to relate, I get a little concerned. This is one of thoseContinue reading “Little Dollops of Catch-Up”

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’”

The Visitation

Dearest Rachel – I’m told there was a French king who had been raised Protestant – a dangerous thing to be, when the deeply Catholic country was persecuting Huguenots, and your faith was pretty much inextricably linked to your patriotism (one more reason America deliberately decoupled church and state). Upon the death of his predecessor,Continue reading “The Visitation”

Getting A Jump On Notes

Dearest Rachel – There are times when I think I may have been part of a rollout test… but only in retrospect, of course. When I was in second grade (and an almost obnoxiously precocious kid), I would see my Dad heading off to serve as a leader in the church’s Awana club, and insistContinue reading “Getting A Jump On Notes”

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)”

On Being ‘The Grenade’

Dearest Rachel – I’ve spoken to certain people who find themselves amused at some of the stories I tell you about my life lived after you, particularly those having to do with finding a successor to you (if you’d want to call her that). It offers a measure of comfort to me that, if IContinue reading “On Being ‘The Grenade’”

Back On the… Horse?

Dearest Rachel – Usually, after dinner at their house, Daniel and I will follow Dad into the family room to chat for an hour or so. You probably remember those days well enough when we would be invited over, although you’ll understand that it’s on more frequent – and regular – occasion these days. ForgiveContinue reading “Back On the… Horse?”

Rich Fools

Dearest Rachel – I will always remember the story that you used to tell about your mom‘s father, who worked for the SEC in its early days. It was a fairly lucrative job as I understand it (working for the government often is), and most of his colleagues were both younger than him, and decidedlyContinue reading “Rich Fools”

Keep the Bar Low

Dearest Rachel – In all the letters that I’ve written to you since I’ve started doing this, I’ve mentioned several times about your parents’ astonishingly low expectations for the two of us; how they were afraid that ours was no more than a ‘starter marriage,’ whatever that is, and how they were pleasantly surprised atContinue reading “Keep the Bar Low”

Making the Most of Last Call

Dearest Rachel – So this is it. Effective the beginning of next week, the law comes down, not only in Chicago itself but throughout the entire county: no one may go out in public unless they have proof of vaccination. What that means is that Daniel will not be able to go out to aContinue reading “Making the Most of Last Call”

The Plans That We’d Made

Dearest Rachel – I’ve already talked about a couple of Christmas-adjacent songs that talk more about staying inside and avoiding the worst of the weather, that either leave me envious of the couple that can do just that together, or make me worry if I have to become some kind of creep in order toContinue reading “The Plans That We’d Made”

The Devil in the Details

Dearest Rachel – Yes, I told you I was going to continue to make that pun every time the folks from Detail Kitchens work with me on the remodeling of the kitchen and the laundry room. Consider yourself lucky I didn’t make such a pun that time we went shopping for appliances. Besides, it’s aContinue reading “The Devil in the Details”